Buying an 11" MBA. Opinions?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by axu539, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    #1
    Hey everyone, I'm planning on ordering an 11" MBA this week, and I just had a couple of questions to help me decide on my configuration.

    1. I'm wavering between a 4GB base model vs. an ultimate 11". Is a 1.4 GHz processor sufficient if the heaviest things I plan to do are Netflix (which taxes the CPU like crazy) and Hulu?

    2. I'm currently waiting on the refurb store to stock some 4 GB models, but I noticed that with some discounts, I can get a brand new one from MacMall for about $40 more. Considering that the refurbs are supposedly perfect (just lacking the original box), is the extra $40 worth it?

    3. Is MacMall reliable (I know they are reputable, but I've heard bad things about their service)? How quick is their shipping in general?

    4. Ultimately, is it a good idea to buy one? I currently have a late 2008 15" MBP that I WILL be upgrading to a 2011 MBP this year. I plan on using the MBA as a secondary machine for lighter tasks, since I often find myself reluctant to take the MBP anywhere off the desk. I DO need to keep the Pro though, since I do some HD video encoding quite frequently, so just switching solely to a 13" is also not an option.

    Note: I currently have enough money for both a Pro and an Air so that's not really an issue.

    Thanks ahead of time for your insight!
     
  2. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #2
    by base model do you mean 64gb ssd? id like to know what people think of the base model
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    #3
    Yeah I mean 64 GB SSD, 1.4 GHz processor. I would upgrade the RAM to 4 GB though.
     
  4. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #4
    id love to know what you think after installing things, I really want a mac the wait for refresh is annoying and the prices of the air is insane i wish i had the money to get the 128gb and evan just settle with 2gb ram
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    #5
    Ok, so just after I posted this, some refurbs showed up in the Apple store. I ordered a 64 GB, 4 GB, 1.4 Ghz 11" and my total came out to about $970. The ultimate was also an option, but I decided to just go with this model, as I will not be storing much on the machine, and I figure Netflix shouldn't be too much of an issue. I am excited!
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    leftywamumonkey

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #6
    $970??? Wow, what a deal. I checked the total of my cart and it would have came out to around $1020 for me. Anyways, congrats on the MBA, hope you enjoy it.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    #7
    My original confirmation page said something like 1001. When Apple sent me the confirmation email though, it was only 970. The tax seemingly cut in half.. I hope it's not a mistake..
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    leftywamumonkey

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #8
    Out of curiosity what is your tax rate? Over here it's 8.750%. It is only 970, that's one hell of a deal.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    #9
    Well I thought it was around 8.25%..
     
  10. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    #10
    8.25? Jesus. That's high.

    Mine is 6% and I hate it. I wish it was 5% like Virginia or 0% like Delaware.

    Order refurbished units as well, but I got 11.6 MBA (1.6Ghz/4GB/128GB SSD)
    Cost me 1060 + tax.

    Happy happy. Camper.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Whorehay

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #11
    It's 9.75% here in parts of Los Angeles, and even goes as high as 10.25% in some cities.

    You made a good choice and got a great deal. I have the 1.6/4/128 and I'm happy with it. I needed a little more internal storage and a little more speed since it's going to be my only computer. But if it's going to be a secondary computer, other than the 4GB, I probably wouldn't have splurged for the extras.
     
  12. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    #12
    :eek:
    how did you get a 11 ultimate $1060+tax....???:confused:
     
  13. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    #13
    It was refurbished. It was not new. This is my first time buying refurbished unit from apple, but I have heard only good things about it. Of course, I can always exchange it under 14 days... I think.

    On apple website right now, apple is offering MBA 11.6 ultimate for 1189 dollars. I called apple and asked for even more discount blah blah.

    After an hour, they gave it to me for 1060 dollars. (Before Tax)

    My state is Maryland, and tax was 6%. Total was 1123.60.

    Tax was 63.60. I hate Tax. I hate Tax. I hate tax.
     
  14. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    #14
    ahhh the gift of gab;)... thats an awesome deal, Congratz!
     
  15. macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    ladner cdn
    #15
    12% hst here in b.c cdn...and more expensive to boot (even though are dollar is worth more then u.s)
     
  16. MRU, Feb 9, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011

    MRU
    macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #16
    I just bought a 1.4 base model with 4gb from the refurb store op.

