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

MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, which one should I purchase?


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Ninja_Duck

 
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I was interested in the iMac, but I already have a desktop with Windows so I'm thinking the way to go (for music, movie, photography, etc. needs) is a notebook. I'm not entirely sure what the main difference is between a MacBook Pro and a MacBook Air (other than size). I don't want to spend $2000 on one of these, so I'm thinking the largest size for me is 15-inches or less. I'm having trouble deciding here, so help would be really appreciated. I'm just confused on choosing either the MacBook Pro 13-inch or MacBook Air...
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TomTomTuning

 
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Here is a comparison of most of the macbook's (Macbook, Macbook Pro and Macbook Air)
http://store.apple.com/us/tab?node=h...ntroller&tab=2

The Air was released as a super thin and portable laptop.
The Air has less processor, ram, hard drive space, graphic card. But then again, they've been relatively the same since early 2008.

I personally am not a fan of the Air. I just got a new 15 inch MacBook Pro and i love it. It's actually pretty thin and lightweight.
If your OK with editing photos on a 13 inch screen, then the 13 inch MacBook Pro would be a great machine. But I am loving the 15 inch hi-res screen upgrade!!!

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BeefyBeefo

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomTomTuning View Post
I personally am not a fan of the Air.
I'm not either. In my opinion, they should be able to pack more power into that small form by now. The Macbook Pros are generally small, light and thin enough for the regular user.

Just my .02
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CrimsonRequiem

 
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If you need power then go for the 13" MBP. If you need portability then get the 13" MBP. I hope you see the trend there. >_>"

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veniculum

 
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I'm going to have to (somewhat) disagree with the replies here. I have an early unibody macbook pro 15". I've upgraded it to 4 GB of RAM, and a 7200 RPM 500GB drive. The rest of it is default specs (as if there was anything else you could change)

I also have a slightly newer Macbook Air...with the standard 2GB RAM and (this is key)...the 128GB SSD drive.

I ran a few simple benchmark tests (and I'lll see if I can find the results...I'm pretty sure I saved them)...this MB Air wasn't quite as fast as the pro...but it wasn't as far behind as I thought it would be. (and I had my MB Pro set to all "high performance" settings...no power savings settings)

This is, no doubt, a result of the SSD drive. If you are going to get a MB Air, make sure you go with that option...it will cost you a few hundred bucks more (which is typical Apple marking up the price...SSDs aren't cheap...but they're not Apple's price of upgrade either). Unfortunately, the SSD in the MB Air isn't a standard 2.5" laptop drive form factor...so you can't upgrade to one yourself.

Either way, I bought my Air and since then have turned on a few folks to this machine. And they absolutely love them. I'm talking guys who are power users...guys who aren't necessarily playing games on these machines...but who want performance, nonetheless. Particularly those who were torn between a regular PC laptop, a (higher performance) netbook, or a MB Pro. Obviously, Macs cost more no matter what....so I wasn't going to convince anyone who couldn't afford more than 12-1300 bucks, tops.
But if you've got the cash...and are willing to put down $1700-$1800, you can't beat the combination portability and performance... Once again..SSD drives only. Otherwise, I'd skip on the MB Air.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veniculum View Post
I'm going to have to (somewhat) disagree with the replies here. I have an early unibody macbook pro 15". I've upgraded it to 4 GB of RAM, and a 7200 RPM 500GB drive. The rest of it is default specs (as if there was anything else you could change)

I also have a slightly newer Macbook Air...with the standard 2GB RAM and (this is key)...the 128GB SSD drive.

I ran a few simple benchmark tests (and I'lll see if I can find the results...I'm pretty sure I saved them)...this MB Air wasn't quite as fast as the pro...but it wasn't as far behind as I thought it would be. (and I had my MB Pro set to all "high performance" settings...no power savings settings)
In my opinion it's not a performance issue between the MacBook Pro & the MacBook Air...it's value.

The MacBook Air costs way too much for what you get in terms of hardware specs (including no optical drive on the MacBook Air). Yes you get some styling difference with the MacBook Air (and it's lighter)...but if you removed the optical drive from the MacBook, it would be lighter as well.

Currently you can get a MacBook for $999 vs. $1499 for the entry level MacBook Air. That's 50% more for the MacBook Air with inferior hardware (slower processor, slower graphics, smaller hard drive, and no CD/DVD drive).

So you're primarily paying extra for styling with the MacBook Air.

- Nick

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veniculum

 
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Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
In my opinion it's not a performance issue between the MacBook Pro & the MacBook Air...it's value.

The MacBook Air costs way too much for what you get in terms of hardware specs (including no optical drive on the MacBook Air). Yes you get some styling difference with the MacBook Air (and it's lighter)...but if you removed the optical drive from the MacBook, it would be lighter as well.

So you're primarily paying extra for styling with the MacBook Air.

- Nick
I won't disagree with you. Yes..they are overpriced. But I did state that. Still...if you don't mind shelling out a little more money, and portability is high on your priority list, you really can't beat the Air. No one will change my mind on that. I have a 15" Unibody Pro....my job has just issued me a 13" unibody pro, and I have the Air. So I have experience with all three. The best value is by far the 13" pro...especially the newest ones.

Todd
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veniculum View Post
Still...if you don't mind shelling out a little more money, and portability is high on your priority list, you really can't beat the Air.
No disagreement that the MacBook Air is the lightest & most portable laptop computer Apple currently offers. And it's no surprise that something electronic that is low weight = more cost.

But for me (when we're talking dollars vs. performance)...the $999 MacBook is a MUCH better value:

- superior hardware
- $500 dollars less than the MacBook Air ($600 if you add the cost of the external DVD drive for the MacBook Air)
- virtually the same "footprint" as the MacBook Air (just a little bit thicker)

Yes the MacBook is 1.5 pounds heavier (4.5 pounds vs. 3.0)...but I'm a "big boy"...I can handle carrying around that extra 1.5 pounds!

I remember when (and owned) Apple laptops weighed close to 8 pounds...so a 4.5 pound MacBook is no problem!

- Nick

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- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
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- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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XJ-linux

 
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I loved my MBA and would still have it if I didn't need to run multiple VM's for work on occasion. I'm eagerly awaiting an update (if they don't kill it off). Chuck in 4GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD for a similar price and I'd buy one again. That said, I'll keep my MBP until I can afford something else smaller and faster.

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Munky

 
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I absolutely love my MacBook Pro. I was looking at the Air when I bought the Pro, but was just drawn to the Pro. Friend of mine has the Air and loves it, so like anything else it's all personal preference.

Owner of a MacBook Pro 15"; iPhone 4 32GB; iPad 64GB Wi-Fi
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veniculum

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funfullness View Post
All my friends who have airs regret not getting a pro. Get a pro.
All my friends that have Airs don't regret their decision at all, and have no desire to pick up a MB Pro
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