213 of 230 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2013
Size Name: 500 GB StorageStyle Name: 13.3-Inch Display
this review is about my personal honest experience, i am not a computer wizard.
like most of you, i had a hard time thinking which one to buy, an air or a pro. what i did is purchased the two and see which one will better suit my needs and send back the one that I won't like. so I went at my local best buy and did so. after using both products for 14days, here are my thoughts.
the macbook air looks very beautiful on the outside. it's so thin and light and can be used anywhere like a tablet. to sum things up, the MB air is more of a fashion statement than a work horse. is it faster than a pro? yes only by 10-15secs during start up. the audio quality sounds thin but loud. the pro has a deeper sound. air has higher resolution but the fonts are small. what I hate about it is the screen display color. macbook pro by far has more vivid colors and if you love to watch netflix and hd videos like me, the pro is a better choice. i like the design of the air but i'm sorry to say that it is more like a toy than a real life laptop. if you have a main computer, the air is a very good addition but if you only need an all in one computer like me to take with you, store data, watch videos, do picture and video editing and plan to use for a very long time, then the macbook pro is a better choice and for me is more sturdy. one reviewer says that the air has better screen display but I don't agree with that because i am an amateur photographer and im pretty sure i know which has the better display. in the long run you will be needing that dvd drive, the storage and ram that you can customize, the ethernet and ports that are already built in and most of all the screen display. the macbook pro still looks stunningly beautiful and is a more capable laptop. even the keyboard is better to type on. the air is super light weight but the pro still is light. we still need to use our muscles sometimes. battery life are identical 5-6 hrs.
I got more from my money on the pro and it is a better choice for me that's why I kept it and sent the air back for a refund. again this is just my personal honest opinion.
486 of 539 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2012
Size Name: 500 GB StorageStyle Name: 13.3-Inch Display
This is not my first Mac computer, and certainly will not be my last. Before I begin, I will say that I am not like a good percentage of the people that will end up writing a review on this computer - I am not an Apple fanboy. I have owned many PC computers as well, and like them too. I currently own a Lenovo laptop as well as my new MacBook Pro, and each have their own strengths and weaknesses.
To start with the strengths:
1. OSX Lion is a great performer..extremely fast and reliable. I have it installed on my iMac desktop computer as well and love it. Not to mention this comes with a free upgrade to Mountain Lion, which is very nice.
2. Screen looks great. Even though it is not the Retina display you can get on the 15.4 inch model, the screen is fantastic. Very bright and crystal clear with excellent color.
3. Quietest laptop I have ever owned. Keeps quiet even when the computer is under a heavy load.
4. First computer I have owned with USB 3.0. I bought an external hard drive when I purchased this laptop as well so I could utilize the USB 3.0. I got the hard drive yesterday and transferred all of my files from my old laptop to the new hard drive so I could put them on my MacBook. It took about 1/5th of the time it did with USB 2.0.
5. My Lenovo laptop does not have an illuminated keyboard, so the keyboard on this laptop is a big plus in my opinion. Excellent for people that like to work or surf the web while their significant other is sleeping.
6. The trackpad - can't even compare it to any trackpad I have seen on any other laptop computer.
7. Excellent battery life while being a very fast performer. It definitely has the best of both worlds. I average about 6 hours on a charge. My Lenovo (with similar graphics, processor, etc. and same use) only lasts about 4 or 5 hours on a full charge.
8. Typical Apple simplistic styling. I love the look of the Apple products. Simple and clean.
9. Many, many more...but those are the most notable ones to me.
Now, for the weaknesses.
1. The only thing I dislike about this laptop are the rubber pads found on the bottom of the computer for grip. They may get softer and more sticky as time goes by, but right now they are far from that. The pads on the bottom of my Lenovo are definitely much better and don't allow the computer to slide around while I am using the computer on a glass topped desk.
2. Price - it's a bit pricey for the performance you get, but the added perks of Mac OSX and the durability and support of Apple products makes up for it. For the same price, you can get a PC with more memory, larger hard drive, better graphics, and a faster processor, but then you remember you're running Windows 7, which isn't nearly as well built as Mac OSX.
In conclusion - this is a great laptop. Although it is a little pricey, it is well worth the extra money. So far, the only issue I have with it (rubber pads) is a very small problem that does not change how this laptop performs in any way.
If you are thinking about getting a MacBook Pro laptop but do not want to spend a huge amount of money for one, this is definitely the way to go. It may be considered the "base model" MacBook Pro, but it still an excellent computer. The size and battery life of this computer makes it excellent for people that need a laptop that is very mobile. Between work and college classes, I needed a lightweight yet durable computer and this definitely fits that criteria.
