What made you choose the MBA over the MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by barebackbadger8, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. barebackbadger8 macrumors 6502


    Mar 23, 2009
    Wolverhampton, UK
    Got some money burning an hole in my pocket
    Looking at the mba 13" 128gb but upping the ram to 8gb
    But when compared to the MBPr 13" in the uk there is only like £70 difference
    So what was the deciding factor of you choosing the MBA over the MBP?!
    Because when you compare for the extra £70 you do get a lot more in the MBPr
  2. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    The UI on the mba is much snappier and more responsive.
    Its thinner and lighter and has more battery life.
  3. dwfaust, Aug 5, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
  4. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014
  5. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Put a rmbp next to a mba and compare.
  6. barebackbadger8 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Mar 23, 2009
    Wolverhampton, UK
    Wouldnt the UI be the same on the mba/mbp?
    Just wondering if i did get the mba do i need to upgrade the ram?
    Only used for word processing, itunes and web surfing, maybe learning website design on it
  7. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    look here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1756865
    For your use more than 4gb is pointless.

    The mba doesnt have to power the retina screen. Thats why the UI on the mba is noticably snappier.
    Get into the :apple:store and check it out for yourself.
  8. jmoore5196, Aug 5, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014

    jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a


    May 19, 2009
    Midwest US
    The UI is certainly not the same.

    I have both a 2014 13" rMBP and 11" MBA. RAM is maxed out on both machines, as are the SSDs. Both have i7 processors.

    There's a noticeable UI lag on the rMBP; the MBA is indeed snappier. My guess is that the rMBP processor strains (relative to the Air) to push out to all the pixels in a retina display; the MBA has no such constraint.

    That said, I notice the lag only when working on some CC projects ... but it's certainly there. If I had the choice to make all over again, I'd choose a maxed-out 13" MBA and leave the rMBP to mature over another couple of iterations.
  9. barebackbadger8 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Mar 23, 2009
    Wolverhampton, UK
    Wow, thanks for that guys..
    Wouldnt of thought there would be any difference if anything the MBPr would be snappier because of its extra power, but like you say its having to drive an higher res screen

    Is there a refresh due (i know no one knows for certain) in say the next month or is the current MBA here to stay for this year at least?
  10. Dookieman macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2009
    I got it because I wanted an upgrade from my 2007 MBP. It was cheaper, had great battery life and had performance that I needed. I game occasionally and the HD5000 provided enough power for my moderate to light gaming needs. It runs everything I need with no problem.
  11. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    I would still choose my rmbp because you can get the same snappiness by switching to a non-hidip resolution and the retina screen is much, much, much better for photographic work.
  12. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014
    Thanks for the explanation, but I have to admit it comes somewhat as a surprise to me. (Admittedly I have never 'played' with a Retina MBP), but I would have guessed the higher specs would compensate the extra processor work to power the retina screen. Well, knowing this makes me even happier with my Air :)
  13. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2008
    I've been using MBA's since they first came out in 2008. I transitioned from the 13" in 2010 when the 11" was introduced and have been using 11" versions since.

    I travel a lot and mobility is very high on my priority list. The MBA's were and are the smallest, thinest, lightest MACS. They originals had a lot of limitations with respect to capacity and performance but they have matured over the years to be phenomenally capable everyday general use mobile laptops. So the combination of small/thin/light combined with capable CPU/Graphics/RAM/SSD and long battery life in a package with a high quality look and feel (not to mention being Apple's least expensive laptops) make for a very popular machine.

    When I was evaluating a new purchase a few weeks ago the 11" MBA was still the best choice for me for the reasons above. If I was going 13" it would be a harder choice to balance against the 13" rMBP. There its cost/weight/battery life vs retina display, higher spec CPU, potential of more ram and ssd. Both are great machines so it depends on your priorities.
  14. MrMacUser macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2014
    Battery life was the main selling point for me. There is no other laptop that will let you go 12-15 hours on a single charge, which is simply quite amazing.
  15. Ronnoco, Aug 5, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014

    Ronnoco macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    United States of America
    I originally went from a 2010 15" MBP to a 2010 11" MBA. I'd been traveling a lot back then and was tiring of carrying my heavy MBP so I purchased the 11" Air for travel only and used the MBP at home attached to a 27" ACD. I was originally going to buy a 13" Air but when I saw the form factor of the newly released 11", I knew it was perfect for my travel needs.

    After reducing my travel substantially last year, I decided to upgrade my MBP to a 13" rMBP but when I demo'd the new 13" Air, I was extremely impressed with the speed and power of it. Since it was going to be connected to my ACD a lot of the time, not having the Retina screen wasn't a factor. I've since handed down the 11" to my Mom who loves it, and the 15" MBP (with upgraded SSD and 8Gb RAM) to my daughter.

    Couldn't be happier with the 2013 MBA 13". I'll probably never buy another 15" laptop.
  16. flowrider macrumors 603


    Nov 23, 2012
    I have a souped up Mac Pro as my main machine. I needed something for when I travel. I tried an iPad and hated it. I now have an 11" MBA, and it's GREAT!!!

