MBA v MBP & When to buy

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by MGTagher, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. MGTagher macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2010
    I'm PC owner looking into getting my first Mac. I'm in college and travel extensively either by van or plane. My university is on a hill and I'm at the bottom, so I've got a twice-a-day 20 minute walk for classes. During the school year I do heavy word processing and research. During the summer, I game lightly, but mostly low-requirement Blizzard games like Starcraft 2 that apparently work fine for either MBP or MBA.

    My PC is awful. Its bulky and married to an outlet--which is a major problem when I'm traveling. It takes a minute to come out of hibernation and 2-4 minutes to hibernate the computer. It's also got a noticeably loud fan. I'll be keeping it around for PC-only software, but I plan on retiring it to use a Mac as a primary computer.

    So I'm comparing the 13" MBA and 13" 250 gig hard drive MBP. Right now I'm more interested in the 13.3" MBA with 4 gigs RAM. I really like the weight and portability of the MBA, plus it has better resolution. It looks to me like the main benefits of the MBP are the extra storage and backlit keyboard (the backlighting doesn't seem like a big deal).

    So it looks like the questions I need to figure out before I buy are

    1) Can I live with just 126 gigs on the MBA? I'm not really sure how to figure this out, any advice besides just looking at what I use now?

    2) When's the best time to buy either? The MBA was just updated, so ASAP I presume. If I wait for the MBP line to be upgraded, should I expect anything special? It doesn't seem like that there's much that could be done to the MBP (but then again this is Apple--flash storage standard maybe?)

    3) Are the best deals going to be Black Friday sales and the back-to-school sale in June? At best, I'm saving 100 dollars or so from Black Friday and about the same from selling whatever iPod I get from the back-to-school deal (I already have an iPhone).
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    This is my post from another thread and why I chose MBA over MBP:

    1. How much data do you have now? 128GB is actually quite a lot if you don't have massive music, video or photo library. As I said in my other post, I bought a 500GB 2.5" external drive (very portable and doesn't require external PSU) where I'm going to put bigger files such as movies and take the drive with me if I'm going to longer trip where I may want to have more data with me.

    You can always get the 256GB model if you're afraid that 128GB isn't enough.

    2. MBA - ASAP

    3. I would buy now as it's Black Friday. June is still over 7 months away, you don't want to wait till that
  3. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2009
    1) You can manage with 128GB but you need to be mindful what you store onboard. An external USB hard drive can be used to offload other stuffs you don't use as frequently.

    2) Buy now for MBA. There may or may not be a 13" MBP during the next refresh, so I'd say just buy now as well.

    3) You get about 2 sales a year, and clearance when new models come out. You can look for refurbished units all year round. The 13" MBP is always on sale at Microcenter (in-store only) for $999. Today would be a good day if you wanted to buy a 13" MBA.

    3lbs is 1.5lbs less than 4.5lbs. I'm sure you probably already did the math there. And likely close to 1/2 the weight of your PC laptop now.
  4. psirix macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2009
    Detroit, MI
    1. Unless you are going to store a bunch of music, movies, and photos on your MBA, 128GB should be plenty. It will definitely be enough to handle your research and word processing tasks, even with a decent amount of applications. If you plan on filling your computer with endless photos, movies, and music, you may want to consider purchasing a portable external drive.

    2. For MBA, ASAP. If you don't think the MBA will meet your needs and you can hold out longer, wait for the next gen of MBPs. However, it sounds to me the portability you desire and the computing tasks you do would be just fine on the MBA.

    3. If you're looking for an MBA, today is going to be the best day for shopping for the 13". If not, there are the back to school deals in the summer which offer a free iPod. You can always save $50 or so if you shop through the education store.
  5. ja12ke macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2010
    I had to make the same decision between MBP and MBA...My wife has a MBA and I have a Sony Z12. I really enjoy using the MBA. My Sony is from work and I wanted to get either a MBA or MBP for personal use. The reason that I choose the MBA is because I didn't want to wait for the new version of the MBP. If the next MBP is something that I like, then I'll just sell the MBA to get it. Since the MBA is newer, I would get pretty good value for it once the MBP comes out.
  6. MGTagher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2010
    Right now I use 200/230 gigs on my HP, but I don't think this is an accurate depiction of what I'll use on my Mac. First, I won't have to deal with antivirus, bloatware, etc. Plus, I definitely have tons of stuff I don't need, like an unused Linux partition. I don't have an external hard drive like you hellhammer but that's something I need to buy anyway for backups.

    So I think you guys are right, I'll go for the MBA.
  7. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    My belief has always been that the time to buy a new computer is when you need a new computer. Based on what the OP tells us, then, I believe that now would be a good time for him to replace his unsatisfactory PC.

    For the reasons Hellhammer stated earlier, I think the 13 inch MBA would be a great choice for the OP. If the OP could afford the $100 it would take to upgrade to 4GB of RAM and another $100 for the upgrade to 256GB of flash storage, I would also recommend that he spend the extra money. That's what I did when I bought a 13 inch Ultimate MBA. The result was that the MBA now handles both Windows in a VMware Fusion virtual machine and, at the same time, OS X as well as the MBP that it replaced does, although the MBP has 6GB of RAM.
  8. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    May 13, 2010
    I buy new computers based on these factors.

    1. Whenever the products get refreshed.
    2. Apple comes with Back to school promo and offer iPod touch for free
    3. Apple comes with new OS system. (Note: They usually come out on Summer or fall and you get this OS upgrade included)

    4. Refurbished model comes out and they are just as good as new. If not, better because they have been inspected very carefully.

    5. Whenever I need new one.

    13 MBA is going to slowly overtake 13 inch MBP. Apple is on the mission to take out optical drive and Hard drive.

Share This Page