2012 11" MBA 1.7ghz vs. 2.0ghz re: battery life

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Matt Leaf, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. Matt Leaf macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2012
    Heya - pretty much think I'm sold on the 11" MBA. Managed to get into a store today and was quite blown away by the resolution of the screen. More than adequate as far as I can tell.

    Im after a super portable machine - I have an iPad, but really it's not cut out for the kind of work I want to do on the go. I'm mostly getting an MBA for travel, commuting, for teaching myself programming and some light entertainment.

    I will be doing some basic graphics applications, Photoshop, but mainly using Processing/Sublime, and doing little builds of graphics apps, also with Quartz Composer.

    I already have a MBP 2011 which is fine and handles all my heavy CPU stuff, which I also plug into a TB when I need more screen real estate.

    I guess my concern with the Processor is the impact on the battery life, and whether or not the trade off for more CPU is actually worth the cash and the hit the battery will take.

    If the 1.7 is tough enough for the tasks I want, without giving me too much lag trying out small little animations, then that's great. Ideally I'd love to be able to get some light usage and maybe a full movie out of it before exhausting the battery, if I was on a long-haul flight or something...

    Anyone have any experience with either machine that can chime in? I will definitely be going 8gig of ram. And pretty happy with the 128 as I have 1.5tb goflex.

    Is the 2.0ghz really worth it?
  2. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    AnandTech's review has a lot of useful information.

    There is a slight, but noticeable difference in battery life between the i5 and i7 processors. The bigger difference is between the 11" and 13" models. See the medium workload battery life test. The 11" Air with the i5 lasts about 3.95 hours, while the 13" Air with the i5 lasts 5.35 hours. The 13" i7 lasts about 5 hours. He doesn't have results with an 11" i7 but it should be about 3.67 hours if the ratio holds (it might be a little less since the i5 in the 11" runs a bit slower than the i5 in the 13").

    I have used a 2011 11" Air on a 4 hour flight and it has had enough battery power for that. The 2012 gets better actual battery life (even though Apple's rating is the same), but if you fly long haul a lot, a 13" might be a better option. Otherwise, the 11" should handle the tasks you describe.
  3. Matt Leaf thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2012
    Great, thanks!

    I failed to mention I had read the AnandTech review... as you say there was no mention of i7.

    It's a tough call, performance vs battery.

    I'm also well-sold on the 11" for flights due to how cramped it can be... it can be a real squeeze even to fit a 13" laptop on those tray-tables sometimes.

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