2013 "13 MBA i7/256/8 vs Fall 2013 "13 rMBP i5/256/8 - Same price?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by amitdoc2b, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. amitdoc2b, Jun 28, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013

    amitdoc2b macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    I purchased a 2013 MBA 13" i7/256/8GB that is still sitting at home waiting for me since I am out of town. As soon as I get home Saturday night, I'll test the battery life since 12 hours is a big deal to me. I also own a 2012 MBA that gets 7 hours battery and was always wanting more hours since many public places I work at do not keep outlets or do not have enough outlets anymore.

    With Mavericks due in the Fall, it is not surprising an updated specs 2013 rMBP will be out at that time as well. The price difference between currently between an MBA with my above-listed specs and a base rMBP shows that a rMBP is $50 cheaper. The only difference is that doubling the rMBP from 128 to 256 flash drive will make the rMBP $150 more expensive. Considering student discount is $100 from a rMBP and $50 for an MBA, the price difference becomes a mere $100 to get a same spec'd rMBP. If this holds true or becomes even cheaper if 256 becomes a base standard in the Fall rMBP, then it becomes more of a challenge for me to decide between the 2013 MBA and 2013 Fall rMBP.

    Here is what is making me indecisive...

    -Not the weight, but looks. Lets face it, these are Apple devices and looks matter. A lot of people say the .5 weight is negligible, and sure.. I agree its not as big a factor but many forget to mention the looks. But I like the look of the tapered-down slim MBA more than having its thickest part be the standard around the whole rMBP. It looks much more "fatter" or "thicker" when you have to see that thickness from every angle compared to the cool, tapered design of the MBA. Many people don't like the bezel of the MBA, and I would love for it to be eliminated too, but i don't find the bezel as bad as the all-around thickness of the rMBP (and that's even after they finally slim it down to the MBAs thickest point, its currently thicker than even that). Winner: MBA.

    -The screen. I don't find the MBA screen as bad as some posters mention here in the forums, but I really would love to have the retina screen of the rMBP. Just like I see the screen everyday, I also see the computer's design and looks everyday... so this becomes a difficult decision from this standpoint. For the same price (or $100 more), should I go for the better rMBP screen if all other specs are updated this Fall (including battery life updated to 12 hrs)? I think they'll be able to get the battery life to 12 hours, since all 2012 models (aside from the 11-inchers) had equal battery lives before introducing Haswell computers. Winner: rMBP.

    So that's it, those are my two biggest concerns between two equal spec'd MBA and rMBP:

    A) $1600 after taxes and student discount for a 13" MBA i7/256/8 with 12 hour battery life and a slim-tapered design with up to 3.3GHZ turbo-boost, but lacks the retina screen.


    B) $1600-$1700 after taxes and student discount for a 13" Fall rMBP i5/256/8 with approximately 10-12 hour battery life and a thicker all-around design with 'at least' 3.1GHZ turbo-boost, but has a retina screen.

  2. Porkaysi macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2012
    with an ultimate 13 inch air i got 100$ student discount. paid 1850 something after tax and 14 for shipping. its hard to say what to do since the new retina 13 are not out and we have no idea what they will have, but i think they will have 10 hours WITH mavericks at launch. honestly if it is still integrated graphics with the retina resolution i would not buy it even with increased GPU and the i7 air GPU is only 200 ghz away from being top of the line 5200 gpu (one is ulv vs 28 watt) pushing half the pixels. i went from a retina 15 inch to the MBA and at first the screen of the air seemed terrible...at first, but after time it all seems the same. you never realize the difference at quality unless your looking at a retina, all other times the MBA screen is fine.
  3. mopppish macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2005
    I was thinking the same thing: why not go for the rMBP when it's only $100 more?
    I'm sticking with the i7 Air because, even though it clocks higher, the i5 in the rMBP benches lower than the i7 Air. Judging by the macrumors article that showed a pre-release rMBP with a 2.4ghz i5, this performance difference will remain even when the rMBP's are updated.
    You'd have to bump up to the i7 on the rMBP for it to be truly comparable. That will add another $200 ($180 with educational discount). Then you're looking at a $230 difference for a better screen but .5lb heavier. Even if they somehow drop the price of the rMBP $100 at the next update, I'd probably still rather get an i7 Air and save $130 over a comparably equipped (CPU wise) rMBP.
    Then again, I'm doing audio, so CPU performance is much more important to me than screen and/or GPU.
  4. mattferg macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2013
    You shouldn't have gotten the i7. Simple as that. Then it would be cheaper. The i7 is a big waste of money for most people.
  5. DblEGT macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2013
    My new 2013 i5/8/256 Macbook Air is the fastest and smoothest laptop Ive ever owned!! Absolutely amazed how nice my first ever Mac has been so far.

    Believe me, no need for anything faster. I also installed the Macrumors color profile since I have the LG screen, and it turned it "retina-like" and stunningly beautiful. Save your money, get the i5 MBA, and never look back. :D
  6. Porkaysi macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2012
    would not call it a waste, more like an un-needed expense for some. a craigslist owner finally replied to an email, so i was able cancel my apple order to pick up a new in box ultimate for 1700. :D
  7. dljeffery macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2011
    Issaquah, WA
    If you're already used to a MacBook Air, I don't think you'd be happy with a 13" rMBP.

    After many years of Mac ownership, I just got my first MBA (13" 2013). And wish I had gone the MBA route last time I bought a computer. It was around this time in 2010; I bought a mid-2010 15" MPB instead. Great computer, but honestly, I think the MBA is just perfect. I think the Retina 15" is awesome, and the 13" is pretty awesome too... but I'd rather have small and light. When the iPad mini came out late last year, I was already ready to upgrade from my first-gen iPad to an iPad 3 or 4, but then after handling a friend's iPad mini, I went with the mini instead, and never looked back. Not that I didn't notice the difference between the displays; just that portability trumps that for me.

    And as far as the MBP/MBA goes, you mention battery life being very important, and I would expect that the Haswell rMBP will not match the MBA in that capacity. The only reason I'd personally go with an rMBP would be for increased resolution, which only matters (at least to me) if you plan on running it at higher-res, non-Retina, resolutions. Several years back, I went from a first-gen 15" MBP to a 13" MB because I wanted a smaller form factor... and I did love the smaller form factor. But then when it was time to replace that MB (2007 13" MB), I went back to the 15" Pro because I really missed the screen real estate of the 15" MBP. I love that the 13" MBA is smaller and lighter, but still matches the screen real estate of the 15" Pros. So I know that if I went with a 13" rMPB, I'd have to go to scaled resolutions before I'd be comfortable.

    I also wouldn't discount the value of a lighter machine. When I went for the iPad mini, I initially bought the WiFi-only model, because I'd previously bought the 3G iPad 1 and never once used the 3G capabilities of it. And then after about a week with the mini, I realized that the reason I never used 3G on my old iPad was because it was bulky enough that I never wanted to carry it around... unlike the mini, which I found myself carrying around constantly. So I returned that mini and bought an LTE version instead. I have seen and played around with Retina iPads, and I think it would be nice if the iPad mini had a Retina display -- so much sharper! But in the end, whether we're talking about iPads or MacBooks, I'll take slim and light over Retina, if I have to choose.

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