Sell My MacBook Pro and get a MacBook Air Instead?

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by Prisstina, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. Prisstina

    Prisstina Mouseketeer

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    I'm currently using a mid-2012 MacBook Pro, but recently I've been tossing up whether I should sell it and get a MacBook Air. My "main" computer is an iMac (desktop) and the MacBook Pro is my "on the go" machine. I travel a lot for work (domestically) and at least x2 a year internationally. I'm tired of lugging my MacBook Pro with me every time I travel, but I'm wondering if the MacBook Air is right for me. I mostly use Word and send emails with my MBP, sometimes I do some photo editing with either Photoshop or Lightroom but I prefer to do that on my bigger machine (thank you, eyesight!). :lmao:

    I like the idea that the Air is lighter and far more portable, but I'm wondering if I'm going to hate the 13" screen as opposed to my MBP's 15". I'm also not thrilled that the Air doesn't have an optical drive. If I do switch, I'm looking to do it while my MBP still has some decent value on the secondhand market. I've even considered getting an Air while I still have the Pro, using it for a week and seeing which one suits my work needs better. (A little crazy, I know. I just don't want to be stuck with something I hate and then I can't get my old machine back!)

    Any MacBook Pro to MacBook Air switchers here? Thoughts?
     
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  3. skatalite

    skatalite DIS Veteran

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    It sounds like you're trying to justify a purchase you already know you're going to make.

    The Air will save you about two pounds in carrying weight. If those extra two pounds are so much of a burden that it constitutes the terminology "lugging," then the choice is clear.

    I own two Pros, one is a 13-inch and one is a 15-inch. I mostly use the 13-inch, even for video and photo editing, and Web design. It's a 2008 first-gen unibody that's still going strong.

    The Air doesn't appeal to me, but they are nice machines. But if I was in your shoes, looking for a machine to just create documents and send email, then I'd keep the Pro and buy an Acer Chromebook for $200: http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/model/NU.SH7AA.004.
     
  4. Albort

    Albort ODV Crew

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    i got that combo, a desktop computer(power house) and a MBA. I only use MBA on travels and school. when i need to do intensive stuff, my desktop does the trick. If i really need to do intensive stuff, i usually just remote desktop back to desktop and work like that. lol
     
  5. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    I'm thinking of getting one of the new Pros even though it doesn't have an optical drive. If it's that important, the Apple external SuperDrive is $79, and aftermarket bus-powered drives are even less. I'm thinking maybe one with a tray for the 3" discs and some of the odd-shaped business-card sized CDs.
     
  6. TinkerBelled

    TinkerBelled DIS Veteran

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    I have a new Pro, which is halfway between my old Pro and an Air in terms of weight.

    I would say it depends what you use your travel computer for. If you're really using it for word, PP and email, then go for the air if you want a technology upgrade (the new airs are faster than old pros). If you're using anything more complicated than that, I'd try out the new pro instead.

    Neither the new pro nor the air have an optical drive. Annoying, but also one fewer thing that can break.
     
  7. Kathryn Merteuil

    Kathryn Merteuil Barden Bella

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    I have a 13" Pro and it is just a bit heavy, and the 11" Air is just a bit too small. Seems like the 13" air would the perfect balance. I DO think the Pro is a little more "bang for the buck".

    I guess some might actually want the optical drive, my 2012 Pro has one and it has like never been used. Personally, I don't want/need the optical drive.
     
  8. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    It's a lot more bang for the buck. They've got the Retina displays and have processor speeds near state of the art for their class. The MBA processors seem intentionally dialed down to save on battery life with the smaller batteries. The MBA is an exercise in reducing power consumption due to the a requirement for a smaller battery and lower weight.

    If I get one, I'm going to miss tinkering with them. I've installed my own memory and hard drives in my 2007 white MacBook. Those were actually quite easy to do. I think the memory now is permanently soldered onto the main board and the flash drives are likely proprietary.

    The batteries also aren't ones that someone would be able to swap. Even the original MBA batteries were simple ones that could be replaced fairly simply, although Apple has a replacement policy. These newer versions have batteries in different shapes.

    [​IMG]

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/12...y_macbook_pro_finds_soldered_ram_propreitary_
     
  9. Kathryn Merteuil

    Kathryn Merteuil Barden Bella

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    Oh yea that's true, I have heard that the memory is not something that can be upgraded in the Air.
     
  10. SkaGoat

    SkaGoat DIS Veteran

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    Can't update the RAM in the new Retina MacBook Pros either.
     
  11. Bluestars

    Bluestars Smile and let the world wonder

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    I've got a Mac Air and love it. I use it at home and when I travel. I mainly surf the internet, use word, and check email. In the past, I had a Dell and then a Mac Pro. My Mac Air is my favorite.

    I think it depends on what's important to you.
     
  12. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    I was referring to that if I didn't make it clear.

    Also - people need to know something about flash storage. There's a little something called charge leakage. Most flash drives are periodically moving the same data around to different locations to refresh as a background operation transparent to the user. Also - the newer types of flash memory have limited write cycles.

