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

MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro?


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Evn

 
Member Since: Nov 02, 2010
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Hi!

Last week I bought my first MacBook Air 13,3" - 1,8ghz - 2GB RAM - 128GB
I was actually going to get the 4GB RAM on it but they didnt have it in stock, and I didnt feel like waiting a week to get it. So I went with the 2GB RAM, which I kinda regret now, because I will probably be using this MacBook for about 4-5 yrs and I have a feeling that it will last longer the better specs it has.

So, 4GB ram is only a 100$ more.. Twice as much storage space, 4gb ram, 2,13ghz procesor is only 500$ more. Is it worth it? Should I return this MacBook and go with the high end MBA? (A total of 1799$) Or should I go with the MacBook PRO, in that case, which one?

I know I really do not need a super macbook, I only use it for school (Im a student), some light video editing (recorded with iphone4), watching movies, facebook, and maybe play some Call of Duty once in a while, which I by the way know the MacBook Air can handle easily.

SO, which one should I go with? I like the portability with my MacBook Air, and the fact that it is newly updated with flash drive and stuff is pretty much the reason why I went with the MBA.

I know that there is a lot of similar threads like this, but i couldnt fint anyone in the same booth as me that could answer my question so i really need some help here guys :-D

Any help is really appreciated!
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s2odin

 
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Well if you look at the MBP 15, which features an i5 processor, it will be a lot better for video editing. It is a dual core with 4 threads thanks to Intel's Hyper-Threading technology. Also, the MBP has user-upgradeable RAM, up to 8GB which can help with video editing. Yes, the MBA comes with a nice SSD but you could always add a SSD to a MBP. That being said, I think the MBA would be a little cheaper in the end.

Meh just my two cents. I'm not Mac expert but I would take the MBP due to its faster processor, and better upgradability. I don't think you can go wrong with either tho.

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dmw16

 
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At the very least I'd take the Air back and swap it for the 4GB model. The RAM isn't upgradable and I just can't see having a computer for the next few years w/ only 2GB of RAM.

As for the hard drive and CPU upgrade for the Air I don't think I'd spend the money on either upgrade. 128GB to 256GB is 100% increase, but still, both are small. I'd save the money and get an external hard drive that is powered by the USB port.

Then with the CPU you'd want to look at the benchmarks and consider your applications.

Or you could go for the MBP. I am guessing you are thinking the 15"? The 13" doesn't seem worth it. In fact, I like the Air over the 13" MBP thanks to the higher res screen on the 13" Air.
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Evn

 
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Alright thanks, I guess ill just swap the memory from 2 to 4GB RAM and use my external hard drive. Maybe Ill get the all new Macbook PRO when it is released and sell the MBA. Depends on the price and specs on the new MacBook Pro : )
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ckuta

 
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im not sure what niche the air is suppose to fit given the macbook is plenty portable, has better battery life and performance. the other laptops offered by apple make the mba look like a waste of money. unless you live at an airport and really really need to carry as lil weight as possible i dont know why anyone would want an air. even if weight was a concern, the air is 3.3 lbs, 13" pro 4.5 lbs, mbook 4.8 lbs and the 15" pro is 5.5 lbs. most laptops cant claim to be as light as 5.5 and give the same performance. add to that, you are likely going to need to carry an external drive with the mba, adding to the weight and a disc drive, adding more weight to your bag. in the end you probably will be carrying that 5.5 lbs but minus the power of the pro.


the speakers on the air were rated poor by consumer reports while the 15inch pro and the macbook were given a good rating. the 13 inch pro for some reason got a fair rating. again, at an airport sound is something you dont really care about but at home, this could be something you care about.

the macbook, 13" pro and 15" i5 pro were all given recommended buys by consumer reports and each scoring high. the air received one of the lowest scores at 59, the lowest score was a 57.

if you are going to spend 1700 you should really get the 15 inch pro but even if you dont want the 15 inch, the 13 inch pro and macbook do better than the air.

lastly, solid state drives are a lil different than flash drives. the air doesnt use a ssd.
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dmw16

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckuta View Post
the other laptops offered by apple make the mba look like a waste of money.
I actually think it's the opposite when you are talking about the 13" screen offerings. However, I say that because I am heavily swayed by the better screen resolution of the MBA over the 13" MBP.

As for price;

13" MBP w/ 2.4Ghz C2D, 4GB RAM, 250GB HD, and 1280x800 will set you back $1199.

13" MBA w/ 1.8Ghz C2D, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, and 1440x900 will set you back $1399.

The one thing you are really giving up is the CPU speed and depending on your use that may or may not be a good deal. On the other hand you gain the better screen resolution and SSD. The SSD performs better than the standard 5400rpm drive that comes in the MBP.

