Apple MacBook Air MD231LL/A vs. the Apple MacBook Pro MD101LL/A

If you are in the market for a 13-inch Apple MacBook, then you have assuredly come across both of these beautiful models. While they are both excellent machines in their own rights, each one offers something that makes it superior to the other option. The trick is determining which one is the best option for you.

Check out the chart below and our analysis of both of them to help you determine how to make the best choice for your personal situation.

Apple MacBook Air

MD231LL/A

Apple MacBook Pro

MD101LL/A

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Processor 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5
dual-core processor
2.5 GHz Intel Core i5
dual-core processor
RAM 4 GB installed RAM
(1600 MHz DDR3;
supports up to 8 GB)
4 GB installed RAM
(1600 MHz DDR3;
supports up to 8 GB)
Hard Drive 128 GB flash memory storage 500 GB Serial ATA hard drive
(5400 RPM)
Total Number of USB Ports 2 2
Number of USB 3.0 Ports 2 2
Screen 13.3-inch LED-backlit
glossy widescreen display
(1440 x 900)
13.3-inch LED-backlit
glossy widescreen display
with edge-to-edge,
uninterrupted glass (1280 x 800)
Keyboard Standard, Backlit Standard, Backlit
Additional Ports SD card slot, Thunderbolt,
Headphone
Thunderbolt, Firewire 800,
Gigabit ethernet, SDXC, Audio in/out
Optical Drive None 8x slot-loading SuperDrive
with double-layer DVD support
Weight 2.96 lbs. 4.5 lbs.
Battery Life Up to 7 hours Up to 7 hours
Webcam Built-in HD 720p
FaceTime camera
Built-in HD 720p
FaceTime HD camera
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4000
integrated graphics processor
Intel HD Graphics 4000
integrated graphics processor
Connections 802.11 bgn, Bluetooth 4.0 Ethernet port, 802.11 bgn,
Bluetooth 4.0

 

There are a couple of things that the MacBook Pro has to offer which makes it superior to the MacBook Air. It has an ethernet port that will allow you to connect to a wired network. It is possible to establish a wired connection with the MacBook Air, but you will need to purchase this adapter first. The Pro also has a DVD drive, which the MacBook Air sacrifices to keep the computer’s weight, profile and portability. You will also get a larger hard drive and a better processor if you choose to go with the MacBook Pro.

So, to summarize, the MacBook Pro is superior in these areas:

  • Ethernet port
  • Has an optical drive
  • Faster processor
  • Larger capacity hard drive

Click image above for more MacBook Pro pictures

But the MacBook Air is superior to the MacBook Pro in certain areas as well. The screen on the MacBook Air has a higher resolution, and is simply one of the best that I have ever used. And while the capacity of the MacBook Air hard drive is lower than that of the MacBook Pro, it does have a solid state drive, which is considerably faster than the 5400 RPM option on the Pro. The Air weighs about 1.5 lbs less, which is a very noticeable difference.

In summary, the MacBook Air is superior in these areas:

  • Higher resolution screen
  • Faster hard drive
  • Lighter weight

Click image above for more MacBook Air pictures

Of course, my evaluation of both of these laptops is done off of the entry-level models for each computer. You can choose options that upgrade and improve the specs of each laptop, but that will raise the price considerably. You can click here to see the available upgrades for the MacBook Air, or you can click here to see the upgrades available for the MacBook Pro.

I personally prefer the MacBook Air, because my laptop needs have put me in a place where I value the solid state drive, reduced weight and better screen. However, the beauty of the choice offered here is that you have a more than adequate option with the Pro if you want more hard drive space or an optical drive. But if you choose to go with the Air, you can always purchase an external hard drive to store any of the files that you may need to transfer to or from the Air, such as songs, videos or pictures. And if you purchase an option, such as this one, that has USB 3.0 connectivity, then the file speed transfers will be lightning fast. But you can also purchase a less expensive USB 2.0 option, as the USB 3.0 ports are backwards compatible with USB 2.0 devices.

Read our full review of the MacBook Pro.

Read our full review of the MacBook Air.

 

Learn how to set up iCloud on your PC if you are currently using a Windows computer. There is an application called the iCloud Control Panel that allows you to sync files from your PC to your iCloud account, and it can be easily installed on your computer.

 

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