27" iMac i7 ---> MacBook Air i5

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by clearyjp, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. clearyjp macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #1
    I said goodbye to my lovely Quad Core i7 iMac today and bought a MacBook Air i5 256GB in search for something more portable (which the iMac is certainly not!).

    A couple of first impressions.

    *I really was spoilt by the iMac's enormous screen. I feel slightly claustrophobic for lack of a better word working on the Air, but I'm sure I'll get used to that soon. Also, colours aren't as vibrant, but I knew that was going to be the case. On the other hand, it's nice to be able to see your whole work space without having to move your head from side to side.

    *This thing is so quiet. I can only tell it's on if I put my head down to the keyboard. I opted to go with the i5 over the i7 as I couldn't justify the small performance gain for the extra money, and the i7 runs a bit hotter from reports I have read. I've been using the air for about 4 hours now, and the case is only just slightly warm. It's a little hard to believe!

    *It's fast. Like really fast. Faster than my iMac in opening apps, no doubt thanks to the SSD, which I happily discovered was the Samsung unit.

    *The speakers are better than I thought they would be, not bad for something so thin, but obviously they lack the depth of the iMacs.

    *The keyboard is a joy to type on, the keystroke is just a fraction shallower than the Apple Wireless Keyboard. I tried the Pro's keyboard in the store, which I found to have quite a long travel compared to what I was used to.

    *Speaking of the Macbook Pro, it was a toss up between the Air and the 13" MBP. I found the Air more comfortable to type on, as your hands are almost flush with the surface the Air is sitting on, whereas on the MBP your hands/wrists sit higher up due to the thicker case design. The MBP's display is slightly more vibrant compared to the Air's, but it's also much more glossy due to the glass panel, which on my iMac I didn't mind, but could be a problem on something portable. Text on the Air is also crisper due to the higher resolution. I felt the MBP's resolution made the computer to feel slightly dated, and its a shame it's stuck with that poor resolution. Apple definitely need to offer a display upgrade like they do with the 15" model.

    So as you can tell, I'm really happy with my purchase and would recommend the Air to anyone thinking about buying one.
     
  2. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #2
    You can always get a 27" Thunderbolt Apple Cinema display is you miss your old iMac... :D
     
  3. Titanium81 macrumors 6502a

    Titanium81

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    #3
    Anyone have a spare GRAND?:D
     
  4. clearyjp thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #4
    After a few days of using the Air, I have a few more thoughts.
    Compared to the screen on a 13" MBP, the the colours displayed on the Air's screen are a bit less vibrant. Reds and blues in particular seem somewhat duller. I've also noticed, along the very bottom of the display, it is quite blurry, and darker, and this is especially noticeable when viewing applications in full screen mode. I feel this is a bit of a let down, especially considering the price difference.

    So at this point, I'm not sure if I'm going to keep the computer. I could return it for a base MBP and save $500! Has anyone else noticed similar issues with their displays?
     
  5. xkmxkmxlmx macrumors 6502a

    xkmxkmxlmx

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    #5
    Personally in the process of doing a similar transition.

    I went from my last 27 iMac to a MBA 13. I loved it at first, but then came across a lot of personal preference type issues. A couple weeks later, I am now on a MBP 15.

    This feels good right now. Hopefully this will be the end of my search. The screen size is closer to what I need, the colors are a lot more deeper and vibrant, and I just popped 4 more gigs of ram in it (8 total) and with the i7, this thing BLAZES.

    Not to mention, my fans have not come on ONCE yet. A huge problem for me with the Air.

    Nothing will ever replace the masterpiece that is the iMac, in my opinion. But I definitely need to be more portable these days, so this, I think, is going to be that perfect balance between the two.
     
  6. clearyjp thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #6
    That is one area where I thought the Air (at least on the unit I have) excelled. I honestly struggle to hear the fan, although I'm not exactly running intensive applications (Word, Safari, iTunes).
     
  7. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #7
    There is a fan inside the MBA? Now who did they get that in there? :confused:

    :rolleyes:
     
  8. ipodlover77 macrumors 65816

    ipodlover77

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    #8
    i sold my 2011 13", than my 2011 2.0 15", and finally my 2011 2.2 15". Screen is def better than the airs but that weight was killer. Just the laptop was bearable but once 2-3 heavy textbooks joined the party i knew right away that the 15" was going to be sold. There are times where i miss the high res screen and the size but when i think about how heavy and cumbersome it was carrying it, it makes me appreciate my air so much more.
     
  9. jltj macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #9
    It's still a wonder to me how they manage to fit anything at all inside the mba!!
     
