Trying to Move from MBP 17 to MBA 13

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cherishzm, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. cherishzm macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2011
    I'm perfectly happy with my 2010 MBP 17 AG but I just want to try the new MBA 13 as my main work/home computer and see if it will satisfy my needs. I'm getting a used 2011 MBA i5 1.7GHz with 256GB SSD in a couple days and want to replace the 2010 MBP 17 with the MBA.

    I know it'll be a definite downgrade but considering what I do on a daily basis I think it might be ok. I currently use my MBP 17 at work for web-based ERP system, Office for Mac 2011 (Outlook, Excel, Word, PPT), Quickbooks on Windows 7 via Parallels, very occasional Photoshop/Illustrator and have about 15~20 windows open.

    I'm going to use an external monitor (22-24") on a desk at work but will just use MBA at home and I think having MBA would get much more usage at home since it's just much more portable than MBP 17.

    I'll be ok with the size of SSD and will use external HDD at work and I don't do anything heavy on Windows 7 but little concerned with 4GB memory.

    What do you guys think of this move? I know I don't need to do this but just want to try something else :D
  2. MrRoyksopp macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2010
    I went from a 15" to a 13" mbp, and it actually worked surprisingly well.
    You might consider, in the beginning at least, to have an external monitor home as well. The 13" display will feel very small in the beginning, but after a week or so, you will get used to it.
    According to the usage, I don't see any problems. I use my 13" mbp to pretty the same things, and it works perfectly well. (Mba and mbp has almost identical specs)
    But looking at the ssd capacity, you could consider buying a small external harddrive, but overall word documents and etc. doesn't take any space whatsoever.

    The only thing I see could be a minor issue in the beginning, would be the smaller display. But with time, you will not notice.

    Sounds like a solid change imo.
  3. KohPhiPhi macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2011
    I took the same move a while back: I changed a 17" monster laptop for a compact (yet plenty powerful) 13" laptop + external monitor combo.

    That way I keep good mobility while I'm on the road, but without giving up on the real state while I'm on my desk.
  4. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    Depending on what I do I use either MBA 13 or MBP 17. Your usage doesn't seem particularly heavy and you should be happy with MBA. The 4GB RAM is fine for Windows under VMWare or Parallels. Personally, if I am to use Windows, I use my MBP which has more RAM, but MBA does a pretty decent job with it as well. Crossing my fingers the next MBA will see more RAM, but until then, the existing one is fine.
  5. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    I just went from a 15" to a 13" MBA. It hasn't arrived in the mail yet, but I've used a 13" MBA before and just wanted it again because of its speed and portability.
  6. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    If you look around in the Air forum you'll find posts by people who've made the change and are really happy with it.

    Do you need or want a screen larger than 13" for use away from the desk where the external monitor is? Whether that's on the couch, a hotel room, meeting, or sitting on your porch ... if you're fine with a max screen of 13" in those situations you'll really enjoy the Air, it's so thin and light, yet fast and quite capable.

    If you're going to miss 17" of mobile screen real estate then you may be better off keeping the 17".

    I've tried both set up's and they each have their merits but for my workload and needs I ended up with both a 17" MBP and a MacBook Air, very happy with them and they both get used heavily.

    Post back how you like it once you have it set up.
  7. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    I wouldn't downgrade. Smaller screen, weaker CPU, 4GB ram limit.

    In your place, I would at least wait for the next generation of Airs (and maybe that 15'' Air that is being rumored).
  8. lexdiamonnyc macrumors member

    Feb 29, 2012
    I went from a C2D 17" MBP to an i7 13" MBP and I couldn't be happier. For me, the portability is much more appealing than the larger screen.

    Didn't go with a MBA because I still wanted some upgrade flexibility...
  9. chilady1 macrumors member


    Dec 29, 2011
    A friend of mine has a 17 inch MBP and I have to say that thing is a monster! As a matter of fact, he calls it monster. Now it makes sense that he brought the 17 MBP because he wanted a replacement for his desktop and he "sometimes" takes it out. Not often.

    When I went to purchase my first MBP, right out the gate I knew it would come down to either the 15 MBP or 13 MBP. As I went back and forth between the two models at the Apple store, I felt even the 15 MBP was to large. I settled on the 13 MBP and couldn't be happier. I have a desktop at home, so it didn't replace that. I felt the screen was the right size, not as small as the 11 inch but not as large as a 15 or 17. And it was light enough that when I take it with me, it doesn't feel extremely heavy. I love my 13 MBP and really feel like it suits me. If you haven't already, visit an Apple store where you can really do the side-by-side compare to get a better picture of whether the 13 MBP will work for you. Good Luck!
  10. NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    I don't think you will have issues. You will at first have the "wow that thing is tiny" shock, but a 13 inch screen is very usable. For your needs, the Air is plenty fast. With that said, I would wait until the new MBP is released as it may come out with a 13 inch that is almost as small as the MBA, but with additional features.

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