Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Random87, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. Random87 macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2013
    I'm a long time reader and a first time poster.

    I need a new laptop as my old 2008 MacBook white (lasted me 6 years)has gotten really really slow and freezes every time more than one program is open.

    I wanted to get a 13-inch MBP Haswell (non-retina) once it's released but I am now considering an MBA.

    How great is the difference between the MBP and MBA for non power users? And how long is the life expectancy?

    Below is what I will need the laptop for:

    Downloading movies and TV shows
    Internet browsing
    Writing papers and heavy email use
    Converting videos
    Watching movies
    Downloading eBooks and using Calibre

    What is the performance of the new Haswell MBA's even though they are still dual core? Can I add external storage? Does it freeze when multi-tasking?
  2. Lunfai macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2010
    MBA is fine for your tasks. Youll be able to manage easily. They will most likely cut the non retina line of MBPs, so you'd have to compare against the retinas.

    The MBA will be able to do light to medium works in Photoshop/Final Cut/Illustrator. Youll be fine.
  3. 90miles macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2012
    I gave advice to my friend's uncle about which mac to get and he had very similar requests, his major concern was the storage available in the base 13" air but I do believe at this moment the air is the best buy as you can easily fix the storage problem with an external hd.
  4. Random87 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2013
    MBA or MBP

    Does the MBA's fan get noisy when watching movies?
  5. mxidis88 macrumors member


    Jul 8, 2013
    SLC, UT
    Had the same problem...

    I've been debating the same issues you have and have about the same use case as you do. I've owned a Macbook Air previously, but had to sell it to fund another project. I've been saving up and decided to pick up a new mac. I was in love with the Air design and the new ~12hr battery life intrigued me. I went into the Apple store to pick one up and passed by the 13" Macbook Pro w/Retina...As soon as I saw the screen I knew it was the one I wanted to buy. Instead of buying it new, I went onto Apple's website and bought a refurbished model(as good as new when it's from Apple) for $1249. That is roughly equivalent to the cost of the new MBA with an 8GB upgrade.(The rMBP comes with 8GB standard)

    I've had it for a week and couldn't imagine a better product. Once you use a retina screen it's impossible to enjoy using a non retina one. The 13" is great at video encoding(the higher clocked dual-core i5+better cooling system allows the rMBP to handle long-term computations a whole lot better than the lower watt Air processor) Graphics are adequate for casual gaming(Civ5, Diablo3, etc.) The size is actually smaller than the Air(while being about 0.5lbs. heavier). You get an HDMI out port which is a life saver when I have to do presentations on a larger screen sans an AppleTV. I wouldn't spend $1500 on this laptop, but at $1250 it's the perfect machine.

    The cMBP was a good computer, but it's fairly easy to find one with a Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge processor on Craigslist or Ebay for $700-$1000. So, you would be wasting money by ordering it from Apple. The current generation MBA is a compelling device, but after using a retina screen on a laptop, there's just no comparison. The rMBP is probably going to get updated soon to Haswell, but you won't find a refurbished model of that updated version till Jan or Feb of 2014. If you're looking at getting a mac now the refurbished rMBP 13" at $1249 is the best option, in my opinion(it seems redundant that I have to qualify my own statement with that little phrase, but I know how touchy some people can get on forums).


    They did on my 2012 MBA(IvyBridge, HD4000), but it may be better on the Haswell model.
  6. B... macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
    MBA, definitely. And the fans on the Haswell machine don't kick in too much with movies.
  7. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    I vote for MBA with Haswell for all of your basic needs. :apple:
  8. mookgiants macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2011

    I just bought a Macbook Air today, was going to sell my 2012 macbook pro retina 15", buy the macbook air with the student deal at best buy for 900+ tax, and still have some money in my pocket.

    Well, I have the air for a day and while its a nice machine, I just can't go back from the retina or down from 15 inches to 13 inches. It feels like it is way smaller and the screen just isn't comparable. I realized quickly its not the one I want so i'm going to take it back to best buy and wait for the retina haswells to come out. I'll have to shell out more money but I won't ever be happy with the air purchase.
  9. pancakedrawer macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2010
    as with any of these MBA v MBP questions. If you need to ask, it's because you don't do anything that necessitates a MBP.

    To give you some perspective, my MBP 3,1 is still used today for 3D modelling and rendering + CS6. The MBA of today is about x2 faster than my computer.

    If you're worried about the retina v non-retina, remember that almost nothing these days is optimised for these screens and whilst some things look great on the screen, it's probably not worth the all-day battery life and amazing form factor of the air.

    hope this helps!
  10. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Pretty simple.

    (a) Do you need a large (>256G) HD, an internal CD/DVD drive, Ethernet or Firewire built-in (they can always be added via USB3 or Thunderbolt)?

    (b) Do you need to (officially) be able to upgrade the RAM and/or HD/SSD?

    No to both: MacBook Air
    Yes to either: MacBook Pro

    The Air has a marginally higher-res screen than the MBP, and even if the processor is slightly slower, the solid-state drive will probably make a bigger difference for general use.

    The main annoyances with the Air is the non (officially) replaceable SSD - it seems highly likely that price-per-GB of SSD will drop substantially during the lifetime of the new product, so it would be an ideal candidate for a mid-life boost. However, it looks like unofficial upgrade paths are likely.
  11. lagisibuk macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2013
    Always Somewhere
    vote for MBA...
    but, when u need upgrade for future, please choice MBP, u can upgrade RAM/SSD in future.

    actually, MBA is enough.
  12. Memole macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2013
    MBA for sure :)
    I would even go for MBA but i was in doubt should i go for rMBP 15" or MBA 13" both are nice machines but only reason why i went for rMBP over MBA is IPS screen and 15" screen otherwise if MBA had IPS screen even non retina one and if they produced in 15" i would go for MBA for sure wouldnt even look at rMBP :)

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