Apple unveiled a new fleet of MacBook laptops today, updating the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and unveiling a brand new MacBook Pro with a Retina display.
So, which one should you buy?
It comes down to what’s most important to you. We’ll do our best to walk you through the perks of each one.
The MacBook Air
Price: $999 to $1,199
Advantages: Lightweight, long battery life, very thin, very fast and very cheap.
Disadvantages: Lacks a discrete graphics chip and has a less-powerful processor than the MacBook Pro.
You should buy this MacBook Air if: you don’t need a lot of processing power — like editing video or playing games.
You won’t get more bang for your buck than with the MacBook Air. It does just about everything you need it to do, and it’s pretty cheap. It’s zippy thanks to a solid-state hard drive, and turns on and off instantly.
The flip side is that because it doesn’t have a discrete graphics chip, it won’t be able to run games or do graphics-intensive processes as fast as the MacBook Pro.
The MacBook Pro, sans Retina display with discrete graphics chip
Advantages: Packs a serious punch with a faster processor, a discrete graphics chip and a bigger hard drive (if you don’t buy the solid-state hard drive).
Disadvantages: Without a solid state drive, it will feel slower, and it’s more bulky than the MacBook Air.
You should buy this MacBook Pro if: You absolutely can’t afford the MacBook Pro with the new Retina display, but have to have a lot of processing power, and don’t care about having a solid-state hard drive.
Skip over the cheaper MacBook Pro, because if you aren’t buying a discrete graphics card, that defeats the point of buying a MacBook Pro.
This package will give you a machine that will be faster with graphics-intensive processes, like games and video editing. It’ll be an all-around better device, but if you don’t upgrade to a solid-state hard drive, you’ll sacrifice some of the zippy feel of the MacBook Air.
It will also feel a little more bulky than the MacBook Air.
If you don’t need the Retina display, but still want a 15-inch MacBook Pro with a decently-sized solid-state hard drive, it’s going to run you about as much as the base-level MacBook Pro with a Retina display, so you might as well stick with the new MacBook Pro.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro with a decently-sized solid-state hard drive will also run you about $1,899 — which is just $300 shy of the new MacBook Pro with a Retina display. So you might as well save up the extra $300 and upgrade to the new MacBook Pro.
The MacBook Pro, with Retina display
Advantages: Has all the processing power of the MacBook Pro, with a stunning high-resolution display, and all the advantages of a sleek MacBook Air.
Disadvantages: It’s the most expensive.
You should buy this MacBook Pro if: You can afford it. This is as good as it comes.
When it comes to specifications, the MacBook Pro is the best laptop Apple has to offer. It has all the processing guts of the MacBook Pro with a discrete graphics chip, with the aesthetic appeal of the MacBook Air.
This is an excellent travel computer, and you’ll be able to grind through games like Diablo 3 without the problems the MacBook Air would face while trying to run something that graphic-intensive.
The downside, though, is the price tag, and the upgrades are going to make it even more expensive. But if you have the cash, you should buy the MacBook Pro with a Retina display.
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