MBA MBP 13 comparison.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by FX4568, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. FX4568 macrumors 6502

    Sep 6, 2010
    okay so I decided to skip the 15 and 17 inch MBP's and decided to pick either the MBA or MBP 13.
    For those saying that MBAs are stupid/waste hear me out, this is my reasoning on why I am troubled between these 2.

    The only reason why I would not buy a MBA is for its 2.13 core 2 duo processor. While the Macbook pro indeed has some beast processing power, I ask myself: Will I actually use this? So in order to make the comparison a little more fair, I decided to pick the low end mbp. the 2.3 i5.

    The MBA:
    -1440 x 900
    -Slim, beautiful.
    -Nvidia 320m
    -256 SSD
    -2.13 core2duo
    -4GB RAM (same thing in MBP. I doubt i will see myself using more than 4GB RAM. I had my PC over 4 years and I am barely using 1.5)
    -$1729 (Edu disc)

    The MBP:
    -1280 x 800
    - Heavier than MBA (twice the weight)
    - Intel 3000HD
    - 256 SSD
    - 2.3 i5
    - 4 GB RAM
    - $1684 (Edu disc)

    So, the MBP ends up being almost the same price as the MBA. If I were using the high end MBP ($1939) I would rather go for a 15 MBP.
    So my question is: Is sandybridge really worth it? I mean, I skipped out the 2010 MBA just for sandy bridge, but now that I see the power of SSDs there really is no point on using a beast processor when your HHD is doing 5400/7200 RPM.
    Also, 1440 x 900 is just amazing compared to a 1280 x 800. plus weighing less does add to the satisfaction equation.
    I rather use a 2.13 core2duo and 256SSD. But then again, I feel like im missing out on thunderbolt/raw power/usb ports (not so much)
    Am I crazy if I were to pick an MBA over the MBP? Or should I just get the 13 and save 40 dollars.
    or should i just wait for the new MBA (only if it launches before august and uses sandybridge).

    Btw, for people that will ask me on what do I do in my computer is the following:
    Youtube, itunes, LOTS of internet browsing, macrumors, facebook, starcraft II. (Again, if it werent starcraft II, I would most probably go for the MBA, but I heard the MBA isnt that bad in gaming.)

    Help :p
  2. Help Please macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2011
    I'd say the 13" MBP. While the resolution on the Air is better, you get a better color saturation on the Pro. I sure would have liked to see the 1440 x 900 option on the Pro as well, but its not like the screen is total garbage either.

    With the Pro you get Sandy Bridge, 4GB of RAM standard, More "future proof" than a Core2Duo machine, Faster processor by a lot, and it's still cheaper.

    Just my two cents.
  3. CalMin macrumors 6502a


    Nov 8, 2007
    I have a 13-inch MBP. My wife the 11-inch MBA. Granted it's not quite the same comparison, but my computer feels like a brick after using the Air.

    I would still go MBP given the sheer performance advantages with Sandy bridge + the Thunderbolt port.
  4. DudeMartin macrumors regular

    Dec 2, 2010
    Chicago, Illinois
    Well unless the fact that it is slimmer and lighter has a practical use to you, you can't really use that as something against the Pro. Unless you travel a lot, I think this MBP is great!
  5. jayo123456 macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    funny, cuz if you posted this in the mba section, the first three replies wouldn't have looked like that.

    I say, if you don't need the processing power, why should it be a factor in your decision? *comin from an air owner btw.\
  6. nfl46 macrumors 604

    Oct 5, 2008
    MBP. And I'm an 2010 MBA owner. Honestly, the screen on the MBP is better than the screen on the MBA. The colors look AMAZING on the MBP, but washed out on the MBA. No joke, it's hard to tell the difference between a 1440x900 and 1280x800 on the two. I went into the Apple Store today and ask my friend, do you see a MAJOR difference, and he didn't. The extra screen space does help in the MBA though. But as for it being a deal breaker, no. If screen is that important, get the 15" Pro.
  7. sdeleng macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2011
    had same dilemma

    I too toyed over which one to get and have waited a year to make the decision - as a traveling photographer on budget airlines every ounce of weight counts! But also, I need storage space. The MBA seems to have the better screen - but as someone posted above, maybe not.

