MacBook vs. MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro: Which Apple laptop should you get?

Apple currently has three laptops in their product lineup — the ultralight MacBook, the previous, but now cheaper ultralight MacBook Air, and the powerful and brand-new MacBook Pro. Together, they cover a wide range of portability, performance, and yes, price points. So, which Apple laptop is perfect for you?

See our pick for the best Apple laptop.

Apple laptop lineup

Apple's MacBook line comprises three product categories: the MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro. The systems are differentiated by their size, weight, and relative performance, as well as their price.

Note: Apple has also chosen to keep the previous-generation 15-inch MacBook Pro (with the full complement of ports, from USB 3 to HDMI to an SD card slot) on the market, which I'll refer to as MacBook Pro 2015 (opens in new tab), while calling the current generation MacBook Pro 2017. The older 13-inch MacBook Pro is no longer on sale, but you can still find some in Apple's Refurbished Mac (opens in new tab) store.

Still, it's useful to look at the current baselines.


The display is your window into apps and the internet. The bigger the display, the more you have to carry, but the more you can see.

MacBook is currently offered in one size, 12 inches diagonal. That houses a 2304x1440 16:10 aspect ratio display at 226 pixels-per-inch (ppi). That's what Apple terms a "Retina" display, meaning that at normal viewing distance, you can't really see the pixels anymore, and it appears like you're looking at a photo or out a window.

MacBook Air now only comes in 13 inches (the 11-inch model was discontinued in 2016). The 13-inch model has a 1440x900 16:10 display at 128 ppi. That's standard definition, not a high-definition Retina display like the MacBook and MacBook Pro. That means, from a normal viewing distance, you can still see the individual pixels on the screen, almost like you're looking through a screen door.

MacBook Pro comes in two sizes: The 13-inch model has a 2560x1600 16:10 display at 227 ppi, and the 15-inch model has a 2880x1800 16:10 display at 220 ppi. They're Retina, like the MacBook, so at normal viewing distance you shouldn't see any obvious pixels.

The current 2017 MacBook Pro (as well as the 2016 models) also supports DCI-P3 wide color gamut and other advanced technologies that provide brighter reds, deeper greens, and blacker blacks. It's like HDR for your display.

  • If you want a Retina display, you want the MacBook or MacBook Pro.
  • If you want a DCI-P3 wide gamut display, you want a new MacBook Pro, from 2016 or later.
  • If you want the smallest possible display, you want the 12-inch MacBook.
  • If you want the largest possible display, you want the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

External displays

Macs can also drive external displays — extra monitors you buy and connect. This is useful if you want a laptop on the go but more of a desktop-like setup when you're home or at the office.

MacBook can connect to USB-C displays or HDMI (with an adapter (opens in new tab)?tag=imoreb-20&ascsubtag=UUimUdUnU21613) up to 4096x2304 at 60Hz. This is a decent upgrade over last year's model, which didn't support external 4K displays.

MacBook Air can connect to a single 3840x2160 display at 60Hz over Thunderbolt.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro 2015 that Apple still sells can support up to two 3840x2160 external displays over Thunderbolt 2. It can also drive one 3840x2160 display over Thunderbolt and a second 1920x1080 display at up to 60Hz, 3840x2160 at 30Hz, or 4096x2160 at 24Hz.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro 2017 supports one 5120x2880 (5K) display along with the built-in display. If you prefer having two external displays, it supports up to two 4096x2304 (4K) displays at 60Hz with millions of colors — or two 3840x2160 displays at 60Hz with billions of colors.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro 2017 can drive up to two 5120x2880 (5K) displays, plus the built-in one of course. And since it sports four Thunderbolt 3 ports, you can get crazy and connect up to four external displays: 4096x2304 (4K) at 60Hz and millions of colors, or 3840x2160 at 60Hz and billions of colors.

  • If you want to drive multiple external displays, you want a MacBook Pro.
  • If you want to drive multiple 5K external displays, you want a 15-inch MacBook Pro.


How to set up FaceTime on your Mac

How to set up FaceTime on your Mac (Image credit: iMore)

Apple's laptops have built-in web cameras called FaceTime, after Apple's app of the same name. They let you take selfies, engage in video calls, and even scan codes.

MacBook has a 480p iSight camera. It's... not great.

MacBook Air and MacBook Pro have 720p cameras.

None of them have 1080p cameras.

  • If webcam quality is important to you, get a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro.
  • If webcam quality is really important to you, you'll need to get an external camera and plug it in.


The central processing unit (CPU) is what drives the computer. The smaller and more power-efficient the processor, the less it can do but the quieter it is and the longer it can do it for. With a bigger and more powerful processor, the fan noise kicks in, but so does the pure speed. You can also have more processor cores, which lets you do more things at once.

MacBook uses Intel's low-power Y series of Kaby Lake processors, which let it run completely fanless and always whisper-quiet. The entry-level model sports a 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core m3, while the stepped-up models have a 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5. You can configure a MacBook with up to a 1.4 dual-core Intel Core i7, but keep in mind these Y-series of chips aren't as powerful as the dual-core Core i5 and Core i7 chips available for the 13-inch MacBook Pro, or the quad-core Core i7 chips in the 15-inch MacBook Pro. All the MacBook processors have 4MB L3 cache.

MacBook Air uses Intel Core processors of the Broadwell generation, currently two generations behind. They start with 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with 3MB shared L3 cache, or you can step up to a 2.2GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 with 4MB shared L3 cache.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro 2015 had Broadwell processors. It starts with a 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with 6MB shared L3 cache but goes up to 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 with 6MB shared L3 cache.

The brand-new 2017 MacBook Pro sports Intel's newest Kaby Lake processors. The 13-inch model without the Touch Bar sports a 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, or a 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i7, each with 64MB of eDRAM. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar is even faster, with a 3.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, a 3.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, or a 3.5GHz Intel Core i7. They all have 64MB of eDRAM too.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro has quad-core Intel Core i7 processors. The 2.8GHz version has 6MB of shared L3 cache, while the 2.9GHz and 3.1GHz options have 8MB of L3 cache.

  • If you want a MacBook with good performance, step up to the i5 or i7.
  • If you want high performance, you want a MacBook Pro.
  • If you want maximum performance for things like video editing, you want a quad-core 15-inch MacBook Pro 2017.


The graphics processing unit (GPU) handles rendering and pushing the pixels. That includes everything from the macOS interface to photo and video editors to video games. The more powerful the GPU, the more pixels it can render and push, and the smoother and better the animations, apps, and 3D you'll get.

MacBook has Intel HD Graphics 615. It's enough to drive the built-in Retina display and a single 4K external display, but it's integrated graphics, so intensity isn't its thing.

MacBook Air has Intel HD Graphics 6000. Again, it's enough to drive the built-in standard resolution display and a single external display (not 4K, unfortunately), but it's integrated and that always has limits.

