MBA for MBPR owner?

Chevelle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 9, 2010
138
5
I just got a new 15" mbpr. It's great. But I want something portable to take to work and travel with. The 15" is a little too big imo. I tried an iPad air, but I just don't like tablets even though I want to like them. I'm considering getting a MBA 11". But I'm worried about the screen because I'm spoiled by the retina screen. Anybody have both and can comment on it?
 

tobeornottobe

macrumors regular
Nov 4, 2013
194
26
I just got a new 15" mbpr. It's great. But I want something portable to take to work and travel with. The 15" is a little too big imo. I tried an iPad air, but I just don't like tablets even though I want to like them. I'm considering getting a MBA 11". But I'm worried about the screen because I'm spoiled by the retina screen. Anybody have both and can comment on it?
retina cannot be unseen!
 

jmoore5196

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2009
767
261
Midwest US
The larger question is can you do without the Quad-Core performance and discrete graphics capability?

I certainly understand that the 15" RMBP is an arm-bender; the 11" MBA strong suit is portability. If you need the heavy-lifting capacity of the 15", however, there's really no suitable alternative.

If I were giving up my 15" MBP for something substantially lighter, I'd opt for the 11" MBA as the ultimate in portability. The trade off is not in the screen; it's in performance. I have both machines, incidentally; I travel with the MBA and leave the MBP tethered to a TBD.

The notion that "retina cannot be unseen" is flatly absurd. We made do with standard-definition displays for decades before retina came along. Just because I've had Godiva chocolate doesn't mean Hershey's doesn't still call my name.
 

Chevelle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 9, 2010
138
5
Have you looked at the 13" rMBP? It has a smaller footprint than the 13" MBA and feels portable.
Actually I bought the 13" rmbp first. I didn't like the smaller screen as my "home computer." I know, I can get an external monitor, but I don't always want to be tied to a desk. I am still getting a monitor though for when I want that.

I don't need major power for the macbook air. I'm going to use Photoshop and lightroom or aperture on the retina and the macbook air would be for email, web browsing, movies, etc.
 

Robyr

macrumors regular
Feb 21, 2010
226
0
Actually I bought the 13" rmbp first. I didn't like the smaller screen as my "home computer." I know, I can get an external monitor, but I don't always want to be tied to a desk. I am still getting a monitor though for when I want that.

I don't need major power for the macbook air. I'm going to use Photoshop and lightroom or aperture on the retina and the macbook air would be for email, web browsing, movies, etc.
The 11" Air was designed and released almost specifically for this usecase.
 

Robyr

macrumors regular
Feb 21, 2010
226
0
Cool, think I'll order one.
No one will fault you for the choice, I love my 11" and its my primary PC. I am constantly on the move, but even if I weren't, I would prefer the 11" for lounging around to the 15" rMBP.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,517
2,031
New Jersey Pine Barrens
I went from a 2008 15" MBP to a 2011 13" MBA to a 2013 11" MBA. It's a great machine, and no slouch in terms of performance either. It is now my primary computer and I use Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro and other powerful software on it. At home I use a big screen and external keyboard/mouse.

But the little machine is perfect for travel, and also great for watching movies or web surfing at bedtime. I wouldn't want a retina screen on the MBA, it already has a very fine dot pitch. People like to complain about the older technology used in the screen - and it could certainly be improved - but really, I have grown to like it a lot and have no complaints.
 

IJBrekke

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2009
395
162
Long Beach, CA
I just went from an 11" MBA to a 13" rMBP. Trying to use the 11" and its non-retina screen is now difficult...once you adjust to the retina you IMMEDIATELY see the difference.

One thing I didn't like initially about the rMBP was the lack of screen real estate. Comparing it side-by-side with the MBA, however, shows that they have almost identical screen space (slightly different because of 16x10 vs 16x9). But the rMBP can scale up, the MBA cannot. I think the 13"MBA resolution is ideal.

Basically, if you can accept the low res screen then the MBA is perfect. If not, 13" rMBP is your best bet.
 

Chevelle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 9, 2010
138
5
I just went from an 11" MBA to a 13" rMBP. Trying to use the 11" and its non-retina screen is now difficult...once you adjust to the retina you IMMEDIATELY see the difference.

One thing I didn't like initially about the rMBP was the lack of screen real estate. Comparing it side-by-side with the MBA, however, shows that they have almost identical screen space (slightly different because of 16x10 vs 16x9). But the rMBP can scale up, the MBA cannot. I think the 13"MBA resolution is ideal.

Basically, if you can accept the low res screen then the MBA is perfect. If not, 13" rMBP is your best bet.
I didn't like the 13" rmbp screen real estate either. That's why I went 15". With the mb air I want ultimate portability. Basically I want it to be an iPad replacement because I like keyboards and trackpads and osx compared to iOS.

Hopefully the screen won't be a problem but it should be fine.
 

TomBlack

macrumors newbie
Jan 6, 2014
8
0
I've got one simple question. Sorry for the interruption, but I'm having a big concerne here. Currently I'm using a 13" mbp. Bought a used one september 2013 and after this 'much' of usage I'm opting for a smaller 11" air, base setup. Is it worth it?

It's not going to be my main computer, because later I'm planning to use a fully maxed out mac mini with a toshiba 40" tv screen. So is this setup ok compared to a 13" macbook pro?
 
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