Is the 13.3" MacBook Pro Retina really a "Pro" laptop?

MartinAppleGuy

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Sep 27, 2013
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Does anyone see the 13.3" MBPr as a professional laptop? I find it rather hard to see it as that when it is using a Dual Core processor, integrated GPU (not even Iris Pro, but I suppose that is only for the Quad Core models), 4Gb of RAM as entry point...

My question is, does anyone use a 13.3" Macbook Pro Retina professionally?

Edit: I never noticed the fact that there was 2 more teirs, I only saw the entry Macbook Pro Retina w/ 4Gb of RAM and wondered if anyone used that professionally. Sorry.
 
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Merode

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Nov 5, 2013
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If you consider professional as "used for earning money" then you'll find tons of people using it that way. Sales representatives, writers, journalists, etc. etc.

It all depends on profession..
 

sonicrobby

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Apr 24, 2013
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Definitely, its the right amount of power and portability for some professionals' needs. Some professions might require better hardware, such as those for graphics designers, engineers and architects using 3D rendering, etc. But a professional writer, marketer, accountant, doctor, musician can easily get by on a 13" MBP.
 

MartinAppleGuy

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If you consider professional as "used for earning money" then you'll find tons of people using it that way. Sales representatives, writers, journalists, etc. etc.

It all depends on profession..
I would class the "Pro" user as a video editor, a photo editor, or someone that needs the system to stay responsive under heavy load. All of the people mentioned above could go for a Macbook Air and have similar performance.
 

sel1965

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Feb 1, 2006
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KC, MO
I believe it's up the individual user to determine what they qualify as professional. Who are we to judge what each person's needs are.
 

MartinAppleGuy

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I believe it's up the individual user to determine what they qualify as professional. Who are we to judge what each person's needs are.
I'm just saying that I don't think the 13" deserves the Pro name. Thats all.
 

sonicrobby

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Apr 24, 2013
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I'm just saying that I don't think the 13" deserves the Pro name. Thats all.
Oh well if we are discussing names, that's more of history. There was a "Macbook" line, and then Apple came out with the "Macbook Pro" line. The 13" MBP we have now is of that line of Macbooks. Just because it is on the lower end of the range of MBPs, doesnt mean they have to switch the macbook line it is classified in.
 

Barney63

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2014
799
1
Bolton, UK.
I agree with Merode, sonicrobby and sel1965.
A professional is a professional, just because you are not into Graphic Design or 3D rendering doesn't keen you're not a pro.
Maybe if it was called the MacBook Pro Designer or MacBook Pro 3D you would have a valid point.

Barney
 

theromz

macrumors regular
Aug 22, 2013
117
0
Have you tried using one before?

I'm a professional software engineer/front end developer so I have a very mixed job. I have a 2.4/8gb/256gb late 2013 13" and it fits me needs really well, sometimes I wish I had a bit more ram :( but outside of that I have never felt any problems.

My workflow includes using ubuntu VM through vagrant, 1-2 Windows VMs to test IE on, Sublime text as my main code editor, Netbeans for more complicated backend work and xdebug, Photoshop for either creating or using PSD, Chrome/Safari/Firefox for testing, most of the development I just have Chrome open.

All of this runs very well, at times I feel a bit of ram restrain when I have everything open, nothing else is an issue. For me it is a great professional machine. The 15" would have been better for things like Photoshop, it would save/export twice as fast and so on but it is not something I miss a huge amount.

Off course "Professional" code mean anything, at my old company a employee used it for real big design projects, and it was slower then a 15" but it works just fine, there is always going to be something faster for the job tbh.
 

JD92

macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2005
934
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Does anyone see the 13.3" MBPr as a professional laptop? I find it rather hard to see it as that when it is using a Dual Core processor, integrated GPU (not even Iris Pro, but I suppose that is only for the Quad Core models), 4Gb of RAM as entry point...

My question is, does anyone use a 13.3" Macbook Pro Retina professionally?
Professional can have a range of definitions.

