rMBP vs. MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by macAllen, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. macAllen macrumors 6502

    macAllen

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    #1
    Hi guys! I in a bit of a conundrum here, I've posted this in the MBA section but I'm looking for rMBP owners opinion...

    MBA vs rMPB?
    -MBA 13” 1.8GHz 128GB 8GB mem. $1,319.90 (After Tax) Refurbished rMBP
    -Refurbished rMBP 13" 2.5GHz 128GB 8GB mem. $1,371.79 (After Tax)

    Difference that I've notice.
    $52 more for rMBP
    Retina display
    Heavier
    Newer (recent launch)
    Refurbished vs New

    What I'm debating on..
    I don't mind spending the $52. I'm just debating if its worth it. I know refurbished from other post, comes in mint like new, even better than new. However, I had my mind set on the Air because very thin and light, and battery life, and most importantly portability.

    Needs...
    I'm a college student so I want something future proof. As in I have a 08 iMac that's still like the day I bought it and will used it as my main computer. Not only future proof but also portability. That includes weight and battery life. I love the light weight feature of the Air and battery life but is it the same for a rMBP?

    Is there any one out there who has or had a rMBP and prefers an Air or vice versa? Is it worth getting a better screen and a little bit newer computer (maybe even future proof)? Or is it just best to get a lighter weight possibly better battery?
     
  2. Radiating macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    #2
    I've tried both, if it were me I would get the Air no question. The Retina MBP 13" is just too bulky and heavy. It also had 80% the battery life and this is noticable. Though I have a MBA and a 15" rMBP.

    In the end you should try both and see which you can live with. Go to a store. The 13" rMBP will be much more future proof and have a much higher resale value, but it's a much less convenient machine, and it feels like there is a huge difference in bulk. The rMBP 13" also has a much faster processor but both have the same video card, so if you're doing processor intense stuff you'll be happy you got the rMBP.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. alexiszorba macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    #3
    I have switched from a MBA 13" to a rMBP 15"

    I much prefer the rMBP over the MBA and I don't mind the extra bulkiness.
    I find the rMBP quieter in the sense that 1. it takes much more and longer load to trigger the fan and 2. the fan noise is more transparent.

    I find the rMBP screen is extremely pleasant to the eyes. Coming back to my MBA (my wife has it now) I find it gray. The retina screen is just pleasant to work on. The white is really a solid white.

    Then the MBP is a bit more powerful.

    Do you spend more time carrying your laptop or actually looking at the screen ? :)
     
  4. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
  5. robvas macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    My 13" Retina lasts about an hour longer (almost 8) than any of my 13" Airs (almost 7) did. Almost as long as my 2010 13" Pro did (over 8)
     
  6. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #6
    If you find the 13" rMBP, or either rMBP "bulky and heavy" then you need to workout, pick up some weights here and there, maybe have ESPN on in the background while doing so lol.

    No jk.

    But the 13" seems more sense and does seem heavier than the 15" due to the weight disbursement is more evenly distributed in the 15", feeling less "heavy and bulky" but really its not.
     
  7. Radiating macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    #7
    Interesting, in tests by review websites the rMBP showed less battery life. The screen and processor are certainly less efficient but the battery pack is bigger which is why it's so much heavier.
     
  8. macAllen thread starter macrumors 6502

    macAllen

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    #8
    True. True. What is .61 pounds anyways.

    So I guess I'm realistically concerned for battery life and future proofing.

    Like I said this wont be my main computer (or so I think). What I'll be using it for, either Air or Pro is for the general 10 tab browsing lol, iTunes, pages and keynote. And ocasionaly running Lightroom.



    Interesting. Many reviews beg to differ. What do you usually do on your Mac?
     
  9. ryanrhod macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #9
    Retina all the way! I'd consider waiting to see if they get more of the 256GB model on the refurb store too, it's only $100 more (if you'd by chance want a bigger SSD).

    I had the 13" air for a year and a half, and it was a great laptop, the best laptop I'd ever had. Until I got the 13" rMBP. It's faster (slightly), quieter (handles high cpu load better), looks better (in my opinion), the keyboard is considerably better, and I haven't even mentioned the screen.

    Obviously the retina screen looks great, but for me as a developer there's an even bigger factor - I LOVE working at 1680x1050 on my 13" laptop. And sometimes, I use quickresX and set it to 1920x1200, when I need to do a lot of things at once (though text is quite tiny).

    So before, yes, the 13" rmbp was a bit overpriced. But at this new price, especially refurbished, it's a significant improvement in many areas over the mba. Oh and apple refurb products are great! That's not something to be concerned about at all.

    Edit - oh, and you said lightroom. Assuming that means you work with photos, you're getting an extremely high quality IPS screen in the retina, and a TN panel in the air. Something else to consider since you'll be doing color sensitive work.
     
  10. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    #10
    The last words I'd ever use to describe my 13" rMBP are "bulky" and "heavy."
     
  11. robvas macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #11
    Web surfing, chat, playing around with programming languages, reading PDF's
     
  12. macAllen thread starter macrumors 6502

    macAllen

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    #12
    I think this will answer my question.

    About the future proof.
    MacBook Air with 8gb mem should be plenty for my useage. And with future OS I think it will be fine.

    However, do you think that the retina with 8gb enough? Will it be enough to power the display and apps and future OS?