MacBook Pro 2015 has Intel Iris Pro Graphics. As built-in graphics go, it's better than previous generations, but it's still built-in. Apple no longer allows you to upgrade the graphics in this model, either.

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro has Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 in the version without Touch Bar, and Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650 in the version with Touch Bar. The 15-inch version has both Intel HD Graphics 630 for low power and discreet graphics for high performance, and automatically switches between the two. There are options for Radeon Pro 555 with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory, and Radeon Pro 560 with 4 GB of GDDR5 memory.

  • If you want a lot of graphical power, you want a new MacBook Pro.
  • If you want the biggest graphics boost you can get, you want the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a Radeon Pro 560.

Battery Life

These days, the one thing more important than power is power efficiency. It doesn't matter how fast your laptop is if it runs out of juice. So, both Intel on the chipset side and Apple on the macOS side have been working on making everything last longer.

With a 41.4 watt-hour battery, MacBook is rated for up to 10 hours of web browsing, 12 hours of iTunes movie playback, and 30 days of standby.

The 13-inch MacBook Air's 54 watt-hour battery is rated for up 12 hours of web browsing, 12 hours of iTunes movie playback, and 30 days on standby.

The older 15-inch MacBook Pro 2015 is rated for up to 9 of web browsing and iTunes movie playback, and 30 days on standby.

All versions of the MacBook Pro 2017 are rated for 10-hours of web browsing or iTunes movie playback and 30 days on standby. The 13-inch model without the Touch Bar sports a 54.5 watt-hour battery, while the Touch Bar model's battery is 49.2 watt-hours. The 15-inch models have a 76 watt-hour battery.

(Keep in mind that iTunes movie playback is hardware accelerated, so playing YouTube videos in Chrome will consume way more power, for example.)

  • If you want the longest battery life possible, and don't miss having a Retina display, get the 13-inch MacBook Air.


The amount of random access memory (RAM) in your Mac determines how many apps you can keep live at a time, how big your photo or video editing projects can be without having to swap data out back and forth on the drive, and otherwise keeps everything super fast.

MacBook comes standard with 8 GB of 1866MHz LPDDR3 RAM, and you can upgrade that to 16 GB at purchase time.

The older Macs don't let you choose how much RAM to get. The 13-inch MacBook Air only comes with 8 GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 RAM, and the 15-inch MacBook Pro 2015 only comes with 16 GB of 1600MHz DDR3L memory.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro 2017 (with or without Touch Bar) starts with 8 GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory and can go to 16 GB. The 15-inch MacBook Pro 2017 only comes with 16 GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory.

  • If RAM is important to you, you want the MacBook Pro.


Storage used to consist of big, noisy hard drive platters that spun around and didn't take well to bumps or power problems. Now they're solid state — flash chips with no moving parts. They don't hold as much as old-style hard drives and are still more expensive, but they're ultra-fast and far more resilient.

MacBook comes with 256 GB of PCIe storage but can be upgraded to 512 GB.

MacBook Air comes with 128 GB of PCIe storage but can be upgraded to 256 GB or 512 GB.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro 2015 comes with 256 GB of PCIe storage but can be upgraded to 512 GB or 1 TB.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro 2017 starts at 128 GB of PCIe storage on the model without the Touch Bar, and the Touch Bar model starts at 256 GB. You can upgrade any of those to 512 GB or 1 TB. The 15-inch MacBook Pro 2017 starts with 256 GB PCI Flash storage on the low-end model, 512 GB PCIe Flash storage on the high-end model, and both can go to 2 TB. Apple also upgraded the drives in its 2017 models to read and write faster, with up to 3.2 GB per second read speeds.

  • If you want the fastest storage possible, you want a 2017 MacBook Pro.
  • If you want the largest amount of storage possible, you want the 15-inch MacBook Pro 2017.


All of Apple's current laptops come with built-in Bluetooth 4.2 for pairing to headphones and other accessories (the MacBook Pro 2015 and MacBook Air have Bluetooth 4.0) and 802.11ac Wi-Fi for connecting to wireless routers and, through them, the internet.

None of Apple's current laptops include cellular radios, but you can easily tether them to your iPhone or iPad if you have one.


Wired connections like USB, Thunderbolt, and HDMI let you connect to high-performance accessories like external displays, drives, networks, and more.

MacBook has a single USB-C port that can connect to USB-C drives; standard USB, VGA, or HDMI with adapters; and to plug in and recharge with a USB or AC adapter. It also has a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The 13-inch MacBook Air has two USB 3 ports, one Thunderbolt 2 port, an SDXC card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Ethernet is available with an adapter. It charges via a MagSafe 2 port.

The MacBook Pro 2015 has the most ports: two USB 3, two Thunderbolt 2, HDMI, an SDXC card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Ethernet is available with an adapter.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar has two Thunderbolt 3 ports (USB-C), while both the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar have four Thunderbolt 3 ports (USB-C). However, the two ports on the right side of the 13-inch model aren't full speed.

  • If you want the most ports available on an Apple laptop, you want the 2015 MacBook Pro.
  • If you go with a newer laptop, USB-C hubs can help you connect peripherals to a MacBook Pro or MacBook

Force Touch trackpad

Apple now uses Force Touch technology for their trackpads. It uses a Taptic Engine to simulate the click feeling of a traditional trackpad, but over the entire surface, and without the actual mechanical switch. Some people don't like the feeling, but it adds pressure sensitivity, is less prone to breaking down, and can be used in ways far beyond a regular trackpad.

MacBook and MacBook Pro have the Force Touch trackpad.

MacBook Air has the traditional trackpad.

  • If you want a standard trackpad, get the MacBook Air.
  • If you want the Force Touch trackpad, get the MacBook or MacBook Pro.


MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 2015 use Apple's older scissor switch system that's a bit looser but also has much better travel.

MacBook and MacBook Pro 2017 use a second generation dome and butterfly switch system to achieve a flatter keyboard and keep the laptop thin. It's an improvement over the first butterfly-switch keyboard in the 2015 MacBook, but fundamentally a similarly stable typing experience.

  • If you love the original12-inch MacBook keyboard, you'll love the improved version in the new MacBook and MacBook Pro.
  • If you hate the 12-inch MacBook keyboard, you might want to stick to a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro 2015.

Touch Bar and Touch ID

The higher-end 13-inch and every 15-inch MacBook Pro 2017 includes the Touch Bar. OLED with a matte finish that matches the feel of the keyboard keys, it can display Esc and function keys and system and media controls, just like the old function row. But it can also display curated, contextual shortcuts for whatever app you're working in at the time. That includes volume sliders, content scrubbers, color selectors, and anything else a developer can dream up.

To the right of the Touch Bar is Touch ID. Once exclusive to iPhone and iPad, now you can have it on the Mac. It works off an Apple T1 chip, which is like a tiny, integrated iOS device embedded right in the MacBook Pro. It handles the secure enclave and secure presentation of Apple Pay information, but that fusion is hidden away.

