MBA vs MBP

alent1234

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jun 19, 2009
5,661
136
was going to buy a MBA for my wife this year but thinking MBP instead just for the price difference.

is there any difference in normal use? don't care about benchmark numbers. just normal use from a regular person's perspective?

looking at the 13" MBP
 

Naimfan

Suspended
Jan 15, 2003
4,669
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You get more performance and capability for less money with the Pro.

There are a number of threads on the differences if you want to explore the differences in more depth.
 

WarpSpawn

macrumors member
May 30, 2011
93
0
Thing is, the benchmarks put the two machines very close together in terms of performance. So I highly doubt that you would notice all that much difference in normal usage. Boot up times and app loading are supposedly somewhat faster on the Air but they are anything but slow on the Pro. I would recommend making the decision based more on price, form factor, screen and any other features that matter to you but I really don't think you have a lot to worry about performance wise with either of them.

I went with the Pro as much due to price as anything else, especially as I was unable to convince myself that anything less than the 256GB Air model would offer enough storage space and I could not even begin to justify the expense. I have no regrets, tbh and at least in the short term am certainly glad I have the optical drive, though whether it will see much use once my DVD collection has been ripped remains to be seen. The MBP is a substantially more capable machine for things like video encoding than my ageing desktop PC.
 

Freddy1765

macrumors member
Sep 21, 2011
38
0
Fans only freak out if you're watching flash video on a website.. Full HD playback in VLC doesn't cause them to speed up.

Performance wise, MBP vs. MBA really depends on your usage. The SSD in the Air obviously makes it a lot snappier in general usage, so if you don't need the processing power of the Pro, its the quicker machine.
Of course, installing a 3rd party SSD in the Pro is easy and still makes it cheaper than the Air.
 

SDColorado

macrumors 601
Nov 6, 2011
4,279
4,244
Highlands Ranch, CO
You are asking this in the Macbook Pro section, but you should also ask it in the MBA section, I am guessing the responses would be somewhat different in the Air section. Best Buy has the MBA 13" on sale for $1,234.99, if that makes any difference to the consideration. Also keep in mind, I am guessing, though I don't know for sure, that most respondents are male. I know my wife would prefer the MBA over the MBP without a doubt. That is in fact what she will be trading her 15" MBP for.

Just food for thought, but you may want to try to pick her brain, sneakily if it is a gift, and see which you think she would prefer.
 

Blondie :)

macrumors 6502a
May 12, 2010
698
3
Prescott, AZ
You are asking this in the Macbook Pro section, but you should also ask it in the MBA section, I am guessing the responses would be somewhat different in the Air section. Best Buy has the MBA 13" on sale for $1,234.99, if that makes any difference to the consideration. Also keep in mind, I am guessing, though I don't know for sure, that most respondents are male. I know my wife would prefer the MBA over the MBP without a doubt. That is in fact what she will be trading her 15" MBP for.

Just food for thought, but you may want to try to pick her brain, sneakily if it is a gift, and see which you think she would prefer.
I agree with the above statement. Women generally prefer more form factor/attractive things. Not that the MBP isn't attractive, but the MBA may suit her fancy slightly more. For her needs, I'm positive she won't need any power that the MBA can't provide. Happy hunting.
 

SDColorado

macrumors 601
Nov 6, 2011
4,279
4,244
Highlands Ranch, CO
Not even just from a form factor point of view, but she has to carry plenty of other stuff around. So even the weight reduction, though slight as well as the slimmer profile, just make the task easier for her. That aside though, yes she does also prefer the slimmer form factor. :)
 

alent1234

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jun 19, 2009
5,661
136
price went up to day so i'll probably wait or buy the early 2011 refurb

the MBP will be at home all the time so weight is no big deal. we have 2 iphones and an ipad for computing away from home

saw both in the store last night and the screen on the MBP is better. speed is the same on both
 

entatlrg

macrumors 68040
Mar 2, 2009
3,376
3
Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
best buy has the 13" MBP for $1049 now making it very hard to go with the MBA
Not when you consider the screen, size and weight it isn't. Your wife would really appreciate the Air over the Pro I'm sure.

