Back to the Air!

capathy21

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 16, 2014
1,375
550
Houston, Texas
A couple of weeks ago I got the fever to purchase my first new Macbook. I have used the iPhone for about a year now and purchased my first iPad a couple of months ago. I purchased a 2007 white Macbook off of Craigslist for 100 bucks to see if OSX was for me and I was hooked. I used to be a card carrying member of the (Apple's products are overpriced and trendy but suck) club but after actually allowing myself to use them, I realized what I had been missing.

After much research trying to get to know the Macbook lineup, I ordered a base model 13 inch Air and was happy. Well the techie in me kept reading up about the wonderful retina display. While the display in my Air wasn't bad, I could tell a difference between my ipad/iphone display and that of the Air. I ended up swapping the Air for a 13inch rMBP which after student discount, still cost about 400 more than I had paid for the Air. While I loved the retina display, I missed the battery life and overall form factor of the Air.

Enter the Best Buy sale. My mind once again started thinking of how much I enjoyed the experience I had with the Air. But that retina display! I kept telling myself that it was worth the 400 dollar premium to "not see any pixels."

Based on my title, you can see where the story ends. I went to Best Buy tonight and picked up a 13 inch Air and with the sale+student discount+mover's coupon, I got a base model for 675 plus tax.

I was still unsure of which model I would end up keeping but after 2 hours with the Air my mind is made up. I will be returning the rMBP. While it is a beautiful machine with a wonderful display, it just isn't as comfortable to me as the Air.

Will I miss the retina display? Maybe, but the display on the Air is not bad at all. I will take the 12-15 hour battery life any day. Had the rMBP and the Air been closer in price, I still would have chosen the Air. But the money I save (now 500 dollars with BB sale) made the decision even easier:)

Not sure exactly what my point is other than I find the Air to be a fantastic machine that i hope to use for several years or until that retina MBA with 15 hour battery life comes along!
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,741
9,582
Prescott Valley, AZ
congratulations! After struggling for 9 months to get some usefulness out of my Surface RT and Surface 2, I too ended up getting in on Best Buy's MBA deal. I picked up the 11.6" 128GB model. Only slightly larger than the Surface 2 it replaced, but with the full OSX experience I've come to appreciate on my other devices.
 

capathy21

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 16, 2014
1,375
550
Houston, Texas
congratulations! After struggling for 9 months to get some usefulness out of my Surface RT and Surface 2, I too ended up getting in on Best Buy's MBA deal. I picked up the 11.6" 128GB model. Only slightly larger than the Surface 2 it replaced, but with the full OSX experience I've come to appreciate on my other devices.
I thought long and hard about the 11 inch model. I even had the sales associate pull the 11 inch model down from the shelf. Being that it is my only computer, I just felt in the long run that 13 would be more comfortable for me. I do love the footprint of the 11 though. They are both fantastic machines and I doubt you can go wrong with either model. I am very interested to see if the rumored 12 inch with retina turns out to be real. Sounds like it may be the perfect size.
 

jbs-horn

macrumors member
May 1, 2014
34
19
One of the things I found most remarkable about the 11" MBA is that the keyboard has the same dimensions as my 13" MBP. There's more bezel around the outside of the keyboard on the larger computer, but in no way is the MBA hobbled by an undersized keyboard as so many netbook computers are. The 13" has a larger screen, which makes things more readable for some of us who have visual issues. For travel, though, either the small MBA or the Surface 2 is the tool of choice.

I thought long and hard about the 11 inch model. I even had the sales associate pull the 11 inch model down from the shelf. Being that it is my only computer, I just felt in the long run that 13 would be more comfortable for me. I do love the footprint of the 11 though. They are both fantastic machines and I doubt you can go wrong with either model. I am very interested to see if the rumored 12 inch with retina turns out to be real. Sounds like it may be the perfect size.
 

coldjeanzzz

macrumors 6502a
Nov 4, 2012
655
17
I used to be a card carrying member of the (Apple's products are overpriced and trendy but suck) club but after actually allowing myself to use them, I realized what I had been missing.
:D Yeah I find that most people who held this opinion have never actually used Apple products (Macs in particular). It's irrational hatred
 

capathy21

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 16, 2014
1,375
550
Houston, Texas
:D Yeah I find that most people who held this opinion have never actually used Apple products (Macs in particular). It's irrational hatred

Right, I used to work for a regional cellular company that did not sell the iphone so it was indoctrinated into our sales training to hate the iphone and anything Apple for that matter.
 

snowman1

macrumors regular
Mar 17, 2010
150
13
OP, I'm just curious: why did you find the 13" MBA to be more comfortable than the rMBP? Either way, congrats! :)
 

capathy21

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 16, 2014
1,375
550
Houston, Texas
OP, I'm just curious: why did you find the 13" MBA to be more comfortable than the rMBP? Either way, congrats! :)
That's a very good question. Several things really.

