PDA

View Full Version : Who can't resist the Air?




PDFierro
Jun 27, 2013, 06:37 PM
I was always interested in the Air at first. And I seriously considered getting a Mac again in March, but decided to wait for WWDC. Initially my focus was on getting an Air, but that shifted to the 13-inch rMBP as I saw how much better the screen really was, among other things.

I even went to the Apple store last week, mainly to see how much I preferred the 13-inch rMBP form factor over the 15-inch. And I briefly looked at the Air and saw how bad the screen was, but I had a 11-inch Air briefly before and the display looked fine to me.

Has anyone gotten used to the Air screen at home? If you had been accustomed to how a Retina screen looks? The other concern I had about the 11-inch Air was that it was kind of hard to right on due to the shortened palm rest area. Does that become easier for you over time?

The wait for the Haswell rMBP is just killing me. But if I were to get the Air, I'd want to do it because it was the better choice, and not because I couldn't wait for the updated rMBP.

I mainly want the Retina screen because I'm a writer and do a lot of that, and the text is so much crisper. I watch many HD movies/TV shows on iTunes, but I don't really do anything intensive. The 16:9 ratio on the 11-inch Air is great for that, otherwise the 16:10 is the perfect ratio.

I also greatly prefer the design and feel of the 13-inch rMBP. It just screams "Pro". But other than that and the screen, I don't do anything that requires a Pro machine.

I DQ'd the Air from consideration shortly after WWDC, but have been looking at it again. Anyone else feel that way?

Common sense tells me to wait for the rMBP, which will hopefully be out in July. And I will probably stay the course. But the Air does have its pluses when you look at it.



falconeight
Jun 27, 2013, 06:44 PM
I can't deal with the air's screen after using a retina. I really wish I could but I can't.

HiDEF
Jun 27, 2013, 06:48 PM
I can't deal with the air's screen after using a retina. I really wish I could but I can't.

Don't mean to spam OP's thread but would you drop your 13" rMBP for rMBA if available?

ValSalva
Jun 27, 2013, 06:49 PM
Once you've gone retina it's hard to go back. That's what makes the wait tough for not only the new rMPB's but also for an Apple retina cinema display.

Seems like you've already essentially made up your mind: the MBA's are tempting but the new rMBP's are worth waiting for.

HiDEF
Jun 27, 2013, 06:50 PM
double post, my bad.

mouthster
Jun 27, 2013, 06:52 PM
The bottom line for me is that retina resolutions are pushing the boundaries of a mobile GPU. Heat, lower battery-life and jerky scrolling are all issues that would bother me more then a lower res screen.

Hopefully the tech gets to the point where we can have a MBA with 12 hours battery life and smooth scrolling retina.

falconeight
Jun 27, 2013, 06:53 PM
Don't mean to spam OP's thread but would you drop your 13" rMBP for rMBA if available?

Sure I would always take a lighter form factor. With that said my 13 inch rMBP is fine with me.

HiDEF
Jun 27, 2013, 06:54 PM
Sure I would always take a lighter form factor. With that said my 13 inch rMBP is fine with me.

Are you planning to upgrade when the new rMBP's are announced or keeping this one for a couple of years?

falconeight
Jun 27, 2013, 06:55 PM
The bottom line for me is that retina resolutions are pushing the boundaries of a mobile GPU. Heat, lower battery-life and jerky scrolling are all issues that would bother me more then a lower res screen.

Hopefully the tech gets to the point where we can have a MBA with 12 hours battery life and smooth scrolling retina.
Mine doesn't have a jerky screen. My 2013 11 air did. The battery lasts just as long as the regular MBP and its thinner.

----------

Are you planning to upgrade when the new rMBP's are announced or keeping this one for a couple of years?

No I'm fine for a few years.

mouthster
Jun 27, 2013, 06:55 PM
Also so many mac apps and web assets are still non-retina. I think I can resist retina until it's mainstream for Mac OS X like it is on iOS.

iloveair
Jun 27, 2013, 07:23 PM
I used to have a RGBLED dell 16inch and i have bought my MBA 13 i7/8gb/250gb and tbh the screen is better than what you think it is. The MBA in its current form is an amazing device and i am extremely happy with the.

humanliberty
Jun 27, 2013, 07:25 PM
I just bought a macbook air 13 for a months long trip.

Never had a retina pro, but have had all other retina iOS devices.

At first I really wanted to return it. After finding a good color profile the screen looks a lot better, but it's very far from a retina. One of the positives, though, is that it's not as reflective in the sun, which again might be nice while traveling and having to use it outside.

