Air or MB what do I lose or gain?

TonyD

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Our old MB 13" is literally falling apart now and we need a new one.
I see that the air is much lower then the MB.
I know there is no disc drive so no adding DVD or other discs.
What about external hard drives? I have one of those that I use for iTunes and whatever I would need to use it for.
So what is the disadvantage for us to get an air?
The main use would be for my wife who will be doing online college courses and me for iTunes.
No disc drive is strange to me since every laptop I had always had one.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Hey Tony!

I can't speak for the AIR but I think it might be perfect for you.

Unless you are doing some heavy-duty CPU-instensive stuff, I think the
Macbook could be overkill. I have the new 15" MPB Retina and it's really
overkill, but I do love it.

As for the lack of DVD drive, you'll get used to it.

You can buy an external USB drive from Apple for about $70. I bought
an external Blu-ray burner drive that I use when I absolutely need to play
Blu-ray or DVD.

Otherwise, all my file transfers are done with a USB stick.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Dave,

Let me add one more thing...

For me, the most important factors in choosing a laptop is
slim form factor and an SSD drive.

I will never buy another computer without an SSD drive.

My first experience with these drives on my Macbook Pro
has made me a "believer." It is so incredible to see how
fast my computer boots and loads.

For that reason, I would recommend, just based on lower
price point, to go with the AIR and an SSD drive. You are
getting the slimmest laptop with the fastest drive available.

If you have money to burn, move on up to the MBP, but
absolutely go with a SSD.
 

TonyD

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Ronald Epstein said:
Dave,
Let me add one more thing...
For me, the most important factors in choosing a laptop is
slim form factor and an SSD drive.
I will never buy another computer without an SSD drive.
My first experience with these drives on my Macbook Pro
has made me a "believer."  It is so incredible to see how
fast my computer boots and loads. 
For that reason, I would recommend, just based on lower
price point, to go with the AIR and an SSD drive.  You are
getting the slimmest laptop with the fastest drive available.
If you have money to burn, move on up to the MBP, but
absolutely go with a SSD.
looking closer the smaller air is only cheaper, the 13.3" air looks like the same price as the mbp, which i think previously was just called a macBook?
I'll let my wife decide.
also Dave's not here.
:P
 

Steve Tannehill

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The MacBook Pro (non-retina) has a regular hard drive and an optical drive. It also allows you to expand memory with third-party RAM up to 8 gig. An SSD is also optional.
The MacBook Air loses the optical drive (which you can buy an external for $79 from Apple) and hardwires the RAM. The 13-inch comes standard with 4 gig of RAM and $100 extra for 8 gig. It comes standard with a 256gig SSD, or for $500 extra you can get a 512gig SSD.
I have the 2011 13-inch MBA with 4 gigs of RAM and the 256gig SSD. I'm still doing well with storage. I like the idea of 8 gig of RAM, but did not have that option last year.
The SSD is the key. It dramatically improves performance. The thin form factor is also very nice.
 

Steve Tannehill

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TonyD said:
looking closer the smaller air is only cheaper, the 13.3" air looks like the same price as the mbp, which i think previously was just called a macBook?
I'll let my wife decide.
also Dave's not here.
:P
Actually, the Air is cheaper when you factor in an SSD to the Pro. I believe the Air has a higher resolution display.
 

TonyD

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[/I]Steve and Ron and Sam, the advice is greatly appreciated.
I have no idea what ssd is Or optical drives or why I should want that. I'm guessing I do.
We, well I plan on a 13" whether it be the mbp or the air with probably minimum 500gb hd. Looks like the air has a 128 flash drive.
I'm looking at best buy's site because this is probably where we will get it.
I'll heed your advice and likely get whatever you guys recommend.
Oops actually we'll probably be getting it at an Apple store because I thi k she gets a student discount, not about that though.
 

Steve Tannehill

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SSD=Solid State Drive=Flash Storage. It's very fast because there are no moving parts.
An optical drive is for CD's and DVD's. If you ever want to rip music or watch DVD's you need one. One comes standard with a MacBook Pro, or a $79 add-on for a MacBook Air (USB powered).
Here is BB's 256gig SSD MBA: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Apple%26%23174%3B+-+MacBook+Air%26%23174%3B+-+13.3%22+Display+-+4GB+Memory+-+256GB+Flash+Storage/4775307.p?id=1218524518981&skuId=4775307&st=AOS_FS_iMac_MacBook_iPod_20120706&cp=2&lp=11
128 gig is too small, IMO.
 

