Which Mac to get 13 MBA Base 13 MBP Base

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Wicked1, Dec 13, 2012.


Suggestion of Which Machine to Keep or Get

Poll closed Apr 12, 2013.
  1. Keep my 2009 uMB with 4GB/500GB SSD

    5 vote(s)
  2. Base 13" MBA 4GB/128GB SSD Upgrade SSD Later

    2 vote(s)
  3. Base 13" MBP 4GB/500GB HDD Upgrade to 8GB/512GB SSD

    8 vote(s)
  1. Wicked1 macrumors 68040


    Apr 13, 2009
    New Jersey
    Ok, so given the chance to get a base MBA for 1000 and MBP for 900, which one would you get. I like the MBA because it is light and has what I need bummer is once I get the base with 4GB or ram, I can no longer upgrade, and SSD upgrade is expensive.

    MBP is upgradable for both the ram and HDD, but it is a little heavier, and not as portable.

    I think in 3 years time they both will be roughly worth same value, however going forward int the future, I think the ram will be limited now in the MBA at 4GB, this is the only concern I have.
  2. Erasmus macrumors 68030


    Jun 22, 2006
    Hiding from Omnius in Australia
    If you're thinking classic MBP, then definitely the 13" MBP. It has a better CPU, and is far more upgradeable than the MBA.

    All Apple notebooks are ridiculously light and portable, so I would personally put no weighting on their weight.
  3. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    The MBP has more processing power, while the MBA will feel "snappier" due to the SSD. If this is an issue, you'll be able to upgrade the HDD on the MBP, but you can't upgrade the CPU(or anything else really).
  4. dmk1974, Jan 8, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013

    dmk1974 macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    The base 13" MBP and base 13" MBA are the same price. Upgrading the MBP to a 128 SSD is about $70 extra (at least that's what I paid for a Samsung 830 128 GB SSD a month or so ago).

    So at that point, an extra $70 gets you the same 4GB RAM, same 128 GB SSD, same HD 4000 graphics, same footprint, and same advertised battery life.

    The differences with the MBP, are:

    * 8% faster processor (per Geekbench scores, even though you'd think 39% faster from 1.8 to 2.5)
    * an extra 1.5 lb (+50%) in weight and thicker machine compared to the MBA
    * lower resolution high glare screen (with better color depth though)
    * integrated SuperDrive
    * ethernet port
    * firewire port
    * further upgradeability of RAM and SSD (this is probably the most important differentiator)

    I think it just depends if you like it thin, light, and fast with a higher-res screen (MBA) but locked in to the configuration you buy vs the MBP trade-offs I listed above. I've been back and forth on this myself and for me, unless I decide I need 16 GB RAM and a 256 GB SSD, the base MBA is the better choice I think.
  5. brig2221 macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2010
    Just my personal opinion, but I cannot stand the MacBook Air screen. Yes it is matte, and yes it is of a higher resolution, but the colors are dark, bland, and muted.

    I will take the nice bright and full color display on the MacBook Pro anyday. Again, just one mans humble opinion :D

    Unless you will be toting your computer around with you everywhere, I think the MacBook Pro is the better choice as it offers you a slightly faster processor, and the ability to upgrade the RAM and Hard Drive (presumably to an SSD) whenever you wish.

    If you do find that you haul your computer everywhere, I think the slim form factor and weight reduction of the Air would be the better bet.
  6. dmk1974 macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    I think that you are right though that the screen is one of the biggest tradeoffs. The MBA really isn't matte, but just not quite as glossy.

    Then, better color depth? Or 27% more native pixels in the same area?

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