New MBP and MBA Side-by-side (With Photos!)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Aco Strkalj, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. Aco Strkalj, Jun 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012

    Aco Strkalj macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    #1
    Photos:

    [​IMG]
    Wedge Angle MBA

    [​IMG]
    Wedge Angle MBP

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    [​IMG]
    Back-to-Back (Top)

    [​IMG]
    Back-to-Back (Side)

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    [​IMG]
    Taper vs No Taper (Bottom)

    [​IMG]
    Taper vs No Taper (Top)

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    [​IMG]
    Trackpad-to-Trackpad

    [​IMG]
    Trackpad-to-Trackpad Angle

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    [​IMG]
    iTunes MBP (1)

    [​IMG]
    iTunes MBA (1)

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    iTunes MBP (2)

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    iTunes MBA (2)

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    [​IMG]
    Foreign Characters


    Diablo 3

    [​IMG]
    Settings

    [​IMG]
    Gameplay 1

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    Gameplay 2

    [​IMG]
    Gameplay 3


    System Reports

    [​IMG]
    Memory

    [​IMG]
    Serial-ATA


    Experience Review

    The edges around the unibody are dulled down. A lot less sharper than the previous generation. That's a huge plus. When I bought the Pro I thought the thin profile and dulled edges would make it feel a lot more like the Air with the tapered design. I was completely wrong. When resting your hands from table to keyboard you sure notice a bump. You notice when and where the laptop body starts. On the air it's very smooth and seamless. See my first 2 photos for an illustration. This bump can be very annoying. Perhaps it's because I was used to the Air's marvel design. If this is not a problem for you, then you passed one of my biggest turnoffs with the Pro: the lack of wedge design.

    ++++++++++++

    The small subwoofer in the Pro cause the unibody to slightly vibrate. Not saying this is a negative, but it can be for some. It feels like the iPad 1 or 2 when playing music. You can feel the entire case vibrate on every beat. When comparing the audio quality there is little difference between the Air and Pro. It sounds as if the Pro has a little added base and overall power. I'm an audiophile with a sharp ear. Trust me on this, the sound quality difference is very small. When listening to music I use headphones anyway (Denon AH-D7000 connected to a iDo DAC/AMP and FLAC audio only).

    ++++++++++++

    Very few apps are optimized for the retina displays. Barely any websites. Be prepared to see a lot of pixelating for non-Apple apps/sites. Some apps that are "optimized" still lack icons that need to be pixel doubled. Also, there are some OS icons that are still not retina optimized. I suspect Apple will take care of all those with Mnt Lion next month. Photoshop doesn't look great. Very pixelated. We'll have to wait until they release their update later this year!

    You really have to access how you use your computer. I spend majority of my time on the browser. Occasionally use Photoshop and a few third party software. 99.9% of the apps and websites are not retina optimized. That means, for me, most of the joy of owning a retina display is taken from me. It's just terrible to see some nice high res parts and some nasty parts on the screen. It's kind of like a beautiful painting with stains here and there. And if you're an obsessive person with an eye for detail, like me, this can really start to piss you off. Unless you plan on spending majority of your time in Final Cut or Apature or any other Apple retina optimized app you use to make a living, then you will love this thing.

    ++++++++++++

    The batteries seem to get a little warm in the Pro which cause the palm rest area to warm up which may cause your hands to warm up and become sweat. This can especially be a problem if you play games and rest your hand on the palm rest/keyboard for the 1/2/3/4 or q/w/e/r or w/a/s/d keys.

    Note: I have thin hands.

    ++++++++++++

    According to the activity monitor the retina optimized apps on iTunes eat up 50% more RAM. Safari web content is also double the size. I suspect this is due to rendering the content for the retina display and high res images that the apps use. 8GB really isn't a lot of memory when you work with a pixel dense display like this. The base 8GB is like the base 4GB that the previous Pros included. Everything seems relative. For heavy video/photo users I strongly suggest going with 16GB.

    ++++++++++++

    The brushed metal is also a lot smoother on the Pro. As if it was more polished. When you whip your hands on the surface it feels more like your gliding and makes less of a sound. On the Air you tend to feel more of the texture. You also hear a little more when you whip you hands on the surface.

    The Air also has a little more glitter to it. Something they seemed to have dulled down a tad bit on the Pro.

