macbook vs air vs macbook pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dwd3885, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. dwd3885 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    #1
    I have a Dell Quad w/6 gigs ram as my desktop pc. I do not have a laptop, but would like something I can use while sitting on the couch and I'd also take this laptop to my parents when I come home for the holidays or any other time.

    This isn't meant to be my MAIN machine for doing audio/photo/video work, but I'd like to be able to do all of that on it. It also doesn't need to hold ALL my photos, videos, etc. But I do like and enjoy watching streaming video from hulu, nfl.com, espn360 on a laptop.

    I'm deciding between the:

    previous gen Macbook Air $1149 on amazon
    1.6ghz C2D
    2gb ram
    80gb hd
    x3100 graphics

    previous gen MacBook Pro $1349 @ apple refurb
    2.4ghz C2D
    2gb ram
    200gb hd
    nvidia 8600gm 256mb graphics

    current gen MacBook $1249 @ Amazon
    2ghz C2D
    2gb ram
    160gb hd
    nvidia integrated graphics

    I think the new 2.4ghz MacBook is a little too expensive at $1544, so it's just these three.

    The thing pushing me away from the MBP is the look. I like these new aluminum slim designs in the Air and the MB. The older gen mbps just look old now. And I have a feeling the solid design and construction on the newer ones will hold up better. I also don't like the MBP for the problem with the keys touching the screen occasionally while the lid is closed. I see the design in these macbooks are better so that doesn't look like it happens as easily...

    Which should I get?
     
  2. Tawcan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    #2
    I just got myself a refurbished MBP 2.5G. The price is reasonable and there's a 1 year warranty. I didn't see myself paying more than 2K for the new MPB and 13" screen on the MB is too small for my use.
     
  3. techound1 macrumors 68000

    techound1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    #3
    The MBA is meant just for portability. If you're doing heavy video, you'll go nuts. If you can pass on the processor-intensive stuff, the Air is ideal for your needs.
     
  4. dwd3885 thread starter macrumors 68020

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  5. okrelayer macrumors 6502a

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    May 25, 2008
    #5
    i think the new MacBook, or the Air would be perfect. They have the fantastic design quality (not saying the previous gen mbp does not, but you know what i mean), they are smaller, slimmer, and fairly capible machines. Specially the new MacBook. If you have a beastly computer already, there might not be all that much use for the MBP.

    No matter what you buy, you should be fairly happy.
     
  6. peapody macrumors 68040

    peapody

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    baltimore, md
    #6
    Confused. I don't even know why you listed the MBP since you are already biased against it. :rolleyes:

    FWIW, REV A. The MBP has been time tested, so I don't know about your "feeling". Maybe later gens will have less issues.

    Also, my keys don't touch the screen, so I am not sure where you got this info from.
     
  7. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #7
    Just don't get the CrapBook Air 1.0. You won't be able to view Youtube without having a core shutdown :rolleyes:
     
  8. svndmvn Guest

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Italy
    #8
    I say go for the aluminum Macbook, out of your options it's the only one with 1066 FSB and DDR3 RAM, a later update to 4GB will give you a nice Speed Bump if needed, it also has the most recent Design and Engineering Solutions.
    It is supposed to be the coolest, regarding temps.
    I know I don't love the Old pro's looks and I'm getting a new 2.4 Macbook in January
    Cheers
     
  9. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #9
    The only reason to go with the Pro is because you want the better graphics chip. The only reason to go with the Air is because you want the light weight and portability (ie, if you're going to be carrying it a bit further than to your couch).

    That leaves MacBook. Go with MacBook!
     
  10. six.four macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2008
    #10
    there's always atleast one person that has to spout silly biased opinions.

    I own both the MBA and a classic MBP. The MBA is great for everyday use, just don't expect it to do any heavy lifting. Don't listen to the quoted poster, my MBA streams youtube and 480p hulu videos without any issues/ core shutdowns. It also plays 1080p/720p mkv's just fine.

    As for the comment about liking the new MBP slim design..... you realize it is only .05" thinner right? - not to mention that it actually weighs more and is very slightly larger than the old MBP.

    Finally - if you're planning to use it on your lap - you probably shouldn't opt for the MBP. It's a powerhouse, but it definitely heats up - much more so than my MBA.

    Continuing what's been said here - if your primary concern is portability - then go for the MBA. Otherwise, go for the MBP.
     
  11. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
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    #11
    Sorry, but I was speaking out of my experience.

    Out of 4 MBA's that I've used, only 1 didn't have this issue.
     
  12. mlblacy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    the REAL Jersey Shore
    #12
    I have an Air with NO REGRETS

    I purchased an Air and listened to months and months of trolls blathering about how the Air was destined to fail, mostly from folks that didn't own one (or had 7, and they ALL caught on fire...). For me, the Air was never intended to be a primary workstation, but something to use on trips, around the house while working (yet not tethered to my desk). I was concerned about the 2gb ram limit, and some of the limitations (lack of superdrive, etc). I opted NOT to get the external drive and see how it went (fine, didn't even miss it). The wireless tethering to my 24" iMacs drive went easily enough (not sure how well that works if you are trying to access/share a machine that is of the "dark side"). I have a flash drive I use to transfer & store big files, so missing the DVD was never an issue for me. The Air was perfect for me, and I run some fairly heavy apps on it (Aperture, Quark, Pshop, Rapidweaver, etc...). Is it a speed demon? No, but way better than I expected, and with no core-shutdowns that everyone goes on about. The $1149 deal at Amazon is an absolute steal, so much so that I might be buying 2 more. Like you I am weighing between the new entry level MacBook, and the Air... but also the $799 refurb Whitebooks that keep popping up.

