Another person needing some advice on choosing a macbook

macOS and Mac Apps

Hello applevis community, I am planning on getting a laptop for Christmas since I am running out of space to do my work on my 5s and would like to start saving up for one. I am a high school student, only a freshmen, and I'mlooking for a laptop that I can take with me to school as well as use as my personal one for browsing the web and playing games. We do a lot of powerpoints and research papers at school, and I am completely blind. I am considering either the Macbook Air or the 13-inch pro. Which laptop do you think would work best for my needs? Thanks>



Submitted by Joseph Westhouse on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

For the record, I have a 13" Pro, and love it. The main reason I got the Pro and not the Air, however, is because I do a decent bit of audio editing and some other processor-intensive tasks, and wanted more processing power. I also wanted the HDMI output, and I don't think that was offered on the Air (correct me if I'm wrong?) For writing papers, browsing the internet, etc., however, you should be fine with a MacBook Air, and will save a pretty penny, and gain added portability and battery life.

The one thing I'd ask about is games - what sort of games are you planning to play? I would just make sure to check the system requirements, and confirm that they'll run smoothly on an Air. If they will, I think the Air sounds like your best bet.

Submitted by Siobhan on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hi. I have the 13inch pro, couldn't be happier with it. remember neither model now come with a dvd/cd disc drive so that will be another eighty bucks. Also the pro has way more storage as in you can get a regualr hd for around 750gb instead of only 64 or maybe 128 flash storage on the air. Hope I got that right. I think the airs get a little hotter too.

Submitted by Joseph Westhouse on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

That said - if you don't need the extra storage, you'll see an insane difference in read/write speed and startup time if you go with flash storage. That was one of the places I chose to spend a little more on my Pro, and I'm so glad I did - it's lightning fast. So unless you're planning on storing dozens of hours of audio and video on your laptop, you may not need a 750 GB hard drive. Just something to bear in mind.

Submitted by Liz on Thursday, October 1, 2015

I have been using the mac for about six months.
I chose a pro so that I could run windows on it if I so chose.
Other than the games, an Air sounds like your best bet.
You can use Pages, Numbers, and Keynote to do powerpoint and word documentes.
You simply export the presentation or document for those who have windows.

I love the mac and wouldn't change it for a second, but it is expensive.

Hope this helps,

Submitted by Justin on Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hi Augustu,
I have a 15 inch Macbook pro, quad core CPU 8GB ram, and a recently replaced 500GB flash drive. Howeverr, for your needs, I'd say get the air with all the options as high as they will go, the max amount of storage space, fastest CPU, etc ram. I have friends who have the air and they love it. I personally love the MBP, but it's up to you which Macbook you'll go for.

Submitted by Siobhan on Thursday, October 1, 2015

I don't have the Air but I think the Air only has one UsB for the pro has two. Personally I wish there were more, but i have the older one with the slot dvd drive. also pros have a memory card reader airs don't. just another bit to help. Personaly I like the 13 inch, and they are a lot thinner then even this one now.

Submitted by Gus Pacleb on Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hello everyone,
Thanks for all the comments. I think the Air is best since it's cheaper and I won't need all the processing power of a pro. The retina screen doesn't matter since I am blind.
Now there's just the matter of screen size. Should I get the 11 or 13 inch version. I know the 13-inch model has 3 more hours of battery life than the 11-inch.
Which model do you suggest?

Submitted by Nathan Stocking on Thursday, October 1, 2015

I want to set the record straight about differences between the macbook air and pro. First, I should let you know that both computers have two USB ports. The air lacks HDMI and only has one thunderbolt port, but thunderbolt ports haven't gotten as much market penetration as apple might have hoped.
In this case, I would recommend the air. Both can be pricy, but unless you see significant processing-intensive tasks like powerful editors or simulations. I doubt that these will be your standard use case, especially in high school, so you should not need them.
I should also point out that there is, in fact, no difference between storage size options. The same size SSDs are available for both. The poster who specifically got the pro for windows support was misinformed; all models support bootcamp and virtual machine software if you are so inclined.
In addition, a great part of the price of the pro is the retina screen, which is of no real use if you cannot see. The air is also lighter and can have better battery life. I believe the air is the best option for your situation.
On the topic of screen size, it's mostly a subjective thing. The keyboard has a few keys (especially the top row) that are smaller on the 11-inch. It is smaller and lighter, if that is important to you. The only port differences is that the 11-inch has no SD card slot. However, the SD card slots on macs are so terrible that if you intend to use one, I recommend you get a cheap USB one instead (I have seen a friend crack an SD card open trying to use these slots). The processors and hard drive options are basically the same. In conclusion, I would go to an apple store and try typing on both to see if you prefer one over the other. If you really don't care, the 11-inch is cheaper but may have a slightly lower battery life (I cannot comment on this difference as I have no experience with both options).

Submitted by Joseph Westhouse on Thursday, October 1, 2015

I don't think the person referring to getting a Pro in order to use Windows meant that you can't run Windows on an Air, simply that the processor and RAM specs of the Pro were preferable for running Windows. I know that was part of what weighed into my decision, as well - I don't know if I'd trust Windows to run in a VM on a MacBook Air (though admittedly I've never tried it).

Regarding storage size - the same SSD options are available, but the storage size options are not identical, as you can find MacBook Pros with mechanical hard drives that get you more storage for less price (with all the pros and cons we discussed earlier). To the best of my knowledge, mechanical hard drives aren't available on the MacBook Air.