MacBook Pro 13" vs. MacBook Air 13"

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by andimq, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. andimq macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2011
    ... the 192192th. I've read the "which apple notebook should I buy" entry, yet my issue remained unresolved.

    I am currently in the process of making up my mind what to upgrade to from my 4year old Lenovo Thinkpad (Intel Core2Duo @ 2GHZ, 2GB Ram) which is getting too slow for me in heavy adobe usage (Lightroom+Photoshop running at once).

    For portability reasons I am sure that I want a 13" laptop - so the MBP and the Air are in the game (I don't include the MB - performance).

    The two configurations I have played with on the Apple store are:

    1) MBP 13" 2.66GHZ, 4GB Ram, 128GB SSD - this i could potentially later upgrade to 8GB ram or a larger SSD myself if I feel I need it
    2) MBAIR 13" 2.13GHZ, 4GB Ram, 256GB SSD

    Virtually the machines have the same specs while the Air has the larger SSD and the Pro has the stronger CPU and is more upgradeable. On a financial side they actually set me back just the same.

    I don't really mind the smaller drive of the Pro as I'm working on a 120GB harddisk at the moment as well. It's not nice, but it works - and to store the pictures from my DSLR I got a Terabyte datagrave.

    Next to picture developing & editing the laptop will be used for office purposes (I'd need an MS Office 2011 on either to work with my Windows-colleagues) and the occasional movie to watch. I do not need an optical drive and I never use an external mouse/keyboard, so I don't need more than 1 USB port. The laptop would also "travel" everyday from home to university and accompany me on vacations (which the Thinkpad at the moment does as well).

    Regarding this usage profile - which of the two would you recommend me from your experience/knowledge?

    On a sidenote: Is there any way to get the 128GB 13" Air with the stronger 2.13GHZ processor? I would rather save the money and get the smaller disk in that case.

    Thank you very much for your help.

  2. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    the way i see it is if you need the extra features of the Pro, upgradability (RAM AND SSD), more ports, optical drive, then get it.

    if you want the lightness of the Air and dont mind about the lack of ports or lack of upgradability then get it.
  3. andimq thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2011
    Well, this is essentially what I figured.

    My question is if you've experienced the MBAir to excel in Photoshop/Adobe usage or if you would suggest getting the MBP because its faster?
  4. cptcolo, Aug 16, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011

    cptcolo macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2011
    2011 13” MacBook Air vs. 2011 13” MacBook Pro

    Andimq, glad to see that you are going with a SSD either way. The integrated graphics solution from Intel (HD 3000) will be powerful enough to run Photoshop and Lightroom (I use it for Premiere even, very few problems). The larger screen of the Air should make it a better bet for you overall and it wins in my hardcore comparison:

    2011 13” MacBook Air vs. 2011 13” MacBook Pro
    Both are the base models, the Pro has the optional 128GB SSD to match the Air.
    MacBook Air - $1299
    Macbook Pro - $1449
    Winner = MacBook Air
    MacBook Air – 13.3” 16:10 1440x900
    Macbook Pro - 13.3” 16:10 1280x800
    Winner = MacBook Air
    CPU Performance:
    MacBook Air – i5-2557M (1.6-2.7 GHz)
    Macbook Pro – i5-2410M (2.3-2.9 GHz), Single Thread 5.5% faster, Multithread 13.5% faster
    Winner = MacBook Pro
    GPU Performance:
    MacBook Air – 384MB Intel HD 3000 (Integrated Graphics)
    Macbook Pro - 384MB Intel HD 3000 (Integrated Graphics)
    Winner = Tie
    MacBook Air – 0.68 in thick max, 45.2 in^2
    Macbook Pro – 0.95 in thick max, 108.5in^2
    Winner = MacBook Air
    MacBook Air – 2.96 lbs
    Macbook Pro – 4.5 lbs
    Winner = MacBook Air
    Battery Life:
    MacBook Air – 50WHr, 7 hours
    Macbook Pro – 63.5WHr, 7 hours
    Winner = Tie

    13.3” MacBook Air by A LOT

    So you give up slight loss in single thread speed, for something that is much heavier, much larger, and has a worse screen. Basically you would be mad to pay more for a MacBook Pro.
  5. dcorban macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2007
    I agree that given the screen resolution and portability, the Air is the way to go. Even if you regularly use the optical drive, it's a $79 add-on.

Share This Page