So for the upcoming year I will be writing an economics thesis and that will entail web browsing, reading PDFs, reading stuff and typing with multiple windows open (normally in full screen mode). So what do you think would be better? MBA 13 is cheaper than rMBP. MBA 13 seems to have better battery in real world usage. MBA 13 is lighter so easier to carry on campus. MBA 13 has a higher resolution in effective terms (rMBP is 1280x800 equivalent) BUT when I tried my friends MBA 13 the text seemed smaller and I had to get close to read or squint. MBA 11 would be unnoticeable in my bag which would be a convenience. BUT MBA 11 probably is too small and the battery might be too little. BUT if I end up carrying my charger to school for the other MacBooks then the MBA 11's battery disadvantage would be immaterial. rMBP sounds more future proof, good for watching movies. rMBP is heavier and less battery than MBA 13. So what should I get? If the MBA 13 is unnoticeable in your bag pack then I think I will go for that but certainly it does have a noticeable weight and the MBA 11 seems noticeably lighter. Weight is one of the major factors for me since I do not take my current MBP 13 to school because of its weight of 2.02kg.