Which 13" MacBook Air/Pro For My Usage?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gregpod9, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. gregpod9 macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2007
    I will be buying either a 13" MBA or 13" MBPr this week. I will only use it for work related things (nothing to CPU intensive), and web browsing. I've been looking at the 13" 1.4/8/256 MBA and the 13" 2.4/8/256 MBPr. Right now I'm learning towards the MBPr. Which one do you recommend?
  2. Boyd01, Apr 29, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014

    Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    The MBA is more than capable of doing what you want. You could even go with the i5 and 4gb if you want to keep the price down (I think Apple just dropped prices on the old models when a new one came out yesterday).

    I had a 2011 i5/4gb/256gb MBA and now an i7/8gb/512gb MBA. For "work related things" (e-mail, web, MS Office, basic photoshop,etc) I see very little difference - and that is in comparison to a 2011 MBA which was slower than the 2013 for starters.

    I see faster video rendering in Final Cut Pro and less latency in Logic Pro on the new machine, but it doesn't sound like you need that kind of power. Now retina vs non-retina is another thing, and only you can decide that. But the MBA can certainly do the job and you will get better battery life and less weight plus save a few bucks.
  3. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    Both will do everything you need them to. I'd get the Air because it's cheaper.
  4. Chris7811 macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2012
    Air is better I use mine for gaming and going online and it is a really cool computer to have.
  5. Black.Infinity macrumors 6502


    Apr 17, 2010
    Apple tree-Toronto
    Both do fine for your needs

    I prefer MBPr design over Air and also retina display is awesome for reading text on display.

    the weight difference between the two is not noticeable.
  6. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013

    Hi gregpod9,

    If you can get education pricing, the 8GB/256GB rMBP is 1400$. The 8GB/256GB MBA is 1240$. It is a 160$ difference for a retina display, better graphics, and better processor. If any of those features appeal to you, it's a pretty good deal for what you get. If you want all day battery life, get the air. I just can't recommend the air because I want Apple to update it haha.

  7. gregpod9 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2007
    I still can't decide on the MBA 1.4/8/256 or the refurbished MBPr 2.4/8/256. Both are $30 difference in price. I value long battery life, lightweight, and a good laptop screen. It's 50/50 for me.
  8. Kevclark1985 macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2013
    I have the 13" rMBP (the same one you are looking at refurb - assuming it's late 2013 model?).

    I think you are getting a lot more for your money with the rMBP. Better processor, much better screen, better connectivity (HDMI for example). I also prefer the look of the rMBP over the air. For me one of the things I asked myself was "Will I be happy with the lower res screen on the air in a year or two's time?", the answer for me was def no, that made my choice much easier. Plus for work, you can change the resolution to give yourself more screen "real estate" which makes working easier.

    Portability wise, the rMBP is still very portable and not much weight difference, prob notice it picking them up with each hand, but in real terms, you will be carrying it around in some sort of bag and not really notice.

    The only reason I could see for the Air is the battery life of 12 hours or so. But I get about 8 or so out of my rMBP so it's not exactly bad!

    Hope that helps you some! Good luck with whatever you choose!
  9. bigeasy_uk macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2005
    Leamington Spa, England
    I've got to agree with Kev, the only thing going for the Air is the battery life, there's not a lot in the weight or size, but the Pro is a lot more powerful and will last you a lot longer overall.

    I'm sure whichever you decide you will enjoy using, but for me, the Pro is the obvious choice.
  10. gregpod9, May 1, 2014
    Last edited: May 1, 2014

    gregpod9 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2007
    I decided to go with the late 2013 refurbished 13" MBPr 2.4/8/256 over a brand new one to save $230. It will serve as my work computer. I know that I wouldn't be happy with the MBA especially on the display. I already have a powerful home built Windows 8.1 Gaming/Work desktop that has these specs i7-4770k/16GB/250GB SSD/1TB HDD/MSI GTX 760 2GB. I built it about 6 months ago.

    I really want a dedicated Mac OS X PC and dedicated Windows PC. I used Parallels on my friend's early 2013 13" MBPr base model with 256 GB SSD and it was slow. With Bootcamp, the Apple windows drivers were not that good and the retina display looked terrible and soft looking at scaled resolutions. BTW he uses Windows 7.
  11. bigeasy_uk macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2005
    Leamington Spa, England
    You won't be disappointed with your decision I'm sure!

    I haven't used bootcamp on my rMBP, but the reason why it's fuzzy in scaled resolutions is because it stretches the resolution to fit the screen. In osx it renders much higher than the resolution, then squashes it down, making it much crisper looking, but using more resources.
  12. gregpod9 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2007
    I just couldn't wait for the refurbished MBPr, so I decided not to order it. I bought a brand new one at Apple and they price matched amazon.com. I won the SSD lottery. My MBPr has the Samsung 256GB SSD. While at the Apple store I looked at the MBA and the screen was not that good as the retina screen. I'm glad that I chose the 13/2.4/8/256 instead of the MBA.
  13. gregpod9 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2007
    After a couple of days using the late 13" MBPr, it developed image retention, laggy performance in scrolling down or up in the intranet site that I use for work, and it also had a huge performance downgrade when it scales to resolutions above best for retina. I guess I will try the mid 2014 mba i5/8/256.
  14. stfwayne macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2011
    Your comment is the entire reason that I am so worried about my impending Macbook purchase.

    I have the opportunity to buy a Macbook with 128GB HD either:
    - 11 MBA i7/8GB
    - 13 MBA i7/8GB
    - 13 Retina i5/8GB

    I really wanted to move up from my current system (Mid-2011 13" MBA i5/4GB) to a Retina model but there are so many people complaining of performance actually decreasing moving to the Retina and lag and image retention that it is scaring me off.

    Then there is someone in this thread that cant even tell the difference between his 2011 and brand new 2013 and that is also bothering me as well as I want some kind of upgrade if I am going to be spending the money.

    Did you go back to the MBA or try another Retina?
  15. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    Are you talking about my comment above?

    If so, then you are taking it a bit out of context. I definitely see a difference for *my* kind of usage on the 2013 MBA and am very happy that I upgraded. But I run powerful software and the OP said he didn't.

    But there are also other things you will notice on the new machines. The battery life if MUCH better for example. I have the 11" 2013 MBA and it gets something like 10 hours on battery, probably more if you turn the screen way down. My 2011 13" MBA was more like 5 to 7 hours.

    The 2011 MBA only has USB 2.0. So you will see a huge speed increase on the new model if you use a USB 3.0 external hard drive.

    The new MBA has 802.11ac wifi which is really very fast (if your router supports it). I get 28 to 30MB/s data transfer to a network hard drive on my new MBA. That is almost as fast as my inexpensive USB 2.0 "MyPassport" external USB hard drives (I clocked them at 33 to 35 MB/s). This has allowed me to move my large iTunes Library to a network drive and access it wirelessly at home.

Share This Page