Haswell: 13 inch Retina MacBook Pro or 13 inch MacBook Air??

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by boombox15, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. boombox15 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    #1
    Hi Everyone

    Now that Apple has finally updated the MacBook Pro, I am wondering if I should buy the 13 inch Retina MacBook Pro, or the 13 inch MacBook Air. Both choices are now very tempting. I sold my Ivy Bridge 15 inch Retina MacBook Pro to get a new Haswell Machine, and the 15 inch was an overkill for my needs.

    I am interested in the 13 inch MacBook Air because of it's super thin and light design, and because of it's massive 12+ hour battery life.

    The 13 inch Retina MacBook Pro is interesting to me because of it's amazing display, and it's faster performance.

    So what's the best choice for my needs?

    The things I would do on the computer

    Use all of the pre-loaded apps
    Download more from the Mac App Store
    Use iMovie for movie projects
    Use iPhoto for storing photos
    Edit photos in Aperture
    Use Pages for documents

    I was reading up on it, and it appears that the SSD in the Air is slower? Is that true?

    The configurations I am thinking about

    13 inch MacBook Air 1.3 or 1.7GHz, 8GB RAM, 256 or 512GB Flash
    13 inch Retina MacBook Pro $1499 or $1799 model

    I will buy on Black Friday to save some money, so I need to decide in 13 days.

    Thanks!
     
  2. cheesyappleuser macrumors 6502a

    cheesyappleuser

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Location:
    Portugal
    #2
    Haswell: 13 inch Retina MacBook Pro or 13 inch MacBook Air??

    There are many threads regarding similar thoughts to yours, so I believe you should have searched before.

    ...

    Anyway, I'd go for the rMBP for the retina display. Small price difference, still great battery life (9+ hours) and more processing power. Slightly thicker and heavier, but at this point comparing that is a bit over the edge.
    Would get at least 8GB of RAM, and you'll want 256GB SSD if the base option doesn't suit your needs.

    EDIT: The SSD in the 2013 MBA is about the same speed, I think. And you can get it discounted, no taxes from MacMall today - even though they might add an extra discount. Check AppleInsider's Mac Price Guide for more info
     
  3. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #3
    Its honesty your decision. Performance-wise, you won't see any difference between the two. So you have to decide what is more interesting to you: a slightly lighter machine with a longer battery life or a one with a much better display (+slightly better performance for occasional prolonged heavy load situations). If you really can't decide, just take the cheaper one ;)
     
  4. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    #4
    Didn't you already buy the rMBP? Anyway, Black Friday won't save you any money. Just use the education discount.

    rMBP is a way better buy as far as 13-inch models go. The $1,499 configuration is the best value you will get.
     
  5. ASKendrew macrumors 6502

    ASKendrew

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #5
    From my point of view, once I started using my rMBP I couldn't look at anything else without straight away noticing the lack of quality and frankly lack of pixels! If you already had a rMBP before as you stated, I reckon you'll really miss the quality of the Retina display. :rolleyes:
     
  6. boombox15 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    #6
    I also plan on buying on a 21.5 inch iMac with 256GB Flash so this will not be my main machine. Is the MacBook Air screen really that bad?
     
  7. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    #7
    Go check them out at the stores. It is bad, but some are OK with it.
     
  8. Beezy253 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    #8
    IMO, yes.

    Plus, I can't stand the silver bezel on the Air.
     
  9. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    #9
    This. I got the $1499 rMBP with the education discount, and it really is a great buy. I upgraded from a 2009 13" MBP. The MBA is technically lighter, but I really like how the rMBP seems more compact. The thinness of the MBA actually takes up more desk space. Coming from an older MBP, the thickness isn't a big deal for me. In terms of specs, the rMBP is more than I need, but it will still be relevant in 4-5 years. Also from what I've seen, most battery estimates are actually better than Apple has said. They say 9 hours, but many people are reporting 11, 12, sometimes more depending on usage. Safari vs. Chrome seems to be one of the big differences (Safari uses less power but more RAM, I believe).

    If you plan to upgrade in a year or two and need a very light, portable laptop, then the MBA might be your best choice. The rMBP is still very portable but will also be usable a few years down the road and certainly has the processing power for everything you want to do as well as the retina display ;). The $1499 2.4/8/256 is also a great value.

    On the subject of Black Friday, my understanding is that the Apple discounts are not huge like other retailers. If you can get the education discount, it's very good. AppleCare is also less expensive through the edu store.
     
  10. boombox15 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    #10
    I won't be able to do the education discount (not a student) and another thing I should mention, I always upgrade my computers when new ones come out, so at some point in 2014 (When Broadwell comes out) I will sell the Haswell Model to get the new one, so I keep computers for usually 8-12 months. Have no idea when the new Broadwell models are coming, but it will be sometime in 2014.
     
