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Old Feb 13, 2013, 08:21 PM   #1
Seo
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13" MacBook Comparison

I'm considering a laptop purchase and definitely think 13" is the best compromise in terms of size. Between the three choices (Air, Pro, Retina) I've realized that if purchased refurb, they're all the same price with the same SSD, RAM, GPU, and CPU benchmark. Let me know if something is out of wack.

I would use my laptop mostly for the standard word processing as well as some light graphic design and photo editing (Lightroom, Photoshop). This laptop would likely last me through a couple years of college. I do a lot of video work but honestly to go from my Mac Pro to a laptop back to the Mac Pro doesn't seem worth it for the little work I would have to do away from my office, so I probably wouldn't have to do that very much.

Macbook Air 13" - $1500 ($1360 refurb)

1440x900
Baseline CPU (6755)
8GB RAM
256GB SSD

Macbook Pro 13" $1534 ($1354 refurb)

1280x800
Baseline CPU (6715)
8GB RAM (upgradable to 16GB)
240GB SSD
500GB HDD

Macbook Pro 13" Retina - $1700 ($1360 refurb)

2560x1600
Baseline CPU (6719)
8GB RAM
256GB SSD

Pros/Cons List

Macbook Air 13" Pros:
* Lightweight, compact
* Good resolution screen
Macbook Air 13" Cons:
* RAM, SSD not upgradeable

Macbook Pro 13" Pros
* RAM, SSD, HDD upgradeable
* Second HDD bay
Macbook Pro 13" Cons:
* Poor resolution screen
* Heaviest

Macbook Pro 13" Retina Pros:
* Relatively compact
* Super high resolution screen
Macbook Pro 13" Retina Cons:
* RAM, SSD not upgradeable

My thought process for deciding was, looking at the pros/cons for Air vs Retina, I saw that the only thing the Air had over the Retina was .6 pounds and thinness. I think the Retina is thin enough for me, and the screen would absolutely win me over vs. having that extra bit of thinness.

So between the Retina and the Pro it comes down to screen resolution and compactness vs. future proofing. I guess the question would be, is 1280 x 800 enough for me? Is 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD enough for me?

What would you guys do?
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 08:36 PM   #2
dmk1974
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For the MBA you have listed, isn't it with the 2.0 i7 and not the baseline 1.8 i5? Maybe I misunderstood.

http://store.apple.com/us/product/G0...-intel-core-i7

Provided that the rMBP models have the lag issue fixed sometime soon, I would say that if I were spending the same amount of money ($1359), I'd get the 13" rMBP hands-down.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 09:12 PM   #3
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For the MBA you have listed, isn't it with the 2.0 i7 and not the baseline 1.8 i5? Maybe I misunderstood.

http://store.apple.com/us/product/G0...-intel-core-i7

Provided that the rMBP models have the lag issue fixed sometime soon, I would say that if I were spending the same amount of money ($1359), I'd get the 13" rMBP hands-down.
Mm, you're correct, but it's only about a 200 points difference on Geekbench, so it's not a big factor for me.

Btw, seeing as you use the a MacBook Air, what do you think about it? Anything that stands out in a bad way?
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 09:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Seo View Post
Mm, you're correct, but it's only about a 200 points difference on Geekbench, so it's not a big factor for me.

Btw, seeing as you use the a MacBook Air, what do you think about it? Anything that stands out in a bad way?
My 13" MBA is the base model (1.8/4/128) and really works just fine for me. I do have to say I really want a 13" rMBP though because that display is incredible. I had tried one once and it had bad display lag that honestly my base MBA seems faster during normal usage. It's a great machine, but I really don't tax it too hard.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 09:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dmk1974 View Post
My 13" MBA is the base model (1.8/4/128) and really works just fine for me. I do have to say I really want a 13" rMBP though because that display is incredible. I had tried one once and it had bad display lag that honestly my base MBA seems faster during normal usage. It's a great machine, but I really don't tax it too hard.
Reading The Verge review really scared me away from the Retina. "If you're expecting your investment to last a few years, look elsewhere" and the strained performance definitely sways me in the direction of the Air.
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Last edited by Seo; Feb 13, 2013 at 10:01 PM.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 10:25 PM   #6
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I have an air and my friend got an rMBP 13",and when scrolling through some websites,rMBP does seems laggy as compared to MBA,just that the MBA feels a little snappier overall.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 11:58 PM   #7
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Just for fun:

Macbook Pro 15" Retina - $2199 ($1779 refurb)

2880x1800
Superior CPU (10809)
8GB RAM
256GB SSD

Macbook Pro 15" - $2135 ($1865 refurb)

1440x900
Superior CPU (10809)
8GB RAM (upgradable to 16GB)
256GB SSD
500GB HDD

The perfect laptop for about $400 more... probably too much laptop for me though, unless I plan on replacing my desktop with it.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 12:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seo View Post
Just for fun:

Macbook Pro 15" Retina - $2199 ($1779 refurb)

2880x1800
Superior CPU (10809)
8GB RAM
256GB SSD

Macbook Pro 15" - $2135 ($1865 refurb)

1440x900
Superior CPU (10809)
8GB RAM (upgradable to 16GB)
256GB SSD
500GB HDD

The perfect laptop for about $400 more... probably too much laptop for me though, unless I plan on replacing my desktop with it.
I personally like the anti-glare + screen size of the 15" - therefore I have a 15" that way over my actual needs (got a crazy deal on it though).
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 12:23 AM   #9
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I personally like the anti-glare + screen size of the 15" - therefore I have a 15" that way over my actual needs (got a crazy deal on it though).
That's true, the 15" Pro has the best screen real estate at 1680 x 1050 and my preference of a matte display. Though the Retina has cut reflections enough for it to be worth using a glossy display just to get that retina resolution. Especially at a lower price!
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 05:28 AM   #10
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I feel the 8GB/256GB config is the sweet spot and before you mentioned video, I would have said get the Air -- you'll be doing much walking. But the extra weight and upgradability of the cMBP is justifiable since this machine could conceivably last all 4-7 years
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 07:19 PM   #11
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I feel the 8GB/256GB config is the sweet spot and before you mentioned video, I would have said get the Air -- you'll be doing much walking. But the extra weight and upgradability of the cMBP is justifiable since this machine could conceivably last all 4-7 years
True, but screen real estate and the compactness would make a more immediate difference. I have a good two years before I'm at college, so if my needs change I can always resell and upgrade.

I think I'm pretty decided on a MacBook Air. No immediate performance advantage for the cMBP, and better screen real estate, better size and lighter weight with the MBA.

EDIT: Going back to some past experiences with a MBA though, I did notice the screen was lackluster. Doing some more research online has showed I'm right, and with all the visual work I do there's nothing I hate more than a bad screen. So perhaps the MBP is for me. I'll probably wait to see what will come out this year and make a decision then.
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Last edited by Seo; Feb 14, 2013 at 08:30 PM.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 01:42 PM   #12
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If you do go with the Air tell me what you think. I'm considering the 13" 8GB/256GB for my wife. She probably wouldn't notice the screen difference but would really dig the lighter weight laptop.
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