My reason for not retuning it and getting a retina pro now is that, like yourself, I'll wait for Haswell pros to come out. Since resale prices of Airs are very good, I'll be using a great computer with very long battery life while traveling, and swap it for a haswell pro eventually, taking a slight loss while doing so. Haswell's battery life improvement is so big that I wouldn't want to keep a retina pro of the current generation. At least, not for the $300 or so it costs more than the Air.

By the way, a lot of my irritation at the new Air was also because of Mountain Lion; I made the switch from Snow Leopard. Still can't get rid of horizontal 2 finger scrolling though.

Retina is, very obviously, the future of screens. Anyone who has used one does not want to go back to anything else. You stare at this screen for very long times, every day. I say the time for the 13" Air has passed. It should all be retina from now on.

PDFierro
Jun 27, 2013, 07:26 PM
Also so many mac apps and web assets are still non-retina. I think I can resist retina until it's mainstream for Mac OS X like it is on iOS.

I kind of agree with you there. My main writing software is still non-Retina, but there are alternatives.

I have pretty much made up my mind on the rMBP, but the Air is a great option for portability and battery life and I can see both sides of the coin here.

falconeight
Jun 27, 2013, 07:37 PM
I kind of agree with you there. My main writing software is still non-Retina, but there are alternatives.

I have pretty much made up my mind on the rMBP, but the Air is a great option for portability and battery life and I can see both sides of the coin here.

The retina looks better than any air with any specs running any program. Whether its retina or not. The air's screen is pixeled and washed out. I would rather have the screen from a regular MBP even though it has less pixels. The screen on the air is a trade off for portability. I have yet to see anything that looks good on it.

revisionA
Jun 27, 2013, 07:38 PM
I'm fine with it. My 13 is a great edition to my collection. I heard the argument for the retina screen (even got caught up in considering a return), but I'm happy to say its not hard to be happy with a cool, quiet and long enduring system.

SusanK
Jun 27, 2013, 07:40 PM
I have an 11 inch MBA mid 2012 and the screen is very nice for me. I have never had a portable with retina so that may be the reason.

I wanted to wait for retina iPad mini. I finally broke down and bought the mini two months ago. The screen is OK until I look at my iPod Touch. Then the mini display looks watered down.

I realize this thread is not about iPads or last year's MBA. My point is that once your eye is seduced by a retina display you are hooked. The display is gorgeous!

If I had it to do over I would get iPad with retina. Steve was right about the size. I am crazy in love with my MBA. Everything about my MBA is perfect for me.

If you can wait for the new rMBP it may be worth it to compare MBA and rMBP side by side before you decide.

I hope you enjoy your choice!

Malizzar
Jun 27, 2013, 07:50 PM
I actually love my 2012 13 air. I had been using my macbook pro 17 and still love it but it is much nicer carrying the air when I travel. I really do not see the issue with it. I like the rmbp but have not seen a reason to replace my 17 mbp yet.

torana355
Jun 27, 2013, 07:52 PM
Another thread on this subject lol. The screen in the MBA is fine, sure its not a high end panel but when you factor in the price and battery life it is great. All this fuss over high resolution panels is crazy, the MBA 13" has a high resolution for its size, the biggest downside is the limited colour gamut but for surfing the web and answering emails you don't need accurate colour. TBH the retina panels used in the rMBP are crappy quality for the price, they are not even close to a high end panel.

mac82
Jun 28, 2013, 07:24 AM
...the biggest downside is the limited colour gamut but for surfing the web and answering emails you don't need accurate colour.

You hit the nail on the head. If Apple just made the Air's screen a few mm thicker by upping the gamut, the 11" would be a near perfect portable machine. Hi res is wonderful, but, for me, reasonably accurate colour is so much more important. You don't need accurate colour for surfing the web and answering emails, and you don't need an i5 either, but both would still be nice to have. :-)

octatonic
Jun 28, 2013, 07:41 AM
I'm find with the 13" MBA screen.
I like the retina but I'd rather have less weight and battery life for my portable.

Same with the iPad- I can fit the iPad Mini in my coat pocket so it wins over the iPad 4.

Portability trumps everything for me.

Isamilis
Jun 28, 2013, 11:15 AM
After color calibration, my Air's screen is very good, although still below retina. But, the color is very natural, no washed anymore. My screen is LG. I've compared with the retina at store. Yes, retina is better, but not at the level I dislike or uncomforted with Air screen.

