Macbook Pro 13" with SSD or Air 13"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by hwp16, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. hwp16 macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2011
    Sages of MacRumors, i require some advice.

    I am a university student, travelling around the country a lot due to various placements / family trips / seeing friends etc.

    I will be buying a replacement for my 2008 Macbook next week. I have already purchased the lovely LG ips236v monitor to use with whatever laptop i decide on when at home, and will be purchasing a big external hard drive to store non essential large files (hd movies mostly) that will live at home as well.

    All i use my computer for is standard internet, and general uni word processing / researching etc etc etc.

    Up until yesterday I had decided on the base 13" Air. Lovely bit of kit, very light for travelling, awesome. With discount that will cost me £934.

    But thinking about the future, I began to wonder if a base Macbook Pro 13" (£850) upgraded with the Vertex 3 (c£150) and with the possibilty of 8gb ram in the future might give me a machine that will last a bit longer before requiring an upgrade. I know the Optical Drive will be mentioned but I cannot remember the last time i needed to use my Macbook's drive.


    Any recommendations?
    Is that the best SSD? I only started reading about the different options last
    Any pros/cons to each machine that I might have missed?
    Applecare? Will the SSD void it? I will be extending the AppleCare on either machine to 3 years because the student discount makes it something ridiculous like £40 - bargain!

    Any thoughts / opinion appreciated.
  2. TheJing macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2011
    Somewhere in Europe
    With that usage you shouldn't worry about "only" having 4gigs of RAM in my opinion.

    I would go with the 13" Air.
  3. hwp16 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2011
    Thanks for the reply.

    I agree that my usage at the moment doesn't warrant any more than 4gb ram.

    What I am concerned about is performance in 3 years time. I am not the kind of guy that sells and upgrades their machine every year.

    And I remember going from 1gb ram in my Macbook to 4gb, it was like I had a brand new computer.

    Or am i worrying too much?
  4. Blues003 macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2010
    I am also a uni student, and will be buying my first Mac in some months. I am usually an adept of the MBP versus the MBA, but it is also true my needs are more demanding than yours.

    If all you'll be doing is "standard internet, and general uni word processing / researching etc etc etc.", then I think the MBA would be more than sufficient for you.

    As for your worry about it being good enough in the future, then you have to ask yourself what you'll be doing with your laptop in the future. If your needs stay the same, I don't see why the MBA would still not be capable enough.

  5. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    I'd get the MBP. It's more likely to serve your needs for a longer period of time. The inability to upgrade RAM and storage on the Air is, for me, an instant disqualifier. If you read through nough threads, you'll see LOTS of people talking about how Lion is a memory hog, and how 4 GB is the bare practical minimum - which gives zero overhead for increasing RAM needs.
  6. Wattser93 macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2010
    Lion is a memory hog. I am going to assume that 4GB of RAM in 3 years time won't be enough.

    3 years ago, 1GB of RAM was standard for many computers. Now 1GB of RAM is useless for any modern operating system.

    Right now, 4GB of RAM is the standard. One can only assume in 3 years that 4GB of RAM won't be near enough to run anything modern.
  7. MrBullet macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2011
    Bristol, UK
    My opinion is the 13'' MBP.

    If you're buying this Mac for the long haul then in a few years or maybe even a year's time, your needs might have slightly grown and then the MBA might not deliver.

    In terms of price, the base 13'' is slightly more expensive, even with your University discount, but it will meet your demands, certainly now and in the future.

    The extra cost will definitely be worth it as you can do so much more and the overall experience will be better. You can even get some gaming in, for example COD4 on the App Store is fantastic on the 13'', despite it having no dedicated graphics.

    I would also upgrade to 8GB of RAM on the 13'' for that extra performance, even though admittedly, it's not needed for your needs.
  8. stordoff macrumors regular

    Aug 24, 2009
    If you buy through the higher education store, and are near an Apple store, this is a complete waste of £40. Macs purchased through the Apple HE store have a three year standard warrenty. The "AppleCare" option is just phone support and pick up if there isn't an Apple store near by.

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