upcoming MBA or MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by eckthroi, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. eckthroi macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2011
    I am looking at buying my first Mac. I want something that will still be reliable 5 years from now so that I can hand it down to the wife and replace my computer then. I am wanting to know if it is wiser to wait and get the refresh of the Macbook Air or if I should wait for the Pro's revamp in 2012? What are the average lifespan's of each of these machines?
  2. iDisk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2010
    Menlo Park, CA
    The only notebook that Steve Jobs (aka Apple) is interested in at the moment are the Macbook Airs ... Why? Because Apple (Steve) did a keynote on them and Apple did advertising on the Airs .... You know when Apple (Steve) loves a product because they run ads on them ... The MacBook Pros are not on steves radar of importance (Haven't seen a Pro ad in awhile) ... Its all about thin and light and the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Air fit that category .... Listen to what Steve said about the Airs, "The Future of Notebooks" and "The Future of Macbooks".

    The 13" MBP is a prime example of what apple thinks about that line of "pro" notebooks (the 11"air has a better resolution the the 13" pro) talk about a slap in the face .... When was the last time Apple held a keynote on the MBP's ?? WWDC09, Apple at the moment cares about thin and light and us air owners should be glad about that.

    The Pro updates were half assed in my opinion. Especially the 13" Model.

    Apple should have done the following:

    13" Notebooks are only Airs

    Get rid of the white macbook and 13" Pro

    The 11" air is the "new" entry Mac.

    The 15" Models come in 2 configs 512MB VRAM and a 1GB VRAM. Hi-Rez screen standard now in either glossy or anti-glare. Standard 7200rpm 750 GB drives with the remaining options being SSD's. Obviously 4GB Ram Standard, and you can keep the SB Processors.

    The usual I/O (ie: Thunderbolt, USB, Firewire).

    Apple is screwing the pro market notebook user. But I'm an Air user (Ultimate) so yea.
  3. GekkePrutser macrumors 6502a


    Aug 18, 2005
    Apple only does keynotes when they significantly update either the design or the features. Same with ads. The MBP update was only a spec bump, not very spectacular (although they could have made a big deal out of the MBP going quad-core).

    The 13" MBP has always been half-assed spec-wise, just like the 12" powerbook always was. Basically it's an aluminium-clad MacBook/iBook. Not really pro, that's just for marketing purposes.

    But to answer the OP's question: I'd rather recommend a current-gen 15" MBP if you'd really like it to last 5 years (and actually get some useful work done on it at that stage). The MBA's are old-tech until they get updated with Sandy Bridge. I wouldn't be surprised if Lion's successor drops support for Core 2 Duo just like Lion dropped support for the old Core 1 Duo.

    The 15" MBP is top of the range spec-wise, even faster in some benchmarks than the current baseline Mac Pro. So it's much more likely you'll get some good life out of it.

    However it comes down to what you need: Portability or Power. Don't really look at the useable lifetime. Macs have an excellent resale value, I usually upgrade them every 2 years or so. I just sold my 2009 13" MBP for 800 euro, which was 350 less than I bought it for. So it doesn't cost too much to stay on the spec-train :)
  4. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2004
    5 years is a LONG Time for a machine in today's computer world, IMHO.

    For longevity, the caveat has always been buy the best you can afford at the time - the most upgraded machines will last the longest.

    You're wise for waiting for a SB or IvyBridge MBA though. Those machines, while still theoretical at this point, will have more life to them than the C2D machines on the shelves right now.
  5. eckthroi thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2011
    Yes, I am willing to wait. I am really wanting to make the switch already but it is more of a want than a need. Short of the PC I have now dying on me I plan to wait for one of the better releases expected in the next year for the pro and the air. I really am interested in the air when it is refreshed, but then I also have heard some say that the lifespan is only 2-3 years on the air. I will be using mostly to take notes and do work for school so the air would be a better idea in regards to portability, however my wife is pregnant with our second child and I am going to school, so I do not know when I can buy another one exactly. This is the reason for wanting it to last for 5 years. I have been saving for a year and a half for this computer and I dont want to be rash in making my purchase. Thank you all for your help and opinions regarding this.
  6. artivideo.nl macrumors 6502


    Jan 10, 2008
    The Netherlands
    This is exactly what is going to happen :))

    [qoute] Apple should have done the following:

    13" Notebooks are only Airs

    Get rid of the white macbook and 13" Pro

    The 11" air is the "new" entry Mac.

    The 15" Models come in 2 configs 512MB VRAM and a 1GB VRAM. Hi-Rez screen standard now in either glossy or anti-glare. Standard 7200rpm 750 GB drives with the remaining options being SSD's. Obviously 4GB Ram Standard, and you can keep the SB Processors.

    The usual I/O (ie: Thunderbolt, USB, Firewire).

    Apple is screwing the pro market notebook user. But I'm an Air user (Ultimate) so yea.[/QUOTE]
  7. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    I agree that 5 years is a long time for a computer to remain your primary machine. A more realistic estimate, it seems to me, would be 3 years, 4 at the most. I did have an old Powerbook G4 for four and a half years before I replaced it with an MBP but the Powerbook was getting very long in the tooth by the time I upgraded. The MBP was only two and a half years old when I got a 13 inch Ultimate MBA but I still use the MBP for some things. I suspect that the MBA will remain my primary machine for about three years but if I had bought a 15 inch MBP with an i7 processor my estimate would have been the same.

