This week I will answer a question that I received from James Lee who is looking to buy some new hardware. James wrote me the following:
Hi Joep, I have been a PC guy for a long time, but I am looking to switch to Mac. I am not sure if I should get an Air or I should settle for the more expensive Pro. I am also starting my own online business and my budget is limited, what should I do?
– James Lee, Hong Kong
James thank you so much for your question and good to hear that you are setting up your own business! I can totally related to your question as I was in a similar boat not too long ago.
I was a PC guy too until recently and I had often sworn to never buy a Mac. I know my way around most common software and hardware issues, but yet I felt that there was always something not working the way it should be. When I changed to Mac I immediately appreciated that everything just works, sure I have less freedom than with Windows, but I have fewer headaches.
Which one should you get?
But back to your question to which Mac you should get. First I want to state that I should not save any expenses when it comes to buying something as important as a laptop when you are working online.
You basically earn (most of) your money using your laptop and to an online entrepreneur a laptop is what a truck is to a truck driver. You are also likely to at least use your device for two years, that is if you are careful with it. So we are talking about a device that a) generates (most of) your income, and b) will be used intensively for at least two years.
I personally own a MacBook Pro early 2015 and before I bought I was in doubt myself. Teresa had just bought a MacBook Air early 2015 and using this device as a former PC guy was such a better experience.
Why you should get the MacBook Pro
I have used Teresa her MacBook Air for several months and I almost bought one. Ultimately I decided to fork out a bit more money and get the MacBook Pro. A couple of reasons have pushed me to this decision.
The screen of the Pro is A W E S O M E
There is no other word for it, but the screen of the Pro is no match for the Air. After using the Retina screen on the Pro for a few days, I simply can’t stand to look at the Air. The LED display of the Air feels out-dated.
Everything also looks so good on the screen of the Pro, editing some pictures, watching a movie or just simply writing some content.
The base model is better equipped
The Pro comes with at least 8GB memory, compared to the 4GB memory of the Air. The CPU is more powerful and it has a better graphics card. Overall the Pro is a lot better equipped for any task that you throw at it.
That is not to say that the Air shows any signs of having problems with anything. The Air also easily manages 15+ tabs open in Safari or Chrome while streaming music or a video. The Pro just feels more future-proof.
The Air is not more portable
Contrary to what some people think the Air is not more portable than the Pro, this in case we are talking about the 13-inch models respectively.
Although the Air is extremely thin at its thinnest point, the thickest point is only 0.1 cm thinner than the Pro. In terms of space that a Pro would take it is not a lot more than the Air. As the bezels of the Pro are thinner, the overall footprint actually feels smaller compared to the air.
The Air only sits at 1.35 kg compared to the 1.58 kg of the Pro. While this might seem like a big difference, it does not feel like this in a backpack or even when you carry it in your hand. I carry my Pro on a daily basis, but I have never felt the Pro is too cumbersome.
The Air is actually not that much cheaper
Comparing both 13-inch base models of the Pro and the Air the difference is $300 or for James HK$2,500. The Air only has 4GB of memory so if you want your Air to be future proof you might want to consider to upgrade the memory to 8GB.
A memory upgrade for the Air to 8GB will set you back another $100, making the difference between the Air and the Pro $200.
It is likely the last generation of the Air
The Air has been around a long time. The newly introduced MacBook earlier in 2015 is actually thinner than the Air, so it feels unlikely that Apple will keep the Air around much longer.
The Pro, on the other hand, has been very successful for Apple. The well equipped MacBook Pro together with the ultra-thin and portable MacBook provides a solution for any type of user, there is no place for the Air.
If the Air is canceled it would mean that any potential resale value decreases. The Pro, on the other hand, doesn’t look like it is going anywhere.
So looking at all the points above the Pro gives you a much better screen, more powerful CPU, higher potential resale value and overall a very capable device.
Comparing the MacBook Air with the MacBook Pro and looking at the $200 price difference, I personally see no reason to buy the Air. The Retina screen alone is worth the extra $200.
So, James, I hope that his answers your question. Good luck with setting up your online business and with your decision!