need a new laptop but is the retina really worth it?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by mikeydooodie, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. mikeydooodie macrumors member

    May 13, 2008
    so its either an air or the macbook. now as far as processor power the base model macbook says 1.1ghz turbo boost to 2.4ghz for 1299

    i found a macbook air 13 inch with 2.2 ghz for 1250

    the 50$ difference in price doesn't bother me so I'm asking people that understand the specs here what to do. all i will be doing primarily is surfing the web(usual youtube stuff) and possibly be recording a podcast so what would my best bet be?? is retina really worth it or is the air good enough? does that turbo boost up to 2.4 mean anything or is 2.2 better??

    i have a 13 inch macbook pro now(mid 2010) that i will keep as the home base computer, going to upgrade the ram and the new one will be for me for more portability and work related stuff (emails, spreadsheets) and the possible podcast i might be starting.
  2. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Go into the Apple store and take a look at the Retina screen. The general consensus is that the Air screen looks fine until you see a Retina one.
  3. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    You need to go use a retina display. For many (most?) people who do, it matters more than any other part of the computer. I wouldn't buy an Air whatever the price or specifications. But for you you might not notice the difference. Some people say they don't (although to be fair mostly it's those without one).
  4. lcseds macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2006
    NC, USA
    At this point, either a retina Macbook or a retina Macbook Pro. But retina is what you want going forward, IMO.
  5. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    How much do you value portability? How much do you value a retina display?

    The Ars review says it nicely:

  6. mikeydooodie thread starter macrumors member

    May 13, 2008
    portability will be a big part of it for me. i currently have a mid 2010 13 inch pro and it feels like a brick in my hand lol and that will be the home computer

    and i recently got my wife the new iPad air since her iPad 2 finally crapped out and that screen is ridiculously beautiful. I'm going to go to the store tomorrow and look but I'm wondering in the power specs will be good enough to do what i want.

    was reading that if you are looking to edit videos or photos or make music the new macbook isn't worth it
  7. totten76 macrumors regular


    Mar 12, 2015
    I personally think Retina is a necessity. Not just for viewing but for resale. I don't see Apple laptops coming in non retina versions in the near future.
  8. mikeydooodie thread starter macrumors member

    May 13, 2008
    yeah i guess you're right. tomorrow i will go check out both side by side and see whats up, probably will be walking out with a new computer and a lighter wallet lol
  9. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    And then there are those who do notice the difference but don't think it's that big of a deal. :p

    Personally, I have both an 11" MBA for traveling and and 13" MBP and don't mind using the MBA at all when I need something very portable. The Retina display looks obviously nicer, but the MBA display is perfectly fine and once I start working, I don't even think about it. It's not like you lose any functionality. If you do serious photo editing it might be more important, but I guess real pros would prefer a big, calibrated monitor for that kind of work.

    Regarding the CPU performance, the clock rates don't tell the whole story. The big difference is that the Macbook has only passive cooling, which very likely means that it will be significantly slower than the MBA for tasks that produce longer-lasting CPU load, such as video encoding, compiling bigger software projects, games and similar things.
  10. mikeydooodie thread starter macrumors member

    May 13, 2008
    I've lived this long without retina so i think i can continue to but i will still go look tomorrow
  11. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    That's what am wondering myself. Higher-res sure would make things look nicer but am more about functionality, can I squeeze more spreadsheet rows and column at the same font pitch vs a non-retina and able to see it without fatigue? I really need to go play with it.
  12. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    If you work with very small fonts that might be a good reason to get a machine with a Retina display. The sharper text rendering is really the main advantage of high-DPI displays IMO. I use my laptops mostly for programming in console windows with rather small (but not tiny) fonts as well as office applications, and don't have a problem on the MBA.

    But yes, it's absolutely a good idea to go and try it for yourself.

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