Macbook pro or Air for my parents?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thedon1, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. thedon1 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2010
    My parents are looking to retire their 2008 Macbook and are going to replace it with either a 13inch Air or Pro.

    All they do is web browse and use Microsoft Office and Itunes.

    I really like tha fact that the Air has flash memory but then the CPU isn't as quick. I don't really need it to be portable (they have an iPad) and i'm thinking the Pro would last a bit longer due to the power but i'm really not sure.

    I'm leaning with the pro as they are the same price for 13 inches here in the UK but thought some suggestions would be useful since i've used neither.

  2. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
  3. NikiPod macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2012
    London, England
    I was going to say air, but then they've got an iPad for portability (not that the pro is horrendously unportable)...

    I had this dilemma myself and went with the pro because it's longevity is what was more important to me- my friend got an Air the week before and they've said although it's snappy now, it's nowhere near as cost effective as it is to buy a pro and upgrade it when it gets sluggish.

    Also if they're using iTunes, a larger HDD will be a boon.
  4. thedon1 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2010
    Yeah I was thinking i'd get more years out of the pro due to the faster CPU and upgradability.

    I'm hoping to get 4 years out of it.

    The air looks really nice but they use the laptop like a desktop so a lot of the main features of the air won't be of any use to them.

    Having the Disc drive and ethernet port will probably be handy too.
  5. iDutchman macrumors 6502a

    May 9, 2010
    Amsterdam, NL
    Seems like your already made the decision. Go with the Pro.

    I would personally use an SSD inside the Pro because the speed otherwise would be quite a bit lower than the Air. The overall experience would be less.

    I don't use any traditional HDD anymore for anything, unless extra storage. I'd suggest you do the same ;)
  6. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    It will cost more....but an entry level Retina MBP might be good. It has an excellent screen (important for us old folks) and no moving parts to crash. It is also thin and light ...almost like a MBA.
  7. sweetbrat macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2009
    Redford, MI
    If all they're doing is internet, Office and iTunes, why wouldn't an Air be able to last for 4 years? Unless their usage is going to drastically change during that time, it seems like it should suit them just fine. Sure, you could get the MBP and upgrade it in a couple years, but it's complete overkill for what they'll be using it for. And if they're used to using a 2008 Macbook with a HDD, moving to the Air will seem super speedy because of the SSD. With the MBP you're paying for things that they'll never need, like the dual graphics cards. I'd save money and go for the Air.
  8. noteple macrumors 65816


    Aug 30, 2011
    The Air.

    Fast, sleek, portable.

    Its design doesn't give it a clunky laptop look.

    At home in just about any room, except the kitchen. You could mistake it for a cutting board. ;)
  9. Kafka macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2011
    Also consider the higher ppi on the Air which gives smaller text, as older people generally don't have great eyes. For this reason I got my own mother a MBP recently.
  10. plucky duck macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2012
    Will the machine be mostly at the desk or mobile? If it sits at the desk, perhaps an iMac for greater value and upgrade ability? If itll be mobile a lot then the air. If it'll be somewhat 50/50 then the MBP is a nice go between.
  11. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Am more on the practical side. CPU would not be an issue.

    If ur parents take the notebook to the porch, bedroom, I say AIR, but u say they have an iPad for that, I take the MBP instead. Simple, the Air takes two hands to open up, it's too light! MBP, one hand to open the lid. Plus more ports options for whatever.
  12. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    Why even get a new computer if that's all they are doing with it? Even a 2006 Macbook will do all of that fine. Combined with an SSD and 4GB of RAM, it will feel almost as snappy as a new computer.
  13. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    If it's just to use around the house then probably a cMBP, as it's upgradable and easier to fix if the harddrive or something goes.
  14. MaxPower72 macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2012
    Chicago, Illinois, Crooks County
    I think his Parents will be fine with a MBA, don't see them upgrading to SSD and RAM...
  15. tiwizard macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2010
    I'd strongly suggest the MBA based on your description, unless you really think the ethernet and CD drive will be useful.

    If you'd like, you can also check out the Macbook Buyer's Guide tool I built to figure out what Macbook configurations are right for your parents. It's in beta, so let me know if you have any feedback.

    Also, I'd check out my post on Macbook Air 13 inch versus Macbook Pro 13 inch. It'll give you a brief overview of why you may want to consider the Macbook Air over the Pro.
  16. sweetbrat macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2009
    Redford, MI
    Rather than buying something new, have you considered a refurb? You still get the same 1 year warranty, option to purchase Applecare, and it could save you some money. Since they don't necessarily need something top-of-the-line, it might make sense...
  17. thedon1 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2010
    Thanks for the links, very useful.

    I'm really starting to consider the Air as the SSD seems to be a very worthy upgrade but i'm a bit worried about losing the disc drive. My parents have a cd collection that they want to rip to the computer so that might be a deal breaker.
  18. tiwizard macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2010
    Yeah, that's the one downside if you do use the drive. If they are technical enough to plug in an external drive, that could also be a consideration. But that depends on if they/you would be willing to compromise on an external solution.
  19. thedon1 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2010
    How much of a noticeable improvement is the SSD? Is it great enough to sacrifice the CPU speed and optical drive?
  20. clamchowderz macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2008
    Mountain View
    how much of your paycheck did you have to save (%)?
  21. terraphantm macrumors 68040

    Jun 27, 2009
    I would say so

    I would also consider a Retina - the text rendering is much easier to read. At standard DPI, OSX text is just too blurry IMO
  22. chriscl macrumors 6502


    Jan 4, 2008
    Stuttgart, Germany
    One other thing to consider; the OP says iTunes is an application that is used; if you need to 'rip' CDs into iTunes, then of course the cMBP has a SuperDrive built in, whereas the Air, you'd have to buy an external SuperDrive - adding a bit to the cost.
  23. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Flying over the rainforest at dawn - Priceless
    Air + external display or 15" MBP better still Retina, go easy on the eyes ;)
  24. noteple macrumors 65816


    Aug 30, 2011
    Add the SuperDrive and you are good to go.
    Same would be need for the rMbp.
  25. Abazigal macrumors G4


    Jul 18, 2011
    Do your parents need an optical drive? Also, cpu speed would hardly factor into any of the tasks your parents would do on it. You could even shop around for a refurbished 2011 2gb ram/64gb ssd air and it would more than suffice for their purposes, really.

    How big is is their itunes collection? If storage is an issue, that might make a case for the pro, though generally, I would just go with an external HDD.

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