    The executive summary of all this is that if you get three years or a bit more out of a computer, which you use as your everyday machine, it will have served you well.
  8. MACENZ, Apr 30, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011

    MACENZ macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2008
    Not like any of you really care... My Macbook 2.0GHz Core Duo is going on 5 years now. At the time I purchased the machine, it was fully loaded..Currently, it's running Snow (i know it shouldn't really be running snow at this point..bloody Apple TV2 Hack). Unfortunately, now it's showing signs of slow load times which is really sad.

    However, seeing that there is a new crop of pros rolling in. I decided to purchase a brand new Samsung 256 SSD on ebay for 350 bones to help her along in the meantime (this way I can swap her in the new machine)...Good idea eh!! Now I can purchase the best of the best next year without having to add a SSD for a million bucks extra..

    Long story short..if you want longevity, you might as well buy a machine that has everything it could possibly handle from a upgrade stand point. You will definitely see 4-5 years max out of that machine. WHICH..when you look at the grand scheme of things, it will help you transition into a far greater machine down the road. Unless.....You have all the money in the world to upgrade every two years (which I think is retarded to begin with). I personally suggest to wait....Good Luck!!
  9. macjonny1 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2006
    Who cares about what ads there are. That doesn't mean those lines of products aren't important to Apple. What a dumb rambling comment.
  10. Ridley macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2011
    I disagree about 5 years being such a long time. I am still using a 64 bit core 2 duo MBP from 2006 and there is no real reason for me to upgrade. I think you'll see with any technology, initially there are frequent, significant upgrades. Remember the jumps in performance in the 90's and early 2000's? It meant, hey i flat out can't go to this website or run this program with this 1 year old computer and i can with a new one.

    Or look at the original iphone. Performance difference between that and the iphone 4 is large. But I think that will start slowing down like it has with computers... as we are already seeing with the increase in time between the iphone4 and iphone5 releases.

    Anyway, that said, i do agree with you that a SB air would be a significant upgrade, especially with the future in mind. I also agree that the RAM should be maxed since that is soldered on. For graphics performance...i think we'll have to wait and see some benchmarks to be able to know for sure whether the SB IGP is better or worse. I know most people on here assume it will be much worse, but Apple has been known to pull rabbits out of a hat before. We'll see.
  11. macjonny1 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2006
    I agree. I just bought a 2011 MBP to replace my 2007 but that's only because one of my kids dropped it and the hinge is cracked. It still works fine and is plenty fast. I think the idea about computers not lasting as long comes from the days of rapidly changing needs (back in the intel 386, 486, pentium, pentium II, etc). Now for what most users need, a computer several years old works great. Look at what we are using now more: tablets, netbooks, etc that have much less power than the top of the line computer AND THEY WORK GREAT!
  12. molala macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Cambridge, UK
    Really depends what you use the machine for (especially work) – some upgrade every 5 years or more and to some it's more cost-effective to upgrade sooner because a faster machine means more productivity and they count on a high resale value. But most portables Apple have produced can last >5 years with sensible care.

    I upgrade every 3 or 4 years on average (4 Apple laptops since 1999). And the last couple of times, I bought refurb or discounted previous generation laptops just when the new ones were released and got really good deals. I have an early 2008 MB at the moment, still does all I need, all parts still working. And for what I use it for, it's still plenty fast.
  13. kazmac macrumors 601


    Mar 24, 2010
    in a Shaw Brothers wu xia
    Interesting analysis gwsat. > My iMac lifespan has been about 3 and half, four years. I would love my next Mac to last four years or longer. Just spoke to a patent attorney at work whose pre-unibody 15" MBP is still going strong four and a half years later despite the drops and other abuse from little ones/commute etc. :eek:

    As for my current iMac, I can only hope it lasts at least 3 more years for my sisters' sake (she's buying it). I regret returning the 13" MBA Ultimate as I've finally figured out a workaround for my wrists. So I'll be picking up another MBA 13" Ultimate sometime in the near future. While the costs are something I could do without, I'm downsizing and both the MBA and the iPad prove I don't need a desktop for my workflow any more. If I need something more powerful in the future, then I'll go 'Pro.' I hope whatever I decide upon will last at least 3 and half years. As much as I love Apple computers, the hassles of the last 15 months make me not want to even go near an Apple Store again for a long, long time.

    And thanks molala for the 5 year time frame, that's great.
  14. gp1699 macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2010
    yeh me too, im running a black macbook 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo 2gb ram, its still going strong and i have never had a problem with it (apart from the case is starting to crack on the outside edge but you wouldnt notice it if you used it)!!!

    im just starting to get tempted by a new MBA or MBP but im unsure to press the button as this one is working fine but would love some new features
  15. MACENZ macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2008
    I know..I hear ya!! I feel the same way..Lion is really @#$% us right now.

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