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bingeciren

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 6, 2011
1,069
1,009
Originally I intended to keep my 2012 MBA 11" as long as it lasted. However, when my grandson graduated and needed a portable Mac, I gave mine to him as present and look for a replacement for my needs.

I decided to chose between a maxed out 2016 11"MBA or a maxed out 2016 rMB. The most important parameter for me is the size and weight. For that reason, I don't even consider the 13" MBA in the same league.

Quality and the difference in size between the screens, lack of ports, not owning any device with a USB-C connector, performance difference between i7 and m7, the new short travel keyboard, Mag Safe etc are all the issues that concerns me like everybody.

In the end, I made a bold decision and bought the 1.3 m7 - 500GB version of the rMB.

After a month of use, my impressions are as follows:

1) Streaming live media to Apple TV from my Mac was one of the most taxing jobs for my MBA. It made its fan kick in, made it hot as hell. The same thing with the rMB is handled without a problem. Yes, it gets hot but no more than the MBA. For all other regular tasks like MS Office, Mail, Google Earth etc, I cannot feel any loss in performance.

2) I bought a $60 HooToo USB-C hub to solve the port problem. It has a power-pass port, 3 USB 3.0 ports and an SD Card reader. I also bought couple of small nonda USB-C to USB 3.0 adapters to use with the thumb drives. End of the single port problem!

3) I don't miss the MagSafe 2 as it continually disconnected when I moved my Mac and annoyed me to no end, though I miss the charge light. I use my Mac with the charge cable connected at all times, but the charger is behind where I sit and the cord cannot be tripped. I also don't have animals or kids in the house, so lack of MagSafe is not an issue for me.

4) While I never complained about the display of my MBA, after using the retina display and going back to the 11" MBA display for comparison made the difference obvious. Once you use the retina display, it is a painful experience to use the old display.

5) The new keyboard is weird! I cannot say that I'm used to it yet. No doubt that I will adapt to it eventually, but it is not a pleasant experience at first.

6) The force sensitive trackpad and the "fake" click is absolutely amazing and I love it.

7) The SSD (flash storage) is twice as fast compared to the 2012 MBA and no doubt contributes to the quick and responsive feel of the rMB.

8) In real life I never got anything more than 4 hours of use from my MBA's battery. This rMB gets an honest 8 hours. So, the battery life is at least twice as much as the 11" MBA.

9) The maxed-out 11" MBA configured is $1649 and the rMB 1.3 - 512GB is $1749. So, the price difference is $100. If you add the $60 HooToo hub to make it complete, the difference is $160. I do not consider this to be a "huge" difference and certainly not enough to sway me towards the cheaper alternative.

Conclusion: This Mac did not turned out to be as much of a compromise as I feared initially and in fact it turned out to be much better than I expected.
 
Last edited:

ApplLvr

macrumors member
Sep 19, 2014
63
25
Last year I replaced my 13'' MBA with a 13'' rMBP, thinking the difference in thickness and weight wouldn't matter. It does. Although I absolutely love the retina display and for that reason I wouldn't go back to a MBA. After reading about ways to get around the single port issue (and realizing that I rarely keep anything plugged in for long periods of time), I decided to buy the maxed out 2016 rMB. It is sitting in Shanghai and I hope to get it by early next week.

I'm a little scared but your message makes me more optimistic.

I started to get the Rose Gold version but instead opted for the ho hum silver. I was afraid I'd get tired of having a pink computer, LOL.

My work computer is a new HP Elite x2 2012 that has a USB-C port (and others as well) and it comes with a hub that I believe will work with my rMB so I will get to see the video out before I decide what hub to buy for personal use. I ordered a couple of female USB to male USB-C so I should be able to use external drives. I'll probably buy an SD card reader--I suspect that will be what I will miss most from the 13'' MBA and 13'' rMBP.

Thanks for your forum post. Now I wait for the darn thing to leave China.

Originally I intended to keep my 2012 MBA 11" as long as it lasted. However, when my grandson graduated and needed a portable Mac, I gave mine to him as present and look for a replacement for my needs.

I decided to chose between a maxed out 2016 11"MBA or a maxed out 2016 rMB. The most important parameter for me is the size and weight. For that reason, I don't even consider the 13" MBA in the same league.

Quality and the difference in size between the screens, lack of ports, not owning any device with a USB-C connector, performance difference between i7 and m7, the new short travel keyboard, Mag Safe etc are all the issues that concerns me like everybody.

In the end, I made a bold decision and bought the 1.3 m7 - 500GB version of the rMB.

