Advice on whether to buy MBA now or wait for "buy now" for MB?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by valereee, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. valereee macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2010
    Hi! Brand new here, sorry for any noobness.

    I have a year-and-a-half old 13" aluminum MacBook that I've been very happy with but am getting ready to hand down to my daughter because the 5-yo macbook she's using is just not cutting it for her. In looking at the buying guide advice here, I see that a new macbook is listed as "don't buy - updates soon" but the mba is listed as buy now.

    I'm trying to decide whether a mba will fulfill my needs. I take my machine with me fairly often and probably would do so more if it were so much lighter. I use primarily Word, Excel, and Firefox, occasionally all at the same time. I do store my photos and music on this machine, but I NEVER have filled up a machine, not even close. Battery life is not a huge concern as most of the time I can plug in wherever I'm working. I back up with time machine and wouldn't want to lose that, print from this machine occasionally and would prefer not to lose that. Ditto Skype, which we use from this machine to contact our son at college.

    I'd love to give my daughter my current mb for Christmas, tuned up and emptied of all my data, but I don't want to either buy the wrong machine or buy the right machine at the wrong time. I could probably limp along without this machine for a few weeks if the new mb release is likely to be in January or even early February, although I guess it would mean I wouldn't be able to empty this machine before I gave it to her and would have to occasionally 'borrow' it back to access files.

    Should I buy the mba now, or wait for the new release mb?

    Any and all advice sincerely appreciated! I am subscribing to this thread with instant email notification and promise to return to read the advice!

  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    No problem, welcome aboard!

    See my signature below regarding the brownie... but it sounds like the new MacBook Air would suit you fine.
  3. valereee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2010
    LOL! Trust me to apologize for my noobness and then demonstrate it by the very question I'm asking! :cool: <---me

    So maybe what I should ask is...will the mba fulfill my particular needs, which aren't power or storage heavy?

  4. molala macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Cambridge, UK
    From your described use, it sounds like the MBA would suit you. The only concern I would have is if you would miss having a Superdrive (although you could just get an external one).

    As for when the next MB will be released, it might be Jan or Feb. I can't imagine them releasing it as late as April (1 year after last release).
  5. valereee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2010
    The apple store seems to offer an optional Superdrive in the that an external, then? I hadn't realized. I actually don't use the drive much but my husband uses it several times a week to burn music cds or load music, and occasionally one of the kids watches a movie on my machine. Although it would actually be really fun if they'd all quit that. :D I could buy the ext drive and then HIDE it.

  6. shingles314 macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2010
    The SuperDrive is external.

    I think the MBA should be more than enough for your needs. The tougher question (sorry to cloud it up. :)) is 11.6 or 13.3.

    As for the next MB... unless you are in need of the internal drive, or the faster CPU, I don't think there's a reason to wait. While I have no doubt it'll be nice, I think you would be real happy with the MBA.
  7. bowlerman625 macrumors 68020


    Jun 17, 2009
    Chicago, IL area
    I think you would be very happy with one of the new MBAs.

    Good luck and happy shopping!
  8. valereee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2010
    I'd probably go with the 13.3. My current macbook has a 13" screen and the one thing I was looking at if replacing it is whether I'd go with a mbp 15" -- I often am moving back and forth between two pages, and 13 isn't really quite big enough to make it work easily; I have to play with margins a lot. I guess that's another disadvantage to the air for me, although quite honestly I was wondering if $600 difference for the mbp 15 was really worth it when otherwise I really don't need a pro. If the macbook still came in 15 I'd probably go for that.

    Hm, re just buying a mb now...maybe the brownie argument is getting to me. My current mb is plenty fast for me, and it would be about $300 cheaper than the air once I bump to the 13, boost the ram, add the are the lightness factor and the fact it's today's brownie the only real benefits, and are they worth $300?

  9. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Don't underestimate the impact of the SSD. If you have never used a computer with an SSD before, you are in for a treat. It boots up in 15 seconds from a full power down. Applications load much more quickly, and anything disk intensive is quicker.

    I see you plan to boost the RAM. I think that's a good idea for $100, since it is not upgradable later, though OS X runs fine with 2GB. A 13" MacBook Air with 4GB and a 128GB SSD, along with the optional superdrive would run $1478, compared to $1099 for a base MacBook with 4GB. While you could purchase a 128GB SSD for about $250-300 from a third party and install it in the base MacBook, it would require opening it up to install it. The Air also has a higher resolution screen. Plus, it is much lighter. Once you have used a 3lb notebook, you won't want to go back to a 5lb MacBook.

    Note that you don't need to use Apple's Superdrive. Any USB-powered DVD drive will work.
  10. valereee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2010

    I went ahead and ordered -- 13" macbook air, boosted the RAM. I left out the superdrive -- figured it's external, I can buy it later if I decide I need it. Thanks all for the help! Now crossed fingers it arrives sooner rather than later so I feel comfortable cleaning my files off the current mb when I have it tuned up for my daughter!

  11. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Congrats Val, you made the right choice. The new MBA has gotten some amazing reviews. I like when a woman comes to the forums for help, they are usually to the point and have their minds made up quickly. Most of the guys that come here for buying advice create multiple pages of posts that can last several weeks and still never end up buying anything.

    Depending on where you live hopefully you'll get it by December 24th. Also, welcome to the forums. :)
  12. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    Yes, 13" MBA great choice. It's a heck of a notebook!

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