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

MBP 13" vs. MBA 13" - Your thoughts?


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Sour Apple

 
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Hello Mac-Forums

I'm looking to make the switch to Mac here very shortly. Quite fed up with the service as of late I have been given by HP (I have had to return 3, HP Envy 17's and they still can't get it right.)

I know there are a ton of rumors swirling around about the new Sandy Bridge MBP's to be announced at CES, but I am ready to jump on board now, I just need the Mac community's opinion.

My notebook will function as an 'on the go' computer (I plan to buy an iMac for the home as well). Basically doing nothing to graphic intensive, mainly internet browsing, java based applications, word processing / powerpoint, music / video playback.

Any feedback, is feedback. Thanks for the help!
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well, I was messing around with an AIR last night and just love it.. I currently have a 15" i5 2.4 and was blown away with just how fast those SSD drives are.

The only downside I could see would be the lack of firewire (I believe?) as well as having to lug around a disc drive for when the moment arrives you may actually need it (You never know right?)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sour Apple View Post
My notebook will function as an 'on the go' computer (I plan to buy an iMac for the home as well). Basically doing nothing to graphic intensive, mainly internet browsing, java based applications, word processing / powerpoint, music / video playback.
Either a MBP or a MBA will do all of what you mention very easily. For what it is worth, I switched from a 15" MBP 2.4Ghz to a 13" MBA and am quite pleased. Thus far I have not come across anything I am unable to do on the MBA that I was previously able to do on the MBP. Also nice is that the MBA doesn't run the fans on "high" while watch video like the old MBAs were prone to doing.

"Those who don't understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly." Henry Spencer
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Sour Apple

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitehorse84 View Post
well, I was messing around with an AIR last night and just love it.. I currently have a 15" i5 2.4 and was blown away with just how fast those SSD drives are.

The only downside I could see would be the lack of firewire (I believe?) as well as having to lug around a disc drive for when the moment arrives you may actually need it (You never know right?)
Firewire is not a big issue for me, considering I've never used it, which means I don't have have anything needing a Firewire port. As far as the external drive goes, I did consider that as well, but I've realized that I never use one anyways.
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Sour Apple

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XJ-linux View Post
Either a MBP or a MBA will do all of what you mention very easily. For what it is worth, I switched from a 15" MBP 2.4Ghz to a 13" MBA and am quite pleased. Thus far I have not come across anything I am unable to do on the MBA that I was previously able to do on the MBP. Also nice is that the MBA doesn't run the fans on "high" while watch video like the old MBAs were prone to doing.
Thanks for the insight! What's your current config (if you don't mind sharing)?
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XJ-linux

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sour Apple View Post
Thanks for the insight! What's your current config (if you don't mind sharing)?
I ended up with a 2.13Ghz C2D - 4GB RAM - 256GB model. I included a USB/Ethernet adapter for use at work and on other secured networks. To be fair, I do have two gripes...
-No back light on the keyboard
-Power button is a keyboard key where the eject button use to be
I was use to the back lighting, but truth be told the lack of it hasn't stopped me from doing anything. The display is plenty bright enough to see what I'm doing. The power button relocation threw me at first, but since I never really used the eject button previously it hasn't been an issue.
One big bonus is battery life. I use it for surfing the web and light tasks nightly after work. Since receiving it last Tuesday, I've used it unplugged exclusively and had to charge the battery three times. Kind of weird seeing the battery indicator icon turn red to warn you of a "low battery" when you still have ~2 hours of juice left!

