It is not easy to choose a model among Apple’s relatively small laptop choice. In fact, the small range of options and relatively high prices makes it a difficult decision. It is even more difficult to choose between Macbook Pro Vs. Macbook Air – two machines sharing some similarities but that are so vastly different at the same time. Here are some tips to help you make the most informed decision when choosing your next Macbook.

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Size and Weight

If you are looking for small, go for the MacBook Air 11.6”. However, remember that the slim body of 11.6” Air can make it uncomfortable to use. Meanwhile, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is slightly thicker and heavier than MacBook Air, but it is thin enough to meet Intel’s ultrabook standards. There are two versions of the Pro: standard and Retina. The 13-inch w/Retina is about 0.75 inches thick and 3.5 pounds – making it 0.1 inches thicker and 0.5 pounds heavier than the 13-inch Air.

Battery Life

The fourth-generation Intel Core processor allows the new Air to last up to 12 hours for standard web browsing, although most people wouldn’t use their laptops only for looking at websites. On top of this, Apple quotes that the 11.6-inch MacBook Air offers up to five hours of wireless web browsing. However, if you are watching high-definition video, it may not last that long for this reason: the smallest Air has the smallest battery. Generally speaking, all 13-inch and 15-inch models have similar real-world battery life and support web-surfing for about seven hours.

Performance

Both the MacBook Air and Pro use Intel Core processors, but the types they use are quite different. The Air relies on what Intel used to call an “ultra-low voltage” chip. While the 13-inch Air has a 1.8 GHz standard processor, the basic 13-inch Pro comes with a 2.5 GHz processor. In real-world reviews, however, the 13-inch Pro is slightly faster in dealing with most tasks, but only slightly. The 15-inch Pro is equipped with a quad-core which makes itself a strong competitor. Under the right conditions, it can be up to 75% quicker than other MacBook models.

Display

The Pro 13-inch model offers a resolution of 1280×800 and the 15-inch model offers one of 1440×900. The Air, by contrast, provides 1366×768 in the 11.6-inch and 1440×900 in the 13-inch, which means higher pixel density and sharper images.

Wireless

Another big upgrade of Air is the 802.11ac Wi-Fi which delivers three times the theoretical speeds of 802.11n Wi-Fi. However, you will need an 802.11ac router and an internet service fast enough to do the best result.

Ports

Thanks to the inclusion of HDMI and a second Thunderbolt port, the 13-inch MacBook Pro has a slightly better port choice. It offers two USB 3.0 ports, Thunderbolt, FireWire, Ethernet, a card reader and audio-out. The 15-inch model includes audio-in as well. Although it has no Ethernet, there is an extra Thunderbolt port and HDMI, which is a good deal. The Air, however, shows an obvious port shortage. Both the 11.6” and 13-inch models offer just two USB 3.0 ports, Thunderbolt and a headphone jack. The 11-inch one even ditches the card reader. This may cause some inconvenience for anyone with a digital camera.

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