Weird situation MBA 11" vs MBP 15"

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Duyster, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. Duyster macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2011

    I was planning to wait for the Air refresh to buy myself a Macbook Air 11" Ultimate. I would use this device as secondary machine next to my iMac. The Air would be used for pages, pdf's, browsing, and other college related stuff. The heavy work would still be reserved for my iMac. The main selling point for me is the extreme portability of this device.

    The "problem" is that my grandparents just bought me a Macbook Pro 15" as a (big) present for my birthday and they told me about it àfter they found out that I was actually going for the MBA. Very embarressing moment, for either of us.. It has been less than two weeks ago so it can still be returned and I would get an MBA instead. At first I would not do such thing, because it's a present and it's extremely rude to sell it or return it. But we talked about it and they persuaded me to think about it.

    It's a MBP 15" 2,2ghz i7 qcore, 4G ram, 750HDD, AMD 6750 1G DDR5.. (actually the standard second option for the 15")
    If I would keep it, it would overpower my iMac (besides the larger screen) as it is a early 2009 model with a C2D 2,93 Ghz, 4G ram, ATI 4850 512mb. So I fear that I won't be using it that much, and that I rather could sell it to buy a screen. But I fear that I won't be carrying it around as much as I would if I had the MBA. I believe it's far less portable (although it has better battery life..).

    My question is:
    - should I return the MBP 15" to get a MBA 11"? This leaves me with an iMac 09 for the heavy work and the light MBA for taking notes, carrying around, travelling, etc. ?
    - should I keep the MBP 15" and sell my iMac to buy a screen?

    It is a very strange situation as I haven't even thought about the 15" before because it's waaay too expensive for me.

    Any thoughts?

    p.s. sorry for the language, English is not my mothertongue.
  2. dacapo macrumors 6502

    Jan 25, 2010
    It sounds like a cultural thing more than anything else, so I'd keep that in mind.

    But the logistics are kind of awkward as well, if you return the MBP, since the Apple Store will likely credit your grandparents' credit card or bank account, and you will not see any of it. Yes, your grandparents *could* accompany you and help you select an MBA 11", if that's an option. (Now, I don't know about you, but I'd think it'll be rude if you asked them to give you the rest in cash or whatever. So, in this scenario, you'd gain the MBA you want and save your grandparents a ton of cash.)

    If you keep the MBP, you probably should plan on keeping it and selling your iMac, since it's not a small gift by any standards.

    My recommendation: Don't let the money part of it get the best of you. You don't want to use this chance to milk your grandparents for as much money as possible. Get what you need, save your grandparents some money today. Then, I'm sure that they would be happy to show you their love for you in other ways in the future.
  3. Apple Expert macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    Depends on what your going to use it for. If it's just school work such as word processing and email. Any MacBook will do just fine. If you want the thinness of the MBA then go for that. Gotta be happy with what you have. Exchange or sell if you need to complete that happiness.
  4. michaelz macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2010
    Nice problem to have. I suggest the new maxed out MBA 13", rumored to be released tomorrow. MBP is too heavy.
  5. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    If you grandparents are okay with you returning it, then just go ahead. I doubt they want you to feel disappointed so it should be a win-win situation if you return it (you get MBA which was your goal and they make you happy, which is their goal).

    On the other hand, the decision depends on what you do. If you do something CPU intensive, then the MBP is a lot better option as it runs circles around your iMac. If you don't do anything intensive, then the iMac+MBA combo sounds good for you.
  6. jlblodgett macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    The 15" Macbook Pro you received is better than the MBA (including the not-yet-released updated MBA) in every category save 1 -- size/portability.

    If what you really want is a very lightweight, very portable computer - go with the MBA when it gets refreshed.

    Otherwise - enjoy your gift!!
  7. dacapo macrumors 6502

    Jan 25, 2010
    My vote is for this too.
  8. lixuelai macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2008
    The MBP 15 isn't that heavy to carry around classes unless you bring a ton of books. If I were you I would seriously consider how much you consider "heavy" and then make a decision. You can probably sell your iMac and get the 27" ACD or a 30" from Dell etc to use it with the MBP while in your room. The main benefit of the MBP is that everything you have is on it which is convenient come vacation or times when you need more computing power on the go.
  9. Mac32 Suspended

