I'm about to buy a Macbook, mainly for music but a little bit for work when travelling (4 times a year). For music is there any real difference between the two?
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when you say for music? Do you mean playback?
Not really. MacBook Air has SSD, so it may respond a bit faster to start playing. That's all.
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Sorry, I probably should also add that the Macbook would be connected directly to the Dac, so no Airport Express.
Are you likely to be using iPhoto or iMovie? Playing games at all? Unless you are using apps that are GPU accelerated, there is not really any benifits to the pros. Don't think the 13" pro has a dedicated GPU anyway.
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The logical thought is there can't be a difference, but without directly comparing them, I wouldn't be as bold as to say that for 100%. However, given both are obviously going to be running the Mountain Lion OS X operating system, the differences are likely to be marginal (if there are any at all).
My advice would be to go for the one which works best for your work - I have a Macbook Air (13" version), and one of the best things about it is how easy it is to just pick up and take with you - it weighs so little, you can easily carry it around with you in a rucksack all day (this one is perfect fit for the Air).
Just music (iTunes + Bit Perfect) and, occassionaly, work (Word, Powerpoint and PDF). Sounds as if I should get the Macbook Air then. Thanks for all the feedback.
Have you thought about the new macbook with the retina display? It looks very good, but I guess if you really don't think you'd make use of the increased resolution then there's probably little point in paying the extra for it
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A laptop to be used mainly for music sounds like a strange choice.....
A NAS combined with a streamer/media player would seem a better,cheaper,more convenient solution to me.
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And how is he going to take all that with him?
My only advice is to go for the 13" macbook Air and not the 11" as overtime you will wish you had gone for the 13"
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Hmmmmm How would a retina display laptop be any good for someone who is going to use it for music
An £850+ laptop just for music playback, and a bit of word processing?
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Hi MacBook Air is more expensive than Pro generally but I went with the Air for playback personally because of the Solid State Drive - silent and almost instant.
As soon as you lift the lid the iTunes interface is there and music starts playing within 1 second. If totally shutdown it's the same but a few more seconds. Superb.
Biggest consideration for you is how much storage you will need - I bought a 13" Air with 128GB SSD and quickly needed to add storage - 128GB equals about 100GB when other system uses etc are taken into account.
Note that you cannot increase storage inside the Air due to the way it is constructed - if you think you will want 256GB you need to spec. it that way from the outset.
In the end I added a 256GB solid state external drive which is very small and discrete and again is totally silent and instant - cost about £400 though.
Final bit of advice is to buy a refurbished model from the Apple Online Store - mine looked as if it was brand new and I bought it for £920 or thereabouts - approx £130 saving on new price.
Pro is tempting however for storage space (think you can spec. it at 400GB storage but not solid state - new Pros may offer SSDs). If not already using a Mac for playback I would highly recommend buying BitPerfect for iTunes application which is about £7 and works seamlessly with iTunes and improves the sound quality with no negatives experienced at all.
I used a Toshiba laptop for playback previously and noticed some fan noise during quiet sequences, have never heard a peep from the Air. Brilliant laptop, great to use for other uses too.
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