359 of 424 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2012
Size Name: 750 GB StorageStyle Name: 15.4-Inch DisplayVerified Purchase
I used to be a die hard windows fan. I was always bashing OSx for the usual things (too expensive, too dumb, et cetera, et cetera), and I never really gave it a chance. Windows 7 was my OS of choice from the day it came out, and I used it on many different computers with (or at least what I thought then) good results. It's certainly not a bad OS but...
This past holiday season, I got an Asus tablet PC. I wanted to love it, I really did. I gave it a five star review here on Amazon, and I tried my very hardest to use it to it's fullest potential. It was working fine for a while, until I tried the Windows 8 beta. It was all down-hill from there. Viruses, problems (beyond those that should be in a beta, and a general ugliness drove me absolutely insane, and I decided to move away from Windows, at least temporarily. I bought a Chromebook, and while I absolutely love it and highly recommend it, I wanted more out a computer than it offered.
So, nearly on a whim, I bought a Mac. I have never made a better tech decision. Literally everything about it is better than any computer I've ever used, from the operating system to the hardware.
People typically say that the real reason they love Macs and other Apple products is because of the build quality. While the build quality on this computer is INSANELY good (I feel bad hauling it around with me; I feel like it should be in an art museum), I really think it's the software that makes this a standout computer and computing experience. I've had absolutely zero backround in OSx up until now, and already I am easily finding my way around this computer. Granted, I've had a good backround in Linux and OSx is similar, but the fact that I'm easily navigating a brand new operating system after only one day is quite the contrast from Windows, now that I can look at it objectively. OSx Lion is wonderful. The multi-touch gestures and the multi-touch mouse itself are immensely helpful, and it's because of features like these that make it clear to me that it's almost necessary for a company to make the hardware for a product if they're making the software as well. Everything works extremely well together.
Like I said, the included apps put Windows to shame. With the exception of Outlook (which I personally hate, but my Mom has a Mac and can't stand the contacts App and uses Outlook), I can't think of a single, rational person who would pick Windows software over Apple software when it comes to things like media, photo/video editing, and email. To be perfectly honest, it's ridiculous how well all this stuff works. I downloaded the iWorks office suite (which is not free, though significantly cheaper than Microsoft Office), and they also work like a charm. I really don't create a whole lot of spreadsheets or slide shows so I can't guarantee a qualified opinion on Numbers (Excel) or Keynote (PowerPoint), but the Pages app is lightyears ahead of Microsoft Word. I also downloaded Logic Pro 9 (an music synthesizer/recording studio app) after having used it with friends a few months back, and have spent hours digging into another fantastic piece of Mac Software, and I can say for a fact that it is truly unparalleled in the Windows world.
The actual hardware internals of the computer are amazing. The new Ivy Bridge processors whip through anything I can throw at them, and the 8 gb of fast (1600 mhz) ram makes multi-tasking a breeze. The nVidia graphics card, while not a show-stopper, is completely adequate for some heavy-duty video editing in something like Final Cut or Photo Shop (though I haven't used Photo Shop in about a year now, so I'm not COMPLETELY sure about the latter of the two statements), or gaming (whether you dual-boot or pick one of the games from the increasingly impressive OSx catalogue). The speakers, while not mind-blowing, are much better than what I'm used to from integrated laptop speakers, and the screen, even though I opted for the non-HD screen, is very good; colors are bright and saturated, the pixel density is more than satisfactory, and the viewing angles are some of the best I've ever seen. Battery life is as good as advertised, and the computer starts and runs much more quickly than I'm used to, especially considering that this computer doesn't have flash storage.
I haven't run into a single thing I would change about this computer up to this point. I love the software, I love the hardware, and I love my decision. If you're in the market for an exceptional, powerful notebook, look no further. I can't recommend this computer highly enough.
Edit: While the great things that I mentioned about OSx are all still completely viable and even after several weeks (months, perhaps?) of heavy usage I haven't experienced any problems. Mountain Lion is a great update and even though I don't own an iPhone or an iPad (I'm more of an android guy), I still like almost all of the additions it brings to OSx.
However, I have since installed Windows. Bootcamp is a marvelous program, and in about 20 minutes I had Windows 7 working great on my computer. All the drivers were installed and performance was great. Once I actually started playing games though, several design flaw were suddenly extremely apparent to me, and they were apparent in a very bad way.
