I just upgraded to a recent 15" MacBook Pro (about to be superseded, if the Web rumor mill is correct), with an SSD of course. All the hip people, notably including my wife, are toting MacBook Airs these days; and yep, those sure are some slick little sex-bombs. But here are some reasons I’d have serious trouble switching from MBP to MBA.

  1. It’s a real brick. This means someone like myself, who has big strong hands and touch-types very fast, can touch-type faster, because it doesn’t wiggle around when you hit it.

  2. It has real speakers, which play something that sounds not entirely unlike real music.

  3. Eight gigabytes of memory. Yep, more or less 8.0×230 which is 8,589,934,592. Which is enough for Emacs and IntelliJ and Lightroom and Omnigraffle and Photoshop Elements and a couple of Chromes with dozens of tabs apiece.

  4. The CPU’s a quad-core 2.2Ghz i7. (But I think it’s the extra RAM that makes it feel so fast.)

  5. The screen is 1680×1050. That’s qualitatively “big enough” in a bunch of places where the 800-high MacBooks I’ve been carrying haven’t been. You just can’t imagine how good high-res video looks on this.

    I imagine the MBA’s will be getting more pixels, which is good, but the extra physical real-estate on a 15" screen is not to be sneezed at. Particularly if you’ve got middle-aged eyes.

  6. The screen has a matte finish. Yes!!!!!! I sneer in the general direction of all non-matte-finish screens.

  7. The trackpad is the size of a small European country.

  8. It has an actual physical Ethernet plug. Which you don’t normally need, until suddenly you really do.

On the Other Hand... · It’s kinda heavy. And tough to use in the back of an airplane. And you need something between it and your gonads, because it’s a real toaster when it gets going.



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From: Trung (Apr 12 2012, at 13:00)

Which hard drive did you choose? SSD or classic?

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From: David A. Meyer (Apr 12 2012, at 13:09)

<pedantry>

Final paragraph.

"... between between..."

</pedantry>

That said, I concur with your decision. Recently upgraded a 5,1 MBP with 8GB of RAM and an OWC SSD/DataDoubler combo. Still plenty of machine after three-plus years of use. The SSD is the best bang-for-my-buck upgrade I've ever made. A defibrillator for old hardware. My understanding is that upgrades are more onerous with the MBA.

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From: Ian (Apr 12 2012, at 18:40)

Yes, that back left corner does get hot doesn't it. Take a look at the madminds' ingenious MBP nad protector, the 'Tilt' (http://www.themadminds.com/)

Clamps directly to the shell so it's totally portable and it looks like an official extension to the case. Using the fan is optional. (It's USB-powered, so check out this equally portable 4-port USB hub - http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=belkin+4+port+usb+hub&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=13098923660001011556&sa=X&ei=mIKHT8H_DcaliQLZ7bz9AQ&ved=0CJ0BEPMCMAM).

I have both and love the setup. I leave them permanently attached to my MBP, plugging the fan in to the hub when needed and corrects the only two design deficiencies I have found with my MBP.

All this from a 'Kickstarter' project - http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/themadminds/the-tilt-multimedia-stand-for-the-macbook-pro - pretty cool.

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From: Xavier Morel (Apr 13 2012, at 02:37)

> Eight gigabytes of memory.

To generalize to "more than four", since a 2011 MBP should be able to handle up to 16GB. To the Air's 4.

> The trackpad is the size of a small European country.

For what it's worth, all Apple laptops have the exact same trackpad: I believe the Air's trackpad is no smaller than the Pro's (although I could be wrong). The keyboard is also mostly the same (the function keys are smaller on the Air, I think that's about it)

> It has an actual physical Ethernet plug. Which you don’t normally need, until suddenly you really do.

Yes indeed

And one more advantage of a Pro: you can rip our the SuperDrive and replace it with a second drive (second SSD or backup platters) for extra storage if you want to carry your music collection or some movies around with you, or have data critical enough you want a local backup of everything on a local partition (on top of the external time machine/time capsule you probably have already)

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From: Karl Voit (Apr 14 2012, at 02:26)

"The trackpad is the size of a small European country."

... hehe funny :-)

Greetings from Austri... wait a tick .... HEY!

;-)

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April 12, 2012
· Technology (85 fragments)
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