Air 13 or Pro Retina?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Grmnracing, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. Grmnracing macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2011
    I was set on buying the 13 inch AIr. But I just saw the MacBook Pro retina and WOW. The screen looks much better to my eyes. I was going to upgrade the Air to 8GB, but for $200 more I can go Retina.

    I'm almost positive I want the Pro. Any suggestions or anything that may change my mind?
  2. JoelBC macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    I looked at both for many many hours at the Apple store and decided to go with mid-2012 MBA which I run at 1440 x 900...

    I ended up with an All Samsung [i.e. display and hard drive] MBA and never looked me, at a 1440 x 900 resolution, there is little, if any [and I did spend hours looking], difference for my work / usage which admittedly does NOT include photography or video...

    Stack what my eyes told me on top of *possible* retention problems and the decision was clear...MBA and, as I have said, I never looked back...

    While I will consider a retina down the road today is not the day and as I type this post I again feel the MBA display is superb and I am on it for 8+ hours a day and have no issues...

  3. Grmnracing thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2011
    Maybe it just depends on who's looking at the displays. The Air did look nice to me until I saw the Retina. I'm curious on actual battery life comparisons. Retina must use more battery.

    I also wonder how 1440 x 900 resolution compares on the Air to the Retina. Brighter, sharper, etc
  4. raptorstv macrumors 6502

    Mar 24, 2011
    Go for the rMBP my friend... Its really thin and beautiful
  5. JoelBC macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    I spent a lot of tiem looking at the two and opted for the MBA...I put my money where my eyes were so to speak...
  6. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    I switched from an 11.6" 1366x768 MacBook Air to a 13" rMBP. Most of the time I use it in the "Best for Retina" setting (equivalent of 1280x800), but if I switch to 1440x900 it is still sharper than the MacBook Air was in its native setting. I haven't had a 13" MBA in a while, but most tests I see show the rMBP having a slightly shorter battery life than the 13" MBA. The screen uses more battery power, but the 13" rMBP's battery has similar capacity to the 15" cMBP.
  7. Efrem macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2009
    I looked at 15" Retina and non-Retina MacBook Pros in an Apple store a few weeks ago, looking to replace my aging 17" MBP before too long. I had hoped the difference would not be significant so I could save the price difference. Instead, it blew me away. I may still get a 17" refurb, since this is my only computer and I like the extra real estate for looking at documents side by side, but if I go with a new 15" system, it will (unfortunately for my wallet) have to be Retina. Period.
  8. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    This is an old question, and the answer depends on what you really want (and need) from the computer.

    If portability is the main consideration, then the MBA is the answer. I have a 13" MBA and it is easily the best computer I have ever had. Plusses: the portability - it is brilliant for travelling and working on the move. The SSD is also fantastic (I had a HDD failure on my MBP), blazingly fast and wonderfully stable. And, until the advent of the retina screen, the screen of the MBA knocked the socks off almost everything else.

    Minuses: well, it is not as powerful as others in the Apple lineup, and certainly not as capacious, as the SSD (unless one is prepared to pay stratospheric sums of money) drives (especially as they increase in size) become quite costly; in terms of value for money, HDD offers a lot more.

    For now, Pro Retina offers a stunning screen, a somewhat heavier computer, and a battery that is a bit greedier than that of the MBA, and so does not last as long. So, it depends on what you prize, or need, more: Portability, or terrific screen. Your call and the very best of luck with whichever of them you eventually choose to buy.
  9. Opinion101 macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2013
    ^ What he said. For everyday use, unless one is doing significant photo or movie editing, the MBA is perfectly amazing. With iCloud, Dropbox, PhotoStream, etc. storage is not even an issue. My suggestion is to get the 13" MBA with 8GB RAM and the stock SSD and you'll be thrilled.
  10. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    I think I'd go with the Air if you don't need the extra muscle of the Pro. You must have considered the Air initially due to it's portability. The effect of the eye candy is sure to quickly fade leaving you with buyer's remorse.
  11. Grmnracing thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2011
    It's a tough decision. I'm still stuck between them. I'm leaning towards the Retina Pro. Any other input?
  12. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    It sounds like you want the Pro but are hesitating because of the price. Note that Best Buy and Amazon have the rMBP on sale this weekend (see the article on the front page). At $1515 for the 128GB rMPB or $1799 for the 256GB version, the differential is narrower.

    Also note that although the rMBP weighs about 0.5 lbs more than the 13" MBA and is a bit thicker, it actually has a smaller footprint. I don't think you'll regret going with the rMBP.
  13. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    The Retina's screen may be a bit dimmer because of the high pixel density. It will definitely be sharper, especially when talking about retina-ready apps. The Retina will also have better color quality and viewing angles than the Air's screen.
  14. Soulweaponry macrumors 6502

    Mar 13, 2010
    It's easier to choose the MBA if you've never seen the retina. Once you see the retina though, just takes over. My new 15inch retina makes even my new hdtv look bad. Its so high res looking the icons almost look 3d. It's insane. You don't realize how big of a deal it is until you see it. It's truly breathtaking. I could never go back. Not now. Not even if my computer broke. Not ever.

    I tried so hard to wait on it and just deal with my 2011 macbook pro, but it just kept popping up in my head over the months "man i wish i had the retina. That thing looks good". I finally just went ahead and bought it because i'm sick of wanting it so bad. Now that i have it, for the first time in my entire life, i'm content with a laptop. I say go retina if it's as big of a deal to you as it is me. Even typing this post, i can't stop thinking about how sharp the text looks. Ahhhh god i love this thing
  15. Grmnracing thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2011
    Ok now I'm sold! I was worried that Retina was a bit of a gimmick. But I will be ordering my Retina Pro shortly!

    I also want Apple TV to use with wireless mirroring to the Hdtv's in my house or out for presentations. Is there another option to go wireless? I would only have the need for the wireless mirroring feature!

    Also I have been looking at the Apple SuperDrive for the rare case I have to read or burn some media on that platform. I know there's other options, but it looks so clean and matches the look of the Mac.

    This will be my first Mac ever. I'm a computer nerd myself who hates dealing with Windows. I fix Windows Pc's all the time. I want my computer to just work!
  16. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Nice! I don't think Apple has enabled Wi-Di since they want you to use Apple TV. I haven't tried it in Windows on Boot Camp, though.

    Have you used a Mac before? If not, there is a little bit of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, switching back and forth is pretty easy. I'd suggest getting used to using the touchpad rather than a mouse, and keeping the "natural" scrolling, which is the reverse of Windows 7 (but the same as Windows 8). Remember to use the Command key instead of the Ctrl key, drag the Applications folder onto the Dock (to create a sort-of Start button), and the rest is pretty easy.

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