Ultimate 13 Air or Base Retina MBP?


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 26, 2009
I always heard of a 15 inch AIR and I suppose the retina is it in the fact its the same form factor with a better screen. Although I am basically a business user and internet surfer, nothing too heavy I like getting the bang for the buck.

I wonder if its a better move going with the base 15 retina or the ultimate air?

anyone else wonder the same or decide one over other n what were your factors?


macrumors 6502a
May 2, 2010
Aberglasslyn, NSW, AU
If you aren't gaming or using GPU intensive apps like Photo/Video editors frequently, you would be better off with the Air or a 13" MBP, the retina display is nice, but for a user like yourself, all you are going to do is see Facebook, emails and other web stuff in a massive resolution, that the web developer isn't probably prepared for, so it will just double the pixels to make it big enough.


macrumors regular
Jun 12, 2012
Palo Alto, CA
Well you said that you're a "regular user" so why are you going with an ultimate air in the first place?

Is it's for the extra storage, you're better off getting a base air and a Time Capsule for like $299 - it will last you forever (3TB)

IF, however, you are set on getting a maxed out MBA ($2199) than it's better off going with the base retina since the only thing you will be sacrificing is 256gb of storage (512gb vs 256gb). Managing storage is very easy and 256gb should be more than enough for a "regular" user. What will matter for the "regular" user here, though, is the retina display. It will make your experience more attractive.


macrumors regular
Sep 7, 2009
There's never a right answer for these questions. At home, I have a 27" iMac, and I prefer to use that over any laptop. When I'm on the go, I want something light and small. I went with a 13" Air.

I would have gone with the 11" Air, but I don't think I could live with the tiny "ESC" key those come with.

Panini is right that performance wise you are only sacrificing 256Gb of storage. However, the retina macbook pro is quite a bit larger and significantly more heavy. So you are also sacrificing portability.

If this laptop will be your only computer, I would suggest the retina macbook pro as well. That display is amazing, and the discrete graphics will allow you to run games the Air can't run.


macrumors 6502
Dec 8, 2011
Melbourne, Australia
I know the Air has a matte finish display which I like, does the RMBP have that shiny glossy display?
The Air has a glossy display. There is no matte option. The rMBP also has a glossy screen, but the glare is dramatically less than the one on the classic MBP.

I would go for the rMBP.

1. The display is like nothing you've seen. Text looks amazing, even when using it for browsing the web.

2. The Intel HD 4000 + GeForce GT 650M will give you MUCH more power than the HD 4000 alone.