All you see is the sensor. Place your registered finger on it and you're authenticated! You can even use it for fast account switching, authorizing App Store purchases, and unlocking your 1Password vault.

  • If you want a traditional function key row, stick with the lower-end 13-inch MacBook Pro, the MacBook, the MacBook Air, or the MacBook Pro 2015.
  • If you want the new Touch Bar and Touch ID, you want a higher-end MacBook Pro 2017.


Rose Gold MacBook

Rose Gold MacBook (Image credit: iMore)

For a long time, Apple only made laptops with silver, bead-blasted aluminum finishes. The bead-blasted aluminum part is still true, but recently Apple has started adding some colors to the Mac lineup.

MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 2015 only come in silver aluminum.

MacBook comes in silver, space gray, gold, and rose gold.

MacBook Pro 2017 comes in silver or space gray.

  • If you really want a color other than silver or space gray, you want the MacBook.

Who should get the MacBook?

MacBook is ideal for executives, managers, and travelers who want the absolute lightest Mac, but one that still has all the latest technologies.

If you want the closest thing to an iPad in Mac clothing that's incredibly light, ridiculously portable, with an incredible display, and you're not turned off by the poor camera and lower performance, then you want the MacBook.

See at B&H (opens in new tab)

Who should get a MacBook Air?

MacBook Air is ideal for those who want a Mac laptop at the lowest possible price and something that's still ultra-portable without sacrificing ports.

If you want an ultralight Mac that still has multiple USB ports and a Thunderbolt Port, and you're not turned off by the standard resolution display and mechanical trackpad, then you want the MacBook Air.

See at B&H (opens in new tab)

Who should get a MacBook Pro 2015?

The 2015 MacBook Pro still packs plenty of punch, at a lower price point, and with all the legacy ports you can throw a cable at. It's for professionals who need the most power, memory, and storage possible, bigger screen options, and for whom weight and price aren't issues.

If you want Retina but don't care about wide gamut color, if the Touch Bar and Touch ID hold no appeal, and Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C are a future you can't see yet amid USB Type A, HDMI, and Thunderbolt 2 accessories galore, save some cash and consider the 2015 MacBook Pro.

See at Apple (opens in new tab)

Who should get the new MacBook Pro 2017?

The newly updated MacBook Pro is cutting edge but also cuts some things out. Gone are the legacy ports and in their place the fastest I/O possible, inside and out. It's for those who want the bleeding edge and don't care what it costs.

If you want a DCI-P3 wide gamut display and the best screen tech in the business, a larger Force Touch trackpad, a lighter and denser chassis, the fastest Kaby Lake chips, discreet graphics on all 15-inch models, and Touch Bar and Touch ID on the higher end 13-inch and all 15-inch versions, you want a new MacBook Pro.

See at B&H (opens in new tab)

Still undecided?