Fattytail
Jun 28, 2013, 04:08 PM
The newest Airs are fine. I splurged without waiting for the Haswell rMBP. Like OP, I don't need the power. Retina would be nice, but I think the Airs have fine screens. No they're not the best, but they're not BAD either.

falconeight
Jun 28, 2013, 05:10 PM
My wife had also picked up the new macbook air 13 inch and just asked me to return it today. She doesn't like the heat it puts on her leg and the fan always kicks on. She is just going to keep using her 2012 13 inch air. The screen on the 2013 air also seems to be more washed out even with calibration. Too bad I was hoping she would like it.

DblEGT
Jun 28, 2013, 07:36 PM
After color calibration, my Air's screen is very good, although still below retina. But, the color is very natural, no washed anymore. My screen is LG. I've compared with the retina at store. Yes, retina is better, but not at the level I dislike or uncomforted with Air screen.

Just did the same to my LG screen....now beautiful! Is retina nicer, yes, but the difference is NOT worth the extra $$$.

WhackyNinja
Jun 28, 2013, 07:53 PM
I could say that my next MacBook will be a MBA if it gets a retina display. My MBP is running pretty good so it will be a long time til I get a new MacBook.

mattferg
Jun 28, 2013, 07:56 PM
My wife had also picked up the new macbook air 13 inch and just asked me to return it today. She doesn't like the heat it puts on her leg and the fan always kicks on. She is just going to keep using her 2012 13 inch air. The screen on the 2013 air also seems to be more washed out even with calibration. Too bad I was hoping she would like it.

...what? The fan kicks in less and the heat is less on the 2013 air compared to her 2012. If this was happening on her 2013 it has an issue, it's nothing to do with the new chips.

falconeight
Jun 28, 2013, 08:07 PM
...what? The fan kicks in less and the heat is less on the 2013 air compared to her 2012. If this was happening on her 2013 it has an issue, it's nothing to do with the new chips.

It happened on my 11 also and we had replaced one of her 2013's prior. Some people are ok with it she wasn't. I was ok with it I didn't like the screen.

PDFierro
Jul 1, 2013, 02:19 PM
The retina looks better than any air with any specs running any program. Whether its retina or not. The air's screen is pixeled and washed out. I would rather have the screen from a regular MBP even though it has less pixels. The screen on the air is a trade off for portability. I have yet to see anything that looks good on it.

Is this true? I've seen screenshots of a non-Retina writing app running on the rMBP, and the text looked horrible. While it doesn't technically look any worse on the rMBP, it just stands out more and that is why I'd be hesitant to run a program like that.

falconeight
Jul 1, 2013, 02:25 PM
Is this true? I've seen screenshots of a non-Retina writing app running on the rMBP, and the text looked horrible. While it doesn't technically look any worse on the rMBP, it just stands out more and that is why I'd be hesitant to run a program like that.

Don't take my word for it. Go to any apple or best buy and check it out yourself. Open or do anything on both side by side.

Dr. McKay
Jul 1, 2013, 02:31 PM
1440x900 is plenty for a 13" screen.
Most PC laptops ship a lower 1366x768 on 15" display and nobody seems to mind.
But we're Mac users, we care. That being said, I believe that 1440x900 is very nice on a 13" screen. Who needs retina ?

I remember having a 14" CRT monitor with 800x600 resolution. In fact, the original iMac G3 had a 800x600 15" screen. Sure, you could crank it up to 1024x768 but at 75Hz, it was guaranteed to give you one hell of a headache after half an hour. Boy, are we spoiled today...

Back to the Macbook : why does the MBA 13" (non retina) have a 1440x900 display and the 13" MBP (also non retina) only 1280x800 ?

PDFierro
Jul 1, 2013, 03:23 PM
Don't take my word for it. Go to any apple or best buy and check it out yourself. Open or do anything on both side by side.

Well I know what the screens look like side by side, I was referring more specifically to your comment on a non-Retina text app looking fine on a rMBP.

sonicrobby
Jul 1, 2013, 03:31 PM
I'm find with the 13" MBA screen.
I like the retina but I'd rather have less weight and battery life for my portable.

Same with the iPad- I can fit the iPad Mini in my coat pocket so it wins over the iPad 4.

Portability trumps everything for me.

I dont understand how a 13" MBA is more portable than a 13" rMBP @_@
They have the same footprint right? just one is tapered, one isnt?

You people talk like the non-air macbooks are bricks. ALL of them are relatively light compared to other laptops. None of the macbooks really have a portability problem, except maybe the 17" MBP...


