MB or MBA, what will be an upgrade?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by HeyTerrance, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. HeyTerrance macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2008
    I'm looking for a new laptop, I know I want either a Macbook or a Macbook Air.
    Right now I have a Gateway E-155C:
    Intel C2D ULV 1.06 GHz
    2GB RAM
    GMA 950
    120 GB HD
    w/ Vista and XP
    Complete Review

    Although I want better specs,the most important thing to me is having OS X. I'll mostly be online, writing papers, listing to music, and a short video randomly (my current PC handles all those things, fine). The only Macs I've ever used are my school's iMacs (2GHz, OS X Tiger).
    Money isn't really too much of a concern. I'm waiting for the new ones, so feel free to include your thoughts on upcoming specs. Keep in mind that the MBA is (looks) cooler.

    Thanks, for your help and opinions.
  2. bigrell486 macrumors 6502


    Jul 10, 2006
    Save money. Get the Macbook.
    They have roughly the same specs difference is a Combo drive, a pound or 2 and about $400.
  3. Bakkalohriat Guest


    Jan 14, 2008
    Boston, MA
    Here's a second vote for the MacBook.

    Unless you really want the cool form factor, the MacBook offers you much better specifications for less money. You also have the option to easily upgrade memory and the hard drive should you need more.
  4. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    If you care more about features, the MB will be a better deal (performance/$ ratio is higher).

    However, the things you described you use your machine for can be done equally well on both machines. Ok, ok, the MacBook has a faster hard drive and so programs will initially boot a bit faster, but writing a paper on a MacBook Air is equivalent to writing a paper on the MacBook. In fact, the MacBook Air has a nicer screen (from what I have seen, anyways).

    Form factor is important for a lot of people, and someone who takes their computer with them a lot will obviously prefer the MacBook Air.

    Is watching DVDs, burning CDs, etc., important for you? If so, it's annoying to have to carry around the external drive.

    And if the current MacBook Air/MacBook is fast enough for you, then you could wait for an update and then buy the previous gen (i.e. current gen). You will get an incredibly good price from all stores (on a new one) because they want to get rid of them . This is assuming of course that the new one doesn't really interest you (i.e. slight speed bump and not a major redesign).

    Another thing to consider is that by buying now you can get a free iPod and printer. The student discount definitely does not end though.

    Best of luck!
  5. jojo13 macrumors 6502


    Aug 2, 2008
  6. branjosef macrumors 6502a


    Oct 18, 2007
    There is no reason to buy a MBA. I dont care what people say. Just buy a macbook or macbook pro. I feel the MBA is what someone buys to say "look at me, I have a macbook air".. Its overpriced for what you get and its rather big albeit it is really thin. The MBA Air would of been killer if they allowed for battery swapping, had a lower price, and wasn't soo big. They could of offered the size they have now but also a smaller 12" size that had less landscaping around the screen. But for the price you pay...just go buy a macbook. They are only an inch thick and you get more for your money. I know it won't fit into a manilla folder as easily but it will fit in any backpack or briefcase.

    Just my 2 cents.
  7. kabunaru Guest

    Jan 28, 2008
    Agreed. The MacBook Air is just for hype and "Hey, look at me. I have an MacBook Air".
    Get an MacBook.

    As for the specs I think will be included:
    Aluminium case
    LED Display
    Dedicated video card
  8. branjosef macrumors 6502a


    Oct 18, 2007
    I definitely think the concept of the MBA is awesome.
  9. aleksandra. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2008
    Warsaw, Poland
    I think you should consider what it is that you need.

    Does weight matter to you? Only if it does, MBA is better. If weight is less important, think about MB or MBP.
    Does screen size matter to you? Some people want small notebooks, others want big screens...
    Do you have another computer (i.e. desktop or good but heavy laptop)? I think that limited space and lack of optical drive in MBA are much less significant if you do.
    For that matter, do you need an optical drive wherever you are? Carrying external SuperDrive everywhere seems pointless to me, it's an additional weight and less convenient than built-in drive.

    I also think if you're going to wait for a revision anyway, you can as well see what they change and decide then - predictions are only useful when you don't know whether to wait or not.

    I'm sorry, but it really sounds stupid. One of the reasons I want an Air is because I could put it in my bag with other stuff (of similar size and consisting mostly of paper :)) and not carry it around in a separate laptop case. I don't want to have my computer stolen, thank you very much (and I know it happens). I know you can do that with MB as well, but showing off isn't my intention. Thin doesn't matter much to me, but light does.

    I don't mean that surely everyone could be happy with MBA, but I think you should try to be more open-minded about it. What you don't like about it others might love. For example, I want a notebook with a reasonable screen and light weight. Nothing smaller than 13.3" and nothing heavier than 1.5kg. Those are most important features, next two being SSD and LED screen. That leaves five laptops I know of: MBA, Dell Latitude E4300, Lenovo X300, Voodoo's Envy and Samsung X360. All of those are expensive. I personally think MBA would be the best choice for me out of those. If weight was unimportant, I would be looking for 15" MBP (better specs, bigger screen, similar price - unfortunately almost 2.5kg).

    I agree that for the specs you get MBA could be cheaper, but that's never the way with Apple, is it? And so we'll have to live with it.
  10. branjosef macrumors 6502a


    Oct 18, 2007

    Well it is definitely lighter than any other notebook. I guess I was hoping that when they released the MBA, they would of given me a light notebook that wasnt the same width and length as a macbook. There is so much wasted space around the screen and I think they could have trimmed some of the fat on and still be able to provide the awesome screen size with a full sized keyboard. I'm no computer designer so maybe thats the way they had to make it in order to do everything they wanted it to do. So with that said, I would tend to drift over to a MB or MBP because I think you get a much better computer for the price -albeit you have to get use to lugging around an extra 100 Ibs in your back pack :D. Think of the MB or MBP as a way to build back muscles. Its not just a computer its a workout machine as well. :rolleyes:
  11. Pieface macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2008
    Well, Macbook Air is really mainly for people who travel alot and have to lug it around the world etc such as Journalists or businessmen etc. Its target audience isn't really aimed at the students or for personal use.
  12. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Unless you travel a lot, and prize light-weight portability, and have another computer to do heavy duty stuff, I'd say don't get the MBA. As Pieface says, it's really designed for business types who travel a lot and prize the attributes of the MBA (it's fantastic at what it does; but it is not a substitute for a heavy duty computer, although that may change over time with upgrades). So, in common with virtually everyone else, I'd say go for the MB.

    Good luck and cheers
  13. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    Definitely MacBook. More features for less money. Unless you *really* want the MacBook Air form factor. Consider the tradeoffs though (no optical drives, the core shutdown/throtting problems, and all that fun stuff).

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