Is the MBP screen better than the MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by BlockEight88, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. BlockEight88, Aug 31, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013

    BlockEight88 macrumors regular

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    #1
    I just ordered a fully maxed out MBA this morning for school. I had a 2010 MBP 15" and loved it. One of the things I loved the most was the gorgeous screen, but hated how heavy it was. That laptop lasted me a full three years and I got a lot for it once I sold it.

    I would like to know exactly how much of a step down is the MBA screen? My 15" MBP had a 1650x1050 resolution. I never have seen the Retina MBP in person. I am not too worried about the resolution, but the color gamut. Are the MBA screens breath taking or just so so?

    Secondly, I got it with the i7 processor and 8GB of ram. Don't necessarily need all that speed, but want to future proof my Mac. Is this a pretty decent processor?

    How is the 512GB flash hard drive? I have the 2012 iMac and love the fusion drive. But this is entirely flash store correct?

    Thanks guys.
     
  2. sofianito macrumors 65816

    sofianito

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    #2
    If you just ordered it, then you'll get answers to your questions in few days... :D
     
  3. BlockEight88 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    It was just something to think about in the meantime.
     
  4. sofianito macrumors 65816

    sofianito

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    #4
    If you just ordered it, I think it is better to have your own opinion first in order to avoid being coerced by others' opinions. Just a thought...

    I understand your 15" MBP 1650x1050 is a hi-res matte display, isn't it? The MBA has a glossy screen. You better have no source of light behind you like I do have right now at my local Apple store...

    The screen bezel is thick. I wish they could make it thinner to have more real estate especially in the 11" MBA...

    Have you considered a refurb 13" rMBP? If you add $20 you could get a i7 3GHz, 8GB, 512GB SSD...
     
  5. BlockEight88 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    I owned the 15" MBP with the glossy screen. I loved it. Didn't bother me at all. I own an iMac with a glossy screen. The glare doesn't bother me.

    I was asking more about the color gamut in the new air versus the current pro. I have no need for the 13" mbp, as I need something ultra light to carry with me. Many reviews even mentioning the Air outperforming the current mbp.
     
  6. sofianito macrumors 65816

    sofianito

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    #6
    I was referring to the current 13" rMBP (Retina MBP). It weighs 3.57 pounds (1.62 kg). The Haswell 13" MBA weighs 2.96 pounds (1.35kg). The difference is only 0.61 pounds (0.27 kg)...

    The color gamut of the 13" rMBP is much better but it requires more resources to drive the 4M retina pixels... The upcoming Haswell update will a GPU (Iris 5100) with twice performance of the HD4000. It'll also have PCIe-SSD and 802.11AC WiFi like the MBA...

    Don't misunderstand me, I like the 13" MBA. In my opinion, the quality of screen is regular as past non hires MBPs. I'm likely getting the i7, 8GB, 256GB and I'd likely use it with an external display...
     
  7. newdeal macrumors 68020

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    #7
    the pros screen is far better, especially because you had the high res screen. The airs screen is not nearly as good in terms of colour however you will get used to it in no time and then it will be fine just don't put them side by side and you won't realize it
     
  8. BlockEight88 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    After seeing the Air screen in person right besides the pro, I decided to cancel my order and wait for the 13" haswell MBP. It looks like there almost due out anyway. The Air screens look washed out compared to even the regular MBP screen.

    If only Apple would up the color gamut on the Air screen. I'm not asking for retina, but just better colors.
     
  9. newdeal macrumors 68020

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    #9
    well you wont have something ultralight to bring with you with the regular macbook pro. In fact I wouldnt say it is even a sure thing that the regular macbook pro will be upgraded to haswell I think it may be phased out
     
  10. BlockEight88 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    True. However, the 13" RMBP isn't no slouch. Apparently they made it a little lighter than the old 13" MBP. I'm gonna see how battery life is with the new haswell chips. I'd rather have the better screen.
     
  11. newdeal macrumors 68020

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    #11
    Yeah the 13" retina is pretty darned good. its is much lighter than the old pro and the screen is much better also. Battery life will get a bump but I would expect it will increase from 7 hours to 9 hours, not as dramatic as the air but still pretty good. I would expect the price to drop by $100 on the 13" also
     
  12. robvas macrumors 68030

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    #12
    The glare isn't bad as long as you can position yourself so that you don't have your back to lights or a window. Easier to do with a stationary computer like an iMac, but harder with a laptop in those cases where you are forced to sit by a window at a cafe, etc.
     
  13. skolvikes macrumors newbie

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    #13
    retina, hands down. it's so sharp. and the IPS is the big winner
     
  14. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    Going from a late 2011 17" to a 2012 15" rMBP, I'm a believer in retina. The text is the latter is so sharp, clear and crisp that I can be on it much longer with no eyestrain. (Being in my mid 40's, that is definitely a consideration.)

    I've read some reviewers have called the 13" rMBP the perfect sweet spot for a mac laptop. That may well increase if the Haswell retina gets drastically improved battery life.

    From a marketing standpoint, it makes sense for Apple to stagger introduction of Haswell, putting it on the Air first, and on the retina and non retina MBP's later to maximize sales of each line. Otherwise, I could see people foregoing all but the base model Airs and spending the extra cash for 13 rMBP's.

    And I can't but help wonder about future product lines as MBP's increasingly have the same form factor and capabilities as MBA's. Will the lines be merged into one line with a dizzying array of options: "I'd like a 13" macbook with a quad processor, x amount of ram and SSD, and a discrete graphics card. Can I choose between retina or non-retina, or does retina come standard?" Or will the air remain non-retina as the consumer notebook, and the pro's differentiate themselves with faster processors, discrete graphics cards and retina screens?
     