  17. Rchawks, Aug 5, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014

    Rchawks macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2014
    I bought a air 2 weeks ago after reading everything I could find here on the subject since oct. of last year. I have a iPod 5th gen and a iPad 4th gen retina. I finally decided on the air because of near future updates and thought I'd buy the MBPr as a second laptop. My wife would get the current air and I'd of course get the new one to use. I wanted a laptop with as few issues as possible, I felt the air would provide that. For the money spent I'm very happy with what I bought. Btw i5, 4gb, 256 SSD.
    On a side note I love the 64gb Ipadr and use it everyday. I'm finding out I still use it everyday, along with the air sometimes, sometimes when I want to make sure nothing gets spilled or splashed on the laptop. It's in a protective case so it's carefree use. I have apple tv so it's nice to throw the image onto a 60 widesceen sony in the iPad's case as a second screen while using the air.
    By using the iPad for different tasks during the day I really conserve how much battery I'm using on the air.
  18. Saturn1217 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2008
    I'm just not an early adopter. I didn't want to live through the transition of non-retina optimized apps on a retina screen. I have some old apps that will probably never be upgraded to retina that i need for work. Don't want them looking blurry. I also prefer the less glossy screen of the macbook air and antiglare films are nearly invisible on the MBA display whereas on glass you get this sparkling effect (I've been using antiglare films since my 2009 MBP so i knew i'd need one).

    Battery life is fantastic on the Air.

    I will say that while i am happy with what I have the next time around I may reconsider. It would be nice to have the extra ports and by the time i upgrade retina will be pretty standard. Of by then the rumored retina MBA will be perfect :)
  19. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    In my case the MBP sucked as it had a retina screen and made Windows text size way too small when using Win7 via BootCamp. Dumped the MBP and got the MBA 13 i7/8/512 and have not looked back. Battery life is incredible!
  20. Dweez macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
    We've already got 2 15" MBPs in the house, and I wanted a road warrior machine which was both highly portable and performed well.
  21. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Excellent succinct comparison of MBA and MBP.

    This is an excellent post, (with which I agree) and explains very well why I, too, chose the MBA over the MBP.

    Like jimboutelier, I travel a lot and value extreme portability. Moreover, I agree that the original MBAs, while beautifully designed, were underpowered, and had limited capacity. In fact, I used to have a MBP - and it was an excellent computer, but was sufficiently heavy for me to find it uncomfortable for traveling.

    In 2010, after a period abroad, I bought a MBA, and loved it; within a year, I had sold my MBP, and last year, I upgraded to the current MBA model, which is easily the best computer I have ever had.

    As jimboutelier has already pointed out, this combination of small/thin/light (uber portable - I travel a lot, and weight does matter), excellent battery, great RAM (my current MBA is 8 GB RAM), and SSD drive (powerful, fast, reliable) makes it a terrific computer.

    There may come a time when I will buy a retina screen 15" MBP, but its function will be to live as my desktop, boasting a beautiful screen. For travel, nothing, but nothing touches the combination of convenience, portability, power and memory of the MBA.
  22. Meister, Aug 7, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014

    Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    As a non-native speaker I often have a hard time understanding your posts.
    It's almost the only time I ever have to look up words I have never heard before.
    My (especially oral) use of english is generally considered excellent by native english speakers.
    Thank you for teaching me new words!
    And: It's always my goal to be succinct ;)
  23. joshlalonde macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2014
    First of all, I'm going to be programming in college. Half of my course is Windows-only, but I figured for the specs it runs on, I'm getting better value hardware-wise compared to any other ultrabook. In fact, it is the best ultrabook in every way; battery life, graphics, slimness, power! I have yet to find an ultrabook on the PC side of things. Plus you get the best of both worlds with bootcamp.
    I don't see the point of getting a Surface Pro 3 or Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro because they're more expensive and/or have worse specs (battery). Surface does have a pen and all but it's got throttling problems and significantly less battery.
    So it all came down to which MacBook to get. I personally find the MacBook Pro overrated. It has the retina display, but even though people swear "It's a must!" and blah blah, I don't care. I was fine with my screen before the Retina display existed, don't need it now. Unless you do photography or anything visual on your MacBook, you probably don't NEED the display.
    Next I considered performance. Despite what one might think, a college student programmer probably doesn't need an i7/16GB RAM/dedi graphics. Running Visual Studio is fine on my old laptop, so it'll do just fine on a fancy new ultrabook. I determined an i5/8GB RAM/256GB/Intel HD 5000 laptop would suit me just fine. I might get i7, but again, it wouldn't be necessary. I don't need to play games, because I should be doing homework anyways. I'm also not doing 3D stuff.
    Back to screens, I also wanted a mid-size screen. 13.3" suits me fine. A slightly higher resolution than 1366x768 makes it less claustrophobic. I'm one of the few people who don't want a huge screen for programming. I've been programming already for a few years so I'm not ignorant. Mac OS X has multiple desktops and easy swipe gestures that eliminate the need for more screens anyways. If I need to see two things at once, I can use my tablet to look off anyways.
    In terms of portability and battery life, I wanted something slim and light and something that could last a minimum of 6-7 hours DOING more intensive work. SP3 does that much on light browsing.

    And so the choice was clear, I wanted a MacBook Air 13".
  24. AtomicGrog macrumors regular

    Jul 25, 2011
    Simply to differentiate my son and daughters machines. In all honesty the real world difference for the base machines isn't worth arguing over... which is reasonable considering they cost pretty much the same.
  25. Mainsail macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2010
    I bought my MBA from BB for $750, which is significantly less than rMBP. I had an iPad Air, and I want something light and ultraportable with great battery life. I didn't really need both a tablet and a laptop, so sold the iPad and bought the MBA.

Share This Page