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View Full Version : Replacing mid-2010 13" MBP - MBA going to feel too slow?




brown.eyed.girl
Dec 3, 2011, 02:35 AM
As the thread title says, I am replacing my mid-2010 13" MBP (reluctantly). I'm considering the MBA but I'm concerned about a few things.

1) Is the MBA going to feel way too slow? I know the flash drive is supposed to make the computer faster. I don't game or run graphics-heavy programs but I do tend to run a bunch of different programs at once and open up a lot of tabs. I would get the 4 GB RAM. My MPB has a 4 GB RAM. I'm not a tech person though - does this mean I wouldn't see a difference?

2) I'm considering the 11 inch MBA because it's super portable and also because it's the cheapest. Do you think this would start to feel way too small (the screen)?

3) Can someone tell me what kind of difference I would see between the 1.6 Ghz processor on the MBA vs. the 2.4 Ghz on the MBP?

I think my old MBP was probably overkill for what I need my computer for (I'm a teacher, word processing, some presentations, internet, lots of tabs, some vid processing) but I'm deathly afraid of buying an MBA and being frustrated with its slowness. I'm using my old MB (2007) and it is slow as all heck and SO annoying.

Thanks!



merrickdrfc
Dec 3, 2011, 02:53 AM
You will notice a massive increase in speed with the 2011 MBA. The SSD coupled with the Sandy-Bridge (Latest Generation) Intel Core iSeries processors will mean that the Air will be much faster than the C2D MBP you are coming from. 4GB RAM is better and if you can afford it get it, however the SSD helps with Swap when the RAM becomes full as the SSD is much quicker to write too rather than a standard HDD

The resolution on both models is very high, 1366 x 768 (11") and 1440 x 900 (13") meaning that even the 11" Air is almost on par with the resolution of the MBP, with the 13" being much higher.

The 1.6 GHz i5 has a feature called turbo boost, which will allow the CPU to over clock its self up to speeds of around 2.8 GHz, with it being 2 generations newer than the C2D you are coming from, the MBA will be much quicker and able to cope with the tasks you require from it.

komoornik
Dec 3, 2011, 03:08 AM
The 1.6 GHz i5 has a feature called turbo boost, which will allow the CPU to over clock its self up to speeds of around 2.8 GHz.

2.3 GHz for one core and 2.0 GHz for two cores.

palpatine
Dec 3, 2011, 07:55 AM
this week i moved from a 13" mbp / 8gb to an 11" mba / 2gb. i originally bought the mbp to process pdfs (ocr, bookmarking, editing, etc.) and it definitely performed that better than the air. in fact, it consistently completed tasks twice as fast as the mba. if i was still doing this kind of work on a daily basis, i wouldn't have gotten the mba.

as for everyday use like opening lots of applications at once, working on presentations, word processing, etc. i saw very little difference. apps open faster on the mba, to be sure, but after that, the performance seems about the same to me. i was really quite worried about having just 2gb. i suppose it wouldn't hurt to have more, but to be honest, for the kind of work i am doing (a teacher as well), 2gb is fine.

in short, the ssd is nice and all, but i think it gets over-hyped. i would say that the differences are negligible. your mileage may vary, of course. however, i doubt you will feel it is slower.

brown.eyed.girl
Dec 4, 2011, 04:15 AM
Thanks all for the advice and weighing in! I'm still feeling a little torn. Went to the Apple store again today to play around with the different models. I think the 11" is just too small (screen size). I tend to have a few different things going at once, and I especially liked to have both a PDF and a Word doc up at once (dividing the screen) when I write papers that need to reference readings. The screen real estate just makes that tough on the 11".

Between the 13" MBA and the 13" MBP - I love the aesthetics and size of the MBA and you guys have me convinced that I won't be seeing a decrease in speed, etc. I guess I'm having a hard time paying an extra $100 for a LOT less storage if I got the 13" MBA. I have an external HD but I'm thinking 128 GB isn't going to be enough....

erasr
Dec 4, 2011, 07:45 AM
I did the same as you and yes I'm struggling with the 128GB storage 3-4 months on. I could get off my bum and buy an external drive though.

As for speed, the Air is way way faster than my MBP 13" 2010. I believe you will see a big difference.

Edit: Just noticed you said 11". Why?! Get the 13" if you've been used to 13" MBP. I have the 13, sorry, that's the one I was talking about.

jbromer
Dec 4, 2011, 08:07 AM
I did the same as you and yes I'm struggling with the 128GB storage 3-4 months on. I could get off my bum and buy an external drive though.