    Anyway, despite really wanting something lighter, in the end I have gone with the top end 2011 13 inch MBP with 750 HD and 8GB ram (bought the extra ram from crucial). It is 0.1 pounds lighter than the 7 year old 12 inch powerbook that I am passing to my husband - it is a beautiful machine and still works fine, though slowing down. Hubby only wants it to browse the internet and receive emails.

    My reasoning is that the MBA will be totally outdated by end next year, whereas the MBP will have a lot of life yet. The old powerbook will probably conk out by then, and if the MBA of my dreams comes along, I can pass this MPB to hubby. To me this is win win win, and no matter what, after sticking with one machine for 7 years, I can't see me being anything else other than being delighted.
  8. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2010
    SC2 won't run well on either. Get the 15" high end preferably, as it has a 1gb video card, otherwise the low 15" with a 128gb SSD, then replace the ODD with an HDD later on.

    If you don't want to do that, then go with the 13" MBP. Sandy Bridge really is worth it; it is literally twice as fast as the C2D, which will help you out watching HD videos in Youtube ;-)
  9. kettlecorn macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2011
    I have a 2010 MBP and had the MBA 13" ultimate. I have to say they are nearly neck and neck. The only 2 things they differ on really is a) portability b) processing power. That's really it. The GPU are pretty close and both can handle SCII well. I have played SCII on both and on the NVIDIA 320M it runs very well on HIGH texture, medium shaders and high effects.

    The MBP is CHEAPER AND able to do much more. It is heavier and bigger. Having had the MBA, I have to say that I don't notice much performance decrease from my MBP but i have the 2.4ghz C2D version, not i5. The i5 will be much faster but if you're not going to use it, that's like buying a 500hp car over a 400hp car because it has 100 extra hp, when you'll be driving daly commutes on the I-405 in Los Angeles. You know what i mean? But if it newer, CHEAPER, and more capable.

    The MBA's screen is also worse. Resolution is better and very crisp but the COLOR is actually worse. The MBP's screen looks better even though the resolution is lower. Also has backlit keyboard. AND, better battery life. With a SSD added in, it will have even better battery life.

    I have to say the MBP takes the cake unless you need portability. Portability is purely what the MBA offers especially because of its costs. I sold my MBA 13 ultimate because I couldn't justify spending that much money when I didn't really NEED the portability of it. It's nice and light and yeah I can move it around like a feather but really, it wasnt necessary. If i was back in college and mobile and need the laptop in different places, MBA hands down.

    Cliff notes: MBA if you REALLY need portability. Otherwise, it makes sense all around and financially to get the MBP. The MBP will outperform in all aspects except a slightly smaller resolution but will replace it with better screen quality.
  10. eaf7s macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2009
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    I travel between the UK & US 8 or so times per year, and I travel with my laptop almost every day. 13" pro is still unbelievably portable/suitable for extensive travel. The air only edges it out slightly IMO--I mean, carrying it in a bag, a couple of pounds doesn't make THAT big a difference...
  11. rembaz macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2011
    you forgot one more thing: BACKLIT keyboard, that's a dealbreaker for me.
    My new laptop must have it and SSD of course:)

    So for me Macbook PRO with Vertex 3 when it comes.
  12. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    The MBP 13" isn't twice the weight of the MBA 13"

    THe MBA 13" is 3lbs
    the MBP is 13" is 4.5lbs

    The 11" is half the weight at 2.2lbs.
  13. articcine macrumors regular

    Dec 25, 2010
    Lillehammer, Norway
    Unless portability is very important to you, go for the MBP. The 13" is anyway a very portable laptop. It gives you more performance to a lower price, and if you can live with the screen resolution, I wouldn't hesitate.
  14. TrollToddington macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2011
    MBP is upgradeable, MBA is not. With the MBP you have the choice to put in a larger SSD, or 8GB Ram. With the MBA you are stick with the parameters you buy it.

    Given the equal price it is no brainer which system you should choose. Faster, future-proof, upgradeable.
  15. Deeps macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2011
    Nottingham, UK
  16. stockscalper macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2003
    Area 51
    Once you've used the MBA you'll understand. Til then, just looking at specs on paper will not be helpful.

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