MBA vs. MBP (I know, I know...)

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by CrazyFingas, May 17, 2011.

  1. CrazyFingas macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago
    #1
    Before you virtually tar and feather my ass, I wanna get an opinion on either getting the MBA 13" or the MBP 13".

    Thing is I have my Mac Pro 3.3GHz for my heavy work load when I'm at home, but I also need something that's portable/can handle quick Photoshop and Illustrator touch ups on the go.

    So which shall it be? I'd stick the MBP with a SSD anyway (around 100GB) and then just shlep around an external for files (same for the MBA).

    Your humble advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a

    jmoore5196

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest US
    #2
    I think the answer depends on how much you enjoy schlepping.

    I have a current model 13" MBA, and have had the past two iterations of the 13" MBP. I cannot tell you how the MBA's display compares to that of the current MBP, but I do know it's the equal of my Core i5 15" MBP. That says something.

    The reason I keep coming back to the MBA is simple: Weight. I don't like to schlep any more equipment than I have to, and the MBA is ideal for travel. I use PS and InDesign with great frequency and have never found the machine anything but speedy and responsive.

    That said, there's certainly convenience to be had in the 500GB HD in the current MBP crop. If you don't mind hauling around the parts of the machine you almost never use - optical drive, etc - then the MBP is certainly the better value. The MBA is light, fast enough, and makes the trip bearable. That, to my mind, is the substantial difference between the two.
     
  3. marshallbedsaul macrumors 6502a

    marshallbedsaul

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
    #3
    just recently coming from a 2010 mbp specs 2.66 4gb ram 320 gb Hd.
    I would say really depends on your needs and what you expect.
    I opted for a refurb 2009 rev C 2.13 ghz 2gb ram 128 gb ssd with a 5 hour battery
    And so far its light looks smooth, but with speed or performance not meeting my needs.

    If you plan to use photoshop or have a lot of windows open or expect decent battery life (2 hours if I am lucky @ 32 charge cycels)do not buy. I get beach ball when using flash or photoshop or with multi tabs open at times. Rather annoying but this is a mba not a pro. Hope this helps you a bit.
     
  4. CrazyFingas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago
    #4
    Honestly, I'd only carry around the external if I was going to the office or traveling. I could temporarily save files on the HD until I transfer them when i get home.

    If this is true then you sold me jmoore. I'd be editing the text overlay on ads and maybe making some slight color/image alterations if need be; other than that it'd be browsing and word processing.
     
  5. CrazyFingas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago
    #5
    Do you do full on editing in Photoshop (start to finish) or just minor adjustments? I don't plan on creating anything any more detailed than a couple of color layers and some minor editing on the road(that's for the MP powerhouse at home).

    2 hours....that sucks!
     
  6. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2004
    #6
    Please note that marshallbedsaul is talking about the mid-2009 model of the MBA, with less RAM (hence the beachballs), less battery life (hence the 2 hours) a crummier screen, and an SSD that's 1/2 the speed of the SSD in the 2010 MBA (hence the beachballs again).

    I'd think/hope that you'd be thinking about getting a 2010-model MBA, CrazyFingas (with 4GB of RAM BTO'd). Or waiting for the 2011 MBA which was reported again today to be out in the June/July timeframe.

    In general, if you already have a MacPro, why are you even thinking about the 13" MBP?

    Yes, it has slightly better battery life, and a faster processor - but if you're saving the heavy lifting for the MacPro anyway, the MBA is a no-brainer.

    It's 3lbs, higher-rez screen, and the SSD makes it feel speedy as hell.
     
  7. CrazyFingas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago
    #7
    fyrefly, you are definitely making it harder for me to justify the MBP, but in your opinion would the MBA handle the light editing I plan on doing?

    As a birthday present to myself, I think I'll be splurging on the upgraded one (fingers crossed it comes out before August).

    Why do you think? I'm a Jew, we think ahead. I bought the MP for a couple of reasons, but the main one is I won't have to buy a desktop for at least 5-7 years if not more with occasional swap outs. The MBP is a bit more future proof (swappable memory, hardrive, etc.).
     
  8. CrazyFingas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago
    #8
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    http://www.macrumors.com/mobile/2011/05/18/apple-to-launch-new-macbook-air-in-june-july/ Boom! Case closed.
     
  9. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2004
    #9
    Light touchups in InDesign and Photoshop? For sure the MBA can handle that. With the speedy SSD in the 2010 and potential 2011 versions, it'll probably handle non-intensive stuff "faster" than your MacPro (as it'll seem speedier with disk writes/saves to the SSD).

    Gotcha. Then the only thing the MBP has over the MBA at that point is the RAM. The MBP will go to 8GB and it can be upgraded later, while the MBA only goes to 4GB and is soldered to the Logic Board. Who knows, maybe the 2011 MBA will have a BTO 8GB of RAM, but I kinda doubt it.

    You can upgrade the SSD in the MBA, later on. Right now OWC will let you go up to 480GB (but the cost is enourmous - more the MBA itself!).

    Other than that, the main components - Graphics Card and CPU are the same between the two machines.

    One more question, I guess is - do you need the DVD-RW drive? Or would you only need it infrequently, so you could transfer data to the MacPro over the network or via USB drive when you need to burn?
     
  10. Mobius 1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Location:
    USEA
    #10
    Performance>Looks

    always go this way unless you're a dumbass
     
  11. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2004
    #11
    Not sure what exactly you're getting at... but "performance" is all the eye of the beholder.

    For some - if you're using Final Cut and rendering huge HD scenes, etc... then the MacPro/iMac/MBP i7 Quads would be "performers" - seeing as they would reduce the rendering time greatly.

    But if you're a "regular joe" user - and you're mostly just Surfing/eMail/iTunes/Facebook/Twitter/MSWord, then the MBA will probably "feel" faster - with it's speedy SSD vs. a similarly stock-hardrive-equipped MBP or even MacPro.

    I know my i5 iMac Quad is "faster" than my MBA. But when I'm booting up and launching light programs, my MBA "feels" faster.
     
  12. Macalaka macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #12
    I fully plan on replacing my 15" i7 2010 MBP when the new SB MBA's come out.
    I love my MBP, but its a tad heavy and I would love to move to something a bit smaller and lighter that is as fast as my MBP is.
    I do primarily XCode work along with some medium Photoshop/Indesign work along with the typical blog/facebook/browsing/email checking so the IGP in the SB's are not an issue with me.
    I might even be able to ditch my backpack with the lighter MBA which would be nice.
    I just did not want to make the leap to the C2D MBA as I would be kicking my own ass when the new ones get released in the next month as alot of folks here are or will be doing.
     

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