MacBook Air or Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by nateo200, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #1
    I posted before a few months ago but with Christmas coming up I will have some money as well as the money I already have saved up. Okay so here's what I need a laptop for; I'm heading off to college next year and my iPad will have to be sold because I just dont think I can use it as the sole computing device and I'd feel bad having two expensive toys. My dad wants me to get the MacBook pro because he feels its more "powerful" and the built in CD drive makes it suppiorier however I LOVE the Macbook Air, I sat at bestbuy for 1 hour play with the 13inch air, the 13inch pro and the regular macbook and the air had this idk magic to it while the pro felt idk "bulky". Can the air with the external drive function as well as the pro though...I'm be doing allot of sciences and not much CPU intensive stuff...I'm considering the 13inch air 128gb with 4gb of ram and the Pro 13inch with 8gb of ram...I guess the main question is, will the air not hold up to demands.
     
  2. revelated macrumors 6502a

    revelated

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #2
    Your money, your choice. Though it depends on what you use it for. Basic computing, the Air will handle. Some intense things it can handle. Too much and you may bring it to its knees.

    Pro comes with more RAM, but no SSD. Then again, you can add one, unlike with the Air where you really are stuck with whatever drive you accept default. Pro can also be upgraded in other ways. Its "bulk" is nothing when you use it for a while.

    Again though, depends on what you plan to use it for. My advice: Don't buy it because it's slim. Buy it because it will do what you need it to do.
     
  3. Rob.G macrumors 6502

    Rob.G

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Location:
    NW Oregon
    #3
    IMO, the 13" MBA (Ultimate) is every bit as good as, heck more likely better than, the 13" MBP. The ONLY thing the MBP has over it is the optical drive, which you can get externally for another $80.

    I am continually surprised at how SLOW my 17" MBP feels compared to my little 11" MBA. Seriously. It's all because of the SSD too. If you can live with 256 gig of storage, you're set. I'm chomping at the bit for somebody to get a 256 gig upgrade for the 11" MBA; for now I picked up an external 1TB drive to hold photos, music and other data.

    Rob
     
  4. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #4
    personally I would say try to up to a 15in if that is your only computer. You will like the larger screen.

    If you are going to go with MBP because it has more horse power and will last you longer.

    Remember this computer needs to last you 4 years. I also would sit on it as long as possible so that means wait until this summer.
     
  5. JKK photography macrumors regular

    JKK photography

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    #5
    I'd say the MBP 13". Once you get the 13" MBA configured to be mostly competitive (i.e., you'd need the Ultimate configuration), it is going to be $1,599. You could get the base MBP 13" model for $1,199. Take the money you save on the MBP and get an SSD for it (after market, as they perform better than anything you can get from Apple, which includes the one in the MBA, and you get more bang for your buck). That will get you better performance than the Air. That's exactly what I'm doing, and I'm in a situation pretty similar.

    Of course, I won't be traveling extensively. If you are, the Air may be a better choice.

    It would probably help if you said what you plan on doing with the laptop. For some things, the Pro will be way better than the Air, and vice-versa. Also, your budget.
     
  6. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #6
    x2. Right now, the 13" MacBook Pro is the least appealing proposition in Apple's lineup. If it had the Core i5 and a discrete GPU, it would be another story, but the current Pro has little to recommend it over the Air other than the Firewire port and built-in optical drive. You can always add an optical drive to the Air later for $80, and Firewire is on its way out.

    To get a Pro with an SSD costs $1999, or $200 more than the most expensive Air.

    Whether either the 13" Pro or Air will be sufficient in 4 years is a bit uncertain, though. The Core 2 Duo is at the end of its life in Intel's product line. It certainly has enough horsepower to keep up with most everyday software for a while, particularly paired to the NVIDIA 320m, but will it seem awfully slow by June 2015? When are you off to college? If it isn't until next August, consider waiting until the summer. The 13" Pro will likely get an upgrade next quarter. The Air might even get the Sandy Bridge Core i3 next year (though I doubt it would be before next July or August).
     
  7. JKK photography macrumors regular

    JKK photography

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    #7
    That isn't entirely true, if you play your cards the smart way :):

    MacBook Pro 13" Base Model (2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo) = $1,199

    Mercury Extreme Pro SSD 120GB= $239.00

    1,199+239.00= $1,438.00
    Not counting tax, of course.

    I'm assuming you are meaning to add in an Apple SSD. Going with an aftermarket solution is both faster and significantly cheaper. Replacing the HDD with an SSD is quick and easy. Also, the SSD I linked to will offer better performance than the MBA's SSD, which is a rebranded Toshiba drive.

    I believe that the drive here is very comparable to what is in the Macbook Air: http://macperformanceguide.com/SSD-RealWorld-BeforeAfter-AppleToshiba512.html
     
  8. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #8
    I think the OP's dad has given him good advice. The 13 inch entry level MBP is a nearly perfect choice for a college student and provides the most bang for the buck in Apple's Macbook lineup. My grandson, who started college in the fall, has one and loves it. As much as I love my 13 inch Ultimate MBA, it cost nearly $1,800, which is 50 percent more than the base 13 inch MBP goes for. In addition the MBP has an optical drive and both its memory and its disc storage are easily upgradeable.
     
  9. INEEDANOTEBOOK macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    Icy City
    #9
    [[ My dad wants me to get the MacBook pro because he feels its more "powerful" and the built in CD drive makes it suppiorier however I LOVE the Macbook Air, I sat at bestbuy for 1 hour play with the 13inch air, the 13inch pro and the regular macbook and the air had this idk magic to it while the pro felt idk "bulky". ]]

    _______________


    The way you present it, it seems that you are clearly deeply in love with the MBA. :D Go ahead!
     
