First time Mac user: Pro vs Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by james83, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. james83 macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2013
    I know there's probably been similar threads like this before, so apologies, but I'm about to buy my first Mac and I'm ot sure wether to go for the 13 Air or 13 Pro. I plan to mainly use it in the house, but I may take it out and about occasionally, and maybe more so in the future.

    Initially I want it in addition to my Dell PC, mainly for the following:

    Photo Storage
    TV/film streaming
    Possibly music (over 5,000 songs)

    However, I've had my PC for a good few years now and they don't last forever so I can see this Mac (depending on how I take to it) eventually becoming a replacement. I've used 200GB on my PC, with about 5,000 songs (and ever growing), and growing photos, videos (Youtube/dvd rips and some TV & Film downloads though I tend to store them on an external hardrive). I'm also looking into doing a video editing course for which you need a Mac, so storage/performance might be an issue for that.

    I've played with both models in stores. Initially I really liked Air, but after sometime on the Pro I started to warm to it, and then going from that to the Air, it felt like a downgrade with the Pro being the bigger/better model.

    Things swaying me towards an Air:

    - I love the look, it's compact, slim, and light, so I'm guessing it would be more comfortable to sit with it on your lap round the house and I love how thin the front is, where as the Pro is quite deep at the front.

    - I prefer the screen. I don't like the glare/reflection in the screen of the pro.

    - Performance, better/faster and quicker start up/shut down time.

    Things swaying me towards the Pro:

    - The storage! You only get 250mb with the Air, and if I do end up transfering everything from my PC on to it, the Air won't leave me with much to play with!

    - It's £130 cheaper despite having twice the storage!

    - The CD/DVD drive. Like most people I never use CD's anymore but I have a huge DVD collection, and I like the idea of having that option, and being able to rip/burn dvds, which I do fairly often on my PC.

    - I don't like the glare/refelction in the glass of the screen but as suggested to me in a previous post, an anti-glare screen protector will fix that.

    So looking at what I initially want it for, and could possibly need it for in the future, does anyone have any advice for me? Is there anything I've missed, things/features which might make either model more or less suitable?

    Thanks in advance for your help! :)
  2. lagisibuk macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2013
    Always Somewhere
    Please choice macbook pro 13".
    u will get 500GB hdd and when you need more speed for access data/loading.
    you can add 128GB SSD and 500GB HDD for data storage.
    you can upgrade ram up to 16GB in the future.

    it's more than enough :)
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If you comparing between the classic MBP (non retina) and the MBA, I'd say go with the MBA.

    You can a higher resolution, you have better battery life and an all around lighter machine.

    The advantages of the 13" cMBP are that you expandability down the road.

    If I were choosing between those two laptops at this point, I'd go with the MBA :D
  4. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Oct 21, 2009
    All of the stuff that takes up a lot of space is media which doesnt require speed. Get the air and put all of your media on a NAS drive and you will have the best of both worlds. The air is better for the following reasons:

    Screen resolution is higher
    Battery life is better
    Thinner and lighter
    Faster due to solid state storage
    Better graphics chip
    Runs cooler and quieter
    More portable
    Higher resale value as the cmbp is about to be phased out in the next year or so

    The only cons of the air are limited ram (upgrade to 8gb when you order), limited ssd space (but a NAS) solves this issue, no superdrive (a non issue as you can get an external and will barely ever use it).

    I havput the main reason I prefer the air in all caps
  5. james83 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2013
    I actually forgot to mention the sharp edge of the pro issue! I know a lot of people have problems with it & I did notice you don't really get that as much with the air & it's more comfortable to use.
  6. tmt macrumors member


    Mar 8, 2009
    MBA. The ssd makes it a lot snappier. Get a WD passport studio 2GB drive and your done...
  7. m98custom1212 macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2013
    Toledo, Ohio
  8. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Oct 21, 2009
    you don't get it at all with the air due to the taper. It is a large issue to me with the 13" pro (not so much with the bigger pros)
  9. c1phr macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2011
    I think that this is interesting, since I've never experienced this on my MBP and I've used it in probably every position I can think of.

    However, I would definitely say the Air for the reasons mentioned. So long as you're alright with storing most of your large media on an external device, there's not a whole lot of reason to go with a Pro unless you know you need the extra power (and from your uses that you've listed, the Air should be more than powerful).
  10. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2007
    If you plan on storing a lot of photos and music, then the Air with a NAS drive should work just fine, but if you would also like to have the music and photos be portable when you do leave the house (on vaca or whatever) and you don't like/trust cloud storage in a world of BB, then the MBP is the way to go.

    Yes the Air has a higher resolution screen, but it's actually a MUCH WORSE display given the lack of color fidelity, brightness, contrast, black level, and viewing angle when compared to the MBP.

    Get a base MBP (or even a last years refurb or used one off of CL), upgrade it with either a 500GB SSD ($300) or a 750GB hybrid drive ($100) and 8GB of memory ($50) and you'll have a super fast machine THAT ALSO can hold all your stuff for less than the cost of a decently specced MBA-13.

  11. tann macrumors 68000

    Apr 15, 2010
    Nottingham, England
    Since you already are used to storing some stuff on an external drive, I'd say get the Air.

    The Pro looks alright (especially when you can put in the hard drive and ram etc) but honestly after owning a Pro and now an Air I don't think I can ever go back to something that heavy (even though it's only 0.7kgs heavier).

    I'd recommend an external DVD drive for DVDs, I use one! Rip lots of DVDs from my collection with it :).
  12. scbond macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2010
    Nottingham, UK
  13. c1phr macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2011
    I don't know that I would call it "MUCH WORSE". Many people seem fairly happy with it, and if you aren't doing any involved color sensitive work, then one would be hard pressed to see the difference. Keep in mind, there in an inherent muting of the contrast and color saturation that comes with the matte display.

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