rMBP 15" vs MBA 13"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rg1980, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. rg1980 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    I need some help with deciding between rMBR 15" or a MBA 13". I am starting a new career in real estate and will be using my laptop for work and personal usage. Here are some my uses:

    - web browsing, email, iTunes, youtube videos, minor photography and video usage for for real estate listings, client contact and profile info, using bootcamp and/or parallels for minor windows applications, and possible need for portability but I'm not quite sure how often. I plan on using my laptop daily for work either in the office, home, and on the go.

    The two MacBooks I am comparing are the base 15" rMBR and the 13" Macbook Air with upgraded 256ssd and 8 GB ram upgrade. I can get a fairly substantial discount on both but I would like my laptop to last at least 3-5 years before upgrading. Do you think the 15 inch rMBP is a overkill for my needs.

    I am leaning toward the MBA 13" but I feel like the 15" rMBP is a machine that will last me longer and be able to handle tasks that I may be using in the future. I'm just not sure that for my tasks that a "retina display" or increased cpu processor will be something I will notice for my typical computer usage.

    I appreciate everyone's input/advice.
     
  2. chrise2 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    #2
    Expect about 3000 different responses. I would just go to an Apple store and check them all out. For basic stuff like you're doing, it doesn't matter what you get. I have an 11" Air from 2010 and the 13" Retina Macbook Pro. I really love my 13" Macbook Pro. Its small and super powerful. The screen is fantastic and I highly recommend it. I liked the 11" Air, but the screen was really too small for extended use. But it was great for carrying around. So, if its a tossup between the 13" Air and the 15" Retina, my vote is the 15" Retina. The screen will blow your mind. You can't go wrong either way though. The 13" Air is a very nice machine as well.
     
  3. sososowhat macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #3
    For your use (& most people's I daresay) it's really whether you prefer a larger screen & heavier form-factor, or a smaller, lighter model. I doubt you'd ever notice a difference in processing power.

    I bought the 15"; my fiancee has the 13". I much prefer using the smaller one, and will be selling my 15. It's just so much easier to grab & go with (I mostly just "go" from one room to the next around the house). One thing I will miss are the better speakers on the 15".
     
  4. Mdwall macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    #4
    This sums up my thoughts exactly. I would have considered an Air if the screen size had been acceptable to me. 13" was not big enough in my opinion. This left me with either the rMBP or the cMBP. I liked the form factor and screen of the Retina enough to justify the price premium. Which really; if you consider comparable equipment, it is not as exaggerated as it seems to be.

    Though I guess technically there IS a 15" MBA. It's called the rMBP
     
  5. JeffiJers macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    U.S.
    #5
    had them both, loved them both.

    I am on the go a lot and always have my computer with me (desktop replacement too)

    AIR- effortless, forget i even have it with me. can pull it out and use it anywhere. Crammed while working

    15R- Always know i have it in my bag. but when i pull it out and set it on a desk/table WOW :D
     
  6. MTD's Mac macrumors regular

    MTD's Mac

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    I've been going through a similar comparison for my next notebook upgrade. I carry my computer to work everyday in a briefcase, and, in the end, I just don't think I can justify the added weight of the 15" rMBP. If it was sitting on my desk at home all day, different story. But since it will be with me when I commute and run errands before/after work, I'm looking only at 13" products.
     
  7. JeffiJers macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    U.S.
    #7
    you much mean you are only looking at the 13MBA bc the Classic is same weight at 15R and the 13R is slightly less then the 15R.
     
  8. MTD's Mac macrumors regular

    MTD's Mac

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    The 13" rMBP is almost a pound lighter than the 15" rMBP. I doubt they'll keep making the classics, they feel clunky already. I'll be comparing the 13" MBA and rMBP come summer.
     
  9. adjeff8 macrumors 6502

    adjeff8

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    #9
    I just don't see why a pound would make any kind of difference when considering what a far superior machine the 15" is compared to the 13". Graphically speaking. And real estate wise as well.
     
  10. chrise2 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    #10
    A pound is huge. When you carry your laptop a lot like me, every bit counts. I changed my every day laptop from a 3 lb Dell XPS Ultrabook to the 3.5 lb 13" retina and the weight difference is very noticeable to me. If you don't carry your computer around much, then it doesn't make much difference i suppose.
     
  11. nickftw8686 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2011
    #11
    a half a pound is that noticeable? I carry my retina around with me and it has been pretty nice so far. I also lug around a work laptop as well and then it does kinda suck having both lol
     
  12. adjeff8, Jan 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013

    adjeff8 macrumors 6502

    adjeff8

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    Nov 18, 2012
    #12
     
  13. bonbmdxman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    #13
    I was in the same situation as you. Initially, I bought the 13" Air with the same specs you mentioned. While it was fine for the usual tasks, I did find that the screen was a bit too small for my liking. Also, the colors on the screen were kind of washed out. I returned it and got a base retina MacBook Pro 15". Immediately, I liked it so much more than the air. The screen was so much nicer and I was happier with the increased screen size. I'll say, though, that I use it as a my main computer and it sits on my desk. For that I don't mind the added weight but appreciate the increased screen size. Perhaps if I traveled with my computer more, I would have preferred the air more for its portability.
     
  14. MTD's Mac macrumors regular

    MTD's Mac

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #14
    I think that how much the weight matters depends on a lot of things. That said, I carry my notebook in a slim leather briefcase, with little else besides my phone, keys, wallet, etc. When I carry my wife's 15" cMBP it feels like I'm toting a few bricks compared to my 13" MBA. I've decided that, for my purposes, 1/2 lb. isn't significant, but 1 lb. and over makes me stop and think.
     
  15. rg1980 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    #15
    Thank you everyone for all your input. Another question.

    How well does the more space option (1900 x 1200) run in the 15" rMBP? Any performance issues compared to "best for retina" mode? Does anyone have some screen shots of how it looks? Thank you very much to everyone.
     
  16. Radiating macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    #16
    I have both, get the 15" rMBP

    Why?

    It is years ahead of the MBA in performance, it will last 3-5 years easily, the MBA will last 2-3 max.

    The MBA is a computer designed with portability in mind, it makes several sacrifices to achieve this, it has a special low battery usage display that has worse color and contrast than IPS displays, and it uses integrated graphics that are around 5 times slower, and the processor is around 4 times slower. The speakers are much worse etc.

    While the MBA has good performance by laptop standards, the retina is 4-5 times better, it has outstanding performance. Considering how quickly computer hardware evolves, you'd be much better off with a rMBP which is a generation ahead of it's time, and the latest and greatest versus the current MacBook air that's slated for a complete overhaul very soon and is still working off of 4 year old technology (most of the hardware is 4 years old). Certainly getting newly refreshed technology is much better than getting technology that's at the end of it's life if you plan to keep it a while.

    For the tasks you are trying to do the macbook air would be an ok solution, but would be less than ideal. The entire point of the MacBook Air is that it's a computer that it has the minimum performance necessary to do serious work while having the maximum portability possible. The entire point of the MacBook retina is that it is a computer that has the maximum performance you could reasonably want while having the maximum portability possible. If you start below what is necessary and wait a few years it's not going to work, you need overkill now to be functional later on.
     

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