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Old Oct 24, 2012, 08:51 AM   #1
zeiter
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Dilemma

Hi there,

I am sorry I am about to ask for advice again but I am really in a dilemma right now. Here is my story!

I have an early 2008 macbook pro (silver keys) running the lastest ML with 4GB of ram and a 200gb HDD (70gb left including 50gb music). I also have an external usb2 1TB drive for my time machine and videos I want to keep. I use it in clamshell mode 100% of the time because the screen is broken. The computer is connected to a Dell U2312HM IPS monitor which reproduces nice colors. The machine itself is become sluggish even though I do not use all the ram...it usually have about 500-600mb of free ram. The fans almost always kick in and when I watch videos in youtube and the 1080p videos are sluggish as hell. Anyways, I will buy the family a new dslr for christmas and I plan on doing a lot of photography edition so I'm in needs of a new computer. NO, I am not a power user, but I need a good computer that will serve me well for the next 3-4 years.

My wife just started her Master's degree and she bought a 2012 128ssd 8gb MBA. I am using it while typing right now. She doesn't really use it all the time, so she said I can use it! I really like the battery life and portability but yeah I don't especially like the screen (viewing angles) but I can adjust.

When the 15 inch retina mbp was announced (before my wife got her mba), I was going to buy it until I saw the threads about the scrolling, IR and whatnot, it's a lot of money. Almost $2500 including tax! I read reviews and the Anandtech review make me step back saying Haswell would perform better because it has a better gpu than the HD4000. In the meantime, my wife gets her MBA and I start loving this computer. It's light and battery life is really nice compared to the 45 minutes I was getting with my macbook pro after 3 years lol.

Then I used to like a lot more the 13 inch form factor, so when I read that Apple would release a 13'' Rmbp, i said...yes it might be at like 1499 with ssd and stuff...BUT NO, 1699+tx with only 128SSD and no more graphic power than MBA..BUT BUT i love the retina display and I think in the future, this is going to be mainstream, not just yet.

The dilemma comes from the fact that I would need a new computer right now to do what I'd like to do. I can still get by using my 08 mbp and my wife 2012mba until next summer...but it would be nice to have something working on my own. I have a decent job but let's say I can't throw $2000 every year or 2 on a computer so it needs to keep me company for at least 3-4 years. I'm afraid to spend $2000 right now (mba 2012 256ssd 8gb) and then next summer, the haswell version of rmbp will be much more powerfull to carry the retina display, it will lower its price of have a 256ssd in the initial configuration.

So, should I buy a 2012 mba right now and be happy or wait for haswell RMBP 13''/MBA 2013 or something..

thanks for your inputs
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 09:23 AM   #2
jmgregory1
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Just buy the Air now. Worrying about what may come is pointless. Yes, the next version will be better - that's to be expected. But so what? If you're doing basic things, you won't see some huge performance gain from the next processor. I lived with (and worked on) an '07 15" mbp until last year when I finally was ready to update. Got the base 13" air and have loved it since then.

I felt no desire to update to the 2012 version because the '11 does everything I need as fast as I can expect it to be. A faster chip isn't going to make me work faster and I'm not playing games on it, so I don't need better graphics performance.

Buy now and if you get caught up in an update frenzy, just sell your one year old 2012 Air next year, which you'll be able to do at close to what you paid and get the new one. That's part of the allure of Apple products - it's not like they completely lose their value like most pc's do. Even several year old models hold their value well (mba's are probably the exception given the original models were way overpriced for what they were), but overall Apple computers are a solid investment.
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 09:32 AM   #3
zeiter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post
Just buy the Air now. Worrying about what may come is pointless. Yes, the next version will be better - that's to be expected. But so what? If you're doing basic things, you won't see some huge performance gain from the next processor. I lived with (and worked on) an '07 15" mbp until last year when I finally was ready to update. Got the base 13" air and have loved it since then.

I felt no desire to update to the 2012 version because the '11 does everything I need as fast as I can expect it to be. A faster chip isn't going to make me work faster and I'm not playing games on it, so I don't need better graphics performance.

