so I decided I'm getting my first Mac - can you help/advise?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by new-to-mac, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. new-to-mac macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2012
    Hello All,

    Long time reader, first time poster

    It's time to take the plunge and get a mac - better late than never right :)

    I waited for the release to figure out what's out there and I still have one last doubt and am hoping you can help me.

    I'm undecided between the MBA 13" and the MBP Retina 15". My needs are the following.

    I need the portability since I still need to carry my HP work laptop around when I travel.

    I will use the Mac really as a "toy" for browsing, email, photo editing, movie watching, using on the plance, etc but as I have some programming background I also want to develop some apps for the ipad/iphone and would like to install the apple SDK.

    Considering pricing I see I can get an upgraded MBA 13" configuration for exactly the same price as the MBP Retina 15"

    The MBA would have 512 SSD as opposed to the MBP with on 256 SSD
    I would get 8 GB RAM on both

    So the differences would really be in the processor and the display (of course)

    1. would I really feel a difference between the MBP 2.3GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 vs the MBA 2.0GHz Intel Dual-Core Core i7?

    2. Regarding the display the MBA comes with 1440x900. My current laptop runs 1600x900. Would I notice significant difference?

    I currently live in Europe and have a travel to US later this month so I need to decide fairly quickly givent he MBP Retina's leadtime for delivery.

    Thanks for reading and any advice is welcome!
  2. Confuzzzed macrumors 68000


    Aug 7, 2011
    Liverpool, UK
    I have a MacBook Air and I love it. If I am honest, however, the computational power required to run Xcode (if that is what you intend to use to do your App development) would push me towards MacBook Pro.

    If you hadn't mentioned App development, I would have said get the MBA because it's an awesome machine. And the screen is beautiful. Don't listen to the 'retina' junkies out there. You won't be disappointed.
  3. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    But if you're wanting to develop for iPad, having a retina screen to view everything 1:1 would be pretty nice. If you're not going to use it as a primary machine or just as a toy as you say, then a MacBook Air would be plenty fast. You probably don't even need 8GB of ram if you're just doing basic stuff—unless you're keeping this machine for a long time and want to future-proof.
  4. new-to-mac thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2012
    Thanks - you hit the nail on the head. I was planning on using Xcode and this was my main concern "will the Air will cope"... I'll ask in the Programming forum but many thanks for your input!

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