MBA - Time to buy or wait for retina?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2011
    Hi guys!

    I'm 'bout to order the MBA 13/i5/8gb. I've had a couple of MBA's before and just love the machine!

    I'm a student so don't have the money to justify the Retina MBP, also the weight is kindda important, making the MBA a no brainer.

    BUT - how are the chances for a retina MBA this year (around october/september along with the normal keynotes?). Personally I don't expect seeing it until a year from now, but rumors has it, that the MBP13 might get an retina update around sep.

    I know this is just pure speculation, but any thoughts on this?
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If you need to get one now, then by all means buy one. If however you can delay the purchase you'll be better off see if apple does come out with a 13" retina MBP.

    I'm not sure we'll see a retina MBA quite yet, as they'll probably want to get the MBP family to have retina displays first. Plus I don't think it makes much of business sense quite yet
  3. wkp765 macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2012
    I think it's highly unlikely that the MBA is getting a Retina display this or next year. The technology is just not there yet, but perhaps early 2014.

    You can wait if you want. It's rumors and nobody other than Apple knows if there is going to one released by september/october. But than again, you can just keep waiting and waiting..
    If the rMBP13" is going to be released this year as well, it's difinitely going to have another price tag than the current generation.. More along the lines of the rMBP. Just get the MBA and its going to make you happy! The screen is great and the machine is a beast and is perfect for a student like you and my self.
  4. thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2011
    I agree. Well, I can surely be waiting, but I'd really like to have one as soon I'll be returning my current one.

    Don't see it neither, also the price would sure be a lot higher!
  5. RightMACatU macrumors 65816


    Jul 12, 2012
    A bit confused here. Do you want our opinion on if you should buy now or wait for the rMBA or are you starting ANOTHER thread on a potential rMBA?
  6. thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2011
    I know. If possible, I would LOVE to keep my current Air (1.7, C2D, 13", 256) but since it has to go back to my brother, I have to buy another one. And no matter which one I'll buy it'll be better than the one I had. It's just purely economically, that making the most future-proof thing is smart. Aaaaand, future-proofing in technology is just impossible :)

    And sure - the price would be a quite different one!
  7. wkp765 macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2012
    It's quite impossible indeed! But you have to get it sooner or later right? ;)
    I would definitely get the 13"/8GB/i5 or i7, depending on your needs, SSD and budget. For future proofing, the most essential thing will the the RAM so that's a no brainer.
    I just got a 13"/i7/8GB/256SSD and its a really great machine! It exceeded all of my expectations and I am sure this machine will at least get me through the next 3 years of college, which by then, it'll pass to one of my siblings and I've saved enough money for a rMBA by then. ;)
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2011
    True, true. I'd like to get the i7, but the price here in europe for the top-model Air is just ridiculous. And can't upgrade the low-end 13" to i7 for some reason (damn you Apple).. Also the 256gb is quite overkill for me. Have it now, and used about 70gigs.. Yeah, the RAM is quite important and that'll be what I'm upgrading - from 4 to 8..


    Huh?.. You might get the answer, if you read the post and dropped the sarcasm.
  9. Seamaster macrumors 65816


    Feb 24, 2003
    My guess is that retina screens will be the key differentiator between the Pro and Air lines for the next couple of years at least. In the same way Apple has continued to sell the iPad 2 alongside the new iPad, and the iPhone 3GS alongside the 4/4S, the non-retina Air will continue to sell alongside the retina Pros. There'll be no retina Air until retina screens become the defacto standard for all notebooks.
  10. thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2011
    Yeah, you might have a good point. Also it would be insane if Apple upgraded their MBP's (and/or Air) to retina with so short distance between the last upgrade (62 days ago).
  11. wkp765 macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2012

    You are absolutely right. I paid so much for mine it's not even funny.
    But I do just love the machine! It was a great investment in my opinion. I love the machine and there is nothing that I can complain about. It just works!