I've heard the speakers aren't that great, but laptop speakers rarely blow me away. However, I would think most road warriors have a set of headphones they like.

Depending on what you are going to do with it I think the 13" MBP or the 13" MBA can be a great device. I don't think either of them are a waste of money.
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PhillyLove

 
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The MBP really isn't heavy and gives you a lot more power, especially the new 15." I have the 2.66ghz i7 and it is very fast. I think it could handle just about any serious app.
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AppleFanatic10

 
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I'd go with the MBP. With the MBA you have a limit on how much storage you can add, with the MBP, you can add up to 500gb-1TB compared to the MBA only adding up to 128gb. The MBP has better battery life, and an optical drive, so it would be easier to use DVDs when you have to install certain apps that aren't available via download. It also has a faster processor. But that's just my opinion. Remember you get what you pay for
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ljbad4life

 
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Based on the ops needs and wants go for the Macbook air. If the choice is a macbook air vs a 13inch macbook pro, the macbook air is the winner. Geek bench rates the mba (oct 2010 13in) with a rating of 108 vs the mbp(13 inch) with a 106. You trade some processing power for the ssd (which is a lot faster than a 5400rpm drive). All of the problems of the previous generation MBA are gone (heat, processing power degradation).

Sure you can add a SSD to the MBP, but that's a 350 dollar option that leaves you with the exact same storage capacity of the MBA (128gbs) with no weight reduction.

The lack of a optical disc drive can be seen as a blessing or a curse. I know from my own personal experience, I do not need an optical drive. In the last ~4 years of owning my imac 24 inch, I can count on my hand how many times I've used the optical drive(seriously).

Storage may or may not be a problem for this user. Sure you can upgrade the memory of a MBP to 1tb(which isn't an option from apple), but for that price I would go for a networked solution.

As far as a MBA vs A 15 inch MBP, there have been several tests and the results might surprise you. Keep in mind the guy running the test is using a mba with 2 GB of ram (1.86 GHz) and renders, open files and plays games (the MBA is only fraction of second behind in most cases) vs a MBP 2.66 GHz (15 inch)with 4GB of ram.

YouTube - Macbook Air 13" (Oct 2010) VS Macbook Pro (2010)

YouTube - Gaming on the New Macbook Air 13.3" (2010)

YouTube - Macbook Air (2010) - Photoshop CS5 Comparison

The MBA seems to handle everything very well, honestly after watching these video I made the choice to buy a MBA (13 in with 4gb of ram) over a 13 in MBP. I'd even choose a MBA over a 15 inch MBP. The cost difference is too obnoxious to ignore (1299 vs 1799-2199) just to save a second considering the programs I and the op use.
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Evn

 
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Hi!

Thanks a lot, I actually just got the MacBook Pro 15", 4GB RAM, 320GB HD and the 2,4Ghz i5 Processor.

It kinda feels a bit heavy compared to my MacBook Air I returned yesterday tho. I payed 1799 for the MBP and i could have gotten the MBA 4GB RAM, 256GB Flash HD and 2,13Ghz for the same price.

Im not sure if I really want the MBP.. Return or keep? Its up to u guys :p
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ljbad4life

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evn View Post
Hi!

Thanks a lot, I actually just got the MacBook Pro 15", 4GB RAM, 320GB HD and the 2,4Ghz i5 Processor.

It kinda feels a bit heavy compared to my MacBook Air I returned yesterday tho. I payed 1799 for the MBP and i could have gotten the MBA 4GB RAM, 256GB Flash HD and 2,13Ghz for the same price.

Im not sure if I really want the MBP.. Return or keep? Its up to u guys :p
Use it normally how you would for a couple of days and see if it fits you. No one else can decide for you. My personal test for a laptop is to take it with me almost everywhere for a couple of days.
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CrimsonRequiem

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evn View Post
Hi!

Thanks a lot, I actually just got the MacBook Pro 15", 4GB RAM, 320GB HD and the 2,4Ghz i5 Processor.

It kinda feels a bit heavy compared to my MacBook Air I returned yesterday tho. I payed 1799 for the MBP and i could have gotten the MBA 4GB RAM, 256GB Flash HD and 2,13Ghz for the same price.

Im not sure if I really want the MBP.. Return or keep? Its up to u guys :p
Do you always let other people decide what you should do?

Seriously though. Your computing needs don't seem like you need the pro version of the MB line. My only issue with the MBA is that you can't upgrade anything on it. Basically what you buy is what you get...unlike a MB or a MBP.

That's just me though. >_>"

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