Need some help picking a Mac!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Hachiko, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. Hachiko macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    #1
    Been lurking a while but decided to make an account and ask for advice!

    I'm currently looking to replace my Hackintosh (Dell Mini 10v!) with a real Mac, so right now it's either the 11" 2010 Macbook Air or the 13" 2011 Macbook Pro. I'll be using it as a secondary computer primarily for college use (note taking, watching YouTube/videos, PowerPoint, Excel, surfing the web).

    I thought about it, and figured:

    - I like the 11" 2010 MBA (refurbished) because of the weight and portability, but the specs are rather low and theres no way to upgrade the ram later on. Can the 2010 MBA handle Lion? - I'm looking at the base model here with 2GB and 128GB flash storage.

    - I saw the 13" 2011 MBP (refurbished) and it's almost cheaper (slightly) than the 11" 2010 MBA refurbished and has better specs and flexbility in upgrading the ram and HD + the new OS Lion. All I can think of is the issue of the weight, I do carry some textbooks and worry that it'll be too heavy to carry.

    - Hard drive space does not matter to me, because only small files like word documents and pictures will go on there.

    - I'd like something that will last me around 3-4 years or even more.

    - In my mind, the 13" 2011 MBP does have more value than the 11" 2010 MBA but after reading several posts on the MBA vs MBP on the forums but I just don't know!

    Advice? Inputs? Please and thanks!
     
  2. Canaan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    #2
    I'd say go with the 13" 2011 MBP. I have had the 2009 model for two years now and it still flies so I'll bet the 2011 runs like a monster. Also, the 13" Pro has never felt real heavy at all to me (much lighter than many of my friend's and family's pc counterparts), however you are coming from a Dell mini so it may seem a bit larger at first. While people seem to think the slot load drive is becoming useless, I still use mine pretty darn often for things like DVDs (which look fantastic on the 13" screen by the way; comparable to HD content on some larger television sets), and also for ripping CDs and burning CDs. The real advantage to picking the 2011 one is that you won't likely need a replacement for a good long time as it is current, and much more powerful than the airs in general, especially compared to an older one. If it were me, I wouldn't even consider the air and would most certainly shoot for the pro. One last thing... I find the glass screen on the pro to feel and look a lot more high end and durable than the plastic on on the air. I'd be scared to clean the air's screen.

    Good luck!
     
  3. T-BILLIONS macrumors newbie

    T-BILLIONS

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    Geelong, Australia.
    #3
    Personally out of those two computers I'd go with the MBP mainly because that model MBA wasn't that much of a beast - Great computer, but noting compared to the newer model. Yes that Air will run lion by the way.

    I'm the manager of an Apple only store (not owned by Apple though) and personally one of my favourite computers in the store at the current time is the 11" 128GB 4GB ram MBA (runs lion out of the box) - It may not have the spec's on paper to beat the MBP, but because of the SSD she can make up for the downfall of less spec on paper and beat the MBP start up time by 15seconds - It's quite an impressive machine.

    The other great thing about the MBA is that it doesn't have any moving parts inside - because it has no CD drive and has a SSD (as opposed to the traditional drive that is constantly spinning) it is far less susceptible to wear.

    IF you can, I'd spend the few extra dollars and make that bag with the pile of books less heavy by only having to add AIR to the stack. (the new one though) ;)
     
  4. Hachiko thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    #4
    Thanks for the advice! I'm also leaning towards the MBP but I will poke around the Apple store near me to play with both machines. :)
     
  5. Michael383 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
  6. kamil97 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Location:
    in a house
    #6
    i got my 2011 mbp 13" from a store called micro center for $999! I have to say that the mbp is a MUCH better machine and it is very light compared to most pc couter parts. Good luck on your decision!
    
     
  7. bigeasy_uk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, England
    #7
    For your needs any modern mac will do the job nicely, so the spec shouldn't be much of a consideration (within reason), we all know 8gb of ram is better than 2gb, but do you need 8gb ram when the most taxing thing you will do with your computer is watch youtube? Go for the form factor that you like the most. Go to an apple shop and just play with each one for a while.

    I've got a 2011 11" base spec and I love it, I don't need the extra space or ram because all I use it for is basic stuff and I've got my hackintosh desktop for games that need a bit of graphical oomph (8800GTX) and a 1.5TB external drive plugged into my router for large file storage.
     
  8. Confuzzzed macrumors 68000

    Confuzzzed

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #8
    I have to say, I am a am in agreement with the last poster. The portability of the MBA is a joy to behold. I have owned both the 2010 and 2011 incarnations (albeit the 13') and without a doubt neither leave anything to be desired in CPU performance. The 2010 base 11' MBA is the weakest link of the range over the last couple of years so I would push the boat out to the 2011 version if I were you unless you are a serious gamer and need discrete GPU. I also own the MBP, but unless you are using it for serious web design, video or photo editing you won't need the spec. Seriously, the 11' MBA (which I have also owned) is quasi-iPad in portability. Even carry it in one hand around the house. Love it.
     
  9. Hachiko thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    #9
    Bigeasy and Confuzzzed, you do have very valid points, since I'm doing just basic things no need for a MBP.

    I did went to an Apple store and played with both machines for a while, and I'd have to say the 11" MBA is really a jem. It reminded me why I love the MBA's weight and form factor (and also why I bought my Dell Mini 10v and converted it to a Hackintosh!).

    I'm convinced. I'll pull the trigger on a new 11" MBA with an upgrade of ram of 4GB.

    Thanks everyone for the advice, and made a first owner of a "real" Mac happy. :apple:
     
  10. bigeasy_uk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, England
    #10
    Considering the similar 'on-paper' spec of the 10v and air (1.6ghz cpu's, onboard graphics, small screen, size, etc) they are worlds apart in everything! You'll love it!
    A great program to have installed is monolingual, I run it after every app install and update. It lets you remove unused languages and cpu architectures from the system. You'd be surprised how many GB's of space it can save.
     
  11. T-BILLIONS macrumors newbie

    T-BILLIONS

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    Geelong, Australia.
    #11
    Good choice - It's what I'd have picked. You'll be very happy with it I'm sure.
    ****Once you go mac you'll never go back****
     

Share This Page