Which laptop to get?? Suggestions please.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jesseleeroy, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. jesseleeroy macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2005
    Hi all,

    I thought for past 1-2 months that 13in rMBP will be the one laptop that will perfectly match what I need. But as typical in Apple fashion, their lower priced computers always lacks something.. So I come to you guys and ask for your suggestions based on technical (not so good at it myself) and experience.

    I currently have Early 2009 Mac Mini, 2GHz 4 GB RAM, hooked up with 22in IPS monitor.

    What I use my computer mainly for are :
    -Occasional VMWare Fusion for Office
    -And all other internet/email/etc.

    -No games, no video editing.
    -No need for a big hdd space. I got an external. So I want SSD (128 is acceptable)
    -I want a nice screen that's why retina was so appealing. but 13rMBP is too expensive for what it is.
    -want a machine that will last me good 4 years.. :p
  2. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    If it's too expensive and a 128GB SSD is fine, then why not go 2012 13in MBA? It's essentially the same thing without the retina display and a lot cheaper.
  3. will waters macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2011
    Great Britain
    Yeah i agree kylepowers, the MBA has also got an improved screen over the regular MBP 13", I would (and have) got 8GB of ram though in my MBA

  4. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I agree. 13" MBA would be more than capable of handling OP's work. He could even hook up the 22" monitor he has with a $29 Apple adaptor.
  5. Lance-AR macrumors 6502

    May 7, 2012
    Little Rock, AR
    IMO you are the perfect fit for a MBA13 or a Mini. Do you need portability?
  6. jesseleeroy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2005
    Thanks for all the suggestions.

    Yes, the main reason I am trying to get a laptop is i need portability.
    (without it, i could last a year or two with the current machine)

    Seems like all of you guys suggest 13" MBA..

  7. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
  8. cperry2 macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    May I be devil's advocate and suggest you check out the retina mbp 13" in store. You say you use photoshop and illustrator, and those apps are going to massively benefit from a retina display. You'll see more details in your work at a glance, and a far superior IPS display compared to the mba, which looks washed out to me comparatively speaking.

    And, you want a machine with longevity - it comes with 8GB of memory, for 1699. A similar config in the Air costs 1299, reducing the price delta to $400

    The size and weight delta is negligible.

    $400 for an extremely well calibrated, IPS retina display - a joy to your eyes for email and professional work - is a worthy investment imo. I presume you'll be using this thing for thousands of hours over 3-4 years of use.

    Worth thinking about.
  9. jmpnop macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2010
    I feel the classic MBP 15" for $100 more would be a better choice but the only problem with that would be it isn't as portable as rMBP 13" / MBA. rMBP 13" doesn't have dedicated graphics chip. I don't think Intel HD 4000 is powerful enough to offer good performance at that resolution. I tend to avoid first gen. products because they usually have weak specs. Also a $1700 product with just 128GB storage is ridiculous imo. If the reviews are positive, it might be good option to consider provided storage space isn't an issue.
  10. cperry2 macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    Fair. It's all above that combination of portability and display. And the retina screen isn't just about the resolution - viewing angles, contrast, colour reproduction far outclass any other laptop screen. Again - as this person is working with images and text, the screen is massively important.

    The reservation about the GPU is fair. I would wait to see some reviews on that. I can drive my 15" rmbp screen on HD 4000 quite smoothly, but I haven't done much image editing.

    OP said storage isn't an issue, and imo 128gb is local storage is very workable in tandem with an external drive, which as an image editor you would probably end up needing with any laptop anyway.

    All that said, if the rmbp is simply unaffordable, the base mba 13" is pretty nice. Get it with 8gb ram if you plan on keeping it more than 3 years - or better yet, monitor your current usage and plan accordingly.
  11. jjhoekstra macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2009
    The 13" MBA with 8Gb is without a doubt more than capable enough to handle all your needs. I used to own a 2010 MBA and regularly used it for video editing. Obviously my MacPro octo was far better at it, but the MBA was surprisingly workable. And the 2012 model is so much more powerful! Get 8Gb ram to future-proof it, and I would get the 256 SSD if at all possible financially, also to future-proof it. The screen of the MBA is excellent. You will only notice that the retinas are better screens if you directly compare them.
  12. cperry2 macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
  13. jesseleeroy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2005
    as to portability, 15in is not a major problem.. used to carry around good old 15" powerbook. (remember those??)

    I did see the retina display (15" one) and i was really blown away.. thats why i waited for the 13" rMBP but it was too expensive compared to what it offered (GPU. yeah, its sub-2000, but just comparing with 13 MBP, or even 15 rMBP, i felt it's bit too expensive.

    Rather than having a set budget, I usually do cost-vs-spec, and that's where i always fall into an abyss. :p:p:p:p:p

    I guess thats what i am gonna do. depending on the review, I will go either 13" MBA or try out 13" rMBP. :eek:
  14. Alameda macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2012
    Personally, if I spend big dollars on a display, it's an external display that will last through a few computers. Right now, there are some fantastic 27" IPS displays that are exceptional and which turn a MacBook Air or Pro into a true desktop class machine. I'd rather sacrifice the laptop display quality in trade for something I can use on my desk with a keyboard and mouse.
  15. jesseleeroy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2005
    wow, actually that's something I totally missed on!! so obvious yet i totally overlooked! BIG THANKS!! :D:D
  16. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    I am waiting for Broadwell to hit the 11" MBA's hopeful that the battery life will get closer to the 7+ hours we now get on the 13" models...I was trying to decide between a 13" 2012 MBA open box @ $1,070 and a 13" 2011 MBP open box @ $806...

    With the MBA I get a higher res screen, lighter machine and USB3 but I'm limited to a 128Gb SSD and 4Gb RAM.

    With the MBP, its heavier by 1.5 lbs, the screen resolution is the same as my 5,2 9400m Whitebook its replacing (but its a little lighter), the CPU is faster than the MBA or my Whitebook, I can upgrade the RAM to 8Gb (with RAM I have) and use the MBP RAM in my 2011 iMac so that both machines will have 8Gb RAM in them and lastly, I got a 512Gb M4 Crucial SSD for $349 = I'll have a more powerful CPU, double the RAM and 4 times the internal storage over the MBA for $85 more than the cost of the open box 2012 MBA with the open box 2011 MBP = this machine will tide me over until Broadwell hopefully meets my mobil computing needs fully.

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