13" rMBP or 13" MBA?

dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 16, 2008
2,153
104
I currently have a late 2013 13" rMBP (8/256 model). Probably overkill for what I do with it, but it is a sweet machine! I use it at my desk with the lid closed and connected to a monitor/keyboard/mouse probably for 75% of it's usage.

I am considering selling it (hoping to get ~$1100-$1200 for it) and get a new 13" MacBook Air. Likely the base MBA with the 4/128 config since I don't really tax the machine and much of my storage is on my server Mac Mini and in the cloud across Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive (with all my apps and what is sync'd to those cloud drives, I am only using 51 GB of SSD space on my rMBP).

The reason to sell the rMBP is 1.) I probably underutilize it and 2.) to have some extra cash of course (likely applied towards iPhone 6). Main downgrade of course would be from the sweet retina display to the 1440x900. But with the edu coupon at BB and after tax and 10% back in rewards, the 13" MBA would cost me a net of less than $800.

Think it's worth "downgrading" to the MBA from rMBP based on being docked so much? My wife has this MBA and it seems to be decent (at least for her use). Thanks!
 

Ed Miliband

macrumors member
Aug 27, 2014
51
0
Have you tried your wife's MacBook Air with your desk setup?

The MBP has a better integrated GPU and the MacBook Air may have lower performance driving the external display, depending on the pixel count
 

dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 16, 2008
2,153
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Have you tried your wife's MacBook Air with your desk setup?

The MBP has a better integrated GPU and the MacBook Air may have lower performance driving the external display, depending on the pixel count
No, I have not actually tried that yet. Will test out in just a bit. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

KeepCalmPeople

macrumors 65816
Sep 5, 2012
1,287
342
San Francisco Bay Area, California
Here's the problem:

Your rMBP 13" is worth, as you say, perhaps $1,200 used. Three months from now it will still be worth ~$1,200 used.
If you buy the MBA 13" for ~$800 today, tomorrow it will be worth less than that used. Perhaps $700?

So if you buy the MBA 13" you will have taken the depreciation hit on two computers instead of one.
Better to have a computer that is overkill for your use case, than one that is just adequate.

I'd suggest you continue to use the rMBP for another 2 or 3 years before selling it. Your use case may change in that time, and you will be glad you have the extra capabilities.
 
Last edited:

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
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Boston
Think it's worth "downgrading" to the MBA from rMBP based on being docked so much? My wife has this MBA and it seems to be decent (at least for her use). Thanks!
No, I don't think its worth it. While you seemed to have done your homework, I'm not sure you'll see the numbers fall into place the way you think it will.

Why not keep your machine, even if you are underutilizing your current machine.
 

dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 16, 2008
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Tested the wife's MBA on my monitor. Seemed fine, no issues with lag or anything with the limited tests I did (opening programs, browsing, playing videos).

I definitely get what you both are saying about utilization as well as depreciation. I was lucky enough to have paid only $1140 for it last year as a mint open box from BB. I suppose I can continue to enjoy the fruits of it...just looking at my needs vs wants (and money of course too).
 

anarti

macrumors regular
Nov 28, 2012
185
0
Scotland
You've got a great machine already. Don't be tempted to get rid of that:) Unless you do need money for tomorrows dinner - what's the point?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
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Boston
.just looking at my needs vs wants (and money of course too).
Changing gears at this point means you'll probably end up in a lose-lose proposition. Enjoy what you have and don't worry if you're not using your machine to is fullest capabilities. To be honest, I'd say most of us are not using their MBPs to their capacity. The current crop of machines are so powerful, that's the great thing about it :)
 

Miguel Cunha

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2012
337
82
Braga, Portugal
I use it at my desk with the lid closed
A bit off topic but i didn't know you could close the lid of a Mac laptop and keep it running, as in windows… :eek:
How do I do it?

On topic, if I were you I would keep the one you have.
With time will need more of it's resources and power.

Another question: I'm in the market and divided precisely between these two models. What do you recommend?

Thanks
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,047
1,106
NYC
If you're in the US, I suggest heading to the Apple Store and buy a MacBook Air and use it for a week. See how you feel about it and if it works for you.

What I have found is my MacBook Air when connected to an external monitor often gets very hot and it's always spinning up the fans making it a very noisy experience.

