Buying now = outdated right away?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by rhino89, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. rhino89 macrumors regular

    Nov 7, 2011
    I've been considering buying a MacBook air (my first MacBook), but am hesitant because the push towards retina makes me wonder if I'll end up buying a MacBook and then having it be "outdated" within a few months. Does it make sense to buy a non-retina Air (meaning wait for apple to release one) at this point in the game?
  2. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    That will always be true. What you buy today will be "outdated" whenever the eventual refresh happens in 2015 and what you buy then will be outdated by the refresh in 2016 and so on. Unless the refresh is imminent within the next week or maybe a month, there isn't much point chasing that around. Most times, what you buy now will be sufficient for a significant span of time.

    The greatest danger, if any, is for first generation devices which may get dropped or fall out of spec sooner than mature devices. The Air has been around since 2008 and is quite mature in its life cycle.
  3. Zxxv macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2011
    depends what you want it for. Typing? its fine. and will be for a very very long time. Editing photos... meh retina would be better. Making music, many do. Playing videos, its fine. Battery life is out of this world. I can't see apple achieving the same with retina but who knows.
  4. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    I bought my new MBA a week before the new retina one was "supposed" to be announced back in September. I wanted to wait a few more days but I was under some time pressure. The way I came to terms with it was to think: the worst that will happen is that I will have a super thin, small, lightweight, powerful laptop with excellent battery life and a perfectly adequate screen. And I'm okay if that's the worst thing that happens. :)
  5. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    If it does what you expect it to do, then it isn't outdated - Then it is working just fine.
  6. MrGimper macrumors 603


    Sep 22, 2012
    Andover, UK
    May also be worth noting that in the recent news post on the Macrumors front page regarding the new 12" MBA, there is no mention of retina.

    May not be any significance in this omission, but I thought it had been mentioned previously...
  7. Dweez macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
    My 8 gig / 512 gig 13" mid 2013 MBA isn't outdated yet, nor do I see it becoming outdated in the near future. It does exactly what I bought it for, and does it damn well.
  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Only the screen

    Everything else about the current air is bang up to date...
  9. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    If you need it now, then you need it now.

    If you can get a killer deal on the current models, I recommend getting one.

    Otherwise, wait a few weeks.
  10. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    I don't know if waiting just a few weeks will do anything. In my opinion, if you can wait, then wait until at least April when either new models are released or the rumors will be much more accurate.
  11. johannnn macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2009
    Buy now and you'll get something without flaws.
    Buy a 1st gen of a new product line in Q1 and it will have flaws (insert any 1st gen product like the first MBA, possibly the most overheated computer in history).
  12. cerberusss macrumors 6502a


    Aug 25, 2013
    The Netherlands
    Yeah, I agree. I feel this machine is so far ahead of the competition, it won't feel outdated for a loooong time.
  13. m98custom1212 macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2013
    Toledo, Ohio
    Minus the screen
  14. kobalap macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2009
  15. Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    Newer isn't always better…. look at the Mac Mini for example. It went for over 2 years without an update and there were huge threads in the mini forum full of speculation about what the new features would be.

    Then the update was a big letdown for many people. Suddenly the old model became highly desirable and sells out instantly when refurbs appear on Apple's site. So some of the people who waited ended up wanting the old model and not being able to get it anymore.

    Now the issues with the mini are completely different of course, but it's an example of how Apple doesn't always live up to expectations.
  16. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Agree. And if Apple is stupid enough to release a MacBook without a fan, which has been widely rumored, it couldn't possibly perform as well as the current MBAs and there might be a similar rush to purchase 2014 MBAs.

    Then again, if all they do is put a bigger retina screen in an 11" Air, that's not rocket science. Battery life might take a hit but I trust there wouldn't be any major flaws with such a machine.
  17. JHUFrank macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2010
    I agree here. The current MBA is a very mature, well tested quality device/form factor. I prefer stability as my laptops double for work computers also.
  18. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2011
    Enjoy that's a great machine. I would say that my 4gb/256gb 13" mid 2011 is not outdated, they keyboard is just a bit funky!
    OP: it's a great machine don't wait.
  19. Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I also had a 2011 13" 4gb/256gb MBA and it was great. Sold it to a friend in a "sweetheart deal" and she loves it.

    I now have a 2013 11" 8gb/512gb MBA and like it even more though. There were some pretty significant upgrades since 2011. USB 3.0 is a big one and so is 802.11ac wifi. Battery life is much better on the newer machines too. And the max memory available in 2011 was 4gb and max SSD was 256gb.

    Of course, not everyone needs these things, but I definitely appreciate the difference. :) Now I would consider these "incremental upgrades" however, as opposed to the rumored 12" device that sounds like a radically different machine.
  20. skaertus macrumors 68040


    Feb 23, 2009
    I can see people are still defending the MacBook Air. Lots of posts saying that the Air is not outdated if it does what you need; and that any laptop will get outdated in a few months.