  10. zstar macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    #10
    I'm 16 and my dad wanted me to get the Macbook Pro for exactly the same reasons as yours, says it's faster and better than a macbook air. Sigh, they just don't understand :rolleyes:

    But in the end I still got an ultimate 13" so I'm not complaining! :D
     
  11. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #11
    I love my 13 inch Ultimate MBA and thought it was well worth its price. It is a great choice if (1) ultra lightweight is worth $it significantly higher price to you (2) you wouldn't upgrade the RAM or the disc storage if you got a 13 inch MBP and (3) you are certain that the absence of an optical drive in the MBA wouldn't inconvenience you. I didn't have to worry about that because I still own and regularly use my old 17 inch MBP for copying audiobook CDs into iTunes.
     
  12. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #12
    The optical drive is a non-issue. USB externals are 50$. Anyone hesitating over just that or keeping around a 1500$ piece of equipment for its optical drive is nuts.

    The only thing about the MBP you should hesitate for is if you need that 20% processor speed boost or the possibility of having 8 GB of RAM. Both of which college students don't really need for what they need computers for.
     
  13. iNotion macrumors regular

    iNotion

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    Jun 5, 2008
    Location:
    Singapore
    #13
    For me, the 1st priority for a laptop is lightweight, then performance, then beauty.

    That is the reason why i purchased the Ultimate 13" MBA and love carrying it around & working with it.
     
  14. White Apple macrumors newbie

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    Dec 17, 2010
    #14
    Let say the next version MBA is come with Sandy Bridge Core i3, will it be more powerful or faster than the current one?
     
  15. AllanC macrumors newbie

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    Jul 7, 2010
    #15
    I'd buy the Air and an drive. You will quickly grow weary of schlepping the heavy MBP around campus. DAMHIK.
     
  16. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #16
    The CPU would likely be more powerful since the i3 is more efficient than the Core 2 Duo on a GHz for GHz basis. Whether the integrated graphics are a step up, down, or sideways from the NVIDIA 320m is the big unknown.
     
  17. LAS.mac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Location:
    Mexico
    #17
    I've a MBP 13", late 2009. I've upgraded my HD to an SSD (OWC Mercury 120 Gb), and ram to 4 Gb.
    It feels very good, however if I could, I'd change it for the 13" MBA not tomorrow, but today!

    Only advantage I see for the MBP: the backlit kb.
    And about the internal CD/DVD: in one year, I've used it maybe 5 times. So it's something I really don't need.
     
  18. nateo200 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #18
    Wow thanks guys I appreciate the help..I'm leaning towards pro now to be honest. Coming from the iPad theres some compromises that ive known to well with portability and I think the Pro offers more. Looking at getting the Pro with 4gigs of ram and 500gig hardrive to dumb all my music on (roughly 40~gigs) plus my old video collection which is like 80gigs.
     
  19. peapody, Dec 19, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010

    peapody macrumors 68040

    peapody

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    Oct 7, 2007
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    baltimore, md
    #19
    Having owned both at the same time, I used my macbook pro a lot more because it had everything on it. I invested in programs, and upgraded my machine to 160gb ssd +500gb hdd to hold all my media. There was no question of whether or not something would run in the 4 years I owned a macbook pro. The macbook air turned out to be a netbook/notetaker for college. Just depends on your needs.
     
  20. gdeputy macrumors 6502a

    gdeputy

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    #20
    get a regular macbook, it's meant for a college student really.

    buy yourself a air when you graduate :)
     
  21. size100, Dec 19, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010

    size100 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    #21
    higher-resolution screen. Why do I never see this brought up on this forum? This is huge.
    smaller/ligher
    SSD

    those are pretty big up-sides, especially the screen.

    As far as the macbook, I'm not sure I would pay 1,000 dollars for a C2D laptop made out of plastic. The extra 200 for MBP is worth it.

    I think MBP and Macbook are the least bang for the buck. They will be updated soon to be decent bang for the buck, at least for an apple.

    Either choice will be good. You can always upgrade MBP later on by spending a few hundred on an SSD, a hundred on ram(if you really need 8gb) and the only shortcoming will be the screen and the 'thickness' and weight.

    To be competitive it would be base air + 4gb ram. It wouldn't have to be MBP or ultimate MBA.
     
  22. nateo200 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    Feb 4, 2009
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    Northern District NY
    #22
    So I woke up this morning and opened all my gifts...no MacBook :( I then looked over and my dad had a boxed brand new macbook pro in his hand. So I now have the MacBook pro 13 inch base model and I will say I love this thing to death already its the bomb! I just can't get flash player to work :( even after installing it
     
  23. Rob.G macrumors 6502

    Rob.G

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    NW Oregon
  24. mjillard macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    #24
    I thought the MBP still had flash pre-installed? A friend of mine said she had the same problem with the new MBA. I hope this isn't going to be an ongoing problem, as I will soon be in the market for a laptop but still want the performance of my iMac. I need flash to work, I don't care what anybody says.
     
  25. nateo200 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
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    Northern District NY
    #25
    No it doesnt come preinstalled its rather annoying. I even installed it and it didnt work. I had to restart twice and now it works flawless but apple needs to get there heads out of there ass with this whole sissy little fight they have with adobe. Just one of those "little" things that bothers me (little i say because while its a small plug in ALLOT of sites use flash and as much as HTML 5 or whatever its called is better its not going to cover up the fact that i still like flash).
     

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