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j2011 08-22-2011 07:01 PM

Deciding between Macbook pro or air
 
I'm set on getting a Macbook before I go to Uni this september, but I'm having a bit of trouble deciding between the Pro and the Air.

I'm leaning slightly towards the air for everything except storage space, and this is a bit of a big factor for me.

I'm considering either the 13" MBA, or the 13" MBP (base model)

My main reason for preferring the MBA is due to its smaller size, lighter weight and faster SSD.
I intend to watch videos in bed, and use the macbook on my lap.
Whilst I know the MBA will feel lighter and more comfotrable, is anyone able to suggest from experience how big the difference would be between the MBA and MBP?
I'd definitely install an SSD in the macbook pro anyway, as well as a HDD, so the speed isn't as much of an issue, but I was wondering if the MBP would benefit from the instant wake feature that the MBA has, and if its battery life would be significantly increased.

Firstly, I need to work out if 128GB is enough for me, because if so then the MBA is probably my preference.

Roughly how much space does OSX, including programs take up on the hard drive?

I have around 40GB of music, and would ideally like to store it all internally on my macbook.
I also have around 80GB of videos in itunes, which although they don't need to be in my itunes library, it would be nice if they were.
Would it be possible to have different parts of my itunes library in different places, so that I could store all my music on the macbook, and just keep the videos on an external HDD for when needed?

Secondly, if I decide that the 128GB on the macbook air isn't enough for me (the 256GB upgrade is too pricey for my budget) then I'm looking at installing an SSD in a macbook pro, alongside the HDD for extra performance.

I rarely use an optical drive, so I have no problem removing it, but I'm unsure as to what to do about the HDD/SSD.
Ideally, I'd like to have more than 320GB in the macbook, so I'd consider getting between a 500GB and a 1TB HDD.

Would it be cheaper to buy a bigger HDD as an upgrade from apple when purchasing the macbook, or to buy a third party one afterwards?
If the latter applies, can anyone recommend good HDDs to look at?

Also, if I go for an SSD and a HDD; to store the OS and programs on the SSD and music, photos etc. on the HDD, which should I put where?
I've heard that the SATA connection where the original HDD is is faster than the one where the optical bay is, and I'd really like to maximise the performance of the SSD if I buy one.
However, I've also heard that the HDD would only benefit from shock protection if it is installed in the main HDD bay.
I'm intending to have the HDD switched off as default, if possible, and only switch it on when required for music etc. so maybe this isn't a big issue.

Also, are Apple's SSD upgrades too pricey, and if so what should I consider as a third party SSD? (definately less than 128GB, probably around 60GB)



I know this is A LOT of questions, so thanks in advance to anyone who is able to help me with this.

Steve Adams 08-25-2011 10:26 AM

I have been flip flopping back and forth as well. I settled on the 13" Air with 256gb storage. Im going to get a 4 TB buffalo cloudstor setup. i can access everything then over the cloud setup for files, store and take tunes, videos, magazines etc with me whereever, without hogging up my Drive space on my devices.

acello27 08-25-2011 12:32 PM

I went through a similar thought process.
I bought a mid 2010 13" MBP this January 2011.
My almost 6 year old iBook G4 just wasn't cutting anymore.
Of course shortly after my purchase, Sandy Bridge comes out. I'm not the best consumer apparently.

So I saved up a bit of $ and put in a 256GB SSD from Crucial and upped the RAM
to 8GB. Speed and battery life has improved. I've been getting crashes (not related to the RAM or SSD - a Flash thing I think) so the reboot time is only like 16 seconds. I occasionally use my optical drive.

If I were you, I'd get the MBA with the larger 256GB SSD.
I know it's pricey. I ended up putting an extra 600 euros into mine.
Good luck.


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