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Apple Macbook Pro or Macbook Air 13"

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by thetrashcanman, 11 May 2011.

?

Which Macbook?

  1. Macbook Pro 13" + 128ssd

    77.8%
  2. Macbook Air 13" + Ram increase 4gb

    22.2%
  1. thetrashcanman

    thetrashcanman Angel headed hipsters

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    Ok right guys, so I'm thinking of getting a crapple, my mean reasoning was I wanted something portable and light, and I would rather shoot myself in the foot than buy something like a intel atom netbook. Granted there is a monstrous price difference, but I have a bit of money coming and to me its worth it. So then developed the problem of now I've found the macbook pro, it has better specs for the same price, bar the gpu which is an intel hd 3000, while the air has a nvidia 320m, not sure how these compare, but basically, if I pick the "13 air and upgrade the ram, it would be the same as a macbook pro "13 with the same size 128gb ssd.

    So HELP ME! I can't decide.

    Pros for the macbook air,
    - Small and Light (portable)
    - fast ssd
    - Great screen resolution, better than mbp equivalent 1440 x 900
    - Possible better gpu (although I'm not sure)

    Cons

    - no back lit keyboard, I really like this on the mbp
    - have heard of issues with the display on the "13 model in particular, poor colours, whites and blacks fading into grey's if the screen is viewed at certain angel's. This is important to me as I would like to carry the laptop about when I do my photography.

    I'll only be doing simple things, but would probably like to photo edit on it, so would the air be underpowered for this? I also want the laptop to last as long as possible.

    Pro's for the Macbook Pro.
    - Reasonable cpu for processing, may keep computer going doing what an want for longer than the core 2 duo in the air.
    - Possible better screen, (although worse resolution) only 1280 x 800
    - (this is going to sound quite stupid, but)... I prefer the black edging around the edge of the screen on the mbp.
    - from trying them out in the store the keyboard seems more sturdy to me.
    - love the backlit keys, I'm usually up late, so although I have learnt to touch type having the backlit keys in the dark would be helpful.
    - its cheaper with a normal hdd in than the air, but only about £2 cheaper if I change the drive to a 128gb ssd.
    Or could I perhaps save £200 and just buy an ssd later on? it would be faster, as I don't think the ssd's apple use are very good. Or would this be impossible due to connector's? also figured out I don't really need a big hdd with this laptop, so if I could change the drive even something like the crucial c300 64gb or m4/vertex 3 would be plenty of space.

    Cons for MBP

    - heavier than the air, although not by much 0.70kg according to specs, doesn't sound like alot but felt like quite a reasonable amount when picking them up in store.
    - i don't really need the dvd drive
    - poor intel hd 3000 graphics (again feel free to correct me if I'm wrong)


    so what would you buy? would you put up with the weight of the pro? (I will be travelling, but I'm not sure how much, so it could be a non issue in which case the pro is surely better)
    Would you prefer the lightness of the air over the 'horsepower' of the pro?
    Would I be able to buy an separate ssd later on saving me some money straight away? Or is this impossible due to different connectors etc?

    Sorry for such a long post and many thanks for any help :)
     
  2. Matticus

    Matticus ...

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    I have the 2011 13" MBP and I can say that I am not disappointed at all. Yes the HD3000 aren't great, but I can still play HL2 on full settings at native res quite happily, not that I do, I was just testing to see how good/bad they actually were.

    The air is nice, but the latest MBP's are just so freaking quick. I thought that going from my main rig (with an SSD) to my MBP I would feel like I was forever waiting for things to open, but they really open in a flash, I am not sure an SSD is needed to make it feel fast. It boots in around 30 ~ 40 seconds and turns off in 3 seconds.

    The weight of the MBP doesn't bother me at all, and the only portables I have had over the past 2 years have been netbooks.

    You are right about the SSDs, as far as I know the Apple ones aren't great. They are standard SATA III connectors so replacing the hard drive at a later date is as easy as unscrewing the back and slotting it in as described in the manual. In case you are wondering on the HDD is connected via Sata III the disk drive is Sata II.

    I don't want to tell you which to get, but just giving you my experiences as a very happy 13" 2011 MBP owner.
     
  3. thetrashcanman

    thetrashcanman Angel headed hipsters

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    thanks for the advice chum :), would be nice to save myself £200!
     
