Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pro Vs Air and PC vs Mac - One Clear Winner, January 14, 2012
This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro MD313LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)
First, just sec of background. I know PC's pretty well and I was the guy all my relatives had me log in remotely to update their virus software, do defragmentations, run Ccleaner and other utilities and just fix problems. I like feeling useful and having the knowledge to keep all that malware off computers and it felt like a community service but, after awhile, I became annoyed after all those years trying to "save" people from problems and gird myself and them against all that outside stuff PC users are or should be protecting themselves from. I personally never got any malware that I know of or viruses that brought down my system but was constantly working to update my system and keep those things at bay.

Before switching to Mac, I researched the likelihood of getting malware or viruses on a Mac vs PC and found lots of answers but many experts seemed to suggest that it was just because Mac was less well known that bad people were not writing so many viruses and malware for Mac but that you just, well, never know. It was a matter of time, they said, before Macs would be hit big time and it would be similarly less secure like PC's are. But everyone I knew who owned Macs never seemed to have any issues like that. When you would ask them about viruses or malware, they would seem to think the question was quaint, like asking about a long lost relative they just barely remember. No, they hadn't but they would seem compassionate that you were still "on the other side" and hadn't quite "seen the light" yet. I did read about some Mac malware but these were gotten by people getting onto illegal download sites and then getting hit with Macdefender or whatever it was called. Any reasonable user wouldn't likely have gotten it and Apple came out with a fix for it anyway eventually.

Before seeing and using the Mac OS, I was happy with Windows 7 on the PC aside from the aforementioned work I had to do to keep it secure. But 7 looks pretty low quality compared to Mac OS X Lion. I won't say much more here (although if astute you can probably ascertain my preference) because you have to try it for yourself. I suppose it is possible to like 7 over this Mac system but you be the judge. 7 is certainly light years beyond XP. Let's not even discuss Vista.

So I decided to switch to Mac last July and was very impressed with the 2011 iMac I bought so was finding any excuse I could to buy this laptop as well. I was originally going back and forth with the Air 13 inch but did not like the harshness of the screen. Many of the reviews said that the better resolution on the Air was an advantage over the MBP 13 but my eyesight is not that great and things are smaller on the screen with the Air. I am used to and love the glossy screen on the iMac so was drawn to this Macbook Pro (also colors on the MBP look richer and more attractive to me). My next worry was that the MBP 13 screen would be too glossy if used outdoors as some have said. Well I haven't been outdoors so no issue yet. Then I worried that 13 inches would be too small and spent quite a bit of time at the Apple store trying to figure out if I wanted to spend the extra money on the 15 inch and should I get the high-res glossy or matte or just the normal res 15? After my head spinning for awhile, I settled on this Macbook Pro 13 and have not regretted my decision for a second. Also I saved $600 over the 15 inch.

The problems with the Air 13 over the Pro 13 that many have not considered is that the Air's RAM memory is soldered to the board. This means that once you are out of warrantee, if the RAM fails (which CAN happen), open up your wallet because (the rep at the Apple store said that) it would cost around $600 for repair. You can't upgrade the RAM on the Air either. If you want to replace or add RAM for the Pro, it costs not much and pretty easy to do I hear (just go on Amazon or Crucial and look up the cost). Odds are you probably won't need more RAM. I upgraded the RAM on my iMac and noticed some difference but I am using Final Cut Pro so likely needed in that case.

Also, while the Air has a much more reliable and faster (although much less space-if that is important) solid state drive (as opposed to the 500 GB 5400 RPM hard drive on the Macbook Pro), I've heard that you can always later upgrade this on the Pro if need be. I have not seen any hard drive access slowdowns yet on the MBP but have not done any really intensive things like using Final Cut with it.

All in all, if you are looking for advice and trying to decide, go to the Apple store and try the Air and Pro before buying. You may notice differences in the keyboard feel, screen look and resolution and, of course, size and weight. If you want something really portable and possibly faster and not doing anything too strenuous, the Air may be the ticket. On the other hand, if you like the glossy screen and don't mind the lower resolution, the Pro may work for you. Plus, you save money with the Pro which is an added bonus.

Oh, and one more thing (wink wink). Everyone seems to suggest getting the Applecare which upgrades the phone support from 90 days to three years and the hardware warrantee from one to three years. With an education discount the price goes down and you can find it if you look in the right place for a significant discount. I have called Applecare several times and am reaching the U.S. and Canada with support employees who are consistently friendly, largely knowledgeable and easy to understand. No script reading here. Maybe not the case with other companies regarding their support. One that comes to mind rhymes with "hell."
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Location: Sacramento, CA United States

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