macbook pro vs macbook air

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ghanwani, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. ghanwani, Jul 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014

    ghanwani macrumors 6502a

    Dec 8, 2008
    I am starting to think of replacing my aging macbook pro with something newer.

    I definitely want to stay at 13".

    The way I see the this comparison:

    Reasons to get macbook air (in order of importance)
    - Battery life
    - Weight/portability (BTW, does it need to be removed from the bag at airport security?)

    Reasons to get macbook pro (in order of importance)
    - Resolution of macbook air not sufficient (I don't think I really need this, but I'm hearing that the 1440x900 resolution will seem ancient once I move to a retina display)
    - Better specs (Intel Iris graphics, faster CPU, can be spec'ed with more RAM)

    Are there any other reasons I may be missing?

    Which screen would have less glare?

    I mostly use the machine for email, web-browsing (and videos), and occasionally write simulation programs that run for several days continuously.

    My current laptop gets quite hot when watching videos or when running simulation programs continuously for a long time. I also find it feels slow when browsing, mostly because of the flash/video ads (text pages load quickly). I'm hoping to address the browsing speed issue by upgrading.

    I plan to sell my current machine if I get a new one.

    A question about warranty: If you buy a machine with the superdrive accessory and also get Applecare, would Applecare cover the superdrive, or does it only cover the machine?

    Would appreciate any insights folks have to offer.
  2. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Jul 22, 2010
    Your "current" uses indicate a MBA would be a better choice.

    However (you knew that was coming), what about the future? Any thought of photo or video processing, gaming, etc? Any of these would say that getting something with more RAM, better graphics etc. would be the smarter choice.
  3. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Since you already have a 128gb ssd get the base 13" , no upgrades, you'll enjoy it, trust me :)
  4. ghanwani thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 8, 2008
    I don't see photo or video editing, or gaming in my future. I've just never been one to play games (I'd have to go all the way to college/grad school for that) and I don't have the patience required for photo and video editing. I sold my digital camera now the only reasonable camera I own is the one in my iPhone!

    The only reason I would spec something better is for future proofing. Better graphics & memory means it will be less likely to slow things down as websites and ads gets more graphics heavy over time. I will probably spec whatever machine with the lowest speed CPU that it is offered with.


    I only have 128 GB currently, but there is < 20 GB of free space, so I would definitely go for 256 GB this time around. Need to have enough space for the next 3-4 years.
  5. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    get the base 256ssd on a deal then. If you are that certain about your use any other upgrade is a pure waste of $$$.
    Put the saved $$$ into a new macbook in five years.
  6. vistokid macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2007
    My 2 cents...

    The price difference (in the US) between the 2 base models is now $300. This gets you:

    1. 4GB more ram (8 vs. 4)
    2. Retina screen
    3. The extra power in processing, video, hdmi etc on the rMBP

    I've used both machines and the screen on the rMBP is stunning. Once you use it and you see a MBA screen you'll instantly notice it. It feels dull and washed out (I'm not trying to insult you MBA owners).

    I went from a rMBP to a 13" MBA and am now back to a rMBP (late 2013 - 8/256). If you're stuck on a 13", you will be extremely happy with the rMBP.

    It's a great machine.

    That being said, when the 12" Retina comes out I'll be lining up for it :)
  7. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    Without a doubt go for a retina MBP. The display alone is more than worth it. I'd recommend getting a refurb model. The late 2013 rMBP 8/256 can be had for 1189 in the refurb store. That's 110 cheaper than the 8/256 MBA would cost. Much better display and less money. No comparison in value.
  8. ghanwani thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 8, 2008
    OK, I think I'll go spend some more time with them at the store. The last time I was there, I didn't notice that big of a difference in display to my eyes. I will probably have to set it to use a larger font, foregoing the advantage of "more information on the screen" anyway.

    When you say "better display" do you also mean less glare? Or is the glare between the two comparable?

    For me, the main reason I'm even considering the macbook air is the battery life. While 9 hours of the macbook pro is nothing to sneeze at, 12 hours all but ensures that you can through a really busy full day without needing charging.
  9. Raffi macrumors 6502a


    Oct 1, 2013
    The air is extremely outdated. The screen makes you wonder why you spent so much on it. Get a used air if your going that route. Most will say it's ok because they own one and I also own one but the screen is terrible. I always clean it thinking it will make it less pixeled.
  10. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    Try looking at the MBA from an angle. It doesn't have an IPS screen and if you tilt up or down or to the side it gets dark.
  11. ghanwani thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 8, 2008
    Thanks...this is useful!
  12. DJJAZZYJET macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2011
    I have a 13 inch 2014 MacBook Air and I'm now moving to the late 2014 13 inch Macbook Pro. The 4GB RAM in the Air was just not enough for me (it did work, but it quickly ran out and the system began to slugger), but the biggest factor was the display. For a TN panel, it's nice and all, but there is a awful flickering and terrible 'pixel walk' on moving text and lines that drives me insane on the Air. The Pro shouldn't have this issue as it's an IPS display. For my photography, the pro will help a lot for it's colour accuracy and resolution.
  13. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    When viewing display models, you sometimes don't notice the difference. Pull up any website with text on both models. The closer you get, you start to see how pixelated the Air's display is. When using it for more than a couple of minutes, it really takes a toll on your eyes.

    Glare is roughly the same to me. Better display means it has a significantly higher pixel density which is much easier on your eyes.
  14. ghanwani, Aug 5, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014

    ghanwani thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 8, 2008
    Over the weekend I spent some time in the store browsing a number of sites with both the MBA and rMBP. There is definitely no comparison. I didn't observe much of a difference in glare, but the crispness is very apparent.

    Now I just have to decide whether to pull the trigger or wait for another cycle.

    By the way, I did ask about whether AppleCare would cover the accessories bought with the machine and the rep said that it would. In other words, if I buy a superdrive with the machine and get AppleCare, it would be covered for 3 years along with the machine. But if I buy the machine and later get the SuperDrive, there is no way to get the SuperDrive warrantied for 3 years (they don't sell AppleCare for accessories).
  15. ghanwani thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 8, 2008
    I decided to pull the trigger. I'm getting a 13" rMBP with 256 GB HDD and 16 GB RAM. I'm also getting a SuperDrive and AppleCare.

    Any other accessories that I should get?

    I'm buying it with a friend's help (he works at Apple) so I'm getting a good price which makes it easier...I don't have to try to go to Best Buy or some other place in search of a better deal.

    I am planning to sell my present machine (see sig). How do I put a price on the old machine?

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