Macbook vs Retina Macbook Pro 13-inch

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by almaaaaaa, Dec 14, 2015.

  1. almaaaaaa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    #1
    I guess I can't be the first one asking this question. I am in NEED of a new laptop, and I have exactly 2 weeks to make a purchase, not longer than that. But I am having a VERY hard time deciding between the 13-inch Retina Macbook Pro or the Macbook.

    I could make do with the USB-C as I hardly use a USB thumb-drive anymore. I haven't owned one for a couple of years now. And the fact that there is only 1 USB-C port doesn't bother me THAT much.

    The ONLY issue I have with the Macbook is the 480P FaceTime camera. I have to say, this is a bit of a problem for me.

    Basically, the Macbook Pro is a winner. It only loses in size and weight.

    My laptop usage would be watching movies, sending e-mails, surfing the web and working with documents. I don't play video games and don't do any sort of photo and video editing.

    I love how the Macbook is so light and small. I do have one other concern about it though.

    I've previously used a Macbook Pro, and I found that after saving many documents and taking up space with some apps, that when I upgraded the OS, the frequency of a slight lag and the rainbow wheel popping up increased. This annoyed me a lot as it was the highest spec Macbook Pro 15-inch, and that it would lag a little and the rainbow wheel popped up as much as it did. I mean, why did it happen after updating the OS?

    Will this issue be WORST if I get a Macbook? Considering that it happened to a 15-inch Pro, I'm thinking that it could be worst on the Macbook as it has less power.

    I am in such a dilemma right now.

    Specs or Portability?

    If someone here tells me that the OS update won't lag the Macbook and that the 480P camera is good enough, then I'm sold on the Macbook. But if either one of these is an issue to existing Macbook owners, then I'm going for the Pro. So current Macbook owners, are these two issues a problem?
     
  2. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #2
    You really have to make a personal decision whether power or portability matters more to you. The rMB is really small enough that it kind of changes how you use a laptop computer. Is that important to you?

    If your previous MBP used a traditional HDD, slowing down as you say is a common occurrence. While the CPU in the rMB is not powerful for sustained CPU usage, it is very fast for the 'bursty' sort of use that is most common in today's computing, certainly for the kind of use you will be putting it through. And the SSD it has, which can be one of the biggest bottlenecks, is among the fastest you can get in any computer today. So the rMB feels very fast for most use.

    As for the camera, I use it a lot as well, and no, it's not as good as most other devices. Worse than the resolution is the low-light performance. Still, the vast majority of the time I find that the picture quality in video calling is limited by the network connection, not the camera, so this is not a deal breaker for me.
     
  3. almaaaaaa thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 14, 2015
    #3
    So after updating the OS, you didn't notice any form of significant lag? Or an increase of the rainbow wheel?
     
  4. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #4
    It's very unlikely that you'll notice the two pound difference between the devices when carrying it. I love the weight and density of the 13-inch rMBP. It just feels good.

    But, considering your use cases, the MacBook is the computer for you. You'll need the USB adapter if you want to connect anything to it but that's just a minor add-on. You'll enjoy it and it'll easily meet your needs.

    Keep in mind that if you buy it now you can take advantage of the holiday return periods many retailers have and really make sure that it's the right choice for you.
     
  5. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #5
    Not at all. Things are actually faster and smoother than ever on El Capitan.

    As for the weight, somewhere around 2lbs seems to be the point when a device disappears into a bag for me. Even my Surface Pro 3 with type cover at about 2.5lbs is a lot more noticeable, let alone when I pick up one of my old Thinkpad laptops at about the same weight and volume as the 13" MBP.
     
  6. Z3man macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 19, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    The difference between the rMBP and rMB is massive, the rMB is amazingly small and light, it really is like night and day.
     
  7. zamboni52 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    #7
    100% agree. I used the 13MBP and 13MBA each for about a month before I chose the rMB. I carry this around the house like I carried my iPad Air 2. I used it primarily for checking email, schedules, surfing the web, MS Office document creation, light coding in Xcode and Virtual Box and it works perfectly. It is easily worth the small compromises in battery life and excess processing power. Since I have the 512GB version I plan on using Bootcamp to install Windows 10...just because.
     
  8. Z3man macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 19, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Yes i carry mine around the house as well, you can use it holding it in one hand if you need to. It only takes 2 fingers and a thumb to hold it, that is amazing for such a capable laptop. The iPad and Macbook Air are now defunct in my eyes, especially the Air, Apple should be ashamed of themselves for still producing it. The Macbook pro is still viable though for power users.
     