    You could take a hard drive, stash it away some place for 10 years, and all the data should be intact unless it was damaged. You do that with any kind of flash and it's likely to be corrupted. I would never treat something like an SD card as archival storage. Unless it's periodically powered up, the "wear leveling" doesn't take place, which does things like redistribute writes evenly (could be a problem with system data that's being rewritten often) as well as refresh the charge.
     
  13. Desnik

    Desnik <font color=teal>I actually love packing and plann

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    I had a MacBook Pro (gave it to my DD) & just got the air. I'm really terrible with all the technical stuff, my DH is the one who is into all that. I was just tired of carrying that heavy Pro around. I wanted something smaller & lighter. I use it for writing so I use Word & also for going online & email. I had the 17" Pro so I went down to 15" with the Air. I couldn't do the 13" it was too small. I love it & I'm glad I switched.
     
  14. Prisstina

    Prisstina Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the helpful replies. :)

    Good to know! That's probably what I'll do if I go with the Air.

    I use it primarily for Microsoft Office, email, web and Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom. The Photoshop stuff is very basic (cropping/color correction/slideshow files in Adobe Photoshop Elements) and I almost never use Adobe Lightroom on my Pro, but I do have it installed for the odd occasion I've needed it. I think I'm going to have to go into my local Apple store and compare the 13" Air and the new 13"/15" Pros to figure out which one to go with.


    That's really scary. I'm not really up on the whole flash memory concept, but it was available when I bought the Pro I have now and I still opted for the old-style hard drive. Unproven technology, I guess. No matter which computer I go for, sounds like a few extra external hard drives are in order!

    My current MBP is 5.6lbs and the hardshell carrying case is close to 8lbs, so I'm eager to downsize a little bit, whether it's one of the new Pros or an Air. Anything to make getting through lines at the airport easier.
     
  15. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    Whatever you do, back it up and preferably use the computer occasionally. Hard drives aren't without their issues too, as they can crash unexpectedly. My kid dropped my wife's netbook and the hard drive refused to boot. We sent it off and Asus replaced it for free, but all of the data was gone. And replacing it was the only practical way to recover it since we had no backup and a netbook has no recovery discs.

    And there are different phrases to describe the slow and eventually corruption of storage. One is "bit rot".

    I'm in the electronics industry and have a passing understanding of this. The more that a flash drive is used and erased, the less reliable the insulator is that stores the charge. You could probably take a brand new flash drive, stash it away for 15 years, and it would be as reliable as when it was made. But take one that's been used for 5 years and the reliability is going to go down. All those erase cycles over the years will degrade the ability to store. The good news is that there will probably be ample warning and chances to back up if you haven't already.
     
  16. Prisstina

    Prisstina Mouseketeer

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    Will do! I'm pretty paranoid about having multiple backups *everywhere* in case of a disaster scenario.

    Ugh, yikes to the destroyed Asus. That's rotten.

    Thanks for the info about bit rot and how stored data can decay/disappear.

    Sometimes it feels like companies are making machines and components that just aren't as reliable anymore...or maybe I'm too cynical. :rotfl:
     
  17. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    Some people have multiple computers and often don't turn them on and expect that the data will remain intact indefinitely. I think you could bury a hard drive in a hermetically sealed box for 50 years and it should work if you can find a compatible interface.

    Even if you don't understand the physics, it's not that hard to understand. Flash memory records data via electrons being "shot" into an insulator layer. This insulator can keep the data there intact until enough of it eventually leaks out. The more and more times that the data has been erased, the less intact the insulator is.

    One big benefit of solid state storage like flash memory is that it's far less susceptible to damage from mechanical shock. There are all sorts of methods used to protect hard drives, and they still get damaged. However, the real benefit is speed. The read speeds of state of the art solid-state drives is much, much faster than the best hard drives. They're also extremely quiet and use considerably less power than hard drives.

    The most important thing is that these drives have self diagnostics that will tell the operating system that the drive is approaching failure. While a lot of people thought of these drives as lasting nearly forever, they're not. It would be technically possible to solder the drive directly onto the main board with the RAM and CPU, but that's generally not a great idea. We get that with smart phones, but those will generally be replaced. However, I can imagine someone with a MacBook Air who will have a functioning machine for 7-10 years and will want to have the drive replaced.
     
  18. jrmasm

    jrmasm Last time I checked, it was still

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    I was looking at laptops and ultra books last summer and was told to avoid flash memory because unlike a hard drive, it can't be replaced if it fails. True or false?
     
  19. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    Depends on the machine. Some machines come with standard SATA drives and can be replaced with either hard drives or solid state drives. Others come in the form of a "daughter card". I don't know of any that aren't at least theoretically replaceable. However, what Apple has right now for machines that only use solid state drives uses a proprietary connector. Frankly a solid state drive in a hard drive "form factor" wastes a lot of volume. By switching to a thin card only, they can make the machine really thin. Some places sell what they claim is compatible with certain MacBook Air models:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/OWC/

    If you've got a smart phone, basically the built-in storage is on a solid-state drive that can't be replaced if it fails.
     

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