Buying Air vs. waiting for new rMBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by BizRunner, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. macrumors member


    Jul 13, 2009
    Iowa City, Iowa
    So I am a college student who uses their Mac heaviliy in class, I have a 3rd gen iPad as well, but my Mac is really where the work gets done.

    So I am wanting to upgrade from my current 2009 Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro (13 inch), and I am debating on whether to buy the new MacBook Air now, or wait for the new 13 inch retina to come out.

    The Air that I want is the 13" 256GB w/ 8GB of RAM and 1.3 i5.

    The pros for the air is:
    light for carrying around campus
    battery; currently my Mac doesn't last for three lectures

    Any thoughts are appreciated.
  2. macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
  3. macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    nobody can answer this question for you. the new pros won't be out until the end of the year so do you want a computer now or can you wait another semester?

    and even then - is the high-res display what you want? i would't worry about battery life, the new chip is more efficient so even with the retina it should get you through a few lectures - but that's just conjecture.

    you didn't give us much information regarding what you use the computer for but assuming you're a typical student the air should be more than adequate for your needs. also it's cheaper so when i'm deciding between two things i try and figure out what i want at a minimum and if the cheaper option fits those needs then i go with that.

    that's why i have a 99 accord and not a Ferrari
  4. macrumors 68000

    Mar 29, 2009
    The Air is cheaper. But if you need a little extra speed, two Thunderbolt ports, or want the Retina screen, get the rMBP. Easy question.
  5. thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 13, 2009
    Iowa City, Iowa
    What I need

    I am a business student, so I simply need something to run Word, Mail, and Safari well. In a typical day I have a few documents open, Spotify running, and I am surfing on Safari.

    I am leaning towards the Air, because I do not think that buying the Retina is worth the price, as the screen is an upgrade, but certainly not one that I need.
  6. macrumors member

    Feb 23, 2011
    Disregard the retina screen. What model suits your needs the best.

    If its the rMBP, you will get a really nice screen as a bonus (paid for). If you do not need the better processor, dgpu, expanded ram, you may regret it later even with the nicer screen.
    If you underestimate your cpu needs, you may regret the MBA if you go with that one.

    Definitely wait if you need the MBP otherwise the air is available now.
    Make sure you don't pull the trigger on the mac air now, just to have something, and regret it in 4 - 8 weeks.

    Good luck :)
  7. AXs
    macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    The Macbook Air is Mindblowing! Actually, Mindblasting!

    You don't really get the grasp of 12 hours batter. I used to think the Retina was better all around except for a small size/weight and battery difference. I hesitantly bought the air because I need minimum size/space/weight for my frequent travels.

    I never understood how important that battery advantage could really mean till I got it yesterday.

    I carry my Air around everywhere with me like as if it was an iPad. No charger/cables nothing. Just a really thing leather sleeve and Macbook.

    Left home 8am for work, went to meet some friends after for coffee. Got home 1 hour ago (9:30pm), and currently using the laptop on the same charge.

    I can use it in any scenario because it works easily on my lap, and hasn't gotten hot on me once.

    I'm now looking for a thins sleeve that opens up into a case, so I can put it down anywhere on any surface to use it.

    Again, this is just my personal opinion. I'm in love with this piece. I can carry it carefully around short distances in one hand without putting it to sleep, especially in work situations when I got to walk to the meeting room, or get to another floor.

    I Love Air is what I'm saying. But I can't tell you from experience how owning a Retina MBP feels. I don't need any graphics work nor do I play any games anymore, and even if I did I would get a console.

    I have an iPad retina, and the screen IS more sweet... but not enough for me to pick it up and use it with my MBA around.
  8. macrumors 68000


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    I would say wait. Stick with the Macbook you have now, once the new rMBPs are released, you can have enough information to make an informed decision of which would better suit your needs.
  9. macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2013
    I faced same dilemma (even same 3rd gen ipad), and went for MBA 256GB standard model. Before purschase I had second thoughts on screen quality, however after messing around with boot camp and win 8/7 (win 8 in particular) what can I tell is that screen is perfect (would not tell difference between retina or not if both were on win 8). WIth OSX it is ok, and quite better with some calibration, but difference against retina is noticable a bit, but still it is very high quality and qualitative screen. If you plan to boot camp and play some games as well then MBA might be better than rMMP due to high resolution issues in win and games
  10. thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 13, 2009
    Iowa City, Iowa
    I do not plan to bootcamp much, I just do not think that I want to spend the extra upwards of $200 just for the screen to end up with a heavier computer. But are you happy with the speed of the new Air?
  11. macrumors member

    Feb 23, 2011
    I've had my Air for 6 days and share your enthusiasm. This battery is like the Energizer bunny, it keeps on going and going....
  12. macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2013
    Speed is very ok, office web spotify mail calendar and bunch of other apps opened in OSX no slowdowns, tried to run some games, Civ 5, Dota 2, Path of Exile (on Win), as well get decent framerates on med/high settings with AA off

    One trick with laptops is that if you put ssd in some semi old pc laptop it will fly :) MBA has very fast ssd (faster than typical sata one) and i5 processor, so it flys in my opinion. However cannot comment on preformance of some extensive apps like adobe afterefects or similar, but i think it would handle it just fine
  13. macrumors 68000


    Aug 1, 2009
    I'd recommend a 2013 MBA over the 2012 13" rMBP [ 15" is a whole different beast ]

    The latest MBA is pretty darn good and should more than suffice for a college student!

    I did buy the 13" rMBP too, but at least for me, it was a lot easier to type on the MBA with it's tapered design.

    If you really want the retina, either get the 15" refurb [ really don't recommend it as a college laptop, but that's just me... ] or wait for the 13" refresh.

    The current 2012 13" rMBP is alright, but the 2013 MBA is amazing except the difference in display.
  14. thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 13, 2009
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Thanks for your thoughts, I really think that I have decided to bite the bullet and get the Air, simply because I do not think I need the rMBP at this time. I do not use or have Photoshop, I don't edit video, so I do not need the better screen.
  15. macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2013
    The Republic of Texas
    So far I've recharged this beast on Sunday used it all day Monday got second place in a coding competition on Tuesday. It has been used all day Wednesday and it still has over 40% of battery left and today is hump day!

    Yea, like someone already mentioned. You don't know 12 hour battery until you experience how radical this is. This little guy twirls and dances around the competition before devouring it for breakfast.

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