    It's difficult to capture this on video/photo.

    ++++++++++++

    Connecting my Canon XTi EOS camera to the Pro did nothing. As if it couldn't be read. Worked on the Air. Strange. I suspect it has to do with the new USB3 port.

    ++++++++++++

    When watching a film the darks are so dark that they almost blend in with the entire frame of the display (the black margins). It's kind of cool. Loving the contrast!

    ++++++++++++

    The LCD is very close to the glass. The space that used to be there is now gone. It appears as if the screen is a glowing piece of paper. In simpler terms: the cursor has never been so close to your eyes, and the glass panel. It's pretty nice. (Note: 10x better than the iPad 3 where there is clearly a space between the glass and LCD and very noticeable.

    ++++++++++++

    I could have a defective speaker in this unit. Some frequencies (when listening to classic music - moonlight sonata) create a high pitch static sound that can drive you mad. Will have to confirm this is not a defect...

    ++++++++++++

    Froze on me when playing Diablo 3 on high settings. Keep in mind this is the base model (2.3GHz, 8GB, 256GB). It got incredibly hot. I couldn't keep my finger on the top-right surface for more than 5 seconds because it really started to burn my skin (no physical signs but I can feel my finger a bit sore and 'hardened'). The fans went in overdrive mode and silent they are no more! They can get loud too! I tried again after a while in Medium/High settings and was able to play a bit longer but again, it started freezing. It appears to only work at Medium/Low settings.

    There also appears to be a wave rendering downwards every now and then that you can notice while playing the game. It isn't significant but you do notice it. It might be important to note that I am playing Act 4 where a whole lot is going on... I will now start testing League of Legends...

    Note: It's 70F in my room.

    ++++++++++++

    Also when you switch to a screen like this I think there is some getting used to. There is something about the glow of this display that plays with your eyes. It just looks different. If you had a iPad 1/2 and switched to the iPad 3 you might notice the difference about the "glow" of the screen. It's unusual. I think it just takes getting used to 5M+ pixels shooting into your eyes...

    ++++++++++++

    The content output is the same between the two machines. That means the same amount of data the display is outputting is hitting your eyes. The only difference is that the Pro has quality looks 4x better because there are 4x more pixels. It's best to always be left on "Retina optimal" display setting because if you do make it bigger (higher resolution) things start becoming a little more blurry. It looses it's sharpness. Honestly I don't think anyone will change the optimal retina display setting. One is too big and the other is too small.

    ++++++++++++

    This may seem unbelievable but the Air is more responsive and fluid than the Pro. When playing with the rubber scrolling on content heavy pages, the bounce effect is a little clunky on the Pro. This also applies to scrolling up/down/diagonally across large images in the browser or Preview or iPhoto. The motion also seems to be faster on the Air than on the Pro. I suspect it has to do with the super pixel dense display. There are lots of pixels that need to receive the signals...

    ++++++++++++

    When you pick up the Pro while its running and tilt it at an angle you hear a terrible scratching sound. It isn't loud but you can certainly hear something nasty. The sound you typically hear when you lift and tilt a laptop with an optical drive and hear the CD scratching against the surface. I suspect it's the fans scraping against the enclosure. If you move the laptop slowly it doesn't seem to happen. This doesn't seem to apply to the air as I can easily pick it up and tilt it at angles without hearing a thing.

    ++++++++++++

    When viewing photos in Safari they are stretched and pixelated.

    ++++++++++++

    I didn't notice it before but after you leave on very bright colors, it may burn into the screen, but it fades in an hour. For example. If you have white with a sudden cut of black or any other solid colors, you will see the outlines of that after you power off the display. Very similar to older plasma displays. But it doesn't capture the details. You really just seem to see the outlines of things. I noticed this after I set my wallpaper to something with sharp lines and blocks. And when I powered if off I thought my eyes were screwing with me. You also only see the "ghosting" if you have a light beaming onto the glass. Just as you would see the grid lines on your iPad outside in the sunlight.

    This could explain why the screen had this unique glow about it. It seemed overwhelming.
     
  2. djmoody macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    #2
    Unfortunately, I don't think you can have specs like the pro does with an air-like wedge design. Or are you talking of "tapered" as in a curved edge, meaning just not sharp?
     
