One of the questions we are often asked by family members interested in picking up an Apple laptop is "Should I get a MacBook or a MacBook Pro?" For most of us, the answer is easy, but others just see numbers and aren't sure what the benefits of one or the other are. Heck, even some of the more computer-savvy users have trouble deciding as their problem can often be that they overthink the pros and cons of each model.
Let's take a look at some of the features and the cost, and perhaps make that decision just a little bit easier for those who keep asking themselves the same question. We can't tell you which to buy, but we can definitely try to help you find the one that's more for you.
1) When a MacBook is a Better Solution – $999
The MacBook is priced $200 lower than the MacBook Pro, so budget definitely comes into the equation. Typically, those with a MacBook need their computer because they wanted an Apple laptop at a more affordable price. For light photo manipulation or even quick editing in iMovie the MacBook will do the trick. The MacBook also works best for those who just want a nice laptop for regular internet browsing. Though there are cheaper, non-Apple solutions if you don't insist on having a Mac.
This is probably also the ideal computer for college students. It will do fine for helping them type up reports and do research online.
2) When a MacBook Pro is a Better Solution – $1,199 – $2,499
Depending on who you ask at iSmashPhone, the MacBook Pro is a bit on the pricey side. That's okay, we all have our needs and opinions. Our editor uses his 15-inch for doing much of our video work (though he's lately been using his iPad 2), and he hasn't complained about it yet. This computer is probably overkill for most of us, unless you plan on doing a lot of gaming or processor-intensive stuff.
A lot of heavy Photoshop users we've met also tend to like working on the Mac. By heavy, we mean the ones who work with extremely large, high-res image files with 60 layers or so.
Earlier we also mentioned college students, saying that the MacBook is perfect for them. That's true for the most part, but know that some of those fancy audio and film schools will issue their students a MacBook Pro.
3) Can't Forget the MacBook Air – $999 – $1,599
Because the MacBook Air is there, were can't forget it, either. The writer of this post uses an Air, and it's his favorite of the laptops. Speaking from personal experience with the computer, here's why this could be the solution for you: If you travel often, or carry your laptop in a bag over your shoulder a lot, this is the computer for you. Sometimes we have to travel out or report on an even that's happening away from the comfort of a desk. It's nice to have a sturdy, lightweight laptop for that purpose.
The lack of an optical drive may be an issue to you, but if you go with the Air we advise you to pay the extra bit for a hard drive update and to go with the 11-inch. It's tiny, but we can't help feeling that having a 13-inch defeats the purpose of a MacBook Air. Of course that's just an honest assessment based on one person's needs. Yours may be very different.
The truth is that you have to find a computer and a system that works for you. Most of us at iSmashPhone just tend to like Macs (though there are some PC users here). Don't buy into anybody's hype. Try stuff out and see what you like. The best computer is the one that works for you.