Very close to a decision, but... rMBP or MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by darrenc95, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. darrenc95 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2014
    #1
    I am very close (within the next week and a half, if not days) to purchasing either the 13" Retina MacBook Pro or the 13" MacBook Air. My main concerns are:

    - Retina display. Honestly, I would be fine with a MacBook Air as the performance would easily meet my needs, but I need to know if the $160 price difference (student discount woot woot) for a better display is worth it. How noticeable is it? Will I regret it if I skip the Retina and get the MBA?

    - Staingate! How common is this?? I don't want to shell out more on a better computer only to get screwed by a production flaw. The mixed reports on Apple's responses make me very nervous. Just getting a MBA may save me all the trouble.

    I lean very closely towards the rMBP for future-proofing, power just in case I need it later on down the line (right now I don't), display, and the fact that it's not that much more expensive. But I could be swayed either way.
     
  2. Android300zx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    #2
    Macbook Pro

    /thread
     
  3. sn macrumors 6502

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    Apr 22, 2011
    #3

    Helpful

    /sarcasm
     
  4. David58117 macrumors 65816

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    Jan 24, 2013
    #4
    What is staingate?

    I've never even heard of it.
     
  5. yep-sure macrumors 6502

    yep-sure

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #5
    Yeah, I have no idea what the hell "Staingate" is, but I can tell you right now, the Retina display alone is worth the price difference.
     
  6. Android300zx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    #6
    Only because this thread pops up every day asking the same question. If you take the time to read the existing threads on here you'll find many people in the same conundrum. Secondly, have you tried to actually visit an Apple store to play with one of their laptops? I ask because if you have to ask the Retina question my guess is no.

    cliffs

    /visit Apple Store
    /buy Macbook Pro
    /thread
     
  7. nanogirl21 macrumors 6502a

    nanogirl21

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    Location:
    Midwest United States
    #7
    I never understand these display type questions. Everything is in retina these days. Why go a step backwards? The price is very minimal for the massive improvement.
     
  8. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #8
    The MBA still has some allure. It is thinner and lighter, and has much better battery life. Those have to be considered against the display differences.

    I've been rocking an MBA for four years. But Retina finally won me over...

    Haven't gotten it yet, so we'll see how the differences in size/battery work out.
     
  9. greenbreadmmm macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    #9
    I was in the same boat, finally went with 13 rMBP, comes tomorrow! I liked the form factor of the air better but the pros screen and power won in the end...plus it still gets 10 hours of battery, so 10 vs 12...youre just splitting hairs at that point
     
  10. Pootan macrumors member

    Pootan

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    Oct 28, 2014
    #10
    I was in the same boat as well last year. I got the 13" rmbp 16/512/2.8 but it wasn't up to the task of what I thought it should handle for its value, it was too slow, hot, loud for how much I paid for it. I returned it and got the baseline 11" mba and this thing was half the price and can definitely pull more than its weight, runs cool and silent.

    For reference I was running processor intensive simulations and video exporting. My reasoning was the same price as the decked out rmbp, I could just offload all the simulations or rendering to a Remote Desktop (I.e. Mba to work on, and shoot off the heavy lifting to a Mac mini)

    Of course if I wanted a single system setup, 13" rmbp would be my first pick as a do all machine. The retina screen is a lot nicer to work on for long hours and can share dumb videos I find with other people thanks to wide viewing angle. (Don't tell me you don't do that)
     
  11. darrenc95 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 24, 2014
    #11
    www.staingate.org

    And I believe there's a rather long thread about it here somewhere.
     
  12. xtracripsy macrumors newbie

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    Jul 31, 2014
    #12
    Get the rMBP. I don't believe the display coating issues are as widespread as people think. If you want to be super careful just don't use cleaners on the screen, and try not to dirty up the keys to avoid having to clean the screen as often. Also, I'm sure that this issue has been reported to Apple enough times that they took extra care with the 2015 models - no company wants to deal with a class action lawsuit if they can help it. Finally, most users on the forums with this issue have reported that Apple replaced their display under warranty. I wouldn't worry about it so much, just treat it like the expensive device that it is. I just got mine in the mail and I love it.
     
  13. christarp macrumors 6502

    christarp

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    Oct 29, 2013
    #13
    I've had my rMBP (late 2013) for almost a year and a half now and the screen is still in perfect shape. In fact the whole machine is still in perfect shape. Best laptop I've ever owned and the nicest screen I've owned on any laptop too.
     
