Purcahse advice. New MBA/MBP v. 2011 MBP

in Genius Bar edited January 2014

I own a very small home office based business (18+ yrs now).  I need a laptop or pad for hauling around all day when I am out of the office. Presently, I generate paperwork all day, then lug it back home to my office and let it pile up for a week, then I spend all day Saturday or Sunday entering the info into my QuickBooks Pro software.  I have time during the day to enter the data, but I find it cumbersome and slow to use a wifi connection via an ipad APP to link to my office iMac. I have decided to get a MacBook Pro or Air.  I need some advice which to get. I am comfortable spending up to $1200. Beyond that, I might just drop back and get an ASUS Android pad with a keyboard and mouse for around $600.  Would that be stupid? A Windows based device is not an option.


My choices as I see them are:


MicroCenter has MacBook Pro 13.3" MD313LL/A Laptop Computer for $989. This is the 2011 model I believe.  It is on clearance because Apple just came out with the new retina display upgraded MBP and MBA for around $1200.

  • Intel® Core(tm) i5 2.4GHz

  • 4GB DDR3-1333 SDRAM

  • 500GB 5,400RPM Hard Drive

  • 13.3" LED-backlit Glossy Widescreen Display

  • 8x SuperDrive

  • Intel® HD 3000

  • 10/100/1000 Network

  • 802.11n Wireless

  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR

  • Mac OS X 10.7 Lion


MBP 13-inch : 128GB

  • 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor

  • Turbo Boost up to 2.8GHz

  • 4GB memory

  • 128GB flash storage1

  • Intel HD Graphics 4000

  • $1199


MBA - 11-inch : 128GB

  • 1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor

  • Turbo Boost up to 2.6GHz

  • 4GB memory

  • 128GB flash storage1

  • Intel HD Graphics 4000

  • $1099


I can get the $100 credit for educational use off of the newer models (I think)


Do I spend the extra $200 for a new non-Retina model and if so, the MBA 11” or the MBP 13”?


My use:  I carry my laptop to and from work every day in my work van.  When I  work it will mostly sit on my LAP in my work van, and sometimes at a McDonald’s free wifi spot.  When I get home it will sit on my desk.  It may also stream to a HDTV via Apple TV. 


I will want to sync the QuickBooks Pro Data file to my iMac and Time Machine.  In between it's in my backpack sitting in the van.  When I'm on the machine I'm using quickbooks Pro and Chrome and Excel.


I value your input on what you think is a better bang for the buck. 


  • Reply 1 of 2
    chipzchipz Posts: 100member

    I think the MBA is a better choice for your needs.  It is really powerful and fast.  The weight is, like, minimal.  I had a 13" MBP and the 4.5 pounds it weighed really started to feel heavy after awhile.  The MBA is only 2.9 pounds and can do everything the MBP does except play CDs and DVDs. I have the 2012 13" MBA with the core i5 processer, 4 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD and I am more than pleased with it.  The video card is now the Intel 4000 which is a little faster than the 3000.  The video resolution of the screen is 1400 x 900 which is better than that of the MBP.The 11" MBA can be had for a lower price, but can be just as fast and powerful.  If you don't need the 13" screen, go for the 11"  MBA.  I'm sure you'll love it.

  • Reply 2 of 2
    smiles77smiles77 Posts: 668member

    I agree with chipz, the MacBook Air would be best. Judging from your workflow, however, I'd suggest one of the refurb models in the Apple Store. I'd predict the 13-inch version ($929) as being best for you, but if not there's also the 11-inch available ($849). They come with the same 1-year warranty as new units and should fit your workflow well for a good price.

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