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Tyler Joseph Level 1 (5 points)

I just bought the newest top end Macbook Pro 13 inch (2.9ghz) however I'm feeling buyer's remorse. Part of me desires the higher resolution of the 13 inch Macbook Air. However, my main reason for getting the pro was for legacy features and more bang for my buck (better guts in the MBP).


I do use ethernet connection oftentimes, however I could always use the thunderbolt adapter if i had the air.


My question really is, is the slight bump in the 13 inch resolution in the Air that much better?

1440x900 vs the MBP 1200x800



  • Alsloginid Level 1 (45 points)

    Depends really, I consider the 13" Air to be the correct resolution for a 13" machine (ish).

    the 1366x768 on my 11" blows the 13" pro out of the water.

    The highest resolution screen on the smallest possible space always looks better due to ppi...

    HOWEVER the colour gamut on the 13" air is nowhere near as good as on the pro, even after calibrating with a spyder.



    hope this helps!

  • Tyler Joseph Level 1 (5 points)

    yeah i've heard that about the gamut. when i was at the Apple store i could see a slight difference between the two but wanted some real world experience to compare to.


    The most disheartening thing was that my new Pro has the same resolution of my 6 year old white Macbook, however obviously the panel is better now.


    I'm debating returning the Pro for the resolution, but then i'd feel the necessity to bump up the specs on the Air.

  • Alsloginid Level 1 (45 points)

    I'm sure you don't want to fit a higher res display in a 13"... especially during warranty time.

    Essentially, they're the same machine under the shell, which is a shame (aside from the speed differences).


    Personally I'd go with the Air, but only because I've got all the extra stuff already, the pro will be cheaper in the long run if you can surive the (still extremely decent) screen

  • atomicluck1 Level 1 (30 points)

    I'm in the same dilemma.  Making a choice between the MBA 11", MBA 13" or MBP 13". 


    Currently have a 13" MBP that is 4 years old and a 13" MBA that is late 2010.  Went with the 13" MBA because of it's size and weight as I travel all over the world.  And have to admit that going back to a MBP at nearly double the weight is a hard sell.


    Was seriously looking at the 11" MBA as it's even easier to travel with then Apple goes out can upgrades them all and adds the MBP Retina.  Totally changing the game.


    Have experienced the difference between the 13" MBP and 13" MBA, especially where films are concerned.


    Other than moving to the 11" MBA for size & weight.  What real time difference is there between the newest 13" MBA & 13" MPB in handling films?  Read the info so know the resolution status, but how much difference is there really in the screen image?  If only they'd done a 11" MBA or 13" MBA with Retina!



  • Tyler Joseph Level 1 (5 points)

    i've been quite pleased with my MBP 13. at first i was regretting it due to size, resolution etc. but the power of the machine, the huge hard drive, and the i7 standard (on the 2.9 ghz model) all make up for it. it runs incredibly smoothly and is very responsive. i still get yearning for the Retina 15 inch but that power would go unused. I might upgrade a year or two down the line when they release a 13 inch Retina and let my wife have this computer, shes due for an upgrade soon.


    i would trade the MBP 13 for a maxed out MBA 13 but that would be pricey.


    i thought about the 11 inch for ultra portability, but even though resolution is nice its just a really small screen.


    if you ever use legacy features (ethernet, optical drive) the Pro wins hands down.


    i use ethernet quite a bit to connect sometimes and its nice having it build in versus having to carry an extra dongle in addition to a cable.



    really the only thing making me reconsider is the resolution difference and it would be nice to be lighter and thinner. everything else on the Pro is nice, though i wish it had a better graphics card

  • atomicluck1 Level 1 (30 points)

    Hands down the MBA 11" is the best for travel especially if you need more than the iPad.  Iv learned to live without the HD in the Mac though I admit it would be nice.


    My primary interest outside of size & weight is screen resolution.  Until they come up with a MBA with Retina is there really any big difference in the screen resolution (real time, not specs) between the newest MBA & MBP?