  15. lamboman macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Thought I'd chip in as a former 13" MBP owner and a current MBA owner.

    In terms of colour as a whole, the MBP is noticeably better. More accurate, more saturation, it is just...better. However, the MBA display certainly isn't bad, has better black levels from what I can see (probably due to the lack of reflections between the glass and the panel), and the higher resolution gives you far more space, as well as sharper text. It comes down to balancing the pros and cons. From what I have in front of me now, I prefer the MBA display.

    The rMBP objectively is a far better display. Another step up from the standard MBP, for obvious reasons. However, the thing that puts me off is that when set to scaled resolutions (ie. non-divisible, non-native resolutions), text becomes slightly "fuzzy", or blurry. I wanted more real-estate, so I found this quite off-putting - everything at the native resolution is enormous compared to the MBA display.

    Obviously, others will have different preferences, however I doubt you will be unsatisfied with the MBA display - all things considered it is "as good" as the MBP IMO.
     
  16. BlockEight88 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    Thanks for your advice, however, I already made the decision to cancel the MBA order. I was unaware that they made the 13" MBP lighter. I'd rather have that. The 13" MBA and rMBP don't really have that much of a difference in weight anyway. Someone in this thread already pointed that out. So I'm just going to wait for the Haswell 13" MBP now.

    Thanks
     
  17. lamboman macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Ah, fair enough. If colour reproduction is vital, the rMBP is your only choice really! Good luck :)
     
  18. bluebird3 macrumors regular

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    #18
    He said MBP, not rMBP. Will there be an update on MBP ? No one knows so far.
     
  19. lamboman macrumors 6502

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    #19
    I was confused by his saying that they made the MBP lighter...thought he was referring to the rMBP being lighter than the MBP. The current MBP isn't lighter at all...

    Either machine is better than the MBA in terms of colour reproduction anyhow :)
     
  20. bluebird3 macrumors regular

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    #20
    Very true.
     
  21. BlockEight88 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    I was referring to the Retina MacBook Pro being lighter. The regular MacBook Pro is not lighter and still has the optical drive.
     
  22. NickPhamUK macrumors 6502

    NickPhamUK

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    #22
    Imo the Mac which has the best performance/price right now is MBA 13" (i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD). Why?

    First of all, having owned an MBP 2008 and MBA 2011, I'd say that at least 256GB of storage is no-brainer. You shouldn't make do with an ext HDD and install apps on them, making them running slower than usual. If you need bootcamp or VMWare, Parallel etc. then 128GB won't cut it. About RAM, 4GB is enough for most of casual users but 8GB will ensure that the machine will stay for 3-5 years. It'll also help when you need to run virtualisation programs which demand much RAM. i7 IMO is not needed because it provides an extra 10% or so of performance, for a hefty price of $150, and you'll run into a risk of slightly compromising the battery life. If you want power, then consider an iMac or rMBP 15" instead.

    Now, I'm going to compare the said MBA model ($1399) with rMBP 13" (i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB, $1699).

    The only selling point of the rMBP 13" is its gorgeous retina display. Its performance is weak for such a pricey laptop. The rMBP 2012 model is weaker than the MBA 2013 according to some trusted benchmarks, and I doubt the rMBP 2013 will be significantly more powerful than the MBA. If anything, powerhouse users will need the quad core chip and dGPU of rMBP 15", not the lacklustre performance of the rMBP 13", and for casuals like me the MBA will suffice.

    Back to the point about the retina display, I think it is without a doubt beautiful, but so is the display on the MBA. Whilst 1440x900 looks awful lot on paper, it's actually quite nice in reality. In addition, not so many applications right now support the retina display, so the only retina resolution you'll stare at is the desktop wallpaper, Apple-made apps and a few others. Even in a few more months, more retina-supported apps will be released, I don't think rMBP 13" can run them decently (especially games).

    The MBA on the other hand, is thinner and lighter, has an amazing battery life and costs $300 less. I could have buy the 2TB WD ext HDD for $129.99 (on sale), a mouse and a nice sleeve, and still have $100 left to invest in applications. Or in my lunch for a whole month.

    To sum up, I think the rMBP 13" is quite a waste of money for the performance you get. MBA 2013 and iMac/rMBP 15" is the way to go for casual and heavy users, respectively.

    Nick :)
     
  23. BlockEight88 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #23
    You might make a good point or two, however, you only mention the pixels on the MBA. I wasn't so concerned about. I was more concerned the color gamut versus the retina MBP 13". Side by side, there is somewhat of a difference.

    You make the 13" MBA sound pretty good lol.
     
  24. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

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    #24
    The problem with maxing out an Air is it puts you at about the same price as a retina MBP.
    The retina display is far better in color and contrast and certainly sharpness of text and image quality. Way better.
    The 13" MBP is smaller and circumference and only a little heavier and thicker than an Air. The upcoming version, arriving soon, is supposed to be a little thinner than the current versions.
    The MBP also starts at 8 GB of ram and is expected to have a more powerful gnu.
    The Air has better battery life.

     
  25. AXs macrumors 6502a

    AXs

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    #25
    This question isn't even subjective. Why discuss something that is proven?

    rMBP has the best/newest screen. Air comes in 2nd, followed by cMBP.

    But rMBP is light years ahead of the Air.

    Whether some people can tell the difference or not, it doesn't change the scientific properties. For example, if you can't tell the difference between a polyester-cotton blend shirt, and a 100% cotton shirt... it doesn't mean the difference isn't there.
     

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