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Old Dec 6, 2012, 06:00 AM   #1
damo11
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13" low end MBP Retina 128Gb or Ultimate 13" MBA 256GB?

Hey Guys this is my first post
I am currently a PC user and I saw the light of apple
So I would like to by a macbook machine

I was taken in by the word 'Retina' and I thought about buying the base model for it.

The macbook has 2.5GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz
128GB Flash Storage and 8GB of ram

However, for the same price I would get a 13" air with

2.0GHz Intel Dual-Core Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz
8GB of RAM
256GB Flash Storage


Storage for me is no issue at all since I do not use much of it at all so i could be happy with 128GB. Price is not issue, however I don't want to spend any more than 1449/$1669. I notice that that the difference may be in overall performance and speed. Yet, I don't know much about it.
What I would use it for is taking it to uni once a week, write essays, browse the web watch videos and play games occasionally, such as Call of Duty or skyrim when it could come out on mac (or in the future I could get windows on it). Neither is the issue of weight however, I don't wish to have a computer too fat either.

The choice is very tough, the price is the same.
I am looking for something that would last me for a number of years (at least 5) and would occasionally play games. also something that would not break easily, thus, it should be pretty strong and durable.

Personal info: UK Classics &ancient history Student, has iPhone 5 32GB
Any help would be awesome
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 09:05 AM   #2
danistyping
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Either would suffice, but I'd say get the air. You're traveling with it a lot and the air is more portable. You aren't doing anything that requires the better processor of the retina (plus, the i7 air is FAST). You don't need the extra ports on the retina. You may like the display on the retina better...but you will only be able to decide how important that is after going to a store and trying both of them out.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 09:32 AM   #3
hmottestad
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Gaming on either platform is abysmal since they both only have integrated graphics.

As for portability, there isn't much difference between the 13" retina and air (300 grams).

The screen on the air is crap. It's TN.

The screen on the retina is much better and nicer especially for reading.

The 128 gb ssd is fairly small. And don't think you can upgrade it in the future.

Anyway, I would go for the retina (I have the 15" retina) simply because of the screen.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 10:38 AM   #4
damo11
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Thanks for that i am going to the apple store tomorrow, my flatmate told me that that the downside of having a retina of that specs is that i am stuck with only 128gb of storage, however, i have filled my laptop with only about 60 gigs in a space of 4 years. Still, do the mac games and applications take up more space than the same ones on windows?
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 06:07 AM   #5
ikir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmottestad View Post
Gaming on either platform is abysmal since they both only have integrated graphics.

As for portability, there isn't much difference between the 13" retina and air (300 grams).

The screen on the air is crap. It's TN.

The screen on the retina is much better and nicer especially for reading.

The 128 gb ssd is fairly small. And don't think you can upgrade it in the future.

Anyway, I would go for the retina (I have the 15" retina) simply because of the screen.
MacBook Air's screen is awesome, anyone saying otherwise is trolling or crazy. Sure Macbook Pro 13" retina is another story since it is retina.
Gaming sill suffer for sure with HD 4000 but if you play with lower resolution like 1280x800 you can enjoy most modern games at medium settings.
YOU CAN UPGRADE either Air or Pro SSD, just check OWC website.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 02:01 PM   #6
cedwhatev
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Go for the Air... 8GB is FAST... and in my opinion, that's more important than a Retina Screen, not to mention the portability and the 256SSD. If you are looking for a Retina screen, get a new iPad, because the 13" base MBPr is overpriced. The MBA screen will suffice, as it's pretty sharp. If you absolutely MUST have a Retina screen, then I don't even know why you would be questioning this purchase. Otherwise, get the Air.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 03:10 PM   #7
JeffiJers
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air for sure... the 13rmbp is a waste of money.

13Air or 15Rmbp are the only options
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 04:45 PM   #8
SWPROX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ikir View Post
MacBook Air's screen is awesome, anyone saying otherwise is trolling or crazy. Sure Macbook Pro 13" retina is another story since it is retina.
Gaming sill suffer for sure with HD 4000 but if you play with lower resolution like 1280x800 you can enjoy most modern games at medium settings.
YOU CAN UPGRADE either Air or Pro SSD, just check OWC website.
Agreed ! The Air screen is plenty good,anyone saying it is crap or something is clearly going crazy or thinks every laptop is Retina !
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 09:19 PM   #9
jetlagged
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I went with the macbook air 13" i5/256/8

i couldnt justify paying that much for a macbook pro retina 13". plus weight is an important factor for me. i wll be traveling around the world next year for about a year or two, and i wanted a laptop that was light, has some okay power to do photo editing and video editing, and a computer that will last me for the next 6 years.

the macbook pro 15 is a better deal overall pricewise with the specs it offers. but i had to trade it off for portability as much as it pains me to have payed over $1700 just to get macbook air 13" i5/256/8. damn the cost of SSD. oh well.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 06:00 AM   #10
arnamak
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I say go for the Air.
I've spent so much time over the past month-ish weighing the differences between MacBooks and I just bought a 13" Air a few days ago. Previously I bought a 15" retina, but returned that.
I know when you have a certain amount of money you can spend, you're easily drawn to words like "max" and "quad core", believe me, I'm a total sucker for buzzwords and feeling like I'm getting something incredible.
This time, however, I sucked it up a little bit, I didn't go for the i7, I got the base 13" with a ram upgrade to 8GB (I upgraded the ram because it's soldered onto MBAs, and if I want this thing to last me ~3 years, I don't think it could make it with 4).
Man, I could not be happier with my purchase. I'd say my usage is fairly similar to yours, I like to game on my MacBook occasionally but it's not a deal-breaker. Luckily, contrary to what I thought, this thing runs games beautifully. Obviously you can't take some brand new high intensity game and run it on MAX settings, but if you want to play some occasional TF2 or CS: GO it will run it flawlessly at decent settings (will get a little hot though, as with any MacBook). Mainly though I'm doing web-based things, some light programming, some audio production here and there through Ableton..this machine can handle all of it perfectly fine.