  14. Cmd-Z macrumors 6502

    Cmd-Z

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    Coyote, CA
    #14
    Wasn't that the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal? :eek:

    But seriously ... before you dismiss the Air, battery life is going to be somewhat better, and a moderate size/weight advantage. If you're a student these things may matter more than a pretty screen.
     
  15. darrenc95 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 24, 2014
    #15
    True, but the rMBP is still thin and portable, and only has 2 hours less battery than the Air (it used to be 3). The differences are hardly substantial, especially considering I'm coming from a non-Retina MBP.
     
  16. xylitol, Mar 19, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015

    xylitol macrumors regular

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    Nov 2, 2013
    Location:
    Finland
    #16
    With that price difference, my vote goes to Pro. If the "staingate" worries you that much, use the screen protector sheet it's shipped with (or something equivalent) until the issue is clarified and hopefully resolved.

    edit: If you're really paranoid, you might want to wear some thin cotton gloves in case the problem is (partially) caused by acidic skin oils.:)
     
  17. Cmd-Z, Mar 19, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015

    Cmd-Z macrumors 6502

    Cmd-Z

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2014
    Location:
    Coyote, CA
    #17
    Well then, sounds like you've made your mind up. I just wanted to point those factors out since they hadn't been mentioned. Whether they're significant differences is an individual's preference, which only you'd know.

    There's a $300 price differential between a base 13" Air and a base 13" rMBP, so your student discount really reduces that differential to only $160? Sounds like a no-brainer to me, especially when you consider the CPU and RAM difference in base models, as well as retina of course. Even if you bump the Air's RAM up to 8 GB the (undiscounted) $200 difference is well worth going rMBP.
     
  18. newellj, Mar 19, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015

    newellj macrumors 601

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    Oct 15, 2014
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    Boston, MA, US
    #18
    As far as "staingate" goes, here's my take as an owner of a late 2013 rMBP. I've been watching the posts here and my screen for a few months. My display still shows no signs of any problem. When I approach the deadline for Apple Care, I'll probably buy the extra two years coverage (even though you'd hope that Apple would cover this after the warranty expired...). Being able to defer the Apple Care purchase means you can wait and see what happens, and be aware that you can buy it from places like B&H for a lot less than Apple will charge.
     
  19. darrenc95 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 24, 2014
    #19
    $160 is for the 8GB, 256GB MBA compared to the 8GB, 256GB rMBP. So only $40 off, not $140 :p
     
  20. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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    Dec 13, 2004
    #20
    The Pro is a much better machine. I'd go with the Pro. I have the 15" Pro from late 2013, and no "staingate" issue here. The laptop looks like the day I bought it.
     
  21. Hieveryone macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    #21
    I have never heard of Staingate.

    I will say though that this is a valid question.

    The answer is MBPr. You'll regret buying the Air over the Retina because the Retina is better in almost every way.
     
  22. flur macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    #22
    VERY noticeable. Yes, you will regret it if you go non-retina.

    Keep in mind that Apple is developing OSX to look good on retina screens - the newer versions of the OS don't look so great on non-retina screens and the trend is only going to continue. And I'm not just talking about the graphics - the text rendering is not great.
     
  23. ct1211 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan
    #23
    "Staingate" as you call it occurred at the 9 month mark on my late 2013 rMBP 13". I literally opened the lid one day and saw what looked like a smudge, only it could not be cleaned. Within a day or two I had these "smudges" in several places. I personally do not believe this is caused by keys rubbing on the screen or cleaners as has been reported. I have had two Airs and 3 rMBP's, all cleaned the same and not all that gentle. I ran my computer in clamshell often running netflix to a TV. I think the heat lead to delamination (separation of the upper layers of the screen) They played dumb at the Apple store but I had a new lid by the next morning. Its all one piece. I sell off my computers every year but this cycle I was waiting for the rMBP refresh similar to the new MacPad. So since that didn't happen, one more 13" rMBP (I need a RAM upgrade to a work program anyway) Buy a warranty!
     
  24. Hugetrn macrumors newbie

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    Jan 15, 2015
    #24
    Go with rMBP. You cannot be sure about the retina display before using but, trust me, as soon as you get used to it, the other screens will look a bit off.
     
  25. newellj macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #25
    Thank you - I had been on the fence but this problem does seem to be accelerating, and I plan to. A buck seventy-five at B&H, a reasonable precaution. Thanks also for ignoring my spellchecker; fixed the incorrect correction. :rolleyes:
     

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