Anyone gone to the Retina MBP and back to the Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by entatlrg, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. entatlrg, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012

    entatlrg macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #1
    After a week with the rMBP I'm considering it. The rMBP is certainly light for it's size but I miss the Air's footprint most.

    I really like retina display, but I'm so use to typing with a notebook on my lap I miss the Air to a degree.

    Still deciding....
     
  2. winterny macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    #2
    I have an early 2011 MBPro 15" and a 2012 MacBook Air 11". Ive had an 11" since 2010.

    I almost never use the 15", as it's just too heavy to feel comfortable.

    When I am traveling for more than a week, I'll bring the pro as a desktop replacement, but when I'm home, or traveling on a short trip, I bring the macbook air.

    At home, I use the macbook air for casual work, and a Mac Pro with two 30" screens for "hard work".

    As much as the retina display looks nice, I can't justify it at this point as it's something I would get so little use out of. I'll probably end up upgrading to a retina MBPro 15" when the 2013 model comes out, though.
     
  3. alanman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    #3

    Did you ever consider the 13" Air or was that too big as well? I ask because I am deciding between the 11 and 13 myself. I just got a 13" Air but the trackpad was recessed on one side and ended up returning it. Now I am going to reorder but not sure which size I want. For the day I had the 13" I thought the footprint was a little big.
     
  4. tim100 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #4
    how about a 11 mba and 15 rmbp
     
  5. dmelgar macrumors 68000

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    Apr 29, 2005
    #5
    I had a 13" MBP and want to get something smaller with a fast SSD. I tried both the 11 and 13" MBA. The 13" seemed too similar to the MBP. Although portable, its hard to describe how much more portable the 11 is. You can take it with you everywhere, use it on the couch. Its no trouble at all to take it. I don't think about it. The 13" seems sooo much bigger for casual use out and about. Of course, the screen real estate is nice if you're not that worried about portability.
     
  6. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #6
    That was the plan. I have an 11" Air and I love it. But, here's what I see myself doing down the road ... I'll use the 15" rmbp a lot now cuz it's new and I am for sure impressed with the screen and everything about the rmbp, there's no problem there.

    However, as my past usage illustrates I always gravitate back to the Air, either the 11 or 13". Whether it's been a 15 or 17" MBP while I liked the extra screen real estate and power but I guess I love the MacBook Air's more, they're fast, capable, thin and light and very usable anywhere - both the 11 and 13".

    The rmbp is really thin and light for what it is. But the footprint is big, it's 50% heavier that the Air and I think long term the quick, thin and light Air is going to be what I'd grab for. Whether I'm sitting at a table, on a sofa, on my deck, on the go, or reclined in a chair the Air wins in those circumstances and that's how and where I use a laptop mostly.

    I'd also like to for once work from one 'main' machine, that's why the 11 and 15" combo isn't as appealing.

    The 11" Air would be my ideal main computer but for my work the smaller screen would be limiting at times.

    So, if I returned the rmbp then I'd exchange it for a 13" loaded Air. But, man would I miss the 11" Air as well as the 15" rmbp.

    Yea, I know #firstworldproblems and all, but Apple does make some fine notebooks now and the choice is hard for many of us.

    Still undecided.
     
  7. tim100 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #7
    its hard to go to a bigger laptop after using the air. i think 11 inch is too small for only machine. so either a 13 mba or 2 laptops rmbp and 11 mba. also going from the retina apples top of the line offering to its entry level notebook, 11 inch air doesn't make sense.
     
  8. danrhiggins macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    #8
    The double-edged sword of "choices"

    So much depends on your use. It seems to me it is all about footprint/weight vs screen real estate when comparing the 11" to the 13". And this all depends on how you use it. I have an MBA connected to a Thunderbolt display. But I travel a fair bit and when I do I need the 13". My notebook IS my office. Even with gestures, etc. I still need to have 2-3 apps open in front of me to be effective. Outlook, OmniOutliner and maybe PowerPoint.

    I had (actually still have and am trying to sell) a Sony Vaio Z. Great notebook for its time. SSD, fast, light (carbon fiber chassis) but the screen was more like that of a MBA 11" and for me it was just too small unless I was just going down to Starbucks or fiddling on the couch.

    But you may not use the notebook the same way.

    BTW, I tried to talk myself into a MBPR. I took my MBA to the Apple store, set it down next to the MBPR and tried all kinds of experiments. I kept finding myself preferring the MBA. But that is just me. I have a 2011 17" MBP that is a beast compared to the MBA. I may replace that with a 2nd ten MBPR next year.
     
  9. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #9
    Do you use your 17" often, or is your 13" MBA your main machine?
     
  10. danrhiggins, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012

    danrhiggins macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    #10
    I use my MBA much, much more

    My MBA is my primary system. I spend 8-10 hours a day on it as I use it for work. At the office it is tethered to a Thunderbolt display. I take the MBA with me when I travel.

    I originally picked up the 17" for my photography hobby (soccer action, landscapes, etc.) and at the time my small system for work, travel, etc. was a Sony Vaio Z. But when the 2011 MBA came out it was a major upgrade. So I switched to all Mac (though running Win7 on Parallels most of the time for the first couple of months as I learned the Mac environment.)

