Trying to decide between rMBP 13" and MBA 13"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by james010101, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. james010101 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2013
    #1
    Hi all!

    Am a law student here and looking forward to purchase my 1st ever mac laptop :cool:

    Trying really hard to decide between the rMBP 13" and the MBA 13".

    Aesthetically they're quite similar, but the lack of a retina screen on the MBA is really a drawback. After all, i intend to use this laptop for the next 3 yrs for word processing/softcore gaming (dota 2, LoL, WoW) purposes.

    I'd also gladly wait for the Haswell update for the rMBP (assuming it'll be released in Oct), hoping there will be a dGPU for the 13" as well.

    Any suggestions from y'all? :apple:
     
  2. surroundfan, Aug 11, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013

    surroundfan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #2
    As a law student, I schlepped a late 2010 13" MBA about. It was nice, it was light, it had decent screen resolution and it was the first lappy that used SSDs exclusively. There was a lot to like. But the C2D processor was getting slow, so I started eying an upgrade. I was ummming and ahhhing about a new MBA in the wake of WWDC.

    But there were two factors that held me back:
    1. 8GB RAM is a CTO upgrade on the MBA and therefore the discounts many stores offered in Oz did not apply; and
    2. a store here in Oz offered up a new 13" rMBP 256GB for a killer price and I was sold.

    I love the retina display, and the weight difference is not huge. As such, I'd say hold off for the new 13" rMBP (but don't bank on a dGPU; it'll more likely be 5100 Iris integrated graphics)...
     
  3. james010101 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2013
    #3
    so i take it you'd take the rMBP over the MBA anytime? any performance issues? been hearing alot of stories regarding display ghosting and dead pixels and whatnot.
     
  4. FrankB1191 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #4
    My wife and I looked at every laptop Apple sells two months ago, and the retina's display is just so sharp with text. The MBA's colors were washed in comparison, although the cMBP was better than the MBA. Any way you look at it, the retina display is more clear. The MBA and cMBP displays are reminiscent of my old PC, and that's not good.

    There are stories floating around about the retina display having image retention issues, but there are stories about every product. I'm not saying some people don't have issues, but the only place I've seen these stories on on the Apple Support board.
     
  5. surroundfan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #5
    Yup, at least with respect to 13" models - once you go retina, it's hard to go back. The 11" MBA is amazingly portable though.

    The 13" model has not really been affected by the image retention issue that has plagued the 15" model. No dead pixels on mine (although the bottom case creaked and wobbled until reseated)..

    Others have complained about graphics lag on the current model using the HD4000, but I haven't noticed it and the Iris 5100 iGPU should resolve any issues.

    One thing I neglected to mention in my previous post was battery life. My old MBA was able to give me 7 hours of battery life which was enough for a day of classes. The new model lasts for 12+ hours(!). This could be of relevance when choosing a model.
     
  6. Human Jukebox macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    #6
    As a MBA student that stares at the screen a lot, the retina has been great. I do extremely minor gaming but mostly word processing and web browsing.....my buddies that are JD/MBA candidates absolutely love it as you law students do a lot of reading ;)
     
  7. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    #7
    It sounds like you want the Retina screen. So if you can wait, I'd wait. But there will definitely not be a discrete GPU in the 13-inch, and there might not even be one in the 15.
     
  8. twombles62 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #8
    I'm also a law student. I bought a refurbished rMBP a month or so ago and returned a Haswell MBA. Very happy with my decision, as I love the screen. I do notice a slight performance drop though, especially in the on/off, sleep and generally everywhere due to the slower SSD.

    Still worth it to me though. I think Mavericks may make the rMBP feel even faster.
     
  9. R3fr3sh macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2013
    #9
    my wife picked up a MB air and i have the rMBP, there is just a huge difference in screen quality. looking at the MP air is like sand paper.

    You mentioned law school. Jesus, no brainer = RETINA ftw
     
  10. leimin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    #10
    If you plan to use it for just that, just get the air. Much cheaper and it can probably handle most of things you throw at it.
     
  11. B... macrumors 68000

    B...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    #11
    Everything, and quickly too.
     
  12. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

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    Dec 21, 2011
    #12
    One word: 12 hours. (err... 2 words).

    Every time I here "student" I can't help but think that mobility and battery life would be the #1 priority. (Assuming the machine has basic power skills which the MBA does). If I didn't need some rendering muscle this would be my first choice.
     
  13. Badrottie Suspended

    Badrottie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #13
    Go with MBA it is so light to carry around the campus. I am going to school in two weeks I am going to carry 15" rMBP around the campus daily. It is bit heavy anyway. :apple:
     
  14. Trey M macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #14
    Personally, I'd spring for the 13'' rMBP. Very, very similar in terms of weight, overall portability as the Air, only with a much better panel and sturdier build quality. If you can afford the 13'' rMBP, I'd go for it.

    IMO the Air and 13'' rMBP are too similar for the Air's slightly lighter weight and thinner form factor to really count for anything. However, I would definitely wait for the Haswell update, because the battery life will be much worse on a Retina today than the ones they will be selling whenever they update (soon). Also, I wouldn't look forward to a dGPU on the 13'' rMBP either. Very unlikely for Apple to bring a dGPU on the 13'' rMBP, even though if they did release that model, I would sell both my laptops and buy it immediately.
     
  15. sofianito macrumors 65816

    sofianito

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    Jan 14, 2011
    Location:
    Spain
    #15
    Lol. Do you study marketing? Nice subliminal message... :D
     
  16. Badrottie Suspended

    Badrottie

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    May 8, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #16
    No I am going to school for training.... Blind training stuff.... Don't feel sorry for me anyway. :apple:
     
  17. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    #17
    If you're willing to wait then I would say that the 13" retina would be your best choice.

    The updated version has been rumored to be a bit thinner and lighter:

    http://9to5mac.com/2013/06/02/wwdc-...macbook-air-microphone-improvements-expected/

    The most likely internals are the new Haswell 28W dual core CPUs, which should have longer battery life than the current 35W CPUs but will also have much better graphics in the form of Intel's Iris 5100 GPU.
     
  18. robvas macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #18
    I'm content with the 7-8 hours I get out of my 13" rMPB. More is always better, but after a point it's just nice to have, and not really 'needed'.
     
  19. mtneer macrumors 68020

    mtneer

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    #19
    I believe there is very little chance of the 13" rMBP getting a dGPU. If anyting, the rumor mills have been churning with the likelihood of even the lower 15" rMBP models losing their dGPU; once the Haswell refreshes come along.
     
  20. sofianito macrumors 65816

    sofianito

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Location:
    Spain
    #20
    The worst blindness is in the heart not in the eyes...

    Have they not traveled throughout the earth, with their hearts to reason with, and ears to hear with? Truly it is not the eyes that become blind, but do the hearts which are in the chests.
     
  21. yliu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #21
    Can't say much now, as the specs of the Haswell rMBP is now out yet. However, it is unlikely that it get a dedicated GPU due to limited battery size.

    The MBA should run many games at low settings and is perfect for work. It also handles everyday usage well. If you are going to carry you laptop everywhere the MBA is perfect.

    The Haswell 13' rMBP would be faster, and a better screen. However, I'd rather get the 15 inch for the dedicated GPU and quad core CPU if you are looking for performance.
     

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