    Yea, I've used 50 gigs so far, and I really need to use a whole lot more.
    But now that I've got it, I might put some movies on here and a bit more music. We'll see. :)
  12. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    My opinion is that if you need to buy NOW then save several hundred bucks and get a 2011 model since its the best value and the 2012 doesn't offer much beyond USB3 and a slight performance bump. But if you can wait then theres a good chance we'll see Retina and new hardware design on the next generation.
  13. aircanman macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2011
    Buy what you need now, there is no point waiting. Personally I think the MBP will be phased out in about 2 years to make way for Retina versions of the MBA 11/13 and possibly a 15 and the Retina MBP, the need for a CD drive is reducing and the price of SSD is coming down, making SSD the drive of choice in the future.
  14. kodeman53, Aug 13, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012

    kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    The following have been true since the first personal computer was announced;

    1. No one knows what features the next models will have.
    2. No one knows when they will be available.
    3. The new models will be faster than the current models.
    4. The new models will have larger capacity.
    5. If you wait, the prices will drop.
    6. No one but you knows your financial situation.
    7. No one but you knows if the unknown feature set of the unannounced product will benefit you.
    8. If you need it now, buy it now but you will pay more versus waiting. (See Item 5)
    9. Buying the previous generation is cheaper.
    10. There's no such thing as 'future proofing'. See Items 3 and 4.
  15. Calot macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2012
    If you can wait two years.... Very unlikely to have retina by next year.
  16. Wokis macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2012
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Oh you're just seeing in a way a MBA 2011 owner would do. ;) Downplay HD4000, USB3 and 8GB RAM, and hope for "the bigger" upgrade when it's time for you to get the new one ^^

    Obviously I'm the other one, who praise those parts ;)

    I'm having a hard time foreseeing anything about next year's MBA. Maybe apple are having a hard time figuring it out themselves. Is retina going to be the difference between Pro and Air? Is a re-design necessary for the MBA?

    Maybe they'll just scramble it all up and make two "new" product lines, where the Air will simply be called the Macbook and the Pro will be the line with the highest specs and perhaps a thing like a dedicated GPU to set them apart.
  17. urkel, Aug 13, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012

    urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    Huh? I went from 2011 MBA to a 2012 MBA so my opinion is based off of ownership.

    For me, I use the Air primarily for Aperture and the difference with the faster drives and faster HD4000 simply wasn't that big. And considering you can buy a 2011 model for significantly less then if you lump the two generations together then the 2011 is the one that made the bigger "leap" compared to the previous year. And if the OP is thinking retina and has owned "several Airs" then why not save money or use what you have until the next version shows up.
  18. Dustman macrumors 65816


    Apr 17, 2007
    I'd buy now. :) The display is already nice, with an IGP I'd think the MBA would be crippled with a retina display until graphics get a tad better.
  19. bubbleboyjones macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2010
    I would say the 8GB option is a big advantage for the 2012. If was able to get 8GB on a 2011 I would get it in a heart beat.


    Thats exactly whats going to happen in the coming years(imo). The Pro's are becoming more like Airs as time goes on while the Airs become more like Pro's.
  20. thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2011
    Okay, as first stated this is pure speculations, but thanks for your answers and suggestions..

    I do think we'll see a MBP13 retina within a couple of months, so I guess the question is turning into; buy mba 13 now or wait for mbp retina 13 :D
  21. stchman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    If I'm not mistaken Apple has not even talked of introducing a Retina based Macbook Air. I personally think we will see a rMBA in the future, but I don't know when.
  22. aaronvan Suspended


    Dec 21, 2011
    República Cascadia
    You believe Apple will release a rMBA in September? Highly, highly doubtful.
  23. thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2011
    Totally agree. I also meant that they might release a mbpr 13". Which is why the question is whether to want (and wait for) a mbpr 13 or current MBA 13 ;)
  24. dkersten macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2010
    There will be no retina MBA for at least a year. However there maybe a 13in Retina Pro later this fall.
  25. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Retina MBA this year? No chance what so ever, AT ALL. Zilch. Zero. The thermal problem would become too big.

    As for the Retina MBP 13", might come. But that's another story and not relevant to the thread really.

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