What MacBook is best for me?


iMore Question

I want to upgrade from my 4-year old generic Windows laptop. I won't be doing much, just online surfing, playing music and playing games on Steam. I've already done some research and compared models, narrowing it down to these three:

- MacBook Pro 13-inch: 2.5GHz ($1,199.00)

- 13-inch MacBook Air 13-inch : 256GB ($1,299.00) [alternatively, the 128GB model ($1,099.00) + an external hard drive (~$60)]

- MacBook Pro 13-inch: 2.4GHz with Retina display ($1,299.00)

My first choice would be the non-Retina display MacBook Pro, but I have some reservations: it's older, heavier and (from what I've read) slower than the newer models. On the flipside, it's the cheapest, contains the most space (500GB), and has a built-in CD/DVD drive.

The 13-inch MacBook Air is my second choice, but there's the whole issue about space. I'm unsure if I should buy the 128GB model and get an external hard drive, or just pay the $200 more for the 256GB model.

My last choice would be the MacBook Pro with Retina display. It has Retina display unlike the other two, but is the most expensive ($1,299 for the 128GB model; I would need to buy an external hard drive). It appears to be the "best" technically-speaking, but I don't know if I really need it based on my needs.

If I buy either the MacBook Pro Retina display or MacBook Air I would also have to buy an USB SuperDrive ($75), since I still play a lot of CDs and DVDs.

What do you suggest would be the best MacBook, based on my needs and price limit?


Well-known member
Jan 14, 2011
Visit site
The one that matches the closest budget you have and what exactly you are going to do with and how long you are going to keep it. This way you are not buying too much and if upgradeable you can do that later.


Dec 3, 2012
Visit site
The one that meets your needs and budget. Keep in mind what your future needs will be over the next couple of years. Good luck. :)

Sent from my iPhone using iMore Forums mobile app


Well-known member
Apr 22, 2013
Visit site
Since you believe you will make a lot of use out of the CD/DVD drive, the original MBP will be a good investment. Games also have a way of taking up a lot of space on your drive and while you will get excellent performance from the SSD in the MBA and rMBP, you will probably appreciate the extra storage in the older MBP. The nice thing about the MBP is that it is upgradeable by the end user, you can stick more RAM and a newer hard drive in the machine as your budget allows.

The performance improvements in the MBA and rMBP will be negligible for how you intend to use your system (assuming you are not a heavy gamer since you have your eye on a Mac laptop vs. a gaming desktop). Weight and battery life should only be serious issues if you see yourself as needing a highly mobile computer, in which case the MBP might not be a good investment. If the laptop is primarily going to sit on a desk at home, you won't be bothered by the extra bulk.

Trending Posts

Members online

Forum statistics

Latest member