$599 brand new 11.6" MBA... still a good buy? Would you rather buy 12" Macbook for $899 instead?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Hal~9000, Jun 2, 2016.


Would you rather buy a 11-inch MBA for $599 or 12-inch Retina Macbook for $899?

  1. 11-inch Macbook Air for $599

    26 vote(s)
  2. 12-inch Retina Macbook for $899

    13 vote(s)
  1. Hal~9000, Jun 2, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016

    Hal~9000 macrumors 68000


    Sep 13, 2014
    At $599 is a brand new 2015 11.6" Macbook Air (1.6ghz i5/4gb/128gb) still a good buy?

    Would you rather buy a brand new 2015 12" Retina Macbook (1.1ghz core M/8gb/256gb) for $899 instead?

    Thank you for your thoughts :)
  2. ajay96 macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2013
    The only thing that i'd be looking at is the RAM, and it would depend on what type of work you do on it. Also the hard drive space would matter. But personally, i'd go for the Macbook air still, I don't do anything too intense on my rMBP anyway right now. I could have gotten away with the air, but wanted the retina screen. :p
  3. Hal~9000, Jun 2, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016

    Hal~9000 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Sep 13, 2014
    Yeah, I've had a 13-inch Macbook Air (4gb/128gb) in the past that worked just fine. I don't plan on doing anything crazy and 4gb of RAM never seemed like an issue. I mainly would just be doing web browsing, video streaming twitch/youtube, gaming on emulators, some light microsoft office, etc. I've got two 1tb hard drives for extra storage as well so the 128gb doesn't bother me. Main difference would just be the TN vs IPS screen but it's not like I disliked the Macbook Airs screen when I had it.

    While the 12" retina macbook has a better screen and speakers, there are also a few other annoyances to deal with:
    • $300 more ($599 vs $899)
    • Very shallow keyboard
    • USB C adapters needed for my hard drives
    • $199 battery replacement vs $129 for MBA
  4. ajay96 macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2013
    With what you would intend to do on it, i would definitely go for the Air if you don't mind having a non-retina screen.
  5. JoEw macrumors 68000


    Nov 29, 2009
    Get the 12" Retina, MBA screen is terrible and it's very noticeable next to any electronic in 2016. You're going to be looking at this the most.
    Unless you somehow really need all the ports and the faster processor power.
  6. Hal~9000 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Sep 13, 2014
    Interesting. I haven't actually seen the Macbook in person yet, only some youtube and written reviews talking about how good the screen is compared to the Macbook Airs. I'm actually afraid to put the two screens side-by-side and become spoiled by the retina one :p
  7. ajay96 macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2013
    I did come from a non-retina screen before this, and it's definitely a noticeable difference.
  8. Hal~9000 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Sep 13, 2014
    Ended up going with the 11" today and liking my choice :)
    • Screen looks ****ing beautiful at 50% brightness
    • So damn compact and a real joy to carry around!
    • Really fast
    • Great battery life
    • Has all the tools (fullscreen apps + gestures) to maximize screen real estate
    • Did I mention super compact and an absolute joy to carry around? :p
    Seems like a great deal at $599 brand new. Highly recommended!
  9. iP1rate macrumors newbie


    May 30, 2016
    Glad you're happy with your purchase. I just picked up an 11 inch MBA myself, nice little machine for going mobile.
  10. G-Wood macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2012
    Greenwood, IN
    I have a similar choice to make. I have a rMBP 15 i7 as my main computer, but wanted an Air as a secondary. I was able to pick up an 11 for $599 and a 13 for $799.

    The MBA 11 is the standard configuration with 4GB/128GB, and the 13 has 8GB/128GB. The battery life, ram and faster read/write of the 13 are appealing for sure. The MBA 11 is $200 less, and I'm not sure that I'll really notice the slower read/write and RAM. My head tells me the 11 is the better deal, but the additional size of the 13 isn't a deal breaker either and the extra things I listed above are pluses for me.

    Anyone end up with the 11 after having both, or any other suggestions? I'm taking one back, but I have a little bit of time to make my choice.
  11. Mlrollin91 macrumors G5


    Nov 20, 2008
    Ventura County
    I had a 13" MBA and returned it and got an 11" MBA. I absolutely love the portability. Now the difference between now and back in 2012, is the 8GB is standard on the 13". That would make it really difficult for me to choose. I think I would still go with the 11" because of how compact it is.

    Where is everyone finding this deal for an 11" for $599?
  12. G-Wood macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2012
    Greenwood, IN
    BestBuy had a one day sale for the 11" at $699, and the $100 student discount dropped it down to $599. $200 is $200, but not the single deciding factor for me. I'm using both right now, and each has a few things that I like. The compact size without much of a decline anywhere else is what has me going back and forth.

    I'm usually not much a second guess kind of guy... for some reason I keep going back and forth on this one. If I think how I really want to use this, the 11" seems to be the right choice. I don't think an additional 4GB of memory is worth an extra $200.
  13. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    I have both a 13" 2012 rMBP and an 11" 2011 Air. I'm 27 and my eyesight is better than 20/20 every time I get it checked, and while I can see the difference between the two screens clearly, I really don't mind the Air as much as people on here claim I should. Is the screen as nice as the rMBP? Nope, but it's certainly not a washed-out pixelated piece of garbage.
  14. ron7624 macrumors 68020


    Oct 14, 2011
    Houston, Texas area
    That is exactly what I did. I bought the MBA over the Macbook. I haven't looked back. The lack of retina is not noticeable to me in that screen size. I have retina iPads and can't really tell the difference.
    When I bought, I placed the MBA next go the Macbook in the Apple store and that helped me make up my mind. I couldn't see a real difference at normal screen sizes, which is where I work over 99% of the time.
  15. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    congrats! A terrific notebook at a terrific price.

    In addition to using full screen for apps and gestures I suggest putting the dock on right or left on auto hide. if you need more storage (I have a 4/128 11" MBA), I recommend a nano usb thumb drive. They don't sit flush when inserted but they are shallow enough to keep inserted and not get in the way.

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