is the rMBP worth the extra 200?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ievoi, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. ievoi, Feb 9, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014

    ievoi macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2014
    I am torn between the 13" MBA and rMBP, both 256Gb 8G ram.

    Both of them can do exactly what I wanted, small video editing, surfing, words/excel. I am happy with the weight on both and the battery life on either one of them would be more than sufficient.

    The display is the only thing that got me lean towards the rMBP, but does it actually worth the extra 200? And would it make the rMBP holds its value better than the MBA?
  2. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Same dilema, but decided in favour of MBA. I recently got a 23" external IPS display, so that negates the big benefit of MBP, the rest of the specs are similar.

    My issue is that 256 SSD costs 200 extra on MBA, but only 100 extra on MBP. So unfair. Sorry, Apple, but I can't justify paying almost 2$ per GB of storage.
  3. lagisibuk macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2013
    Always Somewhere
    try to get lower version, like 128GB and use external HDD for any data.
    but, you can't add/upgrade SSD on MBA/rMBP haswell version, even you searching from OWC.
  4. cjgonzales1900 macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2009
    I had to decide between this as well. The only reason I went with the Air (Upgraded from the 2011 13.3" to the 2013 13.3") was the fact I got a great deal on a used one. If that didn't happen I would have bought a Apple Refurbished unit once they went live on the refurbish store again. I love the Retina screen and am really waiting to see if apple releases a 12" Retina MBA as some are saying.
  5. Steve121178, Feb 10, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014

    Steve121178 macrumors 601


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
    Yes, it's worth the extra money, but if all you are doing is browsing the internet and very basic tasks then the MBA is more than ample.

    As for holding it's value, you are buying a computer not a house or car. In 3 years time you would be lucky to get 30-40% of your money back. There's more people buying Mac's than ever so the second hand market (eBay for example) has loads of them for sale these days. There's far too much competition to expect a premium price for your old Mac.
  6. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Well I got lucky and bought my 13" rMBP (8/256) open box for $200 off the retail price at a Future Shop (Canadian chain owned by Best Buy). I looked it over and it was pristine.

    It is a really nice display, IPS panel, not too glossy. I love the portability of the 13" size, it is allowing me to do casual computing in places I would not have taken my older 15" MBP, like lying on the couch or in bed, riding on a coach bus, etc. And the battery life is incredible -- I actually forgot my charger at someone's house and didn't even realize it until 3 days later.

    I think you'll be pleased with whichever model you choose.
  7. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    Whenever I have a choice between two things that I am having a hard time with, all things being equal, I generally go with the cheaper option.

    worth is subjective. would you rather have a high-res display or your $200? that's a decision only you can make. i can tell you that I don't personally think it's an unreasonable price for what you get...but in the end i chose the MBA. Of course, you are asking this on the MBA forum so maybe the folks over on the MBP board would tell you otherwise ;-p

    ask for "holding value"
    i wouldn't think it would make a huge difference but I would warn you that a retina mac display would cost more to replace if something did go wrong... and it's first gen tech.
    and it doesn't have a dedicated gpu.

    for me the choice was between the ultralight 11 air and the ultrapowerful 15 retina.
    the 13 retina is basically just a high-res 13" air.

    the beauty of the macbooks is there's no wrong choice, not many people end up unhappy with what they got!

    good luck
  8. notjustjay, Feb 10, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014

    notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    It's actually kind of a nice 'first world problem' to have, choosing between the two.

    But if we're getting nitpicky...

    The 13" rMBP is slightly heavier than the 13" MBA (but even when you hold one in each hand, you hardly notice)

    The 13" MBA has a slightly larger footprint than the 13" rMBP

    Thickness is pretty much the same (at the thickest point; not counting the tapered wedge shape of the Air)

    Both sport the exact same ports.Oops, maybe not.
  9. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Air doesn't have HDMI

    And 1 less Thunderbolt
  10. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Whoops. I thought they were the same, I should know this since I comparison shopped the two models very closely a few weeks ago!

    Thanks for the correction.
  11. kelon111 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2013
    Just get the rMBP.

    Apple says that you will be amazed at the display.

    Also the rMBP should have a better resale value in the future.
  12. tribalogical, Feb 10, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014

    tribalogical macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2003
    tokyo, japan
    A few notes and thoughts:
    The stock $1,299 MBA only comes with 4GB of RAM. If you're upgrading to 8GB, it costs $1,399. So the price difference compared to the stock $1,499 MBP would actually be $100.

    I'm also surprised no-one has mentioned the notable difference in CPU power between the two machines...

    Anyway, here's what you really get for that extra $200 (stock MBA@$1,299 vs stock MBP@$1,499):

    - Retina Display (about 70% more resolution in the same screen size)
    - Faster dual core i5 processors (2.4Ghz in MBP vs 1.3Ghz in MBA)
    - Double the RAM (4GB additional)
    - Additional ports: 1x Thunderbolt, 1x HDMI

    Arguable downsides:
    - You'd gain exactly 1/2 pound in weight (3.46 vs 2.96 lbs)
    - You'd lose 3 hours of battery life (9 vs 12)

    I can attest that neither the weight nor the battery life appear to be major issues for most people I know.