  4. Ronaldo 9

    Ronaldo 9 Minimodder

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    I would get an MBP. It has more power and features which is always good for longevity. Also it's £200 cheaper so you could buy something else with the saved money. Win/Win.
     
  5. burnoutuk

    burnoutuk What's a Dremel?

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    I purchased the 2011 13" Macbook Pro last week.
    I've been really pleased with it so far. Lightning quick and great build quality.

    If like you say HDD space isn't an issue then a small SSD would be ideal.
    If you wanted more space in the future you could always swap the DVD drive with an Optibay (1 extra HDD sot).
    It's well worth running OS X and the Apps off an SSD. I already had a 128GB C300 so stuck that straight in.
     
  6. will_123

    will_123 Small childs brain in a big body

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    I have a 13" Macbook 2009. Dual core 4GB of RAM its a work horse! The new ones look fantastic with the sandy bridge kit. I would get an air better with the pro not that much heavy tbh. You wont regret getting the MacBook, best purchase I have ever made.
     
  7. Cei

    Cei pew pew pew

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    I'm buying a MacBook Air when they refresh to SandyBridge in June, so you may want to wait if you can until then. For me, portability is the most important factor, hence the MBA over an MBP.
     
  8. thetrashcanman

    thetrashcanman Angel headed hipsters

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    speaking of sandybridge refresh in june, does anyone have a firmer date than 'summer' this year for the release of lion?
     
  9. Cei

    Cei pew pew pew

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    Well, WWDC is on the 6-10th June, which will be when Lion gets its big launch. So there's two options for it hitting retail - either at/around WWDC in June, or in August/September for the back to school rush.
     
  10. will_123

    will_123 Small childs brain in a big body

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    Lion looks to be bringing some really good changes! Looking forward to it. No more JRE installed with OS or flash. Think it also comes with OSX server for free aswell.

    As for when its out only know what you do....summer.
     
  11. Cei

    Cei pew pew pew

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    OS X Server for free? Dream on...it's still going to be the standard vanilla release and a separate Server edition.
     
  12. will_123

    will_123 Small childs brain in a big body

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    OSX Lion Server is part of the installation / upgrade. Its on their site..
     
  13. Cei

    Cei pew pew pew

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    Okay, I take that back. Positively floored by that actually, though I can't help but wonder if it'll mean a dilution of features.
     
  14. alialias

    alialias What's a Dremel?

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    I'd definitely go for the Pro personally, the extra 0.7kg and sandy bridge processors just trump it for me...
    Money saving too.
     
  15. IvanIvanovich

    IvanIvanovich будет глотать вашу душу.

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    i'd go for the pro. air is nice but has another con you didn't mention - terrible battery life in comparison. my friend gets about 3-4 hours on average on a full charge, kind of a poor joke really since he ends up having to always hunt around / beg to use an outlet.
     
  16. thetrashcanman

    thetrashcanman Angel headed hipsters

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    REALLY? I've seen people get quite good battery life out of it, is that one of the new ones running os x?
     
  17. IvanIvanovich

    IvanIvanovich будет глотать вашу душу.

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    i suppose mileage varies depending on what you're doing. but when the screen is bright enough to read on and wireless is on, it does go fairly quickly. he does run osx on it, whichever version it shipped with on debut, i don't think the newest one.
     
  18. thetrashcanman

    thetrashcanman Angel headed hipsters

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    yeah probably, i think there was a video on youtube i saw, guy had a program that simulated generally internet browsing, at full screen brightness and he got 7 and a half hours, I think snow lepoard is very good at saving battery power, so that could be a big contributer, i think the original air's weren't that good, but the new ones seem much better, but thanks for your advice dude :)
     
  19. Guinevere

    Guinevere Mega Mom

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    MBP all the way - shiny boxes should be boxes not sloping door stop pieces of cheese.

    (13" MBP owner)
     
  20. thetrashcanman

    thetrashcanman Angel headed hipsters

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    looks like its going to be the MBP then guys, cheers for your help :D can anyone recommend a nice leather case/sleeve to put the MBP in? I have seen a nice one in the apple store, but i think it's only for the 13" air, not sure if it would fit the pro
     
    Last edited: 12 May 2011

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