As for speed, the Air is way way faster than my MBP 13" 2010. I believe you will see a big difference.

Edit: Just noticed you said 11". Why?! Get the 13" if you've been used to 13" MBP. I have the 13, sorry, that's the one I was talking about.

My 2 cents:

With regard to speed - my 11" i5 air blows away even my i3 iMac due to the SSD. My C2D macBook is like frozen in time... I don't care about benchmarks and calculation speeds so much, but for real-world performance, you will notice a HUGE difference from the C2D, both from the processor, but again even more from the SSD.

With regard to screen size - This is more a personal preference. I have been very happy with the 11" due to the similar resolution to a 13" macbook or macbook pro. I love that combined with the portability of the 11" size which is barely bigger than an iPad when shut. But ultimately, this is more a judgement call.

Definitely go for the 4GB RAM/128 HD minimum configuration though. In that case, the $100 price difference between the 11 and 13 is almost negligible...

Christopher387A
Dec 4, 2011, 12:01 PM
I agree. It sounds like you would make use of the screen real estate, so the 13" MBA is a better bet. You could always try looking at Best Buy for open box deals if money is a factor. The ones around here are selling the 13" MBA i5 models (base) for $925.

convergent
Dec 4, 2011, 12:29 PM
I think the MBA will be faster, because the affect of the SSD is significant and pervasive in everything you do. I have the 13" MBA with 4G/256G. Pretty much all day long I have the following open simultaneously and its blazing fast:

- Safari with 10-15 tabs
- Firefox with 2-4 tabs
- MS Office 2010 - Excel, Word, and Powerpoint with several files open for each
- Lotus Notes (this is a pretty heavy app)
- Mail
- OmniFocus
- DevonThink Pro Office with 3 databases open
- Adium
- Pathfinder
- Parallels with Win7 and Internet Explorer open with several tabs

Those are open pretty much all the time. I then open these other apps from time to time and do heavy use at times.

- Photoshop CS5
- Lightroom (my databases have around 50K images in some cases)
- iMovie
- Handbrake
- Cyberduck

I think I run a pretty intense load of apps, and often my swap file is up to 4G. The MBA is consistently blazing fast. I came from a MBP with 6G of RAM and 500G disk. I had to clear out some things to get comfortable with the 256G disk, but it hasn't been a problem once I set down and cleared out things I hadn't touched in years.

johnhurley
Dec 4, 2011, 12:31 PM
t
in short, the ssd is nice and all, but i think it gets over-hyped. i would say that the differences are negligible. your mileage may vary, of course. however, i doubt you will feel it is slower.

I for one do not think the speed difference in moving to an ssd is over-hyped.

My guess is that you are feeling the difference between moving from a system with 8 gb of RAM to a system with 2 gb of RAM.

That is a huge change and although you can run Lion on 2 gb does not mean that the experience is anywhere close to optimal.

Just my opinion.

palpatine
Dec 4, 2011, 12:58 PM
I for one do not think the speed difference in moving to an ssd is over-hyped.

My guess is that you are feeling the difference between moving from a system with 8 gb of RAM to a system with 2 gb of RAM.

That is a huge change and although you can run Lion on 2 gb does not mean that the experience is anywhere close to optimal.

Just my opinion.

EDIT: John Hurley is right. On the whole, I am pretty impressed with the 11" MBA base model, and I used it for about a week without seeing any huge difference in performance. As I remarked above, the SSD certainly didn't feel much faster, but overall, it didn't seem any slower either.

However, I think that was because of how I was using it: only a few applications open and using a lot of web-based applications. As soon as I started working seriously with PDFs I noticed a lot of page outs (more than the page ins), and this evening I had several times when it locked up entirely. I did speed tests with my MBP and my MBA and it wasn't even a competition. With one file open and doing something really simple like scrolling through, no problem. But, as soon as I opened another file and started manipulating things (moving pages around, etc.) it pinwheeled and slowed to a crawl.