If you're still having trouble choosing between the MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, make sure to pay our Apple notebooks discussion forums a visit and become part of our awesome online community.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • I currently have a mid 2011 13" MacBook Air and it easily has another 2 years if life in it for me, likely even more. I think this is a testament to the quality and capabilities of Apple notebooks. That said, if I were to get a new MacBook now it would be the 15". For me portability isn't too important.
    For me the ability to take it with me but also have a sizable screen when using it at home is important. And the 15" serves this perfectly. Any of the MacBooks, be they Pro or Air, are plenty powerful enough for most any user. So it really comes down to screen size and storage. Love the article. Thanks for the fantastic overview of all the options. Sent from the iMore App
  • I love my MBA. It's so light and portable and the battery life is unbeatable. I typically only do word processing, web browsing, watch some movies, and light iMovie editing, but if you're doing anything more CPU intensive you may want to go with the pro. For what I use it for its perfect. Sent from the iMore App
  • Good info here!!! I'm just ticked that bought a 2012 MacBook Pro for $1499 (to get the i7) and I could have waiting a little longer and got an upgraded Retina:(
  • Resale value on MBP's is really high. You should sell now while you can still get a nice price for it and upgrade. Sent from the iMore App
  • Excellent case points for aiding in decision making on these devices Peter. Thank you.
    Despite my graphics background, I'm leaning towards the Air because of it's lighter, more streamlined package. It kind of reminds me of the decision I made to purchase a Bondi iMac waaayyy.....
    (That Bondi is still running to this day, by the way.)
  • Great info from everyone. I just wanted to point out that, although pricy, it is possible to get a powerful MBA that handles everything. I bought a £2K MBA with 8GB ram, i7 CPU, and 512GB SSD with the 11'' form factor. This gives me power and portability. My only regret is that I can't just unhook the screen and use it as a 'tab-book', i.e. hybrid with touch screen like many newcomers to the Win8 ultra book space. Still, with multiple VMs running most all OSs, my trusty MBA is still wowing me! :-)
  • Really good breakdown, I appreciate that you addressed the battery. I'd love to see battery tests on the whole lineup. I love the idea of a 12 hour battery life but I wonder how badly you'd cut into that by doing heavier work.
  • I currently have a HP dv7 17 inch and it's been holding up for a good 3 years, but it's too big for me to take to class everyday so I'm looking into getting a MB pro 13 w/ retina... But boy o boy do the options add up fast... Maybe I will splurge on one this Christmas Sent from the iMore App
  • I think I would probably fall into the MBA category but the thing is I would prefer the retina display. Fingers crossed for retina MBA or iPad Pro rumors sound interesting too. Sent from the iMore App
  • This article was much needed. Now I know for sure that the 13-inch rMBP is the laptop for me. Since I'll be needing it for some photo editing, some video editing but mostly programming and simulation softwares. Sent from the iMore App
  • I'm ready to upgrade from a 2008 24" iMac to the 13" MacBook Pro with Retina Display. I could use portability more than a huge screen.
  • Thanks to Thunderbolt you can have both, assuming you want to buy an external monitor. ;)
  • How about an article on Macs and external monitors? It's a little tricky if you don't go Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt with an Apple monitor. Without the right cable you end up with Thunderbolt to, say, DVI and limited resolution. If you have a big more-than 1080p monitor it wont work without dual-DVI which requires both a USB and Thunderbolt port. It's an important distinction!
  • I have been using a regular flat screen TV, with my 2012 MBA, and a HDMI to MiniDP adapter. It works well, although I notice of late that my adapter seems a bit shaky. I would recommend to people that they consider the HDMI route, as the Thunderbolt/MiniDisplayPort feature allows for audio AND video transfer to the external screen. You can get a big enough display, you get excellent video, almost cinematic, and also audio. It is a beautiful thing.
  • I did an old fashioned columns on paper comparison of MacBooks and options. An MBA 13" or an rMBP13", both with 8 GB memory and 256 GB storage, and both with their base processor, are nearly the same price. The MBA 13" came to $1399, the rMBP 13" is $1499.
    The MBA has the advantages of being lighter, cheaper (barely), and amazing battery life.
    The rMBP 13" had the advantages of a Retina display, a lot better processor, better graphics, and more ports. That's a lot of advantages for only $100 more. Sent from the iMore App
  • Well if I buy a macbook I would always go for battery life! Not only that it will last now but i hope that one day i will be swearing that my macbook air will hold only six hours instead f twelve like it used to and not that my MBP will last only 2-3 instead of 7
  • Completely agree, did the same comparison, and to me with those specs, especially as 8GB memory is a good way to future proof imho, it was a no brainer, the rMBP 13 stood out.
  • For me it would have to be the retina 13". I need portability with power and the screen is perfect for when I have to so some serious graphic design work on the fly (literally)! My wife has the new air and it's great but my new 13"is pretty thin already and it fits just as nicely in my bag with no fuss. Sent from the iMore App
  • I'm looking at buying a MacBook for university next September, I have a budget of £1000 or thereabouts and this article has really helped me, thanks a lot iMore! Sent from the iMore App
  • Love the MacBook Pro. Well worth the extra investment. Sent from the iMore App
  • With the price, size, and weight similarities apple made the 13 inch air a terrible purchase. Its either a rMBP or a 11 inch air.
  • I'm thinking of buying the 13" MBA. I needed to know whether it could run any or all apps of Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop or After Effects, etc). Keep in mind, I can't upgrade the laptops as in India they only sell the base models... Thanks in advance for your help!
  • You can check the Adobe Creative Cloud tech specs page for specific requirements. Looks like the video apps like After Effects and Premiere Pro have system requirements well beyond the 13 inch's capabilities, at least for GPU-accelerated effects.
  • Oh. That's sad. The MBA is awesomely thin!
  • The original iPad mini is still fantastic and I can't yet justify changing over to the new retina model yet. If I could get $250 for for this one toward a trade-in, I might consider even going up to the Air. The iPad Air is so light now, I think it may be comfortable enough to hold for long periods of time. That is my biggest concern. Sent from the iMore App
  • The Air is rocking the craptastic TN display with the MBPr (god what an awful name) sports an IPS.
  • This is a great guide for those that have a tough time choosing which Mac to get. As for me, the high-end MacBook Pro 15" is the way to roll. Sent from the iMore App
  • Got my wife a 2012 MacBook Air earlier this year but it just isn't enough for me. I don't do a lot of editing but videos, gaming, a big time multitasking are everyday activities. The loaded 15" rMBP was the only way to go for me. I've had it over a week and love it! I'm sure that I will be riding it for a long time.
  • Multitasking was never a problem with me and my MacBook Air ( 2013 haswell). And I don't think that MACs are good for heavy gaming. Buy a PS4 or Xbox one and MacBook Air that is my opinion
  • I feel you but I'm on the road too much and I play mostly stuff like WOW and STO. The dedicated graphics card, amount if Ram, and i7 are more than enough for most gaming.
  • Thanks for the article this is just what I needed to decide what to buy.
  • Very extensive comparisons of the different models of macbooks. Planning to upgrade from the 1st generation macbook air.
  • With Haswell in the mix now, you probably should go with the Air. The performance between the two is negligible and your paying absolutely to much for the model with discrete graphics. Yes the screen quality is night and day, but you pay a considerable price in terms of money and battery power. You will end up losing display perfection anyway because you will have to turn the brightness way down to get the battery efficiency apple is talking about. Sent from the iMore App
