Decisions, decisions. When it comes time to buy a new computer, it can be tough to make a decision. There’s the processor speed, longevity of the product and, most importantly, the price. So how do you choose between a MacBook and a MacBook Pro? Here’s how we break it down.
Size & Weight
It used to be that if you wanted a 13-inch laptop, the only option you had was the MacBook, but now there’s a 13-inch MacBook Pro on the market, and it’s currently not giving you a lot more value for your dollar, comparatively. For this, you need to ask yourself how you’re going to use the laptop. Is it always going to be in your bag, ready for work at any time, or is it more of a desktop buddy that you take on the road occasionally? If you do a lot of traveling or taking the laptop out and about, a 13- or 15-inch model is really the way to go. The MacBook runs about 4.7 pounds, while the 13-inch MBP is 4.5. Bump it up to a 15-incher and you’re at 5.5 lbs, both of which are easily totable if need be.
Consider your usage for this model, once again. Do you want to use it for organizing your photo collection, or just to write out a word doc for school? The more storage you have onboard, the more you’re able to do with the computer. Currently, the MacBook maxes out at 250 gb (although there are 320 and 500 gb options available which raises the price to MBP levels), while the MBP is available with up to 500 gb. If you need the storage, go with the MacBook Pro. Otherwise, the MacBook may be your best option.
Speed & Usage
There’s a reason it’s called the MacBook Pro, and that’s because the people who own one generally work it pretty hard. The casual laptop user who only surfs the net and sends a few e-mails can use the MacBook with no problems at all. But if you’re a designer who uses Photoshop and InDesign on a daily basis, the MacBook Pro is easily the choice to make.
At $999, the MacBook is a hell of a deal. It’s got a 2.26 processor, 250 gb of storage and a small form factor. And if that’s what you have the cash to spend for, then it’s a great machine. If your budget allows though, consider stepping up to the MacBook Pro and some of the higher-end features that they have. The dual video processors is an excellent thing to have for graphics-intensive programs, and the aluminum case feels sturdier and stronger than the white MacBook does.
The MacBook is an excellent computer at a great price, packing lots of features into a sub-$1000 price tag. Ultimately, if you have only a certain amount of cash you can spend, or you’re a student on a budget and you want a great computer at a good price, this is the way to go. but if you have more than $1500 for a laptop, spring for the MacBook Pro. It’s compact, light, powerful, and has amazing graphics at pretty good pricing. It gets a little steep at the 17-inch level, but for that machine you’ll want to be a designer or video editor who needs every bit of processor speed available and all the monitor real estate you can get.