Which macbook is best for running Matlab, Photoshop, Word processing, Excel, and Powerpoint? 13" macbook air or 13" retina macbook pro?

I am looking for a laptop that can run matlab, photoshop, word processing (large files), excel, and powerpoint smoothly. My photo editing is not too power consuming... basically just making scientific figures. A lightweight laptop would be very nice as I tend to carry my computer with me a lot, but I'm more concerned with the performance. How well will the new 13" macbook air handle running Matlab? I generally have many programs running at the same time too... Would I be better off with the retina macbook pro with my use? or would the new macbook air be sufficient and also have an added benefit of being more mobile? Thanks so much!

1 Answer from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    Well, as your photo editing isn't really important, I would take the Macbook Air (it has a newer architecture of the CPU and a better GPU (both important for Matlab).
    Of course, if you're using Matlab to make complex numerical simulations, more RAM would be an advantage.
    So if you're not using Matlab for really complex simulations, choose the Macbook Air (moreover, it is light).
    If you do make complex stuff, choose the Macbook Pro (moreover, it has more IO ports for stuff like sensors).

    But in fact, you can buy a macbook air with 8 Gigs of RAM (as much as the pro can accept). So if photoshop isn't for photos, take the Macbook Air.

    BTW, I had exactly the same problem until I saw your question. Thanks.

    With respect.

    • Answered by Andre K
    • Jul 20, 2013