TonyD

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In a startling development the misses has decided wha she wants and it's this......
13-inch: 2.9 GHz
2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i7
Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
8GB 1600MHz memory
750GB 5400-rpm hard drive1
Intel HD Graphics 4000
Built-in battery (7 hours)2a
 

DaveF

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TonyD said:
looking closer the smaller air is only cheaper, the 13.3" air looks like the same price as the mbp, which i think previously was just called a macBook?
I'll let my wife decide.
also Dave's not here.
:P
Someone call me? ;)
At risk of asking the obvious, but do you need a laptop? My MacBook pro never leaves the desk now that I've got an iPad. (I'm too late...sounds like your wife needs a laptop to take to classes)
The Air is an amazing device; I always leave the Apple store lusting for one :)
Also: take your wife to the apple store to demo. Just a few moments with it, and the Air feels much faster than it should be, and faster than more powerful MBPs with that SSD. The storge limit is a challenge, but wow do they feel fast!
 

Steve Tannehill

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Tony, is your wife in school? If so, she qualifies for an educational discount.
And I, too, think she would be better off with an Air.
 

TonyD

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Yes she qualifies for a discount. It's $100 off the lower priced mbp and $50 off the air.
She looks at the numbers and sees that the 13" has 500gb hd and higher ghz numbers, the air for the same price has a smaller 4gb memory and 256gb hd.
The MBP is essentially double that and doesn't have a disc drive which she will need.
If we get the air it is a smaller capacity and need to buy seperate disc drive.
I will let her see this topic and she can see what the experts say.
 

TonyD

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I see that BB is having a sale on mb's and Air and they actually beat Apples school discount by $25 on the air. Is there price matching g in the Apple store?
 

Sam Posten

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Why does she need a disk drive? For what? I've owned an air for 2 years now and never missed it. At home on a desktop sure an optical drive can come in handy but on a portable it is useless weight 99.999% of the time.
Does she REALLY need it while on the move? If not grab a cheap USB BluRay burner and leave it at home.
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-SE-506AB-TSBD-External-Blu-ray/dp/B006B7R9QE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1343739030&sr=8-2&keywords=usb+bluray
Comparing Mhz is a fool's errand. The air is plenty fast enough and with the SSD it FEELS faster than the disk based ones because files move more quickly.
If you are in Philly drive down to Christiana Mall in DE and get whatever you are gonna buy tax free. Don't forget to put it on your use tax list at the end of the year tho! :)
There is a Best Buy 1/2 mile from Christiana Mall if that's the route you want to go, but I'd tell em at Christiana and see if they will beat it.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Again...I am agreeing with Sam here.

If you want the ultimate laptop for your needs,
you want the AIR with the SSD drive.

You won't miss the optical drive. You will
appreciate the portability, near-weightlessness,
and screaming bootup and execution speeds
of the SSD drive.

That SSD drive makes ALL the difference in
the world. It will make your laptop feel much
faster...MUCH!

If this is going to be your only laptop for the
next few years, do it RIGHT.
 

TonyD

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Ok you guys convinced me, now I will convince her.
I like that drive you linked to on amazon Sam.
We already have an external 500 gb hd so we should be fine if we need more room.
We actually live near the Del Border close to north Wilmington and there is a best buy there but The one
right near the Christiana Apple store could be better for a price match possibility.
 

Sam Posten

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Cool Tony, like I said tho the best thing to do is go into the store and see the difference for yourselves. I can only tell you what my experience has been, I don't want to twist anyones arm into buying something they don't want or need but the fact is that having a laptop that is so thin and light while still being as powerful as the Air is REALLY transforms how much you will actually use it and not hate lugging the damn thing around.
I totally get the fear that the SSD will be too small but in my experience it really is not an issue.
It's trivially easy to make an external drive the host for your iTunes library if that really is a concern. Costco has those great little WD drives for about $100 that have a single cable and hold over a TB, and fit in your travel bag without hardly even being noticed.
128 GB would be enough for most people as long as they don't have other big file concerns (for example: huge Steam game libraries) but if this is going to last for a few years the 256 drive is worth the upgrade price.
also should note that I don't personally own that model, I own one a bit more expensive but still reasonable:
http://www.amazon.com/Buffalo-Technology-MediaStation-BR-PX68U2-BK/dp/B003CJTQPG/
 

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