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Need A New MacBook, Air Or Retina Pro?  
User currently offlinekl838 From Netherlands Antilles, joined Oct 2010, 133 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3648 times:

Currently in Singapore and my 4 year old MacBook Pro trackpad suddenly goes erratic clicking by itself and opening widows etc. Tried everything to fix it, but I have decided to show it to Apple when I get back to Liverpool on Wednesday. As a university student, I basically need a computer ASAP, so I know I need to buy a new MacBook, question is which one? I like the portability of the air, but I am worried that it might be underpowered. I basically know everything there is to Macs, as I used to sell them, but the problem is I can't decide, therefore I am asking all of you for your opinions. I know Klaus is the Apple expert on this site, but would still like some other opinions.


One more thing, should I buy the computer from Singapore or in the UK? Not sure whether I have to pay duty etc if I do buy it here in Singapore,


P.S: I don't want to buy windows, I absolutely detest Windows 8.

Thanks for your help!!

48 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8735 posts, RR: 42
Reply 1, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3640 times:

I think we must have nearly the same laptop. Have you checked whether or not the battery in yours (should be exchangeable) is bulging due to its age? Due to its location, it could interfere with the trackpad in that case.


Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlinekl838 From Netherlands Antilles, joined Oct 2010, 133 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3632 times:

I haven't checked, but that could be it as my battery is over 1000 cycles, I don't have any of my screwdrivers to check, plus I don't have the time to check either as I am leaving Tuesday night. My parents told me to get a new one and just repair the old one when I reach Liverpool as I will give it to my mom to use when I head back to SXM for the summer. Plus given its age and that I have had to replace my hard drive cable and that my SD card reader doesn't work either, I think it's about time I get a new one.

User currently offlineAeri28 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 709 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3629 times:

Timely thread as I too am considering getting a new Mac. I am seriously considering it. But understand Apple may be comiing out with the new line soon/eventually lol

underpowered vis a vis what you have now? Im sure you know the differences are lack of cd drive in Air. Is that an issue for you in this cloud based, download movies world we are entering in?

Can you buy the one that you can best afford? : ie. MBP retina perhaps ? 13" or 15"?

I have read that the 13" MBAir has a better screen resolution than the 13" MC Pro Non Retina. Slightly.

Do you need all those ports?

I too am undecided. But they both run the Adobe CS series 6 softwares quite fine, so either one would be powered enough I imagine (for me). Me I don't feel I need the Retina, it's fine enough without it for my needs.

Curious to hear others as well.


User currently offlinekl838 From Netherlands Antilles, joined Oct 2010, 133 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3615 times:

I think the CD drive is useless, I have not used mine on my 15 inch Pro, but the current specs are 2.53ghz dual core processor, 500gb hdd and 4gb RAM.

What also makes it confusing is the fact that I like the size of the 11 inch Air as well, considering the 15 inch I have right now is a brick and I have been basically flying around the world with it for the last 4 years. If you say the Air can run CS6 them the Air can't be underpowered for me, I run some games, music, videos, pictures etc. Still,not sure what to do, as the amount of flash memory I want is 256gb and the prices of the 13 inch air is the same as the 13 inch retina pro if not less.

If you are wondering why I am not considering the normal pro, it's cuz it's just too heavy and I have no use for the Cd drive.


11 inch Air

Pros:

Super light
Slightly cheaper
Flash storage
Easy to carry

Cons:
Delicate
Might be too small
Might struggle with heavier tasks
More expensive for larger flash storage
Will be changed later this year

13 Inch Air

Pros:
Light
Standard screen size
Decent power
Flash
Easy to carry


Cons:
Similar priced to Retina 13
Delicate
More expensive for larger flash storage
Will be charged this year

Retina 13

Pros:
Beautiful display
Good size
Faster more powerful
HDMI built in
Not much changes expected this year

Cons:
More expensive
Heavier
More expensive for larger flash storage


This is a quick pro con list I came up with feel free to let ,e know what to add and remove from this
I am thinking now I might lean toward the retina 13, but not too sure yet.


User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8735 posts, RR: 42
Reply 5, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3604 times:

Quoting kl838 (Reply 2):
I don't have any of my screwdrivers to check

OK, in that case we don't have the same thing - I don't need any tools to remove the battery from my laptop.

Here's what I would do: buy a 13 inch MB Pro and replace the conventional hard disk with an aftermarket SDD (much cheaper than what Apple charge). Then, remove the optical drive, mount the original hard disk in a frame and put that assembly in the space where the optical drive used to be. It is, of course, fiddly, but absolutely manageable.

I, too, rarely ever used the optical drive in my laptop and now it just sits in its own external case, waiting for the two or three times per year that I do actually need it. I have an SSD for all software plus my photos and documents and then a conventional 1 TB HDD in the optical drive bay. This combines speed - 30 seconds from power on to fully ready - and space at the lowest possible price.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 3006 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3594 times:

Quoting kl838 (Reply 4):

11'' Air is tiny, plus the most memory one can configure on it is 128GB if I remember correctly--practically useless if it is going to be your main machine.

