11,6" Macbook Air now or wait for 2012 Rev ?

xCromwell

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 27, 2011
25
0
Montreal, QC, Canada
First, yes I've read the buyer's guide.

Now, here is my question. I could buy the "high-end" MBA for 999$ now or wait for the 2012 revision but is it worth the wait ?

My primary use for it would be web browsing, YouTube, playing a few light games and for school work. My main concern for this year's model is the battery life but that's pretty much it. How long does your MBA battery lasts for that kind of use ?

I am also considering a 13" MBP but that's pricier... See below.

I also forgot to mention that I'm quite tight with money and can't spend more than 1000$-1100$ so that would mean a 64gb SSD model for 2012 unless I can find some refurbished ones or on ebay or something...
 
Last edited:

KylePowers

macrumors 68000
Mar 5, 2011
1,688
197
No one really knows what the 2012 revision will bring or when it'll even come out, so it's hard to say.

Sounds like the 'high end' 11in MBA would suit you fine though, assuming you need it now.

I get anywhere from 3.5 to 5.5 hours of battery life... just depends on what I'm doing and how bright my screen is.
 

xCromwell

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 27, 2011
25
0
Montreal, QC, Canada
No one really knows what the 2012 revision will bring or when it'll even come out, so it's hard to say.

Sounds like the 'high end' 11in MBA would suit you fine though, assuming you need it now.

I get anywhere from 3.5 to 5.5 hours of battery life... just depends on what I'm doing and how bright my screen is.
Hey, thanks for the reply ! I know no one really knows what the 2012 models will be like but we can assume they will at least have Ivy Bridge CPU's with Intel HD4000 graphics. So based on that... I don't know...

The thing is Ivy Bridge will surely bump up the battery a bit and the HD4000 should bump the graphics too.

When I said light gaming, I meant games like Cod:4, Civilization V or even Skyrim at low settings..
 

MrXiro

macrumors 68040
Nov 2, 2007
3,845
597
Los Angeles
Hey, thanks for the reply ! I know no one really knows what the 2012 models will be like but we can assume they will at least have Ivy Bridge CPU's with Intel HD4000 graphics. So based on that... I don't know...

The thing is Ivy Bridge will surely bump up the battery a bit and the HD4000 should bump the graphics too.

When I said light gaming, I meant games like Cod:4, Civilization V or even Skyrim at low settings..
You're going to install windows on a MBA to play Skyrim? Won't leave you very much room on your ssd afterwards...

I say get it now or even wait later and get the current gen for even cheaper. Don't waste your time using it to game on it though.
 

xCromwell

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 27, 2011
25
0
Montreal, QC, Canada
You're going to install windows on a MBA to play Skyrim? Won't leave you very much room on your ssd afterwards...

I say get it now or even wait later and get the current gen for even cheaper. Don't waste your time using it to game on it though.
I don't know.. This will be my first Mac and I'm not sure of how everything works. Some did it though..
 

xCromwell

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 27, 2011
25
0
Montreal, QC, Canada
You're going to install windows on a MBA to play Skyrim? Won't leave you very much room on your ssd afterwards...

I say get it now or even wait later and get the current gen for even cheaper. Don't waste your time using it to game on it though.
One last thing, do you think it could last through a full day at school ? Doing stuff in iWork and such..
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
2,922
2,215
I don't know.. This will be my first Mac and I'm not sure of how everything works. Some did it though..
Skyrim is Windows only. You'd have to set up a partition to install Windows in order to play this game.

If you want better battery life and better gaming capability, you should wait for the 2012 refresh if you can. Heck, if you can wait until the 2012 refresh you might as well. Even if you don't buy the 2012 model, the 2011 model will be $700 on the refurb store just like the 2010 model is now.
 

JohnnyQuest

macrumors 65816
May 25, 2006
1,442
188
If you can wait, then do it. My late 2008 MBP is falling apart and dying a slow death, but I'm hanging onto it for a few more months because I KNOW I'll regret purchasing now, when the latest and greatest comes out in May.

If the 15" Pro is going to slim down considerably, I have a feeling the the Air and Pro lines will merge in some way, and a design overall will come with it. I have no doubt that it will be worth the 3-5 month wait.
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
15,356
3,782
I also forgot to mention that I'm quite tight with money and can't spend more than 1000$-1100$ so that would mean a 64gb SSD model for 2012 unless I can find some refurbished ones or on ebay or something...
The 64GB SSD and 2GB RAM might be limiting. I'd suggest checking out a refurbished model. They are like new and come with a full warranty. Apple has the 11" 1.6GHz model with 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD for $999 on the refurbished store online right now. That would be far better if you do plan to install Windows on it.

Remember Windows 7 alone can take up over 20GB, so when you add in a game, you'd need to devote at least half of your 60GB SSD. Remember that the 64GB SSD has an actual capacity of about 60GB, and the 128GB has an actual capacity of about 121GB (114GB the way Windows computes a GB).

The 11" will last about 3.5-4 hours in tasks such as web browsing or iWork. The 13" model will last about 5-6 hours.The 2012 revision will use the Ivy Bridge chip, which will have significantly better graphics for gaming, and better battery life.

----------

When I said light gaming, I meant games like Cod:4, Civilization V or even Skyrim at low settings..
All will install and run on a MacBook Air, but stick with low detail.
 

xCromwell

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 27, 2011
25
0
Montreal, QC, Canada
The 64GB SSD and 2GB RAM might be limiting. I'd suggest checking out a refurbished model. They are like new and come with a full warranty. Apple has the 11" 1.6GHz model with 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD for $999 on the refurbished store online right now. That would be far better if you do plan to install Windows on it.

