most bang for your buck? Air Vs MBP 13

whoknows87

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 8, 2012
673
30
S.Florida
I sold my mid 2009 MBP recetnly and in the market for a new laptop, exploring one of two options either a Base Air (2012)+8GB Ram or a refurbished MBP 2.9 Ghz Dual Core i7 8GB,750GB HD

I do not game at all, a casual user, most I'll ever do is watch a video lecture
listen to music, download a few things, I know the two options are very close in price, I just wanted to know which one is a better investment? I know Air is SSD vs MBP HD, but the Pro is user upgradable while the Air is not and when it comes to processing speed is there really a huge difference between processing speeds?
 

mrsir2009

macrumors 604
Sep 17, 2009
7,505
156
Melbourne, Australia
Since they are very similar in terms of processing and graphics, and you wouldn't need more than 8GB of RAM being a casual user, it mainly comes down to hard drive space. A HDD on the MacBook Pro is very cheap per GB compared to the SSDs on the MacBook Air, which get very expensive very quickly if you want a decent amount of space. So how much space do you think you'll need?
 
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whoknows87

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 8, 2012
673
30
S.Florida
Since they are very similar in terms of processing and graphics, and you wouldn't need more than 8GB of RAM being a casual user, it mainly comes down to hard drive space. A HDD on the MacBook Pro is very cheap per GB compared to the SSDs on the MacBook Air, which get very expensive very quickly if you want a decent amount of space. So how much space do you think you'll need?
128 SSD is fine, I have 2 externals around the house that I can use if needed
 
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thinkinblue613

macrumors 6502
Dec 13, 2010
283
4
Planet Earth
It really depends on your lifestyle... If you plan on working on the go, then the Air is more valuable.

Being a former owner of a MBP 13, I have no regrets moving to the Air. If you wanted a Pro, then the 15 MBP is more valuable/bang for your buck.
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
50,740
34,275
The Far Horizon
Do a search and you will find 499 threads here addressing exactly that question
Sigh. Yes, we know. That doesn't invalidate the question asked. And your own opinion on the matter is what exactly, or do you have one?

Since they are very similar in terms of processing and graphics, and you wouldn't need more than 8GB of RAM being a casual user, it mainly comes down to hard drive space. A HDD on the MacBook Pro is very cheap per GB compared to the SSDs on the MacBook Air, which get very expensive very quickly if you want a decent amount of space. So how much space do you think you'll need?
Yes, a HDD is very cheap, and extraordinarily capacious, but a SSD is much faster, and a lot more stable (and less prone to breakdown). Needless to say, it is also very expensive, especially as the size of the SSD increases. Over time, it will come down in price, but is not doing so quickly enough.

A personal observation, here. My first Mac was the old 2008 MBP, which in common with all of the Windows computers I owned once upon a time (an Olivetti, a Toshiba, a Sony Vaio, all perfectly good computers) had the old standard HDD. I bought a MBA in September 2010, and would never willingly return to the days of the old HDD. While I am moaning about the occasional tardiness of my MBA, and muttering about upgrading, my brothers (one of whom inherited my Vaio) are awestruck and blinded by its speed.

So, yes, you need to decide how much space you want; also, decide whether you want a stable, speedy system.

It really depends on your lifestyle... If you plan on working on the go, then the Air is more valuable.

Being a former owner of a MBP 13, I have no regrets moving to the Air. If you wanted a Pro, then the 15 MBP is more valuable/bang for your buck.
Exactly. The bottom line is that the MBP 13" is certainly better value, but the MBA is faster, more portable (which matters to me, as I travel a lot), and - unless you plan to buy the retina model, which has a superb screen, the screen of the MBA is also better than that of the MBP.

Good luck with whichever you choose.
 
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Agent-P

macrumors 68030
Dec 5, 2009
2,502
23
The Tri-State Area
128 SSD is fine, I have 2 externals around the house that I can use if needed
Another option to consider is that getting a 2.5" SSD of higher capacity will be a tad cheaper and much easier to come by then the blade SSDs used in the MBA. You could get the MBP and just replace the HDD with a decent sized SSD yourself. Then you'd also get the benefits of the SSD on there.
 
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JHUFrank

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2010
645
54
So when you say investment, your real question is how much will it be worth when you re-sell? I just want to clarify.
 
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OneMike

macrumors 603
Oct 19, 2005
5,651
1,582
Personal Use, I'd say Air is better

Resale value I'd say Pro will bring in more.

I went with the Air, no regrets.
 
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micrors4racer

macrumors 6502
Apr 19, 2012
354
0
Best value on paper would be the 13 mbp of course and due to to the ease of upgradability. Better value to ones self would be if portability is a priority then the air but if a great all around laptop for a good price then the mbp would win. Performance wise they are about the same, so for a casual user like you, who I think would value a portable laptop more than a thicker more upgradable one, the air would be the better choice.
 
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