Macbook Air 13 (2012) vs Macbook Pro 13 (2012)?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by atir006, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. atir006 macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2012
    Hi... I am not able to decide whether I should go with
    Macbook Air 1.8GHz (Turbo boost to 2.8) intel i5 ivy bridge with 4GB ram, 256 ssd
    Macbook Pro 2.5Ghz (Turbo boost to 3.1) intel i5 ivy bridge with 4GB ram, 256 ssd
    (as they both just cost the same and I have a max budget of $1500)

    I need it mostly for my college work like making presentations, word, etc
    I also use lot of excel for running regressions and data management but for advanced statistical work I use Stata. I might also be using SAS next year.

    I am also into photography and use Adobe Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS5
    I mostly do editing and stuff on my desktop but when I am out of town, I need a laptop which I can use for light editing and for that I'll be using Lightroom a lot.

    Other then this I mostly watch movies and do casual gaming like counter stike, nfs, etc

    So my major concern is Lightroom... that it should work smoothly and without much lag. It should not happen that I am left waiting for it to complete tiny tasks like colour correction, contrast, spot removal, sharpening, etc. Other than this excel and powerpoint should also run smoothly.

    I am basically looking for a laptop which is portable... yet powerful enough to meet the above needs!!
    So if these 2 machines will perform equivalently, then portability and weight matters to me and I'll go with Macbook Air...
    But if there is a huge performance difference between the two then I'll stick to Macbook Pro.
    What do you suggest?
    Kindly also tell... is it true that Macbook Pro display is better than Macbook Air's?
  2. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    I'd go with the Pro instead of the Air. I like the upgradeability along with the faster CPU, and the weight doesn't bug me. I've heard the MBP has a better display but I haven't used an Air enough to be able to tell.

    You can pick up a 13" MacBook Pro for $999 if you look around(I usually see it on sale at Frys). Installing a SSD yourself is easy, the 256GB models can be had for $170, or less, if you shop around. That'll set you back around $1170. With the extra $330~ you could buy an iPad mini too!
  3. markus843 macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2012
    North america
    Genius post ^
  4. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
    If you are worried about lag better get 8gb of ram.
  5. Sahee macrumors regular


    Jun 22, 2012
    The Macbook Air has less glare and I prefer that above the slightly higher colour saturation of the macbook pro. The Air altough has a SSD which is significally faster than the HDD in the Standard Macbook Pro.

    The Macbook Air with 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM with i5 would be my personal choice, it is powerful and easy to carry arround. The TN-Display is one of the best 13inch Displays and is only beaten by some IPS Displays.

    I combared both Displays side by side and I prefered the Air, sRGB is at about 62% and Brightness about 300 Nit (much brigther than the macbook pro). As long as you are not a graphic designer you will not notice the difference in sRGB. You can even use the Macbook Air in direct sunligt (would not work with the MBP).
  6. asting macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2012
    You mention that you'll be running a lot of regressions, and also using stata. Does the school provide stata? Does it provide a mac version? There was only a windows version provided when I had to use it, and it's rather expensive to buy the mac version on your own. Additionally, excel for mac is all but crippled when it comes to regressions and you need to use an external plug in (Statplus). If this is a feature you'll be using a lot it would probably be helpful to have a windows partition, so perhaps consider the additional storage cost (upgraded ssd?) vs using a traditional slower hdd.
  7. Johnny Alien macrumors member

    Nov 17, 2012
    You mention that both have the same SSD so that means all things are equal except for the processor. The processor on the Pro is a bit faster so that will help but the big issue is that you can upgrade the memory (not easily but it's possible) on the Pro and it is impossible on the Air. That means that if the need arises for more memory to make it snappier you can only do that with one machine. Price being the same and for the jobs you described I would go with the pro.
  8. richnyc macrumors regular


    Nov 8, 2012
    Ditto!!! I did the same, plus I popped in more RAM, too. No need for iPad mini though;)

    @atir006: If you don't mind the little extra weight and are willing to replace ur HDD with SSD, you'll be golden with a MBP.
  9. l0gikb0mb macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2012
    Pro 2012. No question.

    Besides the upgrade-ability and being more rigid, the screen is so much better it isn't even funny. I sold the Air and got the Pro after and it was night/day. The resolution isn't as big of a deal when you see the difference in display quality.

    One thing to note though, both had completely **** keyboards. Not sure if my Pro was built a bit bad, but the keyboard was absolutely awful compared to the 2010 Pro I had earlier this year.
  10. crowbar77 macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2012
    cMBP has better Color reproduction, but Air has higher resolution, so I guess its what you value more. For me I actually preferred the Air's screen, especially as it is less reflective. Power wise I think you'll be fine with either, one thing no one seems to mention however is resale value. The cMBP is already outdated, its pretty much assumed it will be replaced next year with the Retina's. The Air on the other hand is likely to keep its design and just have its internals updated for at least another year. It's up to you, but honestly you'll be buying a computer that looks the same as it did 4 years ago.
  11. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    That may be a concern for some people, but honestly, who cares how old it looks? It's still a great design either way.

    I like the ability to drop 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD into a MBP and still keep the price under the 13" MBA with 1/4 the memory and half the storage.

    Of course, like you said, this is all personal preference.
  12. crowbar77 macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2012
    I totally get where you're coming from, I was just speaking in terms of resale value. And yeah obviously the ability to add more storage is a big advantage, guess it comes down to if you value that over the portability.
  13. atMac macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2011
    The screen on the Pro has better color, but the Air has a higher resolution.

    If the 13in Pro had a 1440x900 display I'd be using that right now.
  14. muyaad macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2011
    Cairo, Egypt
    According to the configuration u mentioned for both MBR and MBA the first costs 1,700 while the latter costs 1,500
    This can be justified for MBR has DVD Drive and higher processor.
    If I do know what can be changed from Mac, I will only buy the one with higher processor and good resolution then upgrade RAM and SSD by myself
  15. mattnxtc macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2008
    I just converted to Mac for the first time and went with the 13" MBA...I must say it is awesome. The thinness of it and usability is just amazing.

    As I type this I am also working on a work HP laptop and it is comical how thick the machine feels after using this.

    Highly recommend the MBA.

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