The processor doesn't have as much power as the one in the MBA, but I think the killer was the RAM (as mentioned above). I would still recommend the base model with 2GB RAM, but only if you are sure that you won't be using processor intensive programs (you wouldn't think a few PDFs would be such a burden). Otherwise, 4GB will be the way to go.

orfeas0
Dec 4, 2011, 01:34 PM
Thanks all for the advice and weighing in! I'm still feeling a little torn. Went to the Apple store again today to play around with the different models. I think the 11" is just too small (screen size). I tend to have a few different things going at once, and I especially liked to have both a PDF and a Word doc up at once (dividing the screen) when I write papers that need to reference readings. The screen real estate just makes that tough on the 11".

Between the 13" MBA and the 13" MBP - I love the aesthetics and size of the MBA and you guys have me convinced that I won't be seeing a decrease in speed, etc. I guess I'm having a hard time paying an extra $100 for a LOT less storage if I got the 13" MBA. I have an external HD but I'm thinking 128 GB isn't going to be enough....

The 11" is small but it has a high resolution (like the 13"mbp).
I got the base model macbook air and the 2gb isn't that much problem, and as of multitasking and screen real estate, OSX Lion with mission control and spaces really helps.

snorkelman
Dec 4, 2011, 04:30 PM
I've owned 2010 MBA 11", 2010 MBP 13"(with SSD), and 2011 13" MBA all with 4GB RAM

Performance wise, provided RAM is equal across all three as mine were, then that's the order I'd rank them in.

The i5 in the 13"MBA is significantly better performer than the C2D in the 2010 13" MBP regardless of the respective clock rates.

If you've already got used to Lion on the 2010 then you shouldn't have any problems, if you're still on Snow Leopard on the 2010 then that's the only potential niggle you might find moving over to the 2011 Air (some folks cant stick it and there's no practical option to run SL on the 2011).

cplush
Dec 4, 2011, 06:06 PM
I just had to decide between a new MBP and MBA. I went with the MBA really due to the portability and SSD. My brother has the MBP (all most recent editions), and the performance is like many have noted above. Mine will open stuff significantly faster than his, but after that they are the same. Unlike him, i am not cringing every time my bag gets banged LOL

brown.eyed.girl
Dec 5, 2011, 01:22 AM
Ok, 13" MBA is out just due to price.

11" MBA (128 GB, 4 GB RAM) vs. 13" MBP (500 GB, 4 GB RAM) - about the same price.

Still the MBA? Or does the MBP win out?

snorkelman
Dec 5, 2011, 06:52 AM
Ok, 13" MBA is out just due to price.

11" MBA (128 GB, 4 GB RAM) vs. 13" MBP (500 GB, 4 GB RAM) - about the same price.

Still the MBA? Or does the MBP win out?

2011 MBP with an SSD yes, its faster again in CPU stakes over 2011 MBA's

2011 MBP with conventional harddisk? will be faster at calc intensive tasks but wont feel anywhere near as snappy as the Air due to the lack of SSD

Only reason I stuck an SSD in our 2010 MBP was I found it unbearably slow at loading up apps etc after using the SSD equipped 2010 MBA

ZipZap
Dec 5, 2011, 08:51 AM
Even a 2010 CD2 MBA performs well with the SSD. Apple and others are still selling refurbs for this model way cheaper.

gdeputy
Dec 5, 2011, 10:52 AM
If I were you I would wait another gen.

When ivy bridge drops upgrade.. there isn't going to be that big of a difference coming from your MBP to the 11" MBA.. if anything buy the new pro refurbished.

You'll be losing color gamut too if thats important at all.

brown.eyed.girl
Dec 5, 2011, 05:33 PM
Another question guys, and thanks so much again. Would it be worth getting a Closeout deal on a 13" MBA, 2.13GHz, 4GB RAM, 256GB Flash Storage, NVIDIA GeForce 320M. However, the memory installed is DDR3 1066MHz compared to 1333MHz of the 2011 model. The processor is also Core 2 Duo only compared to the i-series of the 2011 models.

Same price as the 11" MBA or 13" MBP.

Good deal? Or no?

palpatine
Dec 5, 2011, 06:50 PM
Another question guys, and thanks so much again. Would it be worth getting a Closeout deal on a 13" MBA, 2.13GHz, 4GB RAM, 256GB Flash Storage, NVIDIA GeForce 320M. However, the memory installed is DDR3 1066MHz compared to 1333MHz of the 2011 model. The processor is also Core 2 Duo only compared to the i-series of the 2011 models.

Same price as the 11" MBA or 13" MBP.