  11. cheesyappleuser macrumors 6502a

    cheesyappleuser

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Location:
    Portugal
    #11
    It is not bad. The thing is a retina display is that much better!
    Besides I don't like the silver bezel in the Air as well. The rMBP looks a lot more professional in that matter
     
  12. Agent-P macrumors 68030

    Agent-P

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    Location:
    The Tri-State Area
    #12
    If this is the case, I'd rather go for the rMBP because if people already complain about the MBA screen then that sentiment will be even worse next year. I'd expect the resale value to be better for the rMBP. And you'd be using the better device (IMO) for the next year. If battery life is your concern, I can guarantee with just web browsing you'll be getting the full 9 hours (I have the 13" Haswell rMBP and whenever I'm just web browsing I actually get more than 9 hours of use).
     
  13. Neocortex27 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    #13
    I just bought the new 13" rMBP last month and I love it. I was also trying to decide between the Air and the rMBP, but in the end I realized I wanted a larger hard drive if I'm going to spend more to get the 512 GB model, might as well get the retina screen.
     
  14. daudi81 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2013
    #14
    I actually noticed a difference to be honest. I don't really consider myself a power user either. I do some video encoding and editing (hobby) but otherwise just have a bunch of tabbed browsers up and maybe a spreadsheet or two, podcast or spotify playing, skype chat, and maybe photoshop on the rare occasion...that's about it. The Air would dog down on bigger spreadsheets, where the MBP didn't skip a beat. And if I was encoding a video at the same time....it was frustratingly laggy. Maybe I had a defective one who knows.
     
  15. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    #15
    But you don't need to be a student. Just order online using it, anyone can do it.
     
  16. boombox15, Nov 17, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013

    boombox15 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    #16
    The 13 inch Retina MacBook Pro does fit in my budget, but I would have to stick with 256GB and the $1499 model.

    I went to look at both of them yesterday, and while the Retina MacBook Pro 13 inch has a nice looking screen, the screen on the 13 inch MacBook Air is not that bad at all. And, it seems that the screen on the air is a little bigger


    I actually think I will like the Air better to go along with my 21.5 inch iMac. If I decide on the Air, what configuration should I get?

    For the Air, I could do

    1.7/4/256
    1.3/4/512
    1.3/8/512


    I will go to look at them again next weekend so I can make choice on Black Friday.

    And, could I do fine with 256GB if I plan to keep it for at most 10 months? And have no need for an external hard drive? I like to store everything on the built in storage.
     
  17. sheedyxx macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    #17
    I upgraded from the 13" 2012 Macbook Air 256GB 8GB to the 13" Late 2013 Retina 256GB 8GB and performance wise the retina is slightly faster but not by much. I had the Air for around a year and the weight difference is noticeable but nothing that would make much difference day to day. Battery life the retina is better but that is to be expected with the new processor. I ran Memory Clean on the Air and now on the retina and strangely during normal web browsing on the Air, I used between 2-3GB RAM but on the retina I use between 3-5GB RAM which I am guessing is due to the retina screen but it doesn't really affect performance. The Air was a great machine but I recommend the retina.
     
  18. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    #18
    Too bad it's illegal and dishonest.
     
  19. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    #19
    But is it really?

    ----------

    Go for it. 256GB sounds like it would be enough for you.
     
  20. Breedlove macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #20
    Yep.
    Just because Apple won't care enough take you to court or report you to the authorities doesn't change the fact that this could be a felony offense.

    It's illegal and dishonest but most people will not care.
    :rolleyes:
     
  21. boombox15 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    #21
    Just thought of another thing. With my previous Retina MacBook Pro, it developed dead pixels, and the screen was replaced twice during the 5 months that I had it. Hearing more issues with the new models, and it was tiring with dead pixels.

    The MacBook Air would be far less likely to develop any screen issues, right?
     
  22. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    #22
    Not really. About the same. Just pick one. The 2nd-gen rMBPs don't have as much screen issues, but if you are in pursuit of the perfect machine then you will never get one.
     
  23. Raffi macrumors 6502a

    Raffi

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    #23
    I would love too have a macbook air. If it were $200 cheaper and the screen was better. Honestly I think the macbook air screen is the worse thing that apple makes. It hasn't progressed since the air was released. If it has then the development team should be gunned down.
     
  24. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    #24
    Almost a month and no screen issues with my 13" rMBP. I've seen posts about issues with the 15" models but very few with the 13".
     
  25. drxcm macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    #25
    I was having the same dilemma.

    In the end I went with rMBP.

    A few things swung it for me:
    1. RETINA - can't look at my old 11" MBA screen without grumbling now
    2. Smaller footprint than the 13" MBA
    3. No silver bezel
    4. HDMI port
     

Share This Page