Returned 13" MBA, kept 15" MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ckeck, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. ckeck macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2005
    Tried to like the 13" MBA and for the most part I was VERY satisfied. This little sucker is almost the perfect size/weight and is screaming fast in most applications.

    However, I was coming from a 15" MBP (non-SSD) with the high-res matte display and top of the line GPU. Mostly I love the high-res display with anti-glare which proved really hard to give up, but what the real deciding factor was the lack of even a decent GPU. I don't play any hardcore new games with the exception of StarCraft 2 which can be tuned down a lot but I was flat out unable to get that to a playable state and even games that are a few years old had trouble running well.

    Just thought I'd share my experience in case anyone else was planning to make a similar switch. I really wanted to keep it as it's great in most use-cases and if you don't need a dedicated GPU and can live with the glossy display it's definitely a great choice. But if you game, even a little or play older games be very cautious. Or if you have been spoiled with a high-res matte display.
  2. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    of course, if you are like me, and have been spoiled with the glossy mbp 13" display (i love it), neither computer (the mba 13" or mbp 15") is desirable. it's great to have lots of choices!
  3. thefirstone macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2011
    What's good about glossy? Just curious.
  4. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    the colors look sharper (to me, the mba and anti-glare 15" look washed out). i love the solid pane of glass, because it looks a lot more refined than the traditional bezel screen, and it is easy to clean (no more crud getting stuck between bezel and screen). i do a lot of work outside or in brightly lit areas, and in my experience, the glossy rarely becomes an issue. i suppose if the sun is at your back it wouldn't be so great, but i just move :)
  5. OSMac, Jul 30, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011

    OSMac macrumors 65816

    Jun 14, 2010
    How is the 15" Pro for lap use, heat / fan noise / weight ?

    The display on the Air is somewhat disappointing and I was considering a 13/15 Pro instead and maybe get a used last gen 11 air for when the pro is too big.

    I'm with palpatine I prefer gloss as well.
  6. christophermdia macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2008
    i went to a MBA 2010 from a 15" MBP AG Hi-RES....I have never looked back, and trust me, I am one for getting nothing but the best....I use photoshop, and use the MBA for everyday is on for at least 18 hours out of every 24 hour day working.....I play games, etc on it, and has never let me it as perfect as the 15"? it more convinient than the 15"? Absolutely! I can take this sucker anywhere! I now have the 2011 and have never been more satisfied....oh yea...and I had the 15" WITH SSD.....this MBA is FASTER!
  7. Contiguous macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2011
    Am using the 2.2 15" glossy hi res on lap right now. If you're on the small side, I could see it being a bit awkward, but I'm 5'8" with bike legs so I've got a wide stable surface, haha. Gets a bit hot when doing intensive stuff, but I usually have it on the desk and plugged in for that sort of thing. Personally what I find more annoying than the heat is the fact that the sharp edge of the topcase cuts into my forearms when typing, but that's more my poor ergonomic setup. No issues with noise or fans.

    I prefer the glossy as well - have a matte setup on my other computer and I actually find the matte screen more annoying, as the glare is diffused so you can't focus past it. Also the matte screens are dust magnets.
  8. thefirstone macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2011
    The colors might be good but I'm surprised that the glare doesn't drive you crazy. The glass panel can almost be used as a mirror ;-)
  9. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    lol. it's great, right! you get a mirror and a computer :)

    well, i have never understood this complaint. the only time it looks like a mirror is when the screen is turned off, and if i am sitting in front of my computer with it turned off, then there are other issues i need to worry about.
  10. ckeck thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2005
    From what I understand the 2010 MBA's were actually better for gaming since they had a discrete GPU, but my 2011 that I just returned was almost unbearable to try and game on (not because of screen size, just GPU power).

    Pretty amazed to see all the gloss lovers. Certainly a personal preference :) but my high-res matte screen has beautiful colors and is anything but a dust magnet. I almost never have to wipe it but I ALWAYS had to keep an anti-static cloth with me for the MBA and it's glossy screen. I could see every spec of dust and of course the accidental fingerprint.
  11. ipodlover77 macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2009
    i hate glossy.

    using a 2.2 high res glossy right now. screen is almost unusable at the library from 9am to 5pm. only way i can see the screen is if i crank up the brightness.

    which slaughters my already terrible (because of lion) battery life.
  12. adnoh macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
    Thank you for confirming that integrated graphics is not designed for gaming.
  13. Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    considering how many people are sooooo adamant that the intel graphics are exactly the same as the gforce 320 when its not i see nothing wrong with his post.
  14. warfed macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2011
    The 320M in the old MBA is integrated graphics and nobody seems to be complaining about that...
  15. cozmot Guest

    Mar 16, 2008
    Washington, DC
    I'm a glossy fan too, and agree. There are trade-offs between matte and glossy, so it all depends on the user's preferences.
  16. hooneyrob macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2011
    United Kingdom
    I've done exactly the same as the OP. I too wanted the portability of the Air but I could not get used to the 13" screen when compared to the 15" high res of the MBP 15. I also play games to the GPU of the 2.2 makes sense though I have to say the latest Air played games OK on low settings, I was impressed all things considered.

    As other have said, the Air makes sense if you're on the move lots, not too bothered about games.. For those who spend say 50% at a desk and want to play some of the latest gaming titles then the 2.2 15 is the way to go..

    As for the glossy - it's a good looking vibrant screen but the reflections ARE very bad. I have my new 15 arriving this week with a glossy but if you're wanting to use outside or in an office with lots of daylight I would go with the AG.
  17. rhinosrcool macrumors 65816


    Sep 5, 2009
    So true!

    Well said!

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