Good deal? Or no?

i think what you are asking is whether you should buy the previous model of the mba, which used an ancient processor, ran at least 2 1/2 times slower than the current one, came without a lighted keyboard, and ran on snow leopard.

it doesn't sound like a deal to me at any price...

brown.eyed.girl
Dec 5, 2011, 07:16 PM
i think what you are asking is whether you should buy the previous model of the mba, which used an ancient processor, ran at least 2 1/2 times slower than the current one, came without a lighted keyboard, and ran on snow leopard.

it doesn't sound like a deal to me at any price...

Wait, the difference is that drastic?

It's this one:

http://www.macmall.com/p/Apple-MacBook-Air/product~dpno~8836730~pdp.gigdcjg

palpatine
Dec 5, 2011, 07:26 PM
Wait, the difference is that drastic?

It's this one:

http://www.macmall.com/p/Apple-MacBook-Air/product~dpno~8836730~pdp.gigdcjg

Yep. It's a fine computer for 2010. We're headed into 2012 now. I think most people on the forums would agree.

brown.eyed.girl
Dec 5, 2011, 07:37 PM
Yep. It's a fine computer for 2010. We're headed into 2012 now. I think most people on the forums would agree.

Oh, darn, ok that one's out. Thanks for the info!

I was playing with my friend's 11" MBA today. It's SO portable and light but the screen is so tiny.

My friend has the 13" MBA which looks awesome.

I think I may just get the 13" MBP though.

thekev
Dec 5, 2011, 07:54 PM
There are some inaccuracies in the thread. The SSD doesn't make everything run faster. It quickens things like loading times, booting/rebooting, waking from sleep, launching applications, and saving really large files. If everything is kept in ram, the SSD has very little effect. Now you say you're reluctantly replacing your machine. What is making you want to replace it?

I would suggest looking at pricing from third party retailers which is sometimes less. If you buy directly from Apple, make sure you use the education option on their site for better pricing rather than buying it through the retail store. That would save you at least $100 or so. If it was me personally, I wouldn't look at the 11". No one likes a small display. If they make a 15" Air like the rumors suggest, I expect it to be very popular.

Oh and the old Macbook Air (the original one) truly sucked. I wouldn't touch it. Both the design of the Air and Intel's ultra low voltage processors have improved greatly since then. Also that pricing at macmall is absolutely awful. It's almost as much as the new one.

palpatine
Dec 5, 2011, 08:24 PM
There are some inaccuracies in the thread. The SSD doesn't make everything run faster. It quickens things like loading times, booting/rebooting, waking from sleep, launching applications, and saving really large files. If everything is kept in ram, the SSD has very little effect. Now you say you're reluctantly replacing your machine. What is making you want to replace it?
ssd is ok. doesn't live up to the hype for me. i may purchase one for my mbp someday. but, no rush.

I would suggest looking at pricing from third party retailers which is sometimes less. If you buy directly from Apple, make sure you use the education option on their site for better pricing rather than buying it through the retail store. That would save you at least $100 or so. If it was me personally, I wouldn't look at the 11". No one likes a small display. If they make a 15" Air like the rumors suggest, I expect it to be very popular.
i love the small display. i won't complain about 13 or 15, of course, but neither of those will fit in my man bag :)
amazon has nice deals sometimes. it's good to check there frequently.

Oh and the old Macbook Air (the original one) truly sucked. I wouldn't touch it. Both the design of the Air and Intel's ultra low voltage processors have improved greatly since then. Also that pricing at macmall is absolutely awful. It's almost as much as the new one.
i don't know if it sucked, but it was an old processor even when they put it in the 2010. i agree about the price. that was ugly.

thekev
Dec 5, 2011, 08:54 PM
ssd is ok. doesn't live up to the hype for me. i may purchase one for my mbp someday. but, no rush.


i love the small display. i won't complain about 13 or 15, of course, but neither of those will fit in my man bag :)
amazon has nice deals sometimes. it's good to check there frequently.


i don't know if it sucked, but it was an old processor even when they put it in the 2010. i agree about the price. that was ugly.

I was just trying to explain the hype with SSDs. For many things the difference isn't even noticeable. I run disk warrior on my drives, and that alone pretty much alleviates the spinning wheel issues with drive activity. This is why I've said Apple should have licensed that code from them years ago. Everyone likes features that improve smoothness/stability. SSDs would have been incredibly useful if they came a few years earlier. 32 bit applications really hit a wall on performance with large files. These days you can just go with a massive quantity of ram and the system will use it.

