Which Laptop for Long Trip?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Howard54, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. Howard54 macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2009
    Hope you can help me with my purchasing dilemma. I will be on the road working on a project for about 6 weeks. I need a new laptop and it will be my only pc for the duration of the trip.

    I am torn between a MBA 13" and a MBP 15". The MBP will be better for the 6 weeks, but after that the MBA will be better for my shorter trips. Any thoughts on which choice might be better? Can I really use the MBA as my only pc for six weeks considering it will have to be used all day for business purposes and for entertainment purposes in the evening?
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    You just have to way the pro's & con's for your situation. If you need to do heavy lifting (video/audio rendering) the MBP is the way to go. If you want ultra portability and only use it for web browsing, word processing and email, then the MBA is the way to go.
  3. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Either really.

    Both have a 7 hour battery.

    The mbp will eat the air when it comes to processing power plus you have a DVD drive built it.

    Tbh it's a tough choice. Me id go for the pro I hate the aluminium band around the screen on the air and it bugs me!
  4. maril1111 macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2010
    i was just wondering since you are considering the 13inch mba why not consider the 13inch mbp, it has both the cd-drive for playing dvd and yet is smaller than the 15inch mbp and lighter, also it is sufficient for business purposes unless you want to do heavy rendering or lifting of some sort.
  5. LostSoul80 macrumors 68020


    Jan 25, 2009
    Without knowing what you'll use it for, it's hard to suggest a laptop.

    Buy a MBA if you need just entertainment and word processing (including powerpoint slides, PDF and whatelse).

    If you need computational power, for, say, rendering or video/photo editing, or other heavy tasks go for the MBP.

    That said, I'd suggest the MBP. While an update it's due within a few months, it's a great investment future-proof.
  6. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    Depends entirely what you will be using it for during those 6 weeks
  7. arcite macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2009
    Cairo, trapped in a pyramid with my iphone
    If cost is not an issue always go with the better/bigger model.
  8. ritmomundo, Jan 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012

    ritmomundo macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    As others say, depends on your usage. Personally, I bought a MBA 11 ultimate on launch, and its now my primary laptop. Compact size and lightweight were important factors for me, so "upgrading" from my old 13" MBP was a no-brainer. I find it ideal for traveling.

    If I had to choose between the 13" MBA and 15" MBP, I would go with the MBA, but again that's just me. Its hard to make a recommendation for you without knowing what you'll be using it for.

    Edit: To answer your second question - yes, the MBA can really be your only computer for business stuff during the day (as long as you're not doing heavy duty video encoding/editing, all other needs should be fine. Even with the heavy duty stuff, the MBA will handle it, but things might seem sluggish. Remember, the MBA is a full powered laptop, its not a kids toy. I'm not sure why people keep wondering if it can't handle things.) and for entertainment at night (movies, music, and pretty much all video games run great). Plus, the standard SSD really pushes the MBA ahead. And if your needs include using DVDs/CDs, you can always get an external drive (about 40-50 bucks off amazon), and plug it in when you need it. For what its worth, I've only needed an external drive once in the past 15 months since I bought my MBA. I was surprised to find out how little I actually use the drive until it was gone.
  9. Stingray454 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2009
    I'd go with the Air - 6 weeks will pass very fast, and if you feel the Air is a better buy after the period is over, you should get that. It can handle everything a Pro can, to be honest.

    Sure, if your work is about rendering large video files 24/7 I might reconsider, but for normal works (notes, surf, word processing and whatnot) the Air is perfectly fine. I do some heavy lifting on my Air, but it's still very usable. Applying a photoshop filter maybe takes 5 seconds on my desktop computer, but 10-12 seconds on the Air - sure, it's slower, but I do that maybe 3 times per day and I don't mind waiting those extra 30 seconds :). On every other use-case it's as fast as my desktop, and usually faster due to the SSD.

    If you don't need to run very heavy apps, the Air is a great choice. Remember, the current Air is as fast or faster than the best MBP was maybe 2 years ago. Yay for technological progress :)

    Edit: The only thing I would chose a Pro for is if you need a ton of battery power. Using an Air a lot during the day will probably get you around 4 hours (more if you use it conservatively, less if you use cpu-intensive apps). If you have access to a power outlet it's a non-issue. If not, the Pro has a big advantage of the battery power.
  10. Longdrive macrumors member

    Dec 6, 2011
    Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
    Lame comment....better depends on what's needed and bigger is just bigger.
  11. Queen6 macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2008
    Putting out the fire with gasoline...
    I have just returned from a month in China with one of each (13" i5 Air & 15" 2.4 i7 Pro) Air you will likely need an external drive, MBP you wont, Air is limited to the games it can play. I would go with a 15" MBP, the Air is what it is, an ultraportable. The lack of storage and discrete GPU result in a level of compromise, the Air is great for business on the go and the odd movie. The MacBook Pro is more than portable enough, packs the power for all your business and multimedia applications with adequate storage. The Air`s major proponent is portability, can you get by on one yes, in the long run a 15" Pro may serve you better, dependent on your usage...
  12. Queen6 macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2008
    Putting out the fire with gasoline...
    Sorry, dont agree the new MacBook Pro`s are significantly faster, the Air`s SSD seduces many, and they are indeed extremely capable machines, however the Pro offers all this and so much more. My 13" i5 air certainly outperforms my Early 2008 15" MBP. The real performer is my 2.4 i7 Macbook Pro it outperforms the Air by several magnitudes in all but physicality, and dont get me wrong I very much like the Air.

    The Air is great for those on the go, and the WOW factor, the MacBook Pro`s are true workhorses...
  13. Durious macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2008
    Calgary, Alberta
    Unsure, aside from gaming I don't really have a preference choice between the two, I can even work with photoshop \ FCP X on either relatively well. I really like the portability. GPU's.... intensive tasks... ohh how I hate thee!!! :)

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