umbp vs mba

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by tim100, Aug 22, 2009.

?

macbook pro or macbook air

Poll closed Oct 6, 2009.
  1. mba

    11 vote(s)
    19.6%
  2. umbp 13 in

    45 vote(s)
    80.4%
  1. tim100 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #1
    i have a 17 inch umbp. my wife is looking for a 13 inch mb to surf the web and use for email. i have been looking at a umbp or the mba. price does not matter. the only thing is it has to be 13 inches.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    MBA is nice but in terms of usability, MBP wins. MBA has very limited ports and upgradeability. It's not that much smaller and lighter so I would just get MBP
     
  3. tim100 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
  4. ditzy macrumors 68000

    ditzy

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    #4
    As far as I can tell the only advantage that the MBA has over the 13" MBP is that it weighs less. All other advantages seem to be in the Pro's corner. Unless weight is a vital consideration, my advice would be to go with the Pro.
     
  5. aaquib macrumors 65816

    aaquib

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #5
    Well I selected the 13" MBP (on the poll and in my own life), but it's really up to what you need. The MBA is a very capable machine, but the MBP offers more features, more IO, and a faster computer (with faster clock speeds + more RAM).

    But, if you need the portability, nothing beats the MBA in its display category. It's super thin, and the weight difference is really noticeable when comparing a MBA and MBP.

    It's Road Warrior vs. Speed Demon. Only you can make the decision.
     
  6. atticus27 macrumors regular

    atticus27

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #6
    If its gonna be her main computer I'd recommend the 13" mbp. If you have a desktop at home the air will probably do good.
     
  7. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #7
    You'd be wasting your money going for a MBA over a MBP 13". Unless you're wife is toting the computer from place-to-place, there is no need to spend the extra money for a MBA since you're paying for its extra portability.
     
  8. tim100 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #9
    price is not a factor but the air I was looking at was the last model and is cheaper than the mbp.
     
  9. carlosbutler macrumors 6502a

    carlosbutler

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    London City
    #10
    MBA ftw!!! ive got/had 2 MB and use a uMBP now which I think its jolly nice (although its constantly broken and apple keep replacing the hard drive which does bugger all) but I would go for MBA. if its only going to be used for email and browsing the web then its more than powerful enough. its way cooler looking as well, the only thing is if it has back light keyboard. if not then im not so sure as back light keyboard is very useful.
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #11
    If you choose the MBA, make sure it's the model with SSD. HD model uses 1.8" HDs which runs at 4200rpm and that's very slooooooooooow.
     
  11. carlosbutler macrumors 6502a

    carlosbutler

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    London City
    #12
    Yes I totally agree. I have used the MBA and even when running things in Terminal (such as a simple search or editing documents) its dam slow. Go for the SSD. Also that should increase battery life.
     
  12. akutad macrumors regular

    akutad

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Location:
    London, Ontario, Canada
    #13
    Once the mba ships with a 512Gb SSD Drive for an extra $300 then the mba wins. Sign me up when that happens.
     
  13. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Location:
    Bookshop!
    #14
    not gonna happen any time soon, because as far as i am aware, 128GB is the largest 1.8" SSD in production.
     
  14. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #15
    For browsing the Internet, E-mail, Microsoft Office and similar, I would go for the MBA. It's lighter, thinner and more convenient to carry.

    Now if you need a full featured laptop, then go for the MBP.
     
  15. MacKiddyWiddy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    #16
    for simple stuff go with the air for the lightweight good battery life etc but if anything else gonna be done or upgrades are possible then MBP [​IMG]
     
  16. Airforcekid macrumors 65816

    Airforcekid

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    United States of America
    #17
    Refurb 1.8GHZ 128GB SSD MBA would be perfect for $1,350 even a rev A would work nice!
     
  17. devburke Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    #18
    Absolutely MBP. Sure the Air is more portable, but it's not as if the MBP is big and heavy! It's really thin and light too, plus omissions from the Air like a CD/DVD and more than one USB port are pretty major.
     
