Which model and size is best for me?

I just sold my 13" mid-2010 Macbook Pro and thought it was great. I'm looking to buy a new machine, and am debating between the Macbook Air, the Macbook Pro, and the Macbook Pro with Retina.

I am a university student (finishing off my business degree now, then headed to law school). I have another 4-5 years of school. I do general things on my computer -- e-mail, web browsing, MS Office, research, etc. I don't really do any photo or video editing as of right now. I listen to music and watch movies/TV as well on my laptop.

I bring my laptop EVERYWHERE, so portability and long battery is big for me.

Which model and screen size do you think is best for my needs?

2 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    Ok, obviously the most portable one would be an 11" MacBook Air but, being relatively small, perhaps that's not ideal for word processing and such, also the battery life is pretty short.
    The 13" is certainly a step up from that, the size is much better for viewing most applications and it is clearer to see things, it's great for viewing videos and photos, but still, the Air doesn't have as much power as the Pro.
    I'd personally recommend getting a 13" Pro. The screen size is practically perfect and it is also highly portable, don't get a 15" though, maybe once the 13" has broken, then you'll be lugging it around a lot less. The 13" can bang in a lot of different features and is still beautifully slim, even compared to the Air. It's not heavy either.
    But then, Retina display? Considering you said "I don't really do any photo or video editing as of right now." I would still recommend getting it with Retina, it's great for researching on the internet, especially for photos you might need to download, also if you word process a lot it just makes it that one step sharper.
    Also considering you watch films and TV, it's really nice to have a super-sharp display, it's like carrying a High Definition TV wherever you go. Also the batter life on it is great. Have it on about half the brightness and it will last for over 7 hours+ if you are mainly word processing and checking emails.
    Hope that this helps :)

    • Answered by Jenny P
    • Jun 8, 2013
  • No matter which one you pick, there will be a trade off. Like you I am currently in school, finishing my B.S., with another 3 years for a masters. I use CAD, web browsing, Office, and a lot of research, so i know where you are coming from personally.

    With the air you will get great portability, but you will lose the screen size ideal for movies, research etc. You can have either a 11 inch or 13 inch. You won't have a problem using office, e-mail and web surfing though. Keep in mind this is not a work horse computer in my opinion. Not great memory options (unless your gonna use an external hard drive),or processors options either. Pretty weak if you consider using this laptop for a 4 yr. or more duration.

    Next is the in MacBook Pro. Great computer all around. Great for research, movies, battery life and pretty much everything you asked for. This even has an optical drive (the other two don't) in case you watch DVDs. Compared to the other two though, not the best option on portability. You have the option of 13 or 15 inch. Keep in mind with the 15 inch you will have a lot of screen space, but is horrible in the portability dept.

    Next is the Retina. With this you get the option of 13 and 15 inch as well. This machine is just a pure beast in my opinion. While it lacks an optical drive, it does gain a slimmer profile great for portability. Memory on the machine is great with add-on options and a external hard drive. Battery life is good. This will handle your needs for research, movies, e-mail, web browsing, Office and your photo and video editing in the future.

    I personally use a Retina MacBook Pro 13 inch. I maxed out the processor,memory and options to the max that apple allows. I plan to use this for the next 4 years. I bring this everywhere with me. In my opinion this is the option to go with. But in the end, it's whatever option feels comfortable in your hand.

    • Answered by David V from Brooklyn
    • Jun 8, 2013