A few years ago, I wrote about my first impressions with the NewerTech battery for the Macbook Pro (2006 – early 2008 models). Then, about two weeks ago, I noticed something odd.
My NewerTech battery had developed a rather noticeable bulge (see photo). Aside from the bulge, the battery works well, providing about 2 hours of use time. However, at this point, rather than risk potential damage to my now ancient laptop (of early 2008 vintage), I have removed the battery from the unit. So now my Macbook Pro is now running exclusively on AC power.
In the intervening time, I have since weighed my battery replacement options and have come to the conclusion that it really doesn’t make sense for me to spend another $100 or so on a now six year old laptop.
In considering a replacement Mac laptop, my options are between the new Macbook Air or the 13″ Retina Macbook Pro. I plan on using my laptop primarily for managing my academic workload (mostly Pages and Numbers with occasional Photoshop), but I’d also like to be able to use it for more design work, including (but not limited to) making my comics.
The Macbook Air is currently non-Retina equipped and tops out at 8GB of RAM, while the Retina Macbook Pro has the better resolution and is also upgradeable to 16GB of RAM. The cost difference is about $600. If I only use the laptop for my academics, an 8GB Macbook Air might suffice. But as a designer who only buys new hardware once in 5 years or so, I feel that the Retina display is an important factor worth considering.
In addition to RAM and display resolutions, either laptop I select must be able to drive an additional display. Both, as far, as I know – support this, via a miniDisplay port to DVI adaptor. I’m somewhat torn on what to select.
So… I’ll pose it to you, dear reader. Macbook Air or Retina Macbook Pro 13″? Is 8GB really enough? Is the Retina display worth considering, or is it overrated? Help me make some decisions here.