MBA vs MBP - Help!

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jeejeebu, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. jeejeebu macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2007
    I need opinions! I am planning on upgrading my 4.5 year old 13" MacBook in a couple of weeks, when passing through a state that has much better tax rates than California. My plan was to get the lowest tier MacBook Pro for $1099 (student discount). But with the reports that the 13" MBA performance rivals the 17" MBP, I'm conflicted.

    I think an 11" MBA would be too small for my main computer, but the 13" MBA costs $1249 after student discount.

    So, do I get:
    1.) an 11" MacBook Air for $949, and deal with a smaller screen, but know that I got a good deal and have the latest and greatest
    2.) a 13" MacBook Air for $1249, knowing that I'm getting the latest update
    3.) a 13" MacBook Pro for $1099, knowing that it will probably be updated in a few months, and mine won't support Internet Recovery

    Also, do the benchmarks apply to the 11" model, too? Are there any differences in performance?

    Notable facts: I rarely ever use my optical drive, so an external won't be the worst thing in the world (though it occurs to me that I should at least have one to bring on my international flight in a few weeks, so I can watch DVDs).

    A big hard drive isn't the biggest deal in the world to me. 64 GB seems really small, but I have external hard drives that I can use.

    Money is important, but this will be tacked on to student loans, anyway, so I can take the $150 hit, if it makes sense to do so.

    Battery life is important, making the 13" MBA look even more attractive than the 11".
  2. El3ctronics macrumors 65816

    Mar 30, 2011
    100% the 13" MBA. Perfect computer for students to schlep around campus and bring to class/library. It's also plenty powerful and has the newest and greatest. I wouldn't let $150 sway you one way or another. Don't even consider this a debate.
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    The benchmarks are comparing the MBA to the old MBP, not the new quads. Any of the current MBPs will handily smoke any of the MBAs in processing power.

    That said, either the 13" MBA or MBP would be fine.
  4. IJBrekke macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2009
    Long Beach, CA
    By all accounts, I think the 13" MBA is the best small laptop price-point in Apple's line-up now. It's putting down some serious numbers today. I am even considering trading in my 2009 iMac for a MBA+27" monitor setup, as the Geekbench score on the new MBA is 1700 points higher than my iMac.

    It's a great computer, I think it should be your top choice.
  5. jeejeebu thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2007
    I wouldn't be getting one of the quads, anyway. Is there anything showing how a 13" MBA stacks up against the latest 13" MBP?

    Edit: Though either will probably run circles around my current MB.
  6. vegtro macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2010
    Currently in the same situation, but I'm inching toward the Air. The downfall for MBP 13 is the screen resolution since I do a lot of web development. No clue why Apple doesn't have an option for the 13 MBP for higher res screen.
  7. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I believe according to some of the reviews that were posted earlier on the MBA 13" got around 5800 on Geekbench. The MBP got 5900 according to the results browser.

    Stick an SSD in the MBP and you will likely notice a more substantial jump in a Geekbench test.

    Irrespective, I'd go for (and am going for) the Air. The portability is a more important for me, I've got an iMac to use for big screen efforts. And by that I mean posters and whatnot.

    I still feel that a 13 MBA would be sufficient for a large number of people as a primary and sole computer.
  8. jeejeebu thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2007
    I'm definitely leaning towards that conclusion. I guess the question is if the portability (plus the knowledge that I won't be left with an out-of-date model in just a few months) is worth the $150 for a computer that has very similar performance benchmarks, at least out of the box. (Probably a question I have to answer for myself.)

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