I get that the 11" is effortless to transport. It's just that it can feel limited on screen real estate. I have a 21" and 24" display in front of me here (1600x1200 and 1900x1200). I do like screen real estate.

The older macbook air was significantly more expensive and it definitely lacked the snappy feeling of the current one. It was listed for around $1100 in that link, and it's just simply not a good buy at that price. Laptops still aren't fast enough for me personally, and they don't really offer enough storage.

I'm waiting to see what the options look like for a new mac pro. I've used Airs owned by other people. It's not just an issue of speed. They lack enough storage and ram for me. I doubt at least the ram part would be an issue for the OP.

brown.eyed.girl
Dec 5, 2011, 11:10 PM
Just spent about 1.5 hours in the Apple store playing with the different MacBooks (and walking back and forth between the 11" MBA and the 13" Pro). I'd never considered my old MBP heavy until I really started playing with the Air. Oh man. What a beautiful little machine.

I think I'm about 99% sold on the 11" Air right now...

palpatine
Dec 6, 2011, 12:20 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

What is this about disk warrior? I don't understand how it would improve system performance.

Desktops with gobs of ram, memory, screens, and lots of cores are nice. But, I am too peripatetic to use them anymore. The Mbp is pretty nice for the size.

The 11" is beautiful. Personally, I don't see a huge difference btw the 13 MBA and Mbp in terms of size, but the 11" really stands out. I am so sad that the 2gb base model didn't work out for me :(

I'll give a plug here for the Mbp, which will give you the most bang for your buck and potential for future upgrades (ram and ssd). Just a thought.

thekev
Dec 6, 2011, 01:43 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

What is this about disk warrior? I don't understand how it would improve system performance.


It's not like it increases the throughput or anything. It's just that it's cleared up issues consistently across different machines where I previously encountered the spinning wheel launching applications or navigating the finder. It doesn't really do anything with the data. It just tidies up the directories. The file system used in OSX is pretty dated. Apple tried to come up with something new a while back. You can probably google it if you like. I can't remember the exact name. Anyway I probably just continue to use it because it's helped maintain drive performance in the past, as in it's alleviated problems with disks hanging. It's just made for a slightly smoother experience. Note that I said smoothness/stability, not speed.

jterp7
Dec 8, 2011, 10:03 AM
Oh, darn, ok that one's out. Thanks for the info!

I was playing with my friend's 11" MBA today. It's SO portable and light but the screen is so tiny.

My friend has the 13" MBA which looks awesome.

I think I may just get the 13" MBP though.

unless you really need it to be that light and portable I think the 13" MBA is more useful. More battery life, physically larger screen, plus more resolution ~ same resolution as the base 15.4" mbp

For me it's counter intuitive to have a smaller laptop with worse battery life. Oh and something else to think about, the 13" 2010 MBA's have absurdly good battery life. http://www.anandtech.com/show/3991/apples-2010-macbook-air-11-13inch-reviewed/9

palpatine
Dec 8, 2011, 10:20 AM
unless you really need it to be that light and portable I think the 13" MBA is more useful. More battery life, physically larger screen, plus more resolution ~ same resolution as the base 15.4" mbp

For me it's counter intuitive to have a smaller laptop with worse battery life. Oh and something else to think about, the 13" 2010 MBA's have absurdly good battery life. http://www.anandtech.com/show/3991/apples-2010-macbook-air-11-13inch-reviewed/9

The MBP and MBA battery life is the same.

The screens are the same size (as far as I know). Personally, I find the MBP to be a much better screen (no bezel, colors pop, etc.), but it does have much lower resolution.

I would strongly recommend not getting the 2010 MBAs because the processor is so outdated. I can't imagine battery life being worth the performance loss.

The poor battery life of the 11" is a bit of a bummer, but frankly, I don't even know how such an incredibly small and thin computer even manages to have a battery at all!

brown.eyed.girl
Dec 8, 2011, 10:22 AM
So I went ahead and got the 11" MBA. With the holiday sales season, the Apple store told me I had until Jan. 9 to return it if I didn't like it and no restocking fee so I decided to go ahed and give it a try.

I've only had it for 24 hours so this is not a comprehensive review.

