Should I buy both Air and rMBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Jeff60468, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. Jeff60468 macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2013
    My daughter is entering college next month for Nursing, so we are buying her a new laptop to replace her 4-yr old HP. She has an iphone and ipad but has never owned a Macbook. She will use this computer for school related projects, email, photos and maybe to watch movies/Youtube, and she is not into gaming.

    I am new to this site and do not know much about computers. After reading some threads on the Air vs rPro, I ordered an Air 8gb, i5, 256 when the Back to School special came out last week. The Air is scheduled to arrive in the store on Friday the 12th.

    Now I am having second thoughts on which Mac I should have ordered. My brother just purchased a rPro for my niece who is starting college this fall also. I read that the rPro just feels like a more solid machine and how awesome the picture looks. If the rPRO would of been updated with the Haswells, there would not of been any question on which laptop to buy for many people I believe. I wish I could wait until this fall, but she needs one before school starts.

    The store stocks the PRO models. So, my question is: Should I buy a rPRO at the same time I pick up the Air, give her a week to test drive both models, and just return the one she likes the least? Is this a stupid idea? We live about 40 minutes from the Apple Store, so the drive is not important. Will they take back a laptop without a problem within the 14 day period without question? Also, I know that people are getting something like 12-hours battery life on the Airs, but what is the battery life of the rPRO?

    Comments/Suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    It is all a matter of personal preference, opinion, etc, so I will give mine

    The Air you purchased will serve your daughter well and do anything she needs
    And she will likely appreciate the lighter feel and portability over the rMBP

    The screen on the rMBP is nice, but to me it would not be a deal breaker
    Both machines have their pros and cons in that regard
    But for your daughter in college, I would suggest the Air and not look back

    PS. I deleted your duplicate thread as only one is needed :)
  3. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    LOL, unfortunately you deleted the one I was replying to!

    Anyway, I generally agree with what MacDawg said, and will add:

    1. Sure, if you can let her try both without too much inconvenience, go for it. They will take it back assuming no damage happens to it.

    2. Don't fret for a minute over the rMBP feeling more solid. That's because it's got way more battery inside, nothing more. The MBA's as well-built a laptop as there is.

    3. Battery life on current generation rMBP under Mavericks is about 8-9 hours under the same conditions that give 12 hours on an MBA.
  4. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2007
    No need to go though that hassle unless you enjoy wasting time and energy to spoil a child. Either computer will be overkill for her purposes though each does have it's own advantages and disadvantages. You bought her a great computer that is well suited to her purposes. No need to go any further. If she needs an rMBP later, let her buy it after college with her new job.

  5. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011

    The Air is fine. Actually, given the lack of CPU intensive tasks a nursing student will be facing it's a perfect balance. Spend the savings on Applecare ,tuition, books.
  6. rrm998 macrumors regular


    Jun 15, 2012
    Houston, TX USA
    I think the MBA is the way to go. The extra battery life will get her though an entire day of classes and the light weight means easy transport.
  7. Jeff60468 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2013

    Well, I very much appreciate your comments. The Mac is a Birthday and Graduation present for my spoiled daughter, and we knew that she'd be happy with anything that we got her. I think we will just pick up the Air and don't look back as suggested. Thanks again all.
  8. rrm998 macrumors regular


    Jun 15, 2012
    Houston, TX USA
    You or someone in your house has some experience with OS X I hope. If your daughter has only used Windows, she might be frustrated at first without some help.

    There are some OK "new to Mac" videos on Youtube and the Apple store offers classes for Mac newbies.

    I made the jump to Mac about a year ago and, even though I'm in IT, it took me a while to get comfortable.

