Trying to decide between 13-inch and Retina display...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Will G., Jun 12, 2012.

  1. Will G. macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2006
    I've been planning to buy a Macbook Pro when they were updated since last year, but now I'm not sure which to get. (I don't want an Air for various reasons.) I would easily choose a 13-inch Retina laptop were it available, but it isn't... do you think there's much chance of a 13-inch version coming in August? There seem to be rumors of that. I'd probably wait until August if I felt it was likely, but wouldn't otherwise.

    If I get one of the currently-released model, I'm trying to decide between the Retina 15-inch and the 13-inch. I really like the new display and increased thinness of the 15-inch (and other stuff, like the graphics card, would be occasionally useful) but I'm going to be carrying it around, so I'm reluctant to give up the smaller size of the 13-inch.

    If I did get the 13-inch, I would upgrade the memory and put a SSD in it, although I'm not sure if the lower- or higher-end model would be best to start with. I might try to get by with a 128gb drive plus external storage, as the $270 upgrade to 256gb seems like a lot (and from what I've read here, installing your own on newer Macs can be unreliable).

    Most of the stuff I'm using it for doesn't need much power - writing, internet browsing, watching movies, some Photoshop, working on external 24" screen when necessary, etc. - but I'd like to be able to do a lot of this at the same time without having stuff slow down. I also don't plan to buy another computer for at least 4 years, possibly more.

    Any advice? I'm not sure what to do... I guess another option would be to sell whatever I get now in 1-2 years and replace it with a Retina 13" when they're available, but I usually don't do that and I'm not sure how much money I would lose. I do get an educational discount.
  2. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    What specifically don't you like about the Air?

    You can now get a 13" Air with 8GB of RAM for $1299, or $1239 with education discount. It has a higher built in screen resolution than the 13" MBP and if you aren't going to be playing games it can drive a 24" display just fine.

    With the 13" MBP you're getting a slightly faster processor and the ability to upgrade RAM and HDD yourself, as well as a lower resolution display and more weight.
  3. Mizzou02RS macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2005
    I just apgraded from a 2007 MacBook to the high end 2012 13" MBP 2.9 i7 model with a BTO 1TB hard drive. The way I figure, that setup will handle most anything I throw at it.
  4. Blu-Ray macrumors regular

    Aug 12, 2008
    August is just two months away so no harm in waiting if you can...
  5. Will G., Jun 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012

    Will G. thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2006
    Yeah, I guess I could wait - but I've just been waiting long enough already that I wouldn't want to unless there was a good chance of it being worth it.

    I guess I could re-consider the Air. The screen on the Air is higher resolution, but I didn't like the look of it as much the last time I went to an Apple store. (I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Pro had better color even without accounting for its being glossy.) It also felt somewhat flimsy to me compared with the Pro. And since it isn't upgradable and has a less powerful processor, I'd probably have to replace it sooner.
  6. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Wait a couple of days and then go check them all out at the store.

    The 15" Retina MBP is actually slightly lighter than the 13" Macbook Pro, if portability is a concern.

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