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rjch
14th June 2013, 01:20 AM
This is a buying advice question.

I am going to buy a new maclaptop and was hoping there would be new Maclap Pro's announced, but only the MacAir was.

So on reflection I was wondering what I was really waiting for. I am trying to convince myself that I should buy the new air. The price seems reasonable enough for Apple prices. My fear is of course that the second generation mac lap pro will be so fabulous I should have waited. But for how long oh Lord will you deliver us from this perdition? There is no real need for me to have a light laptop, and all things being equal i would prefer 15 inch, price being ignored.

As far as I can gather, in terms of connections the difference between the new 13 air and the existing retina pro are that the retina pro has in addition an extra thunderbolt port and HDMI out. This difference is not a problem, but I wonder if with these connections I could use a new machine as a dumb keyboard, or whatever the term is, is it target disk mode? I guess whatever happens, Apple has kissed all the old ports goodbye.

For me, storage memory is not a problem, and both use flash. 128G is much more than enough.

So big difference is retina v non-retina. But am I missing something important?
The commentator John Siracusa said on the Accidental tech podcast that the problem with the first version of the retina macpro was that it was straining to run the screen. Do you think this is so, and if it is, then presumably there are problems for Apple getting a retina screen in an air? Then again, is retina so important for people such as me with failing native retinas?

The existing 15 inch maclappro has "Intel HD Graphics 4000 NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory and automatic graphics switching". Does that mean that the machine uses the best graphics memory on the fly? The new 13 inch air has "Intel HD Graphics 5000". Do you miss a lot from the loss of the NVIDIA chip?

So many questions. So little knowledge! In short, the new 13 inch macair or the current 15 inch macpro? My inclination is the macair because of price, but hesitate because 15 inch would be more convenient, and I want to buy a machine that will last a long time.

rav3n
14th June 2013, 02:17 AM
A better question to ask here is what will you actually be using the mac for? Generally speaking, the 13" macbook air is more then enough for the average consumer.

Philip from Australia
14th June 2013, 10:45 AM
Well, I bought the retinal Macbook Pro (with 16 Gig of RAM since you can't upgrade that later) and have had no issues. Granted, I don't do video editing on it. And I suspect that that would really be pushing things. I do do photo editing on it. And the retina display is glorious for those (assuming you have updated to retina ready apps, which I think is all modern versions now - I use Aperture).

Really, I don't think you can get a bad laptop these days. You can get better ones, but never a bad one for just about any applications.

And I am one who thinks a bigger screen is better. Jokes about my physical attributes aside, I just like getting more stuff on the screen. Which is needed for photos, and I assume video editing. It is overkill for general web stuff (but that's what an iPad is for, really).

If you need a laptop NOW (say due to a failure, or new requirement) go the air. But if you can wait, wait for the refresh to hit the macbook pro line (Haswell chipset? Please correct me if I'm wrong) as that will give better battery life, and probably 802.11ac wi fi. Though the one after will be better still (of course). And then you can compare again. Plus the cost of the retina screens can only come down.

I think better wi fi performace (once you update your infrastructure) is worth getting something with the 802.11ac capability.

Hope I didn't muddy the waters too much.

Philip

gehenna
14th June 2013, 11:03 AM
The main differentiator (for someone not worried about needing higher specs) is the screen size and resolution.

Decide if you want a 13" screen or a 15" screen and your mind will be pretty much made up.

NORMANDY
14th June 2013, 11:35 AM
the new pro looks really great, however for me, it will mean further purchases of RAID drives systems as there is no madd storage anymore, Belkin thunderbolt docks so I can use legacy gear that still uses firewire etc.. a quick calculation puts extra purchases around 1500 dollars, i addition to the 5K for the Mac pro itself.

MissionMan
14th June 2013, 11:51 AM
A better question to ask here is what will you actually be using the mac for? Generally speaking, the 13" macbook air is more then enough for the average consumer.

+1 for this question.

