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Old 07-29-2013, 04:33 PM
Location: Philadelphia, PA
1,567 posts, read 2,644,502 times
Reputation: 1658


Hey all,

I'm about to buy my very first laptop. It's down to a choice between the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. I want the 13 inch screen. I've actually never owned my own computer , but use an older iMac at work everyday. I also love my iPhone.

I'm not a super tech person. I want this for basic uses like web surfing, email, office type work, possibly some movie watching and music listening. I may at some point need to install a salesforce-type application depending on future job prospects and will need that to run smoothly. I don't do any sort of graphic design work. I'm not a gamer. Also, there may be uses that I haven't even considered at this point, so there's that too.

I'm aware that I can get a windows-based system for less money, but I'm comfortable with Apple and want to stick with it. I'll pay the premium.

I like that the new Air is faster now and has the super battery life with that new Haswell chip. I'm also aware that the Pro will be getting this in a few months, but I don't want to wait for it. I'm also aware of the Pro's Retina display, although I'm not sure how important that is for my situation.

Given this info., I'd be really interested in getting opinions from people more knowledgeable than myself. Any and all opinions are appreciated and I thank you in advance.

Last edited by mancat100; 07-29-2013 at 04:41 PM..
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:11 PM
1,009 posts, read 1,573,303 times
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I vote air just because it seems you'll be doing "netbook"ish things with it. I don't think you'll need a MBP for what you want to do. The air is much, much more portable.

Go to the apple store and play around with both of them.
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:18 PM
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
5,850 posts, read 11,259,304 times
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the air will probably work well for you. For such light use, you may even want to consider an iPad (and get a blue tooth keyboard)
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:26 PM
24,497 posts, read 36,224,582 times
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You basically identified the main differences between the current air and pro... except for the obvious one (size and weight).

It's worth going to the Apple store and seeing how you feel about the difference in size. The Pros are fairly slim themselves.

Either one will fulfill your basic needs in terms of processing power.

Retina is only really useful to the general consumer if they browse the web... and in that one scenario, it makes a big difference. And it will continue to as more sites convert to Retina ...which will happen faster when Microsoft releases the first version of Windows (8.1) to have retina-type capability. The release of Windows 8.1 might also cause more retina-capable applications to be released... but probably not for some time. I, personally, would consider retina a good investment. However, as you already discussed, it's only available on the Pro.

Haswell is great if you're flying to Tokyo. 13 hours is amazing. But if you don't need more than 6 hours, then it's not all that useful. So think about your usage patterns and try to determine whether it matters to you.

Don't consider the iPad. You really don't know what you'll be doing a year from now. And the iPad can be very limiting compared to a macbook.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:36 AM
Location: New York City
4,036 posts, read 9,116,696 times
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Interesting post on buying a MacBook Air right now.

2013 Sales Tax Holidays: Why This Is The Best Time To Buy A MacBook Air | Cult of Mac
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Old 07-30-2013, 02:57 PM
Location: London, U.K.
3,037 posts, read 3,401,023 times
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Go for the Macbook pro retina. The retina is only slightly more expensive than the air when spec'd the same, and you will need 256GB of storage minimum 128GB is not enough IMHO.

edit: there's not too much difference in the UK - £200, $300 in the US. Given the MUCH better screen and processor, it's worth it.

Last edited by archineer; 07-30-2013 at 03:06 PM..
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