MacBook Pro/w Retina display (2013) vs MacBook Air (2014)

Is the six-month old MacBook Pro still better than the MacBook Air 2014?

Apple has carried out a minor refresh of the MacBook Air - increasing the clock speed of the processor by 100MHz and dropping the price by 100.

But is it worth investing more in an older MacBook Pro with Retina Display? We break down the key differences between the laptops to help you decide. Categories include:

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Display/DimensionsPerformance  Battery lifeWireless connectivity & portsRepairabilitySoftwarePrice

Display & Dimensions

There is a huge difference in display quality between the two ranges. The MacBook Airs don't include Apple's Retina Display technology so are not ideal for video/image editing and multimedia. In terms of dimensions, it's closely run.

MacBook Air - Available in 11.6in and 13.3in sizes, these are the smallest laptops Apple offers. 

The 11in Air weighs in at 1.08kg, making it the lightest Apple laptop. However, it also has the lowest resolution 1366 x 768, which isn't going to cut it for anything other than basic word processing and web browsing.

The 13in model ships with a better 1440 x 900 resolution and isn't too much heavier at 1.35kg.

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MacBook Pro w/Retina display - The starting size of this machine is 13.3ins, with a larger 15.6in model available. This latter, in particular, can be used as a desktop replacement.

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As their name indicates, the Pro models ship with Apple's best display technology. The 13in (2560 x 1600) and 15.4in (2880 x 1800) are streets ahead of the Airs in quality terms.

The 13in Pro is a couple of hundred grams heavier than its Air equivalent at 1.57kg, but it's still portable. However, the 15in device is noticeably chunkier at 2.02kg.

Winner - MacBook Pro w/Retina Display

The MacBook Airs are lightweight, but have inferior screens. The 13in Pro strikes the balance between portability and high-res screen technology.

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