After a month of use, my impressions are as follows:

1) Streaming live media to Apple TV from my Mac was one of the most taxing jobs for my MBA. It made its fan kick in, made it hot as hell. The same thing with the rMB is handled without a problem. Yes, it gets hot but no more than the MBA. For all other regular tasks like MS Office, Mail, Google Earth etc, I cannot feel any loss in performance.

2) I bought a $60 HooToo USB-C hub to solve the port problem. It has a power-pass port, 3 USB 3.0 ports and an SD Card reader. I also bought couple of small nonda USB-C to USB 3.0 adapters to use with the thumb drives. End of the single port problem!

3) I don't miss the MagSafe 2 as it continually disconnected when I moved my Mac and annoyed me to no end, though I miss the charge light. I use my Mac with the charge cable connected at all times, but the charger is behind where I sit and the cord cannot be tripped. I also don't have animals or kids in the house, so lack of MagSafe is not an issue for me.

4) While I never complained about the display of my MBA, after using the retina display and going back to the 11" MBA display for comparison made the difference obvious. Once you use the retina display, it is a painful experience to use the old display.

5) The new keyboard is weird! I cannot say that I'm used to it yet. No doubt that I will adapt to it eventually, but it is not a pleasant experience at first.

6) The force sensitive trackpad and the "fake" click is absolutely amazing and I love it.

7) The SSD (flash storage) is twice as fast compared to the 2012 MBA and no doubt contributes to the quick and responsive feel of the rMB.

8) In real life I never got anything more than 4 hours of use from my MBA's battery. This rMB gets an honest 8 hours. So, the battery life is at least twice as much as the 11" MBA.

9) The maxed-out 11" MBA configured is $1649 and the rMB 1.3 - 512GB is $1749. So, the price difference is $100. If you add the $60 HooToo hub to make it complete, the difference is $160. I do not consider this to be a "huge" difference and certainly not enough to sway me towards the cheaper alternative.

Conclusion: This Mac did not turned out to be as much of a compromise as I feared initially and in fact it turned out to be much better than I expected.
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,539
25,302
Enjoy! The latest MacBooks seems to be edging towards replacing the air sooner than later.

Yep, agreed. The naming is getting a little confusing though. Historically it was always:

MacBook - Most affordable portable
MacBook Pro - Professional Line
MacBook Air - Prioritises ultraportability over all else

So it seems a little odd as the rMB and MBA have swapped places. I dunno though, if they marketed the rMB as the 'new' MacBook Air, then they'd have to change all the display bezels on the current MacBook Air to read as MacBook instead.

Ergh, I'm just confusing myself now. Not sure why I even started writing this comment. Oh well, I'm this far in, so might as well post my ramblings ... :)
 

deeddawg

macrumors G5
Jun 14, 2010
12,260
6,412
US
@keysofanxiety -- yes, the product structure was upended with the retina Macbook displacing the Air. That is one reason many believe the Air's days are numbered and that the product lineup may be further adjusted when they eventually update the Macbook Pro line.
 

toddzrx

macrumors 6502a
Nov 20, 2012
725
263
@keysofanxiety -- yes, the product structure was upended with the retina Macbook displacing the Air. That is one reason many believe the Air's days are numbered and that the product lineup may be further adjusted when they eventually update the Macbook Pro line.

The final nail in the coffin would be a 14" MacBook.

I appreciate the Air's design and legacy, but time to move on and clean up the laptop product lines.
 

ApplLvr

macrumors member
Sep 19, 2014
63
25
Got my new rMB m7. Wow. Awesome. It is the first Mac I have loved since I got a 13'' MBA. Have not liked my 13'' rMBP and this little computer is great. The keys are a little weird but I actually like the feel and touch. Some people have mentioned "laggy"--I get a little of that, but only a little. I have my browser ad blocked so heavily that even the i7 rMBP lags when loading a web page, so I think the lag I'm experienced is trade off for not seeing all the animated heavy web pages that are the rave now.

I have a card reader on order and have an HDMI hub. I think I have everything I need. It is so light and beautiful. I'm glad I stuck with silver and didn't get the rose gold.



Last year I replaced my 13'' MBA with a 13'' rMBP, thinking the difference in thickness and weight wouldn't matter. It does. Although I absolutely love the retina display and for that reason I wouldn't go back to a MBA. After reading about ways to get around the single port issue (and realizing that I rarely keep anything plugged in for long periods of time), I decided to buy the maxed out 2016 rMB. It is sitting in Shanghai and I hope to get it by early next week.

I'm a little scared but your message makes me more optimistic.

I started to get the Rose Gold version but instead opted for the ho hum silver. I was afraid I'd get tired of having a pink computer, LOL.

