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13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display vs. 13-inch MacBook Air (pictures)

Apple's new 13-inch Pro is smaller in some ways than the Air, larger in others.

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Dan Ackerman

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1 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET
Adding the high-res Retina Display to a new 13-inch MacBook Pro, Apple has created a new midway point between the slim ultrabook-like MacBook Air and the traditional 13-inch Pro. By eliminating the long-standing optical drive and platter hard drive, the new Retina 13-inch Pro slims down greatly, and even has a smaller desktop footprint than the 13-inch Air.

We took the just-delivered 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display and lined it up next to a current-gen 13-inch MacBook Air. The results left us feeling that each design has its advantages, but at the same time, there's still a big difference in the hand between the two.

While the new Retina MacBook Pro is not as thin and light as a MacBook Air, it actually has a slightly smaller footprint. The Retina Pro is 12.4 inches by 8.6 inches, while the 13-inch Air measures 12.8 inches by 8.9 inches. The gallery above shows several of the key angles, but we've called a few notable comparisons out here.

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2 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

MacBook Air (left) vs. MacBook Pro with Retina Display (right)

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3 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

MacBook Air (left) vs. MacBook Pro with Retina Display (right)

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4 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

MacBook Air (left) vs. MacBook Pro with Retina Display (right)

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5 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

MacBook Air (left) vs. MacBook Pro with Retina Display (right)

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6 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

MacBook Air (left) vs. MacBook Pro with Retina Display (right)

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7 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

MacBook Air (left) vs. MacBook Pro with Retina Display (right)

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8 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

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