MBP 13" or MBAir Comparison

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bellynoob, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. bellynoob macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2009
    I'm stuck deciding between the following:
    • Macbook Air 2.16 SSD
    • Macbook Pro 13" 2.26Ghz

    Which I think the above two, if money was taken out of the equation, would be about on par. Honestly don't mind shelling out the extra cash for the MBA.

    I don't see the point of the 2.53 on the MBP since the clock speed increase is probably negligible for what I do. Lots of documents, ppts etc with the occasional Photoshop. Possibly install XP purely for MS project which is really annoying how there isn't a good one for Mac.

    I have tried (for a month) the rev A 1.8 MBA (HDD not SSD) and find the speed not quite as snappy as the MBP 13" 2.26 (which I tried for a day today) which I like the touchpad and general sturdy feel. I think the keyboard on the MBP seems better too. I do have a 128GB SSD sitting at home with nothing to do so I would probably put that into the MBP if I got it.

    So there's my dilemma.... Love the portability of the MBA but can't ignore the MBP with the better feel and 7 hour battery! Do you guys think the performance of either would be about the same? Buying both would be too much of a sin!!

    Any hoo thanks for reading and the following comments :confused:
  2. norsemen macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2007
    Faced the same dillemma as you did. Ended up with a MBP 2,53.

    The battery and option to user-upgrade memory and HD/SSD later makes it more "future-proof". More connections like USB, Firewire 800 and SD slot bodes well for the MBP 13 also.

    If you have a SSD laying around, it shouldn´t be a difficult choice.

    You´ll be a winner with either pick, but I have a sneak suspicion you would be more happy a year from now with the MBP.
  3. bellynoob thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2009
  4. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I agree. In general, it is something of a trade off between better spec on the MBP on the one hand, and style and portability of the MBA, on the other. Bang for buck, the MBP 13" is a better buy; the MBA is a stunning design, but may be something of a luxury unless the portability is a key consideration for you.

    Cheers and good luck
  5. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Feb 9, 2005
    The good side of the grass.
    My 1.86/SSD Air actually is just as fast opening app.'s and booting up.

    It comes down to portability and ports. I travel quite a bit and have a 15" MBP should I need a bigger screen or whatever the MBA doesn't have. I've really found that I use the Air 95% of the time. It sure makes it easy going through security at the airports. If you don't travel quite a bit, I think the MBP would be your best option.
  6. pdxshad macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2008
    Apples and, well, oranges.

    I have the original MBA, which has served me well for a year or more but the small trade off in weight (1 extra pound) and the huge bump in performance, storage and convenience (internal burner, sd card slot, 4 gigs ram and 250 gig HD) means I now have a much, much more powerful and productive laptop on my lap.

    It's a huge speed increase from the 1.6 mba, obviously, but the convenience of the MBA's form factor is now hardly noticeable as this MBP 2.56, 13" fits in most of the bags I stuffed the Air into, and one extra pound is no problem, particularly since I had to carry the external burn drive, sd card reader, back up ethernet adapter (some hotels still offer only hard-line internet).

    I love the MBA and will keep it for backup use, but it did have a drawback. That weight was awesome, shooting tethered while holding laptop in one hand in awkward shooting situations was very very convenient, but it felt flimsy. the hinges on the screen developed a lot of play (about 1/2") and I was never comfortable with anyone else adjusting the screen, they'd always be too heavy handed for my liking with such a delicate seeming machine.

    Maybe it wasn't delicate, but it felt that way, and I needed a laptop I could travel around with and not worry about it. The MBP 13 does the trick for me. Super fast with all adobe products - lightning fast compared to MBA and a much better value for money.

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