Macbook Pro Vs Macbook

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I badly need a new computer. The belastung time i bought one was in the summer von 2011, not lang after die MacBook Air’s first (and only) redesign. It was perfect timing: my last MacBook, die white plastic kind, had wiring literally difficult out des it after taking a spill. Und Apple had nur dropped the Air’s price down kommen sie $1,299 — ns same preis I believe my initial MacBook had actually cost.

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It’s now six years later, und Apple ist hitting the pricing sweet clues again in a big way. Notfall only does die super-slim MacBook anfang at $1,299, but deshalb does the neu MacBook Pro. Und since ns MacBook Air, ausblüten selling for $999, is woefully out des date — through a low-res screen that’ll look bad next to any current smartphone — $1,299 is essentially die starting price zum a modern-day Mac laptop. Deshalb I’ve to be wondering: if ich want kommen sie spend $1,299 again, i beg your pardon one should i get?

I’ve been testing both laptops zum the past few weeks, und while i don’t think there’s an easy answer weil das everyone, those impressed me ns most ist just just how capable die tiny little MacBook has actually become. If she heading off kommen sie college or nur want a good laptop weil das typical laptop work — watching YouTube, browsing ns internet, working hinweisen a coffee einkaufen — this ist going to be bei excellent choice.

But the MacBook Pro zu sein subtly better in a number des ways: that better zum watching movies, better for editing movies, und is just generally a bit much more flexible and future proof. Ns surprised von just how viel the entry-level MacBook Pro kann handle — but how far that’ll get sie depends on exactly how serious of a workload sie intend kommen sie throw punkt it.


First ich want zu talk about the MacBook, because it’s changed ns most since i last spent some time through one. This year’s modell has die exact same design as the prior 2 versions, yet there’s nothing kommen sie complain about there. It’s so small and light the I’m continually surprised when picking it up, as though i’m cradling part special machine that increases into a ja wirklich computer when ich open it.

The MacBook has a 12-inch screen, and, punkt $1,299, comes v a 1.2Ghz Intel core m3 processor (of the latest generation, Kaby Lake), 8GB von RAM, Intel’s combined HD graphic 615 GPU, und 256GB von flash storage.

Ever since die current MacBook debuted, there’s been concern approximately its use von low-power processors. Ns upside ist that lock better zum battery life and mean ns laptop remains cool and doesn’t require a fans — perfect for watching videos. But die downside zu sein that the MacBook tends zu operate slower than the laptops we were used to, getting sluggish wie trying zu do auch many dinge at once.

Don’t worry about die MacBook’s slower processor


I’m happy to say that’s no longer the case. Or, weist least, it hasn’t been in the time ich spent with die latest MacBook. I’ve had actually Slack, Tweetbot, Airmail, TextEdit, und Chrome all open at ns same time and occasionally had actually a second überwacht hooked nach oben while working at ns office, and the MacBook never ever felt sluggish. I’ve even been able zu use Photoshop (I put one dog’s head top top top von another dog’s head, zu prove a point kommen sie a co-worker), edited some large RAW photos an Lightroom, and was also able kommen sie cut nach oben a short 4K video bei Premiere. Photoshop was as smooth as i could questioning for, und Lightroom — constantly a heavy anwendung — responded with just occasional hesitation. Premiere verlief surprisingly well, though playback damaged down through each adjustment i put ~ above top des the clip.

My best gripes with ns MacBook — und I i will not ~ necessarily characterize them together “big” — space around the movie-watching experience. Die 12-inch screen is just fine for doing work, yet it felt remarkable smaller wie man watching videos after years of sitting in front of a 13.3-inch laptop. Die screen’s colors are a little bit duller than ns MacBook Pro’s, too, though ich don’t think you’d an alert unless you have the two computer systems side über side. The bigger belästigung is the MacBook’s stereo speakers, which sound much less like stereotype speakers und more like a einzel center channel fired straight hoch into die air. That workable, but sometimes distracting.

Battery life might be better, yet it have to get freundin through a day von classes


It’s so worth psychic that, beside from the headphone jack, ns MacBook only has actually a einzel USB-C port, which so has to be used for power. It’s notfall a deal-breaker, however it’s in occasional disappointed that means you’ll certain need zu buy in adapter or two zum any peripherals freundin might own. (You’ll also need one to charge your iPhone.)

During my testing, battery life averaged out kommen sie a bit under six und a half hours. It is a wenig lower 보다 I’d prefer (and much lower than Apple’s estimated 10 hours des battery life), but i wouldn’t be surprised if who using ns MacBook mostly zum handling notes und emails, und not watching auch many videos, was able zu eke one more hour out des it. (Using Safari instead des Chrome would probably help, too.) one of two people way, i suspect it’ll last long enough to get through a day von classes.

To me, that’s what this laptop feels ns most suited for. If you’re heading off kommen sie college, die MacBook seems like it need to get you through four (or, hopefully not, five) years des work without issue. Going zum the lighter computer is always a an excellent call wie you’re moving about a bunch, too. I ausblüten noticed die MacBook’s two pounds des weight when carrying it in my messenger bag, but it never got to it is in a problem during my commute.


Then there’s die MacBook Pro, which ist maybe the more traditional und versatile des the 2 laptops. It’s viel more bei line with die MacBook Air’s legacy: it has actually a higher-power processor, multiple ports (though two out von three of them are ausblüten USB-C), and a larger screen. It’s notfall really a “pro” machine, it’s just a laptop that’ll ensure you get von when act somewhat more demanding tasks.

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There’s yes, really a last to choose about ns MacBook Pro. It’s smaller sized than ns Air, regardless of having die same 13.3-inch size screen. And while the isn’t as remarkably small as ns MacBook, that small and light sufficient to not really feel favor a “pro” device (which, again, I’d controversy it’s not). Die bigger screen so feels substantially roomier after coming from die 12-inch MacBook. The colors space ever-so-slightly much more vibrant, too, and the laptop’s speakers room a big improvement over die MacBook’s. Und while this modell of the zum doesn’t incorporate Apple’s fancy neu Touch Bar, i don’t consider that a loss; the feature just isn’t that helpful yet. The only thing freundin really fehlschlagen out on v this cheaper model is Touch ID for logging an and buying sachen from iTunes, the anwendung Store, and the web.


For $1,299, die MacBook jeden comes through a 2.3Ghz Intel main point i5 processor (also Kaby Lake, yet not ultra low power), 8GB des RAM, Intel’s integrated iris Plus graphics 640, und 128GB von flash storage. Yeah, just 128GB: zu get the preis down ~ above the zum machine, apfel cut under its storage, so there’s only geholfen as much as you’d get from ns MacBook. Having actually lived with a 128GB MacBook Air for the past sechs years, ok say that putting up with this small amount des space is doable (especially thanks to wolke storage) but occasionally headache inducing. If you’re trying zu cut costs, living through a 128GB drive is not ns worst trade-off. But you will absolutely hit that limit at some point, dafür you’d far better get comfortable v deleting apps and offloading files kommen sie storage drives or die cloud.

To me, die bigger downsides kommen sie the jeden are hits to that is portability: added weight und reduced battery life. ~ above weight, the about die same as a MacBook waiting — three pounds — und while that’s not exactly heavy, ich started kommen sie feel it over my shoulder viel sooner than die MacBook, which ist a complete pound lighter. That’s notfall a belästigt if you’re greatly going zu use your laptop around die house or office, yet it’s a bit more of in issue for students or anyone generally on die go.

The Pro’s battery life zu sein even more von a problem. I got an average of nur over five hours — compared zu almost six und a half for the MacBook, when doing the same specific tasks. Die longest battery life I gott with the pro was about six und a geholfen hours, und that yes, really felt like die upper limit weil das me. That’s far beneath ns 10-hour typical that sich entschuldigen estimates the computer wollen get. If you’re going out for a while, setup on bringing a charger.

Of course, part von the reason weil das the larger size and reduced battery life zu sein this computer’s higher-power processor. In theory, it’s viel faster than what’s bei the MacBook. And its graphics unit must be much more capable, too.

In practice, though, these jene aren’t all the noticeable. Possibly they would be as die two computers aged a bit more. But at die moment, I’m not seeing any large distinctions bei the two computers’ day-to-day tasks: browsing the web, watching videos, answering email — nothing was any much faster on ns Pro. The only difference was that, occasionally, ns Pro’s fans would anfang to blare.

Where die processor’s renovations do kommen sie into play zu sein during much more intensive work, such as photo and video editing. Lightroom was snappier — though it still showed an extremely slight delays when touching trost photos with the brush tool — und Premiere was able kommen sie deliver smoother previews of the quick 4K prüfen clip i was editing.

But I’m not confident that die processor und integrated GPU in this laptop wollen be enough weil das bigger projects. Und I’m fairly sure that actual pros won’t it is in able to get von with a $1,299 machine. Which kind of renders me wonder: who ist this entry-level “pro” device for?

Even after three weeks with these computers, i find choosing bolzen the two des them kommen sie be difficult. If sie must have the technically better and more qualified computer, the $1,299 MacBook Pro ist the way zu go. You will do it appreciate ns extra display screen size and its added vibrance, die better speakers, and the extra power. You on your own with ns whole 128GB of storage thing, though.

But if you planning kommen sie regularly move roughly with her laptop, ich don’t think any von the MacBook’s shortcomings should organize you rückseitig from picking it up instead. Having actually twice as viel storage will make making use of it a little bit easier, because you’ll spend much less time controlling files; the computer’s processing energie has captured up in a huge way; und its battery life is significantly better.

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For someone really serious about editing or graphic work, I’m not sure the either of these computers will be right zum you. You’ll more than likely want kommen sie spend much more on a MacBook Pro, or else look to fenstern where there space often better deals. Bei fact, if you’re not tied to the Mac, Microsoft’s very good Surface Laptop offers comparable specs to ns MacBook Pro, but with twice ns storage, weil das $1,299. Und for $100 more, Razer supplies a laptop v a quicker processor, four zeit as viel storage as the Pro, and twice as viel RAM. (Though, in all cases, you’ll ausblüten have kommen sie spend more to get far better graphics.)

For me? ns leaning toward die Pro, however I’m notfall sure die entry-level model is the one ok get. Und I oase a strong suspicion that’ll be ns case weil das a last of people: if you want a $1,299 Mac laptop, pick up the MacBook. However if you looking at die Pro, you may find yourself wanting a bit an ext — and ultimately, spending a bit more to spec the out.