Buy now and if you get caught up in an update frenzy, just sell your one year old 2012 Air next year, which you'll be able to do at close to what you paid and get the new one. That's part of the allure of Apple products - it's not like they completely lose their value like most pc's do. Even several year old models hold their value well (mba's are probably the exception given the original models were way overpriced for what they were), but overall Apple computers are a solid investment.
Yes I know..what makes me think is that I would really like a retina display..maybe i just think it's way more than what it really is...
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 11:54 AM   #4
jmgregory1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeiter View Post
Yes I know..what makes me think is that I would really like a retina display..maybe i just think it's way more than what it really is...
I'm not denying the allure of a great "retina" screen to look at and work on, but I can tell you that I NEVER find myself thinking that the 13" mba screen should be better. I calibrated it (to my liking) right after I got it and couldn't ask for me at this point.

The one thing I am actually considering is to get a TB Cinema display for use when I'm working in the office. Screen size, I find, is more the issue when I'm sitting at my desk trying to navigate 6 different spreadsheets, while checking emails and messages. More pixels won't help that. Might be something for you to consider.
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 12:05 PM   #5
Lukewarmwinner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeiter View Post
Yes I know..what makes me think is that I would really like a retina display..maybe i just think it's way more than what it really is...
Knowing the price of rMBP the MBA with a retina would be pretty expensive. Also retina might be the thing differencing the pro from air, so it's not curtain it ever will. I'm in the same dilemma and dicide to buy a MBA now
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 12:43 PM   #6
Calot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeiter View Post
Hi there,

I am sorry I am about to ask for advice again but I am really in a dilemma right now. Here is my story!

I have an early 2008 macbook pro (silver keys) running the lastest ML with 4GB of ram and a 200gb HDD (70gb left including 50gb music). I also have an external usb2 1TB drive for my time machine and videos I want to keep. I use it in clamshell mode 100% of the time because the screen is broken. The computer is connected to a Dell U2312HM IPS monitor which reproduces nice colors. The machine itself is become sluggish even though I do not use all the ram...it usually have about 500-600mb of free ram. The fans almost always kick in and when I watch videos in youtube and the 1080p videos are sluggish as hell. Anyways, I will buy the family a new dslr for christmas and I plan on doing a lot of photography edition so I'm in needs of a new computer. NO, I am not a power user, but I need a good computer that will serve me well for the next 3-4 years.

My wife just started her Master's degree and she bought a 2012 128ssd 8gb MBA. I am using it while typing right now. She doesn't really use it all the time, so she said I can use it! I really like the battery life and portability but yeah I don't especially like the screen (viewing angles) but I can adjust.

When the 15 inch retina mbp was announced (before my wife got her mba), I was going to buy it until I saw the threads about the scrolling, IR and whatnot, it's a lot of money. Almost $2500 including tax! I read reviews and the Anandtech review make me step back saying Haswell would perform better because it has a better gpu than the HD4000. In the meantime, my wife gets her MBA and I start loving this computer. It's light and battery life is really nice compared to the 45 minutes I was getting with my macbook pro after 3 years lol.

Then I used to like a lot more the 13 inch form factor, so when I read that Apple would release a 13'' Rmbp, i said...yes it might be at like 1499 with ssd and stuff...BUT NO, 1699+tx with only 128SSD and no more graphic power than MBA..BUT BUT i love the retina display and I think in the future, this is going to be mainstream, not just yet.

The dilemma comes from the fact that I would need a new computer right now to do what I'd like to do. I can still get by using my 08 mbp and my wife 2012mba until next summer...but it would be nice to have something working on my own. I have a decent job but let's say I can't throw $2000 every year or 2 on a computer so it needs to keep me company for at least 3-4 years. I'm afraid to spend $2000 right now (mba 2012 256ssd 8gb) and then next summer, the haswell version of rmbp will be much more powerfull to carry the retina display, it will lower its price of have a 256ssd in the initial configuration.

So, should I buy a 2012 mba right now and be happy or wait for haswell RMBP 13''/MBA 2013 or something..

thanks for your inputs
You're not 'throwing' any money. I just sold a 2011 ultimate air last month and only lost 300 dollars. I used it almost 14 months.

