I know that the people who use this forum are mainly windows users as I am, but I am still interested in getting a Mac for my laptop.
Although I know I want to purchase some MacBook model, I am stuck on deciding between the 2011 13" MacBook Air 1.8GHz and the 2011 15" MacBook Pro 2GHz. Which ever one I get, I will be bringing it to school and so I will be doing word editing, web browsing, and maybe playing portal and TF2.
I like the MacBook Air because of its portability and high resolution for a thirteen inch display, but its lack of ports and a cd drive is quite the compromise considering the high price.
On the other hand, I like the MacBook Pro because of its great performance, but its bulk and not-so-great resolution are down sides to me. Also, I'm not sure if the hi-res display is a worthwhile option if I have a 24" 1920x1200 monitor that I could hook it up to at home.
Any Ideas on which one I should choose? I have about $1800 to spend but may be able to stretch that up to $2000. Also I might consider a windows laptop if anyone has a good suggestion, although I don't want the Vaio z because that is too expensive for me.
I know that the windows laptops would give me much more performance for about half the price, as I was originally considering getting a Alienware M14x. Personally, though, the windows laptops are too plasticy for me and also too chunky. For these reasons I have decided to go down the Mac path but may install windows on them in the future.
First off the Mac Book AIR has a crappy integrated Intel HD Graphics FYI, so I will list the MBP first, heres a few ideas:
MBP 15" $1849
MagSafe power port
Gigabit Ethernet port
FireWire 800 port (up to 800 Mbps)
Two USB 2.0 ports (up to 480 Mbps)
Thunderbolt port (up to 10 Gbps)
Audio line in Audio line out
SDXC card slot
Kensington lock slot
Radeon 6490 256MB + HD 3000 Intel graphics
500GB 7200RPM HDD
15" Glossy (some people like matte screens)
This is one of the more basic models. To add other features would add $100's of dollars.
I like the Mac Book Pro due to the better hook up options than the MBA. Plus a dedicated video card (although kind of weak) and a nice backlit keyboard.
The Mac Book Air is very portable though, which would be nice for lugging around.
I Like the MacBook Pro option, and was also aware of the graphics included on the MacBook Air. I considered the MacBook Air because the graphics were suitable to run TF2 at low settings around 30fps. The only change that I would make to that configuration is that I would get a different hard drive that I would install, the Seagate Momentus XT ST95005620AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s with NCQ Solid State Hybrid Drive -Bare Drive, and also would upgrade to the screen to the glossy hi-res.