Which Apple Laptop Should I Buy?
Which model is right for you? That is a decision you will have to make for yourself. To help you with that decision, here is a step-by-step breakdown of the differences between Apples laptop lines.
If your budget is limited, the MacBook Air may be your best bet. The 11-inch MacBook Air, which starts at a buck under $1,000, is Apples most affordable laptop. The 13-inch MacBook Air starts at $1,199, the same as the standard-resolution 13-inch MacBook Pro. At the other end of the price spectrum, the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display starts at $2,199, and the price tag can go a lot higher if you max out the options.
They say that you can never be too rich or too thin. The MacBook Air takes that motto to heart, with a unibody aluminum case that is 0.68 inches at its widest point and tapers to just 0.11 inches. In contrast, the Retina MacBook Pro is 0.75 inches thick, and the standard MacBook Pro is 0.95 inches thick. The MacBook Air is also Apples lightest laptop, with the 11-inch version weighing in at just 2.38 pounds. The MacBook Pro weighs up to 5.6 pounds, although the Retina versions are lighter than the standard ones.
A 2.0GHz dual-core processor (List of Intel Pentium Dual-Core microprocessors released in past 10 years) is the fastest processor available in either version of the MacBook Air. In contrast, the 13-inch MacBook Pro packs a 2.9GHz dual-core processor, and other versions of the MacBook Pro double the number of cores. More cores means more power, although how much this will affect your real-world performance depends on how you will be using your MacBook.
The MacBook Air is plenty capable when it comes to standard computing tasks like word processing, email, websurfing, light gaming, and streaming the occasional Netflix movie. But if you are a video editor, digital photographer, or hardcore gamer, you will want the additional muscle of the quad-core processor that is found in every MacBook Pro except the entry-level model. Also consider that the MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro rely on Intel integrated graphics, which is not the best choice for graphics-intensive applications. Only the 15-inch versions of the MacBook Pro feature a dedicated graphics card.
The 11-inch MacBook Air has a display resolution of 1,366 by 768, while the 13-inch model has a resolution of 1,440 by 900 pixels. The standard MacBook Pros offer a similar resolution, but the Retina models bump up the resolution to either 2,560 by 1,600 or 2,880 by 1,800. All those extra pixels make everything look sharper, and they definitely come in handy if you spend a lot of time using Photoshop or Final Cut Pro.
The MacBook Air achieves its svelte profile by ditching the traditional hard drive for up to 512GB of flash storage. The Retina MacBook Pro also uses flash storage, with a maximum capacity of 768GB. The standard MacBook Pro is the only model that is available with a hard drive; you can choose from up to 512GB of flash storage, or up to 1TB of hard drive space. The standard MacBook Pro is also the only MacBook that includes a DVD drive, which Apple has deprecated in favor of digital downloads.
When it comes to choosing an Apple laptop, there is no answer that is right for everyone. Both the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro are beautifully designed machines. Which model you choose will depend upon your budget and how you plan on using your laptop. If your budget is modest, you value portability above all else, and your computing requirements are fairly light, the MacBook Air is an excellent choice. On the other hand, if you are a digital photographer or an aspiring J.J. Abrams, you will appreciate the high-res display and faster processor of the Retina MacBook Pro.
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Written By: Joshua Beidler, United States
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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )