11" MacBook Air or 13" MacBook Pro?

Through my school, I will either receive an 11" macbook air or pay $59 for a 13" macbook pro. I currently have an 2008 15" MB Pro w/ 250GB. I like the sound of a very portable laptop, but am concerned about being disappointed with the smaller hard drive and no disc drive.

My typical use includes:
= internet
= video streaming
= iPhoto
= using PDFs

What do you all recommend?

Here are the specs on each laptop:

11-inch Macbook Air
= 1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor
= 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 onboard memory
= 128GB flash storage
= Intel HD Graphics 4000
= 11.6" high-resolution LED-backlit widescreen display
= Thunderbolt Port
= Illuminated keyboard
= 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking
= Bluetooth
= Built-in FaceTime HD camera

The 13-inch MacBook Pro. ($59 upgrade)
= 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
= 4GB 1600MHz DDR3 Memory
= 500GB Hard Drive
= Intel HD Graphics 4000
= SDXC card slot
= 13.3"LED-Backlit glossy widescreen
= illuminated keyboard, FaceTime HD Camera
= Thunderbolt port
= FireWire 800 port.

3 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    I am no expert, but i think that the macbook Air would be a better choice for you. Despite the lack of the disc drive and the limited space on it, you could use those 60 bucks for purchasing an external hdd. And i also believe apple has an external disc drive aswell. You would be better off using the fast flash storage/SSD for your most important documents that you need the most access to. And your couple extra not-that-important files in your external hdd. The specs in the MBA are much better for what you will use so here it is in my opinion, your best choice.

    Good luck :)

    • Answered by Oscar C from Chula Vista
    • 23-Jul-2012
  • Hi there. Both of these laptops are fairly portable, although the MacBook Air is most portable. I see that you are concerned about the smaller hard drive and no disc drive.. these problems can be resolved with a external hard drive to fix the problem of a small hard drive - and the disc drive absence can be resolved using a external optical drive. These you can get for the MacBook Air if its very small sleek design and being so portable is what would suit your needs most. And what you do on your computer is pretty basic stuff, where both laptops can do those things. While the Macbook Pro has a much larger processor, the SSD in the new Macbook Air can almost make up for that. So, it all comes down to whether you need the extra portability.

    • Answered by Daniel P from Hot Springs
    • 22-Jul-2012
  • Honestly... The Air might suit you better. If you're not bumping it to 15" pro, I'm inclined to say air

    • Answered by Casper S
    • 10-Aug-2013