  • Tyler Joseph Level 1 (5 points)

    well the Pro is 1280x800 (PPI 113)and the Air is 1440x900 (PPI 128). It DOES make a difference, the Air appears slightly sharper and you get a little bit more screen real estate, however then your text is small.


    I've read that the gamut and quality of the pro display is much better though, deeper blacks, better colors etc.



    At first I was really hung up on the display difference. But when it comes down to it they are very similar. I think if you don't require legacy features, you could wait till October when the rumoured 13 inch Retina comes out.


    Otherwise as i've said the Pro is a better bang for your buck.


    With the money I saved I plan to buy an iPad yeahhhh

  • Tyler Joseph Level 1 (5 points)

    I don't know if i really said it but YES there is a difference, however unless you are looking up close to your screen, you won't really notice it on its own, it would be something that would be more apparent in side by side comparisons.


    unless somone on here has had different experiences?

  • Tyler Joseph Level 1 (5 points)

    haha also see this thread where people are discussing the merits of the Pro's display, it makes me feel pretty good.


  • atomicluck1 Level 1 (30 points)

    Granted I could wait for the rumoured 13" MBP with Retina, but in the game of elecrontics you could wait long and hard for the next upgrade.  You always take a risk that if you get something today Apple will do an update in a couple of months.


    Having both the 13" MBP (3 years old, not sure of production date) and a 13" MBA (purchased in Jan 2011, late 2010 production) I do see a bit of a difference with movies. 


    There is subtile difference in the way movies play back and Iv been somewhat disappointed with the 13" MBA even if resolution is higher than the MPB.  Whether it is the type of screen or something under the hood I'm not sure, but there is a difference.


    What I don't know if how the 11" and 13" MBA's compare.  Is one better than another?


    I'm leaning to the new 11" MBA simply because it's easier to carry on trip around the world.  The 13" MBA is a bit heavier while the 13" MPB is double the weight.

  • NiqueXyZ Level 1 (0 points)

    Sony makes a 1080p screen for their 13" vaio Z series.

    It actually does look rather good, even though I don't like running it at the native resolution for obvious reasons.


    IMHO Apple *wants* to put a retina display on every single product they have.

    They have the authority, the money, and the power in the industry to do so.


    What they don't have, at this exact moment anyway, is the display makers being able to produce enough volume to span across the entire macbook \ imac lineup.  I believe in about 1-2 years they will be able to accomplish this goal though, and so do a lot of tech blogs...Anand talked a lot about this in his review of the retina display macbook pro:


    My 0.02 -- If you *have* to buy right now, go for the Air.  It will have a high resale value even when the next model comes out, and even though the colors aren't as good, the screen has a higher res...if the MBP had an IPS display, I'd say go for that...but it doesn't.

  • tinman_94 Level 1 (0 points)

    How are you getting on with your display?

    It's between the 13-inch Air and Pro 2012 for me for uni. I could carry either around but the resolution on the Pro puts me off - what do you think? The maxed out 13-inch Pro is the same price as the Air 256GB model. That's my dilemma.


    I need it to do all the casual computing things as well as casual gaming.


    Which would you recommend?



  • pkrnjevic Level 1 (0 points)

    I have a 2011 MBA 13" while my daughter has the 2012 MBP 13".

    My text is smaller, but the higher resolution does allow more information to fit in roughly the same screen real estate, with more detail.

    Otoh, the color on her screen wins hand down, no contest - MBP color gamut is much better than MBA.

    I haven't compared them closely, but my impression is that her MBP color is even better than on my Thunderbolt display (which is significatly better than MBA).

    Also, as someone else pointed out: these differences much more noticeable if you have both machines side by side, in front of you, in good lighting. Under the harsh lighting at out local Apple Store, the difference between MBA and MBP is far less obvious.

  • Reeeks Level 1 (0 points)

    it was really helpful or I could say fun reading all of your discussion, obviously even when it's 2014 the resolution on both MBP and MBA hasn't change a bit

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