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View Full Version : Buy 13' MBA or wait for refresh of rMBP?




bfizz
Jun 25, 2013, 01:28 PM
I've been waiting a long time to buy my first Mac and I'm finally ready to take the plunge. My main question is, should I purchase the 13" MBA (i5/8gb/128) or wait for the refresh of the 13" rMBP with Haswell?

My computer needs are basic, web browsing, streaming hulu/netflix/youtube, basic photo editing here and there, and dealing with excel spreadsheets. Is my only trade off between the two devices screen quality vs thickness?

Thanks for your thoughts.



tgi
Jun 25, 2013, 01:55 PM
Is my only trade off between the two devices screen quality vs thickness?

Thanks for your thoughts.

I wouldn't factor in thickness, just base your decision on whether or not you want Retina.

The MBA would suit your needs just fine, unless you want a Retina display.

HiDEF
Jun 25, 2013, 01:58 PM
I've been waiting a long time to buy my first Mac and I'm finally ready to take the plunge. My main question is, should I purchase the 13" MBA (i5/8gb/128) or wait for the refresh of the 13" rMBP with Haswell?

My computer needs are basic, web browsing, streaming hulu/netflix/youtube, basic photo editing here and there, and dealing with excel spreadsheets. Is my only trade off between the two devices screen quality vs thickness?

Thanks for your thoughts.

Will this be your primary computer? If so, I'd strongly consider a rMBP over the air.

I recently purchased the 13" base MBA and it's great but the difference in display has me considering whether to keep it or exchange.

The 4GB plays a factor too but I think I can stick it out for a year or until the new rMBP are announced so I don't see a reason to upgrade to 8GB. I also have a 2009 Mac mini as my primary and a work issued laptop.

hkim1983
Jun 25, 2013, 02:36 PM
Will this be your primary computer? If so, I'd strongly consider a rMBP over the air.

I recently purchased the 13" base MBA and it's great but the difference in display has me considering whether to keep it or exchange.

The 4GB plays a factor too but I think I can stick it out for a year or until the new rMBP are announced so I don't see a reason to upgrade to 8GB. I also have a 2009 Mac mini as my primary and a work issued laptop.

I don't think it's as simple as you make it to be. If you have an external monitor at home and you value real estate over double the pixels, then the Air is a solid candidate for a primary computer.

If you don't have an external monitor, then the case for the rMBP is much stronger, but it all boils down to: do you want/need the retina screen or not?

HiDEF
Jun 25, 2013, 02:38 PM
I don't think it's as simple as you make it to be. If you have an external monitor at home and you value real estate over double the pixels, then the Air is a solid candidate for a primary computer.

If you don't have an external monitor, then the case for the rMBP is much stronger, but it all boils down to: do you want/need the retina screen or not?

this is true, MBA can be a primary machine but then anti-up on the RAM, 8 minimum.

PDFierro
Jun 25, 2013, 02:44 PM
If you've done your research and really want the rMBP, then I wouldn't make the mistake of buying the new Air just so you can have a Mac right now.

HiDEF
Jun 25, 2013, 02:51 PM
If you've done your research and really want the rMBP, then I wouldn't make the mistake of buying the new Air just so you can have a Mac right now.

Why would it be a mistake? If OP needs a computer for light use and doesn't need the raw power of Retina, MBA is just fine.

bfizz
Jun 25, 2013, 02:52 PM
Will this be your primary computer? If so, I'd strongly consider a rMBP over the air.

I recently purchased the 13" base MBA and it's great but the difference in display has me considering whether to keep it or exchange.

The 4GB plays a factor too but I think I can stick it out for a year or until the new rMBP are announced so I don't see a reason to upgrade to 8GB. I also have a 2009 Mac mini as my primary and a work issued laptop.

Yes, I'm planning to use this as my main computer. I'm retiring an HP laptop after 4 years, so I expect to use this computer for the next 4 years or so.

That's exactly my problem, it's hard when you walk into an apple store and see the Retina display and then go over to the MBA.

HiDEF
Jun 25, 2013, 02:53 PM
Yes, I'm planning to use this as my main computer. I'm retiring an HP laptop after 4 years, so I expect to use this computer for the next 4 years or so.

That's exactly my problem, it's hard when you walk into an apple store and see the Retina display and then go over to the MBA.

Ok, for primary use, go with rMBP. But expect a line refresh in the near future, most likely Q3. OR, go with BTO MBA 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage and hook it up to a monitor.

bfizz
Jun 25, 2013, 03:00 PM
I don't think it's as simple as you make it to be. If you have an external monitor at home and you value real estate over double the pixels, then the Air is a solid candidate for a primary computer.

If you don't have an external monitor, then the case for the rMBP is much stronger, but it all boils down to: do you want/need the retina screen or not?

