Picked up a MBr for $860 and a MBA 13 for $727. Which would you keep?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by MrXiro, Dec 20, 2015.

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Which would you pick at these price points? MBA 13 or MBr?

  1. Macbook Air 13 for $727

    18 vote(s)
    14.5%
  2. Macbook Retina for $860

    106 vote(s)
    85.5%
  1. MrXiro, Dec 20, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015

    MrXiro macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #1
    I was able to pick up both of these computers this week and I want to pick one of them as my on the go "writing" computer. I have a Mac Pro at home as my work horse for video editing and any graphical/photo work.

    Both of the Macbooks I got are the base models;
    MBA 13; 1.6ghz, 128gb SSD, 4gb RAM

    MBr 1.1ghz, 256gb SSD, 8gb RAM.

    On a side note; I think the SSD speeds on the Macbook Retina have gotten a little better from what i previously read; though MBA is still better.

    I got these scores around:
    MBA Write: 629 MB/s; Read: 910 MB/s
    MBr Write: 458 MB/s; Read: 740 MB/s


    The Macbook Rentina was $860 before tax and the MBA was $727.
    I'm having a hard time deciding since there things on both I like and things on both I dislike.

    I'm personally leaning towards the MBA cause it's still cheaper and I prefer the keyboard as well as not having to buy any adapters to use my external accessories.

    What would you all pick to keep?
     
  2. thadoggfather Suspended

    thadoggfather

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #2
    no brainer.

    macbook.

    love mine. quantum leap in enjoyment from my 2011 air. that thing is a dinosaur, the air not just my year model.

    long in the tooth and prime to be replaced/EOL'd soon
     
  3. MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    I was thinking that too but I've been playing with the Retina Macbook all day after a few days with the Air and while the speakers are amazing and the screen is better. The keyboard is very blah and the battery life is a little sub par. I feel I'm getting far less than even 8 hours... more like 6-7 hours at best.

    My view on this right now is that MBA is at the end of it's life but everything is perfected for the device. Great battery life, REALLY fast SSD and a keyboard that feels more natural to me.
    The MBr on the other hand is the new kid on the block and could use "a bit more time cooking" before it's a "great" product. It's more of a great start... But I do really love the style and premium feel of it.

    Thank you for your opinion!
     
  4. roxysdad macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2005
    #4
    rMB for sure. Sold my 2013 MBA and couldn't be happier with the little rMB. The screen is gorgeous, the keyboard takes a bit to get used to but once I did now my fingers fly across the keys. Unfortunately if you must have ports then there is only the option for the MBA. You have them both now, so see what you use most - screen or ports. I'm trying to simplify life lately, and this little computer is so awesome. Has everything I need and more.
     
  5. Admiral macrumors regular

    Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2015
    #5
    Retina MacBook is a no-brainer. Looking at the screen on my old MacBook Air makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a runcible spoon.
     
  6. boltjames macrumors 68030

    boltjames

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    #6
    Seriously? The price difference is $133

    That's $3.69 a month if you keep the RMB for 3 years.

    BJ
     
  7. MrXiro, Dec 21, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015

    MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #7
    It's not just the $$, I prefer the MBA keyboard and the battery life is better. Also my wifi reception seems better with the MBA too. Getting way faster connection on Speedtests for MBA, not to mention faster SSD. The only major gains to me are the retina screen and the speakers. Beyond those things (which are only subjectively needed) everything else is kind of a wash or worse than the MBA; Battery, SSD speed, Wifi reception, keyboard.
     
  8. MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    s
    The only time I really needed a port was when I wanted to restore from backup to the new MBr. But since I don't have anything that converts to USB C at the moment I just had to start the computer from scratch and download everything again.
     
  9. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #9
    The 13" MBA is fairly large and heavy compared to the rMB so I'd think that would play into the equation as well. The 11" is a lot closer in size and weight.

    Obviously the screen is the other big difference. I would not choose a computer today that looked like the MBA since the screen is the one component that you are interacting with 100% of the time - and the difference is biggest with text.

    The keyboard is also important so if you can't adapt to it, that may make your decision right there. I'm personally very particular about my keyboards, but I learned to love the clicky feedback of the rMB once I backed off my typing pressure a bit so I don't bottom out hard. Made me a better typist on any keyboard as well.
     
  10. geraldem macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2015
    #10
    agree with you on network and battery. the MBA takes it there. It comes down to the screen and size for the rBM. Tough choice, but always getting newest technology. It depends on if you can life with the tradeoffs
     
  11. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2015
    #11
    Choose the one your gut tells you is the right machine. To me it sounds like you prefer the MBA. So stick to that one. I used to own a MBA for about 3 years. And as you mention, the keyboard is really great on that thing. I even prefer the MBA keyboard to the keyboard of my current MBP.
     
  12. MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #12
    The sharpness of Retina actually isn't that big of a deal to me... the actual 1.3 inches on the MBA though feel less constrained than on the MBr. I noticed as I type on the MBr I feel a little restricted. The MBA being so much bigger gives me more room to "breathe".

    Thanks for your opinion!
     
  13. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #13
    What setting do you have the rMB set to? On 'More Space' it is the same 1440x900 workspace as the 13" Air, but everything should be much more legible because of the retina screen.
     