    Nov 20, 2010
    Keep the MBP 15'!!! Yes, it's larger and heavier than the MBA 11', but it's also a much more versatile machine. You can play hi-end computer games on it like Crysis, and you have a good 15' screen for more serious work. I have both myself, but if I had to choose only one, I would go for the MBP 15', it's a much more powerful machine. :)
  10. Alvesang macrumors regular


    Sep 4, 2010
    Due to the MBP being a lot faster than your current iMac, I'd sell the iMac, get a 27" Cinema Display instead, use the MBP as a desktop and try the MBP as a portable solution as well. If you really find it too bulky and heavy to carry around get the MBA later.
  11. bossxii macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    Kansas City
    Since you have an iMac I would go for the MBA for sure. As far as "logistics", no worries, if you have the receipt it won't be an issue for the swap. Worse case they will just credit the card they paid for the 15" MBP and give you the MBA.

    I hope the MBA is updated tomorrow... but not counting on it. I'm holding out for the SandyBridge MBA (tomorrow or later this year) as I can't bring myself to buy a C2D $1000+ laptop in 2011. Just makes no sense to me.

    Either way, you will have a very nice laptop. Good luck!
  12. hipollito macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2010
    This is totally what I would do, I have the MBP 15" and I take it from my home to the office it´s not that heavy and you have more computing power.

    If you use it with an ACD as a desktop you will also have the extra 15" display from the macbook, I think its a great setup. Later get the MBA
  13. orfeas0 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 21, 2010
    Athens, Greece
    i don't suggest a 15" for portability. i say you return it and get the new MBA (which is supposed to go out on wednesday). the imac seems fine for many tasks, and you'll have a really portable and quite fast machine.
    once again, i wouldn't recomment the 15" if you need to carry it every day (or ever second day, even)
  14. Thenubsauce macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2011
    get the MBA

    Your two options aren't actually balanced. If you sell the iMac, and get a screen, you still don't have portability that a MBA provides. If you are happy with your iMac, and you don't need to do any more heavy duty stuff, then you should go with the MBA.
  15. dommeister macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2009
    +1 for swapping for the 13" MBA.

    I would wait for the upcoming Sandybridge refresh before buying the 13" MBA but would return the 15" MBP now.
  16. fkhan3 macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2010
    I recommend this too. I run a similar setup, have a 17" MBP that I have connected to two external monitors and MBA is my portable solution. Works really well.
  17. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I'm absolutely in the keep the MBP and get external monitor camp. That MBP is a killer machine and it'll save you having to worry about backing up 2 computers or having to transfer your files between both.

    Sell iMac, get Cinema Display.
  18. MadMac84 macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2007
    Here is what I would do in your situation:

    1. Keep the 15" since you said it will over power your current iMac.
    2. Sell your iMac and use that money toward a Macbook Air

    You never expressed the option of just having 2 laptops. You can never be too portable in college. This is great if you need to bring a powerful computer somewhere you'll have your 15", and the rest of the time just bring your Air around. You did say that you were going to buy yourself a Macbook Air, so you have the money.

    Seems like this would be your best option since it would make you completely portable, give you the ability to have a light computer and raise your "powerful/faster" machine to a higher level. (and you can play computer games on your 15" :) )
  19. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    i bring a small bag (waterfield vertigo) to school with paper, pencils, and ipad. it's very light. in class i take notes by hand. in between classes i read on the ipad (all my books, papers, handouts, etc. are digitized) and take notes by hand. at home i scan my notes into pdf form and throw the paper away (recycle).

    i think the computer is a distraction in class. i also learn better taking notes by hand. i type them up later (if necessary) when i am reviewing. i use my mbp 13 for this.

    i liked the suggestion of accepting the mbp 15, selling the imac, and purchasing an mba. but, you might also want to consider an ipad. either way, you don't necessarily have to carry the mbp to class.
  20. s2dio macrumors regular


    Oct 28, 2010
    Riga, Latvia
    I also think tha's a good idea, although a bit strange as you've considered other options. But having a powerful 15" MBP replace your iMac is a nice thing, as it has more up-to-date internals and processing power plus a relatively large screen. And you can indeed sell your iMac and replace it with a MBA 11.

    If you'll plan to keep your iMac and replace the MBP with an MBA - I would suggest you to take the 13" ultimate model, as you'll barely notice it being heavier than the MBA 11" but the screen real estate and the resolution will make it a pleasant experience. As well as the larger SSD drive and processor.

    Good luck on your decision!

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