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Help Spending £2000 at Apple (Air vs Retina)

mkelbie

Well-known Member
I have got a headache & sore eyes from reading and watching lots of reviews on all the 2012 MacBooks and still not 100% sure what I want.

I have about a £2000 budget and initially i was "sold" on a Retina Pro base model with the 256gb SSB & 8GB ram but the upgrade/repair issue and lack of retina support on software (for now) pushed me away. Didn't want to have to spend another £300 on apple care and £500 just to double the SSD size and bit of cpu power.

I have opted for a 13' Air with 128GB SSD and I know upgrade/repair is an issue with this macbook also but I got this with applecare pre-registered for almost half the price so I have about £800 left over I could put back under my floor boards and see what comes out in terms of iPad/iPhone or next macbook refresh. I think I am happy but I always want to be sure and hear experienced opinions/views.

The "MAIN" uses for my macbook is music/sync and web browsing but I am definitely looking into software development in iOS as I have an old project I did in college I would like to code for iOS. Just for fun but not sure how much an Air will cope with development.

Web design was an old hobby of mine and I am looking to refresh/update my skills.

DJ/Remix - I used to mix many years ago before I owned a macbook and I have always wanted to have a play on Logic Pro/Ableton

I doubt I will be doing any video editing

I will play movies/tv shows on the go and on few occasions connect to a HTDV.

Gaming will be very little, not demanding as I have my xbox for that.

Long story short, is a macbook air 2012 a good investment for my needs and will it last 18months with what I use it for. Any "playing" with Xcode logic etc will not be massive. More for fun but I don't want to see a spinning beach ball every time I use any of that software :) or should I go the Retina and which 1 with or without applecare.

Thank :D
 

RobM

Distinguished Member
If you're doing software development, I would suggest screen real estate would be of big benefit. I wouldn't worry about the lack of Retina support for applications, as that will change for sure and when it does the benefits will be clear. If you're looking at iOS development, you'll find these applications get Retina support really quickly as many, many developers will have the rMBP.

Same applies to DJ software, which have a big OSX userbase and again will benefit from the screen size.

So I do think the rMBP is the best bet. The Macbook Air 13" will be good, it performs well, it's screen size vs resolution are good, it's very portable. But the rMBP is just a better fit, IMO, for everything you've listed. It's also nice to know that with application support improving, your user experience will improve over time as well :)
 

jont

Well-known Member
I think you'd be surprised at the power and speed of the MBAs - I wouldn't get hung up on the upgrade issues - max it out when buying and I'd stick the rest of the money on a 27" thunderbolt apple display to give you max screen real estate ... That's howi use mine ...
Jon
 

mkelbie

Well-known Member
2 different opinions already :p its a nightmare for me this. I do like the new retina pro but this is the 1st Air I have owned and god it looks good.

Rob i know you said the pro would be a better 1 in your opinion but would the Air do what I ask it to do with what I have listed? Most of the funds are on a gift voucher so its not a budget issue with choosing the Air over the Pro. The money has to be spent eventually but I want to make the best investment. If i choose pro I dont want to have to spend anymore money for at least 3 years (not that I can upgrade anyway) but with the Air I would consider an upgrade in half that time as its half the cost.
 

RobM

Distinguished Member
I do think an Air will do a very good job, no doubt about it. The screen resolution of 1440x900 will limit you, but that's the only limitation to be aware of. Otherwise it's a very good laptop and will perform very well.

My opinion is reasonably simple - buy the right tool for the job and buy it once. There is nothing worse than buying something and later regretting it.
 

mkelbie

Well-known Member
I do think an Air will do a very good job, no doubt about it. The screen resolution of 1440x900 will limit you, but that's the only limitation to be aware of. Otherwise it's a very good laptop and will perform very well.

My opinion is reasonably simple - buy the right tool for the job and buy it once. There is nothing worse than buying something and later regretting it.

Thats my biggest fear.. regretting my purchase. Want to get it right now as I wont have this kind of money to spend on a laptop again for quite some time.

I have 14days to play on this air and put it through its paces. If i feel its not going to cope I will probably just push the boat out for the 512gb MBPr and get applecare within the 12months when I have the money.
 

mkelbie

Well-known Member
rksztf.jpg


What would be the best value out of those 3 and I don't mean the cheapest.

Cost/Performance wise which would be best suited for 3 years. 1/2 macbook airs over the 3 years or 1 macbook pro retina.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I personally don't think the MacBook Pro Retina should be classed as a MacBook Pro and think it too restrictive to be of much use to a professional when compared to the regular MacBook Pro. I'd simply go for the MacBook Air rather than pay extra for the Pro status of the MBPr. I'd personally buy the MacBook Pro and forgo the retina display altogether, but I'd want what both the MBPr and Air MacBooks lack.
 

mkelbie

Well-known Member
I personally don't think the MacBook Pro Retina should be classed as a MacBook Pro and think it too restrictive to be of much use to a professional when compared to the regular MacBook Pro. I'd simply go for the MacBook Air rather than pay extra for the Pro status of the MBPr. I'd personally buy the MacBook Pro and forgo the retina display altogether, but I'd want what both the MBPr and Air MacBooks lack.

Your views are like mine, hence why I have chosen the cheaper option but want to be sure. If the retina would of allowed me replace the SSD with 512gb or even 1TB SSD in 12months time and double the ram I would of been happy with that. Just don't like feeling restricted, its always nice to know that "if" you want to upgrade you can.

