Yet Another Air vs Pro Thread...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Rhyno37, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. Rhyno37 macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    So I'm going into college and looking to get a Macbook. I will state first that I built my main rig for games, so this computer is more of an accessory to tote around the house and at school.

    I'm looking at the both the base models of the 13" MBA and 13" MBP. This laptop will be used for writing papers, iTunes, browsing, and maybe some indie games. I've already done a lot of research, and can some person explain to me why anyone would pick a Macbook Pro over an Air?

    They both have the same screen size and run time. The Air has a higher resolution screen, and an SSD. The Pro has a "faster" processor on paper, but from looking at benchmarks they perform the same. The only advantage I can see to a Pro is that you can customize it more. The only thing I like about the Pro is that feels more like a true laptop, where as the Air feels like something else because its so thin.

    Is there something I'm missing here? Does the Pro have a trick up its sleeve I don't know about?

    At this point I'm leaning towards the Air, am I headed in the right direction?
  2. aonali21 macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2011
    I only say that want to save money in short term then buy mackbook air and if you want to save mony in long term then buy mackbook pro.........!
  3. treestar macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2010
    Yes, the Air is perfect for what you want to do. I'm not even sure why you didn't mention the 11" model.

    The MBP is about half a year older, which is one reason it doesn't seem to compare. It has faster processors. I don't know why you say that performance is equal. The MBP also has an optical drive, which maybe meant something three years ago, but yes, now it is just useless. MBAs just got their backlit keyboards back. Finally, the MBP has a Firewire port which is absolutely necessary for certain pro users, especially in pro audio. Also, if you don't want to use relatively slow WiFi all the time then I bet you'd like to have an ethernet port.

    The MBA is brand new and great. The MBP has a couple additional features that some people can't do without. Get the MBA and maybe be open minded to other users having additional needs.
  4. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    He'd be paying more for the baseline 13 inch Air? I'm guessing he's going for that as he wants to play games and he said "both have the same runtime".

    And he said he was looking at "the 13 inch Air/Pro"

    Aside from that note; you should just read the threads around here. if you obviously know it's "another Air/Pro topic", why not save everyone the time and just read for yourself?

    But Macs aren't known for gaming. First and foremost. If gaming is primary or a big thing, get a windows machine. Alienware has great machines and you can get a real value for your money there (at least way better than Macs).

    Now if you still want a Mac for whatever reason, the 13 inch MBP will be a good machine. Personally I think the 15 inch is what you need since it has a dedicated graphics card, however if that's out of your range, the 13 Pro will be just fine.
  5. treestar macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2010
    @Young Spade

    The OP said he already has a gaming rig. He built it. It's probably a PC.

    Now he wants a small laptop for school and will only play small games on it.
  6. Blaine macrumors 6502a


    Dec 3, 2007
    Abilene TX
    I think the air sounds better suited for you. It has more sex appeal than the 13" mbp too. :p
  7. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Well then you can cut out that one sentence in the middle? Thanks for meta-editing my post that was, overall, productive, rather than just omitting that slight error.
  8. Man9z0r macrumors regular


    Feb 25, 2011
    SLO, CA
    First off I don't really understand the point of your post since you seem to already have a strong mindset on the AIR.

    The PRO is more then just a faster processor on paper. It really has a faster processor. Add an SSD drive to the PRO and it has amazing performance. Not to mention you have a ODD. Which being a student myself gets used all the time. I have three classes for fall that has DVDs that came with the books. Also out of what I have been reading the PRO doesn't have the limited TB port that the AIR does. Plus the PRO has two USB ports. You are also able to upgrade the PRO which adds to its longevity. Then to top it all off being a college student I am able to carry a couple more lbs. of weight to save a couple hundred bucks. :cool:
  9. Rhyno37, Aug 12, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011

    Rhyno37 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    I was making this thread to basically see if the Pro has any strong advantages over it. Also, the Air has 2 usb ports as well, one on each side.

    I don't understand why they don't give the Pro the same screen resolution as the Air, when comparing the 13" models.

    I'm wondering what will happen in the next update for the Pro, but I feel like that is still a long time away.
  10. cz9h3d macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2009
    I just bought a 13" MBP- much lower price than a 13" Air with the larger SSD ($909 with the recent Amazon 20% off promotion via Kindle). Just a home computer - but I do like having firewire for some of my peripherals.
    I debated a 13" Air, with the larger SSD. However for my usage it really didn't make sense to spend the extra money.

