MacBook Air 13" or MacBook Pro 13"

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by UTstudent2016, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. UTstudent2016 macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2012
    Hello! I am looking at buying a MacBook for college. I am having a hard time deciding between a 13" MacBook Pro and a 13" MacBook Air. The Air is lighter and better for portability around campus, but the Pro has a built in disk drive along with a bigger hard drive. I have asked many people which one they think would be a better option for me and I have gotten conflicting answers. So my question is, should I get a MacBook Air or a MacBook Pro?

    Just a little information on what I will be using it for:

    I am a business major and I will have to run Access for Windows on it for some of my classes. Other than that, I am an average user. I will be using my computer for emails, Internet, research, word documents, excel, and powerpoint.

  2. Purple2012 macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2012
    I got an Air and I'm happy with my decision. I don't need a lot of disk space, and I can't remember the last time I had to use a disk drive.

    There is a remote disk drive feature. I don't really know much about it, just that you can somehow access the disk drive of any PC or Mac with it that's on the same network.

    There's always bootcamp.
  3. Anoxy macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2009
    I've been considering pulling the trigger on a fully loaded 13" MBA, but I'm worried that they might release a retina display version soon.
  4. stchman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
  5. UTstudent2016 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2012
    I am looking to spend under 1,300 dollars if possible……which both the 13" Pro and 13" Air fall under…
  6. mrs1986 macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2011
    Just get the Air, is a better bet as it already comes with a SSD and an external disc burner is like 25 if you REALLY need it... Air base or air with 8gb and you are good to go...
  7. GREEN4U macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2010
    The 13" Macbook Pro is the worst computer in the Apple lineup right now, IMO. Low res, heavy. The ONLY reason one should get it is if they need a SuperDrive daily.

    Get the Air.
  8. Slivortal macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2012
    This. Not to mention the SSD in the MBA will spin circles (oh, the puns!) around the HDD in the MBP.

    Honestly, the MBPs have a weird place in the Apple lineup right now. The 13" is almost completely eclipsed by its MBA counterpart, and the 15" has a pretty hard time fighting its Retina counterpart (although a price-based comparison could be made here).

    Regardless, MBA is the right choice here.
  9. Lunchb0x8 macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2010
    Aberglasslyn, NSW, AU
    Honestly, I would get the Air, but I dunno, depends how comfortable you are, but I prefer the 11 to the 13.

    I have large hands, and moderate eyesight without my glasses, but the 11 is still great for me to use.

    If you need a optical disc drive, I would just get a USB superdrive or another company's USB DVD/BD drive.

    I am looking at getting a blu-ray drive for my Air, but am thinking I am better to get one for my PC and use the PC for ripping BDs to my itunes library...
  10. jacob-07 macrumors regular

    May 14, 2011
    i say go with the air, i went from a 13" pro to a 13" air and never regretted that decision. the 13" mbp just seems really outdated when compared to the air.
  11. Panini macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2012
    Palo Alto, CA
    Don't know why people even get the Pro - it really only has one advantage: More storage.


    That's not really an advantage since it has inferior (non-SSD) storage. Configure a 13" pro with a 128gb SSD and it suddenly becomes a lot more expensive.

    Also, there WILL NOT be a 13" retina display laptop in perhaps the next year. I've made quite a few posts about why it's not possible, but it simply isn't - so don't hope for that.

    The Air is better in pretty much every way - go for it.
  12. SlickShoes macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2011
    Yep right now the 2012 Air is a better buy than a 13" pro.

    It will be interesting to see where they take the pro in its next update, I am waiting on that happening before I pull the trigger and get myself a nicely specced 13" air, but if I had to choose based on the two models available right now the air wins hands down.
  13. UTstudent2016 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2012
    Thank you all for you comments! Definitely helped me in making a decision! I just bought my Air and I am picking it up later today! My first Apple Computer! Officially converted…so excited!! :)
  14. Louis Wu macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2011
    Congratulations, and welcome!

    You won't be disappointed.

    I'm writing this on a Mac Pro, but my 13" MBA is sitting beside me.

    You do know that once you buy one, it's hard to stop, don't you?
  15. railto macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2009
    My turn

    I am getting my next macbook this weekend and will most likely be a 13" model, Im just struggling between either an Air or Pro.

