MacBook Air 13" vs rMBP 13" vs TouchScreen Ultrabook

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dragonev, Nov 27, 2012.

?

What would you choose?

  1. MacBook Air 13"

    10 vote(s)
    27.8%
  2. rMBP 13"

    25 vote(s)
    69.4%
  3. Touchscreen Ultrabook (e.g. Lenovo Yoga 13" or other)

    1 vote(s)
    2.8%
  1. dragonev macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi guys,
    Thinking of a Christmas present and was wondering whether you can help me. Although myself is a fan of Mac OS, not many of my friends and relatives are. So now I am stuck between getting a MacBook Air or rMBP 13 or one of those new touchscreen ultrabooks (I personally like Lenovo Yoga 13", but there are a plenty of them) with Win 8. What would you choose?
     
  2. Ddyracer macrumors 68000

    Ddyracer

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    #2
    Retina is half a pound heavier but has better specs. Its power and display over portability and price.

    Macbook air. There may even be retina next year.
     
  3. Barna Biro, Nov 27, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012

    Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Location:
    Luzern, Switzerland
    #3
    Most likely not. But sure, keep on hoping. :p
    Best case scenario: "They might still be around next year."
    ( My hunch is that they'll drop the MBA line - as we know it today - in the following 2-3 years completely )
    ( That's why the are making PROs thinner and thinner in the end... sounds plausible, right? ;) )

    The Yoga looks interesting but to me, but there are a few reasons why I wouldn't get it:

    1) Screen is way too glossy and even seems a bit washed out in the videos ( maybe it isn't in real-life, so let's just say the second part is "meh" ).

    2) Keyboard is not backlit ( they say it's "spill resistant", but that's something I can't care less about... if one drinks around / on top of the notebook, he deserves what's coming - I've never spilled anything on any of my notebooks... ever... and I've been using notebooks intensively for soon 12 years ).

    3) The concept is interesting, but not sure how comfortable would it be to hold that bulky ( yes, it's still thinner than most notebooks but ticker than a proper tablet ) thing as a tablet for hours in your hand. This is subjective in the end...

    4) Windows 8... again subjective. I hate it ( this coming from a guy who has been using only Windows ~20 years straight - until early this year ). I've tried it and frankly, it looks horrible... I'd go back to Windows 95 over it anytime. I can't describe in words how ugly the interface is and the color scheme, borders, etc. This is the ugliest Windows they've so far created. PERIOD.

    5) Gesture implementation on the touchpad seems to not be "there" yet ( or maybe just the people I saw in videos are really bad when it comes to gestures )​

    As for the MBA... well, it's definitely a nice machine. Pity it has a quite crappy screen ( had a 13" MBA for a couple of weeks and couldn't get used to the almost constant eye and head pain - it was tiring to look at for long periods of time - as o Software Engineer, I stare a freaking lot at screens on a daily basis, so having a decent one that doesn't make my head / eyes explode is important to me ) and an ugly silver bezel around it ( yeah... being subjective again ).

    IMHO, if you needs a notebook, get a notebook... if you need a tablet, get a proper tablet ( I obviously hate "tablet-phones" too ). Hybrids might seem interesting and cool at first, but you're really just getting fragments of both Worlds... This might change in the years to come, but for now, I'd definitely not go down that road.

    My signature reflects my vote...

    EDIT: Not sure how the hinge will hold on the Yoga... using it quite intensively and flipping it around quite often, might loosen the grip in time... It would be sad ending up after a few months with a flappy screen that doesn't stay in the desired position ( or just randomly hangs / flaps around whenever you pull the notebook out of a bag ).
     
  4. antonioanmar macrumors member

    antonioanmar

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    Albacete (Spain)
    #4
    I am owner of one MBA and recently of one 13" rMPB, and for me it is clear the superiority of the Retina Macbook Pro.
    Of course, the MBA is a great portable machine, and still i love it, but the 13" Retina Macbook is the next step on the evolution of the portable computers.
    Many people tell that it is too expensive, but if it offers you what you really need (and this is my case) the price is OK.
    Actually, for me, the best Mac that i have ever owned on mobility work.
     