    Good luck! Your daughter is very lucky.
  9. sofianito macrumors 65816


    Jan 14, 2011
    Rivalry between cousins, have thought about it? You better get your daughter a rMBP to avoid hearing your wife's whispers during the night... :D

    Joking aside, either models are very good :)
  10. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    The only way it could possibly become a mistake is if the Haswell rMBP has a 15 hour battery life :p
  11. Human Jukebox macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2013

    lol..i was gunna post the same thing. :D
  12. haaX macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2013
    Obviously, it's a matter of personal preference, but the MBA seems far better suited to her needs. The MBPr gets updated in a couple of months though, so it's approaching the end of the product cycle, whilst the MBA is just released. Did you get her the 13" or the 11"?
  13. xShane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 2, 2012
    United States
    Honestly, the rMBP will be overkill. Give her the MacBook Air, as it will suit her needs, and keep the rMBP for yourself (as it sounds like you want to do).
  14. Buckaye macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2013
    I think the best advice here was about battery life - if she is going to be using it in class to take notes etc, I'd go with the air just for that (and weight).
  15. Nismo73 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2013
    I use a late '10 13" Air from work that's used for email, web surfing, some picture editing, etc...and it's still works like brand new, and still has Snow Leopard on it...

    The only thing is not having a retina's certainly nice for reading text, but not a total bummer not to have it. I've used the retina for a bit, but I'm waiting to buy a personal retina Macbook until Haswell comes out for it, but would be very happy if the current Air was gifted to me since it's great for transporting around and just having on your lap, on the desk, or wherever...Also with Haswell, new SSD type, new ac wireless, its lighted keyboard unlike my late '10's a great computer to have w/out a doubt.
  16. Sym0 macrumors 6502


    Jun 6, 2013
    I bought both!

    I picked up the top of the range rMBP 15 through my business so I didn't have to pay for it, and it is great machine but I needed to push it to 100% on the road (i.e. 100% 8 threads and +12GBs RAM usage at the same time).

    But the same laptop would be a waste for my wife who has the same requirements of your daughter.

    I bought her the Ivy Bridge Air as there was no need to pay 30% more for what amounted to nil benefit to the intended user for the Haswell. The battery on the old air lasts 8-10 hours anyway on light use and all Core i3/5/7 CPUS are about 10 times more powerful than the email/document/movie user (has been this way for a few years now, software has not caught up yet).

    Build quality is the same for both, top notch and the rMBP is heavier because of the battery and screen, the air feels un-naturally light but that is because I have lived on a diet of traditional W7/8 laptops which are flimsy and heavy.
  17. Jeff60468 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2013
    Follow up

    I ordered her the 13" Air, i5, 8GB, 256. I was going to go with the i7, but after reading many posts on here, I read that it was over-kill based on her needs. I know that there will be a learning curve with the new Apple, but she will have a month to play around with it before school starts. I am very new here, but I love the MacRumors Forum. Very cool people...and very good advice. I look forward to your future advise/help. Thanks again:eek:
  18. SusanK, Jul 6, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013

    SusanK macrumors 68000

    Oct 9, 2012
  19. sofianito, Jul 6, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013

    sofianito macrumors 65816


    Jan 14, 2011
    Sams Heal yourself from jealousy in 21 days may be helpful too... :D

    It was another silly joke of course... :)

    Seriously speaking, you can do two things to be sure she will like the notebook: Either go visit with her your brother, so she will be able to see and play with her cousin's new shiny rMBP, or take her with you to an Apple store and make her believe you want to buy a notebook but can't decide between the MBA and rMBP. Either way, you'll have a good idea of what she would really like to have...
  20. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    I had one go off to college 2 years ago. In hindsight I should have gotten her an Air even back then as the MBP is overkill for a sociology major.

    And don't worry about any learning curve. She'll pick up on basic tasks the first few minutes. And given the circles these kids swim in she's probably used one already anyway.

    I would recommend MS-Office student edition while you're at it. Microsoft Word is pretty much a mainstay in academia. Also a good "girly" sleeve/case (let her pick the color obviously) and she's all set. After Apple Care of course.
  21. TyPod macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2006
    And Yourself?
    Definitely a great idea. I didn't know this until entering my senior year, but at my University I was able to get Microsoft Office (for mac) for free from my university. If this looks appealing to you I'd do some research and ask how to take advantage of this at your daughters university.
  22. Jeff60468 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2013
  23. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Oct 21, 2009
    Air is the way to go, battery life and portability are far better than the retina pro. The retina pro would be the better bet if she never planned to take it to class though

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