Macbook Air vs Macbook Pro for my usage

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Xisdibik, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. Xisdibik macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2013
    Hello everyone,

    I have not used a real mac (have an iphone/ipad at the moment) since the Apple II's back in the day. I switched to windows because I am a pretty big PC gamer. These days though I am really into the integration in or coming to Mac OSX/iOS soon (10.9/iOS7). I decided quite a while ago to make the switch to Mac OSX but didn't have the money (and was waiting to see what they did with Haswell).

    What I need (since my Fujitsu convertible laptop's HDD has failed, and its a bit old and slow now) is a replacement.

    My usage:

    Heavy: email, web browsing, chatting (Skype, IRC, etc), picture viewing / organization, writing things, etc.
    Medium: Gaming when away from my desktop machine. Games I like to play currently (when away from my desktop). Eve Online, Civilization V, Minecraft, and old school console games. Potentially a few others but nothing super heavy. The modern FPS/Action games I typically don't enjoy playing on the smaller laptop screen anyways.

    Would the MacBook Air 13" 2013 be enough for that usage? Or should I really consider waiting for the MacBook Pro 15" 2013 Haswell update coming later this year (hopefully).

    My current Fujitsu laptop weighs ~ the same as the 2012 MacBook Pro 15" and its doable for carrying around in my bag but definitely not that comfortable for long periods. Battery life on either should be great compared to my Fujitsu that only got about 4 hours with a second battery in the modular bay.

    Thanks a bunch!

  2. Xisdibik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2013
    As an update to my original post.

    Someone in my family is going to be getting a new MacBook Pro and they offered me their old MacBook Pro 15". The specs on it are:

    Late 2011 15" MacBook Pro.

    2.4Ghz Intel Core i7 Processor.
    8GB DDR 1333Mhz DD3 RAM
    Radeon 6770M 1024MB Graphics Card / Intel HD 3000
    750GB 5400 RPM Hard Disk Drive

    I am unfamiliar with the 2011 model, is it the unibody or the old style that can be upgraded? If it is upgradable, would it then be possible to throw in a SSD and make it a machine to last me (with my usage) for a while or is the 6770M not as powerful as the new Intel HD5000 in the air (at the air resolutions vs the MacBook Pro's resolution).

    Also the machine has the 1680x1050 High Resolution Anti-glare display (matte).
  3. macrominnie macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2010
    Can you upgrade from HDD to SSD: Yes.
    Can you upgrade the RAM? Yes

    Personally, I enjoy the 1680x1050 screen on the 15 inch- not "retina" but pleasant to look at as laptop screens go. I also find the 13 inch MBA screen pretty easy to look at on the go.

    Check the Apple Refurb prices: A similar model with 4 GB RAM is going for $1700. Your relative should be offering a lower price, since the MBP is used and presumably not under Apple warranty.

    Much depends on how much portability means to you, and how finicky you are about gaming. You can check Barefeats or other benchmark sites. I am easily entertained myself, so recent model MBP's are fine for my gaming stuff.

    If less weight and bulk is helpful, go recent model MBA and get as much (soldered) RAM as you can easily afford. As much as I like the 15 inch machine, the extra pound or two adds up when walking and carrying. On airlines, the 11 & 13 inch models are noticeably easier on the seat-back trays.

    If you work unplugged a lot, the extra few hours run time on the 2013 MBA counts for a lot.

    If your relative gives you a great deal on the MBP, go for it and see how you like it. A 2011 MBP has depreciated and you could trade up later with little loss in value. Migrating from one Mac machine to another is easy.

    You'll be pleased with either choice.

    Your reasoning is also sound about gaming-it's heading to mainly iOS and mobile platforms quickly. Put a touchscreen on an 11 inch MBA and there'll be notebook power and iPad convenience. Of course, Apple will do much better than that, maybe speeded by a field of good products on competing platforms.

  4. Xisdibik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2013
    Thanks for the information.

    The weight may be an issue I am not sure. I currently don't use my laptop away from a desk often but I may be carrying it places more and more. That is one of the bigger things I am on the fence with.

    The battery is another issue. My relative says the battery estimates a bit over 4 hours left on a full charge when he has his stuff open (photoshop and webpages email etc). Are the batteries easy to replace and how much would one cost. Does apple sell them or would I have to find one elsewhere. I am currently in Japan and apple parts sellers are not as common as home which is near apple's HQ

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