MBP Retina or MB Air 13"?

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014


Hello,


 


I'm currently using a 2010 MB Pro 15" (Core i5 Duo, 2.2GHz), with "hi-res" 1680x1050 display and an official Apple 256GB SSD.


I'm happy with that, but it's getting old and it's really "heavy" (~2.5 kg).


 


Now that the line has been refreshed, I cannot choose between 2 solutions:


- MB Pro with Retina


- MB Air 13" (top model + 8GB memory)


 


First of all, let me say that I want a 256GB SSD (it's truly amazing!), and that I need lot of screen space to work.


Thus, should I buy the MB Pro with Retina display, I will probably set its resolution to 1680x1050 (instead of 1440x900 "Retina").


 


I mostly use the laptop for:


1. Programming (I mostly use XCode and Coda, plus some Photoshop)


2. Studying (reading slides of sessions, mostly; I rarely use a PC to take notes during lessons - I always use pen and paper :) - but sometimes it happens)


3. Web surfing, iTunes, iPhoto... Occasionally, I use tools like Photoshop and Aperture to fix photos taken with a DSLR


 


I'm not a videogamer (I use them in really few occasions), and I don't really *need* powerful CPUs (so that if I had a more powerful CPU, it would be better; if I didn't have, it wouldn't be a serious issue).


 


I cannot really decide between the two!


- The MB Pro Retina has more space to work (15" that can be set to 1680x1050), it's more powerful (discrete video card, more powerful CPU) but more expensive (~600€ more than the other option). It's not really light (~2 kg), but yet lighter than my current one.


- The MB Air is extremely lightweight and thin (~1,35 kg) and less expensive, but it has only 1440x900 on a 13" and I'm worried it may not be enough for me to work on.


 


(Weight matters to me, because I need to carry, sometimes, the laptop on a bag/backpack... So, whenever possible, I'd rather like something light!)


 


Before buying the MB Pro I'm using, I had a 13" MacBook (the white one!) with resolution 1280x800, and I remember it was too little for me to work...


 


Oh, external displays are not a solution for me, as I'm home rarely!


 


What do you think?


What would you recommend?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by EgoAleSum View Post


    Hello,


     


    I'm currently using a 2010 MB Pro 15" (Core i5 Duo, 2.2GHz), with "hi-res" 1680x1050 display and an official Apple 256GB SSD.


    I'm happy with that, but it's getting old and it's really "heavy" (~2.5 kg).


     


    Now that the line has been refreshed, I cannot choose between 2 solutions:


    - MB Pro with Retina


    - MB Air 13" (top model + 8GB memory)


     


    First of all, let me say that I want a 256GB SSD (it's truly amazing!), and that I need lot of screen space to work.


    Thus, should I buy the MB Pro with Retina display, I will probably set its resolution to 1680x1050 (instead of 1440x900 "Retina").


     


    I mostly use the laptop for:


    1. Programming (I mostly use XCode and Coda, plus some Photoshop)


    2. Studying (reading slides of sessions, mostly; I rarely use a PC to take notes during lessons - I always use pen and paper :) - but sometimes it happens)


    3. Web surfing, iTunes, iPhoto... Occasionally, I use tools like Photoshop and Aperture to fix photos taken with a DSLR


     


    ...


     


    What do you think?


    What would you recommend?



     


    Get an SSD upgrade, wait for Haswell.

  • Reply 2 of 10
    dohrayme wrote: »
    Get an SSD upgrade, wait for Haswell.
    Thanks, but that's not really an answer.
    An SSD upgrade on what?

    And I don't want to wait for Haswell. I need a new laptop NOW! :) Next year, there'll be some reasons to wait for the next thing, and so on.
  • Reply 3 of 10
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    egoalesum wrote: »
    I need a new laptop NOW! :)

    I seriously doubt that, given that it's barely two years old.

    Anyway, if you need it, you'll buy what's out now and be happy.
  • Reply 4 of 10

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by EgoAleSum View Post





    Thanks, but that's not really an answer.

    An SSD upgrade on what?

    And I don't want to wait for Haswell. I need a new laptop NOW! image Next year, there'll be some reasons to wait for the next thing, and so on.


    ?


