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MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro (opinions)

127054 Views 101 Replies Latest reply: Mar 10, 2012 6:19 AM by pkpkpk RSS
  • NA Smith Level 2 Level 2 (345 points)
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    Sep 16, 2011 10:51 AM (in response to JE13)

    The issue of screen resolution was the biggest one for me - go to a store/shop and surf or text or open four or five apps. The Air's (much) higher res is fine and clear and you can get way more stuff on it's "larger" display area. For ages I was addicted to fine res screens - then one day it changed. I like the larger objects and fonts now on the 13" Pro just because I'm a little older and do not need the eye strain. Fool around on the Air in the stores, and then go back a week later. It is a deal maker or breaker compared to all the other differences. The Air doesn't have a low res option (like the 15" Pro does).

  • ahorriblemess Calculating status...
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    Sep 16, 2011 3:02 PM (in response to NA Smith)

    Are you saying you can't change the screen resolution? Becuase you can. You can also activate screen zoom in the Universal Access preference pane in Lion

  • NA Smith Level 2 Level 2 (345 points)
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    Sep 17, 2011 7:39 PM (in response to ahorriblemess)

    That option is "there" but it's not satisfying - using a non-default setting doesn't have the right "look" (unless you are a fan of slightly fuzzy) BUT it IS in the eye of the beholder. As a few of us have stressed: go to the store and play around with settings, etc. Open lots of apps together. Then go back again days later. It can make all the difference in the decision making process.

  • slyguy_28 Level 2 Level 2 (165 points)
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    Sep 17, 2011 10:49 PM (in response to NA Smith)

    A lot of time in the store with both machines is key. I did this, and the MBA was perfect for me.

    Sly

  • imref Calculating status...
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    Sep 19, 2011 5:47 AM (in response to Jeremy Thompson1)

    I have my 13" MBA continuously connected to a 17" monitor via VGA and haven't had any fan issues.  I did have an issue with the external monitor going blank when I used a DVI connection.

  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,310 points)
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    Sep 23, 2011 5:47 AM (in response to ahorriblemess)

    ahorriblemess wrote:

     

    Are you saying you can't change the screen resolution? Becuase you can. You can also activate screen zoom in the Universal Access preference pane in Lion

    But there is only 1 native resolution and that is where it looks the best, unless you like fuzzy

  • justreallygood Calculating status...
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    Sep 23, 2011 7:12 AM (in response to Jeremy Thompson1)

    Get the Pro. Lion kills the Air.

  • JE13 Level 4 Level 4 (3,920 points)
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    Sep 24, 2011 10:30 AM (in response to Jeremy Thompson1)

    Jeremy Thompson1 wrote:

     

    I suppose a question to help me would be, is a MBP simpley too powerful for what i'll use it for i.e a waste of money?

    That's what I'd say. But here's a thought--you get 14 days to return the machine if it isn't up to snuff. Buy the Air, put it through it spaces, see if you love it. If you find it isn't all you want it to be and more, take it back and exchange for a Pro.

     

    Yes?

  • JE13 Level 4 Level 4 (3,920 points)
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    Sep 24, 2011 10:37 AM (in response to justreallygood)

    justreallygood wrote:

     

    Get the Pro. Lion kills the Air.

     

    Liar.

     

    Simply that. You're dead wrong and lying. If you're not, prove it. Post some stats that show how many Airs have been "killed" by Lion. Show me the diagrams, the graphs, the tests. I'll be very interested to see these, as Lion was MADE for computers like the MBA.

     

    Of course, if you're right and Lion "Kills" the Air, then our buyer here will know it the minute he gets one and turns it on. The whole computer should fail instantly as Lion, the only OS that's now installed on all new machines, kills it. 

