MacBook Pro vs. MacBook Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JUiCEJamie, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. JUiCEJamie macrumors 6502a

    JUiCEJamie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    #1
    Hi Guys,

    For my next MacBook, I'm unsure of what to buy. A Pro, or an Air?
    Could anyone give me some details on the benefits of both?

    What I don't understand is the flash memory on the Air? Is this quicker? Will it last as long?

    I've currently had this MacBook Pro for a little while now, with a few big pieces of software that I've bought.. I can really really sense it slowing down.

    Should I get an 8Gb MBP next time? or would the Air be better?
     
  2. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #2
    I have both an MBP 17" and a 13" MBA. The SSD in the Air is super fast, the device is light and a joy to use. Those are plus points. You need to opt for the 4GB of RaM at time of purchase, because unlike the MBP the memory is soldered onto the logic board and is nonuser upgradeable.

    The biggest drawback is the storage space...I have the 256MB model, but still cart my MBP with me because a small drive, however fast it is just won't cut it on big projects.

    The Pro would still be my choice if I could only choose one.
     
  3. ELMI0001 macrumors 6502

    ELMI0001

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Location:
    Olympic Hills GC
    #3
    The biggest drawback is the storage space...I have the 256GB model, but still cart my MBP with me because a small drive, however fast it is just won't cut it on big projects.

    Fixed it for ya :)

    Also curious about the topic. I've been going back and forth on a new purchase and keep finding myself undecided.
     
  4. camardelle macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Texas
    #4
    That would fix it for a lot of people. LOL
     
  5. JUiCEJamie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    JUiCEJamie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    #5
    That's really helpful! Thank you!

    So, for example - In terms of speed and longevity of the device, the MacBook Air will last longer because of the flash memory?

    So.. to target the small drive, I could use my iTunes Match subscription for all of my music to be stored in the cloud?
    And when I'm making files on FCP, just use an external storage drive?

    MBA and External Drive vs MBP? The winner is the MBA right?
     
  6. ELMI0001 macrumors 6502

    ELMI0001

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Location:
    Olympic Hills GC
    #6
    I'm curious to hear what someone with some more experience using both has to say.

    If you don't need a screen larger than 13, if you don't need the optical drive, if you prefer the extra portability of the Air ... then I think you're right.

    If I had an unlimited budget I'd go Pro with an SSD and an external drive. But I don't think we're talking about an unlimited budget.
     
  7. JUiCEJamie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    JUiCEJamie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    #7
    Prays someone else comes online! :p
     
  8. ELMI0001 macrumors 6502

    ELMI0001

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Location:
    Olympic Hills GC
    #8
    Apparently people are working today? :D
     
  9. rockyroad55 macrumors 601

    rockyroad55

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Location:
    Phila, PA
    #9
    Here's my past with MacBooks:

    1. 2009 MBP
    2. 2011 MBP (Sold 2009)
    3. 2011 MBA 13" Ultimate (Sold 2011 MBP)
    4. 2011 15" MBP (Sold Air)

    From 1-3, I was in college commuting and needed the weight off my back which is why I got the Air. However, I soon realized that the Pro offers more processing power and room for the future. While I do not do as much with my laptops as my engineering colleagues do, I appreciate having that peace of mind feeling where I can upgrade to an SSD and more RAM later down the line. The weight isn't much of a concern to me now since the 15" is really light for its footprint and I am sure the 13" will feel normal to you after a while.

    However, the decision depends on what you do with the computer. Will you just be doing basic Office, internet, and media consumption? If yes, then go for the Air. I would not suggest the MBP. If you feel like you may do more in the future, get the Pro because of the options to expand storage and memory. I ultimately chose the Pro because of the expansion options, just to make me feel safe. I really could have bought the new Air after selling my previous one (needed a backlit keyboard) because I have an iMac at home, but the fact that the Pro can do so much more got to me.
     
  10. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #10
    The MBA is a fantastic package, it just has a few limitations vs. a MBP that may or may not be a deal breaker for you.

    I knew I was going to be running a VM (or two), so having at least 8GB of RAM was critical for my use (there are 3rd party options for 16GB RAM in a MBP).

    I also wanted a little more storage than the current SSD options for the MBA, so that was also a factor.

    Finally, I wanted more CPU/GPU performance vs. what is currently offered in the MBA (mostly CPU consideration, 2.x i7 quad vs. 1.x i7 dual).

    Basically I was looking more of a “mobile desktop”, vs. the ultimate portable machine. If I was not running VMs, and was mostly doing general computing work that wasn’t that affected by 4GB max and slightly less CPU performance, I’d buy an Air.

    In fact, I’d like to replace the wife’s MBP13” with a MBA13” - she’s totally OK with the 4GB, uses very little drive space (relative to me), and she’s wind up with a faster overall experience, better display and improved portability.

    Hope that helps!
     
  11. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    #11
    I don't understand this thread. You have a MBP now, it's "slow" and you want to buy a slower machine? Especially for FCP?
     
  12. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000

    ryannel2003

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Location:
    Greenville, NC
    #12
    I had the same decision going on a few weeks ago and it basically came down to upgrading and what would last longest as I knew this would be a computer I own for awhile. Even though the MacBook Air is the latest computer "must have" I feel the Pro is a better option unless you're somebody who frequently travels with a laptop being carried around. The Pro, even with it's traditional HD, is a faster laptop that offers a superior processor and the ability to upgrade to 16GB of RAM. SSD technology is only going to get cheaper and as it does that will allow people to purchase larger drives that can be upgraded... something the Air does not offer. The current Air is designed to have the main operating system and files on the SSD while storing other things in the "Cloud" environment or an external drive (Thunderbolt, USB 3.0) that is being pushed at the moment. This is inconvenient for some users, while others it wouldn't bother them as they have other drives or limited data.

    You didn't state what model of Pro/Air you were looking at? I have a 13" Pro so that's a comparison to the 13" Air. The Air does offer a better screen resolution vs. the 13" Pro.
     
  13. rockyroad55 macrumors 601

    rockyroad55

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Location:
    Phila, PA
    #13
    Just read through his posts again. Man, get a 15" MBP. That's a powerhouse especially for FCP.
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #14
    As the others stated, it makes little sense for you to buy a MBA which has less storage capability, less ram and a slower CPU.

    If you think your current MBP is slowing and you're running FCP, then a MBA won't fit your needs.
     
  15. tarponbeach macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    #15
    I've got both a 13" Air and a 13" Pro. For daily use, I prefer the Pro. In addition to what everyone had said about expandability of the Pro, I prefer the solid build on the Pro as well, compared to the Air.
     

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