    Get a 256GB SSD upgrade, it will transform your laptop.


     


    Whats on offer now is not much of an upgrade other than an SSD. But feel free to waste $2k if you want.

  • Reply 5 of 10


    I've been dealing with making this decision for over a week. Finally decided that the RMBP was better for my needs.


     


    I needed something with a 15" screen, so I was even considering the non retina 15" for a little bit. But the resolution on that screen didn't cut it, and for the price it was actually LESS expensive to opt for the retina version after you consider the 8gb of ram upgrade and the 512gb ssd. (I'm coming from a 2009 dell XPS 16.4" with a 256gb ssd. Even though it's 3 years old, that SSD made a huge difference and now I don't think I could ever go back.)


     


    I figured that if it's a computer that I'll have for a long time, I might as well go all out with it. Sure it's expensive, but I had an EPP discount and I know I'll baby it and it will retain a high resale value.

  • Reply 6 of 10
    dohrayme wrote: »
    ?
    Get a 256GB SSD upgrade, it will transform your laptop.

    Whats on offer now is not much of an upgrade other than an SSD. But feel free to waste $2k if you want.
    Have you read my post? I do ALREADY have a SSD in my MacBook (bto... 256GB "official" SSD).
    I want to change my laptop because it's getting old. It's heavier (I can save 20% of the weight with the MBP Retina and almost 50% with the MacBook Air), the battery is not as good as it was originally, etc.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    I've been dealing with making this decision for over a week. Finally decided that the RMBP was better for my needs.

    I needed something with a 15" screen, so I was even considering the non retina 15" for a little bit. But the resolution on that screen didn't cut it, and for the price it was actually LESS expensive to opt for the retina version after you consider the 8gb of ram upgrade and the 512gb ssd. (I'm coming from a 2009 dell XPS 16.4" with a 256gb ssd. Even though it's 3 years old, that SSD made a huge difference and now I don't think I could ever go back.)

    I figured that if it's a computer that I'll have for a long time, I might as well go all out with it. Sure it's expensive, but I had an EPP discount and I know I'll baby it and it will retain a high resale value.
    Thanks for your answer!

    The "you'll be using that for years" fact is what is scaring me most. I'm really in love with the lightness and compactness of the Air, but I don't want to have to deal with a laptop too small for me for a couple of years.
    The MBP Retina is less expensive than a "normal" 15" MBP with SSD and hi-res screen. But it's still ~500€ more than the Air...
    (I can have a 10% student discount)

    What do you use your MacBook for? You said you needed a 15" screen: do you code either?
  • Reply 8 of 10

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by EgoAleSum View Post





    Have you read my post? I do ALREADY have a SSD in my MacBook (bto... 256GB "official" SSD).

    I want to change my laptop because it's getting old. It's heavier (I can save 20% of the weight with the MBP Retina and almost 50% with the MacBook Air), the battery is not as good as it was originally, etc.


    So, go ahead and buy a new RMBP then.

  • Reply 9 of 10
    dohrayme wrote: »
    So, go ahead and buy a new RMBP then.
    What's wrong with you?
    Why is it so hard to give an answer to a simple "A or B" question, and give reasons for that?

    I want to change it. I have the money, and if I sell my MBP now, I can get about 1000€ out of it (about 40% of what I paid for it more than 2 years ago).
    I use my laptop intensively, so it's an expense that gets amortized soon.
    And all the money I make is thanks to my MB, as I create apps for iOS and Mac (published on the App Store) and web sites for paying customers.
    I'm not doing this just for showoff...
  • Reply 10 of 10

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by EgoAleSum View Post





    Thanks for your answer!

    The "you'll be using that for years" fact is what is scaring me most. I'm really in love with the lightness and compactness of the Air, but I don't want to have to deal with a laptop too small for me for a couple of years.

    The MBP Retina is less expensive than a "normal" 15" MBP with SSD and hi-res screen. But it's still ~500€ more than the Air...

    (I can have a 10% student discount)

    What do you use your MacBook for? You said you needed a 15" screen: do you code either?


    I'll be using it for Traktor Pro 2 (not sure if it support that resolution), adobe apps, and my desktop replacement / media center.


     


    Oh yeah, and some Diablo 3.

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