PDFierro, I say chain yourself to a chair, and wait a few months till they announce the updated rMBP, then make your decision.

falconeight
Jul 1, 2013, 04:03 PM
Well I know what the screens look like side by side, I was referring more specifically to your comment on a non-Retina text app looking fine on a rMBP.

Im using my rMBP pro right now and anything I look at or open is perfect.

----------

I dont understand how a 13" MBA is more portable than a 13" rMBP @_@
They have the same footprint right? just one is tapered, one isnt?

You people talk like the non-air macbooks are bricks. ALL of them are relatively light compared to other laptops. None of the macbooks really have a portability problem, except maybe the 17" MBP...


PDFierro, I say chain yourself to a chair, and wait a few months till they announce the updated rMBP, then make your decision.

13 rMBP is has a smaller footprint. Its just not tapered at one end.

Zephyer
Jul 1, 2013, 06:03 PM
some of the retina owners in this thread are ridiculous. you try to justify your decision by brutally ruin everyone else's positive ideas about their macbook airs. cut them some slack.

the retina is awesome, has some known issues with displays.
the air is awesome, light and portable, obviously a generation behind with screen quality. saying its 'pixelated' or anything random like that is far beyond 'reasonable'.

both machines are awesome, that's for sure.

thadoggfather
Jul 1, 2013, 06:18 PM
I love my 2011 Air.

That retina screens is great, but the body of the Air is still totally unbeatable.

judethat
Jul 1, 2013, 10:47 PM
I love my retina Macbook Pro, but really like my 2013 Air for its portability and battery life which is amazing. This is the mac that I carry around with me when I need to. Like them both in different ways.

Booji
Jul 2, 2013, 12:02 AM
some of the retina owners in this thread are ridiculous. you try to justify your decision by brutally ruin everyone else's positive ideas about their macbook airs. cut them some slack.

the retina is awesome, has some known issues with displays.
the air is awesome, light and portable, obviously a generation behind with screen quality. saying its 'pixelated' or anything random like that is far beyond 'reasonable'.

both machines are awesome, that's for sure.


Exactly - the Airs are ideal for a unique use cases for users that are truly mobile. I'd take the battery life and light weight over the retina screen any day. I think the 11" Air is the ultimate road warrior's machine.

However, as soon as Apple can build an 11" inch with retina screen that can get the same battery life and is as light as the current one, I'll be sure to get it, but for now the Airs perfectly fit a unique niche.

calvol
Jul 2, 2013, 12:30 AM
I can't deal with the air's screen after using a retina. I really wish I could but I can't.

Same here I'm either going with the updated rMBP or the Sony Viao this fall. I've had a 2010 13" Air with Samsung screen for 3 years, not bad, but IPS or Retina is much better!

Stealth777
Jul 2, 2013, 01:52 AM
some of the retina owners in this thread are ridiculous. you try to justify your decision by brutally ruin everyone else's positive ideas about their macbook airs. cut them some slack.

the retina is awesome, has some known issues with displays.
the air is awesome, light and portable, obviously a generation behind with screen quality. saying its 'pixelated' or anything random like that is far beyond 'reasonable'.

both machines are awesome, that's for sure.

I don't know about ridiculous but I'll offer my experiences with both this week. I am on my second 2013 haswell AIR and both of them have had -
1. Terrible Screen Flicker in Photoshop CS6, rendering it almost unusable
2. Volume fluctuations when streaming video

I also bought a refurb 13" 2.5 ghz rMBP a week ago and it has totally surprised me. I fully expected "laggy scrolling", "overheating" etc. but so far the machine is noticeably faster than the AIR in almost every respect. The retina opens finder windows much quicker, especially noticeable when opening shared folders on my network. It also loads web pages faster. In every aspect of working with the machine it's smoother and faster than the AIRS have been which has surprised me.

I thought that since the AIRS have I5000 graphics that are supposed to be 40% faster and the new quicker SSD's that I would expect them to pop open windows quicker etc. This is not the case. Regarding heat in the retina, the 13" one does not generate that much. It DOES get warmer than the Air which is amazing in that it's almost completely cool even when streaming videos for an hour. The retina is a bit warmer but not too much. Remember, the 13" retina has the cool air vents on the side as well as the back. The Air looks like it only vents at the back..where does it pull cool air in from?

