MBPr 13 vs MBA 13

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by anau006, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. anau006 macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2014
    Hi guys,
    My second post. I am looking to upgrade from a 15" MBP non retina.

    Finally decided i was gonna get the 13 MBA then i compared the price just to see and it turns out the MBPr 13 is the same price. Now I am stuck.

    Option1: Latest Macbook Air 13" from Apple NZ site. With 3 upgrades. 1.7 i7, 512GB and 8GB ram costs $2,534 NZD.

    Option2: Latest Macbook Pro 13: Retina from Apple NZ site. No upgrades. Comes with 2.8 i5, 512GB and 8GB ram costs $2,499 NZD.

    I was going to place an order on the MBA and now i am not sure. I dont have any heavy computing needs at all. I just use email, browsing internet, watch a lot of videos/movies (mostly connected to LED HD TV).

    I like the fact that MBA will be lighter and have better battery life however both these things dont mother me that much. I dont take my laptop for travelling. However i woundnt mind taking it if possible. The weight is 2.96lbs vs 3.46lbs. Will half a pound make much difference?

    Which one is the better choice considering both are same price. If i buy the MBA for portability is it buying way inferior product for the same price?
    Reason for my MBA upgrades is that i have to have the bigger hard drive and i have heard the ram upgrade is the best upgrade you can do to a MBA. So i thought for another couple of hundred why not get the i7 as well.

    Thoughts please.
  2. TheIguana macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2004
    Honestly, both will more than suit your needs. But, I would go with the retina MBP for the retina display - the adage of "once you go retina you can't go back" seems apt.
  3. ScottishDuck macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2010
    Argyll, Scotland
    The retina macbooks are incredibly portable. The difference in screen quality is massive. The processor is considerably better. Get the retina.
  4. Bzar macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2014
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Hi there

    I was in the exact same situation over the last couple of days trying to decide between the two, although I was just looking at the base models without any upgrades.

    I decided to go with the MBPr and am going to pick it up shortly. My biggest deciding factor was that because they were very similar price I felt the pro was a better machine. Especially with the retina display you can set the resolution to pretty much match a 15inch screen and so end up with a lot more space. Also something to condsider in your case I think is that only the pro has an HDMI port, which you can use to plug into your tv.

    Hope that helps :)
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Personlly, I'd opt for rht rMBP given the screen, better CPU/GPU - just my $.02
  6. nightlong macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2012
    I sold my 2012 MBA to buy late 2013 MBr. The screen obviously was the main reason, but also more inputs, and just as portable, and battery life is fine for me. The only thing I liked more about the MBA was the tapered front of the keyboard.
  7. crawler1975 macrumors regular


    Mar 22, 2011
    Just like everybody is saying.. go with the rMBP, it has the retina display, better cpu and more ports...i think 0.5 lbs more weight is not that "heavy" ... the only thing that is better with the Air is the battery life - with that being said, I get almost 10 hrs of battery life with my Mbp under "normal" use (email, internet surfing, a few netflix episodes) ... some forum users and reviews also attest that rMBP can get up to 13 hrs battery life(I never achieved that) ...
  8. chuges macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2011
    Get the rMBP. In addition to the increased resolution, it also has an IPS display instead of TN, so colors and viewing angles are much better
  9. anau006 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2014

    Hey guys, thank you for all the input. looks like a pretty easy decision now.
    couple of quick questions regarding the upgrades.

    1) I know i dont need the upgrade from i5 to i7, however do you think i should get it. As i said before i dont do anything other than browsing and movies. My current MBP is i7, will i be going backwards. I have heard the biggest upgrade is the ssd, so the new MBP is going to be faster anyway.

    2) Dumb question - is the MBP faster than the MBA?

    3) Can i upgrade the ram on my own later on? after the 1 year warranty period. are there 2 slots? or the 2 slots being used already?

    4) same question for ssd. can i upgrade that later on? i am assuming there is only one slot for SSD. ???

    Thanks for all your input.
  10. Rileyx2 macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Answers to previous questions:
    1) If you don't do heavy computations, as you said, the i5 will do fine. Take the difference from the i5 and the i7 and put it away for the next upgrade.

