Hi everybody. I posted a similar thread on another forum about a month ago but now I have actually been to the computer stores about 3 times to see the machines in person. I will preface this message with a few things about me and my expected usage. I am starting my first year of engineering in the fall and have decided that as a non-gamer, portability ranks much higher than performance. Now before you immediately say "engineering, you need the fastest quad core workstation you can get with dual graphics, and 16Gb of RAM" (I have heard that many times before ) let me tell you a not more about my realistic usage goals. The University I am attending (UCalgary) has very robust and well funded engineering faculty. Therefore there is a lot of technology equipment and computer labs available to students which would certainly oit class a laptop. At the same time, many of the lecture halls are not renovated to include student power outlets. Hence the need for extended battery use and portability. From what I have been told, it sounds like I need a computer capable of light AutoCAD and MATLAB work if I would like to work on projects while staying in residence. (Calgary can get very cold in the winter ) I understand that for professional CAD work you definitely need a full workstation however what are the requirements of light work for a student? From what I can tell, the software will run on any machine just much faster on some. I am fixed on getting a 13" display. If that means I need to buy a used monitor or something then so be it. I like the retina display however I'm sure if I bought the MBA I wouldn't notice the difference without the two side by side By the way, I am brand new to Mac but I thought it would be fun to learn both OSX (which seems more power efficient) as well as Windows 8 in parallels or boot camp. Now my main question is what would someone recommend to me? The 13" Macbook pro 2.4Ghz, 8 RAM, 256 SSD -$1449 (this was my primary choice) Or The Macbook Air with i7,8 RAM, and 255 Gb SSD -$1479 I was first thinking about the Pro since I realized the base Macbook air wouldn't be enough. Now I am not so sure when I compare benchmarks of the MBP to the i7 MBA given that the better gpu in the pro is used to drive the retina display thus making it almost equal to the HD5000 for running programs. I also realize that Windows ultrabooks while driving 1080p displays, while using even less powerful HD4400 graphics. At this point I would like to know if the performance gain on the Pro is too little to justify the higher power consumption or am I truly missing something here after reading almost every major internet review of the two machines I am really looking for real world experiences here.