Money, Money, Money: The Grand MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro Battle


The MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro debate has been raging for years now and, while we don’t expect to settle it once and for all with a single blog post, we do want to give you an overview. That’s because if you are just now considering the purchase of a new portable Apple computer, you might be a bit out of the loop, when it comes to the features of and differences between the two devices. In a nutshell, it’s simple: the MacBook Air is light and sleek, while the MacBook Pro is robust and dependable. But how do you choose what’s right for you? Read to, to get a basic idea.

MacBook Airs – Are they worth it?

As the lighter device, it should come as no surprise that the MacBook Air is comparatively more affordable. Current price tags stand, on average, at $999 to $1,199 for the 11-inch MacBook Air and $1,099 to $1,299 for the 13-inch version. It is, in fact, the cheapest laptop that Apple sells. In both display sizes you will be getting an 1.3 GHz processor, 4GB of RAM and 128 GB of SSD hard-disk capacity. The 2013 models come with Retina displays and a PCIe connection for the SSD (this also applies for the MacBook Pro). While it’s relatively easy to improve RAM capacity and processors for the Air, not the same can be said for the device’s SSD storage capacity – although it is feasible. 13-inch screen MacBook Airs come with an internal optical SuperDrive (the only Mac left on the market to still include this feature), as well as 4GB of RAM and a SATA 500GB HDD (also the only Mac of this kind). The processor clocks in at 2.5 GHz.

What about the MacBook Pro?

MacBook Pros, in their 2013 iteration, are somewhat more expensive, but also come with the benefit of a Retina display.  The 13-inch version costs upward of $1,299 (up to $1,799, with a $1,499 model also available). Unlike regular MacBook Pros, they don’t have traditional hard drives and internal optical drives – instead, they come with 128GB of SSD storage pre-installed. They use 2.4 GHz dual-core i5 processors and compute at 4GB of RAM. The type of storage they use makes them more lightweight and thinner.

Now, the 15-inch version is actually impressive, even in spite of its rather daunting price range, from $1,999 to $2,599. They come with 2.0 GHZ quad-core i7 processors, 8GB of RAM and 256GB worth of storage on an SSD HDD. The integrated graphics card is Intel Iris Pro and it’s also worth mentioning that it’s the only 15-inch diagonal laptop from Apple. The more expensive variant has a graphics chip, a 2.3 GHz quad-core i7 processor, and Nvidia GeForce GT 750 graphics. With this much computing power on your hands, and judging by the price as well, you need to make sure whether or not you actually require such a powerful machine or could easily make do with one of the more affordable versions.

The never-ending MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro debate

Pricing and computing aspects aside, the one thing that has remained unchanged throughout the years is how easy it is to configure either one of the two types of laptops. By and large, it’s still far easier to customize a MacBook Pro than an Air, although Apple has made considerable strides in this sense. However, it’s important to bear in mind that you can only upgrade your processor and SSD HDD on the MacBook Air once. You will also require the help of a professional, since a MacBook Air needs to be literally disassembled before it’s upgraded. As such, even though it’s the more expensive Apple laptop, it looks like the MacBook Pro still wins the MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro debate.