MBP 15" late 2011 (refurb), MBP 13" i7 (2012) or MBA 13" (2012)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by saadishahid, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. saadishahid macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2012
    I know there are tons of thread over the internet about this type of topic, but I am not able to conclude what to do.
    So I am buying Mac for the first time and my range is below $1400. I was initially inclined to get a 13" one as my current hp laptop is 14". Hence I am used to this size. I have shortlisted the following:
    1. 2012 MBA 13" core i5 4gb RAM and 256gb hdd
    2. 2012 MBP 13" both the base model and the i7 one (8gb and 750gb)
    3. 2011 refurb MBP 15" quad core i7 (sandy bridge), AMD 512mb graphics, 4gb ram and 500 gb hdd. It is available for $1379.

    I visited the apple store and mainly looked at the 13" models as I was not inclined towards a 15" model. I loved air's design but liked the screen of 13" pro better (in terms of color quality, skin tones and blacks were much better)
    I will use this computer for everday tasks, some matlab and possibly photo editing (still getting into photography so not sure how muh editing I will so). I will also take this computer to my college (not everyday; I am a grad student and have only 4 classes in a week. I like to work on my research from my home rather than my office)


    And i also have an ipad that I mostly carry around.
  2. Tankmaze macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2012
    If this is your primary computer. Its an easy decision, get the 15 it blows the mbp 13 out of the water. If not, the 13 is great for portability.
  3. MacSignal macrumors regular

    May 8, 2010
    Short answer: probably 2013 MBP 13.

    Give that you already have an iPad and you are noticing the differences in screen quality between the MBP and the MBA, then I think you should rule out the MBA. 2012 MBP 13 will have USB3 and a size that you seem to prefer. The 2011 MBP 15 refurb will have all the advantages as far as processing power.

    Given that it is likely that the 2012 MBP 13 has enough processing power to meet your needs, it probably comes down to your subjective preferences for the smaller form of the MBP 13.

    Good luck!
  4. jterp7 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2011
    heh its too bad the retina isn't in your price range since it essentially has the 13's weight with the nice IPS screen. I'd still pick the 15" since it provides the most bang for the buck + you can do dual storage. To me the 13pro seems the worst deal since its not powerful like the 15pro nor light and thin like the air.
  5. saadishahid thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2012
    I went to the apple store today and talked with a representative. He told me that the current 15 inch models will only see 2-3% performance increase compared to the last gen.But still I found 15 inch to be much heavier than what I am used to. Currently I am using hp dm4, which weighs 4.4 lbs. The tech specs of the 15 inch mac says that it is 5.4 lbs. my question is:

    1. Will the 15 inch be too heavy to carry around even occasionally
    2. What about the heat between 15 inch and 13 inch pro. Also compare with 13 inch air please.
  6. J&JPolangin, Sep 22, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012

    J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    For a 2 year old win7 machine, the HP DM4 was pretty nice weight and CPU wise - except for the track pad...(I had a DM4-1060US that met an untimely death on the stairs of my house).

    I'm now trying to decide on its replacement between:

    1. 11.6" MBA - 4Gb RAM/128Gb SSD = $980.10 (New but 1 day open box unit) @ 2.3 lbs
    2. HP Envy 4-1038nr 14" - 4Gb RAM (expandable to 16Gb) with 32Gb SSD/500Gb HDD combo drive = $819 NIB @ 3.86 lbs
    3. Toshiba u845-s406 14" - 6Gb RAM (expandable to 8Gb but no real need to open it up just to increase it 2Gb of RAM when it comes with 6 already) and its got 32Gb SSD/500Gb HDD combo drive = $729 NIB @ 3.74 lbs

    I like the screen resolution on the 11.6" MBA but it looks a little odd on the 14" screens - maybe that's because of the different aspect ratios of the MBA vise the win7 machines?

    The weight/size and footprint of the 11.6" machine are preferred but the other larger machines aren't really heavy when not being compared to the MBA directly.

    I like the additional ports on the 2 win7 machines and I don't want to spend ~$200 more (on sale right now for $1,169) to get a base 13" MBA nor do I want to spend ~$209 more than what I got this MBA to get a special order of the same specs with 8Gb RAM, not to mention any possible shipping cost (all of the above machines were bought with no shipping cost and no sales tax at the local PX).

    I have 10 days to play with the 3 and decide with some real world use what will suit my needs the best, I'd suggest you purchase a few and try them out also!

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