MacBook Pro Non-Retina or MacBook Air?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kcr2014, Apr 13, 2016.


MacBook Pro Non-Retina or MacBook Air?

  1. MacBook Pro Non-Retina

    3 vote(s)
  2. MacBook Air

    7 vote(s)
  1. kcr2014 macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2016
    I'm currently a college student and I have a MacBook Pro Non-Retina Mid 2012. I am a science major so I don't really use any types of software besides the basics such as Microsoft. I'm thinking of trading in my MBP Non-Retina for a MBA because I want a laptop that lasts longer and that is definitely lighter since I am at school for 10+ hours each day.

    Which is the better laptop of the two? Does the MBA have a clearer display as the MBP?
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If battery life is a major requirement and it sounds like it is, then yes, the MBA is the better option.
  3. kiwipeso1 Suspended


    Sep 17, 2001
    Wellington, New Zealand
    The Macbook Air 13" has a higher resolution than the MBP 13", it is the same resolution as the old MBP 15" (non retina) 1440x900 and it has a decent battery life, along with good charging times when your lectures have power handy.
    Additionally, the 8GB ram and i7 options are good for performance, and previous models have SSD upgrade options available should you decide to increase storage.
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Well the air is the best battery life but the screens are odd, the air has a slightly higher resolution 900p vs 800p in the MBP, however, the air has a washed out TN panel with poor colour, contrast and viewing angles, while the pro has a decent IPS panel that looks better in all situations except strong sunlight as it is slightly more reflective.
  5. Digger148 macrumors regular


    Aug 8, 2010
    One small point which may or may not be important to you: The 13" MBA, though the thinner and lighter of the 2, has a larger overall footprint. I purchased a MBA 13 without knowing it didn't fit neither the sleeve or the case I already owned for my MBP 13.
  6. kiwipeso1 Suspended


    Sep 17, 2001
    Wellington, New Zealand
    And the point of mentioning the obvious statement about two different models not having the same dimensions of measurement is what exactly ?
    It's hardly reasonable expecting someone to buy a Mac Laptop simply based on what bag you already have, and it is not a rational decision to base buying a Mac laptop on simply because you may need a different carrying bag.
    Please remember that we are in a discussion with a university student, which should indicate some level of intelligence on their part.
  7. Reality4711 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2009
    I do not know what panel my Air has but I can without doubt say I never look at it other than directly and for that it is perfect. Typing, notes, diagrams, email, etc etc. Do I need an IPS or 4K or anything better (more costly) to use my Air for the use it was purchased ?? No. So, if no group viewing, no high level image editing; still or video, nothing requiring POWER - get the 13" Air - ease of use,plenty sockets, light in weight and tough as you like. Oh and good storage if not filled with dirty videos and photos of last break ;-)
  8. Stuey3D macrumors 6502


    Jul 8, 2014
    Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
    What you've gotta ask yourself is do you have a lot of money? Because to get an air with anywhere near the storage you get on the MBP you are talking serious cash.

    Unless storage and expandability isn't an issue for you then go for the base model Air if its only battery life you are interested in.

    I had the same choice a couple of years ago when the insurance paid out on my written off White MacBook from 2007, for me the Pro (non retina) won it over the air purely because I didn't have the cash to get the storage I needed on the Air.

    I have also for very little money (£60) doubled the base storage to 1TB and sped the whole thing up massively because I fitted a Toshiba SSHD which is a 1TB 5400rpm drive with an 8GB SSD cache so I get almost SSD boot speed and app load times but tons of storage to boot.

    In my opinion newer Apple laptops are designed to be disposable nowadays as they can't be upgraded after purchase which means you need serious upfront cash to get a long lasting machine, at least the 13" Pro is upgradeable and will last a while whereas if I'd have gotten the Air I would have found myself seriously limited very early on.

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7 April 13, 2016