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View Full Version : Which Macbook Air Should I get?




kdipaolo
Mar 19, 2012, 03:23 PM
Hi,

I'm looking for a more portable computer to compliment my imac. My imac has plenty of speed and storage space I just need something for when I am on the road. I work as a free lance web/graphic designer. Can a macbook air handle adobe programs and run smoothly for lite/moderate work? I've been told they could. Also, Im looking to buy a refurbished one and can't decide which would be a better choice for me. Would you mind helping me decide?

Refurbished MacBook Air 1.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo - $849
Originally released October 2010
11.6-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display

4GB memory

64GB flash storage

NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics
FaceTime camera

Refurbished MacBook Air 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 - $849
Originally released July 2011
11.6-inch (diagonal) high-resolution LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
2GB memory
64GB flash storage
Thunderbolt port with support for up to 2560-by-1600 resolution
FaceTime camera
Intel HD Graphics 3000

Refurbished MacBook Air 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 - $999
Originally released July 2011
11.6-inch (diagonal) high-resolution LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
4GB memory
128GB flash storage
Thunderbolt port with support for up to 2560-by-1600 resolution
FaceTime camera
Intel HD Graphics 3000

I would like to go the more cheaper route, but I obviously would like to make sure that the less powerful one could handle adobe type programs.

Thanks so much guys!



bunlung
Mar 19, 2012, 03:28 PM
If i were you i would just get the 1.6 with the i5 one, because the 1.4 it's the older model . Plus by the price that you suggest i think you could easily find some deal on Craigslist or a lot cheaper. Like the 64bg i5 1.6 one i almost gonna have a deal on 750$ only, and this machine is still under the warranty too.

ixodes
Mar 19, 2012, 03:37 PM
I have both the 11" and 13".

Unless you absolutely must have the 11", I would strongly encourage you to consider the 13". The difference in weight, footprint and overall heft is very little.

The increased display size makes a huge difference when comes to reading anything on the computer. The amount of scrolling required on the 11" for web pages, reports, even notes, is simply frustrating.

The extra amount of view-able information the 13" offers is quite dramatic.

I'm certainly not trying to talk you out of the 11". Simply pointing out a difference that really surprised me after using the smaller one for just a few days.

Good luck on your choice. Enjoy :)

gbredneck
Mar 19, 2012, 04:02 PM
I also have the matching 11 and 13 inch pair. I would agree look very carefully at the 13 inch, over the 11 inch model.

gmikesell
Mar 19, 2012, 04:03 PM
I have both the 11" and 13".

Unless you absolutely must have the 11", I would strongly encourage you to consider the 13". The difference in weight, footprint and overall heft is very little.

The increased display size makes a huge difference when comes to reading anything on the computer. The amount of scrolling required on the 11" for web pages, reports, even notes, is simply frustrating.

The extra amount of view-able information the 13" offers is quite dramatic.

I'm certainly not trying to talk you out of the 11". Simply pointing out a difference that really surprised me after using the smaller one for just a few days.

Good luck on your choice. Enjoy :)

I completely agree with ixodes! The 13" sounds like it would be much more suitable for what you do, particularly in regard to the display. Plus, the 13" has a longer battery life.

jmgregory1
Mar 19, 2012, 04:19 PM
Sure, I'll bite on this too - I wouldn't get either the 2010 model or the lesser of the i5 11". You need 4gb of ram and 64 gb of ssd won't be enough unless it's just going to be a giant iPod or sort of iPad.

Frankly, I agree with others - look at the 2011 13" airs. For the small weight difference, improved screen and longer lasting battery, it's just the better option, imho.

kdipaolo
Mar 19, 2012, 06:41 PM
hmmmm okay...it sounds like the 13 inch 2011 models are what I should go for...I just wish they were 1000+ refurbished but I guess you get what you pay for...

gmikesell
Mar 20, 2012, 07:10 AM
hmmmm okay...it sounds like the 13 inch 2011 models are what I should go for...I just wish they were 1000+ refurbished but I guess you get what you pay for...