I'm not sure if Windows is just a more demanding operating system or if a fan driver was left out of my Bootcamp install, but the cooling of this computer when doing ANYTHING intensive under Windows is absolutely atrocious. The unibody design is gorgeous. It's revolutionary, it's stylish, it's classy, and it has major practical issues. The vents are hidden under the hinges of the screen, and anything but the most perfect of screen angles will block off much of the fans output. Even with the fans blowing full blast at nearly all times while running Windows, the computer gets extremely hot during usage. I use a laptop as a literal "lap" top computer frequently. This works fine under OSx; it's impossible under Windows. The bottom of the computer gets painfully hot during heavy usage (to the point where I literally can't touch it for more than a few seconds), and the metal area (ironically) around the "wasd" keys gets extremely hot as well. I've had the computer completely overheat three times only in the past two weeks. Since I only play online games, this isn't a real issue, but I can't imagine what would happen were someone actually doing something important on a Windows partition and have the computer overheat and shut down. Even with good ventilation (meaning smooth granite surfaces and a laptop stand specifically designed to enhance ventilation), there is no avoiding an extremely hot computer and constantly whirring fans.
Long story short, I'm very glad they improved the fan design in the Retina Display Macbooks, because it is, frankly, very, very poor here.
I'm conflicted on whether I should change my overall rating of the computer though. Even though Macs are equipped (through Bootcamp) to run Windows, they weren't designed to do so, and I certainly haven't had a single issue while running (the far superior) OSx. Considering the fact that I should be basing my opinion of the product on its own merits and not on those of a competing product, I don't think I will change my overall scoring. I do think it is prudent to add, however, that cooling while running Windows 7 is terrible. If you NEED Windows, stick with a Windows computer. They will most likely handle Windows better than this one will.
93 of 109 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2012
Size Name: 500 GB StorageStyle Name: 13.3-Inch Display
After owning my MacBook for a month I finally feel ready to review it accurately. Let me start off by saying that I was highly reluctant to spend so much money on a laptop. I've always been a Windows guy so I've known that you can buy laptops with equivalent specs to Macs for a good deal cheaper. Though after comparing different laptops I was not able to find one that had a satisfactory build quality. The closest I could find were laptops made by Asus, but even then I read of too many build quality issues that made me uneasy. Ultrabooks made by other companies had good quality, but by then they cost just as much as the MacBook but with lower specs. So I decided to take the plunge with this MacBook after demoing it in a Apple Store. Here are the things that made me confident with my purchase:
Build Quality - Seriously, you can't beat a unibody construction. While other laptops creak when you pick them up due to the various plastic components screwed together, the Macbook feels firm. The only thing that initially concerned me was that the lid would slightly creak when you closed it. Running waxed dental floss through the hinges solved this.
Trackpad and Keyboard- This extra large trackpad is heavenly to use. Having the whole trackpad function as a giant button is a lot more comfortable to use. Plus two finger clicking as a replacement for the right click button is surprisingly intuitive. The keyboard keys are well spaced and the led backlighting is very cool.
Power System - I regularly get around 6 hours from the battery, which I am more than satisfied with. The magsafe plugin system is more handy than I thought it would be, and there is a neat led battery indicator on the side of the notebook that makes checking the battery level with the computer off easy.
OS X - Mine initially came with Lion, but after upgrading to Mountain Lion I am even more satisfied. Everything runs fast and animations are fluid. I love the multi touch features, which again is something I initially didn't think I would really need. It took me a little time to get used to using finder after being accustomed to windows explorer, but I am confident now in my ability to navigate through files just as quickly as in Windows.
Dual Booting - I have a few engineering programs that only run on Windows so I decided to install Windows 7 through bootcamp. Because it boots natively from the hard drive, it runs just as smoothly as any other Windows laptop. Remember folks, this computer doesn't have any magical internal components. The Intel Chipset is the same used in any other laptop and thus Windows runs just the same with the proper drivers installed.
Chipset - The Intel Core i5 runs very fast with minimal heat. The Intel Graphics 4000 is more than adequate for most applications.
I could even run Portal 2 on maximum graphics settings and play 1080p video without it breaking a sweat. The fan almost never revs up to an audible level. This is in part to the aluminum body being a giant heat sink. So yes, the laptop body can get warm at times. But it is never uncomfortably warm when I use it on my lap. Ill probably upgrade the RAM and the harddrive to an SSD in the future, but for now they are fine.
So all in all I am very happy with my purchase. I am officially a Mac convert and will use this laptop for a very long time.
Also, all the Windows "gamers" who are trashing Macs need to gain some perspective. Yes, I can get a Core i7 laptop with a dedicated graphics card for a lot cheaper than the MacBook. But I decided to spend the extra money to get a better engineered laptop with some nifty extra features.