Waiting for Haswell: rMBP vs. MBA + Thunderbolt Display?
Hey Apple Core!
My original MacBook Air (1.6ghz/2gb) is beginning to show its age. It's served me wonderfully for the past five years, but now it's time to retire it, and find something that (hopefully) will last me another five or so :P
I'm starting college this year, and needed something both powerful enough to run a few games (nothing too fancy, mind) and with good enough battery life to last me through all my classes. That, and I'm a photographer on the side, so handling a few hundred RAW files with ease is high on my list of priorities (my current setup is physically painful to work with).
I've narrowed it down to either a new Haswell MBA 13 (the base model, with upgraded RAM and proc) plus a refurbished Thunderbolt Display (roughly $2k with student discount) or the Retina MBP 15 (barebones will run me around the same $2k with student discount).
The choice, then, would be between an amazingly large working area while at my dorm (with fantastic battery life to last me through my classes) and a portable display of equal resolution attached to a much, much more powerful laptop. Seems like the MBA would be the easy choice, no? Well, I had two main problems with this:
-Is it going to be powerful enough to handle games and photo editing, particularly when using it with the Thunderbolt Display? Will the same be true five years from now?
-Will I kick myself when the Haswell Retinas come out, much more powerful with the same (or close to the same) great battery life?
My previous plan was to wait for the Haswell Retinas, but it seems Apple has decided to hold their release off until after the Back-to-School deals are over, which would, at the very least, mean sacrificing the $100 of store credit and, quite possibly, enduring the full fall semester with my rapidly aging original MBA.