Just looked at the Apple store refurbed listings and I'm seeing this for $1099:

Refurbished MacBook Air 1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
Originally released July 2011
13.3-inch (diagonal) high-resolution LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
4GB memory
128GB flash storage
Thunderbolt port with support for up to 2560-by-1600 resolution
FaceTime camera
Intel HD Graphics 3000

This is the one I got a couple weeks ago and I ended up giving my hi-end PC laptop to my wife and driving the MB Air full time. Just LOVE it!

theSeb
Mar 20, 2012, 07:38 AM
I wouldn't get anything with 2 GB of RAM or 64 GB of storage. It will be a frustrating experience.

TraceyS/FL
Mar 20, 2012, 07:50 AM
I have both the 11" and 13".

Unless you absolutely must have the 11", I would strongly encourage you to consider the 13". The difference in weight, footprint and overall heft is very little.

The increased display size makes a huge difference when comes to reading anything on the computer. The amount of scrolling required on the 11" for web pages, reports, even notes, is simply frustrating.

The extra amount of view-able information the 13" offers is quite dramatic.

I'm certainly not trying to talk you out of the 11". Simply pointing out a difference that really surprised me after using the smaller one for just a few days.

Good luck on your choice. Enjoy :)

This is actually very personal - I can't see for *me* scrolling being a difference with the 11" - i'm used to using my iPad1 most of the time! The 11" will be a step up!

Now, considering what the OP wants to do - he might prefer the 13". I'd highly suggest some quality time with them at a store before buying.

I'd have to agree with the not going with less than 4gb on the RAM.

kdipaolo
Mar 20, 2012, 08:02 AM
Just looked at the Apple store refurbed listings and I'm seeing this for $1099:

Refurbished MacBook Air 1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
Originally released July 2011
13.3-inch (diagonal) high-resolution LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
4GB memory
128GB flash storage
Thunderbolt port with support for up to 2560-by-1600 resolution
FaceTime camera
Intel HD Graphics 3000

This is the one I got a couple weeks ago and I ended up giving my hi-end PC laptop to my wife and driving the MB Air full time. Just LOVE it!

sorry i meant to say I wish they weren't 1000+ but I dont mind paying a couple hundred more for a computer that will run my programs fast and smooth.

Thanks for you advice.

gentlefury
Mar 20, 2012, 09:51 AM
The $999 one is the best deal of the bunch...but if you want to go cheaper get the i5...less ram is less important than the cpu...the C2D is garbage.

swacksman
Mar 20, 2012, 09:57 AM
I ordered one of these below and it should be delivered tomorrow.

Refurbished MacBook Air 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 - $999
Originally released July 2011
11.6-inch (diagonal) high-resolution LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
4GB memory
128GB flash storage
Thunderbolt port with support for up to 2560-by-1600 resolution
FaceTime camera
Intel HD Graphics 3000


Checked out both at the Apple store after also looking at Windows Ultrabooks. I have an iPad, but really prefer a keyboard, and the ability to do true multi-tasking. I wanted something very light. The 11" MBA doesn't weigh much more than an iPad with a cover. Add a keyboard to the iPad and it makes more sense to use the MBA. Although the 13" does have more screen real estate, the resolution on the 11" is similar to most 13" Ultrabooks. The MBA is not meant to be a primary machine.

It always comes down to personal preference and what you're going to use it for. Personally, I would be happy with either. Good luck!

gentlefury
Mar 20, 2012, 10:11 AM
I ordered one of these below and it should be delivered tomorrow.

Refurbished MacBook Air 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 - $999
Originally released July 2011
11.6-inch (diagonal) high-resolution LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
4GB memory
128GB flash storage
Thunderbolt port with support for up to 2560-by-1600 resolution
FaceTime camera
Intel HD Graphics 3000


Checked out both at the Apple store after also looking at Windows Ultrabooks. I have an iPad, but really prefer a keyboard, and the ability to do true multi-tasking. I wanted something very light. The 11" MBA doesn't weigh much more than an iPad with a cover. Add a keyboard to the iPad and it makes more sense to use the MBA. Although the 13" does have more screen real estate, the resolution on the 11" is similar to most 13" Ultrabooks. The MBA is not meant to be a primary machine.

