To MBA or To MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by MacModMachine, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. MacModMachine macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2009
    currently i have had a huge magsafe fire...and apple has given me 2600 cad + tax in credit.

    for my old notebook and damages.

    now, here is what i normally use my notebook for.

    i use it mobile ALOT, i hook it up to a 23" lcd when i get home.

    i do light stuff on it usually , finances , web browsing , some virtual machines.

    would i be better off with a mini at home (for my apple tv) hooked up to my 23" and the mba for my mobile purposes.

    is the mbp a hot running machine ? , strong ?
  2. aleksandra. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2008
    Warsaw, Poland
    Nothing's better than Air for light stuff on the go ;). As long as you don't expect too much (games, video editing, this sort of thing), you're going to love it. It isn't upgradeable so you need to know its limitations beforehand... no faster SSD or more RAM along the way.
  3. SeanU macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2009
    The main downsides

    1) You can't go higher than 2gb of ram on the MBA
    2) The upgrade paths for the HDD are limited
    3) No firewire, only 1 usb port.

    The upside...

    It weighs 1.5 pounds less, and it is thin.

    If weight is your #1 concern, then go with the MBA.
  4. DoNoHarm macrumors 65816


    Oct 8, 2008
    in addition to use, i think the MBA/MBP debate depends on your buying habits. Even though the MBA is cutting edge now, it's going to get old faster than the MBP. What I mean by this is that the expanding area these days is towards smaller laptops. the tablet pc is just around the corner... So soon the MBA will just be a slow and not so small computer. The MBP while larger, will be able to run many programs 4-5 years down the road but you'll be lugging around the extra lbs.

    If you're well off, and can afford a computer upgrade every two years, go for the mba. if not the pro is the more sensible choice.
  5. FilipH macrumors regular

    May 19, 2008
    Apple Land
    Keep in mind that although the MBA is very mobile and light, the battery life isn't that great. The MBP, although a lot heavier, does have a longer lasting battery life. I love my MBA for travelling around the house with it.

    But the non-removable and sloooow charging battery don't make it my number one mobile choice though.
  6. faxao macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2008
    Milano, Italy
    my personal experience is in favour of the MBA: it is very light and snappy as long as you use it for web browsing, light photo post-production etc..
    Best user experience on a laptop since many years for me.......:p
  7. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    Given the recent battery improvements to the MBP, I highly recommend it over the Air, especially for longevity purposes (just customize it with an SSD if you can, because the SSD's rock).

    Also, the Air is still plagued by the line issue and only allows 2 gigs of Ram.
  8. King t. macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2007
    i would also suggest you go for the new MBP. I just sold my MBA's recently due to the limitations, but mainly bec. REV:C had too many downsides, lines and yellowish display :(

    i just bought myself a unibody MB 2,4ghz with 4gb ram and a OCZ 120gb SSD for 1000$ :D
  9. mls64 macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2009
    Same quandry

    I'm in a similar quandry, really struggling with the decision on an Air (rev B 128SSD) or MBP 13" w/SSD. I travel a lot so the lost weight would be great. I tend to keep computers for a while, my current Dell notebook is 5.5lbs and 4 yrs old, and I only use it when traveling. Otherwise all Mac at home/office.

    The MBP or MBA would mainly be used when out of the office, mainly office apps, but I have to run Fusion/XP as I have a couple of work programs that require Windows. Certainly the MBP would run better, but the MBA might be enough, as the most demanding apps would be Fusion/XP while running OSX.

    I haven't had such a difficult time making a decision about anything ever before. And that includes buying houses, cars, bikes, etc. This one is driving me crazy. I think I would have jumped on the MBA before the new 13" Pro came around because of the better graphics, but now have read about the "line problems" with the MBA. Help please..
  10. MacModMachine thread starter macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2009

    i have narrowed it down to this


    1.86 ghz
    2gb - non upgradable
    128gb ssd - hard to upgrade

    MBP 13"

    2gb - up to 8gb
    160gb - easily upgradable
    spare hdd slot when removing the dvd writer.

    i already have 2 intel 80gb ssd's i want to move into the 13"
  11. CPPMaster macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2009
    I moved from MAC AIR 1.6 to 13" MACBOOK PRO 2.53 , no regrets here, the weight between one and another is not so noticeable on the day by the day. Besides all the good reasons already posted here to move to MACPRO 13".

    P.S. I was afraid that the screen will be an issue if compared with the MAC AIR 1.6, wrong, the 13" after calibration is really nice.