  10. KohPhiPhi macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #10
    I also went down from an iMac 27" to a 13" MBA because I needed a mobile solution, and I love my MBA.

    I hooked it up to a cheap ($200) external 1920x1080 23" monitor, and it's the perfect setup for me: I have plenty of power and screen state while I'm at my working desktop, plus I have a perfectly mobile laptop while I'm on the go.

    MBA + external monitor = perfect combo!
     
  11. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #11
    Some people have noticed a gradient along the bottom of the screen, others haven't. The MacBook Pro does have a wider color gamut than the MacBook Air, so it is an option. Try a calibration to see if it helps.
     
  12. alecgold macrumors 65816

    alecgold

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Location:
    NLD
    #12
    yeah, well, i preordered one. together with an 11" it makes a big wow, i expect
     
  13. snverhallen macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    #13
    My MacBook Air i5 usually runs at about 60-70 degrees celsius, just wondering if that's a normal temperature with a few Safari tabs open, Skype, iTunes, Vox, Spotify and Todolicious?
     
  14. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #14
    Yup. Im at 60C right now with iTunes and Chrome. Fan at 1999rpm.
     
  15. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #15
    Whoa .. just like some of my acquaintance did :)

    They traded Mac desktop (Mini or iMac) for MBA. I personally love my iMac. And I have a MBA too (basic 11") ... yeah MBA is an excellent machine for the size, it beats up my i7 3.4GHz iMac when it comes to boot time and opening apps (yeah, you know .. SSD)

    But in overall job, I think iMac can do things faster. Things like decoding video, or ripping DVD, and doing some compile feel better, in the end .. other than opening apps and booting, I can do more with my iMac for the same time :D .. And I think my iMac runs much cooler than MBA. CPU temp for iMac is around 35 - 45C depends on work load, MBA is hotter (60 - 70C) .. maybe due to integrated GPU?

    Not to mention, iMac screen is just so nice, you can compare it to Thunderbolt Display. MBA screen seems a bit duller in color, MBP .. well almost the same as iMac, but still worse nonetheless

    So, yeah .. I think I have less love for MBA, but alas .. I need something portable too, so I'm kinda forced to get basic 11" MBA for that. Not really happy or purchase it voluntarily .. I wish I don't need MBA .. oh well

    It's okay if you love MBA more, it's certainly faster in some aspect due to SSD. It's just my share of thought
     
  16. clearyjp thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #16
    I exchanged my MacBook Air last night for a base MacBook Pro 13". My main reason was I just didn't think the Air was worth the extra $500 (I had purchased the 256GB version). I had considered returning it for the 128GB model, but I just didn't think that was going to be enough space for all my files.

    Ok, so a few observations:

    *The screen on the Pro is definitely of better quality compared to the Air. Colours are much more vibrant and consistent top to bottom. Whites are whiter, and blacks are blacker. The blurring along the very bottom of the Air's screen is also not present on the Pro. I did check all the Airs in the store, and all the screens exhibited this blurring along the very bottom. Viewing angles are also much better. This is one of the main reason I returned the Air. For the price, the Air should have a display that is on par with the Pro when it comes to colour gamut.

    *To be honest, I don't miss the higher resolution screen from the Air

    *The speakers in the Pro are just a fraction better than in the Air.

    *The Air was quieter. I could barely hear the fan in the Air, whereas I can hear the fan in the Pro (or perhaps it's the HDD). It's by no means loud, but the Air is practically dead silent in operation.

    *The Pro gets slightly warmer during normal operation.

    *The keyboard on the Pro has better feedback. Slightly deeper travel. However, both keyboards are the best I have ever used.

    * I miss the SSD from the Air. I knew this would happen!

    *The Air is definitely a sexier computer :D The Pro is still a thin notebook computer, but next to the Air, it looks a little obese.

    In the end, the $500 I received back from Apple was worth more to me than all the advantages the Air has on the Pro. If, unlike me, you're not a poor student, and money isn't a problem, by all means, get the Air. However, if you would rather the money in your back pocket, know that the Pro is still going to be a great computer.
     
  17. richpjr macrumors 68030

    richpjr

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    #17
    I struggled long and hard with this and ended up the opposite of you. I originally was going to get a MBP, but spent a lot of time comparing the screens side by side. While I agree with you that the better colors on the MBP, the extra screen real estate decidedly swung me over to the MBA. I have a 27" iMac for photo editing, and mainly use the MBA for programming and general office tasks while on the go, so the extra power in the MBP was not a big factor to me.
     
  18. clearyjp thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #18
    I can understand that. The MBP is my only computer, and whilst I definitely think an Air can also be a persons sole computer, the Pro does a better job of it.
     

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