Authors, journalists, analysts, managers, researchers, politicians - these are all professionals but they don't need hardware which, say, a video editor might need. What they need is a well-built, reliable, portable, good-looking laptop and that's what the 13" Retina MacBook Pro delivers.

Apple has been selling "Pro" models with lower-end specifications for years. Consider the 12" Powerbook G4 - compared to the 17" Powerbook it was definitely not a laptop for video professionals, but it was perfect for a wide range of other professions.
 

chrizzz09

macrumors regular
May 18, 2013
230
174
Germany
I would class the "Pro" user as a video editor, a photo editor, or someone that needs the system to stay responsive under heavy load. All of the people mentioned above could go for a Macbook Air and have similar performance.
So my Macbook stays responsive under heavy load when i'm gaming, so it qualifies me as a "Pro".

Imagine all the people with older Macbook Pro's which aren't as responsive as they were a few years ago...i hope Apple renames their Pro lineup which is older than one year in something different because they don't meet your requirements for a "Pro" model...

Why don't bring up a Macbook G for "Graphic Designers" and a Macbook W for "Writers"...oh and don't forget a Macbook M for "Musicians" and Macbook E for the "Economics".

"I would class the 'Pro'..."
^This says everything, it's your opinion. Nobody cares. Everybody buys what they want to buy and what fits them best.

It's just a name ,a classification of products not more...or do you think the Razer Blade is sharp enough to cut watermelons?
 

joe-h2o

macrumors 6502a
Jun 24, 2012
998
443
I would class the "Pro" user as a video editor, a photo editor, or someone that needs the system to stay responsive under heavy load. All of the people mentioned above could go for a Macbook Air and have similar performance.
So you don't consider me a pro then.

My job is just a hobby to you then?

I use a 13" MBP (second up base model, 8GB RAM) with a VM among other things and it is ideal for what I do.

However, if you are the last word in what constitutes "professional" work then I guess I'm just ****ing around and shouldn't bother.
 

mojolicious

macrumors 68000
Mar 18, 2014
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The 'Pro' after 'Mac' or 'MacBook' is as meaningless as the noun 'professional' itself. A profession is a job, nothing more. The old 'Power' prefix was more meaningful is as far as it suggested that the device was more powerful/capable, although that was eventually tainted by the 'power user' nonsense.
 

MartinAppleGuy

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Sep 27, 2013
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The 'Pro' after 'Mac' or 'MacBook' is as meaningless as the noun 'professional' itself. A profession is a job, nothing more. The old 'Power' prefix was more meaningful is as far as it suggested that the device was more powerful/capable, although that was eventually tainted by the 'power user' nonsense.
Thanks. This is what I was looking for (allow with stories of who uses it professionally). I just wasn't sure if Apple classed it in the same class as the Mac Pro.

So you don't consider me a pro then.

My job is just a hobby to you then?

I use a 13" MBP (second up base model, 8GB RAM) with a VM among other things and it is ideal for what I do.

However, if you are the last word in what constitutes "professional" work then I guess I'm just ****ing around and shouldn't bother.
Wow. Never meant to upset you. I just wanted to see if people bought the 13" for pro use. Because I haven't tried it with Pro Apps, I wan't sure if it was good enough for heavy use (when compared to the Mac "Pro" or the 15" "Pro"). Thanks for the input I guess.

PS - My post clearly shows I was asking (and not telling) [note the "?" lol]. I did in no way say your line of work was just a hobby. I just wanted to see what line of work the 13" would come under. Could you post your line of work. Thanks

So my Macbook stays responsive under heavy load when i'm gaming, so it qualifies me as a "Pro".

Imagine all the people with older Macbook Pro's which aren't as responsive as they were a few years ago...i hope Apple renames their Pro lineup which is older than one year in something different because they don't meet your requirements for a "Pro" model...

Why don't bring up a Macbook G for "Graphic Designers" and a Macbook W for "Writers"...oh and don't forget a Macbook M for "Musicians" and Macbook E for the "Economics".

