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Old Sep 13, 2013, 12:55 PM   #1
Mac.User
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11in, 13in or wait for 13in Retina?

I'm sort of in a toss up. I'd like to get a new laptop but I'm not sure if I should get a 11in or 13in with i7 and 8GB of RAM, or wait for the 13in Retina refresh.

The small weight difference doesn't matter much to me. The 11in Air has the power I need, and has the ports I need, but the 13in Retina has a great high resolution. I kind of see the 13in as a compromise between the two.

Am I thinking this through right or should I just wait and see what the new 13in Retina will be?
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Old Sep 13, 2013, 01:20 PM   #2
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If you don't actually need it now, what's the harm in waiting?

I had a 2011 13" MBA and recently replaced with an 2013 11" MBA. I am really happy with it (got the i7/8gb/512gb model). I use Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, Photoshop, VectorWorks, Filemaker Pro - this is a very fast little machine. At home the size and screen don't matter because it's always connected to a big monitor and external keyboard.

But for travel, the 11" is really great. I think the screen is a reasonable trade-off for the portability. Go to a store where the 11 and 13 are displayed side by side and pick one up in each hand. I think the 1/2 pound difference is pretty significant. And the difference between the 11 and the 13" rMBP is even more significant - about 1.2 pounds.
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Old Sep 13, 2013, 01:28 PM   #3
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I mostly do coding. I have a similar home setup where I plug in my display and then all my devices are attached to that or are bluetooth.

I previously had a 13in 15/4GB/128GB Air, and then Work gave me a 13in i5 8GB/256GB Retina to use so I sold my Air. I didn't fine the weight change to be any problem. I think the biggest change is that I have the Retina at 1680x1050 resolution most of the time with a few windows open and I will have to get used to using the lower resolution and how to work the Window management.
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Old Sep 13, 2013, 02:30 PM   #4
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The Retina is nice for going high-res (even 1920x1200 with QuickResX or whatever), plus it's easy to hook up 2 external monitors
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Old Sep 13, 2013, 03:20 PM   #5
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Am I missing something?

Let me get this straight; you had an Air, but sold it because your job gave you a Retina, right?

So....why do you need to spend your money to get another laptop then?

1. Apple will be fine without your additional cash. I promise.

2. Apple will release portables with Broadwell chips in 2014 that will presumably be improvement over today's Haswell and Ivy Bridge models. I'm fairly sure the same thing will happen in 2015. And 2016. And...

3. Unless you know the work laptop was a once in a lifetime, one off event, your employer will probably provide you with a newer model once your current machine can no longer serve its purpose.

The REAL question is......is your employer hiring?!?
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Old Sep 13, 2013, 04:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clyde2801 View Post
Let me get this straight; you had an Air, but sold it because your job gave you a Retina, right?

So....why do you need to spend your money to get another laptop then?

1. Apple will be fine without your additional cash. I promise.

2. Apple will release portables with Broadwell chips in 2014 that will presumably be improvement over today's Haswell and Ivy Bridge models. I'm fairly sure the same thing will happen in 2015. And 2016. And...

3. Unless you know the work laptop was a once in a lifetime, one off event, your employer will probably provide you with a newer model once your current machine can no longer serve its purpose.

The REAL question is......is your employer hiring?!?
I'm changing jobs and have to return the Retina when I leave my current one.
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Old Sep 13, 2013, 04:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mac.User View Post
I'm changing jobs and have to return the Retina when I leave my current one.
Ah.



So, there's an open position then?

In all seriousness, I'd hold off on a 13" rMBP until a CPU upgrade. There's no point in spending top dollar on tech that is about to be superseded.

You've had eyes and mitts on both machines. If you have to have one now, go with the Air if you can live with it, or find a used, refurbished, open box 13 retina. I'm seeing retina's going up on CL since many are aware of the imminent upgrade in the near term.

If the laptop would be primarily used while hooked up to an external screen, the Air should be fine. But if I had to spend most of the day staring at the attached screen, I'd go retina.

Then again, I'm a bi-focaled 45 year old with the beginning stages of Fuch's* syndrome.


*Which sounds remarkably close to what I repeatedly exclaimed after getting the news...
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Old Sep 13, 2013, 05:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by clyde2801 View Post
In all seriousness, I'd hold off on a 13" rMBP until a CPU upgrade.
If you look at the OP again, the current rMBP isn't on his short list. He said the choice was between the current MacBook Air and waiting for the new Retina MacBook Pro.
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Old Sep 13, 2013, 05:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd01 View Post
If you look at the OP again, the current rMBP isn't on his short list. He said the choice was between the current MacBook Air and waiting for the new Retina MacBook Pro.
In THAT case, just delete my first two full paragraphs....

And it still may be a valid option, depending on his needs and wallet, to find a current rMBP for a sizable discount. Not wanting to be too general, but judging by the Airs, the marquee feature of Haswell is having the same performance or a modest increase while getting drastically improved battery life. If the current version is good enough to meet his needs, it may be advantageous to obtain one at a reduced cost.
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Old Sep 14, 2013, 02:49 AM   #10
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If not in a hurry. Wait.
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Old Sep 14, 2013, 03:20 AM   #11
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I'll echo those other posters who have suggested waiting. Normally, I suggest that people buy a computer if they need one, but, as I doubt that you will need one until immediately after you leave your current position, perhaps you should wait and see what the next update brings.
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