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Sour Apple

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XJ-linux View Post
I ended up with a 2.13Ghz C2D - 4GB RAM - 256GB model. I included a USB/Ethernet adapter for use at work and on other secured networks. To be fair, I do have two gripes...
-No back light on the keyboard
-Power button is a keyboard key where the eject button use to be
I was use to the back lighting, but truth be told the lack of it hasn't stopped me from doing anything. The display is plenty bright enough to see what I'm doing. The power button relocation threw me at first, but since I never really used the eject button previously it hasn't been an issue.
One big bonus is battery life. I use it for surfing the web and light tasks nightly after work. Since receiving it last Tuesday, I've used it unplugged exclusively and had to charge the battery three times. Kind of weird seeing the battery indicator icon turn red to warn you of a "low battery" when you still have ~2 hours of juice left!
Yeah, I wish I had the money to get that and the iMac, but I'd be financially strapped if I did that. I'm thinking more or less, the 1.86Ghz, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD (I don't need a huge drive, considering I will store most files on my iMac) that's about $1,339.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sour Apple View Post
Yeah, I wish I had the money to get that and the iMac, but I'd be financially strapped if I did that. I'm thinking more or less, the 1.86Ghz, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD (I don't need a huge drive, considering I will store most files on my iMac) that's about $1,339.
Not counting Apple Care.... which IMO, is a must have for the Air.
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Sour Apple

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
Not counting Apple Care.... which IMO, is a must have for the Air.
True, sorry, I forgot to throw that in there as well.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sour Apple View Post
I know there are a ton of rumors swirling around about the new Sandy Bridge MBP's to be announced at CES, but I am ready to jump on board now, I just need the Mac community's opinion.
What? I haven't seen any of those.

At best, the rumors I've seen are saying maybe...just maybe...as early as April. But even then, only Apple knows.

As for Sandy Bridge, let's clear that up right now. That chipset is meant for the lower-end machines, not the MBPs. There's no word right now if Apple will even use it in any of their machines, especially since it still doesn't truly support OpenCL. Not until the Ivy Bridge chipset later next year will Intel have true OpenCL support.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by schweb View Post
What? I haven't seen any of those.

At best, the rumors I've seen are saying maybe...just maybe...as early as April. But even then, only Apple knows.

As for Sandy Bridge, let's clear that up right now. That chipset is meant for the lower-end machines, not the MBPs. There's no word right now if Apple will even use it in any of their machines, especially since it still doesn't truly support OpenCL. Not until the Ivy Bridge chipset later next year will Intel have true OpenCL support.
Plus Apple isn't always known for implementing the newest tech in their devices until most of the bugs are worked out.

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Since this is an "opinion thread"...I'll throw my 2 cents in.

If you asked me 12 months ago (before the newest MBA models were released)...I would have definitely said go with the 13" MBP! 12 months ago the MBA's were just way too over priced for what you got in terms of hardware...and what you were really paying for was "style".

I think that with the newer MBA models & better pricing...it does make choosing between a MBP & MBA more difficult.

MacBook Pro (positives):

- significantly faster cpu (2.4ghz or 2.66ghz vs. 1.86ghz for the MBA)
- 4 gig of ram expandable to 8 gig vs. MBA (comes with 2 gig of ram, max of 4 gig for the MBA)...MBA ram MUST BE UPGRADED AT THE TIME OF PURCHASE!!!
- 10 hour battery vs. 7 hour battery of the MBA
- built-in DVD/CD drive
- backlit keyboard (MBA DOES NOT have a backlit keyboard)
- lower price

MacBook Air (positives):

- built in SSD drive (may make computer seem "snappier" than the slower 1.86 cpu would indicate)
- lighter (2.9ibs. vs. 4.5lbs for the MBP)
- styling/design (if this is important)

Personally...even with the improvements in the new MBA models...I think that I would still go with a 13" MBP vs. the 13" MBA.

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Sour Apple

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schweb View Post
What? I haven't seen any of those.

At best, the rumors I've seen are saying maybe...just maybe...as early as April. But even then, only Apple knows.

As for Sandy Bridge, let's clear that up right now. That chipset is meant for the lower-end machines, not the MBPs. There's no word right now if Apple will even use it in any of their machines, especially since it still doesn't truly support OpenCL. Not until the Ivy Bridge chipset later next year will Intel have true OpenCL support.
Just saying, CNET and Engadget both reported that the new MBP's and iMac's could come as early as Q1 2011, now who knows how early or late that will be, only Apple does.
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