"I would class the 'Pro'..."
^This says everything, it's your opinion. Nobody cares. Everybody buys what they want to buy and what fits them best.

It's just a name ,a classification of products not more...or do you think the Razer Blade is sharp enough to cut watermelons?
Thanks :) Just wasn't quite sure what Apple were meaning (ie - if it was mean't to be in the same class as the Mac Pro or 15"...)

Professional can have a range of definitions.

Authors, journalists, analysts, managers, researchers, politicians - these are all professionals but they don't need hardware which, say, a video editor might need. What they need is a well-built, reliable, portable, good-looking laptop and that's what the 13" Retina MacBook Pro delivers.

Apple has been selling "Pro" models with lower-end specifications for years. Consider the 12" Powerbook G4 - compared to the 17" Powerbook it was definitely not a laptop for video professionals, but it was perfect for a wide range of other professions.
Thanks for explaining. I just wasn't sure the reasoning behind it that's all :)
 

Macshroomer

macrumors 65816
Dec 6, 2009
1,126
525
I would class the "Pro" user as a video editor, a photo editor, or someone that needs the system to stay responsive under heavy load.
That would be me and yes, it is most certainly a pro machine, the 1TB PCIE in this thing is amazing, best laptop I have ever had. It is effortless to take this on the road, the 15" for my needs in particular, not so much...

I take it you are not a pro, because people who use these tools to help them earn a living never concern them selves with such silly things as gear headed labels...
 

smooth0906

macrumors newbie
Nov 9, 2012
11
9
So my Macbook stays responsive under heavy load when i'm gaming, so it qualifies me as a "Pro".

Imagine all the people with older Macbook Pro's which aren't as responsive as they were a few years ago...i hope Apple renames their Pro lineup which is older than one year in something different because they don't meet your requirements for a "Pro" model...

Why don't bring up a Macbook G for "Graphic Designers" and a Macbook W for "Writers"...oh and don't forget a Macbook M for "Musicians" and Macbook E for the "Economics".

"I would class the 'Pro'..."
^This says everything, it's your opinion. Nobody cares. Everybody buys what they want to buy and what fits them best.

It's just a name ,a classification of products not more...or do you think the Razer Blade is sharp enough to cut watermelons?
Yes; what he said is perfectly correct.
 

tigress666

macrumors 68040
Apr 14, 2010
3,287
15
Washington State
I would class the "Pro" user as a video editor, a photo editor, or someone that needs the system to stay responsive under heavy load. All of the people mentioned above could go for a Macbook Air and have similar performance.
From what I understand of reviews, no, the Macbook Air does not have similar performance at this point (most reviews say the 13" Pro is now actually the better choice of the two in general unless you need ultra portability). Apparently you might have had a point with the first retina version of the 13" pro on that account (that you might as well get an Air). But you know, everyone has different concerns.

Take me for example. I wanted to get more hard drive/ram and the air just doesn't have as much options in that account. To get the same hard drive amount I got and RAM as the 13" pro it's 100 cheaper with processor speed about half as much (I am guessing I can do a direct comparison cause of same chip), not as good an integrated graphics chip, not as good a screen, the storage space is using an older interface where as the new Retina apparently is using IDe(?) and apparently it makes a huge difference between it and SATA on access speeds. And you can't even get as much RAM as I wanted to get (because I find almost invariably the first thing I want increased on my computer as it ages is RAM so this time I wanted to get 16 GBs especially as it is not upgradeable).

So if you aren't caring about weight and more about performance, there is good reason to spend the 100 more. Plus there is more ways you can upgrade it if you need (you can get more storage space, you can get more RAM, you can get an i7 processor). And it's only 1/2 lb heavier (and actually has a smaller footprint is like a millimeter thicker).
 
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MartinAppleGuy

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That would be me and yes, it is most certainly a pro machine, the 1TB PCIE in this thing is amazing, best laptop I have ever had. It is effortless to take this on the road, the 15" for my needs in particular, not so much...