It always comes down to personal preference and what you're going to use it for. Personally, I would be happy with either. Good luck!

Thats the one I have and its amazing!

kdipaolo
Mar 20, 2012, 11:54 AM
Im going to the Apple store again today to decide between the 13 and 11.

rebby
Mar 20, 2012, 12:44 PM
I wouldn't get anything with 2 GB of RAM or 64 GB of storage. It will be a frustrating experience.

Exactly what I was going to say. You will not be happy w/only 2GB of RAM the first time that you launch PS.

Whatever you do, get 4GB of RAM!

gentlefury
Mar 20, 2012, 01:06 PM
Exactly what I was going to say. You will not be happy w/only 2GB of RAM the first time that you launch PS.

Whatever you do, get 4GB of RAM!

I agree that 2GB isn't enough for an advanced user...but the C2D is even worse. The lowest you should go is i5....so if that means 2GB that is better...but I would say 4GB i5 is the best way to go!

ixodes
Mar 20, 2012, 01:26 PM
Im going to the Apple store again today to decide between the 13 and 11.
Here's another thought I wanted to share with you.

Often we set our sights too low. It's very easy to do.

You are buying a laptop, not an iPad or other iDevice, so my point is you will find that even if you buy an 11" you are going to really enjoy it.

So why am I suggesting you give serious consideration to the 13" size before making a final decision? Because once you own one of these fantastic new MBA's you are going to find you want to do more... than you originally intended.

These are very fast and fun to use. You may at that point, be wishing you would have bought the 13" for it's larger display .... that's what I found my experience being. Therefore I bought a 13 and really enjoy it.

So think carefully before you make the final decision. It is indeed personal preference and again I an not trying to dissuade you from the 11". Just making a point to help you decide.

Cheers ... :)

rebby
Mar 20, 2012, 02:01 PM
I agree that 2GB isn't enough for an advanced user...but the C2D is even worse. The lowest you should go is i5....so if that means 2GB that is better...but I would say 4GB i5 is the best way to go!

I don't know about that. I've been very happy with my C2D system. Even running Aperture and Photoshop CS5. On the other hand, if I were to buy one today, I'd go w/the i7 (which, obviously, wasn't an option for me a year and half ago).

kdipaolo
Mar 20, 2012, 02:02 PM
These are all great answers...i've pretty much settled on the fact that i need 4 GBs and a Core i5 but keep in mind this would be my secondary computer I still have a powerful iMac that im typing on right now. So i dont need it to haul all my work load, but your right I think i will want to do more and more work on it once I get my hands on it!

rebby
Mar 20, 2012, 02:16 PM
These are all great answers...i've pretty much settled on the fact that i need 4 GBs and a Core i5 but keep in mind this would be my secondary computer I still have a powerful iMac that im typing on right now. So i dont need it to haul all my work load, but your right I think i will want to do more and more work on it once I get my hands on it!

That's been the scenario for me as well. Don't get me wrong, I love the 17" MBP but, a lot of times, I'd rather use the 11" Air. For the vast majority of my day to day work, the Air does the job just fine. When I really need horsepower though, there is no substitute for a more powerful machine.

kdipaolo
Mar 20, 2012, 04:38 PM
Okay so im typing on the 11 in MBA at the store and I'm not going to lie I really like the 11 in. The key board seems like its the same size as the 13 and its just more compact. Am I stupid for liking the 11 in?

So I'm down to:

Refurbished MacBook Air 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 - $999
Originally released July 2011
11.6-inch (diagonal) high-resolution LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
4GB memory
128GB flash storage
Thunderbolt port with support for up to 2560-by-1600 resolution
FaceTime camera
Intel HD Graphics 3000


Refurbished MacBook Air 1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 - $1099
Originally released July 2011
13.3-inch (diagonal) high-resolution LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
4GB memory
128GB flash storage
Thunderbolt port with support for up to 2560-by-1600 resolution
FaceTime camera
Intel HD Graphics 3000

Im leaning towards the 11 in but the only thing that scares me is for 100 dollars more I could get a bigger screen and a +0.1 processing speed.

im torn...