  5. Barna Biro, Nov 27, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012

    Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Location:
    Luzern, Switzerland
    #5
    MOST IMPORTANTLY: Drop the Yoga, and you've just lost both your tablet and notebook...

    In theory, it sounds practical / cool to have 2 devices in 1 ( Swiss Army Knife anyone? ), but in practice, it will most likely be less advantageous, 99% of the time, than having 2 separate devices that can handle specific tasks optimally ( this 2 in 1 combo actually just opens up doors to new issues beside the already existing ones ).

    Think about real-life: You own a company and you need a graphic designer and a programmer to work on a project... Sure, from a financial point of view, a "designer who can code" / "programmer who can design" is an appealing options, BUT in reality you'd be just hiring someone who's at best mediocre at both. If you just want to "get the job done", having a single guy doing both and meeting deadlines can work, but if you're looking for serious quality, performance, etc. then you'll get two separate professionals! It costs more at first sight, but it might end up producing results a lot faster on the medium / long run.

    I look the same way at these hybrids... they are cheap and mediocre alternatives.
    ... and IMHO, the tablet part is slightly favored over the notebook part.
    Nonetheless, if you're doing light work, then you might just be in their target. ;)
     
  6. Sahee, Nov 27, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012

    Sahee macrumors regular

    Sahee

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Location:
    Germany
    #6
    I really like the way of how windows 8 behaves... it is fast and intuitive but I tell you what... I never used a touchscreen yet and I am using it for more than 2 months. I can actually see no use for a touchscreen as the desktop icons are to small to be used with touch, the only interface which is optimized for touch is the metro-interface and the only thing you can do there is surfing the web, hear music and use apps... well I can at least see some potential for apps as there are already some useful apps in the store... but I am not willing to trade off some important things for a touchscreen that I barely use, and those are:

    Matt Display
    RAM,HDD,Battery Access

    Sadly there will never be any matt touchscreens as the technology requires a glass infront of the panel (because of the fingertips and for cleaning reasons).

    ..and one last point, all those devices share one thing. They have small battery life "or" are too heavy to be used as a tablet, but at least the enegery consumption will be adressed by Intel with upcoming Haswell and Broadwell Generations.

    ____________

    The best thing about Windows 8 is the better Touchpad support, when your notebook has a good multitouch-pad with a good driver support it will 100% compensate the need for a touchscreen. I've tested couple of Windows8 Devices and many of them had a very good Touchpad behaviour which I could barely discern from apple's glass touchpad.

    Regarding your poll: Macbook Air or Sony Vaio 13P.
     
  7. liVec macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2012
    #7
    Either Air or Pro.
    Personally I would go with Air for better portability, but if you are constantly using applications that require better video card specs, go with the Pro.
     
  8. Barna Biro, Nov 27, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012

    Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Location:
    Luzern, Switzerland
    #8
    Sorry, but 13" rMBP portability is "the same" or slightly better than 13" MBA in my experience. Why? Because of the smaller footprint... sure, you have a few grams in plus, but I would hardly give the edge to the MBA for that. The 13" rMBP has the same max height as the 13" MBA at it's thickest point, so depth-wise, they eat up the same bag space ( except if you start to over-stuff your bag and start filling in the small free space you get because of the MBA-s thinner shape at the palm-region... but that would be mega-silly ).

    Portability is not the issue... "personal preferences" are.
     
  9. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    #9
    None of the above. I'd choose a 13" cMBP. It's cheaper and more expandable. I also don't consider it any less portable because for me portability is more about a laptop's footprint than it's weight/thickness. Retina is just a fancy bell/whistle and I can't see paying extra for something that won't help me get my work done better/faster. Plus, it's too new for me to consider it.
     
