13 in MBA or 13 MacBook Pro w/Retina?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by snowboardpunk, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. snowboardpunk macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2013
    Hey guys, I decided I need a new laptop. I have a dell right now thats a year or two old, but its kind of dying on me, its getting laggy and fan is super loud. I decided to do some graph and web design as a hobby, and already use lightroom and photoshop. Alot of people have been telling me, macs are the way to go for adobe products.

    Im looking at refurbished macs from apple the base air cost 1000 while the base pro w/retina cost 1260. Is retina worth extra 260 for the higher resolution for photoshop and graphic design? or is the mba 13 in going to be fine? and is the processing power in the mba going to be fine for the stuff i am going to do?

    Also, do you recommend waiting for haswell? kind of want a new laptop now, but if the new update is going to be alot better, I may wait.
  2. rdunlap macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2013
    It depends on what you intend to do on the computer and what you are looking for. If you want something super portable and light I would go with the MBA. You can still do some moderate photo editing / movie editing and it's a more than capable computer.

    The rMBP is more of your workhorse computer and can handling a much heavier load, and also you will find it to have much more storage space than the Air.
  3. BlueHusky macrumors member


    Apr 3, 2013
    Washington DC

    The new update is going to be a lot better, but if you need a comp, you need a comp. I say wait only if you need to, but then again you will have to shell out more money because there wont be any refurbished products.

    That having said,

    I moved up from a MBA 2012 to a rMBP.

    TBH MBA 2012 is perfect. Fast, Long battery (I mean LONG, really long) light. It is an amazing computer.

    The rMBP is an amazing computer because of the screen, i set it on 15" resolution and its nice.

    What i dont like about the rMBP is the weight, I am so used to the air that the rMBP feels heavy in my backpack. only half a pound but still makes a huge difference. Also because of the screen the rMBP has a shorter battery life than the air. (not to a point of disappointment, but not something amazing like the air)

    I chose the rMBP over the air because of the resolution.
    I say overall MBA is an A+
    rMBP is a B+ but bonus points should be given because of the screen quality which is phenomenal.
  4. BimmerNFS macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2012
    I personally would go with the rMBP. I have a 15" rMBP i just picked up referb and it is slightly thicker and heaver but having come from an old 13" white MacBook its much thinner and lighter. the i7 is an amazing processor and the computer is extremely silent with the fan. But the display is INCREDIBLE, there is a good chance the next MBA will have the retina, but like someone said its gonna be a while before one of those are in referb.
  5. kulimer, Apr 11, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013

    kulimer macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2011
    So, you are on a budget. rMBP is luxury stuff, the retina model also has hard drive, processor upgrades too. So, don't get fooled by the name.

    The MBA has an extremely good display, anything you can see on the retina display will be seen here.

    What are you processing?

    You have to elaborate on your needs to better get helped.
  6. snowboardpunk thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2013
    Honestly I have no idea. I know ill be using Lightroom, photoshop, vsco, maybe aperture, and Wordpress. Im making my own blog from Wordpress, so ill be learning code and graphic design. I guess whatever program that entails. No videos tho. Probably creative suite
  7. wolfpuppies3 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2012
    Virginia, USA
    Neither. I would choose neither the MBP Retina (far too many problems with them) not the MBA. I would go with a MacBook Pro. Upgradable, fast, reliable.
  8. RoastingPig macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2012
    depends on where you live cause then your paying taxes 1000 is really like 1100 and retina is like 1400 after taxes but right now on bhphotovideo as long as you dont live in new york you can get a fresh new air for 1,124.95 free shipping no tax and you might of missed a great deal on the retina because i believe it was 1300 brand new on there and it is now 1,419.95
  9. snowboardpunk thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2013
    well i live in oregon, so no tax either way. but i would pass on the pro due to size and weight. Prefer to go lighter because ill be also taking it to school and carrying it around often.
    what kind of problems are on the rmbp?
  10. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2011
    Ditch the Dell and get a Mac ASAP. You won't be sorry. Your best bet is to go to the store and play with both to see which one you like the best.
  11. stchman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    What's your budget?

    If you're going to do graphics arts and web design I would get the 15" rMBP with 16GB of RAM.

    The 13" MBA and 13" rMBP especially in base form might not have the power you need.

    As far as Adobe products, they don't run any better or worse on OS X.
  12. B... macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
    I disagree with Retina for web design. Because the vast majority of computers will not have retina, designing web pages on a scaled screen for a non scaled screen will be confusng and will ultimately lead to bad-looking webpages. But if the power is necessary, I think the 15" cMBP would be a great choice. It has a built in CD drive and is upgradeable with RAM, which will be helpful when you want to put 8 GB, 16 GB or even 32 GB of RAM in (when 16 GB SO-DIMMs become available).
  13. KimHansenDK macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2011
    I use a maxed out 13-inch MBA with 8GB ram, 2.0GHz i7 and 512GB SSD. I use it for web, ui and app design for a living. It handles Photoshop and Illustrator just perfect - even large files. It is easy to carry around - and when needed I hook it up to my Thunderbolt display. I had the 15-inch rMBP but for web design it is just a pain to work on due to the fact that 99% of the time you will be designing non-retina.

    So the MBA gets my vote. Would only consider the (r)MBP if I was doing serious video and/or 3D editing.
  14. snowboardpunk, Apr 12, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2013

    snowboardpunk thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2013
    I prefer to spend little as possible. Preferably under 1000 but if the Rmbp was a huge advantage I would. Sad I missed that eBay deal.

    Oh Ok. Is there a particular reason why most graphic/web designers and photographers use Mac? Everyone I talked seemed to only recommend them. One person said the memory management is just that much better.

    I didn't think about the web designing, I guess I won't go retina, although it looks super nice but I've been reading that things that are not retina ready are super ugly. Ill mostly be using Wordpress to creator my blog. And yup no video or 3d. My camera sucks at video anyways. I just got a fuji xe1.

    Also is there gonna be huge difference between 4 and 8 gb of ram?
  15. futbalguy macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2007
    Get more ram. If you are going to have lots of programs and photos open that will be useful. Also, its future proof. 4 GB is not that much these days.
  16. jjfcpa macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2009
    I have both a 2012 MBA 13" and a 2012 rMBP 13".

    I'm a software developer so my laptop (at least one of them) goes with me where ever I go. My workhorse laptop is a 2012 rMBP 15", but when I travel, I take either the MBA or the 13 inch rMBP.

    While I really like the retina display, I find myself using taking the MBA more often for a couple of reasons...

    Weight, battery life, heat. You just can't beat the MBA for battery life, it is lighter, and never gets even warm. I'm not saying that the rMBP gets hot, just a little warm on your lap sometime.

    While you sacrifice a little speed with the MBA, it is more than offset by the other areas I mentioned where it excels.

    Some items I would add to my wish list for the MBA are larger SSD's, 16 gig RAM option, and smaller bezel around the LCD. Other than that, it's a perfect laptop.

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