Mac Book Pro Vs. Mac Book Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jenna.r, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. jenna.r macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2011
    Whats the difference between a mac book pro and a mac book air ? advanatages and disadvanatages ? whats better if money was no issue , i would like to travel with it but also use it everyday ?
  2. JT123 macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2011
    Ok this is a very broad question. Apple markets the Macbook Pro line to Professionals, and the Air line to everday users. However in actual fact many everyday users have Pros. There are disadvantages and advantages to both. However they are only relevant to certain uses.


    Macbook Pro-


    - Supposedly Faster
    - More Customizable
    - Larger Screen


    - Larger, therefore heavier
    - SSD not standard
    - Worse screen (13 inch Air, Vs 13 Pro)

    Macbook Air


    -Small and Light
    -Nice screen


    -Space - lack of
    -Size (issue for some things) - screen size
    -Basically no customization
    -Little to no option for future upgrades

    If money is no object, you don't mind a heavier laptop, and want it to be fast. You would go for the top of the line 17" Macbook Pro with Hi-Res Antiglare and 512GB SSD and 8GB of RAM. But realistically even if money is no object to the point of this, you have to ask yourself if you need the grunt. If you are typing documents for Uni all day, chances are you will want an Air, as they are light and easy to carry around campus. But if weight it not a factor and you are doing Photoshop/After Effects regularly or just want a computer that is a bit snappier, get the Pro.

    What you have to remember is that the main advantage of the Air is the SSD. This means no moving parts and that it will boot as fast if not faster, and read things as faster, if not faster than the Macbook Pro. However overall performance is much better on the Pro. And seen as money is no object, definately get an SSD.

    Good Luck ;)
  3. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    It depends on what you do. If you're the average user (internet, music, film, mail, word processor) then the possibility of upgrading the RAM or having hundreds of gigs on an internal drive (without bleeding you dry) won't be an issue for several years if you get a MacBook Air 11" or 13" (with 4 GB of RAM, mind you).

    Me for instance, I just bought a new computer. But that's because I had the money and wanted something new just for the fun of it, not because I felt my almost five year old 2GHz single core with 2,5 GB of RAM and 75 GB HDD couldn't cope with what I did (I'm that average user) anymore. I could probably use it for another two-three years if I had to. The only reason why I got the MBP 13" instead of the MBA 13" was because I'm not ready to give up on the optical drive just yet, and carrying around an external one isn't an option for me.
  4. dzigg macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2007
    JT123 already sums it up, bravo.

    What I can add is that the most important thing besides knowing the product you're going to buy, is knowing YOURSELF first and what you're going to do with it. I can't stress this enough.

    A few question you must ask yourself :
    - What program you're going to use regulary? CPU or memory intensive?
    - Your travelling habit, is weight gonna be a factor?
    - Is screen size matter? What is the minimum?
    - Do you need gaming?
    - etc.

    And after that you can begin to make priority of what's really important to you. Because you ARE going to sacrifice some of those if you're choosing between a pro and an air.
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    At the moment the biggest differences is that the MBP has an optical drive, and upgradable storage.

    It all depends on what you think is important, how you plan on using it, whether the smaller size is worth more then an optical drive and/or will you need more storage then what the MBA offers.
  6. Risasi macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2011
    I think a more interesting comparison is the 13" MBP vs. 13" MBA.

    - MBA has a higher res screen, but I've heard that the MBP has a better looking screen
    - MBP has a faster CPU by a good margin, but takes a hit from lack of SSD.
    - Base config the MBP is $100 cheaper
    - Sorry MBA, no memory upgrade for you. MBP can be upgraded to 16GB now...
    It gets especially interesting if you play the money game. Four of my coworkers now have the 13" MBA upgraded. They spent a pretty penny on them. Mine still has a slight edge on them performance wise except on startup/shutdown or when accessing a lot of data on disk.
    I've also thought about the extra $500 difference between our machines and thought about what I could throw into my MBP;

    - 240GB SSD (6G,OWC) = $480
    - 240GB SSD (3G, OWC) + $463
    - 16GB iPad 2, out the door = $500
    - Half downpayment on a 11" base MBA = $500


    I'm actually shopping a second laptop, because my wife's 2006 Dell Latitude is on the edge. I've considered getting a 15" MBP (I'd use it most of the time and give her my 13"), just get another 13" MBP and then upgrade the both of them memory and SSD with all the money I "saved", third option was go MBA in 11" or 13". I still can't decide.
  7. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    The pro is "Supposedly faster"? It is annihilatingly faster. All you need to do is put in an SSD. The memory, processors and graphics are faster in the Pro.
    Fastest MBA 1.8GHz: 5831
    Fastest MBP 2.3GHz: 10383
  8. Risasi macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2011

    That MBP score must be with the Quadcore i7 in the 15" or 17". Hardly a fair comparison. The 13" MBP has a geekbench score closer to 5900.

    Despite that, I agree with you. Throw in an SSD and a memory upgrade on a MBP and dollar for dollar the Pro makes the Air look pretty weak.

    Still you have to give the Air an edge for screen resolution and weight.
  9. Minhthien, Sep 29, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011

    Minhthien macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2011
    I had the fastest(ssd and 8gb ram@1600mhz) 13' 2.7 at only 7100 point from Geekbench! Now how do you get 10383 from 2.3? :D Now my newest MBP 15' 2.3 is over 11k
  10. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    It is the quad 15" 2.3GHz and the 32bit test. I'm not talking the dual core 2.7GHz.
    You answered your own question. "How do you get 10383 from 2.3?" "My newest 2.3GHz is over 11k"
    On reading I see you all are limiting your queries to 13" screen. Apologies. Yes. Not a fair comparison. I'd still get the pro though. I need I/O. And the expensive thunderbolt peripherals do not do it for me. Hundreds more for no better performance on external HD's that can't even saturate FW800 single and can't saturate SATAII in RAID. All cheaper alternatives with a host of buying options.

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