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Apple MAC Book Pro or MAC Book Air, That is the Question

March 14, 2013

Introduction and Perspective: These articles are created to inform a wide audience, whether it be Photography, Digital Cameras, Lenses, Photo Editing Software, Smart Phones, Laptops, iPads, iPhones, and a variety of related products that may attach to these devices. The purpose is to inform all those interested in what is currently available, coming soon based on what is believed to be reliable sources. This is not the place for rumors. Rumors has its own unique Category on our site.

Apple MAC Book Pro or MAC Book Air ? That is the Question.

The question asked of me repeatedly is: “Apple MAC Book Pro or MAC Book Air.” As an adjunct Faculty member at our home town 30,000 student university, Florida Atlantic University, faculty and students want to know which is best for them. Unfortunately there are no sharp lines in the sand.

Selecting a “Computer” has become a much more of a personal decision, becoming more like choosing a briefcase, a handbag, shoes, boots, and apparel. Why is this true (today) for a device so sterile, metallic, electronic, yet personal… This question is the easiest to respond to. Today the “computer” is our communications link the neighborhood, our family, friends, coworkers, our Banks, browsing the World-Wide-Web, reading Books, writing papers for school, writing resumes for our business interests, this list is infinite.

How about some History. Not that many years ago, say 22 years, running the clock to 1991, “portable computing” was defined by the “PowerBook 100” in 1991, a portable subnotebook personal computer manufactured by Apple Computer, introduced on October 21, 1991, at the COMDEX computer expo in Las Vegas. Priced at $2,300; the PowerBook 100 was the first released PowerBooks. Its CPU was a Motorola 16-megahertz (MHz) processor, 4 megabytes (MB) of RAM memory, a 9-inch (23 cm) monochrome backlit liquid crystal display (LCD) with 640 × 400 pixel resolution = 256,000 pixels, and the System 7.0.1 operating system. It did not have a built-in floppy disk drive and was noted for its unique compact design that placed a trackball pointing device in front of the keyboard for ease of use.

Apple’s MAC Book Pro laptops are much more exciting from a design and specification standpoint. Lets compare the figures for a similarly priced $2300 device. Remember today $2300 has been diluted by the US Government’s deficit-spending and the Federal Reserve printing Trillions of Dollars. In 1991 $2300 bought 4-to-5 times, what can be purchased today.

Display, was Black & White (two-color) 640×400 pixels, or 256,000 pixels; Today 2880×1800 pixels, or 5,184,000 pixels, which is an improvement of 20 times more pixels and the pixels are high definition millions of colors.

Processor, was a 16-megahertz (MHz) processor, today the processor is 2.4GHz quad-core
Intel Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz) with 6MB shared L3 cache, which represents an improvement of 150 Times Faster.

Memory, on board live RAM memory to execute logic and mathematical calculations; memory was 4 MB, megabytes, today RAM is 8GB, gigabytes, which represents an improvement of 2000 Times the size of RAM.

Storage Capacity, there was no on-board storage, as a separate box housing their “Floppy Disk” had to be plugged into the PowerBook 100. Today’s Apple MAC Book Pro houses internally 256 GB, thats billions of bytes of data, which represents many Thousand Times the capacity of the Floppy Disk, and of course incredibly faster access by the same order of magnitude.

Physically, the dimensions of the PowerBook 100 was 8.5 in D × 11 in W × 1.8 in H (22 × 28 × 4.6 cm) and weighed in at 5.1 pounds (2.31 kg). Today’s MAC Book is 9.73 in D x 14.13in x 0.71 in H, and weights in at 4.46 pounds.

⭐ Lets get down to Business: There are many configurations that one can define, pay up for example $100 for doubling storage from 128GB to 256GB which is recommended. Is in necessary to increase the processor speed from 2.7GHz to 2.8GHz, for another $200, perhaps not, and so on. There are many choices to select from, display of 13″, 15″ retina display or not… Its recommended that the Retina Display be on the Yes List of features.

⭐ In sum, and since I too am in the “market” to buy a new MAC Book Laptop, and being sensitive to cost, this is the Model and Specifications for my use as a Teaching Pro at FAU primarily to be used for: writing papers, email, reading journals, photo viewing and editing, making FaceBook and Twitter entries (FAU4U):

⭐ My New: MAC Book Pro, 13″ Retina Display, having its back-lighted keyboard; 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor; 16GB of 1600MHz DDR3L onboard memory (this computer come with 8GB standard memory, add $100); Storage 128GB is standard, Configurable to 256GB, 512GB, or 768GB flash storage, recommend having at least 256GB, I will take 512GB, as digital pictures and video clips take up lots of space.

There are the other possible configurtions available. 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz and 4MB shared L3 cache ($1499 model). 3.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz and 4MB shared L3 cache ($1699 model). 256GB, 512GB, or 768GB of flash storage.

⭐ Jimmy’s configuration will be approximately $1700 less a Apple Discount for being an educator.

⭐ The “typical” Student configuration approximately: $1400-$1500 and may be discounted, with Apple’s Educatonal Discount.

⭐⭐ One More Thing: Marilyn and I each have iPads and iPhones, therefore I am not choosing the MAC Book Air, as if I need “incredible portability” I will pack my iPad into ClamCase keyboard cover, I already have the “worlds best” minature Laptop. Therefore the MAC Book Pro, although being 4 pounds is very sturdy, full strength, very high resolution machine. If you do not have an iPad get one; if you cannot, but need more portability, go with the MAC Book Air, an amazing choice. Go to:


Product Name: Apple MAC Book Pro. Author: JimW.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐📍📍 Star Rating by Jimmy (This = 1/2 Star 📍)

Available Retail Price: $ 1350 with Student Pricing (Mfg. Suggested Retail Price: $1,499)

Apple MAC Book Pro, with 13″ Retina Display, and standard memory, 8GB, Processor 2.4GHz, Storage of 128GB configurations, as of March, 2013

Apple PowerBook 100, as of 1991, with 9″ Monocrome Display, memory of 4MB, Processor of 16MHz, no onboard storage, needed separately wired Flopy Drive unit connected.

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  1. Depending on one’s POWER needs, like video editing, with all the APPs that are available for the iPad, I use my iPad Air 2 with a LOGITECH keyboard Cover for almost everything these days. Fully loaded with 128GB of storage including the $130 option to have cellular connectivity, the package is about $830 plus $90 for the Keyboard Cover.

  2. Anita Coto permalink

    Jim, with the new MacBook, what would your comparison be today? MacBook MacBook Pro or Mac Book Air?

    • Hi Anita, I wrote an article comparing the Macbook and the Macbook Air, as many of my FAU students were asking for an in-depth discussion. Here is the Link:

      Today the Macbook Air has increased the screen resolution, making the differences more close in comparison. It now comes down to how much memory you may need, and the Speed. The new Macbook Pro is a wonderful device that can do most everything, where using a 13″ display config makes both devices great choices. Happy Easter.

      • Anita Coto permalink

        Happy Easter and tell Marilyn Hello.
        Thank you for the article and information. Will let you know what we end up getting.

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