Mbp 15 => mba 11

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by lyzer, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. lyzer macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2011
    I've been reading up on people's impressions of MBA for the past 2 days, particularly regarding processor choice (i5 vs i7).

    I moved from a black MB to my current MBP 15" 8gb/500gb/i7 hi-res gloss earlier this year because the MBA c2d seemed like a waste due to my old MB also having a c2d. Now I find myself wishing for a smaller and lighter notebook for more portability, yet believe that having two notebooks (at least for me) is redundant. I've forgone bringing the MBP 15 on my last two flights simply because of it's size and weight.

    What I'd like to know is if anyone has switched from a similar MBP (i7/8gb) to an MBA 11" and can comment on any performance differences they notice in real world experience? Is there anything you miss?

    I'm assuming that cutting the ram in half is going to hurt a little, but the SSD will be a positive move. Also, I plan on picking up a 23" LCD for working at my desk, and don't see the 11" screen size as being much of an issue.

    If anyone else uses their MBA 11 as their main machine and has a comment please leave it :)
  2. nebulos macrumors 6502a


    Aug 27, 2010
    there are SO many threads on this sort of thing.

    as for performance, it depends entirely on what you do on your computer, which you did not specify. if you're not doing anything fancy, the MBA is plenty and you'll probably never notice a difference from your MBP (except possibly the faster SSD).

    as for the 'feel and fit' of the 11" as a primary machine, just look around; there are oodles and oodles of opinions on this.

    11" + external is a good combo. then again, with only $100 difference between the two 128GB MBAs, you have to think about why you really want the 11" over the 13", even if you have a big monitor at your desk.
  3. lyzer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2011
    Thanks for the response! I do realize there are many many threads on this topic, I've read a good chunk of them and yet still wanted to hear from someone who had made a move similar to what I'm contemplating.

    My tasks usually include web development and light video editing. So I'm running dreamweaver, photoshop, itunes, bridge, and some browsers. Occasionally imovie and I'm starting to pick up premiere pro but haven't done much. I don't intend to do anything advanced with premiere pro such as cross-linking with after effects but you never know. Premiere pro, however, was a large part of my decision to get a new machine as the old MB just couldn't hack it.

    Ultimately the goal here is portability, my old 13" still felt a bit large and definitely heavy. The MBA 13 solves the latter, but not necessarily the former.
  4. eric/ Guest


    Sep 19, 2011
    Ohio, United States
    The 13 may be able to run these programs, but if you run them together they are going to probably go sloooooooow. Running them individually would most likely be fine. Unfortunately I think you're going to be stuck with the 15inch MPB for what you do. Either that, or get an iMac and an 11 inch MBA. If you have to use your laptop for doing your work you are just going to have to use the 15 inch IMO. Honestly though, carrying around a 15inch MPB isn't that big of a deal. It weighs what, 7 pounds max?
  5. lyzer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2011
    I hope they aren't quite that anemic! I was just reading up on the site linked below where a photographer tested the MBA and the results look really good!


    As well as this for web development although he is using a previous gen with c2d processor and finds it still meets the needs


    I know many people have no problem toting around the 15, and even some who don't mind lugging around a 17! To me it defeats the purpose, sure it's convenient when you just want to move from the desk to the couch or bed and relax with a nice size screen, but the sheer portability of an air? I can practically fit it in the pocket of some cargo shorts!

    Also a unix engineer friend of mine says he is planning to drop his mbp 13 i7 in favor of the mba 11. This is after he's already stopped using his mbp 15 because of the size as well!

    Sounds like the 11 will work well, I am going to pick up an i7/4gb/128gb in a few days and hopefully it's a perfect fit, but at least there's two weeks to run it side by side with my MBP 15 where I can still return it.
  6. eric/ Guest


    Sep 19, 2011
    Ohio, United States
    You sound like you've already convinced yourself and you want more portability. That's fine, however; besides the SSD, the MBP is far more powerful, especially with 8 GB of ram which is going to help you a whole lot when running multiple programs. The 11 inch will be fine running iTunes and Dreamweaver or something, but start doing more than that and I think you'll find your performance degraded whereas a MBP would just keep on churning along.

    It's part of the trade off. You want more power? Well, you get a bigger unit. More portability? Well, your computer isn't as powerful. Such is the way of life.

    And seriously. Carrying around a 15 inch MBP is not a big deal. I can't for the life of me figure out how people have a problem with the portability of a 15 inch laptop. It's thin, light, and it's got great battery life. You're romanticizing the MBA and it's going to cost you.