Finally the retina has retina! It looks a lot better than the Air, but seems a bit more reflective (bad thing). It took my eyes a couple of days to get used to the retina. At first I actually found it more difficult to read text on because it seemed like my eyes couldn't focus on the screen properly or something. That seems to have gone away now. Having said that, I think the Air screen isn't that bad. It's certainly washed out in comparison, and it does look fuzzy and not as sharp as even my girlfriends 13" glossy plain old macbook pro, but it is a little higher res than her MBP and the screen is "good enough".

So, in my mind they are totally different machines. I'm having a tough time deciding which one to keep. I love the retina screen and the machine runs faster and smoother overall BUT -

1. The Air form factor is NICE. That tapered edge makes it much more comfortable to type on than the thicker edge of the rMBP. Believe it or not, this may be the thing that makes me keep the Air. Comfort in doing what you do on a computer (type and read) is a big deal. In the reading part however, the retina has the edge..:)

2. The battery life is REALLY REALLY nice to have. Although the rMBP is not bad, the battery life in the Air really is a game changer. I don't even think about battery life on the Air.

3. Dead Cool. The Air has never warmed up in normal use at all so far. And I mean literally sitting in your lap it feels like cool room temperature aluminum. It did get a little warmer when I was rendering some video in Final Cut Pro X (it was running for about 6 minutes at that point).

4. The half pound or so of lighter weight is nice to have

So, decisions decisions. Oh, I did find one issue with the rMBP. I went to that webpage that does the ghosting test and the screen DID retain a ghost image for about a minute. It was only noticeable on a grey background though. Doesn't even show up on white web pages etc. If that is something that would get worse, that would be a big negative for the retina, but the way it is now it seems like a small issue.

falconeight
Jul 2, 2013, 02:26 AM
I don't know about ridiculous but I'll offer my experiences with both this week. I am on my second 2013 haswell AIR and both of them have had -
1. Terrible Screen Flicker in Photoshop CS6, rendering it almost unusable
2. Volume fluctuations when streaming video

I also bought a refurb 13" 2.5 ghz rMBP a week ago and it has totally surprised me. I fully expected "laggy scrolling", "overheating" etc. but so far the machine is noticeably faster than the AIR in almost every respect. The retina opens finder windows much quicker, especially noticeable when opening shared folders on my network. It also loads web pages faster. In every aspect of working with the machine it's smoother and faster than the AIRS have been which has surprised me.

I thought that since the AIRS have I5000 graphics that are supposed to be 40% faster and the new quicker SSD's that I would expect them to pop open windows quicker etc. This is not the case. Regarding heat in the retina, the 13" one does not generate that much. It DOES get warmer than the Air which is amazing in that it's almost completely cool even when streaming videos for an hour. The retina is a bit warmer but not too much. Remember, the 13" retina has the cool air vents on the side as well as the back. The Air looks like it only vents at the back..where does it pull cool air in from?

Finally the retina has retina! It looks a lot better than the Air, but seems a bit more reflective (bad thing). It took my eyes a couple of days to get used to the retina. At first I actually found it more difficult to read text on because it seemed like my eyes couldn't focus on the screen properly or something. That seems to have gone away now. Having said that, I think the Air screen isn't that bad. It's certainly washed out in comparison, and it does look fuzzy and not as sharp as even my girlfriends 13" glossy plain old macbook pro, but it is a little higher res than her MBP and the screen is "good enough".

So, in my mind they are totally different machines. I'm having a tough time deciding which one to keep. I love the retina screen and the machine runs faster and smoother overall BUT -

1. The Air form factor is NICE. That tapered edge makes it much more comfortable to type on than the thicker edge of the rMBP. Believe it or not, this may be the thing that makes me keep the Air. Comfort in doing what you do on a computer (type and read) is a big deal. In the reading part however, the retina has the edge..:)

2. The battery life is REALLY REALLY nice to have. Although the rMBP is not bad, the battery life in the Air really is a game changer. I don't even think about battery life on the Air.

3. Dead Cool. The Air has never warmed up in normal use at all so far. And I mean literally sitting in your lap it feels like cool room temperature aluminum. It did get a little warmer when I was rendering some video in Final Cut Pro X (it was running for about 6 minutes at that point).

4. The half pound or so of lighter weight is nice to have

So, decisions decisions. Oh, I did find one issue with the rMBP. I went to that webpage that does the ghosting test and the screen DID retain a ghost image for about a minute. It was only noticeable on a grey background though. Doesn't even show up on white web pages etc. If that is something that would get worse, that would be a big negative for the retina, but the way it is now it seems like a small issue.

