2011 13" MBA or 2012 Ivy Bridge 11" ??

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by cleveden, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. cleveden macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2012
    Hi All, - long time reader but first post :)

    So I have an iMac - great. But I need to blog from events, watch some films while I'm on the train for a few hours a week, emails and the occasional banner mock up in Adobe FW & PS.

    My question to y'all is this..

    2011 13" MBA or 2012 Ivy Bridge 11" ??

    Here in the UK they're both priced the same - I just cant stretch my budget to the 13" Ivy Bridge.

    I had a look at the 11" but I feel it seems slightly too small for me, the 13" is a nice size and has the SD slot which I'll need occasionally...

    This isnt meant to be 2011 v 2012 because I've read a lot about that lol - i just mean, for my requirements will there be a huge difference? What would you buy right now?

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts :)
  2. NeonBible macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2012
    I would have chosen the 13" MBA mid 2011 because of the display size. The 2012 model has an Ivy Bridge-processor while the 2011 has a Sandy Bridge-processor. The Ivy Bridge CPU itself isn't notable faster than the Sandy Bridge CPU but have in mind that the 2012 has the Intel HD 4000 GPU, compared to the Intel HD 3000 you'll find on the 2011 model. The Intel HD 4000 is up till 60 % faster than the Intel HD 3000, and you'll notice it while working with for instance Photoshop, Illustrator, playing games etc. But I've owned the mid 2011 MBA and it is really a good laptop. It handles Adobe CS5.5 and CS6 without any problems. I own the 2012 model right now and I haven't really noticed the upgrade, except when drawing with my Wacom tablet in hi-res in Photoshop.

    The mid 2012 model is also equipped with USB 3.0-ports, while the 2011 model doesn't.

    But all in all I would recommend the 13" 2011 model.
  3. ixodes macrumors 601


    Jan 11, 2012
    Pacific Coast, USA
    I agree.
  4. asting macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2012
    Get the older 13". It sounds like you would benefit from additional battery life and larger screen size/resolution. Nothing you mentioned sounds particularly taxing (although FW and PS can be), so you should be fine with a slightly slower model.
  5. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
  6. bf2008 macrumors member

    May 28, 2008
    Sorry, but 2012 MBA 13 inch. Mac really overcharges for old stuff, that's why these rumour sites exist! Otherwise if it was like dell and they simply sold old stuff very cheap then nobody would care about when the latest model is coming out.
  7. cleveden thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2012
    Hey, thanks for everyone's replies, really helpful.

    The 4000 graphics being 60% faster in the 2012, on paper, sounds like a huge difference but I'm guessing in reality it's only if you're doing really intensive tasks, and if I was going to be doing that I'd probably get a MBP or use my iMac.

    So from what everyone is saying, the 2011 13" sounds like the better choice just for the battery life alone?
  8. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Zug, Switzerland
    Sorry, just checked the UK Apple website. The difference between the base 11" MBA 2012 and base 13" MBA 2012 is £150 ( only £50 when comparing 128GB SSD 11" MBA model ). Are you really saying that you can't somehow pull together another £150 max for a £800+ notebook?

    Dunno, I just never understand people who are willing to spend a nice bag of money on a product but then shy away from a quite cheap upgrade compared to the money they are anyway willing to throw out the window... It's almost like those stupid threads about: "Uhh, I'm getting a +1500 USD notebook, should I get 8GB Ram for ~100 USD ?!" ...

    The above being said: go for the base 13" MBA 2012... If you really, really, really, really can't squeeze another £150 out of your pocket, then go for the 13" MBA 2011 ( still, it would be a shame not to get the 13" MBA 2012 for a measly £150 difference when you're anyway going to spend £800+ on it ).
  9. jackoatmon macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2011

    No, it's a huge difference. The 3000 can't run 1080p video properly and the 4000 can run it no problem no matter what codec.

    That alone is enough to rule out the 2011 versions.

    IMO Ivy Bridge is the first CPU that is a legitimate option for integrated graphics.
  10. Johnathan69 macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2010
    2012 MBA Memory Upgrade

    Don't forget that the 2012 11' model has a RAM memory increase to 4GB.....(2011 11' model only 2GB -- but still nice speed -- I have the 2011 model)
  11. cleveden thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2012
    Hey point read and taken - and I would ordinarily agree - however, I am on a tight budget - so each to their own. £150 might not be much to you, but it is to me, so that's my budget that I need to stick to. If it wasn't a problem i'd just by the latest model.

    Thanks for the reply though.
  12. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Zug, Switzerland
    Since budget is a problem, are you really, really sure you "need" a Mac? You can surely find a decently speced PC at a lower price than the MBA. Of course, if you "want" a Mac and not "need" one, then my question is pointless...
  13. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    I have a 2011 13" and I think it's excellent. I did upgrade to the 4GB ram, though. But for your purposes, I think the 2011 will be just fine. Personally, I prefer the 13" screen to the 11".
  14. Slivortal macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2012
    The issue with this argument is twofold - first you're going to eventually wind up on a slippery slope. Sure, it's $200-$250 more for a 13", but then why not upgrade your RAM? We just said that $200-$250's not that much (now nearing half the price of the computer). Why not upgrade your SSD? Grab a few externals?

    The second issue with this argument is that $200 is a lot of money, even if it's only 20% of your purchase. Heck, you can buy a full-fledged quad-core tablet for that kind of money. Some people only have $1000 to spend on a laptop - that's why Apple sells laptops that cost only $1000.
  15. bf2008 macrumors member

    May 28, 2008
    First, I respect the OP decision, of course it's his own money!
    But in general terms, I agree with this post. Especially because the 2012 machine will keep its value better, so when you sell it you'll get all this extra money back.
    If someone is really not able to find an extra £150 for an £800 machine, I'd wonder if the £800 machine is the right thing to get in the first place. There are loads of £400 pcs out there, and they are decent, they'll get the job done.

    Especially when you already have an iMac, and you just need an extra machine to "blog from events, watch movies and the ocassional banner, ...". You can do this with a £200 netbook, or you could just not do it at all.
  16. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I get that you're on a tight budget. My opinion would be student discount or wait it out for a chance at a 2012 refurb unit. You can also check third party retailers for better deals. I find the size difference to be noticeable. The 13" models have better battery life. It's just that I dislike suggesting something with usb2 after the long wait for 3. Intel's most noticeable improvements have been on the low end hardware lately. Next year may be the same thing given the consistent gpu improvements, but I wouldn't expect it any earlier in the year than Ivy (easily a year away).

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