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Macbook - Air or Pro?

BeltaineBeltaine BOO BOO DOO DE DOORegistered User regular
edited August 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Always been a PC guy.

Have very very little experience with Macs.

Work says I need to learn Macs.

Work also buying me a Macbook to play with. I have a choice between the Air or Pro. I played with an Air over the weekend but other than poking around with MacOS, installing and using Firefox, and feebly attempting to run the installed apps, I didn't do much with it at all to decide if it will meet my needs or not. Or just what my needs will be, to be honest.


As far as PC's go, I always prefer bigger near-desktop performance type laptops over say a netbook. So that would indicate I need to go with a Pro.

However, isn't the "thing" with Macs that it doesn't really matter which Mac you have, they all are the same?

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    FFFF Once Upon a Time In OaklandRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Don't get an Air. They're pretty, but just don't. Pro is so much more bang for your buck.

    FF on
    Huh...
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Beltaine wrote: »
    Always been a PC guy.

    Have very very little experience with Macs.

    Work says I need to learn Macs.

    Work also buying me a Macbook to play with. I have a choice between the Air or Pro. I played with an Air over the weekend but other than poking around with MacOS, installing and using Firefox, and feebly attempting to run the installed apps, I didn't do much with it at all to decide if it will meet my needs or not. Or just what my needs will be, to be honest.


    As far as PC's go, I always prefer bigger near-desktop performance type laptops over say a netbook. So that would indicate I need to go with a Pro.

    However, isn't the "thing" with Macs that it doesn't really matter which Mac you have, they all are the same?

    Erm. No.

    And unless for some wacky reason you need ultra-portability, get a MacBook Pro.

    Esh on
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    SatanIsMyMotorSatanIsMyMotor Fuck Warren Ellis Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Yeah, definitely a Pro.

    SatanIsMyMotor on
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    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Esh wrote: »
    And unless for some wacky reason you need ultra-portability, get a MacBook Pro.

    admanb on
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    dlinfinitidlinfiniti Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    or need your computer to cut cakes as well

    dlinfiniti on
    AAAAA!!! PLAAAYGUUU!!!!
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    a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Air = slow, but thin
    Pro = pretty quick, and still pretty thin

    Pro all the way.

    a5ehren on
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    Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Major East CoastRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Definitely 100% the pro.

    Iceman.USAF on
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    TellermanTellerman Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Quick Thread Hijack.

    Is there a reason to go for the 13-inch pro over the regular 13-inch with the 4gb RAM upgrade?

    Tellerman on
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    EchoEcho ski-bap ba-dapModerator mod
    edited August 2010
    Tellerman wrote: »
    Quick Thread Hijack.

    Is there a reason to go for the 13-inch pro over the regular 13-inch with the 4gb RAM upgrade?

    Will you do lots of graphics/audio/video editing? Any gaming?

    If no, then not really.

    Echo on
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    Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Major East CoastRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Dedicated graphics is a huge plus if you're doing anything intensive.

    Iceman.USAF on
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    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    The 13" pro doesn't have dedicated graphics.

    The only reason would be if you wanted a SSD, which the 13" can upgrade too.

    admanb on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    admanb wrote: »
    The 13" pro doesn't have dedicated graphics.

    The only reason would be if you wanted a SSD, which the 13" can upgrade too.

    It also has an SD card reader and a slightly faster processor. Backlit keyboard. Looks a lot nicer...

    Esh on
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    Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Major East CoastRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    admanb wrote: »
    The 13" pro doesn't have dedicated graphics.

    The only reason would be if you wanted a SSD, which the 13" can upgrade too.

    Apple store says Nvidia GeForce 320M. I thought that was dedicated? From the way their site is layed out it kind of implies it shares RAM though which is annoying.

    Iceman.USAF on
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    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    The regular 13" also has the 320M, and the lowest-end 13" Pro has the same processor as the regular (2.4ghz Core 2 Duo.)

    It does look better.

    admanb on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    admanb wrote: »
    The 13" pro doesn't have dedicated graphics.

    The only reason would be if you wanted a SSD, which the 13" can upgrade too.

    Apple store says Nvidia GeForce 320M. I thought that was dedicated? From the way their site is layed out it kind of implies it shares RAM though which is annoying.

    It's a really nice integrated GPU, but no, it's not dedicated. You could casually game on (WoW raids and the like would be very possible) it with no problems though.