Quoting kl838 (Reply 4):
Retina 13

No comparison to the rest that you posted. The superior machine in any case.

Quoting kl838 (Reply 4):
Not much changes expected this year

Not true. All are fully expected to receive Haswell this year, likely in a few months.



The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlineTheSultanOfWing From El Salvador, joined Dec 2012, 140 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3570 times:

I am the owner of an MBA 13" 500 Gb hard drive, about half a year old now.

Very happy with it, it fulfills all my needs and I love the lightweight.....with a leather sleeve for travelling the fragile side of the machine has not caused me any problems whatsoever!

If you travel a lot.......MBA, I'd say.
If you basically set up in 1 location most of the time.....go MBP.

It is expensive though, I have the full spec MBA....and even buying it in the USA you're talking US$ 2 grant!

Ciao!



I feel like the A318 at times: I am probably worth more parted out than as a whole.
User currently offlinekl838 From Netherlands Antilles, joined Oct 2010, 133 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3556 times:

After looking at your opinions, I have decided that I will go for the higher spec Retina 13, just because it has the 256gb flash, and I won't be able to customize and get it delivered I'm time. Therefore I need to get the standard offering either the high (2.6 ghz, 256gb flash) or low spec (2.5 ghz, 128gb), should be getting it tomorrow, and should set me back about S$2,288.

What I told most of my customers when they asked me about newer model apple products, I just tell them that there is always a new model, and if you need it just get it. So waiting is not an option as I have assignments to complete as much as I like waiting for the newer retina pros. What is the main difference with the next model, does anyone know? Are these processors vastly superior or just faster?

I managed to get a screw driver to check whether the battery is swollen, and it is fine, even though needs to be replaced soon, as I am only getting about 3 hours life and it has about 1100 cycles on it. This leads me to believe its an issue with the trackpad itself and needs to be replaced. As Apple has done that for many and problem was solved.

I think the Retina 13 will be perfect because I travel about every 4 months, it's light yet powerful and not as delicate. Will update you tomorrow whether I get it or change my mind.


User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 3006 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3552 times:

Quoting kl838 (Reply 8):
What is the main difference with the next model, does anyone know? Are these processors vastly superior or just faster?

Not a huge improvement; it'll be faster, probably cooler, and better battery life... it's a 'tock' in the Intel lineup, so it'll be considerably better, but that could be said for anything newer. Ivy Bridge is blazing fast anyway.

If you needed now, get it now... If one can wait six months, one doesn't *need* it. There is always a better thing around the corner, so if one wants to wait he'll never get a computer. Hell, Broadwell (and even Skylake, and towards the end of the decade, Skymont) are known to be in development--you could wait for those, but by that time there'd be two more iterations in development.

And it's not like the current computer becomes worse with the upgrade.



The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlinekl838 From Netherlands Antilles, joined Oct 2010, 133 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3434 times:

Okay guys, here is a quick update, I decided to order my retina pro from the UK as I will get a student discount, and now after about a few days, my macbook pros trackpad suddenly is working again. I have no idea what to do, if I should cancel it or not because my apple care has dispatched, which means the computer will be dispatched shortly.

User currently offlineAeri28 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 709 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3401 times:

I'd just sell the older one. Make sure the person you sell it to knows there was a trackpad issue. Could they use it with external mouse only?

You should have no problems selling a used one. Since you obviously could afford the 'best', why cancel it at this point?

Could also test the retina out, see if it's really 'that much better' at this time, if no huge noticeable differece, return the retina and wait to see what apple comes up with. What I have read, and I am no expert at all on apple prods, is that apple has stronger pressure this year to come up with something newer in terms of mac books as the style/design really hasn't changed much in several years. Who really knows though.

[Edited 2013-04-16 00:18:40]

User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21495 posts, RR: 53
Reply 12, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3386 times:

Quoting Aeri28 (Reply 11):
What I have read, and I am no expert at all on apple prods, is that apple has stronger pressure this year to come up with something newer in terms of mac books as the style/design really hasn't changed much in several years.

Apple has always kept the same external appearance across multiple generations of Macs and "only" updated the internals until they could really gain major improvements.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacBook_Pro

The MacBook Pro series has seen pretty much only two and a half enclosure designs thus far:
• The design of the aluminium PowerBooks (introduced in 2003) was kept identically for the first MacBook Pros (starting in 2006).
• It was succeeded by the Unibody design in 2008 which is still being used today.
• The Retina MacBook Pro (2012) uses the same Unibody design, just with again reduced thickness.