1)Weight-I know its only a half a pound or so difference but when relaxing on the couch or picking it up to put in my bag, it makes a difference.

2)Wedge-The way the front tapers down to a fine point is much more comfortable on my wrists while typing. I found the edge of the rMBP much less comfortable to type on.

3)Heat-Although by Macbook standards the rMBP runs cool, it still put out enough heat (especially on the bottom near the front) that it became uncomfortable against my leg after a few minutes of use. I know even though it's called a laptop, Apple never meant for users to rest it on their lap but I do. I do a lot of writing while sitting on the couch or in an easy chair and I don't feel I should have to put something underneath the computer just to be comfortable. Unless I really push it, the Air remains cool as a cucumber even after a couple of hours.

4)Keyboard-Although the key travel is less with the Air, I find it much more comfortable to type on. This is purely subjective as many users actually prefer the pro to the Air in this regard.

Those are the main things that to me, really make the Air the better machine for my needs. I won't lie, the retina display is MUCH sharper and easier on the eyes but I will sacrifice that to gain the other things I mentioned above.
 

zunairryk

macrumors regular
Mar 8, 2009
215
3
Vancouver, BC
That's a very good question. Several things really.

1)Weight-I know its only a half a pound or so difference but when relaxing on the couch or picking it up to put in my bag, it makes a difference.

2)Wedge-The way the front tapers down to a fine point is much more comfortable on my wrists while typing. I found the edge of the rMBP much less comfortable to type on.

3)Heat-Although by Macbook standards the rMBP runs cool, it still put out enough heat (especially on the bottom near the front) that it became uncomfortable against my leg after a few minutes of use. I know even though it's called a laptop, Apple never meant for users to rest it on their lap but I do. I do a lot of writing while sitting on the couch or in an easy chair and I don't feel I should have to put something underneath the computer just to be comfortable. Unless I really push it, the Air remains cool as a cucumber even after a couple of hours.

4)Keyboard-Although the key travel is less with the Air, I find it much more comfortable to type on. This is purely subjective as many users actually prefer the pro to the Air in this regard.

Those are the main things that to me, really make the Air the better machine for my needs. I won't lie, the retina display is MUCH sharper and easier on the eyes but I will sacrifice that to gain the other things I mentioned above.

As someone who went from Macbook air 13" to rMBP 13, i agree with you on these points. The macbook air has such a nice form factor. Even though rMBP is only 0.5 pounds heavier and slightly thicker, it just feels so much more in real life.
I have used Macbook air for years and it is my favourite laptop. Especially the 2013/2014 versions. They run so cool and have amazing battery life. So why did i switch. Simply, the SCREEN lol. After using 1080p smartphones and a retina iPad, i just was not satisfied with MBA screen. One thing that i noticed about rMBP screen is that, not only it is much sharper(duh) but the colour reproduction is so much better as well. The blacks are blacks and whites are white and overall the content just pop.

When Apple comes out with a retina MBA, i will surely switch back. I just hope they come out with a 13" model not the rumoured 12".
 

Ronnoco

macrumors 68030
Oct 16, 2007
2,568
522
United States of America
That's a very good question. Several things really.

1)Weight-I know its only a half a pound or so difference but when relaxing on the couch or picking it up to put in my bag, it makes a difference.

2)Wedge-The way the front tapers down to a fine point is much more comfortable on my wrists while typing. I found the edge of the rMBP much less comfortable to type on.

3)Heat-Although by Macbook standards the rMBP runs cool, it still put out enough heat (especially on the bottom near the front) that it became uncomfortable against my leg after a few minutes of use. I know even though it's called a laptop, Apple never meant for users to rest it on their lap but I do. I do a lot of writing while sitting on the couch or in an easy chair and I don't feel I should have to put something underneath the computer just to be comfortable. Unless I really push it, the Air remains cool as a cucumber even after a couple of hours.

4)Keyboard-Although the key travel is less with the Air, I find it much more comfortable to type on. This is purely subjective as many users actually prefer the pro to the Air in this regard.

Those are the main things that to me, really make the Air the better machine for my needs. I won't lie, the retina display is MUCH sharper and easier on the eyes but I will sacrifice that to gain the other things I mentioned above.
Great post...I concur 100%. I've had about every iteration of Apple's laptop line since 2000 and this current MacBook Air is IMO the finest portable computer Apple has ever produced. The only thing that could top it for me would be a Broadwell Retina version. Can't wait! :D
 

capathy21

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 16, 2014
1,375
550
Houston, Texas
I just hope they come out with a 13" model not the rumoured 12".
I agree I really hope they put out a 13 inch model. I almost made myself get the 11 inch so that I would be accustomed to a smaller size should the rMBA actually be only 11.88 inches but I thought better. Better to be happy now especially with nothing but rumors circulating.
 

entropi

macrumors 6502a
May 20, 2008
513
322
3)Heat-Although by Macbook standards the rMBP runs cool, it still put out enough heat (especially on the bottom near the front) that it became uncomfortable against my leg after a few minutes of use. I know even though it's called a laptop, Apple never meant for users to rest it on their lap but I do.
Apple calls the mac portables "Notebook" for a reason (maybe so they won't get sued by people who got fried from having quadcore portable macs in their lap!) :)

https://www.apple.com/batteries/notebooks.html

(btw, I'm a sucker for the mba 11" - planning on getting one for portable needs to stay free from rMBP just a little longer for everything to mature and for audio & music-centric devs to catch up... few audio-apps are retina-optimized yet)
 

racer1441

macrumors 68000
Jul 3, 2009
1,779
396
I have a constant internal debate....love the 11 inch for portability but hate the screen.

