Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Sep 13, 2013 2:18 PM by ibanezSR300L
kisin888 Level 1 (0 points)

i cant decide which macbook to buy:

macbook air 13" or macbook pro 13" (no retina)


i will use the mac for this purposes (in order of importance):

1) learning and developing apps using xcode

2) regular use: surfing the web, email, videos, and very light-casual games

3) using windows 8 through virtual machine of some sort


will the air will be sufficient or will it be slow and slougish?

does the pro will give me a big boost of pwer comparing the air?

MacBook Air
  • dominic23 Level 8 (37,802 points)

    "learning and developing apps using xcode"



    MacBook Pro 13-inch with 8GB RAM





  • Eagle Owl Level 1 (35 points)

    Unless you need a really light-weight computer to carry around easily, I would suggest the MacBook Pro.


    Incidentally, if you are going to run a virtual machine, it is important to have plenty of memory and disk space.

  • kisin888 Level 1 (0 points)

    i can only buy the air 13" 4gb or the pro 13" 4gb, basic with no modifications.


    does the difference between them in terms of cpu power is so big in favor of the pro that i need to sacrifice the hugh battery life and light weight the air have?

  • clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 (30,000 points)

    Get the 13" MacBook Pro - when you save your pennies, you can always upgrade the RAM in the Pro, whereas, with the Air, you would be stuck with 4GB of RAM forever. I consider 8GB of RAM to be the minimum.



  • Network 23 Level 6 (11,900 points)

    The basic 13-inch MacBook Pro Retina has a faster CPU, but it is worth noting that the 13-inch MacBook Air has faster storage (the only Mac that has the new superfast PCIe SSD drive) and more powerful graphics (Intel 5000) in addition to being easier to carry.


    It is a more even comparison than it would seem from just looking at the CPU, and it has been said in the press that users should consider the MacBook Air 13" as the new default computer choice. I have used 15" MacBook Pros for many years, but the price/performance ratio of the Airs has climbed so much recently that I think my next laptop is a loaded 13" MacBook Air.

  • kisin888 Level 1 (0 points)

    what about the resolution differences?

    13" pro is 1280*800 and 13" air is 1440*900.



    this is my first mac im going to buy and im simply cant decide wheter to buy pro or air.

    and as i dig into this dilemma its gets harder to decide

  • woodmeister50 Level 5 (5,170 points)

    Reason to buy the Macbook Pro (non-retina)

    over the Macbook Air:

    1.  RAM can be upgraded up to 16 gig in Mackbook Pro

          (actually purchase RAM from OWC or Newegg as it

           it is much cheaper that Appple).   The Air, what you get

          is what you live with for ever.

    2.  You will be able to get off the shelf 2.5" HDD or SSD and

          easily upgrade the MBP in the future.  As, SSD densities

          increase and price per gigabyte go down this is a very

         attractive option to have.  Also, if the drive dies, you can

        easily replace it with the afore mentioned off the shelf drives.

         Air, SSD is special form factor and is available only through

         a very limited number of suppliers.

    3.  MBP better performance than Air.

    4.  MBP has internal CD/DVD drive if that is needed.  No need to

         carry an extra box around.


    Reason to get Macbook Air:

    Thin, light easy to carry with somewhat of a wow factor (although not

    as much as it once was).

  • Network 23 Level 6 (11,900 points)

    kisin888 wrote:


    what about the resolution differences?

    13" pro is 1280*800 and 13" air is 1440*900.

    Since you'll be writing code, the higher resolution of the Pro may help you if you plan to have multiple windows or panes of code and you want to be able to spread out document windows and see them side by side. A lot of people prefer the Retina for reading text (like code). But if you think you will do most of your coding in one big window, then you may not need high resolution as much.


    So think about your working habits. If you're a "one app fills the whole screen" guy, the Air screen is fine. If you're a multi-window worker like me, you might want the higher Pro resolution.


    I like woodmeister50's point that if you want to get a Pro, the non-Retina is nice because it is so flexible and upgradable. That's why I own a non-Retina 15" Pro. But it's heavy. This is the problem...the 13" Pro is not as well specced as the 15" Pro so the 13" Pro is harder to justify against the 13" Air.

  • Csound1 Level 8 (46,987 points)

    Network 23 wrote:


    kisin888 wrote:


    what about the resolution differences?

    13" pro is 1280*800 and 13" air is 1440*900.

    Since you'll be writing code, the higher resolution of the Pro may help you

    The Pro has lower resolution than the Air.

  • Russa Level 4 (1,315 points)

    As I see it.. if you want lightness and portability then the MacBook Air is the way to go. If you want big storage options and a larger screeen then the MacBook Pro is the way to go.

  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 (14,725 points)

    between the pro and the new Air, the new AIR is "better" in that it has a SSD, much longer batt. life, Haswell processor, and 802ac, no other MAC has those features,....also its like packing around an IPAD size and weight wise.  


    SSD over the HD (I have both) is much faster (a lot) startup time and faster read/ write speeds.    Also NO MOVING parts or HD crashes (head crash) possible on a SSD ,,,,,,(well, no convention crashes are possible that is, since there are no disks and flying heads)


    However your choice is subjective.  having both myself, my Pro collects dust,


    .....the AIR is just as powerful... and the new AIR is moreso, and starts much quicker due to SSD and so easy to pack around or open and turn on and check things quickly


    Unless you plan on gaming, or video editing, get the AIR


    As to the graphics, many people with BOTH (myself as well) prefer the AIR monitor better,.... its a bit more contrasty and sharper to look at for longer periods (as against the NON retina Macbook PRO in reference)

  • dpiluso Level 1 (20 points)

    I would recommend the MacBook Pro 13". You can always upgrade the RAM and hard drive later if you wanted.

  • atomicluck1 Level 1 (30 points)

    I have a similar dilemma.  Replacing a 2009 MBP and a 2010 MBA into 1 single device.  The MBP was replacement to 2 older Mac laptops.  The MBA because I travel the world with work and it is less weight to carry around.  However, today there is less of a flne line separating the MBP and MBA than in years past.


    Both have 13", both have SSD, both are nearly equal in other asspects if you discount the retina screen. 


    I went back to the Apple store today to play around with new models of both and it's a toss up.  The one advantage to the MBP is the retina display.  Plus, come August and certainly by September the MBP will have the Haswell processor which will take less power.


    As the MPB and MBA have morphed towards each other I wonder why there are still 2 lines.  Other than the 11" MBA which is extremely light to carry or the retina display ... the MBP and MBA seem to edge closer and closer to being the same device.


    If you can wait.  Follow my lead and wait until this time in August to see if the MBP gets upgraded.


    As of now the one thing that leans me towards the MBP is the retina display which is a big thing for movies.

  • Network 23 Level 6 (11,900 points)

    Csound1 wrote:

    The Pro has lower resolution than the Air.

    I got it mixed up with the Retina. If future expandability is not a priority the Air looks better and better.

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