Apart from some of the more hyperventilating analysts who have never understood anything anyway, pretty much nobody sees any urgency for Apple to change their notebook design again.

My 2006 MacBook Pro still doesn't look dated today, and I definitely prefer a clean, no-nonsense design over superficially flashy enclosures which look shabby and outdated after a few months of use already.


User currently offlineAeri28 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 709 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3358 times:

well orange would be nice..

User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 3006 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3343 times:

Quoting kl838 (Reply 10):

Okay guys, here is a quick update, I decided to order my retina pro from the UK as I will get a student discount, and now after about a few days, my macbook pros trackpad suddenly is working again. I have no idea what to do, if I should cancel it or not because my apple care has dispatched, which means the computer will be dispatched shortly.

You could always return it, but once you look at a retina you won't give it back.

Sell the old one off.



The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlinejagflyer From Canada, joined Aug 2004, 3568 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3321 times:

I would be very hesitant to buy the Air (and even any Apple laptop after my past experience) due to the screen sizes offered being too small (11 and 13 inch are too hard on the eyes for me if it is going to be my main laptop) and secondly because of the computer being so thin/small I don't think it would stand up to everyday wear as a portable machine. I once owned a MacBook Pro (the 2007 model) and it was significantly more beefy but the CD drive and then the motherboard managed to crap out.


Support the beer and soda can industry, recycle old airplanes!
User currently onlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12851 posts, RR: 25
Reply 16, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3312 times:

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 6):
plus the most memory one can configure on it is 128GB if I remember correctly--practically useless if it is going to be your main machine.

128GB memory useless???

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 9):

Not a huge improvement; it'll be faster, probably cooler, and better battery life... it's a 'tock' in the Intel lineup, so it'll be considerably better, but that could be said for anything newer. Ivy Bridge is blazing fast anyway.

Haswell has an improvement called transactional memory that should be important for multi-core applications, but I too wouldn't wait for it, because next will be Broadwell, and so on ...



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineqantas077 From Australia, joined Jan 2004, 5861 posts, RR: 39
Reply 17, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3310 times:

I just purchased a Macbook Pro 13 (non retina display) and it's fabulous. I couldn't really justify the extra $500 for features I'll never use so the pro 13 suites me fine. I have 2 laptops, Ipad, Iphone and a few other gadgets that make my room seem like an electronics shop.


a true friend is someone who sees the pain in your eyes, while everyone else believes the smile on your face.
User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 3006 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3294 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 16):
128GB memory useless???

If it's going to be your main machine, yes, useless. What can you store?



The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8430 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 3251 times:

If you're a student then I would look to your major. Heavy on math or science then the MacBook Pro is probably the best bet. Is there any way you an use a mouse with your current MacBook? There is talk of a refresh in June at the developers conference, which might be of interest.

I use an old MacBook from Mid 2009, but the wife has a new 13" MacBook Air. I consider it about as solid as my MacBook - carved out of blocks of aluminum just like the MacBook Pro.

Quoting kl838 (Reply 4):
Still,not sure what to do, as the amount of flash memory I want is 256gb and the prices of the 13 inch air is the same as the 13 inch retina pro if not less.


I had to smile at that - my first computer came with 16Kb of memory and I upgraded it with a 48Kb cartridge. The tape deck was also extra.


User currently offlinekl838 From Netherlands Antilles, joined Oct 2010, 133 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3243 times:

I have decided to keep the retina, and on my AF flight to Paris, ended up sitting next to an Apple Genius and he basically said the trackpad issue will return as the entire sensor is faulty. So I am basically going to fix my older one and give it to my parents. Now just waiting for delivery, and need to decide on a sleeve or case to carry it in!! Thanks for the help, was interesting to see what everyone had to say.

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 18):
If it's going to be your main machine, yes, useless. What can you store?

I agree, as the OS will take up a considerable amount of room, and you are left with nothing.


User currently onlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12851 posts, RR: 25
Reply 21, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3221 times:

Quoting kl838 (Reply 20):
I have decided to keep the retina, and on my AF flight to Paris, ended up sitting next to an Apple Genius and he basically said the trackpad issue will return as the entire sensor is faulty.

Amazing - Apple knew you had an issue with a trackpad so they seated a tech next to you on your next flight! What service!

Quoting kl838 (Reply 20):
Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 18):
If it's going to be your main machine, yes, useless. What can you store?

I agree, as the OS will take up a considerable amount of room, and you are left with nothing.

So you folks are referring to disk storage as 'memory'?



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 3006 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3211 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 21):
So you folks are referring to disk storage as 'memory'?

Yes, as many people do... Excuse my parlance.

RAM can be variable on the Air, anywhere from 2 to 4... Maybe you can configure 8 now, I have no idea.



The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21495 posts, RR: 53
Reply 23, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 3204 times:

Quoting kl838 (Reply 20):
I agree, as the OS will take up a considerable amount of room, and you are left with nothing.