What I love:

How light it is! Wow, it's so tiny and portable, BUT the screen size doesn't bother me (since I have all my apps in full-screen mode and I'm getting used to Lion and all the gestures).
Form factor - what a beautiful little computer.
Super super fast, especially compared to my 2010 13" MBP.
Screen resolution - the colors are SO bright, especially compared to my 2007 Macbook, which is what I had been using the last couple weeks.

What I don't love:

Battery life. I'm really undecided on this. I want this computer with me everywhere because it's so small and the short(er) battery life is very possibly going to bug me.



I don't want to spend the extra cash on the 13" MBA but I also can't imagine going back to the MBP after using this computer. I wish the battery life was better - argh!

What to do, what to do? I'll need to decide in the next month or so.

If it wasn't for the battery issue, I'd be perfectly happy with this computer. It's really an amazing piece of tech.

jterp7
Dec 8, 2011, 10:30 AM
So I went ahead and got the 11" MBA. With the holiday sales season, the Apple store told me I had until Jan. 9 to return it if I didn't like it and no restocking fee so I decided to go ahed and give it a try.

I've only had it for 24 hours so this is not a comprehensive review.

What I love:

How light it is! Wow, it's so tiny and portable, BUT the screen size doesn't bother me (since I have all my apps in full-screen mode and I'm getting used to Lion and all the gestures).
Form factor - what a beautiful little computer.
Super super fast, especially compared to my 2010 13" MBP.
Screen resolution - the colors are SO bright, especially compared to my 2007 Macbook, which is what I had been using the last couple weeks.

What I don't love:

Battery life. I'm really undecided on this. I want this computer with me everywhere because it's so small and the short(er) battery life is very possibly going to bug me.



I don't want to spend the extra cash on the 13" MBA but I also can't imagine going back to the MBP after using this computer. I wish the battery life was better - argh!

What to do, what to do? I'll need to decide in the next month or so.

If it wasn't for the battery issue, I'd be perfectly happy with this computer. It's really an amazing piece of tech.

considering you have a long time to decide, simply use it as you would normally for a month to see if you are truly bothered by it. Oh and full screen mode in the 13" is even better;)

jmgregory1
Dec 8, 2011, 10:36 AM
Thanks all for the advice and weighing in! I'm still feeling a little torn. Went to the Apple store again today to play around with the different models. I think the 11" is just too small (screen size). I tend to have a few different things going at once, and I especially liked to have both a PDF and a Word doc up at once (dividing the screen) when I write papers that need to reference readings. The screen real estate just makes that tough on the 11".

Between the 13" MBA and the 13" MBP - I love the aesthetics and size of the MBA and you guys have me convinced that I won't be seeing a decrease in speed, etc. I guess I'm having a hard time paying an extra $100 for a LOT less storage if I got the 13" MBA. I have an external HD but I'm thinking 128 GB isn't going to be enough....

I had the same worry, but I too have an external drive and after taking the time to go through my old hd, I realized that there was a lot of stuff I just didn't need day to day access to that was taking up a lot of space. I cleared the drive and now have about 50 gb's of free space. The speed is dramatic - and for those that comment about the 2010 with 2gb or ram - you have to know that it's day and night between the 2010 and 2011 mba's. I've had no issues with my 13" base model (2011) and would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone. My wife just got a base 13" mbp from work to replace her 2006 15" mbp - I did the setup and it was a dog compared to my mba. Sure - it has 500 gb hd, but the thing was really slow in just about everything I did in setting it up.

brown.eyed.girl
Dec 8, 2011, 11:04 AM
Yes, definitely going to test this out. What I need to do is see how long it goes if I'm really just using Word and some light browsing, since that's when I mostly need a longer battery life (I'm a student and I have a ton of papers to write). I'm also curious to see how long it lasts when I'm playing videos on the plane/in the airport when I fly home in a couple weeks.

johnhurley
Dec 8, 2011, 11:14 AM
Yes, definitely going to test this out. What I need to do is see how long it goes if I'm really just using Word and some light browsing, since that's when I mostly need a longer battery life (I'm a student and I have a ton of papers to write). I'm also curious to see how long it lasts when I'm playing videos on the plane/in the airport when I fly home in a couple weeks.

Those are definitely the 2 extremes in use case scenarios for an mba.

I have the 2011 mba 13 and it made it thru about 4 hours of playing video ( VLC ) on a flight out to SF this fall. Pretty good really was hoping for a little more but no complaints. ( Watched the new Thor first then most of something else ).