  9. zamboni52 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    #9
    I don't use my Air 2 as much as I used to because i love carrying around my rMB. But, for watching movies and just overall media consumption, and not creation, my Air 2 is still awesome! Basically, if I don't need a keyboard I still like using my iPad. The screen is awesome and if I'm traveling I use it for watching movies, checking email and surfing the web. Saves the battery on my laptop for when I really need it. If I only had to choose one device though...the rMB would be it.
     
  10. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68020

    Ulenspiegel

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2014
    Location:
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    #10
    Another one-day-member-thread of a topic beaten to death.
    Btw, good choice of nick ("alma"=apple in Turkic languages, as well as in Hungarian and Mongolian).
     
  11. roxysdad macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2005
    #11
    Wife has the 13rMBP and while I like it for its quality and built like a tank feel, it is a bit large for my taste - mainly because I was so used to my 11MBA. If I needed the ports and power I would have purchased the 13rMBP for sure. I haven't used the FaceTime camera yet so no comment there.

    12rMB is a great little computer. It isn't all things to everyone so that makes it hard to decide. I was in your shoes for a few weeks before I decided on the rMB. I recommend if you are going to buy a computer this week for sure then buy the rMB and try it out for a week. Return it for the rMBP later if it doesn't satisfy your needs.
     
  12. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

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    Jun 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #12
    I'm not saying that two pounds isn't a lot at this scale but it's hardly massive.

    How much of that is at the same time?
     
  13. Older bird macrumors regular

    Older bird

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    Apr 26, 2015
    #13
    I have both. For me the MacBook wins hands down. Your post sounds like our usage is basically the same. It is more than enough machine for what you are doing. The MacBook is so light, the FaceTime camera looks good. No complaints from the other end of the conversation as far as image quality or lag. Single port USB-C isn't a deal breaker either. I also have boot camp and Windows 10 installed just because I can. I haven't picked up my MacBook Pro in probably 3 months. Now I'm wondering why I haven't sold it yet. lol. MacBook for the win!!!
     
  14. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    Aug 14, 2015
    Location:
    Land of Smiles
    #14
    It's not dissimilar to the size/weight ratio deltas between a IPhone6S and the 6S+ but people will say the 6S+ is massive :)

    I'm not sure how the OP can get a spinning beach ball to appear most office doc's open in a few seconds
     
  15. almaaaaaa, Dec 15, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015

    almaaaaaa thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 14, 2015
    #15
    Hmm... And after OS updates and saving documents, you don't feel a slowdown? With my previous MBP, I also had music and movies saved which made it lag a little and had the rainbow wheel keep popping up often.

    Thats my major concern here. That if I start downloading music on iTunes and stuff that it will affect the general performance of the laptop.

    Hmm... And after OS updates and saving documents, you don't feel a slowdown? With my previous MBP, I also had music and movies saved which made it lag a little and had the rainbow wheel keep popping up often.

    Thats my major concern here. That if I start downloading music on iTunes and stuff that it will affect the general performance of the laptop.
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #16
    It would seem the rMB would be nice choice for your usage. If you like the larger (albeit only 1" larger) then the 13" MBP is a winner but I think the MacBook would be a fine computer for your needs.
     
  17. Warbrain, Dec 15, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015

    Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

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    Jun 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #17
    Which is not massive. It's people using unnecessary descriptors.

    One inch larger but can handle higher scaled resolutions.
     
  18. Z3man macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 19, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    The macbook pro is actually 1.3 inches larger, and in real world terms that is a lot, the MBP really does seem huge after using the rMB. I think the word massive is not an over statement, i own both and the MBP just seems too big now. I didn't realise it before but a 12" screen is the sweet spot.
     
  19. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

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    Chicago, IL
    #19
    To each their own.
     
  20. toddzrx macrumors 6502a

    toddzrx

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    #20
    Which model MBP did you own? I.e., what year did you buy it? My gut feel is that it had a hard drive which, after an OS update or when getting full of data can get slow. The SSD on either the current MBP or MB will not suffer the same problem.

    Like others here, it sounds like the MB is the right choice, given your usage.
     
  21. Booji macrumors 6502a

    Booji

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #21
    When I started a new job I faced the same dilemma. My personal machine as a 11" MBA which I really loved, but was seriously tired of the screen. I was afraid of the rMBP because it was so much heavier than what I was used to, and I travel very light, with a small backpack and a minimum of extra stuff. I really wanted the rMB because it was even lighter, but was concerned about the processing power.

    After a lot of thought, I went for the rMBP. No regrets and I hardly notice the difference in the backpack. Yes, it is heavier, but really not that bad as to where I really missed lightness of the MBA. I would say the main disadvantage is larger footprint is much harder to use on the airplane. I still have the 11" MBA and sometimes use it on short trips (keeping everything in sync with Dropbox), but when I go back to it, I really miss the larger screen.
     

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