My work computer is a new HP Elite x2 2012 that has a USB-C port (and others as well) and it comes with a hub that I believe will work with my rMB so I will get to see the video out before I decide what hub to buy for personal use. I ordered a couple of female USB to male USB-C so I should be able to use external drives. I'll probably buy an SD card reader--I suspect that will be what I will miss most from the 13'' MBA and 13'' rMBP.

Thanks for your forum post. Now I wait for the darn thing to leave China.
 

ApplLvr

macrumors member
Sep 19, 2014
63
25
This is the one I ordered.
Sminiker [USB-C to TF/ SD Card Reader ] 3 Mode: USB Type C, Micro-USB & USB Combo to 2-Slot TF/ Micro SD Card Reader for PC Laptop Macbook and Android Cellphones

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CY9I7F4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Hope I like it. I wish two things: a card reader and a SIM card slot. I think it would be absolutely perfect if it had those two things.

I find the $11 Nonda USBC to USBA dongle plus the $7 Transcend USB3 Card Reader to be a small, good solution. Usually I just leave them plugged in together and treat the combo as a single unit.
 

dilinger

macrumors member
Mar 21, 2016
43
16
Guys doesn't anyone misses the 13'' inch screen size, compared to the 12'' of the macbook ?
I am thinking about pulling the plug on a macbook ,but i am afraid that coming from a 13'' display, it will strike to my eyes as small.
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
18,228
8,176
Guys doesn't anyone misses the 13'' inch screen size, compared to the 12'' of the macbook ?
I am thinking about pulling the plug on a macbook ,but i am afraid that coming from a 13'' display, it will strike to my eyes as small.
It wasn't an issue for me. I came from the 13.3" rMBP to the 12" rMB.
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
18,228
8,176
I am coming from a non retina 2010 13''. I dont know is it 13'' or 13.3'' actually?

What made you change a rmbp to a rmb?
I previously had a MacBook Air (11.6") but liked the Retina screen. When the MacBook came out, it was exactly what I was looking for. The 13" MacBook Air feels very "big" when I see it now. The higher resolution makes up for the smaller size, IMO. The default scaling is 1280x800 vs 1440x900 for the MacBook Air, but you can change that in settings.
 

ApplLvr

macrumors member
Sep 19, 2014
63
25
Guys doesn't anyone misses the 13'' inch screen size, compared to the 12'' of the macbook ?
I am thinking about pulling the plug on a macbook ,but i am afraid that coming from a 13'' display, it will strike to my eyes as small.
I came from 13'' display (Early 2015 rMBP 13'') to Macbook and I worried about that too. But I don't miss the 13'' at all. The portability is awesome. It is a sweet little machine (maxed).
 

dilinger

macrumors member
Mar 21, 2016
43
16
It wasn't an issue for me. I came from the 13.3" rMBP to the 12" rMB.

You confused me. Are you coming from a 13'' Air or Pro? or a 11'' Air
Above you mention Pro, but on your next post you mention 11'' Air..plus 13'' Air
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
18,228
8,176
You confused me. Are you coming from a 13'' Air or Pro? or a 11'' Air
Above you mention Pro, but on your next post you mention 11'' Air..plus 13'' Air
I had an 11.6" Air until 2012. I switched to the 13" rMBP in 2013 and to a 12" MacBook in 2015.
 

toddzrx

macrumors 6502a
Nov 20, 2012
725
263
Guys doesn't anyone misses the 13'' inch screen size, compared to the 12'' of the macbook ?
I am thinking about pulling the plug on a macbook ,but i am afraid that coming from a 13'' display, it will strike to my eyes as small.

Disclaimer: I don't have the new MacBook; I've just been reading this forum regularly for the past year.

That said, I've read plenty of posts where readers have switched from an older Mac with a larger screen to the MacBook and have no problem with the smaller 12" size, especially if switching from a non-retina machine; if anything they like it far more because of the sharper, crisper image provided by the much higher resolution. Just my observation though.

Consider this, for example:
https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...d-m5-macbook-12-models.1981468/#post-23120458
 

dilinger

macrumors member
Mar 21, 2016
43
16
Disclaimer: I don't have the new MacBook; I've just been reading this forum regularly for the past year.

That said, I've read plenty of posts where readers have switched from an older Mac with a larger screen to the MacBook and have no problem with the smaller 12" size, especially if switching from a non-retina machine; if anything they like it far more because of the sharper, crisper image provided by the much higher resolution. Just my observation though....

True. I have read that too.

Only concern I have, is that in this forum there are many different users with different needs and different objectives as well as demands.

Some students, some bussiness men, some writers, some doctors..

Difficult to relate which opinion comes from which group.
 
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