    If I was a college student who was going to be carrying this around - and I had the extra $$$ to spend, then I would get the 13" Air - hands down.
  11. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Well since the Pro hasn't been updated recently (the 2011 was just to put SNB and TB on it) I don't see why they won't in the future. It's like upgrading your coffee with an extra shot of espresso and wondering why it doesn't have caramel and whip cream.

    Wait until they release the actual, big update. I think the MBP will definitely show some power in the next update.
  12. njsa04playa macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2010
    new joisey
  13. winston1236 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2010
  14. Rhyno37 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    That's what I'm thinking, even an overhaul of the Pro, maybe the inclusion of ivy bridge? Only problem is I don't see that any time soon, Q1 at the earliest from what I hear, and that's being optimistic.

    Problem is I need/want a laptop now. I figure ATM the air is the better pick, and worst comes to worse if the next Pro is beastly, I could sell my air and upgrade...
  15. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    As for strong advantages. You can have 8GB RAM over 4GB which will give it a much longer lifespan. You can also add any standard 2.5" SSD rather than hunting down some specialized odd shaped SSD used in the air. Further you can remove the optical drive and use it for a hard drive bay. Then you can have a great mix of speed and storage with a 128GB SSD and a 1TB hard drive.

    Given that your uses are light and don't require lots of storage. Than yes the Air makes much more sense. For people that need a much more upgradeable computer with many more ports the Macbook Pro is the clear choice.
  16. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Now that I think about it, I don't understand why people get the Air, unless it's an 11 inch model, the Pro is pretty much better across the board. And cheaper. And upgradable.

    For people suggesting the Air, are you doing it because it's lower spec'd? It seems like people suggest the Air because it's worse... when it's more expensive... only to save 2.5 pounds.
  17. treestar macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2010

    Young Spade, I suggest the Air because it comes standard with the SSD. Most people are just browsing Facebook, constantly, and some like to stream Netflix. Second best features of the Air are the weight and the higher resolution screen, but really I think the SSD is the best part, and for $999 the 11" is a good deal. I haven't seen the price of the 13" in a while, but it is still probably a good deal compared to a MBP with the factory upgrade to an SSD. I don't know, maybe I've been wrong this whole time.
  18. Tali macrumors member

    May 20, 2010
    The Air doesn't have a slot for a lock. I'd love to have an Air but it's just not possible on campus for me.
    Sure you can take the Air with you wherever you got, but what about the library? Need one book, carry laptop around... restroom? Carry laptop around.

    I also work on campus and sometimes I need to leave the office for a couple of minutes, I don't want to carry the laptop around all the time or lock it in a drawer every time...

    Some people have suggested suitcases or pelican (i think) cases, but you are not allowed to take anything like that into our libraries.

    Think about the problem and maybe ask the librarians if you are allowed to have a suitcase etc in the library.

    Now I've seen plenty of people who just leave the Air unlocked. But I don't think it's a real option unless you are filthy rich and set on buying new laptops every couple of weeks.
  19. Rhyno37 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    If the Pro had a higher resolution screen, I would just go with it and upgrade to an SSD. After seeing them both in store the Air's screen looks a lot sharper due to the higher resolution.

    Do the Pro and Air have virtually the same keyboard?
  20. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    All of the MB keyboards from the wireless with desktops to the keyboards on the laptops are exactly the same. That's one good thing about sticking with Macs: consistency.
  21. Kafka macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2011
    The keyboards do not feel the same at all: the Air's is much more shallow, while the MBP's keys have to be truly "pressed".
    Otherwise the size is the exact same.
  22. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    gosh, i guess i never noticed. i have an mbp and i have played around a lot with the airs, but i never noticed a difference. i'll keep my eyes peeled.

    the air screen looks washed out to me and i don't like the bezel on it. i also don't like the idea of paying more for less: less battery, less power, less memory, no optical drive, and less upgradability (i have 8gb ram). you pay a premium for the portability.

    there is nothing wrong with the air, of course, but if you want the most bang for your buck, the mbp is clearly the winner.
  23. Rhyno37 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    Less Battery? They are both rated at ~7 hours run time. Less power? Both Benchmarked within 80 points of each other. Both come with 4gb of memory. One can argue that an optical drive is rarely needed (Its rumored that in the next upgrade the Pro will lose its drive just like the mini did).

    I'll take your point on upgradability, but I think it hardly constitutes the Pro as the clear winner.
  24. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Both models have advantages and disadvantages. Which of them is more important to you is entirely subjective.
  25. Rhyno37 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    I wish the Pro had the higher resolution, as I would just get it. I could wait for the refresh, but who knows when that will be, and I need a laptop now. At this point the Air looks like a better pic.

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