  • A lot of great info. I've been holding onto my aluminum unibody MB since early 2009 (by far the longest life I've ever gotten out of a computer), but I still think it might be worth waiting for the price of PCIe storage to come down a bit more. I'd love a 13" MBPr, but with a huge library of RAW photos in Aperture, I feel like I would have to upgrade to at least 500GB of storage. Plus the longer I wait, the more bang I can get for my buck. Sent from the iMore App
  • Very informative. I plan on getting a Mac soon. I believe I will head the 2.5 hours to the nearest apple store and test drive them. This was a great starting place! This will be my first Mac and I wanted to educated as much as possible before buying! Sent from the iMore App
  • I hemmed and hawed and finally went into an Apple store and held all of them. While I may not need all the processing power of the rMBP, I decided that it is light enough and right enough. Mine will spend most of the time on a TV tray in the living room with some occasional traveling so portability wasn't my highest priority. I had a hard time figuring out what exactly my highest priority actually is and decided that I wanted the most power I could get. Weight, battery life and yes, even money were lower on my list. I will use this for all my video and photo editing with a bit of occasional gaming in there and of course the usual surfing stuff. Finally, decided the rMBP at 15" with the all the ram I can stuff it with and I will start with the 256g flash drive. I debated the discrete graphics and decided that since I am not a professional photographer/videographer, the on chip graphics will be just fine. I'm putting some serious bucks away each payday and figure it will be my holiday present from me to me. Dang! It's fun to go back and forth trying to make up your mind. Let's hope my mind holds until the savings are ready.
  • I decided to go with retina mb 13 inch after days of research on internet. It's hard to decide between 13 inch MacBooks this year. Sent from the iMore App
  • Great article!!! I own a mid 2012 base 11" MBA & a mid 2012 custom-configured 15" MBP and I'm loving them both. The MBA is for my frequent travels and I like to use my MBP at home due to the power & larger screen. I had my 2007 13.3" MB for 5 years before I upgraded & it still ran like a champ. So I'm sure I'll get several more years out of these babies. Yes they may seem a bit pricey but I'm a firm believer that you get what you pay for. If you're looking for a quality laptop, then you should definitely be purchasing a MacBook. Sent from the iMore App
  • Air... Sent from the iMore App
  • I'll be getting my daughter the 13" MBA next summer as a high school graduation gift for use at university. For myself, I currently have a 2007 Mac Pro that I use with FCP 7 for video editing. I'm anxiously awaiting the comparisons between the upcoming Mac Pro vs the 15" rMBP with Nvidia graphics card. But, the 15" with the Iris Pro graphics card might be adequate for my needs, especially since I've endured the 2007 Mac Pro all these years as it is. Of course, the arguments for/against a desktop vs laptop are all part of the decision process.
  • def's amazing what they have done to the mac pro line...i predict macbook air will be gone, replaced by ipad air....macbook pro retina will replace the macbook air line...
  • I currently own an Early 2011 MBP and it still runs amazingly smooth. I've been wanting to upgrade my hard drive with an SSD but they're pretty pricey, still. I use mine to listen to music, watch movies, and some moderate web browsing and it does it perfectly. I'm happy with my baby for now but I'm sure in about 2 or 3 more years I'll need to upgrade.
  • I really need a MacBook Air. Time to save those pennies! Sent from the iMore App
  • After carrying around a heavy 15 inch MacBook Pro for 5 years to all sorts of meetings I think I would go for the MacBook Air. I just find that for what I do at work that would hit the sweet spot. Sent from the iMore App
  • Pro! Sent from the iMore App
  • I think it mainly comes down to the Retina display now. For me, the Retina display is one of those features that makes the Mac stand out above other laptops. I would opt for the MacBook Pro and I do hope that the MacBook Air has Retina next year. Sent from the iMore App
  • We hearing any rumblings on an updated Thunderbolt display? I really want one, but really want updated USB 3.0 in it and Thunderbolt 2 to go with my new rMBP.. kind of silly to buy the old screen.. Was really surprised they didn't at least update that at the iPad / MBP event. I'm hoping we don't just see a 4k screen.. I don't need it/can't justify the cost.. just want an update to the current offering to bring it forward to current port standards and form factor like the iMac's..
  • I would go for the MacBook air. Love how thin and light the laptop is. Beautiful design. Sent from the iMore App
  • I love my Air, but the comparatively anemic processor to the Pro's are starting to get to me, especially now that the Pro's are shedding their thickness and weight faster than I ever expected. Next one will be a Pro for me, no doubt. Sent from the iMore App
  • I'll be honest, I'm not very knowledgable of Macs. I've never been too fond of them considering the price. Heck, I still use a desktop at home. Last month, I was at my sister's house and decided to check out her 2011 13" MBA and my first impression was "WTH is with its size." It's so thin and so light. As I was using it, the first few minutes left me confused to how the basic functions work. The way the trackpad works (I'm a big user of the mouse), even the location if the maximize/minimize and close button have changed. But slowly I got more and more used to them. It was a confusing hour, yes, but more than confusing, I've also had a lot of fun trying stuff out. After some more uses, and those commands that once were unfamiliar became somewhat of a second nature. Now I'm happy to say that the next that I'll be in front of a MacBook, I won't look like a total noob. Also, that it has made me more open-minded (I'd like to give the rMBPro a try) with my options in the future as it really is an excellent device. Sent from the iMore App
  • Welcome aboard! :)
  • First of all, i never had a macbook air. But the reason for that is not the price, design or light weighted model. It's only because i believe my household doesn't need a macbook air. I've got my iPhone on the road, my iPad on the couch and my macbook pro for my work. I don't think the macbook air can fill gaps or fit between them.
  • I have ditched my MacBook Pro, bought a Mac Mini and use the iPad Air for mobility and at work. Sent from the iMore App
  • I have ditched my MacBook Pro, bought a Mac Mini and use the iPad Air for mobility and at work. Sent from the iMore App
  • MBA is what I will be upgrading to soon... Sent from the iMore App
  • I currently have MBA 13" with 256gigs of SSD. I love my MacBook Air because all I do is email, browsing the web, and using Pages for most of my school studies. I don't need to play games, or do things that require a lot of power and ram so MBA seems to be the right choice for me. Next time though, I hope Apple put IPS display in MBA because I don't like the current very reflective, not-so-wide-angled-view display. :(
  • Peter great article. I currently run on a mbp 2011 13" and thinking of getting a powerful one like the 15" w/nvidia, but would you suggest waiting for the broadwell chips next yr? i heard they increase the power efficiency by 30% and since i fly a lot, batt time is important. Suggestions?
  • There are always improvements down the road. I think the safest thing to do is to buy when you need new hardware, and just accept that something better is coming soon - that way you won't suffer too badly from buyer's remorse. :)
  • I seriously love technology... Wish my budget allowed me to own all of it! Sent from the iMore App
  • I have a 4 year old MBP, and if I were to replace it right now I would have to get another. My business requires Windows to run the ordering software we use, therefore VMWare. Not sure how well that runs on an Air, not even accounting for the percentage of HD space it would take up. Sent from the iMore App
  • Running Windows in a virtual machine is probably better suited for the MBP.
  • Tried it for a day and Air was running Windows 8 in parallels just fine :)
  • Lucky! my air ( i5 , 8GB RAM) gets really hot after 10 mins or so after I start up the VM. The fan is so annoying that I keep my Windows sessions really short.
  • My wife runs parallels on her 2012 13" MacBook Air 8GB ram with no problems. Depending how much strain the software puts on the system I think you'll be fine.
  • I was runnning visual studio 2012 which I consider a as a heavy duty program.
  • Yeah, go Pro lol.
  • I'll probably be getting the MBPro instead of an Air next spring for 3 reasons: ports, retina display, speed. Sent from the iMore App
  • Just got the 13 inch MBA a few days ago and loving it. Can't believe how snappy it is.