    Like you i was debating whether to go for the ultimate or stick with the base 1.4 albeit with 4gb ram.

    Most of benchmarks set the 1.6 4gb against the 1.4 2gb and give the ultimate a 10% speed advantage. Now i questioned whether that 10% margin overall would be reduced/depleted somewhat if they had benched two 4gb models instead.

    Now after a lot of researching i decided to stick to my guns and order the base with 4gb and 64gb hdd. Harddrive space was not a concern for me, though i can understand how 64gb for others would be insufficient.

    With that in mind, the 1.4 4 gb came in at 25% less 'price wise' than the ultimate 1.6 even on the refurb store for me here. For what i percieve to be sub 10% performance differential, the 25% markup did not seem to be cost wise in my circumstances.

    Having taken reciept of my machine on this Monday last i'm happy with my purchase. It does everything i want it to do and is faster than a 2007 macbook pro we have with a 2.2 core duo 2 & 4gb.

    Great little machine.
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    #17
    Thanks for the comment. I went through the exact same train of thought. The Air will be a secondary machine for me, and its main purpose will not be media. Hence 64 GB is plenty, and there really is no need for the minimal CPU boost since I have 4 GB RAM. I'm expecting my machine on Saturday. Very very excited.
     
  18. macrumors member

    biggnoggin

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2010
    #18
    Normally I wouldn't of bought the upgraded processor but on all the reviews I saw the processor perform 20% better in almost every benchmark and sometimes even better so for an extra $100 bucks I thought it was worth it and considering you can upgrade RAM yourself $100 for 2 gb is worth it IMO.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    #19
    Actually, the ram is not upgradeable. Also, the 20% increases you see are with a processor bump AND ram upgrade, with most of it attributed to the extra ram, not GHz. Last, I only wanted 64 GB, and upgrading CPU requires upgrading the SSD, so I would've been paying $200 more for more like 5% performance increase.
     
  20. macrumors member

    biggnoggin

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2010
    #20
    I think you could tell by my response I meant not upgradeable. You can buy what you want but you were asking for opinions, hence why I put IMO. RAM helps but so does processor speed so check this out http://www.anandtech.com/show/4000/...r-review-do-16ghz-and-4gb-make-a-difference/2 and if you don't want opinions don't ask for them.
     
  21. MRU
    macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #21
    ^ The problem with that article is it is comparing the experience of the MBA 1.4 2GB to the MBA 1.6 4GB and basing their opinions / analysis on that comparison which is not entirely fair.

    When benchmarking they should have benched closer like to like models and formed their analysis from such.

    The differential between the 1.4 with 4GB and 1.6 with 4GB is reduced more that you would think, as it seems the 2GB - 4GB step-up is a bigger factor performance wise at this kind of level than the 1.6 - 1.4 alone.

    Let's face it anyone with a 1.4 or 1.6 should not really be considering using the machine as a rendering station or a major work horse.

    So in day to day usage for things such as ilife, iwork, web, office, email, twitter, basic photo editing & coding etc.., users would see a greater benefit with 4GB in their machine than they would by just the CPU bump. In fact I would dare say that most users with both the 1.4 4GB & 1.6 4GB would be hard pressed to see a significant if any difference that the 200mhz offers in day to day actual experience.
     
  22. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    #22
    You are not really paying 200 dollars for extra 2GB ram and 200 HZ CPU update.

    All the refurbished models are discounted by 15%, so you are paying 170 dollars.

    It's not that bad.
     
  23. macrumors 68020

    bowlerman625

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL area
    #23
    Enjoy!

    I've had mine for 3 months and really like it.
     
  24. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    #24
    Well, the base 11" with 4 GB/64GB/1.4 GHz which I ordered was $929 before tax. The ultimate: 4 GB/128GB/1.6 GHz is $1189. This is a $260 difference..
     
  25. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    #25
    That's because you get 64GB more flash storage.

    For me, 64GB storage won't work on a laptop. That's the whole memory. After you install Mac OS SL, then it will be like 50GB or less.

    50GB? Yea.
     

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