It's really not that bad – particularly when you kick out support for unneeded languages and other optional and unneeded components. It can make a difference of multiple gigabytes.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 21):
Amazing - Apple knew you had an issue with a trackpad so they seated a tech next to you on your next flight! What service!

Neat! 
 

Quoting Revelation (Reply 21):
So you folks are referring to disk storage as 'memory'?

Well, it's not actually "disk" storage any more with a MacBook Air (or most other MacBook models) – it's just a different kind of chips by now.

I think it's best to differentiate between working memory (RAM) and persistent storage (flash / harddisk).


User currently onlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12851 posts, RR: 25
Reply 24, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 3194 times:

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 22):
Yes, as many people do... Excuse my parlance.

And please excuse my confusion.

Most people at work have issues with 4G main memory because they more or less have to run windows in a virtual machine to get their jobs done. 8G is much more workable, especially if you have the newest models with the Ivy Bridge CPU to chew through the virtual machine overhead as well as move its memory around.

As for disk storage, I'd agree 128G is not that comfortable, but it's still hard to understand why the OS would want a large fraction of that. As mentioned above, it seems the most affordable storage is to use the 128G for the OS and apps, and put in a traditional hard disk in the optical bay. Either that, or use a lot of cloud storage, which also is what happens a lot at work.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
25 Braniff747SP : It's not a large fraction, but if it is your main machine with images/files/music/etc that'll fill up fast. Can't do with the Air, but great to do on
26 garnetpalmetto : As loathe as I am to post here... My wife is in a similar position. She has a 6 year old 15" MacBook Pro that's starting to get a little long in the t
27 Braniff747SP : If that's the case just get a standard cMBP and forget the Retina. It's still a fantastic computer.
28 Klaus : For many people (myself included): yes. But not everybody has large amounts of data, so if someone really knows (s)he'll never likely need much space
29 Klaus : If you get an SSD with the "classic" MacBook Pro (and this is by very far the most performance-determining component), it's actually more expensive t
30 Post contains images Revelation : What's running in that VM, FreeDOS? Corporate mandate here is use of Windows7+Outlook+Word+PPT, and that doesn't even run well natively in 3MB, never
31 Post contains images Klaus : Nope. Mac OS X 10.6.8, because I still have a few PowerPC-only applications I occasionally need, and the Rosetta emulation is no longer supported in
32 Post contains images Revelation : LOL, you caught me out! In my defense, I'll state that my whole university ran on a IBM S/370-168 with 1MB of memory (one million characters, in IBM-
33 MrCazzy : Between the air and pro the only real difference is size, and a disk drive. I currently have the MacBook Pro and love it. With the air I did not want
34 Braniff747SP : ...If you buy it from Apple, of course. No reason to ever buy any upgradeable components from Apple. Notwithstanding that SSDs, while fantastic, are
35 Aeri28 : I thought the advantage (reason?) of not having a large storage was that many people are moving to / projected to move to cloud based storage. Many se
36 Braniff747SP : Indeed true, but that doesn't work for some. I, for example, often have to spend time far away from any internet networks on my computer; because of
37 Revelation : My employer is pushing people that way with moderate amounts of success. The nice thing from the end user's perspective is a better sense that the da
38 Aeri28 : I mean, on a business sense, would this not be the same thing as having all your files on the Server? I have worked inn compannies where we really di
39 Post contains links and images Revelation : Pretty much. With cloud storage it scales up a lot better (so think of one big shared drive for an entire enterprise instead of countless smaller sha
40 Aeri28 : Hey thanks for that, I was curious how my machine stacked up vs, the newer ones . the Sony still has not let ne down and runs great, but I know it'll
41 kl838 : Just got an email from Apple, and my Macbook Pro is on its way from Shanghai, I received my Apple Care booklet in the mail yesterday! Cant wait till i
42 kl838 : I finally got my macbook pro, and i absolutely love it, the size is perfect! It is not too small or too light, and the display is BEAUTIFUL. Comparing
43 kl838 : Here is an update about the Macbook Pro Retina 13, I noticed today that my Apple logo was glowing slightly pink and compared to my friend's Air the sc
44 gingersnap : I would at the inflated price Apple charge but each to their own.
45 Braniff747SP : As would I--if Apple didn't make it right, which they normally do. Although I still stay: several years and Apple products later, I've never had a pr
46 Silver1SWA : I purchased an open box 13 inch MacBook Pro Retina (my first Mac) two weeks ago and I love it. Good thing I just read this because I've wondered if m
47 kl838 : The level of service I received was great, and they made sure it was corrected immediately, but it can be frustrating to deal with problems like this
48 panam330 : I have a 15" Retina Pro, my sixth (I think?) Mac. By far the best machine I've ever owned (and yeah, the price tag hurt, but I feel like you get what
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