Get the one you want now. Then maybe sell it later and get the newest.
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 01:10 PM   #7
jrasero
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I would wait

I just bought a MBA but to be honest if you can wait, just wait

I bought a MBA because I needed a computer since I sold my 2011 iMac right before they got refreshed to get maximum value


Haswell will be better than Ivy Bridge obviosuly. Haswell a course will bring more power but it's true calling card sounds like efficiency and graphics

Things you should speculate should be the following for the MBA

1 Will Apple come out with Retina MBA
2 Will Apple come out with a NEW* design
3 Will Apple have discrete graphics
4 Will Intel develop consumer quad core ultra low voltage processors


1. I believe yes, but similar to the MBP lines these will keep the old MBA and also have a RMBA but at a premium price
2. Yes. They already have gone the root of adding just a performance upgrade in 2012 and with a slew of new Windows Ultra Books coming out the Air design is still great but not game changing. I have seen rumors and various photos suggesting slimmer keyboards and etc.
3. Discrete graphics, NO. Intel 4000 is good so good Apple believes it can power the Retina MBP 13". The case of the MBA is too small to house a discrete graphics especially when the MBA probably will get smaller. Plus Haswell is projecting to be a 50%+ gain on graphics. Intel 5000 will be a true winner
4. Toss up. The technology is their but from a cost perspective it's not worth it.


So with this being said performance alone for Haswell machines will be much better than Ivy Bridge and you will probably get some kind of redesign and most likely RMBA

So yes wait, but if you don't need Intel 500, Haswell, Retina then buy a 2012 MBA but even then wait until 2013s come out and the 2012s drop in price
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Old Nov 2, 2012, 05:15 PM   #8
Lukewarmwinner
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You shouldn't base you purchase on speculations. No one knows when or what to be upgraded. Buy when needed
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 09:17 AM   #9
skaertus
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Apple is so secret and makes so much of a splash every new release that there is always speculation about it.

The current MBA was released 146 days ago. According to the Buyer's Guide of MacRumors, the average time for a new release is 322 days (so, the product is on "mid-cycle"). The MBA will probably be refreshed only after Haswell comes out, and Haswell will be released in the first half of 2013, between March and June.

Haswell is being announced by Intel as a very power-efficient processor. It will, of course, bring improvements in terms of raw performance, but I don't expect them to be big. What you should expect from Haswell is (i) a much better integrated graphics card (about 50% faster); and (ii) more battery life (Intel is announcing as much as 24-hour battery life). If that's important to you, you may want to wait for Haswell. I wouln't wait for it based on the possible performance gains.

As for a redesign, we know absolutely nothing and we can just speculate. The last redesign of the MBA was in late 2010, so Apple will probably present a brand-new product sometime between 2013 and 2014. A brand-new MBA will probably be thinner and lighter and bring a retina display, but it's just speculation and my guess is not better than yours; it is based on where Apple is heading to and on what the competitors are doing, and not on any piece of real information.

That said, you're expecting too much of the MBA. It is supposed to be a thin and light machine, and it will not pack a lot of power. It's not going to be more powerful than the 13" rMBP, so there wouldn't be a reason for this one to exist. It's market segmentation. And it's also a trade-off: you can't have both extreme portability and performance, you have to choose. If you want to have performance, you should go with the Pro line; if you want portability, you should go with the Air.

As for your questions:

1 Will Apple come out with Retina MBA?

I guess the MBA will get retina displays, but only when it gets a redesign. A retina display would require more room for battery, and the internals of the MBA will have to be modified to accomodate it. I don't know if it will happen in 2013, though.

2 Will Apple come out with a NEW* design?

That's the million dollar question. Nobody knows the answer. The MBA will get a redesign sooner or later. If I had to guess, I would say that the redesign will be out in 2013. But it may come in 2014 as well.

3 Will Apple have discrete graphics?

No. Not even the 13" rMBP has discrete graphics. The MBA will not get them. That's for sure. But Haswell will have much better integrated graphics than Ivy Bridge.

4 Will Intel develop consumer quad core ultra low voltage processors?

Not with Haswell. Most Ivy Bridge quad-core mobile processors have a 45W TDP. The TDP will not drop so much with Haswell, which will be developed in the same 22 nm process as Ivy Bridge. I would be very surprised if Intel released quad-core ULV Haswell processors. Expect them to be dual-core.
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