Retina MBP "Air" or souped up 15-inch Pro?
Hello party people! I may or may not be in the market for a new laptop. Obviously, the new Retina Macbook Pro is pretty fantastic looking, but I have a few things that make me hesitate with pushing for that to be my new workhorse. First, I like having a disc (disk?) drive, plain and simple. I know this may seem like a sort of foolish reason for wanting a disc drive, as there are many alternatives, but I use my laptop in my exercise room watching dvds of shows while I run (I just have cable in the exercise room, no vcr/dvd player). I also have an extensive CD collection and constantly try to expand it by buying the physical new releases. I realize there's that superdrive, but I find it could become inconvenient especially given the limited space i have on the elliptical/treadmill, but I could find a workaround if it comes to that. I also find that the retina display is kind of unnecessary currently, as I watch DVDs, so the quality can't look THAT much better on the retina, given that there is no Bluray, and I don't want to pay extra on iTunes for the HD. Additionally, the internet in my current house is a hot mess and rarely works well, so there is minimal chance that practical HD streaming is possible for anything, but hopefully that will be remedied when my family and I move. I realize that the display and form factor make the new MacBook Pro seriously future-proof. (sidenote: Am I crazy to think that if I buy one of these and have it feasibly be my main laptop for the next 8-10 years? Is it THAT well-setup?) However, I'm wondering if there is a better solution for me at the moment. Being that I will be going to college soon, I do want to have a laptop that will last me through my senior year and those next four, but I think I could be able to scrape by with a really powerful old-gen machine, which brings me to my next suggestion. The current/old-gen 15-inch unibody pro has a disc drive. Additionally, I can get solid state on there, which is now a must after seeing the ease of use of running hardcore applications on my friend's air (Logic AND Aperture at the same time!?!?) So with solid state, there are two options: Order a new one from Apple with solid state built-in, or replace it myself, the latter of which may be cheaper from a bang-for-your-buck standpoint, but be expensive once the computer people really open up the computer, which also leaves me wondering exactly how difficult it is to modify anything on the current-gen non-air MBPs. I only need like 256 gigs thanks to cloud storage, a time capsule and a home computer, in addition to portable hard drives, so price-wise it seems that I could save a few hundred. Any tips on RAM compared between the 8 gigs on the current gen MBPs and the 8 gigs on the Retina Pro, if there is one, would be greatly appreciated, because there is no 16-gig option on the "fat" Pro and I know nothing about RAM. I think other than the display, which I don't really care about too much, the custom Pro with CD drive/refurbished one with my kind of setup is a better deal, at least through college. For the record, my current laptop is a 2009-era 13-inch MacBook Pro with a measly 120 gig hard drive that is full to the gills and quite slow and beat. It also gets quite hot, which reminds me, is there a major difference regarding heat output and cooling between a MacBook Pro with solid state and a Retina Macbook Pro?
Answers to any of my many questions are greatly appreciated.