I am an air user, the 2012 with max ram, processor and 512GB. I'm what I'd consider a medium to heavy user and I have no issues working on the Air. The Air was more powerful than my previous MBP i7 so I don't think the Air is a non-pro machine at all. I think it sacrifices some performance but its all down to what you need that performance for.

glacierdave
14th June 2013, 12:00 PM
A better question to ask here is what will you actually be using the mac for? Generally speaking, the 13" macbook air is more then enough for the average consumer.

This should ALWAYS be your starting point.

What are you actually going to be using the computer for?

This is what should govern any sane decision on what you'll need to buy.

gehenna is also correct. In the world of Mac laptops a good starting point is what size screen you want/need. Once you figure that out, you've reduced your choices significantly.

It's also worth keeping in mind that the IT world in general has conditioned everyone to the idea of bigger, better, faster. We've learned to compare computers based on CPU, RAM, hard drive and so on. The reality is that for most people, doing most common tasks, just about any computer will do a fair sort of job for them.

For example, few people actually fill a 500GB hard drive on a laptop and most general computer users don't actually benefit all that much from having 16GB of RAM.

Because of this, people often think that a small MacBook Air isn't suitable for them because it lacks a CD drive, or only has 64GB of storage space. But stop and think. When was the last time you used a CD? How much data do you have on your current computer? In my experience (I do this stuff for a living) most non-geek/non-nerd/non-computer enthusiasts have something less than 10GB of data on their computer.

Anyway, some food for thought...

David

The_Hawk
14th June 2013, 02:32 PM
I was having a discussion with a guy at work yesterday and had most of this conversation and I ended up in an interesting place I didn't expect in recommending the MacBook Pro 13" Non Retina for his young daughters first machine.


I went through the usual points:


The Air is smaller and lighter, the SSD is about eleventy billion times faster and the screen is a higher resolution.


The Pro has a larger HDD and an optical drive. It has a faster CPU and has user upgradeable parts.
The Pro also has a harder screen (face) than the Air.


The 13" MBP is also on special at DSE for $1,146.65 vs $ 1,449.00 for the 13" 256GB MBA (a 20% saving).




My rationale (besides the above):


The daughter hasn't had a computer for herself before and this will be her one and only machine. So SSD speed isn't a step up or down and I would suggest that raw capacity as a primary machine to collect music, video and images is probably the better option. She is also very likely to have CD's so the optical drive is useful. Lastly the harder screen will be a little more rugged.






Personally, if I was in the market for a 13" I would buy the MBA, but then I have a NAS at home and would expect to have that available for my kids when they are old enough (or have super fast cloud access making local storage far less relevant) but that's mostly for the increased screen res and fastness of the SSD. The size and weight are also very very sexy.


(by choice I bought the 15" MBPr mostly for the screen real estate which just proves the point... pick your screen first :P)

evanspw
14th June 2013, 03:43 PM
I had a 13" Air (2010 model) and was very happy with it. When the retina MBP came out, I bought one about three months later. Two main reasons: the larger screen and I wanted a four core processor. I use the thing for chip design and fairly large scale number crunching - mostly in a windows 7 VM running on OS X, and it's fantastic. Also, the retina screen is sublime and I really don't like looking at non-retina displays at all anymore. I've had no video problems. Siracusa, whose views I am very familiar with, hugely overstates the GPU's limitations. I am doing moderately complicated 3D graphics and rendering (for a 3D-EM simulator) and it's blazingly fast. I'm sure there are some games that push the graphics harder, but I am not a gamer.

Apparently, according to the guys at Semi-Accurate - who always have something interesting to say about semiconductor technology - Apple has something shit-hot planned for the MBP refresh. The question, as always, is when?
(Apple pushes performance boundaries with the new MacBook | SemiAccurate (http://semiaccurate.com/2013/06/12/apple-pushes-performance-boundaries-with-the-new-macbook/))

rjch
14th June 2013, 05:11 PM
The main differentiator (for someone not worried about needing higher specs) is the screen size and resolution.

Decide if you want a 13" screen or a 15" screen and your mind will be pretty much made up.

Exactly. 15" is what must be.

