Comparisons Are Back! Best Back to school Mac, Air vs Pro.

After a drought of posts, PCAW is ready to come back in full force. Starting off with another comparison. School is starting (it has started for some people), and we want to help make your decision of a back to school laptop a bit easier. A lot of college students in Computer Science, Visual Design, etc. Need/want a Mac, the choice is tough, however, since there are two MacBooks vying for your pick. So which is better?

MacBook Pro 13″ ($1200)


CPU: 2.5GHz i5 (Dual Core)

GPU: HD4000


Storage:  500GB 5400RPM Hard Drive

Display Resolution:  1280×800

Battery Life: 7hours

MacBook Air 13″ ($1099)





CPU:  1.3 GHz i5 (Dual Core)

GPU:  HD5000

RAM: 4GB LPDDR3 (Basically faster ram that’s soldered on the motherboard)

Storage: 128GB Solid State Drive (Atleast 3x faster then the MacBook Pro’s drive)

Display Resolution: 1440×900

Battery Life: 12hours

Both are very capable machines and can pretty much tackle, web browsing, photoshop, moderate gaming, video editing, etc. However, I think that the MacBook Air is the clear winner. Even though it is clocked lower than the Pro, the new Haswell chips are a lot faster than the previous Ivy Bridge, so it should, in theory, out perform the Pro.

The new HD5000 are leaps and bounds above the HD4000, which will help it with Photoshop, Final Cut, and even gaming. It does have less storage, however, but with the extra $100 you save you can easily afford an external drive. Did we also mention that the display is higher res? Yep, it is.

And to seal the deal. The MacBook Air is advertised (and tested) with a 12 HOUR battery life, that’s an extra 5 hours extra compared to the MacBook Pro. If you’re gonna be bringing this computer around campus, the MacBook Air can really last a full day. And it’s extremely, thin and light. The Macbook Air basically trumps the MacBook Pro in all aspects, which is why, the MacBook Pro takes the cake as PCAW Mac of the Year.

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