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Macbook Pro vs. Macbook Air

caruulcaruul Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
edited February 2013 in College Computers
Just like every other college hopeful, I'm looking into getting a new laptop. Now I'm fairly sure I want to go the Apple route, but if you can recommend a great Windows laptop, I'll definitely look into it.

Right now, there are some main specifics I'm looking for in a laptop:

-long battery life
-doesn't overheat
-basic programs: word, excel, powerpoint, paint, etc.

One of my main concerns with the Air is the lack of a "CD/DVD compartment" (not sure what it's called). I don't normally use CDs or DVDs, but the big question is "What if?"
Do those of you already in college use CDs/DVDs often?
Post edited by caruul on

Replies to: Macbook Pro vs. Macbook Air

  • caruulcaruul Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Eeek! It accidentally posted before I was finished writing, and I apparently can't edit it 20 mins after I posted.......

    Here's the rest of the post:

    Also, my sister has the 13" Macbook Pro, and despite its reputation for being lightweight, after four years in college, she claims that it's difficult to carry around and it weighs a lot (which is why she wants to switch to the Air). I realize that right now, lifting it for a few seconds to test its weight really doesn't say much about how lightweight the computer is. I haven't had to lug it around across campus and on public transportation, so I don't know if my laptop's weight will begin to sink in a few weeks after school starts.

    I should also mention that I'm fairly comfortable with both a Windows and Apple computer (I have Windows, and I used to have Apple before my mother took it from me....)

    Please let me know your thoughts and sorry if I rambled a bit!
  • polarscribepolarscribe Registered User Posts: 3,232 Senior Member
    Neither the MacBook Air nor the MacBook Pro have an optical drive anymore. Honestly, no, they're not needed and if you really did need one, Apple sells an external SuperDrive for less than a hundred bucks.

    The optical drive on my 2008 15" unibody MBP has been broken for nearly a year and I don't really even notice it. I tote it all over everywhere and never notice the weight, either.

    Personally, my next laptop purchase will be a new Retina Display 15" MacBook Pro. I think the ultra-high-res screen is worth the extra 1.5 pounds and $1000 over the 13" MacBook Air.
  • geek96geek96 Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    Macbook Pro would be better. But if Retina Display isnt much important to you, you can opt for an Ultrabook..They have better performance for the price and You would save money too! Moreover Ultra books have windows,so word,excel etc is best supported and windows gives you an option of high end gaming too!
  • polarscribepolarscribe Registered User Posts: 3,232 Senior Member
    Word and Excel are supported perfectly well on Mac OS X with Office 2011. "Best supported" is just so much nonsense.
  • MillancadMillancad Registered User Posts: 5,941 Senior Member
    I have a Pro and if I could do it over again or get a new computer now I would undoubtedly say Air. As your sister says, carrying around the Pro gets tiring.

    If you won't be bringing your computer to class every day, go for the Pro. It's more powerful and Retina Display is beyond beautiful. But if you're looking for portability, definitely go for the Air. It'll do everything you need it to do - I even know computer science majors and hardcore coders who use it - but it'll be easy to carry around campus.
  • geek96geek96 Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    Ya but still apart from the retina display..Ultrabooks have greater perfoamce for a lesser price! Depends ultimately on the user what he/she wants
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 11,578 Super Moderator
    I rarely use the optical drive in my MacBook Pro, which was a big reason why I selected it over a MacBook Air. I think I have used it 2-3 times in the 2 years since I bought it. Once to install SPSS, once to install printer drivers (which I could've downloaded over the Internet). I reasoned that I might want to watch Netflix DVDs on my computer, but I rarely get DVDs and actually cancelled the DVD part of my NFX subscription recently, so there goes that.

    The next time I purchase a laptop (which will hopefully be as a postdoc or professor on their funds and not mine! Lol!), I think I will go for the 15" MacBook Pro with the Retina display. Sometimes looking at this small 13" screen is fatiguing and I think the 15" is a perfect size, plus it has the speakers on the top. I was initially worried about the disk space, but I have two external HDDs (a 1 TB portable one and a 2 TB desktop one) and I store most of my stuff on the cloud now anyway, so that's less of a concern. Plus, dedicated graphics card! And hooray for built-in HDMI!
  • BlowOffValveBlowOffValve Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    Macbook Pros still have optical drives (superdrives), it's just the Retina models that have gone away with them.
  • vonlostvonlost Super Moderator Posts: 23,673 Super Moderator
    I'm one of those who switched from Pro to Air and prefer the Air for its lightness and lack of moving parts (no hard drive to crash or fail--but I don't know if the Air is actually more reliable).

    Has anyone heard of someone who regretted switching from Pro to Air?

    I've never once missed the optical drive; wifi does what I need.
  • mccruzmccruz Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    Unless your majoring in photography or graphic design or something in that category, what on earth would a college student need a RETINA macbook for????
  • geek96geek96 Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    mccruz correct me if i am wrong but retina display refers to a high resolution display on the MacBooks. And high resolution means better pixel density.So
    everyone other than a photographer would like to see a better quality display.If you think high resolution display is only for graphic developers then why do you use 720P or 1080p screens. You could definity use a lower resolution like 800x400 display
  • ChronologyChronology Registered User Posts: 62 Junior Member
    Considering your requirements:
    -long battery life
    -doesn't overheat
    -basic programs: word, excel, powerpoint, paint, etc.

    You can buy a lightweight laptop PC or even an ultrabook for half the price of a Macbook Pro, but if you insist on buying a Mac, buy the cheapest one available because they all fit your needs. The retina display isn't properly used in a Macbook Pro because you have more PPI but the same lower resolution, and only a few programs can take advantage of the high PPI. From a normal viewing distance you probably won't notice the higher PPI anyways.
  • Niquii77Niquii77 Registered User Posts: 10,104 Senior Member
    There are some pretty cool Ultrabooks out there. (Seeing Chronology's posts pretty much prompted me into looking into them.) I'd suggest you, OP, to do the same! There's such a variety that its a little hard to choose.
    Here are the Ultrabooks that stood out to me:
    •VAIO Duo 11 Ultrabook
    It doubles as a tablet and a laptop whenever you need it.
    •Acer Aspire S7
    It had a touch screen. It sort of models after the white/glass them of Apple. I think it had Gorilla glass, too.

    The main downside, for me, is that they're small. The largest is 13". MacBooks ok the other hand come in larger sizes. I would go for a 15" because after awhile looking at a 13" laptop gets a bit tiresome. I like the MacBook 15" Retina Pro. It's a beauty.
  • ChronologyChronology Registered User Posts: 62 Junior Member
    There are 15.6" ultrabooks for as little as $600(without SSD).
  • Niquii77Niquii77 Registered User Posts: 10,104 Senior Member
    When I said:
    The main downside, for me, is that they're small. The largest is 13".
    I was referring to the laptops that I was interested in. They don't come in 15". The MacBook Retina Pro does, however, come in 15".

    Sure, you can get a non SSD laptop for that price, and I'm sure you can get an SSD laptop cheaper than the Retina Pro, but those laptops usually lack on thing: aesthetics. The fully upgrades 15" Retina Pro is what I am most likely going to get. Money isn't an issue mainly because I'll be using scholarship money to buy this computer. If you have the money why not get what you want?
This discussion has been closed.