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Mac Book Pro 13' or Mac Book Air 13'

276 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Dec 31, 2012 5:04 AM by DanielDD RSS
DanielDD Calculating status...
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Dec 31, 2012 4:02 AM

Hi everyone,


I am currently considering buying a new laptop in early April and I have been struggling to choose the right model for me. I can afford a 1500$ Mac so the choice is between a Mac Book Pro 13 inch and a Mac Book Air 13 inch.

First of all, let me just say I am a student and I need a good computer to complete my tasks. The apps I am going to use the most are Safari, default Mail, Calendar, Notes and Reminders apps and Office suit. I do not play games although I might use Photoshop (or a similar, more affordable program) for basic image editing (no 3D editing or so).

On the one hand, the Mac Book Pro has a 2.9GHz (up to 3.6GHz) i7 dual core with 4MB cache, 8 GB memory and 750GB storage. Its resolution is 1280 by 800 pixels.

On the other hand, the Mac Book Air has 1.8GHz (up to 2.8GHz) i5 dual core with 3 MB cache, 4 GB memory and 256 flash storage. Its resolution is 1440 by 900 pixels.


The Mac Book Pro has a better processor, but it is still a dual core chip. I heard both i5 and i7 chips have Hyper tread which means they run as they were both a quad core chip. Is this true? Does it worth to buy the Pro for that?

Then, 8GB memory versus 4GB memory. As I said before, I’m a student, so I do not need 8 GB RAM. My concern, however, is the future. Do you think 4GB RAM is enough to run future apple OSs without losing performance?

The storage is not a problem. 256 is more than enough for me (I only use 60/70GB including the operative system). Flash Storage is the way to go but I heard it has a limited life (about 100.000 write/erase cycles) and it tends to lose performance after some use. Is this true?

Lastly, the screen resolution. I am working on a 1366 x 768 pixel monitor and the Mac Book Pro's resolution feels like a downgrade.


Honestly, what do you think?


By the way, happy new year

OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 31, 2012 4:07 AM (in response to DanielDD)

    Your second paragraph, if you can call it a paragraph, says it all.


    Buy the MacB Pro. Air models are Stuck with what you buy, No upgrades can be done. With the Pro you can, in the future, install more RAM and a larger HDD. Or even remove the optical drive and install a second HDD and a SSD in the main bay.



    Airs are fine for someone that has another Real Computer, kind of like having a Pad with built in keyboard. Or for someone that really doesn't use a computer for what they are meant for. IE Storing your life and work files on it.

  • MilkyMouse777 Level 2 Level 2 (220 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 31, 2012 4:10 AM (in response to DanielDD)

    The main difference is:

    MacBook Pro has a DVD drive.

    MacBook Air doesn't.


    I would buy a MacBook Pro (and I did for the same reason as you).

  • Mini-Mac Level 3 Level 3 (780 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 31, 2012 4:29 AM (in response to DanielDD)

    The 13" MBP is Apple's best selling laptop.....but is it right for you?


    The real deciding factor (for me) is are you going to be 51% portable, if so get the MBAir with 8GB's RAM upgrade simply because of weight.  If your going to be 51% stationary get the MBP with 8GB's RAM standard because you get much more when compairing the top models, and the MBP is user upgradeable.  The real downfall (IMO) for the 13" MBP is the screen resolution.


    I recently purchased the 15" MBP (2.6GHz model) High Resolution W/Antiglare Screen, because I'm more than 51% stationary plus I wanted a higher resolution antiglare screen, quad core processor, CD/DVD drive, and Ethernet built-in.  If you get the MBP you can always upgrade (yourself) to a SSD later as more funds become available, or save a little more and do what I did. 


    BTW, I upgraded my 15" MBP to a 256 Crucial SSD.

  • Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 31, 2012 4:43 AM (in response to Mini-Mac)

    Apple charges way to much for upgrading anything on any of their standard computer configurations. Best it to get the standard model and install more RAM yourself for much lower cost, and on the Air models you can NOT do that.

    And that 51% thing you are speaking about it should be more like "If you are going to be mobile 85+% then maybe the Air may be better, at an additional cost for the proper configurations (Like the 8GBs of RAM and the largest SSD mthey offer). But if you are only going to be mobile less then the 85% the MBP is a better deal in the long run. But then I guess you don't see it that way.



    Personally I wouldn't buy a Mac at all, to expensive for any student in a school, student environment. I'd buy a Windows notebook for Half the cost of either Mac notebook and when it got beer or something else spilt on it it would matter as much. Also it seems because of the way the Mac notebooks are built ANY liquid spilt on them Fries them. Just read some of the posts on this forum for proof of that.


    What the OP needs is a Working computer to do their school work on. Not a Fashion statement.

  • MilkyMouse777 Level 2 Level 2 (220 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 31, 2012 4:45 AM (in response to DanielDD)

    DanielDD wrote:


    My only concern is the screen resolution. Indeed I use a 15 inch laptop but either way, 1280 by 800 pixels is a little too low for me.


    But eventually I'm going to get used to it. Thank you for your help I'm going to buy the Mac Book Pro.


    At first I thought it's gonna be too small too. But now I got used to it and it seems just normal


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