iMac + MBA vs RMBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Samuel1994, Oct 6, 2012.


What should I do?

  1. Keep the MBA + iMac

    8 vote(s)
  2. Get the Retina MBP

    5 vote(s)
  1. Samuel1994 macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2011

    I'm starting university next year (moving to Canberra in Australia from near Sydney), and I'm not sure what to do on the computer front. Currently I own a 2009 i7 iMac whose performance etc I'm totally happy with since I upped it to 16GB of RAM and a 2011 11" MBA higher end model. However, as I'll be going to university where I'd be there for ~7 months of the year and home for the remaining ~5, my iMac would only be able to be at one location… In light of that, and the fact I'd imagine I would be working a fair bit in libraries and around the campus and not just in my room, I'm considering selling off the iMac and MBA to get a RMBP. I'm just looking for some advice on this in terms what what would people do in my situation… I guess the main issue is that I really do love having a decent sized screen, so whether people consider the RMBP set to the 'looks like 1920x1200' option is good enough as a desktop replacement for referencing with lots of windows open and so on (as I'll be doing Arts / Law), and besides that, whether people think it's too big for carrying around the campus every day. Although, any other thoughts / opinions are welcome.


  2. Samuel1994 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2011
    I guess one other factor is the point that the 11" MBA's battery life isn't anything to write home about, so if I was planning on working in libraries etc I'd need to take a charger with me anyway. Still, I'd miss the 27" screen for multi-tasking and watching movies. As one more addendum, what do you think the values of my iMac and MBA would be?
  3. kylera macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2010
    "Heavy" seems to be a relative term when it comes to laptops when I look at my friends and coworkers. Some people don't mind carrying a 14" desktop replacement wherever they go while others cringe and always want to stick to an Air or equivalent.

    If it were me and you don't mind the weight, I would recommend the Retina and sell off the rest.
  4. Samuel1994 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2011
    I'm not overly concerned about the weight… I used to have a 13" pro which was fine and the retina is basically the same weight as that. It's more about the screen size really. Thanks for the advice though.
  5. Samuel1994 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2011
    Does anyone else have any ideas? I'm really not sure...
  6. aloshka macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    I was in the same boat as you. I had a Mac Pro and MBA 13". However, I have a lot of hard-to-move content on the Mac Pro (primarily virtual machines). It was insanely hard to let go of the Mac pro and get the Retina, but Retina is perfect sized and super powerful--I really cannot tell the difference between 3.33 6-core and the retina, keep in mind I had RAID 0 SSDs in the Mac pro. I recommend get the Retina and if at all possible figure out a way to get the thunderbolt display. I have dual-thunderbolts and it's just awesome, 2 cables and it's an insane dual screen workstation. Laptop-mode for travel, and desktop for home (although since I got it, I've been at coffee shops, couch, and school at the cafe).

    It's expensive but worth the money IMO.

    That being said, I still have some weird connection and miss the Mac Pro. I'm not sure why. Maybe it was always on, but I couldn't stand remoting into it from the MBA or maybe scrolling, etc felt a little smoother. I don't know. The rMBP handles dual-thunderbolts perfectly. I never played games, so don't care about that. It's just something and I can't put my finger on it.

    Hope I helped and not confused you even more.
  7. DNAppleGold macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2009
    If you are concerned about the screen but not the extra weight, go for the MBPr. It is an absolute joy to use. Everything is so buttery smooth and the screen is every bit as good as people say. You'll swear you have a larger screen.
  8. qwarthon macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2012
    id go with the retina

    i have one and its great. i have a dvi connected 1600x1200 display and i use that sometimes, but usually i don't need it. get a retina model. its great and totally worth it
  9. aloshka macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    I really miss having a pc and a laptop. I love having the RMBP, but I rather have a nice PC running all the time and a laptop to remote into it. That way, I can close the laptop without worrying about running 4-5 vms or pausing them. They can keep processing whatever I left behind.
  10. MacSignal macrumors regular

    May 8, 2010
    Your preference for the large screen points to keeping the iMac, but you won't be able to take your iMac to the library when you need to be working there. If you are not that concerned about weight, the rMBP will offer the single best display and reasonable portability. Maybe add an external monitor if you find the rMBP screen is not large enough for the way you want to work?
  11. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I wouldn't go with a desktop if it will require storage for either 5 or 7 months out of the year. If you're starting in the fall, we'll probably see a second generation rMBP by then. It's still basically a first generation product right now. If you're going to college then, I'd buy closer to that time. In terms of screen real estate, you have to make that choice for yourself. Notebook displays can feel a little cramped regardless of resolution.

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