  18. tim100 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #19
    I never use the dvd drive on my mbp. Also if apple ever releases a bluray they probably will make an add on for the air.

    My problems with the air are:
    1) ram is maxed out a 2 gigs
    2) no glass trackpad
    3) does not have the black boarder
     
  19. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #20
    Given what you said... I would go with the MacBook Air with the SSD.

    My wife and I own a 15" MBP (upgraded with a 160GB Intel X25 SSD) and a 13" MBA w/SSD. We fight over who gets to use the MBA. Basically, if we both want to use a laptop at the same time, she gets the MBA, and I get the MBP

    We struggled over the decision for our 2nd notebook to be either the 13" MBP or MBA... and we are delighted in our choice. It may not seem like a big deal in the store... but the extra 1.5 lbs is significant. The MBA is soooo much more comfortable to hold on your lap. Our computer backpack is much lighter with the MBA and the smaller/lighter power adapter. I have never needed more connectivity than the MBA provides... and the lack of an optical drive is an advantage... because it is becoming as obsolete as a floppy drive.

    If this was your sole machine, I would probably recommend the MBP because of the larger drive and ability to upgrade memory... but as we move our content out to the cloud, even the size of the HDD is becoming less relevant. If I was buying a new Mac for my college age kids... then it would be a MBP primarily for cost reasons. For myself and/or my wife as a 2nd laptop... then the MBA wins hands down.

    Whichever decision you make... spring for an SSD.

    /Jim
     
  20. devburke Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    #21
    I entirely disagree. When floppies went out, CDs were coming in. What's coming in now, the internet? USB drives? Sure for things like audio CDs those can compare, but for entire installation DVDs, and even things like BD, those things can't compete. And even if optical drives were becoming obsolete, how would not being able to use them be an advantage?
     
  21. devburke Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    #22
    I actually also disagree about that. SSDs are nice and all, but at this point their prices are still crazy high. You can get a hard drive with equivalent storage space for literally a fraction of the price. SSDs are better, but the price isn't worth the benefit in my mind.
     
  22. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #23
    The disadvantage of having the optical drive is that it ads weight and bulk to machine. Yes... the internet is displacing the need for installation disks. If you really need a DVD for installation, you can always bridge to a different computer that has a DVD drive. If you do not have a 2nd computer, then a portable USB DVD drive is inexpensive... and for me it is preferable than adding bulk to my computer.

    For backup, ethernet and/or WiFi work fine. For sharing data with other users, cloud based storage does the job fine. Even though we own an external DVD drive... we have not needed it for our MBA yet.

    /Jim
     
  23. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #24
    HDDs will outperform SSDs for the foreseeable future if you are measuring capacity. SSDs outperform HDDs if you are measuring performance. Most HDDs are capable of 100 - 400 IOPs. By contrast a good SSD might deliver 7,000 - 40,000 IOPs. The difference in end user experience is similar to working on dial-up vs broadband.

    Once SSDs reach an acceptable capacity, then performance starts becoming more important. In our desktop computer (PC), we have a 160GB SSD (C: drive) coupled with a 1.5TB HDD (D: drive) for storing data. For us, that combination is a perfect blend of performance and capacity. However, for laptops we do not get the luxury of having dual drives. For my MBP, I have a 160GB SSD which for me is barely sufficient in capacity, but still preferable to an HDD of any capacity. Next year I will upgrade to a 300 GB SSD. The MBA has a 128GB SSD, which is much better than any of the HDD options for the MBA... and for a 2nd machine, the 128GB seems adequate. We also have a 7 TB home server which gives up nearly unlimited "near" data storage. We have a 2TB TimeCapsule just backing up the MBP and MBA.

    /Jim
     
  24. devburke Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    #25
    I'll grant you that SSDs are much better in certain respects. What makes them not worth it at this point though is what you failed to address: price. Just look at this picture:

    Picture 1.png

    Until SSDs become more widely adopted and the prices drop, there's almost no justifying buying one over an HDD for anyone who doesn't really, really need it.
     

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