    Now my 17" machine is still used for photography and as a backup system. And if I need lot of screen real estate for a task and am only going down to the local Starbucks (not getting on an airplane) I'll lug along the 17". Or maybe if I am spending a few days on vacation and expect to be shooting a lot of pics. But it is a desktop replacement, not a highly portable notebook.

    This is why I may replace the 17" with a MBP Retina next year when the 2nd generation comes out. It will still be my photography/backup machine and will still see only 20-30% of the activity of my MBA.

    Bottom line is that the MBA is one serious machine. I find myself looking at it and having a hard time believing it has so much power in a case that seems more like a toy. ;-) But it does. Flash storage, 8GB of memory, definitely fast enough processors, lasts for well over 5 hours (more if I am just surfing and using Office.) All in a package that slips stealthily into a nice, leather portfolio.
     
  11. macbook123 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    #11
    As you know from the other threads, OP, I'm in a similar situation. Am typing this on my 2011 13.3" Air after using the RMBP exclusively for about a week. The decision would be easy if this MBA had an IPS display -- I find myself missing the resolution of the RMBP much less than the contrast. The Air has fine resolution but everything seems to ridiculously washed out in comparison to the RMBP. Makes me wonder why Apple isn't offering an IPS panel for the Air. It seems like such a no-brainer. Very odd.

    I think if I could get a guarantee that I'd get a Samsung display and SSD on a new 512/8/2.0 Air, I'd swap the RMBP for it. Given that I might have to go through several returns on the new Air to secure that combination, I'm holding off...just don't have the time to play lottery anymore like I did with the iPad 3. On the other hand I will have to return the RMBP soon as it has four dead pixels, so I might just give the Air a try then.

    ----------

    Btw, I'm surprised people are focusing so much on footprint and weight of the Air, when I find the tapered edge design at least as important in giving it an edge over all the MBPs. You mention the weight in the context of using it on your lap a lot, but don't you notice that it also doesn't cut your wrists like the Pro does?
     
  12. Trey M macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #12
    Similar to some others, I have a 2011 11'' Air and a rMBP. Details are in the signature.

    I can definitely understand how you miss the footprint, I used a 13'' Air extensively and I loved the footprint. It's very similar to the 11'' Air, as well. There's no right or wrong answer, it's all definitely your call, but if you don't see yourself needing the rMBP's power then it might be a good call to return it. I love the machine, and I use it way more than I used my 2011 MBP (probably just because of the screen), but people have a weird love affair for Airs, myself included, and I can definitely see why you and others would never want anything but an Air.
     
  13. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #13
    Now that you have your rMBP how often will you use your 11"?
     
  14. winterny macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    #14
    I played with a 13" in the store, and it feels too big. I like the "childrens toy" quality of the 11".
     
  15. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #15
    I have the rMBP and I am keeping my 2011 MBA ultimate - the best of both worlds.
     
  16. jackosx macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    #16
    I had a rMBP on order for weeks, after reading the artcle about the hardware not being up to scratch and laggy UI, I cancelled and ordered a BTO 11" 256gb/8gb/2ghz instead..

    I will either go for an iMac when it has a significant upgrade or the next MacBook Pro refresh.
     
  17. oxfordguy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Location:
    Oxford, England
    #17
    I have an early-2008 MBP that I'd been waiting ages to upgrade, seriously considered the rMBP, but in the end thought that getting a "Rev A" retina MBP was not such a good idea - there's not enough content/apps out there that the rMBP will really benefit from, its expensive, and its sounds like the hardware is only just up to the job.

    I also decided I wanted something smaller and lighter, and once I realised that the new MBA could support 8Gb RAM and USB3, I jumped on that instead (with an i7 CPU) - the only slight worry is the lack of a discrete GPU, though for my needs (which include some light gaming and Photoshop use, but not fast FPS games or HD video editing) the Intel 4000 HD is probably enough. I could be tempted by a Haswell rMBP next year though...
     
  18. dasx macrumors 65816

    dasx

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Location:
    Barcelona
    #18
    I didn't actually get a rMBP and go back to the MBA but I think I did something similar. I accidentally spilled coffee on mi 2010 13" MBP (which was more than enough for me) and had to look at a new laptop.

    I first fell in love with the rMBP, but thank to it's high demand, I managed to tell myself to wait until they had one at the Apple Store so I could go check it out. I was playing around with it, and yes, it's so nice and so impressive. I then went to a BASE 13" MBA and installed all the software that I usually use (I love how Apple lets you do this in their machines), and I saw it did perfectly fine with ALL of it.

    I was not gonna use the extra power and it'd be worse to carry around, so I though: Why spending an extra 1000€ for just a nicer screen (not better estate)?

    I ended up getting the most basic 13" MBA. My idea is to keep it 2/3 years and get a 13" MBA as soon as they equip retina display. (They eventually will)
     
  19. Trey M macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

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    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #19
    Anytime I'm not using it at my desk. I prefer to use the Air while on my couch or bed, but I definitely prefer to use my rMBP on my desk. Also, travelling I will almost always bring my Air. I think this not only has to do with form factor but also because of the fact that I'm afraid to move a $2400 machine around constantly.
     