Guessing a 2011 mba 11 won't make it nearly as long on a plane but it will fit in somewhat easier in your average non first class airplane seat. Still the 13 is quite workable on an airplane ride.

Like you said more important for you is how long you can use word etc while not plugged in.

Now what I really want is a 15 inch mba for all my normal usage and an 11 inch for just airplane usage but the 11 inch has to get the battery life of the 13!

palpatine
Dec 8, 2011, 04:16 PM
I don't want to spend the extra cash on the 13" MBA but I also can't imagine going back to the MBP after using this computer. I wish the battery life was better - argh!

You are comparing apples and oranges. the 2011 mbp is far better than the 2010 mbp, and for the same amount of money as the 13" mba, you could put in an ssd if you'd like.

Anyhow, whatever you choose, the iPad is going to be better :)

I am not kidding. I do almost all of my work on it (graduate student / researcher / lecturer), and I never travel with my computer anymore. The iPad has double the battery life of the mba AND it can be supplemented with an external battery pack (about the size of an iPhone) that will give it a few more hours if needed. I regularly fly internationally and I actually haven't had to use the extra battery, but it is nice to know it is there.

At least consider an iPad + Bluetooth keyboard + incase origami workstation. Same size and weight as the mba, but less money, more battery, it can be used as an ereader, and you can take handwritten notes on it. It will not REPLACE a computer, but it could SUPPLEMENT your 2010 mbp.

jbromer
Dec 8, 2011, 08:29 PM
Yes, definitely going to test this out. What I need to do is see how long it goes if I'm really just using Word and some light browsing, since that's when I mostly need a longer battery life (I'm a student and I have a ton of papers to write). I'm also curious to see how long it lasts when I'm playing videos on the plane/in the airport when I fly home in a couple weeks.

If I read correctly, you got the 4/128 11" right? If so, going to 13" is just $100. I know money is money, but you seem really torn over the screen size and battery life. I love my 11" and think the screen size is fine, but FWIW, it seems to me like you would be happier with the 13. It's just one less nice dinner out right? :)

akdj
Dec 12, 2011, 01:32 PM
So I went ahead and got the 11" MBA. With the holiday sales season, the Apple store told me I had until Jan. 9 to return it if I didn't like it and no restocking fee so I decided to go ahed and give it a try.

I've only had it for 24 hours so this is not a comprehensive review.

What I love:

How light it is! Wow, it's so tiny and portable, BUT the screen size doesn't bother me (since I have all my apps in full-screen mode and I'm getting used to Lion and all the gestures).
Form factor - what a beautiful little computer.
Super super fast, especially compared to my 2010 13" MBP.
Screen resolution - the colors are SO bright, especially compared to my 2007 Macbook, which is what I had been using the last couple weeks.

What I don't love:

Battery life. I'm really undecided on this. I want this computer with me everywhere because it's so small and the short(er) battery life is very possibly going to bug me.



I don't want to spend the extra cash on the 13" MBA but I also can't imagine going back to the MBP after using this computer. I wish the battery life was better - argh!

What to do, what to do? I'll need to decide in the next month or so.

If it wasn't for the battery issue, I'd be perfectly happy with this computer. It's really an amazing piece of tech.

As far as battery life, I bought one of these (the "100" version, albeit the same type of external battery as I also use it for my iPad and iPhone while traveling) http://www.hypershop.com/HyperJuice-External-Battery-for-MacBook-iPad-60Wh-p/mbp-060.htm
Check it out...it's going to be a $169 investment, but a significant boost to battery performance and "peace of mind"

I'm with you on the screen size. I actually ended up with both of this year's Airs right after launch. Both are 4gigs of RAM and 256gig SSDs...but my 13" is the core i5 and the 11" is the core i7 ultimate. I've had them almost 6 months and I STILL can't decide which one I like more!!! LOL...regardless of battery life, the 11" is a work of art when it comes to computer manufacturing. Easily my favorite computing device I've EVER purchased. Even compared to the 13" Air and my iPad2...the 11" Air is an Awesome little machine!!!

I think you chose wisely...but as you mentioned yourself, you've got an extended "return" period. Take advantage of it...and check out the HyperJuice link. These guys (and Mophie if you're looking for something for your iPhone) are awesome...both their products and support!

Jer

brown.eyed.girl
Dec 12, 2011, 11:09 PM
You know, battery life isn't that bad.