  12. CoreyMac macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2008
    There is honestly little reason to get a MBA over the new 13" MBP. 13" MBP: Better Battery life, Faster CPU, buttonless trackpad, 2 USB Ports, FireWire 800, Kensington Lock, SD Card Slot, SuperDrive, Stereo Speakers (MBA is Mono) Up to 8GB RAM, larger HD capacity, cheaper price, very similar display to the Air now.....and to boot the MBA and 13" MBP have the same exact footprint so the thinness doesnt really matter that're paying for a pound and a half lighter weight if you ask me.
  13. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2009
    I wouldn't say that there are no reasons to purchase a macbook air, but the machine is certainly less compelling than it was when it was introduced.

    Ironically, as the Air has become a much better computer from it's original variation, since October with the other 13" unibody it has been less compelling.

    I think the battery and display on the new macbook pro is what puts it over the top.

    I personally would not buy another Air, and this is from someone who has a rev. 1 that was great.
  14. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I agree and this is from someone who has lusted after the MBA since it came out. Undoubtedly, the Rev B MBA is a huge improvement over the Rev A, and I'd love one, but, and this is key, only as a second computer for a frequent traveller for whom weight matters and for whom non-heavy duty usage. If this is your main computer, bang for buck and in terms of comparable spec, then the new 13" MBP has to win hands down.

    Cheers and good luck
  15. miatadan macrumors member


    Apr 23, 2006
    Sudbury,ON , Canada
    I would consider MBA over MBP if the MBA had 4 GB memory instead of 2 GB.
    Having 1 usb input not big issue if you have usb hub. MBP has 2 usb, so you would need usb hub as well. Having firewire is main advantage for those using computer for audio applications or music server. Apogee Duet is only firewire for exsample.

  16. mls64 macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2009
    Thanks. I just bought a 13" MPP 2.26/4gb RAM/128GB SSD, found a deal I couldn't pass up. Can't wait for it to arrive.
  17. Detlev_73 macrumors 6502


    Jul 20, 2004
    Roswell, GA
    It's only a matter of time :cool:
  18. aaquib macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    Made the switch as well. Everything else is simply faster and the trackpad is an absolute joy to use. It's just so smooth and precise when scrolling around. And the gestures feel much more natural.

    The weight...That's something that's going to be hard to get used to. The MBP feels a LOT heavier to me than the MBA. It's not something I get joy in taking around. However, the power easily makes up for it to me.
  19. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    I thought that was happening with the Rev C. By the time the Rev D comes out people will want 8 gigs.;)
  20. bobsaget611 macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2008
    I had an Air for over a year and just got rid of it for a 15'' MacBook Pro.

    WOW... I'm so impressed I would never go back to an Air. Sure, the air was cool looking and thin but when it comes to be able to watch a video for over 5 minutes it just didn't work for me. HD video... forget about it.

    If you need a computer for more than word processing and VERY simple internet don't get an Air or you will be doing yourself a disservice.
  21. aleksandra. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2008
    Warsaw, Poland
    That's what you get for buying a revision A... the issues you speak of were actually fixed, so please don't spread misinformation.
  22. bobsaget611 macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2008
    I call horsesh*t. Look at the air forum and see all the people complaining of performance issues. As much as everyone would love to see the Air be a great machine, as I did being an early adopter, the truth is it just can't compare to a machine such as the MacBook Pro. The Air is awesome for anything but video, that is simply the truth.
  23. aleksandra. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2008
    Warsaw, Poland
    "Anything but video" isn't exactly "word processing and VERY simple internet" you've talked about earlier ;). I actually disagree with this statement as well... for example video playback has been significantly improved, but still none of these laptops would be any good for video editing.
  24. xciteboy macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2006
    I purchased a Rev A Macbook Air as soon as it was announced. It's a pretty sexy machine, and never failed to elicit admiring/envious looks and comments when I was out and about with it. It's extreme light weight made traveling with it a joy.

    HOWEVER: I began to get quite disenchanted with it before long. While I still love the weight and look of the machine, it turned out to be completely impractical for almost any computing task. Just scrolling through web pages on Safari would bring up the dreaded beach ball -- not for very long, but long enough to cause a slight lag that became more and more annoying. I was not doing any heavy lifting with this machine - literally using it for web browsing, a little bit of listening to music/podcasts, and the occasional Word or Excel creation and editing. The performance for just web browsing - and don't get me started on trying to view HD video or even just YouTube - was completely unacceptable. Lastly, the battery life was poor - and charging the battery took forever.

    Yes, this was a Rev A and I know some work has been done on these issues. But once around the block with the Air was enough for me. I just ditched it in favor of the high-end 15-inch MBP and I'm never looking back!

    MBP Pro - even the 13-inch - is so much more powerful and has such tremendously better battery life that it's hard to imagine people seriously considering the Air at this point - except as an overpriced fashion accessory.

    (FYI I've been all Mac for the last 8 yrs - this is no Apple flame, not even an Air flame. Just a perspective from an early Air adopter who was extremely disappointed with it and is now incredibly happy with a MBP.)

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