MB Pro or MB Air

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So I am buying a MacBook next week, and I keep going back and forth (Air or Pro)... It's seriously driving me nuts.

I like the thought of having the options a 13 inch MacBook Pro offers, but at the same time the cool factor and insane portability of the Air can't be denied. I'm going to use it to edit a bit of code, bring to the office for fun during down time, and peruse the net occasionally... Aside from the code editing, I would just stick to my iPad, but there isn't a decent program to do that in iOS...

Anyone hate the Air? Why?
Loathe the Pro? Why?

I want to figure out the cons, because both look like such good options.
 

chscag

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The Air looks nice, sleek, easy to carry. IMO, the Pro is more functional - optical drive, more memory, larger hard drive. Both use the same GPU - the Intel HD 3000. You can also remove the optical drive on the Pro and use a data doubler to install a SSD.
 
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I have a 13" MBP at home and a spec'd out 13" MBA i7 from work.

I absolutely love the air: given the choice I'd get the air, provided you can deal with the space limitations. I have the 256GB SSD in my air from work, so it's more than enough space for day to day stuff. Everything else you can put on an external harddrive.

The only warning I'd give is to users that need a decent ethernet connection: we frequently work with large files on networked storage, so the 10/100MBit USB ethernet adapter just doesn't cut it.

However, the only way to get a gigabit ethernet connection on this thing is via the Thunderbolt display - a pricy add-on. On the plus side I love the 27" screen on my gigabit adapter :)
 
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I just went through this dilemma myself, as I was looking to upgrade from my 2007 MacBook.

I took about a week to thoroughly go through what I needed in my laptop and my choice led me to the MacBook Pro.

The Air is a sexy machine, and performs nicely as well... However, for the money, the Pro is just a better machine.

As others stated, it's got a bigger HDD, optical drive, and is a bit more convenient for school/work (at least, imo).

I just received mine today and I'm loving it. I'm going to miss my WhiteBook, but I found a new love :)
 
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Going to wait and see if the MBP refresh is actually happening early next month... Either way I think it's going to be the Pro. The greater storage capacity is a nice thing, and I have an iPad 2 or my ultra portable needs.
 
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I have a 13" MBP at home and a spec'd out 13" MBA i7 from work.

I absolutely love the air: given the choice I'd get the air, provided you can deal with the space limitations. I have the 256GB SSD in my air from work, so it's more than enough space for day to day stuff. Everything else you can put on an external harddrive.

The only warning I'd give is to users that need a decent ethernet connection: we frequently work with large files on networked storage, so the 10/100MBit USB ethernet adapter just doesn't cut it.

However, the only way to get a gigabit ethernet connection on this thing is via the Thunderbolt display - a pricy add-on. On the plus side I love the 27" screen on my gigabit adapter :)

I would take these comments with a grain of salt, not because I don't believe him, but that is one incredibly spec'ed out machine. A generic MBA won't behave like that. An i7 with an SSD... we can all just dream. I have an i7 Lenovo from work. The power brick (and it IS a brick) weighs more than an MBA. What were they thinking when they shipped those things. I told my boss that I didn't want it when the project was done.

HD3000 graphics are NOT an add on, they are built into the processor. That said, HD3000 is better than the old style integrated graphics.
 
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I went from an 2010 i5 MBP with 8GB of memory and a 128GB SSD to a 2011 i5 MBA with 4GB of memory and a 128GB SSD. My life has not changed drastically, I didn't become smarter, hipper, more attractive and it didn't make me popular or better with the ladies. I do a ton of "hardcore" stuff on my Macs because I'm a Unix Sys Admin. However, what is hardcore to me isn't particularly CPU or memory intensive nor is it hardcore to many other folks in other professions. Compiling source can take a while, but surprisingly, not much longer than on my MBP. I use basic SDKs and editors for coding Python, Java, C, C+, etc... so I don't have any issues with versioning or suite specific HW/SW requirements - just repos, bins and libs work for my job. Heck, vi will do the job if you write/steal/imbed your own snippets anyhow. Virtual machines run just as quickly on the MBA, but then again my VMs are small and I don't use them to encode music or play games. I mostly VM some pretty boring interoperability or regression tests of boring OpenSource software like cups, mutt, ghostscript, TSM client, SAP GUI, etc... against various versions of my standard "Nix" images. Command line scripting is the same on any terminal assuming you have the proper csh, bash, ksh, etc... items in place, so there was no loss or gain there. There's always rsh, xhost and the like if I need to get funky on big steel. I Handbrake my videos on a MacMini, so the optical drive was a useless appendage to me on the MBP anyhow. I can share the Mini's drive if need be. Surfing the web, email and "Office" type applications run as well as any other laptop I've owned. So, for me it was a no brainer to get a smaller footprint and great battery life to do the same stuff, the same way, at the same speed I always did it for less money. For me, a MBA is a nice simple laptop for a guy with simple needs. It's the Glock of the Mac world.
 
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I would take these comments with a grain of salt, not because I don't believe him, but that is one incredibly spec'ed out machine. A generic MBA won't behave like that. An i7 with an SSD... we can all just dream. I have an i7 Lenovo from work. The power brick (and it IS a brick) weighs more than an MBA. What were they thinking when they shipped those things. I told my boss that I didn't want it when the project was done.

HD3000 graphics are NOT an add on, they are built into the processor. That said, HD3000 is better than the old style integrated graphics.
Good point - I haven't used the stock air…
The i7 version is very snappy, but I wouldn't get this if it was my own cash…

If money is an issue, the MBP will give you more bang for your buck, no question. But if portability is an issue, the MBA can't be beaten...
 
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And now I just learned that I am going to be moving to a new office close to home. So close that I will be walking to work. I think the MBA is going to get a second look. :D
 

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