It lasted quite a while (ugh, I wasn't keeping close track so sorry for the lack of quantitative data!) while I was primarily using it for papers (Word, e-mail, not very much web browsing) and I was pleasantly surprised by how long it lasted just playing videos. I'm going to keep the 11". It's SO portable, so light, and the screen doesn't bother me at all.

Thanks all for weighing in on this thread! You guys gave me a lot to think about, and if it hadn't been for this thread and multiple visits to the Apple store, I doubt I would've gone for the MBA at all. I'm very pleased with it though! Now to find the perfect case!

ethics101
Dec 12, 2011, 11:21 PM
If you are doing actual work, the iPad cannot be a replacement for a laptop. :rolleyes: Sure if you're taking quick notes or reading PDFs, but when it comes down to writing reports or working on presentations you better have a laptop. Please don't take that guys's advice. The iPad is a complement, not a replacement.

palpatine
Dec 13, 2011, 12:01 AM
If you are doing actual work, the iPad cannot be a replacement for a laptop. :rolleyes: Sure if you're taking quick notes or reading PDFs, but when it comes down to writing reports or working on presentations you better have a laptop. Please don't take that guys's advice. The iPad is a complement, not a replacement.

op got an mba. it's a great computer. i'm sure she'll love it.

as i often say (in this thread as well!), the ipad should be thought of as a supplement or complement to a computer, but not a replacement. that said, i wouldn't underestimate its potential.

i've written several things on my ipad (essays, reports, and published material). i've made presentations. and, i've given presentations with the ipad.

jojoba
Dec 13, 2011, 03:53 AM
op got an mba. it's a great computer. i'm sure she'll love it.

as i often say (in this thread as well!), the ipad should be thought of as a supplement or complement to a computer, but not a replacement. that said, i wouldn't underestimate its potential.

i've written several things on my ipad (essays, reports, and published material). i've made presentations. and, i've given presentations with the ipad.

I'm using the iPad quite extensively for work, too, and it was the main reason why I got a 13" mba rather than the 11" because it covers my portability issues on a day to day basis and most of my work needs if I only travel for a few days (I bring an additional laptop for longer work trips). It's great for academic work with pdf-s, and I love the long battery life and the easy internet access with 3G. If I had unlimited amounts of money, I'd get a mba 11" too, though. It's a truly beautiful machine and SO light. Very, very nice.

austinguy23
Dec 17, 2011, 11:00 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

You know, battery life isn't that bad.

It lasted quite a while (ugh, I wasn't keeping close track so sorry for the lack of quantitative data!) while I was primarily using it for papers (Word, e-mail, not very much web browsing) and I was pleasantly surprised by how long it lasted just playing videos. I'm going to keep the 11". It's SO portable, so light, and the screen doesn't bother me at all.

Thanks all for weighing in on this thread! You guys gave me a lot to think about, and if it hadn't been for this thread and multiple visits to the Apple store, I doubt I would've gone for the MBA at all. I'm very pleased with it though! Now to find the perfect case!

Turn down the screen brightness and your battery will last quite a bit longer but you probably know that.

bigkevracer
Dec 18, 2011, 02:47 PM
I'm in the same boat looking at either at MBA or MBP 13".

I currently have an i5 iMac and run an external monitor, giving me 2 x 22" monitors. This is my biggest concern, which of these will be able to still give me two external monitors.

I believe I can run one via Thunderbolt on MBA and I could do one via a USB adaptor (no idea how slow these are, but I'm guessing they're fine for web/email, etc).

Does the MBP support anything better? I'm leaning towards the MBA unless the MBP can give me some benefit in multiple monitors.

All of this is a compromise really, but both of these should be ok for what I need to do, as long as I can get the monitors sorted out.

I work for an NGO so they're unlikely to buy me two Thunderbolt monitors when I can get near enough.

Badandy
Dec 22, 2011, 01:08 PM
What to do, what to do? I'll need to decide in the next month or so.



You should return it and get your old computer. Why are you even buying a new computer if you can't afford the $200 difference between a 13" and 11" MBA? You had/have a perfectly functioning one.

brown.eyed.girl
Dec 22, 2011, 11:10 PM
You should return it and get your old computer. Why are you even buying a new computer if you can't afford the $200 difference between a 13" and 11" MBA? You had/have a perfectly functioning one.

Judge much?

Actually, old computer was not functioning (fried logic board, water, you can imagine) so didn't have a choice. Of course, the question wasn't "Should I replace?" it was "Which one?"