New 13" MBA or Refurb 15" MBP?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Rob587, Aug 4, 2011.

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New 13" MBA or Refurb 15" MBP anti-glare?

  1. New 13" MBA

    50.0%
  2. Refurb 15" MBP anti-glare

    50.0%
  1. Rob587 macrumors 6502a

    Rob587

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #1
    I only have a windows 7 gaming tower and I would like to get a Mac laptop.

    My needs: photography/photo editing, web design, light graphic design, and every day use.

    I hardly ever travel, but I need something that I can take with me when I do. The MBP is more powerful, but its $100 more, and it wouldnt be as convienient to use around the house. But other than that its a toss up to me. Both have pros and cons.

    Let me know your opinions and thoughts.......:confused:

    NEW 13" MBA $1,299
    128GB 1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor
    4GB memory
    128GB flash storage1
    Intel HD Graphics 3000

    OR

    REFURB MBP 15.4” - $1399
    Core i5 2.4 Ghz - Antiglare
    15.4-inch LED-backlit antiglare Hi-Res widescreen display (1680 x 1050 pixel)
    4GB (2 x 2GB) of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
    320GB Serial ATA @ 5400 rpm
    8x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M graphics processor with 256MB of GDDR3 memory
     
  2. stridemat, Aug 4, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011

    stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    I would go with the MBA. It's a newly updated Mac and has the benefit of the SSD (once you get used to one, you will not go back to a standard platter drive). It will be more than enough machine for your needs.
     
  3. Rob587 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Rob587

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #3
    The only thing I am really worried about is the smaller 13" screen. Ive never had a laptop under 15" and I was using my sisters 13" MBP the otherday and it felt really small. Is this somehting that you get used to?

    Im surprised more people voted for the MBA. Normally, I see forum members vote for more power and value over newness.
     
  4. captkirkmtl macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    #4
    If you hardly ever travel, then you should get the MBP 15''. Web design is usually better on a bigger screen. Dealing with images, etc is better on a bigger screen. Get the MBP 15''. :)
     
  5. Rob587 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Rob587

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #5
    Well, I guess I could plug it into the 22" Dell that I have my Gaming PC hooked up to. Maybe with some kind of input splitter. Im not sure if it has one or two vga inputs, or a hdmi, or if the mba can even go to hdmi. I need to get my moniter out of storage to check. Im moving.
     
  6. IngerMan macrumors 6502a

    IngerMan

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #6
    When you compare the anti glare MBP screen compared to the MBA TN panel, they are in 2 different leagues and should be a very easy choice. Just check the photography forum for your answers.
     
  7. Rob587 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Rob587

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #7
    Meaning the Anti Glare screen is far superior, right?

    I think the MBP is the better overall value, and the best long-term buy. I think I am just impressed by the form factor and flashiness of the MBA; and the fact that they stuck an i5 in it. MBP is probably more practical.
     
  8. IngerMan macrumors 6502a

    IngerMan

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #8
    I have the MBA, and no way would I trust editing photo's on it. It's a great little laptop after using it for 6 months. Replaced a Macbook. But the screen does not even look as good as the 13 inch MBP, that's easy to see just by comparing side by side. Honestly, TN panels are NOT made for any serious photography.

    That 15" machine at that price seems like a heck of a deal. I am checking it out and maybe it will be mine. lol....
     
  9. YEEZY macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #9
    I think the MBA is perfectly adequate for your needs, but if you think you can lug around a 15" whenever you need it, then get that/
     
  10. aross99 macrumors 68000

    aross99

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Location:
    East Lansing, MI
    #10
    I would want the bigger anti-glare screen. If you don't travel much, then the smaller size of the air would seem more like a negative rather than a positive.

    I would take the 15" MPB no question...
     
  11. Rob587 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Rob587

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #11
    Great, now the poll is at 50/50... thats exactly how I feel. lol

    And to make it even more difficult, the price difference is more. I forgot about the edu discount. That puts the MBA at $200 cheaper.

    I think of the 13" as convienent when browsing internet around the house though...
     
  12. jreuschl macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    #12
    Well one question would be how much storage space do you need? MBA has nowhere near the storage of a 15" since it has a real hard drive.
     