Very honest assessment of both laptops. Good luck with your decision. I had a MBP, then 11 air, 13 rMBP, now I'm back to the 11 air. The only reason I'm on the air is because my wife wanted my retina and I wanted a iPad for apps so my budget only allowed me to have an air. Totally excited about the battery life but the screen is horrible. I only write papers for college courses and surf the internet so its ok. Best buy took 10% off so that really helped with the decision also.

Stealth777
Jul 2, 2013, 02:50 AM
Very honest assessment of both laptops. Good luck with your decision. I had a MBP, then 11 air, 13 rMBP, now I'm back to the 11 air. The only reason I'm on the air is because my wife wanted my retina and I wanted a iPad for apps so my budget only allowed me to have an air. Totally excited about the battery life but the screen is horrible. I only write papers for college courses and surf the internet so its ok. Best buy took 10% off so that really helped with the decision also.

Thank you. Funny, I also have a Mid 2012 11" Air here that work loaned to me. I love that machine. Perfect size to sit on the breakfast table while I eat, on plane trays etc. It's a little too small for me to do anything other than emails and typing/browsing on though. I use Photoshop, Mind Mapping Software and a few other types of applications that need a bit more screen real estate. I do notice that the Mid 2012 11" does get fairly warm though. The 2013 ones stay absolutely cool to the touch. Anyway, enjoy your MBA..and your wife is lucky to have someone that gives her the better PC..:)

MikeyMike01
Jul 2, 2013, 03:01 AM
I'm really thinking about selling my 15" Retina MBP and getting the new Air. The 12 hour battery life is what has me interested, mainly (I get about 3-6 hours currently).

I'm just wondering how I'd fare with a smaller, lower resolution screen.

gpat
Jul 2, 2013, 03:41 AM
To anybody familiar with software development:

Macbook Air = "stable" fork
Macbook Pro = "development" fork.

You'll feel like using something more advanced with the latter one, but there'll be problems you'll be dealing with, and since you're paying more money than with the "stable" one, anybody that cares for getting work done will be more happy with the Air.

MacAttackMark
Jul 2, 2013, 04:05 AM
Same boat, I really want to wait for the retina refresh, but we have no idea when it will be released, and I was hoping to get a new upgrade later this month before college. I was planning on opting for an air after I saw how great it was and after reading about how many glitches the first gen retina has, but after comparing both......
well like they say once you let your eyes see retina there's no turning back.
It was hard to compare the laptops, because I couldn't really get over the fact that the screen was just great. Wish Apple would just release the new retina already...

Booji
Jul 2, 2013, 06:38 AM
Same boat, I really want to wait for the retina refresh, but we have no idea when it will be released, and I was hoping to get a new upgrade later this month before college. I was planning on opting for an air after I saw how great it was and after reading about how many glitches the first gen retina has, but after comparing both......
well like they say once you let your eyes see retina there's no turning back.
It was hard to compare the laptops, because I couldn't really get over the fact that the screen was just great. Wish Apple would just release the new retina already...

Yup - I think the retina screen is pretty much a luxury for what is essentially a work machine. Since most sites and applications won't take advantage of the increase in pixel density, what you have is all that expensive hardware and power going to push out smoother text.

Now, on a phone or tablet its a much stronger argument since both are consumption oriented devices and you hold the screens much closer to your eyes.

Ifti
Jul 2, 2013, 07:41 AM
I couldnt resist the Air either!!

I sold my 2012 MacBook Pro 13 recently as I want a max spec 15" rMBP to use as my main editing machine.
Ive never had a MBA before but just ordered one, with a new TC, to use as a postable system - more an iPad replacement to be honest.

Although I use an iPhone 5, and will be using a rMBP soon enough, Im hoping the screen on the Air is still more then adequate for my general uses! I didnt think it was that bad when I saw it in store a while back TBH.

Stealth777
Jul 2, 2013, 09:46 AM
To anybody familiar with software development:

Macbook Air = "stable" fork
Macbook Pro = "development" fork.

You'll feel like using something more advanced with the latter one, but there'll be problems you'll be dealing with, and since you're paying more money than with the "stable" one, anybody that cares for getting work done will be more happy with the Air.

Really? The retina I've got here is an amazing machine. It's still in the 14 day return window and I'm a software developer so what you say has me curious or are you just making things up? Please let us know some specifics when you make a statement like that.

----------

Yup - I think the retina screen is pretty much a luxury for what is essentially a work machine. Since most sites and applications won't take advantage of the increase in pixel density, what you have is all that expensive hardware and power going to push out smoother text.