  • ahorriblemess Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 24, 2011 11:03 AM (in response to Jeremy Thompson1)
    1. Lion does not "kill the Air". I have a 2011 MacBook Air and it's awesome. It's performs very very well
    2. What you think is "too powerful" for your needs is different from what someone else thinks.
    3. The MacBook Pro is cheaper than the 128 GB MacBook Air. I'm not referencing the 64 GB model because you cannot upgrade the RAM in the future if you buy the 64 GB Air. The SSD can be replaced, but it's not a standard SSD. I think it's referred to as a "blade" SSD. I don't think 2 GB of RAM is enough, and 64 GB of storage will fill up fast, especially if you dual-boot (i.e. "bootcamp" for those who don't understand computers)
    4. Gaming is irrelevant unless you buy a 15" MacBook Pro with dedicated graphics. The 13" Pro and both the 11" and 13" Airs have the same integrated graphics. The main differences  between the Pro and the Airs are: the Pro has a CPU speed; the Pro has a slower magnetic spinning disc hard drive (but with more capacity) while the Air has a faster solid state drive; the 13" Air has a higher screen resolution than the 13" Pro; the 11" Air has shorter battery life than the 13" Air and Pro (which have the same battery) but you can get more than advertised if you don't pump the brightness all the way up, don't have tons of applications open and don't watch video or play games (if you use it to take notes or write in class for example, it'll last you 6-7 hours. I know from experience).

     

    I listed a few differences between the two models, but the significant ones to me are CPU speed and weight. I chose the 128 GB 11" Air over the slightly less expensive Pro because I wanted a laptop that wouldn't take up too much space in my bag or start to feel heavy after a 1 mile walk to school, and I don't need a super fast CPU. I chose a new Air over a used or refurbished one because the new tech in Core i chips makes for a faster CPU in general. If I need more screen real estate, I plug it into an external monitor.

     

    Try to think about just how similar Apple computers are: iMacs are kind of like giant laptops with faster processors, hard drives with more capacity, and dedicated graphics cards, but without a battery, built-in keyboard and trackpad; Airs are marginally slower than 13" Pros (but the new Airs are twice as fast as last year's Pro) and weigh almost half as much; Mac Minis are literally entry-level MacBook Pros mashed into a small square shaped case with no battery, display or keyboard/trackpad.

     

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that all Macs built for or after the release of Lion has network recovery. So that means, if you replace your HDD or SSD, or if you install WIndows, Linux or Chromium OS and completely wipe your drive, you can still recover it as long as you're near WiFi. No recovery discs or partitions necessary.

     

    EDIT 2: When I said "gaming is irrelevent," I didn't mean you CAN'T play games. I meant don't use that as part of your decision making process because they share the same graphics capabilities (maybe the Pro would play some games better if they're processor intensive). In the two weeks I've owned my Air, I've played Portal, Modern Combat: Domination, and N.O.V.A. and they all performed great. I'm going to try World of Warcraft when I recover from spending $1200 on this laptop. I prefer console gaming for extended sittings anyway. But the Air and Pro are fine for playing some games.

  • chipperz Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)
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    Sep 24, 2011 4:42 PM (in response to Jeremy Thompson1)

    I just got a new MBA 13" Core i5, 4GB RAM, 1.7GHz with the 256 GB SSD.  I love it!  The speedof the processer is great.  I compared it to a 15" MBP with the Core i7 2.8 GHz processer, 4 GB RAM and 500 GB HDD.  The MBA was far faster!  Part of the speed is due to te SSD rather than a standard HDD. Unless you really need the built in SuperDrive and the extra weight and the extra resolution of the larger screen, go for the MBA.  It is a great replacement.  Rumors have been floating around that the next generation of MBP will have SSD and no Super Drives.  Only Apple knows the specs for sure, but that seems to be the way compiters are going these days.  Fewer moving parts make for more reliable computers.

  • nafnaf0 Calculating status...
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    Sep 26, 2011 7:42 AM (in response to JE13)

    JE13 wrote:

     

    justreallygood wrote:

     

    Get the Pro. Lion kills the Air.

     

    Liar.

     

    Simply that. You're dead wrong and lying. If you're not, prove it. Post some stats that show how many Airs have been "killed" by Lion. Show me the diagrams, the graphs, the tests. I'll be very interested to see these, as Lion was MADE for computers like the MBA.

     

    Of course, if you're right and Lion "Kills" the Air, then our buyer here will know it the minute he gets one and turns it on. The whole computer should fail instantly as Lion, the only OS that's now installed on all new machines, kills it. 

    JE13 is correct

    Lion does not kill the 2011 Air, in fact the Air runs Lion very well even on the new 27" Cinema display. The 13 inch Air and 13 inch Pro have the SAME intergrated graphics (Intel HD 3000), and the procesor speed is nealry identical.  Please look at this Youtube review by Anand Shimpi "Apple Thunderbolt Display Review"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Z7RxvkqF5I&feature=player_embedded

     

    Anand proves that the Air runs Lion pretty darn well

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