Help me pick - stuck for weeks!

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by rhino89, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. rhino89 macrumors regular

    Nov 7, 2011
    Hoping you guys can help me pick between MBA and rMBP, been stuck for weeks. Definitely going with 8gb RAM, and 128-256 GB SSD:

    I want a 13" laptop that will last me at least 3-5 years. I'm the kind of person who has 15 tabs open in chrome, iTunes playing music, I'm downloading things in the background, transferring/using multiple documents and files with finder, streaming shows, and also emailing/messaging. Lots of multitasking, but not sure if necessarily power-hungry multitasking (I definitely don't video edit or photo edit, but I do sometimes work with just transferring large photos). Here's why I'm stuck:

    MBA: love the portability and battery life, but portability isn't a must-have since I won't be carrying it around. Screen on these will probably be considered "subpar" within 1-2 years. But they're so light-weight very convenient even at home.

    rMBP: retina screen will probably become the "standard" within 1-2 years. Battery life I'm seeing some quotes between 7-9 hours, which is okay but 12 hours on MBA would have been nice (but not a deal breaker). At the same time, this is a performance beast that will be future-proofed for the next 3-5 years. Heavier than MBA, but retina and performance and a "tighter package" (it seems like it's more compact, slightly smaller on all sides) are a plus and I have no worries it'll be able to handle my multitasking.

    Price-wise, it breaks down to this list of deals I can choose from (all 13"):
    1.4 MBA 8gb 256 gb: $1035
    1.4 MBA 8 gb 128gb: $845
    1.7 MBA 8gb 128gb: $1075
    1.7 MBA 8gb 256gb: $1178
    2.6 rMBP 8gb 128gb: $1030
    2.6 rMBP 8gb 256gb: $1180

    Money isn't tight, but I want a good value for the pricetag, definitely a 5-year "investment" in this computer.

    All input is very much appreciated!!!
  2. FatPigeon macrumors newbie


    Oct 5, 2014
  3. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    You're on the right track wondering if your multitasking is "power-hungry." None of the things you mentioned would stress out a current, base model MacBook, even if you do them all at the same time.
  4. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    1.4 MBA 8 gb 128gb: $845

    Go with that one. Where are you finding an 8GB model so cheap?
  5. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Money not an issue? No portability needed? Get an iMac!

    If you decide for any of the macbooks just consider if you need the retina or storage.
    Nothing else needed since you are a very light user.
  6. skaertus macrumors 68030


    Feb 23, 2009
    Is there any specific reason why you want a 13-inch laptop?

    If this is the case, then you should get the 13-inch retina MacBook Pro. It's better than the Air. The Air has basically two advantages over the Pro. First, it's more portable, but the difference in weight is small (2.96 lbs vs. 3.46 lbs), and it will make little difference for you if you don't intend to carry it around. Second, it has a better battery life, and that is because of the less power-hungry screen; but is battery life so important if you intend to use it at home?

    If you are going to use it at home, you should take a look at the 15-inch retina MacBook Pro, which is more powerful and has a larger screen; of course it weighs more, but it is still a lightweight.

    And, as suggested, why don't you take a look at the iMac? A desktop is more powerful, has a bigger screen, and is more comfortable to use at home. If money is really no concern, the retina iMac has a fantastic screen and should be a joy to use.
  7. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    rMBP, your eyes will thank you if you're on it more than a few hours.
  8. FuNGi macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2010
    2.6 rMBP 8gb 256gb: $1180

    For sure with those prices. You'll be reassured you got a retina screen after about 1 hour and thankful after a year.
  9. yosemit macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2013
    The 13" rMBP and the MBAs are close in CPU performance and the same in memory and SSD performance. The "Pro" name is misleading today. :)

    The key difference is the retina screen. It is beautiful. If the screen quality is important to you, get the rMBP. Or if you can wait, wait for the retina MBA.
  10. cr2 macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2011
    I might be due for an upgrade sometime, does rMBP makes any noticeable improvement for once in a month photo app (LR4)? Rest is just browsing, emails, MS office etc.

    I went with MBP a few years ago so that I can put my own SSD and upgrade it to 16gb for a lot cheaper than Apple options.

    16Gb is a overkill for Mac, it never uses any memory (it is so efficient) while as my work laptop with more processing power, SSD and same ram runs out of memory with just Lotus Notes, Symphony, Sametime (all are basic apps like outllook and MS office). You have to see it to understand the pain....

Share This Page