Love the retina screen, but hate the weight.

Life choices!
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,741
9,582
Prescott Valley, AZ
I have a constant internal debate....love the 11 inch for portability but hate the screen.

Love the retina screen, but hate the weight.

Life choices!
It is definitely a subjective choice. I would suggest that the screen is actually a fine screen. It is better than 95% of the screens out there. But the 11.6" for factor and the overall quality of the package is more impressive and useful IMO. But then again, i chose to buy the 11.6" MBA.
 

racer1441

macrumors 68000
Jul 3, 2009
1,779
396
It is definitely a subjective choice. I would suggest that the screen is actually a fine screen. It is better than 95% of the screens out there. But the 11.6" for factor and the overall quality of the package is more impressive and useful IMO. But then again, i chose to buy the 11.6" MBA.
It's such a massive debate. I love the 11 inch air, but also having retina iPads and MacBook pros it's like taking corse sand and rubbing it in my eyes.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,741
9,582
Prescott Valley, AZ
It's such a massive debate. I love the 11 inch air, but also having retina iPads and MacBook pros it's like taking corse sand and rubbing it in my eyes.
I have a retina iPad (iPad 4) and a 11" MBA. I typically hold the iPad closer to my eyes than the MBA. At the usual distance I keep the MBA (for typing), I don't notice it being non-retina.
 

capathy21

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 16, 2014
1,375
550
Houston, Texas
I have a retina iPad (iPad 4) and a 11" MBA. I typically hold the iPad closer to my eyes than the MBA. At the usual distance I keep the MBA (for typing), I don't notice it being non-retina.
I can tell the difference but it isn't as drastic as some make it out to be.
 

Gpulvi

macrumors member
Oct 11, 2011
88
12
Buenos Aires, Argentina
congratulations! After struggling for 9 months to get some usefulness out of my Surface RT and Surface 2, I too ended up getting in on Best Buy's MBA deal. I picked up the 11.6" 128GB model. Only slightly larger than the Surface 2 it replaced, but with the full OSX experience I've come to appreciate on my other devices.

Can someone show this to Microsoft execs?

:p
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,741
9,582
Prescott Valley, AZ
Can someone show this to Microsoft execs?

:p
Contrary to what they'll say at their presentations, they don't seem to care. I wanted to see the Surface succeed, and was even a proponent of the non-Pro Surfaces. Oh well.

The more that I use my MBA, the more impressed I am with it. For years I've lugged around a 15.4" MBP and didn't think much of it. Now I wonder how I managed to lug that "battleship" all over the place. :)

Performance is surprisingly good and smooth. Running the 1 or 2 Windows apps (via Wineskin) are a pleasure.

The only thing that I'd like would've been an SD card slot... instead I found 2 USB "nubs" that work well for supplementing the onboard 128GB.

I have the 64GB Sandisk Cruzer Fit USB drive. That works perfectly.

I also have an Elago Mobile Nano II usb microSD drive which is similar in size to the Cruzer, but actually has a slot for a microSD card. This works but had a tricky time of getting the system to recognize it.
 

Gpulvi

macrumors member
Oct 11, 2011
88
12
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Back to the Air!

Contrary to what they'll say at their presentations, they don't seem to care. I wanted to see the Surface succeed, and was even a proponent of the non-Pro Surfaces. Oh well.

The more that I use my MBA, the more impressed I am with it. For years I've lugged around a 15.4" MBP and didn't think much of it. Now I wonder how I managed to lug that "battleship" all over the place. :)

Performance is surprisingly good and smooth. Running the 1 or 2 Windows apps (via Wineskin) are a pleasure.

The only thing that I'd like would've been an SD card slot... instead I found 2 USB "nubs" that work well for supplementing the onboard 128GB.

I have the 64GB Sandisk Cruzer Fit USB drive. That works perfectly.

I also have an Elago Mobile Nano II usb microSD drive which is similar in size to the Cruzer, but actually has a slot for a microSD card. This works but had a tricky time of getting the system to recognize it.
I've installed Parallels desktop on an 11'' Air and Windows 8 runs smoothly, even when I use it full screen. The four finger swap between OSX and Win8 astonishes my friends :D
 
Last edited:
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.