  20. dmelgar, Jul 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012

    dmelgar macrumors 68000

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    Apr 29, 2005
    #20
    Just because the 11 is offered in a very low configuration doesn't make it always the "entry level notebook". To the contrary, it upgrades to the same components as the 13", so the 13" is just as "entry level" as the 11.

    Bottom line, the 11" can be a very powerful machine and would easily handle what most folks need even as a primary computer. If you need a bigger display it will even handle an external monitor up to 2560 by 1600.

    And folks talking about leaving the expensive computer at home and carrying the MBA around, realize that you can configure the 11" MBA up to a price of $2150. So it isn't exactly cheap and essentially the same price as the base rMBP.

    All that said, resale on upgraded Airs seems to stink. 11" maxed out Airs are sometimes selling for less than base models on eBay.
     
  21. mattopotamus macrumors G4

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #21
    someone else posted in another thread that the resell for an 11" in general is quite bad. I guess it is a very niche market
     
  22. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

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    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #22
    On previous polls here the 11 and 13" seem to come in equal for popularity. It wouldn't surprise me if the 13" outsold the 11" by some margin in the 'non-geek' world. It's the sweet spot for a lot of people.

    Question is, what's the new sweet spot for computing, a maxed out 13" MBA or the Retina MacBook Pro. Not considering the price, rather what's the best 'daily driver'. It depends on how it will be used of course but either way they're both compelling machines with attractive features.
     
  23. entatlrg, Jul 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012

    entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #23


    You made good points. Particularly about the sharp edges. I cut my inner forearm a few years back enough that it drew blood … no doubt my fault how it happened, I jumped up and ran my inner forearm hard across the edge, but had the edge not been sharp nothing would of happened. I made a post about it here, got slammed, was told my typing style was all wrong blah, blah. I have done my part at least, since the first MBP's came out with sharp edges I've emailed feedback@Apple numerous times. There's talk about it on the Apple forums for years. You can see how it's turned out, rMBP edges are still sharp making my Air more comfortable for typing on my lap or non optimal position. …. Amazing Apple can't round that edge, takes a second and costs nothing to do.

    As far as displays go I'm lucky with the MBA's, no major problems. I will say in dim light or dusk the screen does strain my eyes more than the MBP's I've had. Making sure I'm in good lighting solved the problem. I used to check and see whether the display or HD was Samsung or LG, but I gave up on that as I don't want to urk my ocd tendencies :)

    When it comes to the rMBP thankfully price isn't a factor, and sure I'd like to own cutting edge, future tech, the display is for sure stunning. But being an Air owner I'm spoiled by their weight and footprint, now they have 8GB ram, 512SSD's it's what most Air owners have been dreaming of.

    If I keep the rMBP then I'll also have an 11" Air for sure, or maybe a 13" because now when I switch back to the 11" the text seems super small compared to the rMBP and it takes my eyes a few minutes to adjust. The rMBP screen spoils be, but since I like to type 'anywhere' and on the go I'm sure the Air will get more attention than the rMBP, that makes me question whether I should keep it or not. Maybe I should just buy a 13" MBA ultimate, work from one machine and be done with it.

    What's holding me back is if I do that I loose major in screen real estate and 'eye comfort' and that it makes me want to just keep the rMBP make it my main machine and get used to the size and weight.

    The 13" MBA 2.0./8/512 is more practical and sensible plus there's the pleasure of working from one main machine rather than two. The downside is loosing the beautiful larger screen of the the rMBP and I'll miss the 11" for sure. So by going with the 13" MBA I miss out on nice future tech laptop powerful and with retina display also the very cool and alluring 11" MBA that I enjoy so much.

    My take on it is, it's either the best of both worlds - 15 and 11" or being maybe more rational and compromise a little and buy the 13" MBA that's good at everything, but not excellent in either display or super small for mobility.
     
  24. macbook123 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    #24
    I couldn't agree more and wonder if you agree that a 15.4" Macbook Air with 1650x1050 resolution IPS display, integrated GPU only and the same same dual core CPU as in the 13.3" Air (all to make the laptop less power hungry and allowing for a smaller battery) weighing around 4 pounds would be the optimal compromise? Optimally with narrower bezel so it would have similar footprint as the 13.3" Air?

    I'm finding 80% of the appeal of the RMBP comes from the fact that its display is IPS. All the other factors, including the retina aspect, are far less important to me personally. Even if the 13.3" Air came with an IPS panel, I wouldn't have to think much...
     
  25. luqtotheman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    #25
    Just returned rMBP

    Hey guys,

    I actually just got my Mac Air after using my rMBP after about a week. Honestly it is a great machine but I realized quickly it wasn't for me. The screen was amazing and really thin for its size but just too big overall for me.

    As a student I am constantly on the go and I fly around a little and wanted a light Mac air. I already like it more, super thin and light and I got the 512/8gb/2.0 i7 for longevity.

    I have no regrets about returning the rMBP, it's great for certain people but I realized an air would be way better.
     

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