  • Very helpful article. I purchased a 13" MBP in mid 2012. My reasoning was that I needed storage (mostly for family photos) and portability. Even if it's just inside the house. I'd go crazy sitting in one spot all day (as my back would testify) I travel extensively for work. And my employer subjects me to Microsoft products. A big honkin' HP Elite Book laptop. I'm not sure where the "Book" part of the name came from. Perhaps they were thinking of an unabridged dictionary when they drew that parallel? No matter how you look at it, it's a beast to lug around. So on the advice of my aching back and my good sense I managed to get a MacBook Air (also 13"). Over the past 10 months or so I've transitioned almost completely to my Air. For things that I absolutely HAVE to do using my company issued laptop I often remote in. Both the Pro & Air have given me zero problems. However my parting comment is that once you go SSD you never want to go back. My Pro collects a lot more dust than my Air. In fact, if I could do it all over again I would have gotten an iMac (for wife & kids who don't put a premium on portability) over the MBP. Sent from the iMore App
  • Thank you Peter. This will be my first time buying a Mac. I will be using it mostly for editing pictures and some movies. Your article was very helpful on my decision on which one to buy. Sent from the iMore App
  • I am in need of a new computer and I am having a really hard time trying to decide between the two. I really want to buy one that will last me at least a few years though.
  • I was bit scared from mac book air as I use it for software development in Java, PHP ( that is pretty much light use). I use it also for creating a 3D graphics in OpenGL and Blender. And I have to say a never experienced that i would not have enough power.
    So if you are going for 13inch go for Air. If you use it for editing photos or heavy video editing ( Cutting your video for your blog doesn't count. I mean a serious work with photos or videos, don't overate yourself) go for 15 inch MacBook Pro with retina.
  • Thanks czhDavid for this comment... I was looking for someone who use MBA 13" for software development, I'm also a Java Developer and planning to work with game dev using adobe flex. now I know what to buy, i've been visiting iStore once a week for over 3 months just to evaluate which one I will buy. price is a very big factor for me the reason I consider MBA. again, thanks man. ^_^
  • Hi Jet, I am a Java developer too and looking to buy a Mac. Just wanted your feedback that which Mac did you buy? Did you buy a standard configuration or did you enhance anything in the configuration? And most of all, how is the performance? Are you able to run Eclipse with atleast couple of heavy softwares (photoshop and lotus) ? Do you have any suggestions for me? Please let me know. Any help is appreciated. Thanks a lot.
  • you need to enhance it... i7 processor and 8GB RAM if you will be using VMs, if not, then enhancing it to 8GB RAM is enough if a lot of heavy stuff will be running in your machine.
  • If you are a server side java developer - running a j2ee container and/or writing a few daemon processes that have to run separately, you might even want to consider 16 GB, if you can afford it.
  • Awesome Breakdown as always. Love iMore's buyer guides. Currently have a 2010 MacBook Air, which is running great. Love the portability and the screen resolution. Looking forward to apple going all retina sometime soon (I hope), and then I'll be making my next laptop/desktop purchase. Sent from the iMore App
  • Get the pro it's simple. It's not much heavier anyone Sent from the iMore App
  • Absolutely Macbook Pro with Retina ! look fantastic , im thinking of buy one for his xmas Sent from the iMore App
  • I'm going for a MacBook Pro. My only decision is 13" (8GB, 266GB) OR the base model of the 15".
    It will be my first Mac and it will be my 'new' desktop. I just have a hard time getting over the $2049 price tag of the 15"...though I do like the 15" size as well as the quad core.
  • I think it depends. If I were to buy an air, it would only be the 11". If I wanted a 13" laptop, I would always take the pro over the air. Sent from the iMore App
  • Thanks for a review that doesn't make me feel bad for being unable to afford a top-of-the-like laptop. I bought the 13-inch base model this summer. I love it. No, it doesn't have a Retina screen or a Haswell chip. But I'm hopeful that it will last several years. And though it's easy to get up in the new gadget, new feature vortex, it's clear you didn't. Sent from the iMore App
  • I definitely want the new 13" Pro with Retina Display. But for work I have to use a software suite that's only been written for Windows. If I partition the hard drive and run Windows through boot camp, will this slow down and lag my whole computer? Sent from the iMore App
  • I want a MacBook Pro retina so much. Sent from the iMore App
  • I personally like the MacBook Pros better, the one I have right now works super well. I don't know too much about all the other things, but this article definitely informed. Sent from the iMore App
  • Help! I will be converting to mac soon. I currently use my Lenovo for web surfing, downloading, streaming watching movies. Occasionally I will use Photoshop and word processing. I think I should get the air. Should I spend extra on ram or storage. I don't know how mac work with external hard drives when all music and photos are not on the main drive.
  • .
  • IMO for my self i would like to choose MB AIR its just looking really so stunning very innovative and Perfectly design product i have yet seen in my life. a perfect Laptop Product from Apple Inc.
  • iBook G3 :p
  • Thanks Peter for a great write up. I am planning to buy 11 inch MBA however I would like to know if it supports Vmware workstation software or Microsoft Virtual PC? I am into setting up test labs for my work purpose and it would be great if I can run Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 and above in a virtual environment
  • The MacBook Air certainly can run virtualization software. The Mac software you'll be looking at is VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop, most likely. Bear in mind that the 11-inch MBA is Apple's slowest Mac. While it meets the needs of those software apps, your mileage will vary in terms of how fast it'll run Windows and Windows apps. You'll probably be better off with a MacBook Pro.
  • Almost the answer I am looking for :-)
    I am looking to buy the new MacBook and I was wondering if it is going to manage Windows Parallels&MS Project & MS Office?
    I love love Apple, but my company works on Microsoft, so I have to find a compromise...I was looking at Surface, but my heart goes to Apple... :-)
    Thanks Peter in advance for advice.
  • I'll have one of each please :) Honestly, if I could, I would have one of each. They each have their own purpose in my eyes. It would be lovely to be able to throw an 11" MBA in my bag for travel purposes. For me at this time, I had to settle on the 15" MBPr. It's just such a workhorse.
  • My daughter will be attending college next year as music major, I was wondering what the perfect laptop would be for a music major. Macbook-pro or MacBook Air?
  • If she's going to be doing any multitrack recording, I'd recommend the MacBook Pro, preferably with as much RAM as you can afford. Logic and other audio editing software eats as much RAM as you'll throw at it.
  • I just got my first Mac last week a 15" Retina Pro it's perfect I went with the base one it has all I need. I have plenty of storage with my NAS and Cloud. I never used Apple products until this holiday season starting with an IPad Air Retina Which I quickly grew to love then added an apple t.v. nice. Now this Mac Pro. I currently use a Samsung Galaxy note 3 but if Apple makes a bigger screen Iphone I'm going all apple.
  • Bought the MBA to take on holiday to Florida, but the 1080p video from my wife's Canon 70D choked it using iMovie. Taking advantage of Best Buy's 14-day return/exchange, we ran to the nearest one and swapped it for the 13" retina MBP. It is perfect for our needs (iMovie and Photoshop CC) when on the road. We have the latest Mac Mini i7 with Fusion Drive and 16G RAM in the den at home that does the heavy lifting when we return from trips, but the MBP can do a lot of it in hotel rooms, just a LOT more slowly.
  • I was originally gonna get a non-Retina MBP but I managed to scrape up the extra cash and got the 13" Retina MBP, with 256GB of storage.
  • How about connecting your cellular-enabled iPad Air with a OS X Server Mac Mini via Edovia's Screen app? You have the best of both mobile worlds (Mac and iOS) wherever you go and spend so much less money. Sent from the iMore App