That's exactly my problem. Both computers are thinner than what I'm working with right now. I've got no external monitor at home either. It was hard for me to jump on the MBA team and buy one at the Apple store right after viewing the Retina. I'll be using this computer for the next 4 years roughly, so I'm growing tempted to have the retina screen.

mhuntoon
Jun 25, 2013, 03:40 PM
I've been debating the same thing as the OP. I don't care about the retina screen, but I wouldn't complain about having one. What I don't know is if the MBA will be sufficient for what I'd be doing with it - operating Adobe Acrobat Pro XI and Microsoft Excel simultaneously while also viewing the internet (Chrome with probably 10 open tabs at all times) and a mail application (I like Sparrow, but may use something else). I also need to keep Skype open at all times for work.

It's not like I'm running CAD programs or anything that taxing on the hardware, but am I better off going with the MBP or will a MBA suffice so long as I get at least 8GB of RAM? Ideally, I'd find a great deal on a refurbed 13" MBA with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. I'd likely have to cut down to a 128GB SSD if I hold out for a newer MBP (and probably still not be able to swing it right away assuming they come out in September).

Sorry to hijack.

B...
Jun 25, 2013, 03:51 PM
I've been debating the same thing as the OP. I don't care about the retina screen, but I wouldn't complain about having one. What I don't know is if the MBA will be sufficient for what I'd be doing with it - operating Adobe Acrobat Pro XI and Microsoft Excel simultaneously while also viewing the internet (Chrome with probably 10 open tabs at all times) and a mail application (I like Sparrow, but may use something else). I also need to keep Skype open at all times for work.

It's not like I'm running CAD programs or anything that taxing on the hardware, but am I better off going with the MBP or will a MBA suffice so long as I get at least 8GB of RAM? Ideally, I'd find a great deal on a refurbed 13" MBA with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. I'd likely have to cut down to a 128GB SSD if I hold out for a newer MBP (and probably still not be able to swing it right away assuming they come out in September).

Sorry to hijack.

Those are not too demanding uses. A MBA would be fine.

mhuntoon
Jun 25, 2013, 03:54 PM
Those are not too demanding uses. A MBA would be fine.

Even with everything run at once? Can I get by on Ivy Bridge or should I definitely get a Haswell for this load? Thanks for the input.

B...
Jun 25, 2013, 03:59 PM
Even with everything run at once? Can I get by on Ivy Bridge or should I definitely get a Haswell for this load? Thanks for the input.

Internet, Mail, MS Office and Acrobat all together should take even less than 4GB of RAM. Haswell would only help with battery life and GPU performance on the rMBP, although you don't need that much for the above uses.

PDFierro
Jun 25, 2013, 04:12 PM
Why would it be a mistake? If OP needs a computer for light use and doesn't need the raw power of Retina, MBA is just fine.

I agree, but I initially read the OP as wanting the rMBP but not wanting to wait. Didn't realize they were asking for advice between the two.

batman75
Jun 25, 2013, 08:34 PM
:d

jread
Jun 25, 2013, 09:56 PM
I've been waiting a long time to buy my first Mac and I'm finally ready to take the plunge. My main question is, should I purchase the 13" MBA (i5/8gb/128) or wait for the refresh of the 13" rMBP with Haswell?

My computer needs are basic, web browsing, streaming hulu/netflix/youtube, basic photo editing here and there, and dealing with excel spreadsheets. Is my only trade off between the two devices screen quality vs thickness?

Thanks for your thoughts.

I ordered a decked out 2013 11" MBA last week and ended up returning it today. It is a great machine, but the display is atrocious. I couldn't take it... it looks like something straight out of a 2008 net book. I love the retina screen and that's what I really want.

errol
Jun 25, 2013, 10:17 PM
If you bought an air now and a retina air was released later, would you be upset? Would you be more upset if you waited 3 months, bought a retina now, and all that was released in the next iteration was a faster CPU architecture?

gabberkooij
Jun 26, 2013, 12:44 AM
For me it feels like choosing between battery and screen:


MBA 13"
rMBP 13"

Both with 8GB and 256 SSD

Is the processing power comparable? For instance when running a VM or game? The system will not be my main computer and I could add a external screen at home.
The nice thing is that I can take a Air with me for a day and leave the AC adapter at home. This will not be possible with the rMBP (travelling 1 day a week to the office by train, a 6 hour trip (to and from the office) )
For the most things the Air will be enough (office, emulating Ipad and probably a VM image or bootcamp with a develop environment), playing games on it will only happen occasionally.
And I can use it when I'm showing my software on a fair. I doubt the refreshed rMBP will be able to get that much battery life.

gt94
Jun 26, 2013, 12:57 AM
For me it feels like choosing between battery and screen:


MBA 13"
rMBP 13"

Both with 8GB and 256 SSD

Is the processing power comparable? For instance when running a VM or game? The system will not be my main computer and I could add a external screen at home.
The nice thing is that I can take a Air with me for a day and leave the AC adapter at home. This will not be possible with the rMBP (travelling 1 day a week to the office by train, a 6 hour trip (to and from the office) )
For the most things the Air will be enough (office, emulating Ipad and probably a VM image or bootcamp with a develop environment), playing games on it will only happen occasionally.
And I can use it when I'm showing my software on a fair. I doubt the refreshed rMBP will be able to get that much battery life.

I think the rMBP could go from their current 7 hours to 9 hours. Any thoughts?