Now, on a phone or tablet its a much stronger argument since both are consumption oriented devices and you hold the screens much closer to your eyes.

It's not just about text. Everything looks better because of the deeper blacks and increased contrast. The Air just looks washed out in comparison but the Air is still an ok screen for my eyes. The retina is miles ahead though.

PDFierro
Jul 2, 2013, 09:47 AM
I don't know about ridiculous but I'll offer my experiences with both this week. I am on my second 2013 haswell AIR and both of them have had -
1. Terrible Screen Flicker in Photoshop CS6, rendering it almost unusable
2. Volume fluctuations when streaming video

I also bought a refurb 13" 2.5 ghz rMBP a week ago and it has totally surprised me. I fully expected "laggy scrolling", "overheating" etc. but so far the machine is noticeably faster than the AIR in almost every respect. The retina opens finder windows much quicker, especially noticeable when opening shared folders on my network. It also loads web pages faster. In every aspect of working with the machine it's smoother and faster than the AIRS have been which has surprised me.

I thought that since the AIRS have I5000 graphics that are supposed to be 40% faster and the new quicker SSD's that I would expect them to pop open windows quicker etc. This is not the case. Regarding heat in the retina, the 13" one does not generate that much. It DOES get warmer than the Air which is amazing in that it's almost completely cool even when streaming videos for an hour. The retina is a bit warmer but not too much. Remember, the 13" retina has the cool air vents on the side as well as the back. The Air looks like it only vents at the back..where does it pull cool air in from?

Finally the retina has retina! It looks a lot better than the Air, but seems a bit more reflective (bad thing). It took my eyes a couple of days to get used to the retina. At first I actually found it more difficult to read text on because it seemed like my eyes couldn't focus on the screen properly or something. That seems to have gone away now. Having said that, I think the Air screen isn't that bad. It's certainly washed out in comparison, and it does look fuzzy and not as sharp as even my girlfriends 13" glossy plain old macbook pro, but it is a little higher res than her MBP and the screen is "good enough".

So, in my mind they are totally different machines. I'm having a tough time deciding which one to keep. I love the retina screen and the machine runs faster and smoother overall BUT -

1. The Air form factor is NICE. That tapered edge makes it much more comfortable to type on than the thicker edge of the rMBP. Believe it or not, this may be the thing that makes me keep the Air. Comfort in doing what you do on a computer (type and read) is a big deal. In the reading part however, the retina has the edge..:)

2. The battery life is REALLY REALLY nice to have. Although the rMBP is not bad, the battery life in the Air really is a game changer. I don't even think about battery life on the Air.

3. Dead Cool. The Air has never warmed up in normal use at all so far. And I mean literally sitting in your lap it feels like cool room temperature aluminum. It did get a little warmer when I was rendering some video in Final Cut Pro X (it was running for about 6 minutes at that point).

4. The half pound or so of lighter weight is nice to have

So, decisions decisions. Oh, I did find one issue with the rMBP. I went to that webpage that does the ghosting test and the screen DID retain a ghost image for about a minute. It was only noticeable on a grey background though. Doesn't even show up on white web pages etc. If that is something that would get worse, that would be a big negative for the retina, but the way it is now it seems like a small issue.

Great analysis. I have similar thoughts myself. I guess I'm just trying to convince myself to get the Air, otherwise I know the rMBP is for me.

I actually much prefer the MacBook Pro design versus the Air.

And this Back to School sale only makes it easier/more tempting to purchase a Mac today.

gpat
Jul 2, 2013, 02:37 PM
Really? The retina I've got here is an amazing machine. It's still in the 14 day return window and I'm a software developer so what you say has me curious or are you just making things up? Please let us know some specifics when you make a statement like that.

----------



It's not just about text. Everything looks better because of the deeper blacks and increased contrast. The Air just looks washed out in comparison but the Air is still an ok screen for my eyes. The retina is miles ahead though.

The 13" retina is as powerful as the 2013 Air, and realistically even the next-generation 13" retinas will be, by what we know about the new Haswell chips. This leaves the Retina with a battery boost (getting the same as the Air) and GPU boost (absorbed by the higher resolution).

You're paying more for an equally powerful computer with a nicer screen. And the Air still is a more tested machine, because every app and webpage out there is designed for similar resolutions.
But that's OK if you like the Retina.

Stealth777
Jul 2, 2013, 05:01 PM
The 13" retina is as powerful as the 2013 Air, and realistically even the next-generation 13" retinas will be, by what we know about the new Haswell chips. This leaves the Retina with a battery boost (getting the same as the Air) and GPU boost (absorbed by the higher resolution).

