Do you have retina envy?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by badlydrawnboy, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. badlydrawnboy macrumors 65816

    Oct 20, 2003
    I'm trying to decide between the 13" MBA and 13" rMBP, and for me it simply boils down to retina vs. extra battery life. The other differences/factors don't matter to me.

    I've been to the Apple Store to compare the displays, but that's 20 minutes in a single lighting environment. The extra battery life of the MBA really appeals because I'm going to be traveling a lot next year, but I'm worried that I'll miss the retina display.

    I'm particularly interested in hearing from folks that have used both extensively.

  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Will the rMBP perform faster because its using the mobile Haswell chipset vs. the ULV variant?

    How are you looking to use the laptop, i.e., apps?

    Personally, if battery life is high on your list then the MBA may be the best choice. With Mavericks, I think the 13" rMBP is going to get fantastic battery performance as well. I know I'm not helping your cause any :(
  3. polee macrumors 6502a


    Jul 22, 2008
    On the 11" MBA, the screen is pretty sharp. Retina is much sharper I know but I'd prefer a longer battery life...
  4. yosemit macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2013
    I do like the retina screen a lot. It is beautiful. If I would use a Macbook solo most the time, I would purchase the retina MBP.

    But I use my Macbook with 24" external displays most time, at two locations, so it makes more sense to me to get the 11" MBA (I did). The portability of 11" wins. It is lighter than a textbook.

    I wonder if next year Apple will produce the rumored 12" MBA with retina. That would be a wonderful machine.


    There will be many testing results soon. Some preliminary results are out, and it seems MBA and the new 13" rMBP are very close in performance.

  5. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    No. I prefer my 13" MBA over my girlfriends' 13" rMBP.
  6. helix142 macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2013
    I have a 2013 MBA and love the screen, also the portability and battery life. I think the whole retina thing is more marketing then anything else. I actually hope that they don't go retina on the MBA as that would just consume more GPU and Battery for very little benefit.
  7. petvas macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
    I have a 15" retina MBP and a 11" MBA and the difference is really great. The non retina screen feels dirty, as if something is wrong with it. Of course you can get used to it, but the difference is really big. I can't imagine having a non retina laptop as my only computer...
    Battery life on the Retina Macbook Pro is very good too, so I don't see that as a problem.
  8. ValSalva macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    I have a 15" rMBP and an 11" MBA. The Retina display is not just marketing. It's amazing. But if battery life is your main deciding factor, go with the MBA. With Mavericks some people are getting up to 15 hours of battery life. If you can get by with 8-9 hours of battery life then you will not regret getting the Retina MBP which is also more powerful.
  9. badlydrawnboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 20, 2003
    All good points. When I'm not traveling and working in my home office (majority of the time) I will have the laptop hooked up to a 24" NEC PA241 which is a really nice display.

    Since I'll be traveling for a month straight in January, maybe I should go for the 13" MBA now and then consider replacing with 13" rMBP or 12" MBA (if that happens) after the crazy travel period has passed.
  10. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    Have you seen a retina display? It very clearly is not just marketing. That thing is absolutely beautiful. The question is do you value portability and battery life more than an outstanding screen.
  11. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    The retina screens are stunning and extraordinarily impressive. Am I seriously impressed by them? Yes, of course. Sufficiently impressed to forego the other incredible advantages of the MBA (portability, weight, sheer blazing speed of a large SSD drive that you don't need a mortgage to pay for, and great battery life)? No, I'm not.

    Someday, Apple may consider putting a retina screen into a MBA, and that is the day I will consider buying one. Indeed, until the appearance and development of retina technology, the MBA boasted the best screen of any Apple laptop.
  12. stayley macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2013
    Personally I don't care about the retina'ness of the retina (as in pixel density and resolution) but it is a beautiful display. The MBAs look ridiculous when put next to it. I ran a HD video on both the MBA and the new rMBP simultaneously and the MBA screen looked pathetic, washed out and without life (nothing I'd have noticed if I didn't make the direct comparison, but still...). The richness and colour gamut of the Retina truly are remarkable (though there are windoze laptops that are at least on par).