    And FWIW I own a 13inch MBA i5/256
  7. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    hang on to it

    geez, you've got a pearler of a Mac there - I'd be swapping out the HDD for a 128gb SSD and then using the old drive as external storage.

    that'll speed up the MBPro a lot and you'll not compromise anything.

    if you're still undecided, send me your address and I'll send you my 2 month old 13" MBAir and a couple of hundred $ and you send me your MBPro :D
  8. lyzer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2011
    You're right! I definitely have convinced myself about the portability. It's a near daily issue of wanting to have more functionality than the iPhone provides when I'm on the go (was looking at an iPad first).

    They say for cars you can only pick two:

    But for the laptop world, you can only pick two:

    Live and learn :)


    SHHH! I'm hoping that by losing 4gb of ram and gaining the SSD I won't notice as much of a performance hit :p
  9. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    oooh - buyer's remorse - we've all been there :(

    stay true to your original choice, based on your requirements for the tasks at hand

    decision is power, indecision is - well - indecision.
    thus, no power

    the bottom line for me was - how does it feel to take it out of the case, and place it on my lap - heavy or niiiiice ??

    specs to one side:
    the bottom line is - 'how does it feel?' :cool:
  10. Risasi macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2011
    All 2011 models;

    I have a 13" MBP I recently bought a 17" MBP at Bestbuy, and within 24 hours returned it for a 13" MBA. Which has now essentially become my wife's computer. :D
    The 11" Air just didn't cut it when running two browser windows side by side, or multitasking. I also didn't like the battery life hit I would take.

    I'm going to replace my MBP with an Ivy Bridge 13" Air, or possibly a 15" MBP. I'll decide when the specs are out.
    I learned a few things from this experience with the large 17" MBP;

    * 13" screen is the ideal size when trying to balance weight vs usable screen. 15" is a 2nd runner up, I would go 15" if I think I need more power.

    * For resolution I think the sweet spot is 1440x900 for 13" and 1680x1050 for 15". (Or the equivalent in 16:9)

    * Carry choice makes a big difference in your preference. For my MBP most days I just use a sleeve and throw the charger in my pocket.

    * When comparing the 15"/17" MBP's against the base price Air I realized they are really expensive! I mean, I returned that 17" Pro and got back half my money. I rationalized that I could turn around next year and buy another Air and I'll still break even against that Pro. That's a little crazy. Because of this I've decided to increase my buying frequency and just stick to the base 13" as my default choice.

    Since you already have the 15" MBP I would suggest you look into a better carry method for it. While 3lbs is sexy, the 4.5lbs I usually go with isn't bad. And 5.5lbs wouldn't be a big deal with the right bag or sleeve. I was shocked when I weighed my bag empty and discovered it weighs almost 5lbs!
  11. lundh macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2006
    I have done the switch. I used to have a 2.2 GHz, 8 GB, 128 SSD, Hires antiglare, 2011 MBP but I killed that machine by mistake and I decided to get an MBA as the replacement. I finally decided on the top end 11: 1.8 GHz i7, 256 GB SSD.

    There is no way around it. The Pro is much much faster. Scaling and editing photos is noticeably faster. It is by no means bad on the 11" but image editing in a simple tool like iPhoto is significantly slower on the Air.

    Same story with file system access and opening applications. Everything is super smooth on the Pro and have a slight delay on the Air.

    That said, I would not get another Pro, I value portability more then then the raw speed. But you already have a nice working MBP. I would keep that computer (you will probably make a pretty big loss selling it) and replace it in a year two or when the Air has been able to catch up if you still want to. You really want more then 4 GB RAM if you are used to 8 GB, I do use the swap quite extensively.

    The Air is a great computer but so is the Pro. The Air coupled with a Thunderbolt display is my ideal setup but I would not trade a new 2011 MBP for it if it meant making a big loss on the sale.
  12. lyzer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2011
    What I'm hearing from you is that while you do notice the performance hit, the portability outweighed the decrease.

    I may not sell the MBP even if I do keep the MBA, but rather give it to a family member, either way the $ isn't what I'm concerned about here, just trying to find the ideal balance that suits my personal computer needs.

    All in all I'm glad to hear you stuck with the MBA over an MBP :)
  13. henry72 macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2009
    New Zealand
    If you care about the colours on the screen, the MacBook Pro is MUCH deeper and better :)

    I mean is good to carry around a light laptop, I've own a MacBook Air 13" 2010 before. They both have advantages and it's hard to decide! Good luck. :)

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