  3. JPizzzle macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
  4. omizzle macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    #4
    You are returning it because it doesn't have a tapered design?

    Wow
     
  5. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    #5
    It isn't tapered because they needed to fit the battery in.
     
  6. MR1324 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
  7. Aco Strkalj, Jun 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012

    Aco Strkalj thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    #7
    It's about the experience for me. Believe me I love the display. It's just absolutely stunning.

    I have the 13-inch MBA.

    (Added the experience review to the OP)
     
  8. Suno macrumors 6502

    Suno

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    #8
    Your first world problems make me jealous. It's like you guys don't have a care in the world and cash falls freely from the sky.

    No, wait, I take that back. You guys do have cares. Your first world problems like oh no my $2,000 Macbook Pro doesn't have tapered designs and it's pissing me off.
     
  9. luked14 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    #9
    I used to have a MBA and I actually wasn't a huge fan of the wedge. It seemed too thin at the bottom, and the lack of symmetry bothered me. The RMBP keeps the thin profile but feels sturdier.
     
  10. DVD9 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    #10
    I agree. The Air looks cheap at the bottom around the touchpad. Looks like a tin can.
     
  11. Aco Strkalj, Jun 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012

    Aco Strkalj thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
  12. Aco Strkalj thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    #12
    Froze on me when playing Diablo 3 on high settings. Kinda sad. Got insanely hot.
     
  13. rockbird macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    #13
    then go return it now before it gets so hot and burns down your house
     
  14. odraude macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    Location:
    Near You
  15. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    #15
    OP....keep the comparisons coming. I'm sure you'll continue to get smart ass replies, but as someone who is thinking of getting either a MBA or a MBPr this thread is full of good info.
     
  16. Aco Strkalj thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    #16
    It's very possible. It got so hot to the point where I couldn't hold down my finger in the upper right corner for 5 seconds. It started burning my skin. No joke. Unlike most people I can take pain but this thing got extremely hot. Makes sense. Apple usually doesn't poke holes in its products unless they REALLY need to. In this case they added the beam-like vents to cool this monster.

    I tried again on Medium/High and it still freezes after a while. I'm in Act 4 so there is a whole lot of action.

    I noticed that it's kind of overwhelming playing with all that detail and flashing lights. Beautiful but kind of like information overload. :)

    ----------

    Thank you. I'm aware most will post BS but there are folks that really do care about the experience that I want to inform because no one went into the details in the reviews I found. They just read off the specifications... like we can't do that by visiting the apple website...
     
  17. nowayout macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    #17
    Can you post a pic of the exact area that is super hot? Also a high res photo of your burnt finger? Would be very helpful.
     
  18. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    #18
    Do you do any video work? If so could you do some work in Handbrake or iMovie/FCPX to see how long it takes to encode or export a particular file?
     
  19. Aco Strkalj thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    #19
    Unfortunately I do not. But I can try encoding some stuff. Let me know if there is a file you'd like me to test. In iMovie.
     
  20. Aco Strkalj, Jun 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012

    Aco Strkalj thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
  21. kappaknight macrumors 68000

    kappaknight

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    #21
    Regarding connecting the DSLR camera to the computer and waiting for it to do something...

    If the camera is asleep, then the USB won't recognize something is connected to it. Sometimes I tap the shutter button (as you do when trying to focus) and the device pops up on OSX.
     
  22. foam macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
  23. Aco Strkalj, Jun 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012

    Aco Strkalj thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    #23
    Still no luck. It is as if it does not recognize the camera. I tried resetting it. Nothing. Could be a USB3 problem for now... I'll keep playing around with it.

    Of course. I'm having too much fun on the Pro. Then to unpack the new Air and compare the performance. The externals are pretty much the same between 2011 Air and 2012 Air.
     
  24. revelated macrumors 6502a

    revelated

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #24
    Looked at your side-by-side photo and saw literally no appreciable difference in text, imagery or appearance in general. Either your camera is not high quality, or...something.
     
  25. douglasf13 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    #25
    I've got both the 13" MBA and the MPBr. I prefer the trackpad area of the MPBr, because it gives a more solid click. I really love this new computer...except that I have bad, creaky, smushy Y key, so I'm going to have to take it in to see what they can do. :( Outside of this issue, this laptop is awesome.
     

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