Should I buy the new MBA or wait for the next MBP?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nickjaergaard, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. nickjaergaard, Jul 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011

    nickjaergaard macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2011
    Aalborg, DK
    A month ago, I dropped my late 2008 MBP on the floor, and it is now unusable.
    I bought an iPad, hoping it would make a decent replacement, but it simply lacks the versatility and advanced features that a laptop offers.
    I was hoping I could wait for the next generation of MBPs (probably early 2012), but now that Apple has launched the new MBAs that are scoring pretty high in benchmark tests, I wanted to consult some of you that have more knowledge than me in the field of specs.

    This is what the laptop will be used for:
    • School (a year from now I will start studying medicine)
    • Photography (I'm using Aperture and Ps for editing)
    • Video (streaming sports events and tv series)

    My main concern and question is whether I get enough speed from the MBA (I will be buying the most expensive model and upgrade to the i7 processor) or whether I should wait for a new super-awesome high-end MBP. Will it be worth the wait? I'm sure the next MBP will be amazing, but will it be a waste of money and time waiting for it?
  2. francis21 macrumors member

    May 2, 2011
    Mississauga, ON, Canada
    Well, by looking at the list of what the laptop will be used for, I think its worth the wait for the next MBP update. I say that, because first off, the MBA has an integrated graphics (the Intel integrated graphics). This means, for you, that you can get by (I guess) for photography. But if you wanted to do some video editing or gaming (I guess), the MBA cannot handle the intensive processor power required by these programs.

    For me, I think of it this way: if you want more battery life and you'll be moving around a lot, the MBA is the way to go. However, if you'll be somewhat moving around and need more power for many of your programs that you will need to use, the MBP is a better investment. Don't get me wrong that the MBP has no good battery life, it does - but its just that the MBA is better, because of the underclocked CPUs included in them.

    Lastly, MBP is just a great investment, that for sure, will last long for 4-6 years. It will take you further. And you will never know when you need that extra horsepower of your laptop, right? I hope this helps. :)

    PS: I, myself, will be waiting for the next-generation MBPs. :)
  3. nickjaergaard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2011
    Aalborg, DK
    @francis21: thank you for your reply, all opinions will be taken into consideration :)
  4. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I'm not sure you have the luxury of waiting when your current MBP is in pieces. I would check into repair and compare the cost with getting this year's base 13 in MBP from MicroCenter for $999 (if they are still available). Another option to consider is the new Mini that was just announced. For $600 you would again have something to get you by.

    It's always better to wait for tech gear... unless you have nothing now. Having nothing until mid-winter 2012 seems like too much of a sacrifice. And yes, trying to get by with an iPad after using a MBP is a lot like having nothing at all. iPad makes an excellent portable complement to a bigger Mac but the iOS content consumption focused straightjacket makes iPad a questionable choice for creating content.

    I have an early 2008 white Macbook and I've recently upgraded RAM to 4 G and HDD to 500 GB. I can easily wait for the next round of MBP announcements. If the repair is only a few hundred bucks, by all means repair and wait another year or two.
  5. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    I have a late 2008 15" MBP. If I managed to destroy it today, I'd buy a MBA 11" and a 27" display. If I don't manage to destroy my MBP, I'll be looking to upgrade to next year's MBA + display.

    I don't see why you would want to wait for an MBP refresh if you are thinking about an MBA now.

    Did your 2008 MBP perform well for all of your uses? Did it have more than 4GB RAM? Did it have an SSD? How often did you use the DVD drive? If that MBP was meeting your needs with 4GB, and especially if it didn't have SSD, the just released MBA will be a huge upgrade for you.
  6. itanibro macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2008
    Rome, NY
    For streaming video over the internet and doing some light photo editing, the new MBA's will suit your needs just fine.

    Heavy gamers, audio/video professionals, graphic designers....those are the folks that need the power of a MBP. Based on your list, you do not.

    I agree with Panch0 - get an external display if you need to sit down and get work done for an extended period of time.

  7. antdfsc macrumors member


    Jun 7, 2006
    I wouldn't wait for a MBP refresh as they were just updated not that long ago. I like the size and weight of the Air, but unless I was traveling constantly, I wouldn't bother getting one. Just comparing base models, for like $200 more for the MBP you get a bigger screen, larger HD, and a still valuable DVD Drive (regardless of what Apple Thinks about that). If I was in the market for a laptop, I would just get the MBP now.

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