    Background, Im a Freelance IT Consultant and do alot of work on windows systems, so will need to run a windows VM on it a fair bit of the time as well as day to day use of apple apps. This will be my main machine for home as well.

    Kinda leaning towards the pro cause of better processor and larger HDD, but I know that the HDD in the air is faster cause of being SSD.
  16. UTstudent2016 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2012

    Thanks! I am so excited to go pick it up! I have had PCs all my life, but I decided to go with a MacBook Air....I hope I like it!

    Ohhhhh, and I know, I got an iPad about a year ago, and that is what led me to getting a MacBook...
  17. SlickShoes macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2011
    If I were you I would hold out as long as you can to see if the 13" pro gets an update in sept/october, I really want a smaller laptop again (currently have 15" 2011 pro) was going to pull the trigger on the loaded 13" air but just couldn't with the possibility of a 13" pro retina update rumoured to be happening this year.
  18. railto macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2009
    I dont see a 13" rMBP coming anytime soon.

    Went out on Sunday evening to get me a 13" air, but reseller i went to didnt have it, so ended up getting a pro instead. So happy with it, runs like a dream and is much lighter than previous mac i was using.

    Just installed windows on parallels and performance is near native, unreal.
  19. Rockoar macrumors regular


    Mar 8, 2012
    Paris (France)
    I was in the same boat you are and just right now pulled the trigger and bought a baseline 13'' MBP. I think the MBP gives you more "bang for the buck". 128GB SSD is way too little for me and I'm nowhere near willing to pay like 1600€ for a maxed-out 13'' MBA.

    For just 1200 dollars you can get the 13'' MBP and later on update both the RAM and the HDD and even swap the superdrive for a new HDD/SSD. If 1kg makes that much difference to you, and if you can get by with just 128GB v/s 500GB then go with the Air.
  20. railto macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2009
    I have already upped mine to 8gb ram, that i had in a different system. I plan at some stage to change out the HDD for an SSD, once the price comes down a bit, but all depends on how much can get one for.
  21. iMacFarlane macrumors 65816


    Apr 5, 2012
    Adrift in a sea of possibilities
    ^This. I bought my 13" MBP a few weeks back. The Air just seemed 'less'. The MBP is solid, sturdy. 128GB is simply not enough. No ODD. Lower resolution on same screen size means bigger text (good). For $1199, the 13" MBP is a great buy, and I do plan on more RAM and maybe SSD once prices come down.
  22. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    I have zero use for a SuperDrive but I just returned my MBA in favor of a MBP13 anyway Primary because of Upgradeability (and that I Travel more with my iPad than my Mac). With my MBP I replaced the primary HDD with a 128GB Crucial m4 SSD and 8GB RAM and then replaced the superdrive with a hard drive caddy which gave me another 750GB internal.

    With the Air your machine is stuck with the config you create on day one which means overpaying for spec upgrades or hitting a storage/performance wall down the road. But as SSD prices continue to fall then the life of this machine will be drastically improved simply by doing inexpensive upgrades.

    I'm not saying this is any way better than an Air because I will be tempted to buy one again when the retina versions come out. BUT, I feel people are dismissing the benefits of user Upgradeability way too easily.
  23. Tobias Funke macrumors 6502a

    Tobias Funke

    Apr 3, 2012
    I disagree with most of the comments on here about the MBP.

    I just got a brand new late 2011 MBP when the new ones came out saving 15%.

    I got ML free.

    Added a 256 GB sata 3 Samsung SSD.

    Added 8 GB of memory.

    I still have a ODD. (Unlike some people I use this daily)

    I have a far more powerful machine all for £450 less than the MBA with similar (lower) spec!

    Plus I can swap and change HD's to my hearts content because the 2011 13 inch MBP has twin sata 3 set up.
    (Unlike the 2012 models!!)

    And if I had gone with the 512GB SSD this would have been £700 cheaper than the air with similar spec !!!! :eek:

    Plus MBP's hold there value better than MBA's.

    Very happy with my purchase. :D
  24. Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    congrats on your new air. I have a macbook pro and a macbook air and after owning an air i will only buy airs from this time forward. im so done with the macbook pros.
  25. Calot macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2012
    IF they release a Retina MBA, it will be like the rMBP. More expensive, and different. I can not be more happy with my 13"/i7/8gb/256gb.


    It's great thay you're happy! But don't forget, you have a computer that weighs a lot more than the Air, it's fatter, lower res, and not nearly as pretty!

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