My MacBook Pro does not have this issue.
 

dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 16, 2008
2,153
104
Thanks for all the feedback. Not too surprisingly I'm being urged to keep what I have, which I mostly agree with since it is a far better machine. Been pretty happy with it for the past 8 months.
 

anarti

macrumors regular
Nov 28, 2012
185
0
Scotland
A bit off topic but i didn't know you could close the lid of a Mac laptop and keep it running, as in windows… :eek:
How do I do it?

On topic, if I were you I would keep the one you have.
With time will need more of it's resources and power.

Another question: I'm in the market and divided precisely between these two models. What do you recommend?

Thanks
as long as it's connected to the power, it will run like that. If it's on the battery - it will just go to sleep:)

Regarding your second question - 13inch retina is much better value as it stands. Do the math and you'll see that the difference between 13MBA and 13rMBP is tiny.

MBA has terrible/horrible screen with bad viewing angles and ugly colors + it's grainy (lack of retina).
 

Medic311

macrumors 68000
Jul 30, 2011
1,658
56
I had a 2014 MBA for 3 weeks and ended up returning it bc the screen was actually worse than the screen on my $370 Acer. Despite the battery life, portability, and thinness/weight I couldn't overlook the horrendous screen.

The rMBP 13" 256GB with 8GB memory model is on sale this week at best buy for $1,399 and using a .edu coupon and stacking a movers coupon made it a no brainer for the upgrade. For an extra $200 I ended up getting a substantially superior machine with a display that's gorgeous. Not to mention better processor and graphics and double the memory.

This machine is honestly like nothing I have ever used before...and I'm a first time Mac owner
 

Miguel Cunha

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2012
337
82
Braga, Portugal
as long as it's connected to the power, it will run like that. If it's on the battery - it will just go to sleep:)
My laptop sleeps even when running on AC.
Do I have to configure anything?

Regarding your second question - 13inch retina is much better value as it stands. Do the math and you'll see that the difference between 13MBA and 13rMBP is tiny.(lack of retina).
Thanks for the tip.
 

littlepud

macrumors 6502
Sep 16, 2012
254
93
Keep the rMBP. The rMBP 13" is essentially the same thickness throughout as the thick end of the MBA; it's also only half a pound lighter. That's not much of a tradeoff to have a Retina display and a much more powerful computer as a result.
 

dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 16, 2008
2,153
104
I have 1 month left on the original 13" rMBP Apple warranty. Is it worth it to buy AppleCare for $175 to extend coverage for 2 years on this? Or sell it and apply that difference to a new machine that will come with a fresh 1-year Apple warranty?
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
I have 1 month left on the original 13" rMBP Apple warranty. Is it worth it to buy AppleCare for $175 to extend coverage for 2 years on this? Or sell it and apply that difference to a new machine that will come with a fresh 1-year Apple warranty?
If it is doing what you need then why lose more money than you have to?
 

dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 16, 2008
2,153
104
If it is doing what you need then why lose more money than you have to?
Just the risk of something expensive going wrong with it. I've always either sold the soon-to-expire MacBook and then bought a new one. Never had a MacBook without an active warranty. Just that this rMBP seems "fine" and per it's specs, can likely last a couple more years at least. But if unlikely to have an issue, I could always roll the dice and keep it w/o warranty.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
Just the risk of something expensive going wrong with it. I've always either sold the soon-to-expire MacBook and then bought a new one. Never had a MacBook without an active warranty. Just that this rMBP seems "fine" and per it's specs, can likely last a couple more years at least. But if unlikely to have an issue, I could always roll the dice and keep it w/o warranty.
I would pay for the AppleCare. I do like your thinking on the whole AppleCare argument. Since the 2014 and late 2013 models are so closely related, I wouldn't bother selling as I sincerely doubt you will get as good of a deal on another computer!
 

cjmillsnun

macrumors 68020
Aug 28, 2009
2,399
45
Having just experienced a major failure on my rMBP and got the AppleCare service, I would say go for it.

If you're in the EU, then you can get away without it, however the service you get having bought AppleCare is fantastic.

I have a brand new Mac thanks to AppleCare. I took my mid '12 rMBP in because of a fault but they couldn't fix it. I now have a brand new rMBP.