Should I get a MacBook Pro or Air?
Which MacBook is best for me?
Since the introduction of these two Apple laptop lines there have been many versions introduced over the years. Rather than listing the many differences and enhancements between various models, it’s simpler to look at what (and who) these laptops were designed for.
What is a MacBook Pro?
Apple introduced the MacBook Pro line in 2006, and it was the first to feature Intel processors. There are many differences between individual models, but they can essentially be broken down into five different versions as time and technology has marched on.
- Touch Bar
- Apple Silicon (or M1) processor
The MacBook Pro began life in 2006 as Apple’s upgrade to the MacBook, but as the name suggests, these laptops are aimed at pro users, and are at the very top end of Apple’s portable range. They have the best that Apple have to offer in terms of power, connectivity, battery life and display.
What is a MacBook Air?
The MacBook Air was first introduced in 2008 as a ‘subnotebook’, two years before the introduction of the iPad. It was every inch a Mac, but it’s main selling point its portability. In 2008, you could pull out an Air at a meeting (rather than hauling out a Pre-Unibody Pro!). It was, like all Apple products, beautifully designed and made and it was primarily…light! The downsides were less storage, lower battery life and less connectivity. Like the MacBook Pro, the many upgraded versions over the years have rendered those 2008 versions unrecognisable. The MacBook Air is considered to be Apple’s mainstream consumer notebook.
MacBook Pro Vs. MacBook Air
The differences vary from model to model. It’s important to consider the basic that an Air is sold as is – no customising options for the one with go faster stripes. The Pro has many add on options (which will add on to your wallet, too).
- Portability: this was a huge factor in the early years, but the gap has narrowed in later ones. MacBook Pros have become lighter! (2.8lb for the current MacBook Air, 3.1lb for an entry level Pro – but 4.3lb for a fully loaded spaceship Pro).
- Battery life: This has again narrowed, but an entry level Pro still edges it.
- Storage: Airs max at 2tb, Pros can go to 10tb.
- Touch Bar: Pros only.
- RAM: Airs max at 16gb, a Pro customises up to 64gb.
- Connectivity: better on a pimped Pro.
- Price: The Air is a cheaper machine.
Which MacBook should I buy then?
The Air is a consumer notebook. If your computer life is email, Zoom, social media, shopping etc. it’s perfect for you. The storage issue is perhaps less important these days (if you’re happy to pay for large cloud storage). It still has connectivity, so external disks aren’t a problem (depending on the never ending upgrading of connection formats!).
The Pro is a Pro product. If you use a lot of plug in peripherals (eg. Audio interfaces etc), extra local storage, need a lot of power (eg a heavy graphics user), then you’ll need a Pro for the upgradeable options.
As with all purchases, decide on the basis of your needs rather than wants!
Thinking of buying a MacBook from new? Think different.
Apple are working hard to reduce their carbon footprint, but computer manufacture is notoriously carbon and rare earth heavy - not to mention the sumptuous packaging!
We all have a part to play in maintaining the environment we live in. By buying a refurbished MacBook we are collectively reducing the overall technology carbon footprint and preserving the planet now and for our future generations. A good refurbished MacBook Pro is both a sound economic and ecological choice.