New MBP 13"... or MBA 13" perhaps?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by KohPhiPhi, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. KohPhiPhi, Feb 24, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011

    KohPhiPhi macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2011
    So the news are out: the new MBP 13" has much better processor than the MBA 13" (or the old MBP 13"), but worse GPU and no SDD.

    The problem though is this: the MBP 13" is meant to be an all-around solid mainstream laptop, right? If so... what's the point of tossing a powerful processor but gimping it down with a lame GPU and an old-as-time standard 5400rpm Hard Drive? It's like stocking a Ferrari with a set of old worn out tires: you got the engine, but dont quite get the performance.

    Now, considering the average Joe will never top the Sandy Bridge's full processing power, whereas it's pretty easy to suffer from GPU and Hard Drive hiccups... Does it really make sense for a standard everyday user (which is like 90% of the people who will buy a 13" lappy) to buy the new MBP 13" at all over the already existing MBA?

    I mean, if all a standard average user does on a 13" is to surf the net, Microsoft Office applications, perhaps some WoW gaming, some mild Photoshopping, and that kind of stuff... You don't need a super-dooper Sandy Bridge for that, so what's the point of the new not-so-Pro MBP 13" with a gimp GPU and no SDD? It kind of becomes pointless as a mainstream laptop considering the MBA 13" is already out there...
  2. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Aug 13, 2008
    Kitchener, Ontario
    That is exactly how I feel, and exactly what I'm going to be doing as long as the Pro doesn't get any really good bto options. But most likely I'm going to be picking up a refurb 13" Air for really cheap and sell my i7 15".
  3. GadgetAddict macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    I believe the leaked specs are of the base models that will be the first in stores (as always).

    MBA is not supposed to be highly customizable but MBP is. So even though we have just seen a good "engine" so far, there will be better spec options at a premium.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I can't speak for the GPU with hard and fast numbers but what do you plan on using the laptop for.

    The MBP has the advantage of having more expandability, more ports and a better CPU. Will you be using apps that are rely heavily on the GPU? Games, Aperture, Photoshop?

    I'd say the difference may not be as great as people are worried about and if gaming isn't your bag, then the MBP probably would be a good choice.
  5. macdud macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2011
    It's a tough call..

    MBA 13 also has a higher resolution and better anti-glare screen, and of course the form factor and lightness! Depending on the user, there are definitely good reasons to still pick up a MBA 13 over the new MBP 13, and that is what Apple wants, give users the choice, and not render the MBA 13 obsolete by introducing a new competing model. :rolleyes:
  6. sstr macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2010
    Here's the weigh-up:

    Macbook Pro
    Better processor
    Panel has better color gamut
    More ports, etc.
    Intel GPU (worse)

    Macbook Air
    Better resolution
    Thinner and lighter
    Nice design (imo)
    Processor is decent but not great, outdated
    Panel has superior contrast, whites and blacks

    I'll be going with the Macbook Air.
  7. Funkymonk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2011
    Just skip it. Its total crap and a fail on apples part. In b4 apologists....
  8. jp700p macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2010
    I would buy a macbook Air but no backlit keyboard is a deal breaker to me.
  9. unknown mr T macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2009
    I think I am going for a mba to now... I wanted SSD in the mbp :(, who knows how much it costs to put a 128 gd SSD in the base 13 inch mbp?
  10. jessea macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2009
  11. Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    I waited for the refresh because I was in the same position and I'm going with a 13" Air.
  12. Sidstrate macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2011
    Western Australia
    MBA v MBP

    This is taken from

    I'm not overly concerned about thunderbolt just yet so for me it comes down to

    Better design
    Better screen res
    Better size

    Modern processor

    For me spending over $2k I would want a processor that is comfortable running new software in 2012 for example, new version of fce. So for me the MBP looks favourite. What i cannot understand though is when Apple update the processors on the MBA to sandy bridge, what is the argument for buying a 13" MBP?

