Apple MacBook Air Vs MacBook Pro 2014
Apple’s Mac laptop line is comprised of two different machine classes. The super slim MacBook Air and the slightly thicker and more capable MacBook Pro. A question I get asked often is: “Dave, Which one should I buy?” So in this article I’m going to compare these two Mac models.
The MacBook Air comes in two screen sizes, 11-inch and 13-inch. The 11-inch edition has got two USB 3.0 ports, Thunderbolt port and a magsafe 2 power port. The 13-inch model adds an SDXC card slot.
Both models offer solid battery life at 9 and 12 hours respectively. Starting at €929 for the 11-inch model, specs are similar to the the Mac Mini. It’s got a 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turboboost to 2.7GHz, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of flash storage. To me these specs are a little on the light side for my liking. I’m also not a fan of the 11-inch model.
It’s a little too small as a productivity laptop and if your only intent is to use this as a web surfing machine then you’re better off going to a tablet of some kind. For the screen size and general ease of usability, a tablet computer around the 10-inch size would be far better than buying an ultraportable with such as small screen.
I think the entry level 13-inch model customised with 8GB of RAM is the best option. This will cost you €1,129 or $1,099. Remember that all MacBook Airs come with basic Intel HD 5000 GPUs, so it’s not ideal for hardcore gaming.
The MacBook Pro has basically three editions. Two different types of 13-inch models and one 15-inch model. It’s slightly thicker than the Air but still pretty thin. If you need a DVD super drive, Apple offer a legacy 13-inch model that’s a little thicker again with 4GB of RAM, 2.5GHz Core i5 and a 500GB hard drive for €1,149.
Moving on, the first retina display model 13-inch edition gives you a 2.6GHz dual core core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of flash storage and Intel Iris Graphics for €1,349. It can be ramped all the way up to 3.0GHz with 1TB of flash storage and 16GB of RAM. To me, the best 13-inch edition is the base model 256GB version for €1,549 in terms of cost effectiveness. The MacBook Pro is also a little more generous in terms of I/O.
Be warned that the 15-inch model is the only Mac laptop that offers quad-core processors. From €2,049 you get a a nice big 15-inch retina display, 2.2GHz quad-core Core i7 chip, 16GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage. If you want a higher end GPU, you’re going to have pony up the cash for the 15-inch 2.5GHz Core i7 edition, which not only comes with 512GB of storage but also an Nvidia Geforce GT 750M with 2GB of video memory but that sets you back a prohibitively expensive €2,549. But at least most games will run pretty respectably.
For some people, the 15-inch MacBook Pro will now be considered a little too large by today’s standards, although it does have a niche appeal. The MacBook Pro is clearly the better and more powerful machine when compared to the Air. So it really comes down to cost effectiveness, what spec will be suitable enough for your needs, will offer longevity and won’t break the bank. Remember, Apple laptops cannot have their RAM upgraded after purchase so it’s important that you select exactly the amount of RAM you need.
As I’ve mentioned, the mid-range MacBook Pro 13-inch model is a more ideal and reasonably priced machine. Beyond that, prices sky rocket unreasonably in my view. If you’re just looking for basic web surfing and productivity with a convenient lightweight design, then the high-end 256GB MacBook Air with 8GB of RAM will set you back €1,329 or $1,299 and will likely give you exactly what you’re looking for.
Both machines fulfil different needs and will cater for different users. Just ensure you’ve selected sufficient storage and anything over the 4GB of RAM mark and you’ll be fine. After that, it comes down to your budget.
So that concludes my comparison of the Macbook Air vs Macbook Pro, leave your comments below. Be sure to subscribe to Computing Forever on YouTube for more Tech video content.