    Esh on
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    vhannroyvhannroy Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I use both macs and pc’s all the time and I would say go for the pro. It is going to give you so much more flexibility than the air, especially if it is for work.

    vhannroy on
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    Mostlyjoe13Mostlyjoe13 Evil, Evil, Jump for joy! Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    You can also get a used Pro on the market for a decent price (and refurbished Pros are a pretty good deal). Air's are ever pricey.

    Mostlyjoe13 on
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    CountBlackulaCountBlackula MarylandRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Air, all the way.
    Just kidding, get the pro. Seriously, I think we all just made the decision for you pretty clear.

    CountBlackula on
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    BeltaineBeltaine BOO BOO DOO DE DOORegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Yeah, think I'm gonna go with an Air...

    er...

    I mean 15" Pro.

    I get an iPad with it too.

    I work for a public school system and we're looking at iPads for textbooks.

    Beltaine on
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    CountBlackulaCountBlackula MarylandRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    What the hell kind of rich neighborhood do you live in?

    CountBlackula on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Beltaine wrote: »
    I work for a public school system and we're looking at iPads for textbooks.

    Whaaaaaat?

    Esh on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Airs are great if you want a pretty good laptop that is lighter than a netbook but has a big screen. And you plan to take it a lot of places. If this is for a job where you'd have to travel a lot (with a mac), you might appreciate the Air, since the stuff that it lacks won't affect the stuff you do at a job.

    Not as many inputs/outputs? Mediocre graphics? Yeah, you're not going to be running a home music studio or playing games on Steam on the work machine.

    But if it's going to be sitting in a room and carted around a single building, the Pro is probably a better option. They're all fast enough for what most people use them for, so unless you have plans for it the "better in every way except for weight" aspect of the Pro may not be applicable. I have an iMac at home and just recently my work computer was upgraded to the same model, and my computer at work feels like so much wasted potential compared to what my home computer is doing.

    EggyToast on
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    VulpineVulpine Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    In terms of convenience, I would go for the Pro everyday simply due to the additional ports and drives: you get a dual-layer DVD+/-RW drive, you get an extra USB2 port, FireWire 800, and the SD card slot.

    Vulpine on
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    a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Beltaine wrote: »
    I work for a public school system and we're looking at iPads for textbooks.

    This is a terrible idea, by the way. Some college (I want to say Princeton, but I don't remember) tried this with the Kindle DX and everyone hated it because they couldn't write in the books and it was hard to find specific items quickly.

    Stick with paper books.

    a5ehren on
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    RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    a5ehren wrote: »
    Beltaine wrote: »
    I work for a public school system and we're looking at iPads for textbooks.

    This is a terrible idea, by the way. Some college (I want to say Princeton, but I don't remember) tried this with the Kindle DX and everyone hated it because they couldn't write in the books and it was hard to find specific items quickly.

    Stick with paper books.

    When I was in public school, we couldn't write in textbooks anyway. The highlighting and note-taking features of the iPad would be a step up from what you can do with a physical textbook. Plus the iPad has a lot of promise when it comes to multimedia texts, which aren't an option for the Kindle.

    OP might be a teacher in Maine, where in an act of state awesomeness they give EVERY STUDENT in middle school a MacBook to keep with them until they graduate high school.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Vulpine wrote: »
    In terms of convenience, I would go for the Pro everyday simply due to the additional ports and drives: you get a dual-layer DVD+/-RW drive, you get an extra USB2 port, FireWire 800, and the SD card slot.

    Yeah, which is really the crux of it. If dude's just gonna use software, Air. If he thinks he's gonna plug in a camera, or a memory card, or want to burn DVDs for students, then Pro all the way.

    Also I don't see why the iPad would necessarily be bad. Yes, when *I* was a kid my teachers just gave us a crappy book and we were rough on it.

    But now I'd be pretty happy if my potential kids were taught using a mixture of text, video, audio, and such. Wouldn't it be nice if your spanish book talked to you? Wouldn't it be pretty cool if your math book could show you steps, instead of just a bunch of columns? And the "book" for the class could include flash cards and other learning aids? Stuff's not there now but I certainly hope we're closer to that in the future, which will only BE the future if schools start looking at using these tools for educational purposes.

    EggyToast on
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    Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Your work is paying for it?

    17 inch Pro, optioned to the hilt (Core i7, 8 gigs of RAM, SSD).

    It's under an inch thick, weighs less than 7 pounds, and is more than likely more powerful than your current desktop. Also it's beautiful, as far as computers go. If I were rich, I'd buy one (and try to figure out a way to install Win7 on it...)