  • What about video encoding times? how long to encode 1 hour of H.246, .mp4 and aac audio. I'm debating 13 inch, MBA, 1.4ghz i5 cpu 8GB ram vs 13 inch MBPro retina 2.4ghz i5 cpu, 8GB ram. I don't care what's best for the task. I understand the retina is faster but want to know the times because if the difference in time isn't much i won't care. It won't be worth the added cost. And cost is a big issue. And once i'm done re-encoding my stuff i won't need to do it again. Anybody have any idea about rough encoding times for either of these? It doesn't have to be one hour. Any equal comparison is fine. I'll be converting whole movies mostly.
  • Bueller?
  • We don't have the resources at iMore to do comprehensive benchmarks like what you're looking for, as much as we'd like to. I'd recommend comparing the benchmarks produced by Macworld in their MacBook reviews section if you'd like hard numbers of video encoding.
  • Thanks. I really didn't expect iMore to know. I'd hoped "the community" may know and have encoded movies. I can't believe nobody's has encoded anything. But, yeah i've searched around a lot but most reviews give numbers from some program i'm not familiar with. The only thing i need to know is time. Unfortunately most of these just give some number from a program that doesn't mean much to me. Thanks though.
  • The answer is neither because they aren't a tablet and you don't want to live in PASTville so it's iPad Pro all the way :) Macbook Air WAS a nice netbook though.
    But seriously I'm going large - 11" inches minimum (hopefully soon), no Mini 8" BS etc. Besides Apple needs to do something with tablets since it brings them more money than the whole Mac business ever did. Tablets are losing value in peoples minds and they are becoming cheap secondary devices for many so Apple has to release a superior product if they want to sell such a thing for $700 or 800, it's their only chance because otherwise the publics opinion/POV will be damaged and later it'll be even harder to convince people on spending that amount of cash (the market is already filled with alternative options and even with strong branding/advertisements it's an uphill battle for them).
  • Hi There,
    I'm shopping for a new Mac laptop and I'm a total tech novice so I found this article pretty helpful. I am a little confused as to how current this article is though. I see that the Mac Book Air section has been updated for 2014, what about all the info for the Mac Book Pro's? What I gather from the article is that the 13" Pro has some slightly dated hardware (which I'd like to avoid), is that still the case?
    I'm going back to college and really just need a computer for school. I'm not doing anything graphic, just writing papers and accessing the internet. Watching some Netflix and listening to some music too. Seems like the 13" Air would be prefect, but would others recommend the Pro? I have no need to upgrade to Retina. I'm currently using a MacBook from 2008, so the new computer alone will be a fantastic upgrade. Thanks for any feedback!
  • It sounds like with what you listed get the air. You won't miss the weight of the pro. I have the pro and it's too heavy. Wish I had the air.
  • I had a mid-2009 MacBook Pro 17-inch up until recently. I noticed it was running slowly as time went on and after five good years, I knew it was the right time to bite the bullet and get a new MacBook. It was sad to know that Apple was dropping their 17-inch displays on laptops. I love the extra real estate for the graphic design work I was doing. In that case, it makes sense to switch to an iMac, but then you lose the portability. So I decided to get the top-of-the-line MacBook Pro 15-inch with Retina display, loaded with 16 GB of RAM and 500 GB SSD. It cost a whopping CAD$3000, but I follow the principle of buying the most advanced computing power and features you can afford. And by comparison to my older MacBook, the new model is shockingly fast. It was worth the extra expense, for sure. As for other graphic designers on a tight budget, you may be well served to get an iMac or, for mobility purposes, a MacBook Air will run your Adobe suite very adequately.
  • The new mac book pro is just great. It has great reviews and thats because it serves as the perfect graphic design computer. It's ranked #1 here
  • This is a great article for those deciding. Man, getting a new MacBook for me is all a [want] for now. My Winter 2011 13" MBP still runs fine and fast especially that I've upgraded the RAM to 8GB and storage to SSD. Maybe I'll finally get a new one in around 2 years time when I can no longer upgrade the OS.
  • If you play games. You probably need a MacBook Pro retina. It has faster graphics. If you do a lot of photography. Then you would probably like the extra power and resolution of a MacBook Pro. But I wouldn't say it was necessary. If you do photography a lot you could get by easily with a MacBook Air. If you travel a lot. You definitely want a MacBook Air. I travel a lot and bought the 15 inch mac book pro with retina. Wish I had something lighter. If your a college student and taking notes and traveling to different classes. The air would be good for that. You can still game on an air if you turn down graphics features.
  • I actually cannot believe that comparison article between Air and Pro missed, IMHO, the most important difference between those two: colour gamut. It is single-handedly the main reason I opted for Pro over Air. Colours on Air are really badly washed-out comparing to Pro, particularly reds, it's not even funny. And I'm not talking about pro photography, but the difference is very clear even on a average quality wallpaper. Where on Air display they're sort of there, they really do come to live on a gorgeous colourful Pro display. I haven't seen as bad display as the one in Air in any Apple device for a very long time. Even premium PCs perform much better (Sony, Samsung).
  • Is the Air screen any better, worse, or the same, as the 2008 white macbook screens?
  • I had 2nd or 3rd gen MacBook Air 13" till it was stolen. It was great notebook... Very light with great battery life. I've recently got the 15" MacBook Pro Retina for myself (i7, 8 GB ram, 256 GB HDD, integrated graphics). I'm not a road warrior anymore, and for trips to bookstore or vacations, the 15" is perfectly portable. Love the display! For my daughter who's just starting college, I got the 13" MacBook Air (i5, 4GB ram, 256 GB HDD). She primarily writes papers, browses internet, and other light-weight computing. Battery life and portability are high priorities for her and there is none better than the 13" Air!
  • The Retina Mac Book Pros looks very ugly though.the front bezel is logo free.. no branding whatsoever..just black ugly bezel..I hate that look..I wish it had "MacBook Pro" logo on the bezel like the non- retina models..for this fac alonet,I'd buy a MacBook Air instead.I don't want to stare at a ugly product.
  • This is a tough question. I stay within MBP territory because of the extra disk space and DVD drive; the rest of my family & friends (except one person) I recommend MBAs. That one member does a lot of work with CAD files with vendors that are too big for email and FTP/DropBox/etc, so he burns & uses a lot of DVDs...
  • I can't wait to edit photo's and create an Imovie.
  • Can anyone help me please really confused between a macbook pro without retina 8gb ram 1tb hard drive for 1134$ or macbook air 2014 8gb ram 126gb PCIe flash storage for 1039$ used with external 1tb hard disk which is approx 70$. both options almost cost the same. My use will be basic browsing surfing watching movies editing videos of family trips etc. Any help will be appreciated
  • Peter please help with your suggestion. Portability is not an issue as I don't have to carry it around much.
  • Id say you should get 256 gb hard drive MacBook Air. The pro is seriously outdated. And with the new broadwell chips you are definitely good to go for many years with whatever new software updates bring along. Sent from the iMore App
  • I have a 15" MBP, and will probably swap it for another one when it is refreshed. The single USB connector does bother me, though, as I find it hard to believe Apple will not move that design into the MBP lineup within a couple of years, just as they did with floppies and with optical drives. I love my magsafe, and my peripherals and monitor love my current ports.
  • Which is really good for programming? Sent from the iMore App
  • Thinnest ibook nice design!!!!!!!!!!!
  • I'm curious to know how the 2015 Macbook Air can handle simple games like bioshock infinite. Intel Hd6000 has no reviews online. Am interested to buy the 13 air. Sent from the iMore App