I take it you are not a pro, because people who use these tools to help them earn a living never concern them selves with such silly things as gear headed labels...
I do a lot of heavy video and photo editing. It is just I have never used a laptop to get the work done and wasn't sure if the 13" would cut it. And the reason I was asking was due to the maxed out Macbook Pro Retina 15" having similar performance (at least in terms of CPU performance, not so much GPU) to the entry Mac Pro. And the last time I done video editing on a Dual Core machine was around 2003.

----------

From what I understand of reviews, no, the Macbook Air does not have similar performance at this point (most reviews say the 13" Pro is now actually the better choice of the two in general unless you need ultra portability). Apparently you might have had a point with the first retina version of the 13" pro on that account (that you might as well get an Air).
Sorry, I was just looking at the entry. I forgot about the 2 higher tiers and their upgrades. Sorry. It's actually a good machine from what I see now, really just the Intel Iris graphics is the only thing I feel to be lacking. It would have been great to of had Intel Iris Pro within the 13" (although I believe the higher end processor upgrade on the 13" MBPr clocks the GPU 100Mhz faster, and I right?)
 

mojolicious

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Mar 18, 2014
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Sarf London
From what I understand of reviews, no, the Macbook Air does not have similar performance at this point
I don't think anyone was suggesting that the Pro and Air had similar performance when being driven hard; rather that for many people, even professional (ugh) people who use a Macbook, aren't going to notice the difference when word processing, spreadsheeting, browsing, etc. I'm sure many such professionals (ugh) choose the Air over the Pro because of its portability, with price playing no part in the decision.
 

MartinAppleGuy

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Sep 27, 2013
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If you consider professional as "used for earning money" then you'll find tons of people using it that way. Sales representatives, writers, journalists, etc. etc.

It all depends on profession..
Definitely, its the right amount of power and portability for some professionals' needs. Some professions might require better hardware, such as those for graphics designers, engineers and architects using 3D rendering, etc. But a professional writer, marketer, accountant, doctor, musician can easily get by on a 13" MBP.
I believe it's up the individual user to determine what they qualify as professional. Who are we to judge what each person's needs are.
I agree with Merode, sonicrobby and sel1965.
A professional is a professional, just because you are not into Graphic Design or 3D rendering doesn't keen you're not a pro.
Maybe if it was called the MacBook Pro Designer or MacBook Pro 3D you would have a valid point.

Barney
Have you tried using one before?

I'm a professional software engineer/front end developer so I have a very mixed job. I have a 2.4/8gb/256gb late 2013 13" and it fits me needs really well, sometimes I wish I had a bit more ram :( but outside of that I have never felt any problems.

My workflow includes using ubuntu VM through vagrant, 1-2 Windows VMs to test IE on, Sublime text as my main code editor, Netbeans for more complicated backend work and xdebug, Photoshop for either creating or using PSD, Chrome/Safari/Firefox for testing, most of the development I just have Chrome open.

All of this runs very well, at times I feel a bit of ram restrain when I have everything open, nothing else is an issue. For me it is a great professional machine. The 15" would have been better for things like Photoshop, it would save/export twice as fast and so on but it is not something I miss a huge amount.

Off course "Professional" code mean anything, at my old company a employee used it for real big design projects, and it was slower then a 15" but it works just fine, there is always going to be something faster for the job tbh.
Professional can have a range of definitions.

Authors, journalists, analysts, managers, researchers, politicians - these are all professionals but they don't need hardware which, say, a video editor might need. What they need is a well-built, reliable, portable, good-looking laptop and that's what the 13" Retina MacBook Pro delivers.

Apple has been selling "Pro" models with lower-end specifications for years. Consider the 12" Powerbook G4 - compared to the 17" Powerbook it was definitely not a laptop for video professionals, but it was perfect for a wide range of other professions.
So my Macbook stays responsive under heavy load when i'm gaming, so it qualifies me as a "Pro".

