“If you’re a MacBook user and you never quite figured out what all those holes on the side of your laptop are for—and $500 or so doesn’t mean much to you—the Air is a viable option. Even at 1.6GHz and with an iPod drive the MacBook Air is more than powerful enough for office work and presentations. However, if you need more speed, fast I/O, and better graphics, the Air is no match for the MacBook Pro with its GeForce 8600M GT and the ability to drive 2560×1600 screens. The bigger LCD screen also helps, of course. Storage-wise, the MBP not only supports much bigger and faster internal drive options—it also has FireWire800, the ExpressCard slot, and gigabit Ethernet to connect to external storage at high speed, while the MBA is limited to 802.11n and USB2. This makes the MBP a suitable choice for graphics/video work, where the MBA and, to a slightly lesser degree, the MB, would out of their depth,” Iljitsch van Beijnum reports for Ars Technica.
“It’s easy to criticize the MacBook Air for what it’s not. It’s not a fully loaded desktop replacement. It’s not the laptop for the masses. However, it is a machine made for taking with you on the road,” van Beijnum reports.
“If you’re looking for a primary computer, the MBP is probably your best choice if you don’t want to compromise on performance and I/O options. The MB can still be a decent option in this scenario if your needs and budget are more modest. The MBA isn’t an obvious choice as a primary computer unless style is an overriding concern. As a second computer, the MBA is great if you travel around much in places where there’s WiFi, with the MB coming in second—it’s a lot heaver than the MBA, but also a lot cheaper. The MBP is the second computer of choice for the traveling graphics/video professional and for people that can’t live without good connectivity even if there’s no WiFi,” van Beijnum reports.
More in the full article, including a convenient chart comparing and contrasting Apple’s MacBook Pro, MacBook, and MacBook Air, here.