    I know the Air will used the SSD when ram isn't available, does the Pro do this too?
     
  13. robvas macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #13
    Of course it will use the SSD when it's out of RAM.

    If I didn't think 8GB was enough I would have gotten the 16GB 15". Actually, I would have probably gotten the 13" Pro and just added 16GB myself, I'm not spending $2500 on a laptop that I don't need.
     
  14. Radiating macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    #14
    I'm a fitness instructor so I'm pretty good when it comes to picking up weights here and there.

    I had the air from 2009, and when comparing it to the rMBP there is a huge difference. Maybe it's just weight distribution, but also while .61 pounds may not sound like much, it's a lot when we're talking about laptops that weigh just 2 point something pounds.

    The rMBP feels much too bulky for it's size.
     
  15. macAllen thread starter macrumors 6502

    macAllen

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    #15
    I thought the ram was build into the board not making it user upgradeable. Only the SSD is user upgradable right?

    However I'm talking from a future proof stand point. With the higher specs (display) comes higher usage of ram. Don't you think over time with future OS the ram won't be enough unlike the Air which doesn't have rDisplay?
     
  16. robvas macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #16
    Yes, I have actually upgraded my SSD to the OEM one from a 15" rMPB.

    I'm not that worried about the RAM. I have 8GB in my work iMac and I don't use more than 6GB. When it comes time to upgrade I will upgrade.
     
  17. redkamel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    #17
    I have an 2010 Air and love it, I have friends with a 13 and 15 rMBPs and I would very much like one (dont know which yet though)

    If you want a retina MBA (as many people do), the rMBP is it. Its pretty much the same hardware with a retina screen and a slightly bigger battery to compensate.

    0.61 lbs is a little more than 270 grams, which is how much 2 bananas weigh, or less than a can of coke, or a big sandwich. I suppose if you really enjoy having a light laptop, it makes a big difference.

    I used to do/do sports activities where how much weight you have can matter (cycling, boat racing, hiking). All weight is not created equal. What it really comes down to is whether that weight is more of a benefit to you than a hinderance.

    For me, the weight is negligible as I often have other things in my bag as well. Another is I spend more time looking at my laptop then carrying it; it usually only goes from room to room or car to office etc etc. I do not carry it all day around a campus, or weekly around an airport, etc etc as others do. It seems somewhat silly (in my case) to deny myself a retina screen and the satisfaction of using it for a mere 0.6 lbs when I don't think twice about carrying 2lbs of water, or lunch, or an ipad I may use that day.

    The real difference between the two that matters is the shape of the palm rest for the Air vs the Pro...my Air is much more comfortable than my old MBP from years ago due to the tapered edges.

    If you are really interested in cutting the weight but want a rMBP, get the rMBP, but get an lighter bag/backpack. Thats an easier way to make the decision :). You might even save more than half a pound!

    signed,
    bored at work and wanting to talk about weight.
     
  18. Bambooisland macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Location:
    Bangkok
    #18
    Changed to a 15 rMBP from a mid 2011 MBA. I am happy with the upgrade. Even i take the 15 rMBP on travels i never had the feeling i miss the size of the MBA.
     
  19. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #19
    With the price drop I'd go for the rMBP. I switched from a Core i7 MacBook Air to a Core i5 13" rMBP in December. It was a lateral move in terms of processor (meaning the i7 option in the rMBP would be faster), but the screen more than makes up for it. It is significantly better than the MBA screen in terms of color gamut, display contrast, and sharpness.
     
  20. gregpod9 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    #20
    I wanted to replace my early 2011 13" base mbp, so I ordered the 13" MBA 1.8/8/256 a few days before the price drop. Apple gave me the lower price on the Air and it's currently shipping to my home. Since Apple lowered the prices on the 13" rMBP and highend 13" MBA, I wanted to try out the 13" rMBP again because the first one that I had was refurbished and defective, might be a downgrade from my early 2011 13" MBP, and I do not want the Air anymore, so I placed a pickup order at Apple for the highend 13" rMBP 2.6/8/256. For an extra $200, I will get a better screen, faster clock speed Intel HD4000 graphics, and faster processor.
     
  21. Mercmanman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #21

    I went from 2012 i7 MBA to 2012 i7 13rMBP. A few real life observations;

    I do get about an hour more battery from the rMBP

    Screen is no comparison

    Processors are faster under heavy load, as the MBA fan would kick in, and the low voltage chip would throttle down if it gets too hot, which happens way easier than the rMBP

    The wifi is 50% faster on the rMBP then an MBA. I connect on campus to a large wifi network and the MBP stays connected at faster speeds and connects in less time than other MBA's or windows laptops

    I have tested the two units side by side on a desk, and wireless connect is max 300 Mbps on Air, and 450 Mbps on Pro. So....when using wifi, you get superior speed and it holds the signal better. I believe a better antenna array allows it to connect with less radio power, which may use less battery.

    So as an owner of both, the rMBP is superior in every way. The 0.61 of a pound heavier is the only compromise, yet the RMBP footprint is smaller, which makes it easier to use on a plane or small space.
     
  22. hkim1983 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    #22
    Aside from what's already been stated, the keyboard is also (marginally) superior on the rMBPs, as well as the speakers compared to the Air.
     
  23. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #23
    The rMBP is faster and has a beautiful display. I see no reason not to get it.
     

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