macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
Thank you all for your advice. Am "processing":) it all as quickly as my inexpert brain can. (i'm a she, btw, but no worries it's not important.)

I would also reccomend the Pro, by the time you get the SSD size and the RAM at the same level they cost much the same.

Also if you want to save a few $$$ then a 2014 refurbished 13 inch rMBP sounds perfect for you....

Or B&H have good deals on last years pro, brand new, it'll be far better than a new air...

or this

I would not reccomend one to one for file transfer when you can just back up your current computer with time machine to an external hard drive and migrate the data accross to your new one.

If you don't have an external back up buy one now and use it, your livelihood seems to rely on those files don't lose them.
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macrumors Ivy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
The Far Horizon
I have a 13" 2013 MBA which I had CTO (which gives me 512 SSD GB, 8 GB RAM and an i7 Core). The battery is superb and the computer has traveled the world with me - it is easily the best computer I have ever had, fast, powerful, portable and utterly reliable.

I accept that the screen of the retina MBP is a lot better, but - for me, for now - portability trumps a stunning screen.

Re the Applecare debate, personally, I have always bought it, and, the cycle of Applecare dictates how long I hold on to a computer. In any case, it gives me peace of mind for thee years. Besides, Apples are pretty expensive and their repairs are costly.

Strangely enough, I have found that Applecare has always paid for itself over time. My 2008 MBP required a HDD replacement after around 30 months, and my original MBA (2010) had Magsafe issues and needed keys and a keyboard replacement, all of which was done under Applecare.

Re memory, if you have years and years of files, I would recommend a minimum of 256GB - the larger drives tend to be more stable and faster, too.

On the 8 versus 4 RAM debate, I remember the days when people with two shrieked at those with one 'it's not enough', and those with four, in turn, disdained those with a mere two.

However, each and every system eats more space and memory; what is more than adequate now, may struggle in a few years time. My 2010 MBA (with 2 GB RAM) was struggling a bit by 2013; that, and the imminent expiry of Applecare, prompted the purchase of a new computer in 2013.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2004
For your work, the best idea is to get the base model 13" air, save yourself money (even a refurb one).
It is true that the Retina Macbook pro has a better screen, but it is way more expensive to.

All the money saved now (not upgrading the machine) is a better long term investment saved to upgrading your computer in the future. If you resale the machine, the upgrades don't pay. There is always sweet deals in the base model MBA, last year you could get them for as little as $700.

Get insurance, not applecare.
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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 1, 2015
Thank you again, all of you have been tremendously helpful and I appreciate your time and the thoughtfulness of your advice.


macrumors member
Oct 27, 2014
FWIW, I do a lot of Excel/Word/PPT work myself and I really can't use my Air anymore because of getting used to Retina displays. The text looks like I am seeing it through a screen door on that machine... My Air is a base machine that I bought in 2013 and have used it much the same as you seem to. For the majority of the time, I have had no issues with 4GB of RAM. However, I have had some issues with very large, complex Excel files and running out of RAM with the 4GB there. I don't know how data intensive your stuff is, but because of that experience, I have moved to buying at least 8GB machines for my work. For me, it's kind of like buying 4x4 on my SUV - don't really use it that much, but when I need it, I REALLY need it... I won't go into the long story, but just say that the crashing and problems I had by only having the 4GBs of RAM cost me 2 full days of productivity on my consulting projects - WAY more expensive than the RAM upgrade...
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