  10. liVec macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2012
    #10
    So you guys would rather carry 5 books in your backpack instead of 2 in your messenger bag?
    I don't know if that's the same portability, sorry for the extreme comparison, hopefully you'll arrive at the point.
     
  11. joshhedge macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    #11
    But you already have a 15inch rPro? Seems like a pointless Christmas present to me. Get and iPad instead.
     
  12. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Location:
    Luzern, Switzerland
    #12
    He is not getting it for himself... :rolleyes:
    ... and even if he would, why shouldn't he? As if we know what he'll be doing with it...
     
  13. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #13
    Yoga? Seriously? They tried convertibles before, it sounds good on paper. In real life, too kludgy, try to do too many things and not ending doing any one thing best.

    I used to suggest, buy what your friends/family have, BUT since you can run Windows on the Mac now, hey, no more prob.

    So that leaves, if u have the dough, rMBP. If u price ultra-portability, Air.

    Simple.
     
  14. Ddyracer, Nov 27, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012

    Ddyracer macrumors 68000

    Ddyracer

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    #14
    I think he means weight, mate;)

    Here's some specs comparing the two:

    13 Air

    [​IMG]

    13 Pro

    [​IMG]
     
  15. JellyFish macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    #15
    Have you used Windows 8? I suggest trying it before you inflict it on your friends or family. ;)

    Seriously though, it's quite different than Windows 7. So the person you are giving the laptop to might need to relearn a lot if they are used to an earlier version of Windows.
     
  16. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Location:
    Luzern, Switzerland
    #16
    If you read my reply a tiny bit more carefully, you'll notice ( bolded ):


     
  17. pgiguere1, Nov 27, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012

    pgiguere1 macrumors 68020

    pgiguere1

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #17
    I've yet to understand what's the point of touchscreen laptops. I know that Metro makes more sense with touch than with a mouse, but it gives no productivity gain unless you're using a device with a tablet form-factor that doesn't always have a keyboard attached to it (like the Surface Pro).

    If you're going to put this in a laptop that has a permanent keyboard, all you're doing is adding thickness, cost and fingerprints to your laptop, without any productivity gain. In fact, it's probably also faster to use a regular start menu like in Windows 7 than to have to constantly switch between Desktop/Metro mode and your trackpad/touchscreen on a Windows 8 touch laptop.

    The Yoga can be folded into a tablet, but it's going to be so big, thick and heavy that I don't know why you wouldn't simply buy a cheaper standard ultrabook as well as a tablet. Do you really picture yourself holding 13.3", 3.3lb "tablet" and reading an ebook on it while taking the bus? The iPad 3/4 could be way more comfortable to use if it was lighter, yet this thing is more than twice the weight. Could you imagine the clunkiness?

    I personally use Windows 8 on my rMBP with Start8 to disable Metro which I can't stand. All that Metro/touch laptop/convertible hype seems like a solution to a problem that didn't exist IMO.

    Windows 8 and the Surface currently have disappointing sales and I'm wondering if Microsoft will continue to push into that direction or abandon the idea like they abandoned Windows XP tablet edition and the Zune.
     
  18. JellyFish macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    #18
    I don't understand it either. I love touch on my iPhone and iPad, but have ZERO desire to have it on a desktop or laptop. Why??? The trackpad is much more efficient from a work perspective. I guess some might think that "touching" the screen is cool or whatever, but I would never use it.
     
  19. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #19

    Because is novelty, all those Metro Ads makes it look so much fun to swipe ur hands back and forth.

    But ur right, I keep thinking if I have to swipe my hands across a laptop screen, I will first have to move my backside in order to reach to it from my normal typing position, AND if I forcefully wipe-down, like it's so much fun shown on TV, why I'd hit the keyboard! :)

    On a desktop... Maybe.

    BTW, the other day I had my first experience with Metro. TERRIBLE. Pinch-zoom is not smooth like we're used to on a Mac. Every app takes the entire screen. Why? mess around with the perfected desktop metaphor when I have enough screen real estate.
     

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