As the result of a trend that’s been going on for years, Apple sells a lot more laptop computers than desktop ones. We understand why this is happening, however. Laptops developed by Apple are very well made, have great power and they’re also portable machines that you can take with you anywhere you want.
The laptop lineup from Apple is made out of two major models: the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro. However, there are some great differences between the two that you must take into account before deciding which of the two suits you best. We plan to help you decide which Apple notebook to purchase with this guide by going over the differences, the specifics, as well as the performance of both the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro.
Why choose the MacBook Air?
The laptop is very light and will take very little space in your bag. However, this does come at a cost. The laptop has slower performance when compared to its bigger brother and a non-Retina display that is also smaller in size. That being said, if you plan to use your laptop mostly in a coffee shop, a classroom or meetings for simpler tasks, these things might not matter as much.
The most affordable MacBook Air laptops from Apple start at $899. This doesn’t mean, however, that these devices are entry-level machines. These laptops are very capable of handling all your everyday tasks. If your activities involve mostly productivity tasks that make use of apps that run on a single core, such as presentations, word processors, email, web and spreadsheets, and if you are constantly on the run, the MacBook Air will provide more than enough performance for you to be happy. You can use a professional level app on the laptop too, but the dual-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz will limit the performance.
Because they’re very portable, the MacBook Air laptops are one of the best-selling Apple products. The 11-inch model of the MacBook Air only weighs 2.38 pounds and the 13-inch version weighs 2.96. Both of these laptops are only 0.68 inches thick. The battery life on these laptops is also amazing. The 11-inch model lasts for nine hours when watching videos or surfing the web and the 13-inch one lasts for 12 hours. This means that you will have enough battery life to go through an entire day’s work.
The major trade-off, however, when compared to the MacBook Pro, is the beautiful Retina display. The performance is also slower than on the MacBook Pro, but if you want a laptop that you can easily travel with, the MacBook Air is your go-to machine.
Why choose the MacBook Pro?
The MacBook Pro’s most in-your-face feature is the Retina display. These kinds of display have a lot more pixels than the displays found on MacBook Airs. This means that images and text will look a lot sharper on the MacBook Pro. This higher resolution also means that the laptop is more suitable for people who work with HD videos, which will allow you to work with the actual resolution of the footage and still have plenty of room for the interface of the app you work with.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro has a resolution of 2,560×1,600 and the 15-inch one has a resolution of 2,880×1,800. The MacBook Air, which has a non-Retina display has a resolution of 1,366×768 (for the 11-inch model) and 1,440×900 (for the 13-inch one) which makes for a huge difference between the two kinds of displays.
The MacBook Pro claims it has the same performance as a desktop computer. The MacBook Pro is quite faster than the MacBook Air, that’s for sure. The 13-inch model offers a 2.6 to 2.8GHz dual-core processor and the 15-inch one offers a 2.2 to 2.5GHz quad-core processor. This means that apps such as Logic Pro X, Final Cut Pro and Photoshop that take advantage of multi-cores are ideal for the 15-inch model of the Retina MacBook Pro.
Battery life is amazing on all Apple laptops. The 13-inch model of the MacBook Pro can last for 9 hours on iTunes playback or when browsing the web and the 8-inch model can last for 8. However, the MacBook Air, lasts the longest of all Apple notebooks with the 13-inch model lasting for 12 hours on video playback and web browsing.
The MacBook Pro is also heavier than the MacBook Air. The 13-inch model weighs 3.46 pounds and the 15-inch one weighing in at 4.46 pounds. Even though this might not sound like a big deal, carrying a MacBook Pro for a couple of hours will make you feel like it weighs 20 pounds, not 4.
When choosing the MacBook Pro, you’re essentially picking power over portability. These models are also more expensive. The entry-level 15-inch MacBook Pro is priced at $1,999 and the entry level 13-inch one at $1,299. But keep in mind that these laptops are regarded desktop replacements.
If you really want a 13-inch model MacBook Pro, you should probably consider the $1,499 model as it offers more storage (256GB) than the $1,299 one and it’s only a little slower than the more expensive $1,799 model. The $1,799 model, however, is the only one that has 512GB of storage capacity. If you want a 15-inch model, you should probably buy the $2,499 one. This is the best option if you plan on using professional apps that will benefit from the Nvidia graphics card and the 512GB storage.
If you plan on buying a MacBook Air, you should consider a model that has 256GB of storage. Other than getting more space for your files, you also receive a model with a slighter boost in performance. Keep in mind, however, that the MacBook Air doesn’t have as many ports as the MacBook Pro, so consider also investing in some adapters.
There is also an older, slower version of the MacBook Pro that doesn’t have a retina display and costs $1,099 but we didn’t include it in our guide as it is very likely that Apple will discontinue this model in the near future.