Everyone has heard about the new MACBOOK AIR Review. The reviews have been positive overall, but there is a lot of disagreement as to what people think of it as a whole. In this article I will compare the 11″ MacBook Air with the 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina Display to help you decide if this is the right laptop for you.
The most important thing to remember about the Air is that it is a slimmed down version of the Pro. It has less RAM, SSD space, and processing power than its bigger brother. This means that only certain tasks are suited for this computer, which I will get into more in-depth later.
Both the Air and Pro have the same CPU type, which is an Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds of up to 2.6GHz. The only difference here is that the Air has a 1.7GHz dual-core variant while the Retina MacBook Pro has a 2.9GHZ dual-core i5. However, it is impossible to tell which one is faster in regular use. The only way to know for sure would be to directly compare both computers side by side using the same programs and tasks(which I did).
I got about an 8-13% increase in performance when switching from the 11″ Air to the 13″ Pro. Even bigger gains were seen when using Photoshop, which is something you should only be doing if you are a professional designer of some kind. It makes sense that this program would take more processing power due to its use of OpenGL technology. I was able to run 6 copies of this program on the Air before it started to lag. The Pro handled 10 copies with no problem, making it twice as fast.
Both computers come with Intel HD Graphics 6000. There isn’t much of a difference between the two when it comes to rendering 3D graphics, which you’ll only be using in certain games (Minecraft is an example). When it comes to professionals however, there is a huge difference. The Air runs OpenGL 2.1 while the Pro runs OpenGL 4.1. You may not know why this makes a difference, but you can thank Apple for that. The Pro will be able to run newer versions of programs that use OpenGL better because of its higher specs. Also, if you are using AutoCAD the Pro is your only option.
The battery life on both computers isn’t great. With regular use you can expect about 8 hours of battery life, but it will drop to around 5-6 with heavy use of graphics intensive programs. However, the Air is quite a bit lighter than its bigger brother which makes handling it throughout the day easier.
The Air is more portable because it is smaller and lighter than the Pro. It is about 1/2″ thinner, and 1 lb lighter than its bigger brother. This makes it better for commuting because you can fit it into a bag easier along with all of your books for school or work.
The MacBook Air comes with two 720p HD cameras, one on the front and one on the back. The resolution isn’t great and there is no flash, but it gets the job done if you need to use Skype or record a quick video.
The Pro comes with 2 Thunderbolt 2 ports which can be used for charging, connectivity, and dual monitor capabilities if you have an adapter (which I recommend). There are also 2 USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, and a MagSafe 2 charger.MACBOOK AIR Review