    Well, these people do not get the point. Yes, the Air will become outdated in a few months, according to rumors. Apple will release a brand-new machine, equipped with a a 12-inch retina display and that will be super-thin. That's what rumors are saying, and they are probably true.

    The current form factor dates back from late 2010. It's been four years. If you buy the MacBook Air right now, you will buy a laptop that has updated specs (as of now), but the form factor will be replaced by something more modern in a few months.

    Every laptop gets outdated, that's true. But, the way Apple does things, there's two ways of seeing this outdated thing. A MacBook Air bought in 2011 has exactly the same appearance as one bought today; it won't have the same speed or storage or battery life, but it has the same screen, the same weight and the same look and feel. It's outdated in specs only, but not in the whole computer experience. But the 2014 model will get outdated in a few months, if you believe the rumors that say a new machine is coming.

    Now, if you are fine with an outdated machine, then it's OK. If you prefer the 13-inch Air with its non-retina display over a 12-inch retina one, then it's fine as well. But that's personal preference. From an objective standpoint, yes, the Air will get outdated. If you need to have the most up-to-date laptop in the world, then it's your call.
  21. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    OMG, weren't you the one who was posting like nuts in August that Apple was definitely going to release a retina MBA at their event in September? Does it bother you at all that you were 100% completely wrong?

    Apple will eventually release a retina MacBook Air, no doubt. But nobody knows when. Heck, it was common knowledge that Apple would release it almost two years ago.

    What in the world are you talking about, form factor? The screen will be at the top and the keyboard will be at the bottom. What do you think is going to change? If the new MBA does get thinner or lighter, it won't be by any meaningful amount.
  22. skaertus macrumors 68040


    Feb 23, 2009
    It does not bother me that I was wrong. In fact, I was not 100% wrong. Apple last updated the MacBook Air in April, and it was a carryover from last year. The differences were minor, just a very small bump in processor speed and reduced prices. The reason for this is that Intel delayed the release of Broadwell.

    This whole thing that "nobody knows when" Apple will release the retina Air is true, but reveals a flawed logic. Everybody can have an educated guess. The current MacBook Air form factor is four years old. There are lots of ultrabooks out there which are beating the Air in specs. And there are lots of rumors about the imminent release of a brand-new Air. So, even if nobody knows when Apple will release it, it is pretty clear to me that the release will be quite soon.

    I had the choice to buy a MacBook Air last year when I updated my laptop. I didn't because I felt the retina MacBook Pro was a more up-to-date machine and better suited my needs. I don't regret my choice at all. I didn't buy an Air one year ago and I wouldn't buy one now for sure. But that's just me being myself.

    There will be a new model in a few months, if rumors are to be believed. The screen will be IPS and have a better resolution. The laptop will probably get thinner and lighter. There may be changes in the trackpad. We don't know for sure what Apple will come up with.

    Of course, the current form factor is fine, and if you are OK with it, then go ahead and buy it, it's your money after all. Even if Apple releases a new laptop in six months or so, that won't make the current Air a worse computer. But if you want the most up-to-date thing around, then you may get disappointed.
  23. John marts macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2014
    It depends what your definition of outdated is.

    If you want the lastest and greatest, then yes it will be outdated sometime soon I bet.

    If it fits your needs from the start, then its not outdated.
  24. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    No, you were 100% wrong. You were predicting a retina, fanless, thinner MBA. None of those things happened. You could not possibly have been more wrong.

    Well, yeah. Apple is going to release a new product sometime. The more time passes, the closer we get to that time. Right now we're closer to the new release than we were 2 years ago. Does that mean the release will be "quite soon"? No, it doesn't.

    I'm sure you're going to keep predicting a new MBA every week between now and when it happens and when it finally does happen, you'll be very pleased with yourself for making the correct prediction. I guess a broken clock is right twice a day.

    Different screen doesn't mean new form factor.

    Actually I think a case can be made that MacBook Pros haven't meaningfully changed their form factor since 2008. So I don't know what you're talking about re: form factor.
  25. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    it's only a secondary machine for you. that means to me there is no urgency because you don't need the machine now.

    since there are somewhat credible rumors that there will be a substantial update and change in form factor (not just a 10% cpu speed increase) i would wait.

    when the specs of the update become known you can make up your mind and either buy the new one or one of the old ones.

    if you however need the machine now (e.g for a upcoming trip) then i would buy right now a refurb 13" machine and never look back. the 12" might come out in 6 month from now and then you got good use out of your MBA before it became "outdated" (which it will be for most of its lifetime anyway). Just make sure to order a model with max RAM.

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