Which MacBook should I go with?

Hi, guys!
I'm sure a lot of people post questions like this all the time, but I'm honestly curious to know what everyones' opinions are.
I'm going back to college in January; I'm majoring in Information Technology. I've been doing a lot of heavy, intense research, and I'm planning on getting a MacBook. My dad took me to Best Buy today and let me play with them and get a physical feel for the differences in both models. I know for a fact that I want a 13-inch model, though I'm honestly stumped as to which is best: the Air or the Pro. Here is some information on my intentions and likes/dislikes to give you all a better idea:
1. I want to major in IT; as such, I want to install Windows on it as well to keep my knowledge on the MS OS up-to-date, especially in terms of Windows screen readers.
2. Because I already own an iPhone and might purchase an Apple TV, I am looking to purchase all of my movies digitally (that is, via iTunes or similar fashions). I also have quite a music library, and am thinking of a hard drive that is at least 512GB, so that I have the wiggle room.
3. I am totally blind, so the visuals won't matter a heck of a lot.
4. I will most likely be on campus a lot, so I want a laptop that I can slip in my backpack and not cause too much strain on my back. The Air is an attractive option because its battery lasts for 12 hours, but the Pro doesn't seem to be very far behind.
5. If I can, I really want to get the best possible configurations, with the intention of making this laptop last me a few years, at least until I finish my degree.
I really hope this helped you guys get to know my needs a bit better. I suppose the bottom line is, as visually impaired Mac users, are there options you all recommend or tips to keep in mind when it comes to customization?
Thanks in advance! <3



Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

I would go with the 13 inch Macbook Air. This would be best purchased through the Apple Online Store rather than from a retail store, as you can custom configure it with a 1.7 gigahertz core i7 processor and up to 512 gigabytes of flash storage. The faster processing power is recommended as Windows can be resource heavy.

Thanks! :)

Thanks for the input, T Dog! I was actually going to order mine online from Apple for that very reason; the only reason I went to a store was to actually physically feel the two models. Do you know if the 13-inch Air has an SD card slot?

SD Card

Unless things have changed since I bought mine, and I haven't heard anything suggesting they have, the 13 inch air does have an SD card slot.

Unless you really need heavy processing power, I'd go with the air. The SSD makes the Mac pretty speedy even with only a 1.7 GHz dual core processor. It's very easy to carry around and you should never have any trouble with battery life as you travel around (except maybe if you have to do a lot of heavy Windows usage). In terms of hard drive space to store your media, you might save some money if you opt for a 256 gb hard drive and just purchase an external for that, but that's up to you.

I would go for the mac book pro

I would go for the mac book pro, because it generally has more processor power and if you are planning to keep this laptop for a long time, you'll probably be better of buying a pro. Also if you would like to install windows, go for a 8 gb ram version, because I have 4 gb ram and windows doesn't perform very well and crashes because of a lack of memory.


App Developer

I used to have an air. However, I changed to a pro after a year of trying to run Windows and XCode. I found that the air tended to overheat when running VMWare with Windows inside. Other reasons I changed to a pro include voiceover studdered and lagged every time you did something, XCode ran very slow, 4GB of memory didn't help much, and I always had a 1TB HD plugged in. My pro has 8GB of memory, a 256GB flash drive, an I7 4700U 2.6GHZ processor (quad core), and can deal with anything I throw at it, with the exception of a textbook or a brick when I get ticked off at it... Aside from that, the thing is almost indistructable, and the battery will last around 36-40 hours before I have to charge it again. I am also in an IT degree, MIS to be exact. The pro is still light. Mine is under 3LBS, and is under an inch thick.

Go pro

I also say go pro, for your needs the pro has more processor power and will simply last longer. The 13 pro is not that much bigger and heavyer than the Air. As suggested upgrade the ram to 8 GB and upgrade the storage space to whatever you can afford bigger obviously better.

Try a nonretina pro if they have them still

Hi. The pro for me is what i got when I needed to replace this one, don't ask, elbow and a drink, oops? ;) seriouslythough, the non retina models have a cd drive, the new ones do not. Yes I know it's possible to install most things with a digital fie, but I want to give you all the facts, There are two usb ports, a firewire port, ethernet port, thoguh I use wifi, and the power button is different. On the non retina model, the power button is a round button, top right of the keyboard, no chance of pushing it accidentally. The new moels, turn on withthe key to the right of F12. Not saying anything is wrong but i know me, and I might hit that and not mean to. Can't remember the config of this one, I know it's eight gb of ram, and I think seven twenty gb hard drive. If you go with a retina model, that's ifne just thinking you might save a little money. Also see if you can get a discount buying the mac from your school store, apple has taxes for online purchases.

Thank you guys so much for

Thank you guys so much for the feedback! :)
When I went to Best Buy the other day with my dad and had a look at the Air and Pro, I did notice that there isn't much of a difference between both 13-inch models, and after talking to an Apple rep yesterday, I really am considering the Pro. The lack of disk drive isn't an issue for me, as I have a really nice one that I got a few years ago and still runs great (it's a USB one).
One final question, though: will it make a big difference if I have 8GB or 16GB of Ram? I ask since I'm probably going to be running JAWS on the Windows side, at least until I can make the full switch to NVDA, and JAWS is apparently very memory-hoggy.

16GB of memory

App Developer

Get as much memory as possible. You can give Windows 8 and the Mac 8. Aside from that, 8 isn't any different than 16. My Mac uses 1GB on a normal day, sometimes less.

macbook pro

I would go for the pro. As others have said it has more processing power, and I feel its generally better for running vms than the air. By the way for windows, you may want to go with a vertual machine. Bootcamp is an option, but i wouldn't r recommend it, especially if the mac comes with a touchbar