Should you buy a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro?

“Both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are great machines, but with less than £50 difference between the 13” Air and 13” Pro, which do you go for?” Karl Hodge writes for Macworld UK.

“It depends whether you want portability or power,” Hodge writes. “The Air is incredibly mobile. Light and stylish, it’s an easy notebook to slip into the laptop pocket of your bag or rucksack. At just 1.7 cm at its thickest point, the Air tapers to an incredible 0.3 cm. ”

Hodge writes, “MacBook Pros really shine at the higher end. The Retina display version with nVidia GPU is a no-brainer for gaming or graphics work. But in the squeezed middle, it really does come down to whether you need a portable machine to carry everywhere or a little workhorse you can take between office and home to crunch numbers and edit media.”

Full article here.

21 Comments

  1. It should be noted that the “£50 difference between the 13” Air and 13” Pro” is comparing the current MacBook Air to the old school non-Retina MacBook Pro.

    The difference in price between 13″ MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina display is £200, at the lowest config for both.

    Between MacBook Air and non-Retina MacBook Pro, there is no question… MacBook Air. The Air has better graphics hardware and higher resolution display (and that incredible battery life), although the Pro has a faster processor (and a built-in optical drive if you need it).

    Between MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina display, that’s a tougher question. In the US, the price difference is $400 (at the lowest configs).

  2. Pro, but only after a Hasewll refresh. I reckon they’ll get 10 hour battery life in the Retina 15″. Definitely worth waiting a couple of months for that.

  3. MacBook Pro. It can easily run two external monitors (one on HDMI and another on Thunderbolt) and still have connectivity for other thunderbolt or USB3 devices.

    1. I Agree. The Air is fantastic but for harder workflows the Pro is the best machine for that. (MBR is also thin & light in 15″ or 13″ range)

    2. @i47 – What type of monitors are you running? I’m curious as I’m going to buy a Macbook Pro after the refresh and researching which monitors to go with that will do the trick.

      I would like to see Apple do a refresh of their displays to get the higher resolution comparable to the Retina display, but not sure when that will, or if ever, happen.

  4. The Air supports 80211 AC ..the current Pro only N and with Mavericks the Air will share screens over Apple tv of literally any size. The macbook pro is now a bit behind the times since the air can easily link to any outboard device for longer term storage. With the 512 ssd you have plenty for your apps. The desktop replacement days are fading.

  5. I’m also holding out for a refresh of the 15″ MBP. I really like the low weight of the Air, but need the power of the Pro.

    I will hook it up to an external monitor at home. Not yet sure which I’ll get. I’m hoping Apple will refresh the Thunderbolt monitor. 24″ would be best, I’ll go for the 27″ if that is all they provide.

  6. I’m looking to upgrade my MBP idk wether to get the air or pro! I use it for regular stuff but I plan on getting better at editing my youtube videos. The MBP is actually cheaper with the education pricing (compared to the air 13 inch). I have a ipad which I use for most of my school work. Any suggestions on which one should I go with?

  7. Both! 11″ MBA for travel, and a 15″ rMBP for video editing in FCPX and publishing work in InDesign. Both are great machines, would not miss one of them.

  8. I am disappointed that I have to choose between a Retina Display or a machine with a hard disk drive. I want both a Retina Display AND 750 GB of storage, but Apple forces me to choose between the two.

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