    Donovan Puppyfucker on
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    BeltaineBeltaine BOO BOO DOO DE DOORegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Said we're "looking at" using iPads for textbooks.

    Apple is pushing it.

    Textbook companies are pushing it.

    Kids with broken backs from carrying heavy textbooks would appreciate it.


    I'm not convinced, I think it will be a nightmare to administer, and as of yet haven't seen any way to lock down unwanted features of the ipad for classroom use.

    Doesn't keep me from turning down new toys, though. :)

    Beltaine on
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    Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Major East CoastRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    a5ehren wrote: »
    Beltaine wrote: »
    I work for a public school system and we're looking at iPads for textbooks.

    This is a terrible idea, by the way. Some college (I want to say Princeton, but I don't remember) tried this with the Kindle DX and everyone hated it because they couldn't write in the books and it was hard to find specific items quickly.

    Stick with paper books.

    When I was in public school, we couldn't write in textbooks anyway. The highlighting and note-taking features of the iPad would be a step up from what you can do with a physical textbook. Plus the iPad has a lot of promise when it comes to multimedia texts, which aren't an option for the Kindle.

    OP might be a teacher in Maine, where in an act of state awesomeness they give EVERY STUDENT in middle school a MacBook to keep with them until they graduate high school.

    And then do this http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/lower-merion-webcam-scandal-school-officials-didnt-mean-to-spy/34036

    Iceman.USAF on
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    DeathPrawnDeathPrawn Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Depending on the kind of work you're doing, you might want to get a matte screen instead of a glossy one, which is only available on the 15" and 17" MBPs.

    DeathPrawn on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Your work is paying for it?

    17 inch Pro, optioned to the hilt (Core i7, 8 gigs of RAM, SSD).

    It's under an inch thick, weighs less than 7 pounds, and is more than likely more powerful than your current desktop. Also it's beautiful, as far as computers go. If I were rich, I'd buy one (and try to figure out a way to install Win7 on it...)

    I'm sure his work is going to look at him like he's nuts if he tells them he needs all that. ($4,000+)

    The base model 15" is all he needs, if even that.

    Esh on
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    FFFF Once Upon a Time In OaklandRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Also, if you're actually going to be carrying the thing around. I can say, from experience, that lugging around a 17" laptop gets really old, really quick.

    FF on
    Huh...
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    BeltaineBeltaine BOO BOO DOO DE DOORegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    How complicated is a hard drive swap in these things?

    I'd like to shove an SSD in it, but ordering one with an SSD already installed is more $$$ than just swapping in one.

    Beltaine on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Beltaine wrote: »
    How complicated is a hard drive swap in these things?

    I'd like to shove an SSD in it, but ordering one with an SSD already installed is more $$$ than just swapping in one.

    Is there some reason you need an SSD drive on a laptop meant for educational work?

    I'm not sure, but I think that do-it-yourself HD swapping will void your warranty.

    Esh on
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    BeltaineBeltaine BOO BOO DOO DE DOORegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    No, no reason other than I like to tinker with stuff, and I have SSD's in other machines I use daily and love em.

    A hard drive swap voiding warranty is kind of moronic, though. Silly Mac

    Beltaine on
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    adytumadytum The Inevitable Rise And FallRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Why do you think that changing a hard drive would void the warranty?

    adytum on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    Why do you think that changing a hard drive would void the warranty?

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I wouldn't recommend it for someone who thinks that "all Apples are the same". Besides, like I already said, for his use, an SSD is just fluff.

    Esh on
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    adytumadytum The Inevitable Rise And FallRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I don't think it's a particularly good idea on a laptop, particularly if you don't know what you're doing poking around in the internals. However, it's a common misconception that replacing RAM or HDDs on an Apple laptop will void the warranty.

    adytum on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    I don't think it's a particularly good idea on a laptop, particularly if you don't know what you're doing poking around in the internals. However, it's a common misconception that replacing RAM or HDDs on an Apple laptop will void the warranty.

    I'm almost positive that it did in the past, maybe that's where I'm getting my information?

    Esh on
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    BeltaineBeltaine BOO BOO DOO DE DOORegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    For my use, a Mac at all is fluff. I'm not inept, just blissfully ignorant of Apple and their shenanigans since the days of the IIe.

    I'd much rather keep supporting my PC's and Linux boxes, but some of these new grants we've applied for are built around Mac systems.

    Beltaine on
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