Imagine all the people with older Macbook Pro's which aren't as responsive as they were a few years ago...i hope Apple renames their Pro lineup which is older than one year in something different because they don't meet your requirements for a "Pro" model...

Why don't bring up a Macbook G for "Graphic Designers" and a Macbook W for "Writers"...oh and don't forget a Macbook M for "Musicians" and Macbook E for the "Economics".

"I would class the 'Pro'..."
^This says everything, it's your opinion. Nobody cares. Everybody buys what they want to buy and what fits them best.

It's just a name ,a classification of products not more...or do you think the Razer Blade is sharp enough to cut watermelons?
So you don't consider me a pro then.

My job is just a hobby to you then?

I use a 13" MBP (second up base model, 8GB RAM) with a VM among other things and it is ideal for what I do.

However, if you are the last word in what constitutes "professional" work then I guess I'm just ****ing around and shouldn't bother.
The 'Pro' after 'Mac' or 'MacBook' is as meaningless as the noun 'professional' itself. A profession is a job, nothing more. The old 'Power' prefix was more meaningful is as far as it suggested that the device was more powerful/capable, although that was eventually tainted by the 'power user' nonsense.
Edit: I never noticed the fact that there was 2 more tiers, I only saw the entry Macbook Pro Retina w/ 4Gb of RAM and wondered if anyone used that professionally (and if so, what was it they were doing).
 

tigress666

macrumors 68040
Apr 14, 2010
3,287
15
Washington State
I don't think anyone was suggesting that the Pro and Air had similar performance when being driven hard; rather that for many people, even professional (ugh) people who use a Macbook, aren't going to notice the difference when word processing, spreadsheeting, browsing, etc. I'm sure many such professionals (ugh) choose the Air over the Pro because of its portability, with price playing no part in the decision.
I'm a casual user, I'm sure I'd notice (when testing out the rMBP at the store I tried to use it how I use my computer at home and noticed I manage to max out 8GBs of RAM. Yes, it's not like I need to do the stuff I do but I like having a lot of applications open and I tend to have a lot of tabs open in my web browsing).

So... even though I'm not even a professional, I'd notice just the lack of RAM. Plus I want my computer to at least be ok with gaming (though now that I have a PS3/PS4 admittedly most of that is just me wanting to be able to know I could game if I wanted on my Mac). Yes, I realize the 15" with the dedicated graphics card would be better but I prefer the portability of the 13" and honestly, I simply can't afford the 15" with the dedicated card, especially when I definitely need a larger hard drive (I wish I could afford the terabyte honestly) and more RAM. For what I use it for, those two things are more important than being better at gaming (I just hope the one I'm getting is still going to do gaming decently even if at moderate settings, I don't need top of the line settings). To get the 15" with the hard drive and RAM i wanted is a lot more expensive than their base models.

Basically, the 13" rMBP is for people like me, who want a jack of all trades (master of nothing but at least good/decent at everything). (and btw, why does everyone always poo poo the jack of all trades model? Happens in motorcycling too. My preferred motorcycle wasn't the fastest <- bigger models were better or best handling <- smaller model was better but it was pretty good at just being a good overall bike, it was still fun in the curves and at least compared to a car it was pretty fast, definitely fast enough for just everyday riding and not being on the track. And everyone stuck their nose up at it for that).
 
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MartinAppleGuy

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Original poster
Sep 27, 2013
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I'm a casual user, I'm sure I'd notice (when testing out the rMBP at the store I tried to use it how I use my computer at home and noticed I manage to max out 8GBs of RAM. Yes, it's not like I need to do the stuff I do but I like having a lot of applications open and I tend to have a lot of tabs open in my web browsing).

