Hi I know there are tons of thread over the internet about this type of topic, but I am not able to conclude what to do. So I am buying Mac for the first time and my range is below $1400. I was initially inclined to get a 13" one as my current hp laptop is 14". Hence I am used to this size. I have shortlisted the following: 1. 2012 MBA 13" core i5 4gb RAM and 256gb hdd 2. 2012 MBP 13" both the base model and the i7 one (8gb and 750gb) 3. 2011 refurb MBP 15" quad core i7 (sandy bridge), AMD 512mb graphics, 4gb ram and 500 gb hdd. It is available for $1379. I visited the apple store and mainly looked at the 13" models as I was not inclined towards a 15" model. I loved air's design but liked the screen of 13" pro better (in terms of color quality, skin tones and blacks were much better) I will use this computer for everday tasks, some matlab and possibly photo editing (still getting into photography so not sure how muh editing I will so). I will also take this computer to my college (not everyday; I am a grad student and have only 4 classes in a week. I like to work on my research from my home rather than my office) ---------- And i also have an ipad that I mostly carry around.