  14. MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
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    Los Angeles
    #14
    How do you set it to "more space"?
     
  15. mattopotamus macrumors G4

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #15
    system preferences----displays---scaled---more space
     
  16. MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

    Joined:
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    Los Angeles
    #16
    thanks!
     
  17. mtpandolfi, Dec 21, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015

    mtpandolfi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    #17
    I actually picked up the base 13-in MBA on Cyber Monday, but wasn't a fan of how dated the design was - especially the bezel. Once thr rMB went on sale this past weekend I returned the MBA for it. It's only been a few days but I love the rMBP. It's extremely light, the screen is awesome, and while the keyboard does take some getting used to, and the lack of power hasn't been an issue for me as I don't do much video/photo editing. The keyboard does take some getting used to, but I don't think it will be problematic once I get accustomed to it. I'll be keeping this one.
     
  18. Z3man macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    I think you mean rMB not rMBP.

    I would definitely go for the rMB for the price difference, you must be mental if you go for the Air.
     
  19. MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

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    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #19
    You mean the MBr/Macbook 12 Retina right? You wrote rMBP which is the higher end model. I mean I can get used to the keyboard but I don't know if I'll ever actually "LIKE" it.

    How is the battery life on yours? I'm getting 6-7 hours at best. Also my battery health is already down to 97% and even if this computer was used for a full 15 days before it was returned this seems a bit much on battery health depletion. The MBA is still at 104% health.
     
  20. Zorn macrumors 6502a

    Zorn

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Location:
    Ohio
    #20
    I think the rMacbook makes a lot more sense. The screen is amazing, and I find the keyboard really comfortable. The machine is also crazy light to carry around. You read so much online about the single port situation, but it hasn't been an issue for me at all. I realized that now with the advent of cloud storage/backup, I don't really ever plug things into my laptop at all, and if I use a mouse, it's Bluetooth.
     
  21. MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

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    Nov 2, 2007
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    Los Angeles
    #21
    No need to insult. The MBA is a solid computer despite the screen. It has a a much faster SSD, nearly double the battery life (based on my usage), a more "normal" typing experience, better cpu/gpu and is a fair chunk of change cheaper.

    What the rMB has is double RAM, double storage, better speakers and better screen. Plus it's sexy as hell.

    But see, those things are all kind of superficial rather than functional. Yes the speakers are awesome but if I plug in my ATH-50x they will both sound great, the screen may be sharper but I really have no issues with the screen on the MBA either. I got one with the Samsung panel which actually looks pretty good. I don't think RAM will be an issue for my uses. I'm just using the laptop to write on and occasionally listen to spotify. Storage can be solved with a 128gb Transcend short SD card that they made to sit flush with the SD card. They cost 60 bucks...

    But yeah, the better bang for the buck IS the MBr. Which is why this is a difficult decision for me.
     
  22. Z3man macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #22
    Sorry didn't mean to insult you, maybe i should have use the word crazy.:D

    Seriously though, if you get the Air you will probably never be totally happy knowing what you know already, it is always going to be playing on your mind that you should have got the rMB, the Air jus feels so out dated next to the rMB.

    The only reason to get the Air would be if battery life was the be all and end all too you.

    You say the screen is just superficial, but too me it is probably the most important thing, after all what do you do with a laptop all the time you are using it, you look at it, it really does make a difference.

    And the excellent speakers make a major difference too me as well, it makes the rMB seem like the complete package, too me it is the perfect laptop, i have never liked a computer or laptop so much.
     
  23. boltjames macrumors 68030

    boltjames

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    #23
    If it's not about the $ then I'm not sure why you put up a poll asking about a $3 a month decision. That said, you need to get the MBA as you're not even noting the major benefit to the RMB in your list of reasons to prefer one to the other:

    Extreme portability.

    If the super thin/light footprint of the RMB isn't enough to stop you dead in your tracks and buy one, then you don't want one. On specs alone, the MBA is the better machine and the better value. You get the RMB because it's so damned small and so massively sexy.

    BJ
     
  24. MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #24
    I never brought anything up regarding a "$3 a month decision". I only bring up price points because to some (me included) $1299 isn't worth it for the MBr. I would never pay that amount for it. But lower the cost of entry and maybe it's more worthwhile. At full price $999 vs $1299 the MBA is hands down the better buy... but I'm having a hard time deciding on whether I want the better "deal" or the better computer or which one even is the better computer.

    MBA looks to me to be the better "computer" but MBr is the better technological advancement with is sleek build, size and premium screen and speakers. But MBA does so much more and the keyboard isn't weird. This is why I'm asking what others would do in my situation.

    To reiterate I actually have both of these laptops right now. I'm testing them both out even on this thread.
     
  25. MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #25
    Well I have both right now. Which is why it's a hard decision. To me the MBr is a really good deal at this price. But it's less computer and more "gadget", it's a really cool grown up toy and beautifully built. But the larger screen and more comfortable keyboard on the MBA are big factors for me too. I can see the difference between the screens but Retina and Non-retina does not seem to bother me as much as other people I guess, and yes I have good eyesight.
     

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