  • Peter, Peter, Peter, why oh why did you update this article and get it posted on the same day as release of new MacBook? This creates confusion, when it needs to be rewritten to include the new MacBook. To update and repost this into iMore's current newsfeed was a hasty decision that only adds confusion. It should have been left alone and you should have taken this article to re-write, leave the old post, some people will still buy last year's model on apple's reconditioned website anyway. Also, one thing missing when reading, anywhere, about the new MacBook or the new Force Track Pad, or updates to current models is the fact that you can get a new MacBook Pro 13" retina today with the new Force Track Pad, that is one of the updates to it. This has been overlooked by pretty much everyone on the net. FYI: the entry level MBP 13" non-retina w/optical drive is still available new, apple just doesn't include it in the comparison anymore. Looking forward to a new article after you've had a chance to get a MacBook to review. :)
  • I am currently using the non-Retina 13" MacBook Pro. I got it specifically to run Mavericks (who says increased battery life and RAM compression aren't sexy?). I was delighted that when I installed Mavericks, by display looked distinctly sharper (visuals refactored for Retina, no doubt, but even I saw the improvement). The display got sharper again, but less so with Yosemite.
    I'm fine with this 113 ppi screen (remembering when 72 ppi used to be the gold standard for graphics production).
    But OMG I just came up with my ideal use-case for this new MacBook!
    I want it as a portable Illustrator sketchbook!! It seems perfectly adequate for the task and that Retina display would be just ideal for detail work.
    Vector graphics have never been a problem for ANY Macintosh, and I think Illustrator would make that new track pad shine!
    Oh, I WANT one!!!
  • I love my 2010 MBP and OSX and i'm on the search for my next laptop as this one is showing its age. My first choice would be a new MBP 15 BUT i'm really dissapointed with the hardware vs price.
    Sure i agree that MBP is thin and cant have the latest and graetes GPU such as 980m BUT then again why not a more modern GPU like 960m. I feel like i'm not getting so much for my buck so to say. Also i'm a bit pissed that i cant change anything in the new laptops. In my current model i can change RAM, HD, battery. There are just to many compromises here. Sure making the laptop thin is great but the cost is just to much. I still cant decide what to do, i do love OSX and love the trackpad on Macs.
    I could for the same money go for Alienware 15 with QHD+touch screen with 980m GPU, m2 SSD+1TB HD, this is a beast of a laptop, sure its heavier and bigger but its also much much more powerful. Hard choice.
    Maybe i get a Alienware and wait for a new Air with retina screen :) that would be ideal.....
  • The macbook, because of its interesting features and its qualities.
  • MacBook Pro all the way, it's going to stay up to date for a very, very long time.
  • Great advice, very helpful. Here are the manual of Apple laptop. And I think there gonna be some useful guides too.
  • Well, my maxed-out 13-inch MacBook Air is exactly what I needed and always wanted in a laptop. I am not a graphics user, so there is very little need for rendering or disk-use power that such apps thrive on. Nevertheless, its speed with the SS drive is excellent, and the sharpness is acute. It's got the lightness and flexibility to use on campus and at home. The latest OS is superb, especially compared to the System 7.5.x that I started with on my old Powerbook 190cs. I love the speed of Bluetooth connections and the ability to print remotely from my laptop with WiFi (although I must commend my Epson print software and hardware, too). No matter where I am, I have few problems with any WiFi processes no matter where I work from, which I must therefore have to attribute to the features of the Mac. The MacBook Pro was way more than I needed, although in discussions with a co-worker who needed the Pro version, I saw reasons for owning and using one.
    My conclusion is that examining one's needs is the most important criterion to use in deciding which laptop to buy. Forget bells and whistles that will not drive your goals.
  • The most glaring shortcoming of the new non-Touch Bar MBP I haven't seen mentioned in any reviews so far, and that's the severe performance penalty compared to the 2015 MBP base model. It was a 2.7GHz Skylake, and the new one is a . . . 2.0GHz Skylake. Seriously? It's $200 more but 35% slower? That's hard to stomach.
  • Apple killed off their least expensive notebook, the 11" Air (likely because it was competition to the iPad Pro - an OS they really, really want users to move to - direct content delivery to iTunes Store and complete control over all apps) that was the student / road warrior / budget consumer go-to at $CDN1099, while applying a generous layer of ennui over begrudgingly holding onto the MBA 13" ($CDN1199). Instead, they're now expecting users to willingly fork over nearly 50% more of the cost of the 11" Air to buy the MacBook - arguably less capable and with a terrible keyboard ($CDN1649) or - ha, ha - splashing out on a touchbar MBP at $CDN1899. Clearly they're combining the ever-present Apple Tax with the Macoylte's needs for something sparkly to look at, while producing notebooks that suggest that they'd really rather just get out of the notebook computer market entirely.
  • Why is everyone afraid to say that Sir Jonny Ive is now the problem with dongles not the solution. Steve Jobs was able to control him, but the current team are afraid of saying no to him. We do not care about thin anymore Tim, we want features, connections and simplicity. We want to be able to travel with our laptop and nothing more in our bag for the day. Help us Tim. Say no to Jonny just once. Sent from the iMore App
  • They didn't use USB-C just because it looks nice, they used it because it's the next generation port which is cable of doing a lot of things without having to have a different type of port for each task. Dongles are only temporary
  • Easy: Surface 4.
  • Well, easy if you don't mind Windows, but this is iMore, and a lot of people here don't like Windows
  • And run the horror that is Windows? No thanks.
  • I am still waiting for the new 17-inch MBP with two 1 TB SSD, 4K monitor, 32 GB RAM and quad i7. I know it must be right around the corner, it must be, with all the legacy ports a-blazin'. I have been waiting so loooooong. Come on Apple give me the goods! I need power, I need speed. I need storage. I need connectivity. I have biceps and triceps to carry this 14b behemoth. MAKE IT HAPPEN AND I AM THERE!!! My 2007 17-inch MBP is still functional, but it is ****** that you "obsoleted" it.
  • If it did come, it wouldn't come with legacy ports because it'd still be a new machine
  • Great article. one point, I don't think the 13 inch mbp 2016 or the 2015 15 inch mbp have options to upgrade the graphics card.
  • I just got a MacBook Air 13" yesterday since I feared these going away. I just like the MagSafe and ports on these and the keyboard, apple glowing logo also. Thankfully its not my main computer since the display is quite low end but gets me by. Its still very small and light weight. The storage is fast for me at 692MB/s write and 1390MB/s reads. I know the new MBP is even faster but this is will a nice upgrade over the SATA SSD I have in my Mac mini. Just with the price difference between the new MBP 13" and Air 13" its hard to compare. The display alone on the new MBP 13" is miles from the Air's. For me though and useability I still preferred the Air's ports and keyboard. I think each stands on its own as a good laptop. All comes down to the buyers needs. I'm glad we still have this choice right now. Once the Air is gone, it will be more limited and that is what pushed me to get this Air now.
  • +Coffee4ever I liked your post a lot. I did the exact same thing you did. I just waited till they release these new mbp's and was not interested at all! I immediately order a MBA 13, still happy they had them. I think it is the best notebook Apple has ever made. The look, feel, keyboard and it has a lot of power in the sleek book. The battery is excellent. I just don't like the retina on the others, they bother my eyes a lot. Liked you post, we both did the same purchase.
    Which one did you get BTW?
    I got the 2.2,8ram, 512ssd
  • Torn between 13 or 15 inch mbpro. I currently have a mbp 2010 model so its time to upgrade. Not sure the screen is worth the extra 700 I would have to shell out. I currently have a 9 inch ipad pro that I do most of my work on so now I am more confused then ever
  • Have an OSX that I love to spend time with but it has become too old and I'm considering MBK pro - 13" or a MBA. Reading these comments have provided me with a lot of information to consider. My usage is light…emails, storage photos and files, Ma Jong, research. Think I'm drawn to the MacBook Pro. I always like to get the newest technology when I set out to invest. The weight of the Mac Air is compelling but a lot of good comments about the Pro as well.
  • Dell XPS 15
  • Thanks, but no thanks.