Hello all! Avid reader, new poster. I'm looking for some upgrade advice. I currently own an early 2011 macbook pro, 2.2 GHZ quad core, i7, matte high resolution screen, 8GB ram and a crucial m4 512gb drive installed. Good machine, still a few months of Applecare. Geekbench 3 score of 2568. I would like to get more serious about my music making, and have purchased Ableton Live 9 and Logic. My other usage is pretty standard - watching the occasional Netflix show/movie, web browsing, playing The Sims on my Windows partition, using Office. Having recently used a 13" computer for a while, my 15" is feeling less than portable. I would like to downgrade in size, but still have the power for multiple tracks. I am debating between a few upgrade options, as listed below. I would sell my current machine on eBay or craiglist - it looks like I could get at least $1000 for it, likely more because of the SSD and the remaining applecare (good til March 1, 2014). I also qualify for the .edu discount. The fact that Ableton looks crappy on a retina isn't a big deal because I use an external monitor when using Live. I'm trying to figure out if I am missing any pros and cons from my options/lists below. Also some basic questions, the answers to which I am still unsure: Quad core vs dual core: How does my current quad core 2.2 i7 compare to the dual core i7s (or even i5s) in the MBAs and MBPs? i5 vs i7: Is i7 necessary? I think it is in the MBA, but what about the rMBP? Option 1: Stop chasing the latest and greatest and ride this machine until it croaks because it is a great i7 quad core machine. Just take it up to 16Gbs ram. Advantages - cost, ability to upgrade to a larger ssd when prices come down. Lovely high res matte screen. Disadvantages - weight, portability. Won't get same resale value once applecare expires. Option 2: 13" cMBP. i7. remainder of specs basic. $1134. Advantages - cheap, can upgrade ram and keep my existing SSD to install. Disadvantages - No Haswell? Dual cores? Still pretty heavy. Glossy, non retina screen. Option 3: 13" MBA, i7, 8gb Ram, 512 drive. $1749. Advantages - Light light light! Disadvantages - less powerful processor, crappier screen, can't upgrade drive later, can't get 16GB ram. Option 4: 13" rMBP, 2.8 i7 (do I need this?), 16GB ram, 512 drive. $2109. Advantages: Also light, but more powerful. Disadvantages: Can't upgrade to 1TB later. Expensive machine with i7, ram and drive upgrades. Retina screen problems? Option 5: 15" rMBP, 2.3 i7 16GB ram, 512 drive. $2449. Advantages: Beast. Disadvantages: Not much lighter, expensive, retina screen problems. Thanks in advance.