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Similarities between MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

At the time of this writing, the MacBook Air comes in two screen sizes (11.6-inch and 13.3-inch), and the MacBook Pro comes in three screen sizes (13.3-inch, 15.4-inch, and 17-inch). Things may seem pretty confusing when you first start shopping for a new MacBook — what differentiates one model from the other besides the size of the screen?

To help clear things up, first consider the similarities between the 13.3-inch Air and the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro:

  • Widescreen display: The Air has the same widescreen aspect ratio as the MacBook Pro.

  • Intel Core i5 processor: The Air is powered by the same type of CPU as its sibling.

  • Keyboard and trackpad: The Air has a full-size keyboard, and it’s even backlit, just as the MacBook Pro is. Naturally, both MacBooks also feature trackpads that support Multi-Touch control.

  • Lion: Both machines run the latest version of Mac OS X with aplomb.

  • Sealed battery: You can’t swap batteries with either MacBook model because the battery is sealed inside the laptop. (Think iPod.)

  • FaceTime HD and microphone: Every MacBook Air is video ready, using the same FaceTime HD camera offered with the MacBook Pro. You can record audio with the built-in microphone as well.

  • Wireless support: Both models feature built-in AirPort Extreme hardware (802.11n) and built-in Bluetooth hardware.

Most Apple laptop owners would agree that this list covers the major features to look for in a MacBook, so you can agree that the MacBook Air is no underpowered pushover.

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