MacBook Air 13" or MacBook Pro 15"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by VLeeAzn, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. VLeeAzn, Sep 21, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2014

    VLeeAzn macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2014

    Hello here, I'm a new medstudent, I just started class about a month ago and I need a new computer.

    I bought this MacBook Pro 15" back in 2009, so almost 5 years ago, but since it's from an older generation he lasts only about 2 hours and after that I have to write everything down on papers. And he still works surprisingly well for a computer that is from 2009 I'm actually really impressed, and even better since I upgraded for Maverick a few days ago (For free, yay Apple).

    Don't laugh at me but I have been struggling so much between the MacBook Air 13" (MBA) and MacBook Pro 15" (MBP) that it's been an entire month I keep making orders then canceling them few days after. (actually taking MBP then canceling it for MBA because I keep viewing sites that compare these two and vice-versa).

    Let me explain my thoughts:

    MBA 13":
    -Pros: Lighter than MBP; battery will probably last longer because screen is not retina; 12 hours of battery (I except at least 8 hours of use, I highly doubt the 12 hours is for real).
    -Cons: no retina screen; dual-core; 8 Go RAM (if upgraded); Intel HD Graphics 5000; 512 SSD (if upgraded).

    MBP 15":
    -Pros: Not that heavier than MBA (I mean I tried holding one and it was so much lighter than the one I'm using right now!); Intel Iris Pro Graphics + NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M with 2GB GDDR5 memory; quad-core; 16 Go RAM; 512 SSD and Retina screen! (yay).
    -Cons: 8 hours battery (I mean, for real, I'm pretty sure it will be good even if it last 5 hours with all these things that I put above).

    It's just the 8 hours battery that is preventing me from buying MBP, I really don't trust that it can last more than 5 hours of use with all these goodies they put in it, and for my studies I will probably need more than 5 hours of use, probably at least 6 to 7 hours. I would buy a MBA, really, but come on with a few hundred euros more it's like I'm buying a monster that would put MBA to shame (except for battery of course).

    Edit1: If I buy either one of them I will be mostly using them for everything as I don't have a desktop computer actually; I'm also afraid that if I buy MBA in 5 years I will eventually have to upgrade it. (I don't really know much about them, I just know if I buy MBP he will for sure last for few years, hehe).

    Edit2: Sorry MBP from 2009, not 2005.. :(


    Edit3: Hello everyone, I decided to buy MBA 13" for my college. I will tell you why; so if anyone is struggling like me hopefully he can choose reading this.

    So today I contacted Apple by using their amazing chat feature and asked a bunch of things and they answered me perfectly. I will try to resume what they told me.

    -First and the most important question I always wanted an answer: Yes the MBP does last 8 hours, and even if it doesn't and you don't like it you have 2 weeks starting from the day you received it to return it to Apple.

    -rMBP has 16 Go RAM and MBA has 8 Go RAM, will it be enough? Well yes! Simply because Apple actually only use 8 Go of RAM and tbh if you plan on buying the rMBP with all these high specs you're probably going to have to wait a few more years till you actually use 100% of your rMBP, when they'll add new amazing features.

    -So i5 or i7? Well it's true that maybe with i7 you'll have one hour less of battery, but it will be really odd taking 8 Go RAM and not going for i7 but i5; so if you're going to take 8 Go RAM just go with i7!

    -SSD 256 Go or SSD 512 Go? I heard that the SSD 512 Go is much faster because of the high density; Well yes the SSD 512 Go will sure be faster than the SSD 256 Go but it won't be noticeable to you at all, since all the SSD are already really fast. And you probably won't need that much if like me you have some external drives.

    Of course I asked a lot of other things but I think I posted the most important things above.
  2. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014
    You are running Mavericks on a 2005 Macbook? Sounds highly unlikely, given that the MBPro was first released in 2006 and the oldest version taking Mavericks is from 2007!?

    But back to the topic: What do you plan on using the Macbook for that you think you need such high specs? If battery life is your main concern, the Air is clearly the way to go.
  3. macs4nw macrumors 601


    For note-taking at class, MBA all the way. Lighter, less expensive, longer battery life, period.
  4. VLeeAzn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2014
    Sorry I'm an idiot. It's MBP from 2009 hahahahahahaha, I just can't stop laughing, well this is embarrassing :eek:; I'll edit my post ASAP, damnit. :D

    I will be using MB for everything since I don't have an actual desktop computer. Back when I had a desktop computer I did a lot of video editing, video games on Steam like DotA 2 or Blizzard's game like HotS or SC2. I'm pretty sure I won't really have a lot of time to play those game but yeah. I also wanted a MBP because every student here has one they do have some cool 3D programs that show them the human body etc.. But when I ask them about how long MBP last they always tell me 3 to 4 hours, and I'm not even sure if they have the newest one, I mean they does look new because they don't have CD drive but I really don't know, I'm new to the Mac world.
    I mean if the MBP really can't last at least 4 hours I will take MBA for sure! But then I don't know, it just feels weird to buy a computer for just note-taking in class.

    Ok. :D
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    13 inch rMBP seems the best compromise

    From what you have put I would say that the 13 inch rMBP is the best compromise for you. Great screen, great connectivity, great portability, good battery life, good cpu, ok GPU for blizzard games.

    I can't understand why it's not in your thinking???

    Lastly almost any laptop will be obsolete in 5 years time, sure it'll still run fine but it will be certainly be shoputing for an upgrade.
  6. VLeeAzn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2014
    Thank you for your answer! But I have decided to take a MacBook Air. I actually thought about the 13" rMBP but it was actually a present the person paying for me wanted me to choose either MBA 13" or rMBP 15", so yeah. I decided MBA. :D

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