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

Just cant narrow it down: MBP 13" i7 vs MBA 2.1


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cammyfive

 
Member Since: Jun 19, 2009
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I think I find myself in good company when I say that the more I try to narrow down my list on the next computer I buy the harder to make a decision it is becoming. First, I'm coming from a 5 year old Toshiba laptop with a half working Celeron processor/512KB of Ram/55GB harddrive so literally any Mac that I buy will be many lightyears ahead of what I'm used to. Second, I plan on using it for my day to day routine (email/YouTube/webbrowsing/light photo storage and editing/iTunes storage and management as well as a station to sync my iphone and ipods) so again I know that the lowliest of the low Macs could handle any of this. I'm looking for a very solid built machine and something that I can carry with me without feeling like I have a ton of bricks in my attache case like I do with my Toshiba. A few questions before I ask for a recommendation:
1) The MBA screen has a higher resolution, just how noticeable is the difference?
2) As I understand it, the MBA has a better integrated graphics card than the 13" MBP...if I don't game at all, is that really relevent?

I speced out the MBP 13" with the i7, iWorks preinstalled and One to One membership for a year and with tax it comes to $1662.12. The MBA 13" with the 2.1 Core2Duo, 4GB Ram, and 256GB flash storage with iWorks and One to One membership with tax comes to $2018.52....so there is a $356.00 price difference the way I have equipped the two. My budget is right around $2000.00 so the MBA is pushing the high end of it, but if there is a difference worth paying for (for my uses) I don't mind paying. Thanks in advance for all of the help!
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RavingMac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cammyfive View Post
I think I find myself in good company when I say that the more I try to narrow down my list on the next computer I buy the harder to make a decision it is becoming. First, I'm coming from a 5 year old Toshiba laptop with a half working Celeron processor/512KB of Ram/55GB harddrive so literally any Mac that I buy will be many lightyears ahead of what I'm used to. Second, I plan on using it for my day to day routine (email/YouTube/webbrowsing/light photo storage and editing/iTunes storage and management as well as a station to sync my iphone and ipods) so again I know that the lowliest of the low Macs could handle any of this. I'm looking for a very solid built machine and something that I can carry with me without feeling like I have a ton of bricks in my attache case like I do with my Toshiba. A few questions before I ask for a recommendation:
1) The MBA screen has a higher resolution, just how noticeable is the difference?
2) As I understand it, the MBA has a better integrated graphics card than the 13" MBP...if I don't game at all, is that really relevent?

I speced out the MBP 13" with the i7, iWorks preinstalled and One to One membership for a year and with tax it comes to $1662.12. The MBA 13" with the 2.1 Core2Duo, 4GB Ram, and 256GB flash storage with iWorks and One to One membership with tax comes to $2018.52....so there is a $356.00 price difference the way I have equipped the two. My budget is right around $2000.00 so the MBA is pushing the high end of it, but if there is a difference worth paying for (for my uses) I don't mind paying. Thanks in advance for all of the help!
You might want to consider this from the Apple refurb store:

Refurbished MacBook Air 2.13 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo $1529
Originally released October 2010
13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display

4GB memory
256GB solid-state drive
NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics
Built-in iSight Camera

Refurbs are often just like new but at a significant discount and come with full warranty

I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .
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iggibar

 
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Honestly, with the new processors in the MBP, I would just get a basic MBP13", and upgrade to an OWC-SSD, as well as do a nifty ram upgrade. Why limit yourself to upgrades with the MBA when the size clearly isn't important since you are having a hard time choosing between the two?

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius
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If I was deciding between these two computers...it would be an easy decision (for me). I would get the 13" MacBook Pro...simply because I like the built-in optical drive. I'm not sure what sort of specs. you input to get the $1662 price...I hope you didn't upgrade to 8 gig of ram...since Apple charges too much...and with your needs you don't need 8 gig now (upgrade later when necessary).

With that being said...given you needs...you could easily get by with the low end 13" MacBook Pro for $1199...or even the Macbook for $999.

Just my humble opinions,

- Nick

p.s. Yeah...I know that you mentioned weight...but come on...4.5 pounds for the 13" MacBook Pro isn't that heavy!

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cammyfive

 
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Thanks for the replies. I "know" the MBP is the way to go but am drawn to the sleek design of the MBA. I'm sure I can easily get by with the i5 but since it's still less expensive I'll get the i7 and maybe as a bday gift to myself this summer upgrade the harddrive to a SSD and have the best of both worlds.

For my uses, how will the integrated Intel graphics card do?
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6string

 
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The graphics will be more than enough to suit your needs.
Also, with the MBA you miss out on the backlit keyboard, as well as all the other features, but the lack of backlit keyboard would be a deal breaker for me even if they were spec'd out the same otherwise.
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Toranaga

 
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The MBP 13 only has 1280x800 screen wich IMO is very little. The MBA 13 has the same res as the 15 MBP. However the colors are much better on MBP 15 (have not seen the new MBP13). But 1280x800 is simply too small real-estate IMO.
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booree

 
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MBA will cover all your needs for a very long time .. most of my developers friends would go for MBA if they didn't need more processor power for compilation a code and for graphics. The MBA is sleek, light and have all the features you really needed.
I have MBP i7 mid 2010 but I am using it to virtualise 2 or sometimes 3 systems at once.
Moreover the MBA has better screen resolution than MBP 13" ..
IMHO .. go for MBA .. I wish I could have it ..but I can't afford both of them now.

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