    Still, I went with the MBA. I prefer the form factor, battery life, keyboard. I just find it a superior computer for my use.

    As I mentioned somewhere else, I don't think the rMBP is there yet to make the MBA obsolete. Even given the marginal difference in price for the lower-end models (I'm talking about the i5/8/256 that I was considering).
  13. Max(IT) Suspended


    Dec 8, 2009
    Once you tried retina, you'll never came back ....
    It was the same with iPad: "who need retina ?". Look at an iPad 2 now ....

    I have a MBP and a MBA, but I'm looking for a retina in the future ....
  14. na1577 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 20, 2008
    I debated about upgrading to the 15" Retina last year but settled for an Air. The Retina Displays are beautiful, but there's too much unoptimized content out there for me to switch. I dual boot with Windows 7 and use a lot of older programs that will never be updated to scale properly.

    By the time I upgrade again, there probably won't be a choice. It will all be Retina in a few years. When the time comes, I'll be happy to move on, but for now I can deal with the big pixels.
  15. Jefe's MacAir macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2010
    No envy because the Air fits my needs so well. Would I like a Retina screen? Hellz ya! And I am already trying to come up with an excuse to get the new 12" Pro/Air rumored on the horizon as I just bought this new 13' 13".
  16. petvas macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
    Windows 8.1 supports retina displays
  17. RightMACatU macrumors 65816


    Jul 12, 2012
    Envy, yes.
    As a Galaxy S4 owner with 1080p I bought an 800p Tab3 8" and went... uuuuhh!:(
    You get used to nicer displays.
  18. majkom macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    ok, retina is superior to airs TN, that is crystal clear, but air does not suffer IR and has no UI lags (even 2013 rMBpro are laggy - mission control is laggy as hell)
  19. Steve121178 macrumors 601


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
    Have you ever seen/used one? I thought it was a load of waffle until I did.
  20. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    I have 13 inch retina MacBook Pro and 11 and 13 inch MacBook Air.

    For me the screen is the most important because that is what you spend so many hours looking at. The screen is leaps and bounds better on the retina MacBook Pro there is no question about that.

    I chose the retina but I still use my 11 inch air occasionally particularly when I'm reclined in my chair.


    You couldn't be more wrong. Put both side by side or better yet use each one for a few hours then make that statement with a straight face.
  21. Dweez macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
  22. Jinzen macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2012
    The screen is what you stare at while using a computer, so the benefit to some (including me), is make or break.

    Retina is not necessary, but high resolution IPS absolutely is, and the Macbook Air is just an inadequate TN panel at this point in time (2013-2014).

    IPS will come to the Macbook Air, next year or maybe year after. No one else is using TN panels in their Ultrabooks anymore, so eventually, Apple will compete (like they did with the iPad Mini and 4" iPhone and eventually 5").
  23. petvas macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
    Have you worked with a retina display? The lack of it on the MBA was a deal breaker for me. I tried, I bought one, but every time I looked at it I thought the display was somehow broken, or dirty, in need of cleaning. At the end I sold it.
    The MBA is a great laptop, but if you have seen a retina display, then it is difficult to accept the lack of it.
  24. vicynic macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2013
    New Jersey
    No retina envy. Wouldn't have got the MBA otherwise.
  25. iRun26.2 macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2010
    I've never actually seen a retina-MBP but I do have a 11" MBA. My reference point is my iPhone 5. I can hold my iPhone 5 next to my MBA display and the iPhone 5 screen looks so much better.

    I am not buying another MBA until Apple releases a MBA with a better display. I'm hoping the rumors of a 12" IGZO retina screen for a thinner 2014 MBA are true. That would be awesome! They would have a sale with me.

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