As far as the display goes, I'm not too big on the retina. As I said, I had the 15" with a 2880x1800 display, and that's pretty much all I found it useful for..saying that. Your movies will look the same, games will see a slight bump, and the web will look no different. Unless you do video editing of sorts, graphic design, or photography..at this point in time I really see no benefit of a casual user owning a retina display. Unless you like to program, in which case the 15" offers a 1920x1200 resolution, which will give you a ton of space for coding.

Otherwise, check my thread from earlier today, I think I hacked life and discovered something special about this device, I'm currently running it at a successful 1920x1080 resolution, which looks better than the 1680 x 1050 "more space" resolution that you get with the 13" Retina (I know a lot of you are looking at me like "wtf this dude is a moron" but, read my thread).

TL;DR
My personal advice, as someone who loves throwing money at Apple, save some money if you can on specs you won't truly need. This gives you more money to blow on accessories for your new computer!
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 05:42 PM   #11
jrasero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damo11 View Post
Hey Guys this is my first post
I am currently a PC user and I saw the light of apple
So I would like to by a macbook machine

I was taken in by the word 'Retina' and I thought about buying the base model for it.

The macbook has 2.5GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz
128GB Flash Storage and 8GB of ram

However, for the same price I would get a 13" air with

2.0GHz Intel Dual-Core Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz
8GB of RAM
256GB Flash Storage


Storage for me is no issue at all since I do not use much of it at all so i could be happy with 128GB. Price is not issue, however I don't want to spend any more than 1449/$1669. I notice that that the difference may be in overall performance and speed. Yet, I don't know much about it.
What I would use it for is taking it to uni once a week, write essays, browse the web watch videos and play games occasionally, such as Call of Duty or skyrim when it could come out on mac (or in the future I could get windows on it). Neither is the issue of weight however, I don't wish to have a computer too fat either.

The choice is very tough, the price is the same.
I am looking for something that would last me for a number of years (at least 5) and would occasionally play games. also something that would not break easily, thus, it should be pretty strong and durable.

Personal info: UK Classics &ancient history Student, has iPhone 5 32GB
Any help would be awesome

Either one would be great for a student. The speeds are really going to be equal.

MBA 13" i7
6678
http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/1390132

or

MBPR 13" i5
6783
http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/1388343

with this being said the main difference will be with the screen. I would suggest going to an Apple store to see a Retina in person. For me I went with the MBA since I got a i7, 256GB, 8GB for $1450 refurbished. Since your buying new and the prices are similar I would go with the MBPR 13" because of the Retina
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 01:16 AM   #12
entatlrg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulogy View Post
I have a similar question. I am deciding between a 13"MBA and 13"rMBP. I write and read documents all day most days. I'm also older, so my eyes aren't what they used to be. My main concern is eye strain, particularly with a 13" screen. Will the retina display help with this?

I do realize that the obvious suggestion is to use an external monitor. Unfortunately, this isn't really an option for me as I constantly travel.
I've owned all versions of the Air since they were first released, both the 11 and 13" screen sizes. Loved every one, they're excellent notebooks, great screen, best TN panels I've ever seen.

That being said, I now own a 13" rMBP, and it is by far the best laptop I've ever owned. I had the 15" Retina before that and didn't like the larger footprint, 15" notebooks just aren't for me, probably because I'm very mobile with my work gear.

There's some critical comments here so far. My experience using my 13" Retina all day every day has been great. Websites and almost everything look far better on the retina screen, much better for reading long hours, less eyestrain ... i7 isn't noticeably faster doing average tasks over the i5...

Don't take my word for it, go to the Apple store and compare them side by side. If price isn't a big concern I'd expect you'd chose the retina screen.

I think it's a shame people suggest either the 13" Air or 15" Retina and leave out the 13" Retina, "lack of value" is the usual reason. Okay, it's expensive but its one hell of a nice computer, fast, no lag, super quiet, no excessive heat, excellent keyboard, smaller footprint than the 13" Air and *unbelievable* screen.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 01:29 AM   #13
DrumApple
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The Air screen is dated. No, it's not crap or unusable. But it IS dated, the new standard is IPS screens. I won't buy an Air until they upgrade the screen. Too much money to throw into something that's not the best or close to best today. And it's also glossy like all mac screens now, which is a big negative in my book...
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 02:27 AM   #14
yourtoys7
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Air, light, portable and very good machine over all.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 03:28 AM   #15
LiveinRiot
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Man by now the Retina Macbooks are not good options, are overpriced and do not have much support third-party apps. Moreover you will spend building a macbook air (2.0/8gb/256gb - $ 1699) does not pay. I think you better take the most basic model for $ 1200 and save that money to buy a new macbook next year (and enjoying could sell this most basic model later), it will have a video card integrated much better, and probably will 256GB Flash Memory and 8GB Ram as the initial model.
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