Customer Review

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Returned upgraded SSD 13" MacBook Pro for this, no regrets!, July 23, 2012
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This review is from: Apple Macbook Air MD231ll/A 13.3-inch Laptop (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)
I upgraded from a 2010 HP Envy 14 to the 13" MacBook Pro about 3 weeks ago. I tinker at a basic level, so I opted to purchase a SATA III SSD and 2x4GB 1600MHz RAM on my own and installed it. So, I had an upgraded MBP 13" I was very proud of.

Over the next week, I came to realize I should probably return the SSD, RAM, and MBP for a BTO MacBook Air with 8 GB of RAM. This was based on the following:
1) Lighter Weight: I carry my laptop everywhere I go, often making 3 or more trips with the laptop in my bag. The extra 1.5 lb. from the MacBook Pro makes a difference to me, and I'm not a small guy at all.

2) Better resolution: The MBP 13" resolution maxes out at 1280x800. The 1440x900 on the MBA is more functional and allows better detail useful for work. Buyers should be aware that the MacBook Pro 13" has a better color gamut though - intensive Photoshop work requiring color accuracy might be better on the MBP.

3) Sufficient RAM: Running a memory clearing app (Clear Memory) showed me that I hover right at 4GB of RAM usage in my daily tasks, mostly involving Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook on Windows Office 2011 for Mac on top of 5-15 open Chrome browser tabs. Getting 8GB of RAM would put me in the clear, meaning I would never need or use the maximum of 16GB allowed by the MacBook Pro.

4) Comparable performance: The lower clockspeed and voltage of the i5 on the MBA had me concerned at first, but most benchmarks show the MBP i5 outperforming the MBA's i5 by only about 5-10%. Since I did nothing that required that additional speed and the MBP i5 seemed plenty zippy to me, I decided that the MBA's i5 wouldn't be a noticeable downgrade in performance.

5) Sufficient disk space: 128GB is plenty for me. I access most of my work files from a shared server and store videos/photos/music on an external HDD to save space anyway.

Basically, I came to the conclusion that buying the MacBook Air upgraded to 8GB for $100 was a better bang for the buck, with sufficient future proofing, when compared to buying a stock 13" MacBook Pro with user-upgraded SSD and RAM.

I got my MacBook Air in the mail last week and returned my MacBook Pro. I haven't looked back - the performance feels identical to me, packed into a tighter and more portable shell.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 23, 2012 1:13:09 AM PDT
Jeff W says:
Nick,
I just did the same thing. Shipped the MBP back today and ordered the 13-inch MBA/128GB with 8GB RAM. Thanks for your post and affirming my decision to go with the MBA after all.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2012 7:23:53 AM PDT
Nick H says:
Glad I was helpful! Loving the MBA as I use it now, hope you do as well.

Posted on Sep 18, 2012 4:02:01 AM PDT
thanks nick. Very informative review for me, and great points.
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