    I use my Air everyday, and agonized over my initial decision BEFORE I bought it... AFTER I bought it back home, I never regretted it a single moment. Despite the tradeoffs, and the pricepoint it was well worth it. At $1149 it is an absolute steal (just leave 2 for me, lol).

    good luck with your decision,
    michael
     
  13. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #13
    Well all of Apple notebook machines has their own purpose and usage. Here is a breakdown of each one and what it is meant for.

    MB: For students (if you use FW, then the new MB is a no-go), home-users
    MBA: Business users, parents (non-tech)
    MBP: For all your needs (designing, some gaming, studies and whatever you can think of...as long as the hardware is good enough).

    Well there you have it, a pretty summarized usage of Apple machines.
     
  14. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #14
    I would say the new MBA is a great machine, but the old MBA is NOT capable of doing things like video... it just overheats and shuts down. I owned one... The new one has a SATA drive instead of PATA, a cooler 45nm CPU, MUCH BETTER graphics performance, and a mini display port to boot. I would NOT put the old AIR in any comparison to the other two machines and wouldn't buy it for half price, because the new Air is a real computer.

    I know you didn't mention the new Air as an option, I only wish to point out a comparison of why NOT to buy the old Air.

    If it were me, I would buy the last revision MBP. It will do everything you want and more.

    However, from my understanding the new MB has the hardware h.264 decoding enabled and the older Mac Notebooks did NOT. That means the CPU will be less drained running movies on the new MacBook than even the old MBP with a better graphics card.

    Finally, I have the new MB $1599 version 2.4 GHz, and I think it's amazing. But, I will say I did like the display better on my v 2,2 MBP with matte display. But, I like the size and aluminum look of the smaller MB over the MBP. In addition, the old MBP feels like scraps of metal patched together while the new MB and MBP feel like precision instruments. The new unibody is amazing, sturdy, and built much better than older models.
     
  15. munckee macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    #15
    :rolleyes: I can't believe what a bad rap this machine gets around here. I just picked one up myself and it's been fantastic. I've watch upwards of an hour of streaming video on Hulu with no issues... I understand *some* of them have problems, but not ALL.
     
  16. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    U.S.A.
    #16
    Compare it versus the new one, and you will understand within a few minutes of use.
     
  17. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #17
    Get the MacBook, more expandable, more storage, nice design, new trackpad, with the only downsides being the screen isn't as good and the weight is more than the MBA. I went with the MB.
     
  18. munckee macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    #18
    Fine, but that's a different story. Sure, the new one is faster and has a different graphics system. But its not like a buyer doesn't know that going into it at this point. Plus, you're talking a substantial price difference. I'm not arguing that the old one is better or even as good, but it also isn't as bad as it seems to get a rap for.
     
  19. dwd3885 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    #19
    thanks for all the replies today. seems to me that the old macbook pro is out of the question. more expensive, bigger and last gen technology. the gen A Air seems to not be able to handle some things I would want to do. It sounds like the MacBook is a more well rounded machine and weighs just a bit more than the Air and is almost as powerful as the last gen MBP. All I've had before have been MBPs and a blackbook, the MBP is truly a great machine.

    bUt i've had headaches while trying to upgrade the hard drive and have had problems with 'pressure marks' from the keys to the led/lcd screens. i've had 3 macbook pros in my past, maybe ready for a change?
     
  20. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #20
    You'll have no problem with updating the hard drive in the new unibody's. Even with my 40 year old eyes and fingers, it took me less than five minutes with nary a single problem.
     
  21. elppa macrumors 68040

    elppa

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    #21
    If all it's going to be used for is web surfing / streaming videos, then a 12" Netbook would save you money.
     
  22. dwd3885 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    #22
    that's not all. i'd like to do a little photo and video editing on it. i use photoshop and like to have a lot of things going at once.

    Here's a new scenario...The 2.2ghz MBP last gen is the same price as the current gen MacBook (1249)

    MBP
    2.2 C2D
    15.4-inch widescreen display
    2GB memory DDR2
    120GB hard drive
    NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT with 128MB of GDDR3 memory

    MB
    2ghz C2D
    13.3-inch widescreen
    2GB memory DDR3
    160 GB had drive
    NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics

    Same price...Which one is the better choice? At the same price it would be tempting to get the Pro, even though I love the new designs of the current MB's. Specwise they would probably perform very similar.
     
  23. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #23
    Well from the specs, its a no brainer but to go for the MBP unless looks really matter to you and you really like the new MB look (cause when you like a product look, you will use it and take care of it more).

    The advantage of the unibody MacBooks is the SATA optical drive connection which mean it is possible to swap out the optical drive and place in a SATA hard disk into it ;), 2 hard disk in 1 machine. That is awesome, now if only Apple made the MBA external disc as compatible with all Macs :rolleyes:
     
  24. greedyhands macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #24
    The previous generation MBP is running a NVIDIA GeForce 8600M as far as graphics are concernes, whereas the new MB runs the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M. So if you're looking for graphics performance the new MB is definitely the right choice. I would go for the 2.4 GHz MB, I'm just waiting for it to show up on the refurb list at Apple, then I'm gonna grab one. I wouldn't recommend the Air, because the only thing you are paying for is portability, and frankly I feel it's a gigantic waste of money.
     
  25. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #25
    Or if you want a better quality screen. Okay, and a discrete graphics chip. Not to mention a bigger screen. Or firewire. Or matte. Or an express card slot. Or non chicklet keys.

    But yeah, other than THOSE things, you're right.;)
     

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