I have a £1200 Air (inc AppleCare) so in 12 months I should hopefully get £650+ and put that with my saving now I could get a Macbook Pro Retina with 1TB SSD & i7 Haswell with fully support OS & Apps for the 4K resolution.
 
D

Deleted member 27989

Guest
You are just as restricted with the Air...I think it is weird that you talk about feeling restricted on the SSD upgrade size for the MBPr yet are even considering a 128Gb SSD on the MBA...

Buy for what you need can afford now instead of worrying so much about upgrading it...I couldn't do XCode all the time on my little 1440x900 screen on my MBA hence I've got a 'pro' with a 30" and 22" monitor attached...I mean having the storyboards open, and the assistant editors and the other screen, you just can't have enough screen real estate...

My vote the MBPr...
 

PeterH988

Well-known Member
Would a last gen 15" MBP from the refurb store, (£1049) be of interest?

You can up the ram and plumb in an SSD at a later date with that.
 

MrTibbs88

Active Member
Top spec standard 15" MBP would be fine. Why do you need retnia for mainly internet & itunes?
I purchased a 13" MBP 3 weeks ago im finding the screen is a bit small at times
 

mkelbie

Well-known Member
You are just as restricted with the Air...I think it is weird that you talk about feeling restricted on the SSD upgrade size for the MBPr yet are even considering a 128Gb SSD on the MBA...

Buy for what you need can afford now instead of worrying so much about upgrading it...I couldn't do XCode all the time on my little 1440x900 screen on my MBA hence I've got a 'pro' with a 30" and 22" monitor attached...I mean having the storyboards open, and the assistant editors and the other screen, you just can't have enough screen real estate...

My vote the MBPr...

I know i am restircted with the Air but the cost reflects those restrictions. I would "manage" with 128Gb if I had to with use of NAS/Externals but ideally I would want it all on the internal drive but the £500 extra to double to a 256GB ssd is crazy.

I can afford the 15'' retina pro base model but not applecare (could get it within the 12months though). Just don't want to spend £2k on 1 machine that is fixed spec if means in 12months I will want/need to upgrade.

Do you own a MBPr?
 

mkelbie

Well-known Member
Top spec standard 15" MBP would be fine. Why do you need retnia for mainly internet & itunes?
I purchased a 13" MBP 3 weeks ago im finding the screen is a bit small at times

the top spec mbp is same price as base model retina. I dont need it to be honest. not sure how it will work with logic/ableton but xcode definitely would make use of it.

I wont have space/funds for extra displays so I am slowly being convinced retina could be the best choice long term
 

mkelbie

Well-known Member
If screen size is going to be a issue deffinatly keep away from 13" screen

I have the 13" Already but I am going to go to the Apple Store and spend time using both and get advice from the staff.

Will either be walking out keeping my Air or telling them that I will be taking advantage of there generous returns policy and getting the Retina 512GB.
 

daveb975

Distinguished Member
I am interested to see this thread, as I am going through a very similar dilemma!

I am coming from a 24" iMac, and my uses are similar to yours but I do use iPhoto quite a lot. I love the look of the retina display, and I need the speed of SSD storage!

My only concern with the Retina display is that I will miss the size of my iMac and end up buying a Cinema Display and using it connected to that most of the time! I will be using it out and about occasionally, but maybe not enough to justify that extra cost.

I will be interested to see what you decide.
 

mkelbie

Well-known Member
daveb975 said:
I am interested to see this thread, as I am going through a very similar dilemma!

I am coming from a 24" iMac, and my uses are similar to yours but I do use iPhoto quite a lot. I love the look of the retina display, and I need the speed of SSD storage!

My only concern with the Retina display is that I will miss the size of my iMac and end up buying a Cinema Display and using it connected to that most of the time! I will be using it out and about occasionally, but maybe not enough to justify that extra cost.

I will be interested to see what you decide.

Ended up with a retina. air just doesn't have it. Extra £500 on a 256gb Air you get a retina display, double the ram & quad core i7.

I chose the base model and accepted 256gb SSD and stock 8GB ram will be more than enough plus I have 4-5Tb on a shared folder.

I must admit I loved the air and once I have the spare cash I will be checking the classifieds for a cheap Air for a spare mobile laptop. Wouldn't want my retina pro on planes trains holidays etc.

Was a very difficult decision as was even considering a standard pro but I have upgraded from that so it didn't feel new despite ivy bridge & USB 3.0. think if you use iPhoto you will love the retina. It's not what it will be yet, once developers optimise apps for it it will show its power. I won't be connecting it to a cinema display so seemed the best choice for me personally. 15" with a high res is more than enough. Do what I did and go the store and have a play, even buy and if it's not for you return. I thought they would of been awkward with my exchange but at the end of the day your spending nearly 2K or even more then you want to be happy with your choice.

15" MacBook pro with a 750gb HDD is same price as base model Retina @ £1799. Other than a little extra CPU power it's only the HDD that's different so that also eliminated a standard pro in my circumstances. You need get 1 and try it, see how you use it.
 

hutch

Distinguished Member
You made the right choice. I use Ableton and Serato Itch on my rMBP and the jump from my old 13" MBP to the 15" Retina is a huge deal, much more than I could ever have imagined before I bought it.
 

mkelbie

Well-known Member
hutch said:
You made the right choice. I use Ableton and Serato Itch on my rMBP and the jump from my old 13" MBP to the 15" Retina is a huge deal, much more than I could ever have imagined before I bought it.

Trafford Centre had plenty of stock. Not sure about the Arndale but I am sure they will.
 

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