MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, Now That's The Question!

MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, Now That's The Question!

Range Govindan
Oct 26, 2010

With Apple releasing their awaited MacBook Air update, it begs the question for users wondering which they should buy, the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro? Things aren't that obvious right now, since Apple has quite a few different choices at the same price point. What should you do?

We've been waiting to see the MacBook Air reviews trickling in, and trickle in they have over the last few days. While it's hard to tell Apple fan boy gushing from serious objective reviews, there's one important thing that you need to remember before you purchase a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. All in all, it's almost certain that with these new MacBook Airs, that Apple will be releasing new MacBook Pros early next year. Why? It's basically down to the flash-based hard drive that the MacBook Airs have, which make them very responsive, quite comparable to MacBook Pros.

So if you are in the market for a MacBook Pro, you should wait for a few months to see what Apple does, because we're almost certain to see new MacBooks soon. The current MacBook Pros were released two years ago. For most users, the absence of the optical drive is not much of an issue. I barely use the DVD burner on my desktop anymore and I've rarely used the one on my laptop.

A lot of reviewers have voiced concerns about the processor used in the current slew of MacBook Airs. We agree that the choice is somewhat surprising. We expected Apple to use more powerful processors, but some the benchmarks state that this choice is somewhat made up by the speed of the flash-based storage these laptops use. It won't help you edit HDR photos in Photoshop, but it's a start.

The 11.6" MacBook Air is quite small, almost netbook-sized, and of course, many people like to label the MacBook Air as a netbook. We believe it's more of a hybrid machine, mixing elements from laptops and netbooks into something that many people will enjoy. The really interesting machine is the souped up 13.3" MacBook Air and although it can only have up to 4GB of RAM, it's probably enough for most users.

If you need the added horsepower of a MacBook Pro, then you should wait until we see if Apple releases updated MacBook Pros with flash-based storage, which have the potential of being blazingly fast. The MacBook Air is a secondary computer, not a desktop computer, and it's hard to justify the purchase if you've already got a MacBook Pro, an iPad, and an iPhone.

[photos via Cult of Mac]

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