Thanks all for your comments.

kt_kez
16th June 2013, 01:59 PM
I'm also having a similar question with a different scenario. I currently have a 2011 15" MacBook Pro upgraded to 16gb ram; 512gb SSD and I do love it, however I'm planing on travelling for 12 months and am looking to downgrade the MBP for a 13"MBA (extra screen space and 12 hours battery has won me over the 11" even though I do love the size and portability of the 11").

So my question is should I sell the MBP for the MBA ? Or should I keep the MBP for future video editing purposes given that it has dedicated graphics? Would the haswell chip + integrated graphics ever be as good as the dedicated graphics + sandy bridge quad core i7?

Oldmacs
16th June 2013, 02:33 PM
I was having a discussion with a guy at work yesterday and had most of this conversation and I ended up in an interesting place I didn't expect in recommending the MacBook Pro 13" Non Retina for his young daughters first machine.


I went through the usual points:


The Air is smaller and lighter, the SSD is about eleventy billion times faster and the screen is a higher resolution.


The Pro has a larger HDD and an optical drive. It has a faster CPU and has user upgradeable parts.
The Pro also has a harder screen (face) than the Air.


The 13" MBP is also on special at DSE for $1,146.65 vs $ 1,449.00 for the 13" 256GB MBA (a 20% saving).




My rationale (besides the above):


The daughter hasn't had a computer for herself before and this will be her one and only machine. So SSD speed isn't a step up or down and I would suggest that raw capacity as a primary machine to collect music, video and images is probably the better option. She is also very likely to have CD's so the optical drive is useful. Lastly the harder screen will be a little more rugged.






Personally, if I was in the market for a 13" I would buy the MBA, but then I have a NAS at home and would expect to have that available for my kids when they are old enough (or have super fast cloud access making local storage far less relevant) but that's mostly for the increased screen res and fastness of the SSD. The size and weight are also very very sexy.


(by choice I bought the 15" MBPr mostly for the screen real estate which just proves the point... pick your screen first :P)

I'm glad I am not the only one who recommends the Classic 13 inch pro,

Being a student I provide computer help to both Adults and fellow students and I am usually recommending 13 Inch Pros to friends because of price. A lot of people my age only have one computer (I am obviously the odd one out) and therefore need all their stuff on their Macbook. The Macbook Air costs way too much to get a bigger SDD. The two people I know who have Macbook airs regret the fact that didn't upgrade the storage space!

Also *Some* of us are using the disk drive…………(I know a lot of people who are scared of a computer without one :P

For adults who I help with their computing, I often suggest a Macbook air as they often have a second computer, they have more money to spend, but very few want to get a Retina Pro. I can't wait till the day that the Retina Macbook Pro becomes as cheap as the classic pro though!

Holden Caulfield
7th August 2013, 08:26 PM
I'm about to pull the trigger on a 13" MBA, how long should I expect it to take from online order to delivery?

Can I add AppleCare separate to the original purchase?

Geoff3DMN
8th August 2013, 08:26 AM
How much data do you have on your current computer?

That's something I hadn't thought about since I installed a 2TB drive, for curiosities sake I had a look; 967Gb on the 2TB storage drive and 72Gb on the 128GB SSD boot drive was what I found.

Personally I find the MacBook Air is a wonderful travel laptop and ideal for light use but the screen resolution is annoyingly low for editing photos compared to my desktop and there isn't enough storage for it to be used as an only (or main machine). A Mac mini with dual drives and an external high resolution monitor is much more capable (but not of course portable).

I love Airs as 2nd machines... but as a primary machines? Nope, they just aren't up to it.

NB You should read all of the above as coming from someone who probably falls into the group 'power user' (terrible term that).

samuelowens
8th August 2013, 10:07 AM
I'm about to pull the trigger on a 13" MBA, how long should I expect it to take from online order to delivery?

Can I add AppleCare separate to the original purchase?

Not sure about times. I'm guessing it will take longer for a CTO order though.

You can add AppleCare any time in the first 12 months.

Holden Caulfield
8th August 2013, 07:34 PM
Thanks mate.