    Again, what you're comparing (in your original post) is actually a $100 difference in price, and the only thing you would remove from that list is the added RAM.

    So the real question becomes: "All the rest being equal, is the Retina Display, Faster CPU, and the additional ports worth an extra $100?"

    I'm leaning pretty heavily toward saying "yes" to that. In addition, regarding resale value, you should be able to recover at least that difference in price down the road as well... so it shouldn't really be a factor.

    All that said: I bought the stock $1,299 MBA (256/4GB) a couple of months ago, specifically because I didn't need the better resolution, power or RAM for what it's used for (simple day to day business use). If I was expecting to do anything more with it however (video/photo editing, music composing, etc.) I would have definitely spent the additional $200.

    Hope this provides a little more useful perspective. Whichever you decide is best for you, I'm sure you'll be very happy with it. I know I am! :)
  13. ievoi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2014
    Thank you all for your Responses. Have ordered myself a rMBP :)
  14. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    Spot on.

    If you're more of a pro user then the rMBP is the one to go for and well worth the extra $$$.
  15. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    imo if you're a "pro" user then the reality is the 15" rpro would be better...gpu-wise for sure.


    relative to upfront cost? i doubt that.
  16. Dominus Mortem macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2011
    Not sure if it's really only $200 difference, maybe only $100.

    The rMBP is the way I'd suggest you go. That retina display makes everything better. Not just pictures, but text too. Everything is sharp, colorful and easy to read. The viewing angles are also better. It's really a significant difference. I've had every Macbook you can imagine and there's really nothing out there like either the 13" or 15" rMBPs. I just couldn't imagine choosing the MBA over the rMBP if given an opportunity to decide one way or another. That 1/2 lb difference is very tough to notice. My 13" rMBP is so light already it weighs much less than just about every book I carry around.

    I also like the black bezel better, the smaller bezel in fact. It tends to melt into the background better than the silver bezel. I think the display hinges are also superior on the rMBP, they don't flop quite as much as the MBA hinges sometimes do with the display.

    I think the only real decision would be if you were trying to decide between an 11" MBA or a 13" rMBP (probably due to a portability/size issue). If you're comparing the 2 13" machines, the rMBP is just so much better.
  17. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005

    Many of the programmers I work with tend to go for the 13" rMBP over the 15" due to the higher core clock on the i7 and how it's much easier to put in their backpacks.

    GPU-wise agreed, though the Iris Pro is surprisingly good even for designers using CS Cloud.
  18. ievoi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2014
    Is anyone actually concerned with the issue with the retina display on the rMBP though? or is the issue resolved for the late 2013 models?
  19. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    What issue?
  20. dawnrazor macrumors regular


    Jan 16, 2008
    Auckland New Zealand
    Just upgraded from an Air to a 15" rMBP, and the screen is stunning. In my mind the Air has become the Macbook of the lineup.

    Also you should consider that the CPU in the 13" rMBP is considerably better then that in the Air, so I'd have to say its a no brainer...
  21. 2IS macrumors 68030

    Jan 9, 2011
    Everything else being equal other than the retina display and the price, I'd say it would be silly NOT to spend an additional $200 for it.

    That said, everything else isn't equal. MBA is lighter and has longer battery life. If it were me, personally and I and to choose one, I'd go with the rMBP. Ultimately I'd like to have my cake and eat it too, which is why I have not upgraded my 2010 MBA yet. Still holding out for a rMBA.
  22. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    I've been debating this, too.


    here's what $200 is worth

    retina (doubles the visual information)
    black bezel
    more inputs/outputs
    higher resale value if I need to sell it
  23. kathyricks macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    Resale value could be important if later this fall Apple comes out with the rumored 12" Macbook Air Retina. Then next fall you could sell your existing 3.5 pound 2013 rMBP for a good price and get the new 2.0 pound 12" Macbook Air Retina.
  24. tribalogical macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2003
    tokyo, japan
    Here's an update to my post:
    I had purchased a 13" MacBook Air when I replied to you. My needs changed, so I have since sold the MBA (after only four months) and replaced it with a 13" Retina MacBook Pro...

    Having used both for a few months each now, I can emphatically say the extra power (CPU/Graphics), extra RAM and amazing display are totally worth the difference in price, and make a significant difference in overall day to day performance (I do music production using Logic and Live, among other things).

    I haven't yet noticed the extra weight (1/2 pound) and the missing battery life (9 hours vs 12) in the slightest. Non issues so far.

    The MBA is still a very respectable machine for everyday business and basic use. But the MBP definitely earns it's "pro" mark for heavier tasks.

    Great machines either way!

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