MBA or MBP for a Student

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by podsorcerer09, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. podsorcerer09 macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    I'm sorry once again for bringing up the question but after reading through 5 pages of separate threads I have yet to find one that really describes what I do, so I guess I'll ask. If you're just going to post something like "been done too many times, go search" I already have.

    Currently I'm a sophomore in university majoring in biology and minoring in computer science. Right now, my black C2D macbook has been running like a champ, but I'm itching for something new. So the question becomes, do you get the sexy air and sacrifice the ports, or get the mbp and sacrifice the weight.
    Most of the things I do involve web browsing and video watching (what else do you do in college? :D). I also tend to explore new computer things all the time, so I learn new programing languages, HTML, mess around in Photoshop every now and then, dabble in iMovie for a friend now and then etc.

    On both machines I would plan to get 4 GB of RAM and (if I can justify it on the Pro) the 256 GB SSD.
    For reference, right now in addition to typing this in chrome with a bunch of other tabs open, I have itunes, word, terminal, endnote, sparrow, dropbox and a few other small apps running. I don't game a whole lot but I would like the opportunity to do so if I get bored. I do my coding either in emacs, xcode or eclipse, or espresso for html and css.

    My main gripe with the Air is upgradability and port availability. I do watch DVDs semi-often from netflix as well. I'm just so drawn to the weight of the air that I'm having issues picking between the two.

    Sorry if you're tired of these threads, but I'm really looking for some advice.
  2. jake4ever macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2009
    Ma'on La'oved, Hadera, Israel
    Thanks for your post, and no, I'm not annoyed :) I'd go with the MBA. Keep your old Macbook, because you can stream your DVD's from there.
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    According to your uses you don't need to upgrade in the first place. Take the cash and buy a CD or something.
  4. podsorcerer09 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    The screen is starting to go and I'm really attracted to the aluminum build over a plastic housing.
  5. Lamarak macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2010
    I also in the same boat as you. Ive done alot of soul searching myself. I have recently built a nice gaming PC machine and finding the 13 i have is to heavy and awkward for use at my college and I hardly use my 17 anymore either as it was my gaming machine and video watching in my room.

    I have gone to the apple store two times to really examine the MBA and really just love that machine. Value not always in plain dollars and cents as people try to make it out. So im trading both of mine in for a maxed out 2.13 4 g ram 256 SSD and the portable disk drive and extra apple care for the system.

    Could I get more selling them? maybe. I just want my new MBA and ready to go before I start summer session.

    Go with your gut. It sounds like you want to get it but seeing if anyone will talk you out of it. Problem with that, is there taste and needs are not same as yours. You do get a bit of a window to try it and return it.

    Good luck
  6. danielveeee macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    im in college..
    had a 15mbp... sold it and bought a 13 mba.
    it is absolutely perfect !!!
  7. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    a 13" MBAir would be ideal for your usage ;)

    make sure you order with 4 gb of memory
  8. theyanman macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2011
    +1 keep your old MBP for DVDs and other things since it is running great and use your new MBA for everything else.
  9. Legion93 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    Death Star, Rishi Maze
    Definitely go with the 13" MacBook Air, besides all the software/programs you've mentioned can easily be handled by the Air. I am currently using the MBA 13" for my college work and it is wonderful. Just note that in order to take advantage of the pro's speed, you need to get the 2.13gHz processor, like I did and 4GB RAM, along with 256GB of flash storage. This can easily be upgraded via Apple's online store.

    The MacBook Air is twice as light and thinner than the pro, better resolution (which matches the 15" MBP screen), more stylish and boasts identical battery life. I've seen many people undecided whether to buy the Air or the pro, overall it depends on user preference and how it suites them (after all you're spending over a grand of your hard-earned cash, and you want something that can satisfy you).

    If I were you, I would definitely go with the 13" MBA, along with 2.13gHz processor and 4GB RAM + 256GB SSD :)
  10. secksthoi macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2010
    Also in college. I made the same move and went for the 11.6 MBA. I love it, BUT if your Macbook is running fine, then I would hold off on it.
  11. Scuba-EMT macrumors regular


    Apr 19, 2010
    Solomons Island, MD
    I am doing my Doctoral research and went with the MBA 13" Ultimate. I use a WD 1TB USB drive for extra storage, and I did splurge for the SuperDrive even though I could have used the drive in my iMac. The speed and size/weight did it for me (long battery life helped too). I am running some Windows Apps (MS Project and Visio) with Windows Vista Pro under Parallels. This machine takes everything I throw at it and never complains. If you have the money, the MBA is the way to go.