  13. ToniqR macrumors member

    ToniqR

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Location:
    Bath, UK
    #13
    I love my MBP, and coming from the smaller MB, I still find it a very portable machine. the screen is amazing too! Personally although the Air is newer, i don't think its quite good enough just yet to replace my 2010 Pro. :)
     
  14. ratboy90 macrumors 6502

    ratboy90

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    #14
    FOr your needs definitely the MBP. The air is only good if you travel or commute lots.
     
  15. Man9z0r macrumors regular

    Man9z0r

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Location:
    SLO, CA
    #15
    I prefer the pro as of right now.

    The lack of upgradeability really drops the desire of the Air. I mean yeah it is good right now but two years from now it won't be you will have an old machine with little hard drive. Then you are stuck with selling it since you can't upgrade anything. While the pro will last several years and then you could just add memory even add an ssd drive to it and have it be really fast. Plus the screen. That to me is kind of the downfall of the small form factor. It ends up being something you have to replace instead of being able to ever upgrade.

    Like most of said if you think you are going to travel a lot then the Air is for sure going to help with weight but if you are stationary most of the time go with the pro!

    :D
     
  16. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #16
    Well you can answer this for yourself.

    Just line them up side by side and check what you would rather have

    13/15 inch screen?
    Processor?
    HD space?
    Are you going to play games?

    Portability? Go into a store and play with each of them for a while and get a feel of it. I just picked up the 13 inch MBP today because it's overall better spec'd than the MBA, is upgradable, and is very, very thin (people get caught up in the size and actually forget how thin the MBP is).

    How long do you want this computer to last?

    If you don't use the computer for any intensive applications (hardcore editing, rendering, gaming) then the MBA with a separate monitor when you're home might be the best option. Now if you're going to use this a lot and you might push it a bit... and you think you're going to want the larger screen when you're out, get the 15 inch.

    With either option, you can always get an external drive to house extra files and an external monitor (I have both to use with my Pro and I use them both extensively).
     
  17. Rob587 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Rob587

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #17
    Your right. I dont need a ton of space, but definitely more than 128GB. And I'm not so sure upgrading that on the MBA right now is worth the money.

    I think I'm coming to the same realization. Thanks!

    Yup. I really dont need a ton of portability. May as well have the more equiped computer. I was just having trouble justifying it because I have a powerful gaming pc. But its still needed. Just serves a different purpose.

    Definitley something to consider. I want it to be a good long term buy, and upgrading will be something I want eventually.

    Yea, I think I just need to go with either a 15" MBP or even a 17". I dont need super portability, just the occasional trip a few times a year. Would the 17" be crazy? For some reason Ive always been drawn to it, but it just seems awkward. Maybe the 15" is the best medium... lol Well, at least Ive eliminated the MBA.

    Thanks guys!
     
  18. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #18
    Yea, if you're close to a store, go in there and ask one of the associates if you can unplug the machine and close it/hold it or whatever.

    I would honestly say the 15, however the MBPs are very, very thin, and it's easy to forget how thin until you actually pick one up and use it. It's funny though, every time I go into an Apple store I stand up and look at the machines or whatever, however you don't get a real feel of it until it's home on your desk and you're sitting down in front of it.

    Without the crowd of people bumping you and talking, kids yelling, and worrying about knocking something over, you can really appreciate the design and build quality of it.
     
  19. Rob587 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Rob587

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #19
    I know exactly what you mean about having no idea until you actually get it home and use it a bit. Its also really hard getting any kind of feel for the size in the store because your comparing it to other really slim and small machines.
     
  20. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #20
    Oh yea; and the fact that you're standing up over the machines. It just really isn't "that" great now that I think about it.

    The machines all seem blazing fast because they're "new", not bogged down, and you're running them on a closed T1 network. Plus I'm not really in the mood to play with a computer that isn't mine you know?

    I think they should let people rent out machines in the back of the store where they have desks and nice chairs nd let you try them out for 30 minutes or an hour or something. Of course pay like 20 bucks, but it would give people a better feel for the machine rather than clicking in photobooth, iTunes, and Safari for a bit.
     

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