    2) The MBP is faster on paper, but for much of what you do, I doubt there would be much difference. If you tax the system, the MBP may run faster for longer due to its increased thermal overhead. Many threads on this subject on MacRumors.

    3) The RAM is soldered onto the logic board and is not user-upgradable in either the MBA or rMBP, so if you want more than the standard config, that would be a useful add-on. 8GB should be good for the next few years though. Again, take the money you save with 8GB and put it towards the next one.

    4) The SSDs in the rMBP "can" be upgraded later, though sources like OWC but I have heard mixed results with those products. (The Air should also be upgradable, but I cannot recall of the top of my head.) Keeping that in mind, if you want an upgrade, purchase time would be the time to do that.

    Honestly, the rMBP is a good machine in the config you suggest (i5, 8GB, 512GB) & it should still be good 3 years down the line.
  11. michikade macrumors regular


    Sep 17, 2014
    Somewhere in Texas
    I know this doesn't 100% answer your question, but my mid-2012 model rMBP with i5, 8gb RAM runs exactly the same today as the day I bought it 13 months ago so the i5 won't show its age in the next couple years, I wager.

    You really can't go wrong with either machine, but the retina screen is very much worth it. You won't notice a half pound difference after a day or two. And while an i7 is arguably a better processor, the i5 in the retina has 1.1gHz on the i7 in the Air. Significantly faster. Of course, if you are going to do major, major computations it'd be worth upping to a i7 but even then I'd argue that the pro is a better choice because the air's options don't allow the speed like a MBP will.
  12. EnemyCanine macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2014
    A few things...
    I've been using an Air for the past year and have loved it, but since my wife has been using it more and more lately due to a new job, I decided to get another laptop so we each have our own. I went with the new rMBP 256gb stock model.
    First, it is only a half pound heavier but it feels like more. Probably due to the size being slightly smaller which condenses the weight into a smaller area. It's not that big of a deal though, and actually feels a little more solid sitting on my lap.
    My biggest concern was the battery life since I usually get about 12 hours of use out of the Air, and the expected 9 hours from the rMBP could potentially mean I needed a charge at some point during a day of work. I had to charge it twice yesterday but I was performing a lot of installs and testing various apps to see how they ran, so I don't want to use that as a benchmark. The battery indicator currently says I have 14:24 available ... if for some reason that's true ... and I doubt it is, that would be better than my Air.
    Lastly though ... regardless of how the battery turns out or if it's a little heavier, the screen more than makes up for it. I spend a lot of time on the machine and the retina display is A LOT easier on my eyes.

    Also, I would stick to the i5 unless you have a specific need for the i7. I don't think it would ever be noticeable during normal day to day use.
  13. rMBP2013 macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2013
    1) No reason to upgrade to i7 -> you won't notice any difference with your day-to-day use.

    2) Yes, rMBP is faster than an MBA, but again you won't notice any real-world difference given your usage.

    3 & 4) RAM can't upgrade. SSD you can.

    I have 8 GB RAM and with my normal usage, i don't go over 3 GB. My usage will not change over the next 3 years, I think. Therefore, if your usage also stays the same then 8 GB is going to be way more than enough.

    Get the most SSD that you can afford. I went with 512 GB and it's 65% full already (lots of home-made videos, pictures, etc. that i like to keep handy).

    Just for the record: i have a rMBP (late 2013) and my spouse just got a MBA (early 2014). I will never go back to a non-retina display, the 0.5 lbs weight be da&&ned!
  14. ostrykolesz macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2014
    The MacBook Air is just perfect, but the deal breaker for me was the non-IPS screen - I went with the MBPr. The retina display is really worth it.
  15. anau006 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2014

    Hi All,
    Thank you for your input and help. I ended up buying the MBPr because of your help. Really happy with it. Its dam light compared to my 2.5 kg 15" pro. I also bought apple care. all up costed me $2600 NZD. got a pretty good deal. $250 discount :)
  16. taedouni macrumors 65816

    Jun 7, 2011
    I'm happy that you decided to get the MBPr.

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