Mba <--> Mbp 17"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by pstoehr, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. pstoehr macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Location:
    Scheßlitz, Oberfranken, Bavaria, Germany
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm currently looking for a new laptop. My PowerBook G4 (1.33GHz. 1GByte, 17") is now more than 5 years old and it starts to make problems (accu not loading, crashes ...)

    I'm working as a lecturer for computer science, that's why I need a laptop for:
    1) Creating scripts for the students (mainly using pdflatex and from time to time keynote)
    2) Doing some programing stuff with XCode and Eclipse.
    3) Writing some docs with Word or Pages.

    The speed of my PowerBook is more or less okay, only working with large Word docs was a little bit anoying.

    Right now I try to figure out whether a MBA 1.8GHz with SSD and a 23" Apple LED display (for working at home, at the university I have a 19" monitor) or the new MBP 17" (non glossy ;-) ) would be better suited for my tasks.

    The MBA is easyier to carry and I give me a decend performance boost compared to my old Powerbook. The SSD might be better for my needs as it doesn't have any moveing parts. In addition, everything available right now!

    The MBP is much heavyer (I know it from my old Powerbook) but has much more performance and more disc space (for example for a Windows parition ...). The non glossy version will be shipped in 4 to 6 weeks.

    Has someone a MBA and is using this laptop for programming and office stuff? How will the MBA work together with the 23" LED display, any heat issues? Will Snow Leopard (and all the nice features like Grand Central and OpenCL) will work on the MBA or is a "Pro" machine a "must have" for these features:


    Best regards
    Peter

    PS: Money is not such a great matter, if the laptop works again for 5 years
     
  2. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Location:
    North Korea
    #2
    I can use my MBA for programming but its difficult on the small screen to program and test the program in the same space, however with the SSD drive im sure you wont notice any speed issues and if your used to using spaces and have smackbook then it wont really be a problem. Snow leopard and all these new features will work fine on the MBA however i wouldnt reccomend using it if your going to be teaching games programming because it doesnt have a dedicated graphics chip.

    So overall considering your a teacher and have to carry things around i'd get the MBP with SSD drive, but the SSD is important.
     
  3. pstoehr thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Location:
    Scheßlitz, Oberfranken, Bavaria, Germany
    #3
    Hi,

    thanks for the feedback. I just have two additional questions:

    Do you mean a MBA oder the MBP with an optional SSD?

    Which MBA have you used and why are you switching to a MBP 17"?

    Greetings from Germany
    Peter
     
  4. aaquib macrumors 65816

    aaquib

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #4
    If the weight it not a HUGE issue, I'd go with a MBP, and add the 128GB SSD to it. It's going to last you much longer, has a much better graphics card, better speakers, larger display, more RAM(and it's upgradeable! Keep in mind, in 5 years, 2GB will be MEASLY).
     
  5. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #5
    Go for the 13" 2.0GHz MacBook. It will handle everything you want to do perfectly, and you won't be paying a premium for a huge screen or a thin frame that you don't need.
     
  6. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Location:
    Same country as Santa Claus
    #6
    What he said.

    Get a MacBook and an external monitor.
     
  7. pstoehr thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Location:
    Scheßlitz, Oberfranken, Bavaria, Germany
    #7
    No glossy

    Hi,
    based on the fact that I don't like laptops with a glossy screen (too much trouble during presentations ...) the MB and the MBP 15" are not on my list of laptops I'm going to buy.
    At home it's not a big issue to find the perfect place for the display.

    Best regards
    Peter
     
  8. akbc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #8
    I'm pretty sure MBA has a glossy screen as well... Am I wrong? (Edit: it IS glossy, and I put a PrtScrn of it :D)

    Besides, there area always aftermarket anti-glare films available for MacBooks, MBPro's and MBA's.

    I'd say go with the new aluminum MacBooks :)
     

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  9. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #9
    I had the first version of the MBA, and I have used version two. The new MBA is an amazing and powerful computer. Now having the SATA drive is much faster. The first version had a graphics overheating problem, version two doesn't. You can do anything and it will not overheat. The new Nvidia graphics is really nice, and nearly the same as the integrated of the two on the 17" MBP. I love the portability of the MBA, and it will run like a desktop by plugging into up to a 30" ACD. I have done some lecturing and give some presentations doing consulting and the Air would be perfect. I am planning to migrate to an Air as my main Mac very soon. I bought the new alum MB to wait to see if they did something crazy like offer a 2 GHz CPU, 4 GB RAM, glass display and trackpad. I was dreaming and hopeful would happen at MacWorld. I plan to use the MB as my backup in case Air is ever out of service and as my Windows computer. I need a Windows computer one day per month for a client app, so will be perfect for that. Also don't want to take up precious Air space with Windows. Also hopeful for 256 GB SSD. Will probably give up if it doesn't happen soon. And buy the current one I miss the MBA. What a wonderful computer.

    I definitely recommend the MBA vB!

    Good luck.
     
  10. akbc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #11
    If you have to lug in around school and home, MBP could be a little bit too heavy. Alu MacBooks are the right size, not as heavy as the MBP or the old MB's, and they can be equipped with the optional SSD's :)
    Overall, MacBook has a pretty good balance between size/power.
     
  11. pstoehr thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Location:
    Scheßlitz, Oberfranken, Bavaria, Germany
    #12
    Hi,

    Thanks for this hint.
    I've checked the MBA and a MPA at my local store. Compared to the MBP the MBA is almost "non-glossy" :)

    Best regards
    Peter
     
  12. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #13
    There isn't any difference AFAIK. The Pro and regular MacBook just look more glossy because there is more of the shiny plastic on the computer.
     
  13. habubauza macrumors regular

    habubauza

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    #14
    You are absolutely correct, even though it is technically "glossy" the MBA has one of the finest screens in the Apple notebook lineup.
     
  14. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Location:
    North Korea
    #15
    The Macbook Air screen is the same as the new 17" Unibody Macbook Pro screen with the anti-glare coating.
     
  15. Adokimus macrumors 6502a

    Adokimus

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #16
    False. The Macbook Air screen is glossy (but not glassy and super duper reflective like the 15" unibody MBP) and the 17" MBP offers an anti-glare or Matte screen option. It's just a choice-of-word issue for the marketing. Anti-glare = matte. Even the keynote says it is identical to the previous 17" matte screen.
     

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