Macbook Air vs Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Intel Inside, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. Intel Inside macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2008
    I hate making a new thread of this over discussed topic, but everyone's needs and usage is different, and i'm not a fan of highjacking anyone else's thread.

    Which is best for me the Macbook Air, or the Macbook Pro

    I want to use it for:-

    -Itunes/Spotify (Media consumption)
    -Inter-webs surfing
    -And the occasional DVD rip with Handbreak.

    I am concidering the Macbook Air 11" for it's portability, but i am put off by it's specs, but i've been told not to be deceived by the numbers it has on paper. Another worry for me is that it only has a 128GB SDD. I've though of bringing all my large files along with me on a portable HDD. (e.g PSDs, Movies, Music) Do you think a portable HDD (USB obviously) will offer me enough speed to access my files and work productively?

    Onto the Macbook Pro 13". I think that the MBP will have more than enough power to do what i want, but not having the SSD, 30 day standby time and the portability are the drawbacks to me.

    To conclude, I'm looking for something very portable. Is the Macbook Pro portable enough? and if not, is the Macbook Air powerful enough? (I could maybe stretch my budget to get the base 13" MBA)

    Thank you all and have a nice day :)

    Edit - On a bit of a side not, out of interest, will the Macbook Pro 13" be able to play Flight Simulator X in bootcamp?
  2. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    It's probably out of reach for you right now but you can get a 13" MacBook Pro with a 256GB SSD for $2,000 from Apple, or alternatively get a third party solution. However, I'd wait since I think it will be updated very soon (as in the next few weeks). If it gets the new Sandy Bridge CPU, it will be significant better for Photoshop, Aperture, and DVD ripping, since those tasks benefit from a more efficient CPU. I would not be surprised if the next 13" Pro gets some cheaper SSD options, too.
  3. Saberon, Jan 16, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011

    Saberon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2008
    Any 13MBP is a ripoff right now. I know there are lots of you who will defend the C2D...but be honest, it's so outdated. If you can hold off until the 2011 refresh of MBP I would highly suggest you do so. Look at the P8600 (which is base 13 CPU on here and compare it...ouch!

    A lower powered CPU in the MBA with an SSD compared with a (slightly) faster CPU in the MBP13 with a HDD is going to feel much much faster.

    A portable hard drive USB will be perfect for accessing your files/documents. You may even be able to fit them all on a MBA if you choose not to put unnecessary files on it

    Remember, the more times you write data to the SSD the slower it will (eventually) get even with TRIM. I would highly recommend against ripping DVD's to your SSD on the MBA very often. It's not going to slow to a crawl by any means even after a year, but you will slowly start to notice it's not as fast as the day you bought it. I would still recommend an SSD over an HDD without hesitation, I've had one in my desktop PC for over a year and it still screams vs a HDD.

    Not too mention also that the MBP resolution is less. The MBA11 has 1366x768 and MBA13 has 1440x900 compared to 1280x800 on the MBP13
  4. Intel Inside thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2008
    Thanks for the input. I've heard of the update rumors, and i can wait until March, so i'll see what happens then. Also i've considered buying and putting an SSD in myself, but that's way out of my price range at the moment, i might do it further down the line, when the technology has improved and it is cheaper.

    Thanks Saberon for your opinion. First off, i agree that they C2D P8600 is outdate, as i have it in my 2008 iMac!! i think it's time they updated to the Core ix series already. Also, thanks for the extra info on SSDs didn't know much of that. Also one thing I'm hoping for is an increase in screen resolution in the MBPs when they are updated. I think i'll wait things out for another month or two at the most, then re consider, unless someone has a reason that i should go with the Macbook Air right now.
  5. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    Intel Inside -- Don't be swayed by the spec whores who decry Apple's use of the C2D processor in the 13 inch MBP, and the MBAs, too, for that matter. Apple's decision to go this way was a wise one because it allowed the inclusion of the outstanding NVIDIA 320M integrated GPU. Otherwise, Apple would have been stuck with the awful integrated GPU Intel foists on its customer who buy its i series chips. In real world applications, the 13 inch MBP does a great job and is widely loved by its users.

    Over 250 reviews have the 13 inch MacBook Pro at 4.9 out of 5 average making it the highest rated 13 inch laptop that Best Buy sells and it is the BEST rated premium computer that Best Buy has in their entire system!!! Despite using the older Core 2 Duo processor, it is still rated higher than the iX series PC's...actually it is rated higher by a landslide!!!

    If you want to wait and see what Apple does with its next refresh of the 13 inch MBP, that's fine, but don't put off buying one of the current models because you think it is inferior. It isn't.
  6. thecharlesmoore macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2011
    I'm actually going through the same thing :/ I have no idea which one to get. NOTE: I'm moving from a Pentium 4 Processor with 2 GB of RAM and a 72GB Hard Drive-So basically anything might blow me away. I'm interested in seeing what everyone says and what you decide on.
  7. ReelAction macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2010
    The choice is a matter of priorities

    Both the MBP and the MBA are truly portable, I travel frequently and consider anything under 5 lbs. as "easy for travel"

    MBP pro/cons
    - higher storage capacity
    - internal optical drive and more ports for I/O, if that is important
    - improved computing power for intensive programs (2.4Ghz vs 1.4Ghz MBA at lower end, similar at higher end)
    - better battery life
    - lower cost for similar performance
    MBA pro/cons
    - about 2# lighter and more fashionable
    - quicker start up and response
    - need an USB optical drive to rip CD's, another device to remember and pack
    - limited Storage, but an ext USB HD will allow for more storage, but will add 1# plus need for cables and remembering to pack.

    A/C power adapters are about the same footprint/weight

    I have a recent MBP and my wife has the new MBA - which are meeting our needs, and must state that neither of us are doing much video/pic editing, but spreadsheet/database intensive. We use NAS so are able to share files and work interchangeably on data without a problem, but she does have to be selective on what to keep in her MBA, due to space constraints.
  8. Nachos macrumors member


    Dec 1, 2010
    Lynge, Denmark
    Wise words! I just bought a MBA and honestly it's the fastest computer i have ever had.

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