Macbook Pro Retina or Macbook Air

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ultrakeina, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. ultrakeina macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2015
    Hi guys,

    I need your advice. Do i need to get the rmbp or the mba?

    The two models i am looking at right now:

    Macbook Pro Retina
    2.7 Ghz i5
    8 GB RAM
    256 GB SSD
    Intel Iris Graphics 6100

    Macbook Air
    1.6 Ghz i5
    8 GB RAM (upgraded from the 4)
    256 GB SSD
    Intel HD Graphics 6000

    The prices are different, but that's not really the point right now. What i am going to use it for:
    • Illustrator and Photoshop (like 2D graphic design)
    • Web browsing
    • Microsoft Office
    • Some iMovie, but probably not a lot
    • Some apps ofcourse
    Keep in mind that i am a student en i will be taking it to college or i will be working in the train. Oh and i will be very happy if it lasts 4-5 years, so it has to be futureproof i guess.

    Thanks for your advice! I am not the best person at making decisions :)
  2. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    Hey ultrakeina,

    In terms of performance, the rMBP will have a slightly larger kick than the MBA, but 4-5 years down the line it will be insignificant. The main differences between the computers are the screen, weight, trackpad, battery life, and ports.

    The arguments for the MBA are that it is lighter and has about an hour more of useable battery life. If you don't like the Force Touch trackpad, it comes with the more familiar trackpad. I have also noticed that the fans on the rMBP are louder and trigger more quickly than those on the MBA.

    That said, I think that the rMBP is the best computer that Apple is currently offering. The screen is currently the biggest difference between the two computers. Everything is more crisp on the rMBP, and the viewing angles are much wider on the IPS panel. The MBA has some pretty big issues, especially when adjusting on the vertical axis. Besides that, the rMBP comes with an HDMI port and an extra Thunderbolt port, which can come in handy. In terms of the weight difference between the two computers, the rMBP only weighs 0.5 pounds more than the MBA, which is about half a can of coke. Especially since you are looking to spend only 150$ more on the rMBP, it is a substantially better experience than the MBA.

    The MBA is pretty outdated at this point, and it will most likely be phased out of the lineup within the next year or two. I would recommend the rMBP unless you absolutely cannot afford it.

  3. ultrakeina thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2015
    Wow what a long reply (also my first reply in one of my threads ever so yeah cool)! Thank you for your long and good advice. I am really happy with it! You are indeed probably right about the decision.
  4. Sonoransun macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2015
    I have a MacBook Air cart in my classroom for my students. But I teach with a MacBook Pro.. These are things you want to consider.

    Both are good hard working computers.. I have an old PowerBook from 2003 I sometime use when I want to use a " classic" program with my kids and I runs great.

    Check the connections that each have. I was considering the new MacBook, but to use a projector, digital camera and a usb dock for my class set of remotes would not work with just one connection.

    But, most importantly the chip power, ram and hard drive are really important for photoshop and iMovie. If you are really going to be using these you should go up to 16 ram and more hard drive space. This will keep it from becoming obsolete sooner.

    Since you are a student make sure you buy from the apple education store, not only do you get a up front discount but they also give you breaks on ram and hard drive upgrades. I hope this helps.
  5. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    IMO, the 13" rMBP is by far the best buy out of the mid-size options (rMB, 13" air). I don't think it's even close, to be honest, unless you're hung up on saving every last ounce. As between the pro and the air, I don't know how you could go for that TN low res panel over the pro's gorgeous retina display just to save a few ounces. The power difference is also pretty significant if you use pro apps, which it looks like you do.

    I'm not saying the air could never be the right choice for a given user, but the pro has no weaknesses.
  6. ultrakeina thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2015
    Thanks for your reply! Looks like i'm gonna go for the Macbook Pro Retina :) and yeah studentdiscount is so awesome!!
  7. ultrakeina thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2015
    Yeah you're right about the screen. Why choose less if you can afford the Retina screen. The only thing i really like more about the Air than the Pro is the weight, but someone said that the difference is very little, luckily! Thanks for your reply, really helped me!
  8. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    Oh, and in reference to discounts, I would keep my eyes open for deals on eBay and at B&H Photo. Especially depending on where you live, you can find discounted and tax free computers. I found a new 2015 rMBP 8GB/128GB model for 1100$ tax free on eBay for my younger brother in May. I have seen new 256GB models go for 1300$ tax free on eBay as well. Especially if you don't need a computer right now, look around for deals.


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7 July 1, 2015