You're paying more for an equally powerful computer with a nicer screen. And the Air still is a more tested machine, because every app and webpage out there is designed for similar resolutions.
But that's OK if you like the Retina.

So, basically I'm left to understand that you were exaggerating in your original post about the retinas? Is there something specific that you know about why they are not good for "working"? Have you owned one?

I'm asking because I'm typing this post on a 2013 Air and I have the 2012 13" retina right beside it and the retina is faster at everything so far.
I didn't expect it to be this way based on posts like yours on the internet but having the two machines for a few days now I can't figure out why the Air is slower for most things (and this is the 2nd one).

So, if you have some specifics about why you think the retina is a poor machine from personal use, please let me know. I can still return mine.

gpat
Jul 7, 2013, 03:14 PM
So, basically I'm left to understand that you were exaggerating in your original post about the retinas? Is there something specific that you know about why they are not good for "working"? Have you owned one?

I'm asking because I'm typing this post on a 2013 Air and I have the 2012 13" retina right beside it and the retina is faster at everything so far.
I didn't expect it to be this way based on posts like yours on the internet but having the two machines for a few days now I can't figure out why the Air is slower for most things (and this is the 2nd one).

So, if you have some specifics about why you think the retina is a poor machine from personal use, please let me know. I can still return mine.

I'm talking about value for money. Obviously the Retina is a better overall machine, it's higher-end. "Better choice" implying the lower price.

mmomega
Jul 7, 2013, 03:34 PM
I can't really resist the Air.

Today I picked up the latest 13" model, my 4th Air. I sell my previous after one year and usually only have to drop $100+/- on the newer models.

It is also great that new models come out right with the Back to School specials, so I've gotten the discounts + either the iPod touch or the $100 gift store cards for the last couple years. So I almost break even when upgrading.

Now I can not knock the retina books, I got my wife one at Christmas, they have gorgeous screens and are mighty little machines but since the laptop is not my primary machine and I want the lightest in portability I have been going with the Air.

The pro doesn't offer anything I personally need, which is very lightweight and excellent battery life.
I have a 64GB and 128GB USB 3 thumb drive, ATT+Verizon LTE MiFi, and any dongles I may need.

So for me... this is the perfect little machine.

Suraj R.
Jul 7, 2013, 07:50 PM
I was always interested in the Air at first. And I seriously considered getting a Mac again in March, but decided to wait for WWDC. Initially my focus was on getting an Air, but that shifted to the 13-inch rMBP as I saw how much better the screen really was, among other things.

I even went to the Apple store last week, mainly to see how much I preferred the 13-inch rMBP form factor over the 15-inch. And I briefly looked at the Air and saw how bad the screen was, but I had a 11-inch Air briefly before and the display looked fine to me.

Has anyone gotten used to the Air screen at home? If you had been accustomed to how a Retina screen looks? The other concern I had about the 11-inch Air was that it was kind of hard to right on due to the shortened palm rest area. Does that become easier for you over time?

The wait for the Haswell rMBP is just killing me. But if I were to get the Air, I'd want to do it because it was the better choice, and not because I couldn't wait for the updated rMBP.

I mainly want the Retina screen because I'm a writer and do a lot of that, and the text is so much crisper. I watch many HD movies/TV shows on iTunes, but I don't really do anything intensive. The 16:9 ratio on the 11-inch Air is great for that, otherwise the 16:10 is the perfect ratio.

I also greatly prefer the design and feel of the 13-inch rMBP. It just screams "Pro". But other than that and the screen, I don't do anything that requires a Pro machine.

I DQ'd the Air from consideration shortly after WWDC, but have been looking at it again. Anyone else feel that way?

Common sense tells me to wait for the rMBP, which will hopefully be out in July. And I will probably stay the course. But the Air does have its pluses when you look at it.

Originally I had my heart set on the 13" rMBP, because of the display. There really is no performance difference between the 13" Airs and Retina Pros (and regular Pros, in fact). I was going to wait, but then I realized that the 2013 Air had everything that I needed, and that I didn't really want to wait. I went and got the 13" Air (i5/8/128) and I'm completely satisfied.

In fact I went to the store today and saw the 13" rMBP, and next to the Air at the distance that I looked at it sure it did look better, but the Air still has a great screen for my purposes (and for anyones purposes). People make it seem like it has a 640 x 480 TFT or something, the screen is great.