Remember Windows 7 alone can take up over 20GB, so when you add in a game, you'd need to devote at least half of your 60GB SSD. Remember that the 64GB SSD has an actual capacity of about 60GB, and the 128GB has an actual capacity of about 121GB (114GB the way Windows computes a GB).

The 11" will last about 3.5-4 hours in tasks such as web browsing or iWork. The 13" model will last about 5-6 hours.The 2012 revision will use the Ivy Bridge chip, which will have significantly better graphics for gaming, and better battery life.

----------



All will install and run on a MacBook Air, but stick with low detail.
Yes, I knew that about the 64gb and when I mentioned it was kind of like to say I didn't want that model... Lol So I guess I should wait 1 or 2 months for such an upgrade but I don't know if I will be able to afford the new model.... Thanks for the replies ! Will strongly consider everything.
 

applepai

macrumors newbie
Jan 12, 2012
7
0
I would be careful expecting a new Air in just a couple of months time. I read in another thread that it would most likely be out in june/july, which makes sense to be honest. I was also on the fence, but it looks like I'm going to buy an 13" Air in the comming days. I doubt that the upgrade will cause significant changes in performance(except the battery), and can't wait til' june/july.

Anyways, if you want to play games, don't go for an Air. Rather get yourself a decent PC with a bigger screen, or a Macbook Pro :apple:.
 

MUBiomed

macrumors 6502
Apr 24, 2010
363
34
I recently purchased a refurb 2011 base MBA for my wife despite the impending refresh. She does nothing but email/browsing/youtube/etc... so disk space or power isn't exactly an issue. I will probably be getting the 2012 revision for myself but she wouldn't even notice the difference (no matter how radical the changes). I hear stories of the mythical women who understand tech, but have yet to see one of them in person. ;)
 

MrXiro

macrumors 68040
Nov 2, 2007
3,845
597
Los Angeles
One last thing, do you think it could last through a full day at school ? Doing stuff in iWork and such..
I had it on set with me for 12 hour days over the summer and rarely killed the battery. And I was using wifi tether from my android phone so that kills the battery faster. With wifi off I don't see why you can't eek out 6 hours off of it at 1/4 brightness.
 

Faux Carnival

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2010
697
2
2012 revision is wrong, let's say Ivy Bridge revision. And as a 2011 Macbook Air user, I'd advice you to wait. Although 2011's are really solid machines, lack of USB 3.0 is annoying.
 

Confuzzzed

macrumors 68000
Aug 7, 2011
1,630
0
Liverpool, UK
2012 revision is wrong, let's say Ivy Bridge revision. And as a 2011 Macbook Air user, I'd advice you to wait. Although 2011's are really solid machines, lack of USB 3.0 is annoying.
Having owned both the 2010 and 2011 MBAs, and also use a well specced PC at work, I can safely say that I have never EVER missed or need USB 3.0!! Wait, by all means (because I believe Ivy bridge processors may facilitate your light gaming better) but NOT because of USB 3.0!!!

If I were you, I would buy a 13" 2010 refurb (quite frankly 99% of the time, this is almost indistinguishable in performance to the 2011" version) then sell it in June and taking a small hit, then buy the new model.
 

francis21

macrumors member
May 2, 2011
72
0
Mississauga, ON, Canada
Having owned both the 2010 and 2011 MBAs, and also use a well specced PC at work, I can safely say that I have never EVER missed or need USB 3.0!! Wait, by all means (because I believe Ivy bridge processors may facilitate your light gaming better) but NOT because of USB 3.0!!!

If I were you, I would buy a 13" 2010 refurb (quite frankly 99% of the time, this is almost indistinguishable in performance to the 2011" version) then sell it in June and taking a small hit, then buy the new model.
The 2010 MBA model is not really that powerful, CPU wise. I agree, the NVIDIA 320m + Intel graphics is a good addition to the 2010 model, but not present with the 2011 model (ATI Card + Intel graphics card), but the CPU power of the Sandy Bridge is just way better than the Core 2 Duo power.

That's why I've decided to get the 2011 model MBA instead of the 2011 13" MBP, because it has upgraded by much more than its previous model.
 

Faux Carnival

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2010
697
2
Having owned both the 2010 and 2011 MBAs, and also use a well specced PC at work, I can safely say that I have never EVER missed or need USB 3.0!! Wait, by all means (because I believe Ivy bridge processors may facilitate your light gaming better) but NOT because of USB 3.0!!!

If I were you, I would buy a 13" 2010 refurb (quite frankly 99% of the time, this is almost indistinguishable in performance to the 2011" version) then sell it in June and taking a small hit, then buy the new model.
USB 2.0 is just slow. You can't deny that.
 

austinguy23

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2008
613
8
Going to keep the laptop for a number of years? If so, I'd wait. The 2012 refresh will most likely include USB 3.0 since Ivy Bridge natively supports it. It may also include a much faster SSD (SATA 3.0).
 

vivithemage

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2008
681
0
I would be careful expecting a new Air in just a couple of months time. I read in another thread that it would most likely be out in june/july, which makes sense to be honest. I was also on the fence, but it looks like I'm going to buy an 13" Air in the comming days. I doubt that the upgrade will cause significant changes in performance(except the battery), and can't wait til' june/july.

Anyways, if you want to play games, don't go for an Air. Rather get yourself a decent PC with a bigger screen, or a Macbook Pro :apple:.
5+ months off, not really a time to wait if someone needs it, but if you can..might as well...but then again, you are playing the upgrade game, so why not wait until the NEXT revision even???

love my MBA 13 I bought in december.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.