    Attached Files:

  13. kettlecorn macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2011
    Having had the MBA 13 and the 2010 MBP, Id have to say if I had the money I would have definitely kept the MBA 13 without question. Ultimate of course. It really does everything you need it to, runs quiet and cool and has excellent battery life. The only thing is, its arguable that you can add your own SSD and youll still end up paying less, so its more of the form factor issue.
  14. Sidstrate macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2011
    Western Australia
    Mba mbp

    The thing I can't get my head round is buying a MBA with a processor that is now 2 generations older than the current MBPs.
  15. namtaB macrumors regular

    Feb 22, 2011
    B/c the better business decision is to lame down the MBP 13" otherwise it will cannibalize MBA sales. If they had loaded the MBP 13" with a better processor, same resolution, SSD standard, and the optical drive then sales of the MBA would have significantly dropped. They need to keep the MBA one step ahead of the MBP 13" for as long as they carry the MBA line, unless they merge the two products into one which I think will happen at some point down the pipeline when SSD prices come down and optical drives are finally RIP.

    Its funny and makes business sense to do this based on the processors. The MBA has an old processor but great everything else. The MBP has a great processor but everything else is average. So you've pitted them against each other rather than make one clearly superior than the other.
  16. dnkbro macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2010
    All while alienating the consumer. I want a 13" MBA but I'm bummed out about the lack of back-lit keyboard, slightly worse colors on the panel (yet higher resolution), and outdated processor. I'm probably going to go with the Air, but still.
  17. namtaB macrumors regular

    Feb 22, 2011
    I'm not so sure about that. Apples are unique, they're the Porsche's of the computer world. When Porsche switched from water cooled engines to air cooled engines in the 996 variant, loyalists went crazy but they still bought Porsches anyway. No doubt many will be let down by the "update" but I don't think they will be jumping in hoards to PCs.
  18. terrificbatman macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2010
    Any decision so far?

    Just to weigh in on this, I don't understand why the processor is such a nitpick. Honestly, my current laptop still has a Core Duo processor and I'm not running for the hills. New browsers and OS'es have lightened the load. I can't open too many apps at once (1.5gb RAM speaking) and my fan goes boom with a 720p clip, but it's playable. It's a five year old PC, with a horrible con -- integrated Intel graphics! It's probably a bit dusty inside because I could never get to cleaning the fan.

    Like you, I'm interested in the MBA because the design makes a lot more sense to me. The MBP has been the same laptop for a few years, with slightly different specs, the latest processor bump, the latest GPU, etc. Gaming doesn't look that bad to me, whichever I choose: it will not do well with games launched in late 2012, but it will do fine with _all_ games launched up to 2011. Intensive tasks are what? Video editing, sure, we all do it now, but iMovie looks like it works just fine. HD content will be important, and I'm not sure I trust Intel's card on that. Photo tweaking will carry on with Photoshop but eventually you'll just use Fireworks or another minor photo-tweaking app, and you won't really miss anything if you're not a pro.

    The things that keep me near the MBP: FacetimeHD looks great, of course. There's a subwoofer. You'll still carry a lighter load than you would if you had a PC. Future-proofing seems important, but if you're buying Apple, they'll probably try hard to convince you that you really need whatever new product is coming out next year. New iMac and iPad combos will look better if you're in the 3-gadget-per-person range. People still vouch for the all-in-1 object, that doesn't force you to sync all the time, and they like their 30+ tabs open at the same time. In two years, the MacBook will be as thin as the air. PC people will still carry their overweight babies. A Pro will get you somewhere in the middle of all this, though it won't be the laptop you'll jot open in a bus stop. You'll have a smartphone to do whatever you really need to do.
  19. Sidstrate macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2011
    Western Australia
    WHich is the best buy

    I would be grateful if you looked at this image (from the aussie site) and gave me your opinion on which is the best buy and why?

    Attached Files:

  20. mac jones, Mar 6, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011

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