Air 11" or Pro Retina 13" for a student

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by AwesomeTom, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. AwesomeTom macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2014
    #1
    Hi :)

    My name is Tom and I'm a law student (lots of typing and summarizing in class).

    I need a new laptop for university lectures and I decided to go with Mac.

    After playing with all existing models I learnt that my best options are the Macbook Air 11.6 or Macbook Pro Retina 13.

    I want the Air because:
    1) MUCH cheaper, I could get a lot of accessories and apps with the difference I'll save.
    2) So small, tiny and portable! I will be able to just slip it in my bag and take it anywhere without considering the weight.
    3) Not sure why, but typing on it felt better than typing on the Pro Retina 13".

    I want the Pro Retina because:
    1) The screen is so awesome, more viewing angels, and more multitasking is available with the large screen. I'll be able to read more easily the academic articles.
    2) More modern (and beautiful) design, the current Air's design is the same since 2010... It's not bad, just weird to have such large bazels around the screen with Air.
    3) CPU is stronger

    The battery life between the 2 should be the same.

    I'll never go with the 13" Air because of the low resolution, if I'll go with portability I'll choose 11" Air (which is more portable than its 13" brother of course) and if I add money to buy the 13" Air I'll prefer to add a little more to get the Pro Retina.

    oh and whatever I buy, I upgrade the RAM to 8GB (I need to handle a lot of chrome tabs, pdfs and docs opened simultaneously).

    Which of the 2 should I buy?

    Thank you in advance for your help guys, truly appreciated.

    - Tom
     
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #2
    You've really laid out all your reasons for and against for each. So you really have to decide for yourself which is the better option.

    If it were me and I knew I'd be carrying it around a lot, I'd go for the Air due to it's smaller size and light weight.
     
  3. AwesomeTom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2014
    #3
    Thanks for the swift reply, General.

    One more note - I may want to install Windows (using Parallels or other virtual machines) in order to use Microsoft Office 2013 tools (the Mac version doesn't suit me well).
    Do you guys think that the 11" Air with 8GB RAM will hold it?

    Thanks
     
  4. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #4
    Yes, 8GB should be sufficient so long as you're not running a whole lot of apps all at the same time.
     
  5. octothorpe8 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    #5
    As much as I love my 11" Air (the second I've owned), at this point I would actually, if it was me, wait to see if a retina Air is coming out in a couple of months as all the rumor suggest. From what I've read, Yosemite looks WAY better on a retina display.
     
  6. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #6
    for the question about ram look here:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1756865

    As a law student i assume you will be using your laptop mainly as a media-consumption, typewriter, webbrowsing device. In that case even with 1 VM 4gb should do the trick.
     
  7. thetechfixer macrumors 6502

    thetechfixer

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Canada
    #7
    The Air is great for the weight, it is super light and easy to carry around especially the 11" I would go with 8GB of RAM though, 4 does not cut it anymore.
     
  8. AwesomeTom thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 26, 2014
    #8
    Thanks everyone, so I think I'll go with the Air.
    Also thank you for the RAM advices.

    I planned to purchase it on my trip to London in the end of August, if no Apple Event until then I guess I'll just do it
     
  9. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #9
    I wouldn't expect to see a refresh until next year. Our Buyers Guide is advising that the last release was only 89 days ago.

    But, like you said, wait until just before your trip because you never know.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    Boston
    #10
    Have you used or seen the 11" MBA - I'd make sure its screen and text is ok for extended use. Its a great laptop, but you need to make sure you'll not suffer from eye strain.
     
  11. AwesomeTom thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 26, 2014
    #11
    Thanks for the great assistance everyone, I appreciate your help. You guys are awesome
     
  12. Mal67 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    West Oz
    #12
    Just make sure that you've got that bag done up properly when you're bounding down the stairs with an 11' air in there. (Air reasons point 2.)
     

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