  12. Poisoned1 macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2011
    Hi there, I am a college student also. I was looking to buy first mac and was really interested in the imacs/mbp until i went and saw the new mba. right now i have a ~18in hp laptop that i use for everything, but taking it to school with me anymore just flat out sucks. the only apple product i own is iPad, bought when first came out, and like iOS and figured id step up to a mac. my problem is when i can buy a mba (most likely this summer/before next semester), do i get 11 or 13? I am a sophomore as well, computer engineering major. I do programming, type papers, and lots of simple internet stuff(youtube). So hopefully i can get one this summer, ill probably sell the iPad to help buy it when apple has the school promo where u get free iPod touch too:) , Has anyone with the 11 mba regret it and wanted the 13 one? im not sure which size would be best for me since im so used to this giant laptop ive had for awhile lol. sorry for long post. thanks for any helpful replies.
  13. Corax macrumors 6502


    Apr 27, 2009
    Willemstad - Curaçao
    Go for the MBA 13" Ultimate.
    Afterwards, I'm still very very happy with my 13" 2GB 128GB, but if I had the money, I would've gotten the 2,13 GHz 4GB 256GB (Ultimate).
  14. Poisoned1 macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2011
    Yeah, i just took another look at all the specs, ect. on apple's website and i think i will go that route. Now for the even harder part, coming up with the cash for it (crossing fingers for that summer internship) lol. :D
  15. Big D 51 macrumors 6502a

    Big D 51

    Jan 15, 2011
    Mobile, AL
  16. Beau10 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 6, 2008
    Downtown San Diego
    I have a base 11", bought refurb, and my use is similar to yours (I'm software dev). I can easily afford this - it's equivalent to 3 days of work after taxes.

    Why not get more? Because it's a poor value proposition and I don't need it.
  17. gpat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    just hold on until the 2012 MBPs and get the best of both worlds.
  18. podsorcerer09 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    You seriously think that the MBP will ever approach the thinness of the air? I think that the pro will eventually get smaller and more like it, but there has to be some distinguishing factor between the two lines. I could see the macbook being replaced by the air however.
  19. rmbrown09 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2010
    Same. Freshman with a major in comp sci.

    Had a 15" MBP and switched to a 13" MBA, best decision ever.
  20. podsorcerer09 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    I think that I am going to wind up going with the Air. I actually held one today for the first time since the refresh, damn those things are sexy! I'm definitely going to go with 4 GB RAM but what is your guys' opinion on processor speed, 1.86 or 2.13?
  21. Legion93 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    Death Star, Rishi Maze
    When I first heard of the 11" air, I immediately thought that it sounded just right for my needs, however when I actually saw the laptop in Apple retail store, it seemed a little odd next to the 13" air. Mind you, it is really small and lightweight, perfect for those people who just use it for checking their emails or just doing light web surfing. However it is not really practical and the screen just seemed very small to do certain tasks. I recently purchased the 13" air, and I am loving it, it is not small nor big, just the perfect size to go travelling with and also manage more tasks.

    I would advise you to buy the 13" air, as it features a better battery life (7 hours instead of 5), faster processor (2.13gHz instead of 1.86), more storage space (up to 256GB rather than 128GB) and a better screen resolution (that of the 15" MBP). I think it is a win-win situation, but then again, it is up to.
  22. Poisoned1 macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2011
    That's cool that you make a lot of money, but it doesn't help were to buy a 13 mba ultimate for me. lol. just imagine you would be the ONE person to first start me off in using a mac. it would really make for one unforgettable memory that i would eventually tell to my children one day and they can tell to their children. lol :D
  23. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2011
    on the yellow [oled] brick road to tech nirvana.
    i had 2010 MBP 15"
    sold it for 13" MBA, returned that 2 days later and got 17" MBP and got rid of my desktop!

    MBP all the way for me,
  24. 3N16MA macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2009
    Scratch that itch and save your money. Problem solved.
  25. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Feb 13, 2004
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    Wait for the Back to School promotion (free Touch), Lion OS launch, and MacBook Air update. Hopefully, all three will happen this summer before school starts in the fall. Thats what I'm doing.

    If the MBA update doesn't happen by August, I will probably go with a 13" MBP.

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