11" vs 13" Macbook Air vs 13" Retina Macbook Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sofakng, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. sofakng macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2008
    While I'm waiting for WWDC to see what new products are going to be released, what are thoughts on the three different "low end" models?

    • 11" Macbook Air
    • 13" Macbook Air
    • 13" Retina Macbook Pro

    Here are my uses:
    • Playing small indie games on the couch (90% of usage)
    • Web surfing (when I don't want to use my iPad)
    • Taking notes at meetings for work
    • Watching videos at work during lunch break, etc.
    • iOS development (though I'm really not sure if I'll do this besides just simple experimenting, etc) (I am a software developer (.NET) for a living though...)

    Because my primary goal is to play PC games on the couch (small stuff like FTL, Dwarf Fortress, Gnomoria, and strategy games like X-Com, etc), I'm not sure if Retina would be a waste of money but it sure does like pretty in the store.

    The advantage of retina is much nicer text, which might cause me to stop using my iPad (a good thing since I'll only use one device), but the disadvantage is the resolution is harder on the graphics chip and you are forced to run at lower (non-native resolutions).

    Then I have the decision regarding 11" and 13". I've used an 11" MBA before and it feels fantastic. It's almost an "full PC iPad" but since the display sits further away than an iPad, it's actually a bit smaller looking.

    What do you guys think?

    I'm really torn between all three devices but I'm leaning a tiny bit toward NON-RETINA just because of the gaming purpose and my usage of it being a "secondary machine"...
  2. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    I agree with your final assessment, I don't think you'd be happy with the 13" Retina graphics performance since the Intel 4000 graphics have to drive full Retina resolution, running non-Retina-enabled apps or running them at non-Retina resolutions will look pretty crappy, IMO. Even the discrete graphics on the 15" rMBP can have trouble with this at times compared to the cMBP.

    I'd recommend the 13" rMBP for people that are interested in image quality but don't need graphics performance, such as photographers that want a compact, portable image editor/viewer.

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