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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

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MacBook - Air vs Pro


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Sean R

 
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A couple of days ago, I bought a 15" 2.8Ghz Macbook Pro, but I haven't opened it yet. I'm still debating whether I should take it back and get a MacBook Air or not. The main reasons I would want to keep this one is because it has a pretty beast CPU and GPU, a bigger screen, an SD card slot, and a CD drive. The main reasons I would want the MacBook Air is that there is a very slim chance of it overheating (haha), I could put an SSD in it and it would be on par with the price of the 15" and make it faster than the 15", and it's just awesome. So which one should I get/keep?
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XJ-linux

 
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I have both. Either one is a great computer. Depends on what you need it for.

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mdfuller

 
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I understand that the SSD will be faster than a traditional drive. However, will the slower processor, less memory, and smaller video card actually make the Air slower even with the SSD?
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mckimchi

 
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I highly doubt the Air will be faster.
Macbook Pro has better specifications and more futures. (CD drive etc.)
The air's best part is the slimness, nothing else really.
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CrimsonRequiem

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean R View Post
A couple of days ago, I bought a 15" 2.8Ghz Macbook Pro, but I haven't opened it yet. I'm still debating whether I should take it back and get a MacBook Air or not. The main reasons I would want to keep this one is because it has a pretty beast CPU and GPU, a bigger screen, an SD card slot, and a CD drive. The main reasons I would want the MacBook Air is that there is a very slim chance of it overheating (haha), I could put an SSD in it and it would be on par with the price of the 15" and make it faster than the 15", and it's just awesome. So which one should I get/keep?
Putting in an SSD doesn't necessarily mean that it will be faster. Sure it will boot up faster, and open application faster. However depending on the CPU and the task that you will be doing the MBP will do it faster.

Why not just stick an SSD into your MBP then if you want fast?

Thin is nice but it sacrifices a lot of things to be just thin, and I can't justify the pricing at all.
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Sean R

 
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All I need is someone to convince me. If anyone has strong feelings for one side, then let me know what you think and be biased.

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Originally Posted by CrimsonRequiem View Post
Putting in an SSD doesn't necessarily mean that it will be faster. Sure it will boot up faster, and open application faster. However depending on the CPU and the task that you will be doing the MBP will do it faster.

Why not just stick an SSD into your MBP then if you want fast?

Thin is nice but it sacrifices a lot of things to be just thin, and I can't justify the pricing at all.
I would stick an SSD into my MBP if I could but sadly I don't have an extra $800 laying around. My problem is that every MacBook Pro I've gotten gets hotter than my oven at 400 degrees, but the Air doesn't look like it can overheat.
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XJ-linux

 
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For the record, I have a SSD in my MBP and they are both similar in responsiveness. I really only break out the MBP now for Handbrake encodes (which are CPU intensive), and for heavy Windows and/or Linux VM work (RAM intensive). The MBA chews up everything I throw at it, though admittedly I don't do anything with hardcore graphics or audio processing. And yes, Windows XP/Linux both run just fine via Parallels on the MBA, but definitely a bit slower than on the MBP. Without knowing what the OP plans to do with the rig, it's hard to recommend one over the other as they both work fine for my use.

EDIT: my MBA Rev B 1.86 SSD would overheat during flash video playback of greater than 5 minutes untill I installed Clicktoflash.app and coolbook.app

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Sean R

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XJ-linux View Post
For the record, I have a SSD in my MBP and they are both similar in responsiveness. I really only break out the MBP now for Handbrake encodes (which are CPU intensive), and for heavy Windows and/or Linux VM work (RAM intensive). The MBA chews up everything I throw at it, though admittedly I don't do anything with hardcore graphics or audio processing. And yes, Windows XP/Linux both run just fine via Parallels on the MBA, but definitely a bit slower than on the MBP. Without knowing what the OP plans to do with the rig, it's hard to recommend one over the other as they both work fine for my use.

EDIT: my MBA Rev B 1.86 SSD would overheat during flash video playback of greater than 5 minutes untill I installed Clicktoflash.app and coolbook.app
Web browsing, word processor usage, photo editing, music creation, website design, etc. I also need it to be portable enough to be taken anywhere easily, and people always told me the smaller the better, so I don't know if the 15" will suck at portability or not. By the way, is the Apple computer line going to be updated anytime soon?
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vansmith

 
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Only you can answer this question. What do you want? Do the 15" screen and the additional thickness prove to be that much more burdensome? Most of what you list there you can do on either machine but I say that not knowing what tools you use for each or how much you plan to use each. For all I know, photo editing involves editing a simple photo in Paintbrush or it involves having 20 photos open at the same time in Photoshop. The same goes for music creation.

Is it going to be updated anytime soon? Who knows for sure and truthfully, as you'll see around here, who cares? If the machine works now, buy now.

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speed4tu

 
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I would keep the MBP that you have now over the Air. The air is really only good if you need it to be thin. The battery won't last as long and if you need the cd drive you have to plug it in. The 15" isn't pretty thin also. I have a new 17" MBP and it's not too big to carry around in the same case I used to carry my old 15" in.
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FISHB124

 
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AIR is like the PC of the Mac world. It is boring and can't do diddly squat. MBP on the other hand can handle all of your needs, and more efficiently as well.

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Attimus

 
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MBP is a better computer/ for doing actual computer work.

I've been thinking about getting my g/f a MBA because all she does is Email, facebook, and blog. She is still rocking the $400 acer lappy i got her 2 years ago without a single glitch. Computers last a long time if you don't do much on them.

I use my MBP for photoshop, illustrator, CAD, Revit, and 3dsmax. I got the 15" because it was only $200 more than the 13, but i definately could have gone with the 13". The 15" screen seems enormous for some reason, but when it's in my bag, i can't really see that it is heavy or hard to lug around.

My good friend even carries her 15" mbp around like a book with her binder. (i know she's gonna drop it one day)
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ImageX

 
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The MBP in the poll is the same exact one I have. It's the 17" and I love it, this thing is very powerful. I wouldn't want to give it up for a MBA and lose my CD\DVD drive.

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andr3wkim

 
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It won't be as fast as the Macbook Pro for sure. The RAM is soldered in, and the 9400 in the Macbook Air shares the 2GB RAM.

As far as which one is better is pretty much subjective at this point. Honestly, I don't use the DVD Drive much, and while it is a nice convenience, it adds unnecessary weight in my opinion. Plus, Blu-ray is becoming more popular and I believe all the new Macs with at least a 9400 can watch them no problem meaning the DVD drive would be useless in a couple of years, so I don't see having the drive built-in is that great.

However, I ultimately went with the Macbook Pro because I can upgrade the RAM allowing to use the computer for at least another 2 years. Then there's the 1 USB, which is fine but from what I have read from reviews, a lot of peripherals don't actually fit in it.

Good luck on your decision.

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