You pay more and you get more, and it's worth it for sure if you can afford it. On a tight budget then buy the cheapest, otherwise buy what she'll enjoy most.
 

alent1234

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jun 19, 2009
5,661
136
was a quick test but opening safari and itunes on each one was the same amount of time and the screen on the MBP looked better. the link someone posted earlier said that the MBA screen had washed out colors which it did

not arguing that it's a nice laptop and a chick magnet, but i don't think it's worth it

will probably buy the current MBP and in a year or two sell it and buy the Air or the new MBA like MBP
 

srexy

macrumors 6502a
Nov 19, 2006
536
1
I was able to satisfy my cravings for speed with a late 2008 MBP by subtle upgrades over the years - RAM then HDD. I finally took the plunge - flogged my old 15 for $750 on CL and now have a late '11 13" base model which screams in comparison.

The way I look at it - the MBA may be a screamer right now but you're going to be hard-pressed to upgrade anything in it whereas the MBP is fully upgradeable.

I'll take the slight performance hit now for longevity later.
 

Naimfan

Suspended
Jan 15, 2003
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You pay more and you get more, and it's worth it for sure if you can afford it.
Uh, no.

The Pro offers more performance and capability . . . for less money.

The Air offers less performance and capability . . . for more money. Not worth it in the slightest - you're paying for thinness for the sake of it.
 

Adamantoise

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2011
892
112
Uh, no.

The Pro offers more performance and capability . . . for less money.

The Air offers less performance and capability . . . for more money. Not worth it in the slightest - you're paying for thinness for the sake of it.
I agree.

I don't get it really, most people act as if the MBP stopped being portable the minute Apple released the MBA.

The MBA is 1.5 lbs less, and fractions of an inch thinner ... I don't understand why people act as if the MBP is not portable.
 

MrBullet

macrumors member
Oct 18, 2011
78
0
Bristol, UK
Basic comparison.

In basic terms for a basic user, performance will be very similar. You won't notice a faster speed in loading up webpages, word processing or anything else simple like loading up e-mails and other documents from the web.

Obviously if you are into more heavy demanding processes, any form of video/image editing maybe the odd spot of gaming then the MBP is the best choice.

But because your needs are simple, then the MBA is probably your best option. Compact, light weight and still more than capable of fulfilling your needs. Yes, the MBP is better value for money in terms of spec, but if you don't need that spec, then the extra money towards the MBP is a waste!

Look on Apple Education pricing as-well, get a slight discount!
 

WarpSpawn

macrumors member
May 30, 2011
93
0
was a quick test but opening safari and itunes on each one was the same amount of time and the screen on the MBP looked better. the link someone posted earlier said that the MBA screen had washed out colors which it did
The screen on the Air does arguably have inferior colours, though it is a pretty subtle difference. Viewing angles are a little worse as well. On the other hand, as long as your eyesight can handle it, the sharpness of the Air screen probably makes it the superior option for reading and editing text. That is about the only thing I find slightly disappointing about the Pro but even then it is not terrible.
 

Naimfan

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Jan 15, 2003
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But because your needs are simple, then the MBA is probably your best option. Compact, light weight and still more than capable of fulfilling your needs. Yes, the MBP is better value for money in terms of spec, but if you don't need that spec, then the extra money towards the MBP is a waste!
Except the Pro is less expensive . . .

So: The extra money towards the Air is a waste.

;)
 

WarpSpawn

macrumors member
May 30, 2011
93
0
Simple needs, portability not a huge issue and money is a factor. Get the Pro. Besides looking arguably prettier, there is nothing that the Air can do that the Pro cannot, albeit occasionally a tiny bit slower.

Seems simple enough to me and also sounds like you are leaning that way anyway.
 
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