50% Desktop with Thunderbolt Display/50% around House - 13 MBA or 13 rMBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jiholl, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. jiholl macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2003
    Hi...I am upgrading from early 2008 MBP 15 inch. So I know any of the new laptops will be much more powerful. I will use the Macbook probably 50% at my desk and 50% on couch/bed. Rarely take it out of house. (Prefer laptop to iPad)

    Used to 15 inch screen but want to get Thunderbolt 27 inch display for use at desk. Dont want just iMac. Want flexibility to be able to move from desk to rest of house without "skipping a beat"..i.e unplug from Display, open laptop lid and keep going with video or whatever.

    Usage is very basic...web, email, youtube, no gaming...so I am trying to decide between MBA with i7/8/256 or rMBP 13 with 2.4/8/256.

    I imagine either would be fine for my needs...my eyes are getting old so retina may be better for when just using laptop. Is the retina better at driving the thunderbolt display since the Iris graphics are better?

    I have looked at both in the store...still torn...retina seems to make more sense...but there is "something" about the air that draws me to it?
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd opt for the rMBP for the simple reason, you're getting a better display. Since you'll be using it half the time w/o an external display.
  3. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    For the "around the house" part the Air is lighter, has longer battery life and probably runs cooler. Go to the store and feel the underside of both, and decide which will feel more comfortable on your lap or stomach.

    I don't use my MBA to drive thunderbolt, but my Mini, with HD 4000 graphics runs two of them just fine. Don't worry on that score. You also do not need the I7 for your needs. I use my I5 MBA for those things and a bit more advanced (a little gaming, photo editing, video processing) and it's just fine.

    I don't think retina is a particular benefit for our aging eyes, since you need good vision to appreciate it. If you've reached the point of using reading glasses, then yes, you'll be able to appreciate retina. If you're still coping with slight blurriness and holding things farther away, you won't see the difference.

    One advantage of the MBP for your use is the IPS screen - it has a wider vertical viewing angle and you won't have to adjust the angle of the lid so much when you change position on the sofa or bed.
  4. jiholl thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2003

    Very good points....thanks...yes, I know I dont needd the i7 but am thinking that it future proofs the MBA a bit...not too expense either.

    Of course, I keep going back in my mind to just thinking...just get the new base 15 rMMBP....you dont need the 27 inch monitor lol I mean that would be cheaper etc..and less things to worry about.
  5. Scott6666 macrumors 65816


    Feb 2, 2008
    I haven't heard that the rMBP runs hot. There are stories of the MBA, particularly the i7, running hot. I know the chip wattage is higher but the chassis ability to cool might be better. Any real info on the rMBP running hotter?
  6. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    I have no knowledge of how warm the 2013 rMBPs run. And I don't mean hot by overall laptop standards, but by MBA 2013 standards. It runs far cooler than 2012 MBAs and rMBPs. It's the first laptop I've owned that's perfectly comfortable on a lap while wearing shorts.

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