I am a student who is studying accounting; however, due to a mild disability I use dictation for almost all of my correspondence. I am in the market for a new machine and am deciding between these configs: (1) 13" MBA, with processor, memory, and SSD upgraded to max (2) stock 15 rMBP (2.7GHz model), with 16GB RAM as standard I do some photo edits given I am a storm spotter (my images show up on broadcast tv -- we're talking hundreds of thousands of people seeing these.) But my biggest concern right now is memory. On my current machine (a mid 2009 3.06GHz C2D 15" MBP), I use close to 7GB with my dictation software open. Retina favored for: photography, better screen / less fatigue. Only machine with 16GB memory. Air favored for: smaller and more portable (3lb vs. 5.6 now), 12hrs (!!) battery life, ≈ 10:30 in normal usage. Less disk swapping? Subjectively, less glare than the retinas. Who has a maxed out Air (2012 would suffice for comparison purposes) that might be able to weigh in? (Note that the air gets 512GB SSD and 8GB memory upgrades. I can't live on 4GB. Processor isn't as big of an issue, as I get several generations better regardless of which way I go.) Ideally, I'd wait for a Haswell rMBP but I have to get the machine before August so I may get IVB instead, should I stick with the retina. I've had my current cMBP for 3.5 years. I expect the next machine to last at least that long.