What's my best bet--Pro or Air

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MacNovice35, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. MacNovice35 macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2010
    I'm debating between a new Air or Macbook Pro as my first Mac. Right now, I use an older Thinkpad for work, but, even though it's only 14", it's kind of a chore to travel with (admittedly, much of that is TSA's fault). It also doesn't have the best battery life.

    I'd rather travel with something more convenient, but I don't know enough about Macs to figure out what is best. 13" pro? 11" Air? All Greek to me, even after reading around here.

    Uses would be general productivity--email, browsing the Internet, using Citrix to connect to work and, well, work. I might use it for music, though, when on the road, that would more likely be my iPod or iPad pulling that duty. Likewise on movies, unless I get really bored in a hotel room and want to watch something that I can't on the iPad (espn360 comes to mind). The machine might see similar use in my home (my Thinkpad is usually docked). I don't game (I have a 360 and a Wii for that), I don't edit videos, and I rarely do anything with photos that I take other than crop them.

    Any suggestions as to suitable machine and configuration are welcome.
  2. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    Go for one of the macbooks or macbook pro's. The air's use old underpowered processors, maybe 2 years old technology, and will be slow for pretty much anything. Their hard disks are too small too and I don't think they even have ethernet ports.
  3. rnelan7 macrumors 6502


    Nov 9, 2009
    For your uses I would say get a Macbook Air. It is great size for travel which seems to be your top priority. You needs aren't too heavy either so it will perform very well for you.
  4. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    I'd agree, you seem to be exactly the target market for the Air. I think you'll probably appreciate it's size when traveling, and you'd never run into it's power limitations.

    Consider the larger drive and/or the RAM upgrade, but neither would be 100% essential, just beneficial. I think working with Citrix especially, the RAM upgrade to 4GB might come in handy.

  5. wirelessmacuser macrumors 68000


    Dec 20, 2009
    I agree, there's nothing slow about the new MBA. I
    bought one to use while traveling.
  6. rnelan7 macrumors 6502


    Nov 9, 2009
    It seems the ssd is underestimated and the processor speed gets the highlight or lowlight if you will. Unless handbrake or another intensive program is being used this is a very fast computer.
  7. Velin macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2008
    Hearst Castle
    Unquestionably, get a Macbook Air. Macbook Pro is nice machine, but they are heavy and can be a chore to lug around. Macbook Air is significantly lighter and you will be much more likely to take the Air with you. Concerning 13" versus 11", go to an Apple store or third-party retailer and look at them to make your decision.
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I like my portable computer to have Ethernet. It's not as old school as you think. Even in places like Tokyo, where the cheapest hotels will provide free internet, usually require an Ethernet port.

    Otherwise, the computer is absolutely fine for you. You're essentially paying a lot for a 3 year old CPU, but speed is almost always the price you pay for portability.
  9. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    For YOUR stated needs, the Air is the best choice. The popular thought here would be the most powerful machine one can get, the best value, and the most "future-proof". What most fail to realize is what tool do they need. For you, portablility is key. What you do with a computer wouldn't tax an iPad (save Flash). So the Air, while not the best value, performance-wise, is best suited for you.
  10. rhinosrcool macrumors 65816


    Sep 5, 2009
    In the past, I had a Thinkpad T61. It, like yours, had a 14" screen. While being light, for a Thinkpad, it was a bit of a chore to lug. If you want to stick to the Thinkpad line, I recommend the T401s. Not only does it weigh less than the T61, it is slimmer.

    If you want to try a Mac, I agree with the majority here on getting a mba. Even though the 13" mbp is a nice machine, the weight will be noticeable. Either the 11.6" or the 13.3" would serve you well. As far as the specs, for you, I would upgrade the ram to 4gb. FYI-Apple offers a usb ethernet adapter for $29.
  11. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    If important to someone, this is easily addressed on the MBA with the $29 Apple USB Ethernet adapter, no?
  12. BanjoBanker macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2006
    Mt Brook, AL
    Add my vote for the 11.6 MBA. Go for the 128 gig and add the RAM and you will be happy for several years to come.:)
  13. Barnzee macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2010
    Oak Harbor, WA
    The best advice I could give you is to go to the store and test drive them both so you can really get a feel for them both. Then decide whats more important the instant on and light weight of the Macbook Air, or the Macbook Pro that will give you more options such as an optical drive.

    After seeing both I think it would ease the chances of buyers remorse once you choose one over the other. Its about what you want out of the computer and if it meets your needs thats important.

    I would go with the Macbook Pro personally. More bang for the buck. But to each his own.

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