Macbook Air vs. Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by grimreaper1377, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. grimreaper1377 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm debating getting a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air. I'm getting the $2499 version for each, so price isn't a factor. I'm in high school right now, and ideally I would want it to last me for my entire four years. Mainly, I do the following:
    • Note taking
    • Programming
    • Light Gaming (mainly Halo)
    • Surfing web, email, etc.
    I have an iMac at home to do some of the more intense stuff, but I would prefer that I could do some light-medium use CS4 on the laptop too. If I can do all this on the MacBook Air, then I would get that since hard drive space isn't that big of an issue.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #2
    The new MBA is powerful and ultra portable. I would go with the MBA. It is super light. Now has Nvidia graphics so will drive a 30" display if you ever want to use like a desktop. Since upgraded it has a super fast SATA hard drive, faster RAM, and Penryn 45 nm chip that is fast and will not overheat.

    And you could consider, buying the 1.86 GHz upgrade and not the SSD as I think is over rated and would cost $1999 configured that way. Minus education or live.com discounts.

    Plus, in a year, you could upgrade to an SSD for far less and will easily hold 256 GB by that time instead of 128 GB limit now has. You would have a very slightly slower computer for 20% less now and super upgrade to 256 GB SSD in a year, or more.

    Good luck and Happy New Year!
     
  3. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #3
    I would get the MBA just for portability. Since you have an iMac to do the heavy lifting the MBA makes sense.
     
  4. ACiB708 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    #4
    I would also get the MBA if I were you, but don't expect Adobe CS4 to run smoothly at all even if it's "light-medium" work.
     
  5. ditzy macrumors 68000

    ditzy

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    #5
    A compromise between the two. More portable than the MBP, more powerful than the MBA, would be the macbook.
     
  6. drummerlondonw3 macrumors 6502a

    drummerlondonw3

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #6
    Hi,

    well I have both machines and I would definitely go for the Imac and Macbook Air combo. If it was to be your only machine I would say the pro but you have the imac for all your intensive stuff. You really dont appreciate the benefits of owning one until you have used it. Simply put for writing and portability (i.e. when its actually on your lap in coffee house, school, university, train etc) there is no better laptop on the market.

    The one thing I would say is to go for the SSD version without a doubt. The difference is marked and for the kind of things I do on my air I want snappiness. Compared to the HD model you will notice a difference in opening and closing apps and browsing. The SSD is perfectly suited and matched to the Airs ability and likely uses.

    Have a read of some of the first impression threads about the Air. There is lots of negative press about it (although this thread isn't part of it :) ) but I think you will find that 99% of owners are really happy and see that it's ahead of the curve in laptop design and use.

    Final note - rev.B seems to have answered all the issues with rev.A so you should be happy, happy, happy :D

    Good luck whatever you choose though, both fantastic machines

    D:apple:
     
  7. drummerlondonw3 macrumors 6502a

    drummerlondonw3

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #7
    I don't have any user experiences about the Air and CS4 but the recent benchmarks http://www.primatelabs.ca/blog/2008/12/macbook-air-performance-december-2008/ are showing approx 200% performance of a power mac G5. This isn't a flame but I was just wondering if you had actually used a MBA for what the OP is describing or if this is just what you think would happen. It seems to me the MBA must be close to the baseline macbook alu??

    D:apple:
     
  8. flottenheimer macrumors 65816

    flottenheimer

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Up north
    #8
    I'd go for the MBP.
    If you're just a little serious about CS4 (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver?, After Effects? etc.) you need a fast machine. The MBP is way faster than the MBA.
    Just as important you'll also need is a laptop with a decent amount of screen real estate. The Airs 13.3" inch screen with its 1280x800 resolution, just doesn't cut it, IMHO. The 15" MacBook Pros 1440x900 makes a world of diffecence, even if it doesn't sound like an aweful lot its 1 million versus 1.3 million pixels. And it provides you with room for both CS4s menus and for your work.

    The Air is a great machine. But if you really need it for what you say need it for, it's not the right choise.
     
  9. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #9
    The MBA might be all fine and dandy now, but you want this system to last you 4 years. An MPB will do much much better in this regard.
     
  10. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #10
    Don't waste your money - the 2.0GHz MacBook is more than enough to do what you want to. Spend the savings on something more useful.
     
  11. grimreaper1377 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    #11
    Thanks for all the responses.
    I'm also thinking that I'll get the MacBook + LED Cinema Display since it's actually cheaper than a SSD Air.


    Thanks again!
     
  12. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    #12
    Also, sidebars, toolbars, etc. take up proportionally less space on the monitor as the resolution increases, so the usable resolution will increase a bit more than 30%.
     
  13. sapota macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    #13
    I would vote for macbook as well...macbook air wont even be cross shopped with MBP......
     
  14. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #14
    I have the new Aluminum MacBook... I strongly disagree. I would MUCH rather have the ultra portable MBA v2 than the MacBook. The portability is a huge difference. Carrying around 60% of the weight is a lot easier. The power of the new MBA is amazing.

    I would still, strongly encourage you to buy the MBA v2 over the Aluminum MB or the MBP. Especially for your needs. Put the MBA v2 with the 24" LED Apple Cinema Display and it is ultra portable for the road and ultra awesome at the desktop.

    Try the MBA v2 out and you will have a simple decision within a few seconds.

    Good luck whichever route you go.
     
  15. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #15
    If you did not already have a desktop, I would unhesitatingly recommend the MBP, as it is a superb machine. However, you already have something for "heavy lifting" so I'd recommend you take a look for yourself - comparing side by side - with the Rev B MBA and the MB. Both are excellent computers, but what they excel in differs for each.

    If you prize portability above all else, choose the MBA; however, the new aluminium MB is beautifully made and probably offers better bang per buck, but finance does not seem to be a problem in your current situation. Take a look at them side by side and try them out in an Apple store. Then, buy whichever one suits your perceived needs better.

    Cheers and good luck
     
  16. ajvizzgamer101 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    United States
    #16
    I love my Macbook Pro and have used MBA more then at looking at it at an Apple store
     
  17. DYER macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #17
    it depends. i use CS4 on my MBP it is my main machine and my god does it fly... i guess if you use it lightly then an air is better due to the portability.
    but if you think u may end up doing some heavier gaming or more cs4 work then deff get a pro.
    it is a stunning machine
     

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