So... even though I'm not even a professional, I'd notice just the lack of RAM. Plus I want my computer to at least be ok with gaming (though now that I have a PS3/PS4 admittedly most of that is just me wanting to be able to know I could game if I wanted on my Mac). Yes, I realize the 15" with the dedicated graphics card would be better but I prefer the portability of the 13" and honestly, I simply can't afford the 15" with the dedicated card, especially when I definitely need a larger hard drive (I wish I could afford the terabyte honestly) and more RAM. For what I use it for, those two things are more important than being better at gaming (I just hope the one I'm getting is still going to do gaming decently even if at moderate settings, I don't need top of the line settings). To get the 15" with the hard drive and RAM i wanted is a lot more expensive than their base models.

Basically, the 13" rMBP is for people like me, who want a jack of all trades (master of nothing but at least good/decent at everything). (and btw, why does everyone always poo poo the jack of all trades model? Happens in motorcycling too. My preferred motorcycle wasn't the fastest <- bigger models were better or best handling <- smaller model was better but it was pretty good at just being a good overall bike. And everyone stuck their nose up at it for that).
I highly agree now. I only saw the base 13" when I was going through Apples site and thought that that was more in the range of the Macbook Air. I must admit that the middle tier model of the 13" (256Gb SSD, 8Gb of RAM) looks great. Especially as the thickness is not much more than the current MBA at it's thickest side too.
 

Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
I'm typing this on my brand-new rMBP 13", which I bought yesterday at the Apple Store. Prior to making any purchase I had thought about what I wanted, what I needed, what I would be doing with the machine, and then I compared the rMBP agains the MBA. I decided to go with this machine rather than the MBA (although one reason for the purchase is to replace my first-gen MBA) because I felt it offered more value for just a little more money. I wanted the Retina screen and of course the MBAs don't have that (yet). I also wanted a minimum of 8 GB RAM and I wanted portability and reasonably light weight. 256 GB capacity on the SSD doesn't bother me -- it seems huge in comparison to my old MBA's measly 64 GB! This is not my main machine; I have an iMac for the heavy lifting (photography, etc.). So far I am very pleased with the newest member of my little Apple "family."

As for "pro" -- well, I am retired now so no concerns about work any more, but in my working days I was indeed a professional. This new machine is plenty "professional" for me!
 

MartinAppleGuy

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Original poster
Sep 27, 2013
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I'm typing this on my brand-new rMBP 13", which I bought yesterday at the Apple Store. Prior to making any purchase I had thought about what I wanted, what I needed, what I would be doing with the machine, and then I compared the rMBP agains the MBA. I decided to go with this machine rather than the MBA (although one reason for the purchase is to replace my first-gen MBA) because I felt it offered more value for just a little more money. I wanted the Retina screen and of course the MBAs don't have that (yet). I also wanted a minimum of 8 GB RAM and I wanted portability and reasonably light weight. 256 GB capacity on the SSD doesn't bother me -- it seems huge in comparison to my old MBA's measly 64 GB! This is not my main machine; I have an iMac for the heavy lifting (photography, etc.). So far I am very pleased with the newest member of my little Apple "family."

As for "pro" -- well, I am retired now so no concerns about work any more, but in my working days I was indeed a professional. This new machine is plenty "professional" for me!
I would agree, the 256GB SSD model is really good! I saw the 4Gb model and was wondering why it was better than the MBA (seeing as TB speeds are around the same) but the 256GB with 8Gb RAM is a great machine from what I can see, and if you have an iMac then all the better!
 

dmccloud

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2009
991
14
Anchorage, AK
Apple has basically gone back to the initial product grid that Steve Jobs introduced when he returned to Apple. You have the MacBook Air (roughly equivalent to the iBook), which has 11" and 13" variants, then the MacBook Pro lineup (which has 13" and 15" variants). There are enough differences between the 13" MBA and 13" MBP to justify calling it a "Pro" machine. As a general rule, the base models from Apple (regardless of product line) tend to be a little lacking in terms of specs, whether in the amount of RAM, internal storage, or even graphics, which is why comparing the mid-range models is usually a better comparison across product lines.

In my case, I went with the maxed-out 15" rMBP because I wanted a machine that had plenty of headroom as software capabilities increased, sufficient internal storage, and I prefer the 15" screen to a 13"