dilemma between a macbook and macbook air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ipos, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. ipos macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2011

    1.6GHz Processor
    256 GB Storage

    • 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor
    • Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz
    • Intel HD Graphics 6000
    • 8GB memory
    • 256GB PCIe-based flash storage

    • 256GB PCIe-based onboard flash storage1
    • 1.1GHz dual-core
      Intel Core m3 processor
      Turbo Boost up to 2.2GHz
    • 8GB memory
    • Intel HD Graphics 515
    between these 2 specs which will u buy
  2. Adam Warlock macrumors regular

    Adam Warlock

    Jun 22, 2016
    I'd get the Air because other than the screen it's a better computer overall IMO.
  3. ipos thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2011
    agree but the thought of its nearing end of life make me think twice buying it
  4. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    Another vote for the MBA. Sure, the screen isn't the best, but everything else hits the sweet spot. But don't pay full retail for a computer that came out so long ago. I got the 128GB version from Best Buy for $800 last year during one of the sales.
  5. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    Yes, for the 13" MBA, there are still some nice deals that come and go. Sadly, the 11" MBA are probably all gone from the retail channel.

    That is one way to look at it. I think us MBA enthusiasts would argue that it is better to get one while they can still be bought. :D
  6. davybe macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2015
    On the paper, because you listed specs, the Air is, or 'seems' better, like for the processor. But you didn't list Retina, future oriented USB-C, thin & light, battery life etc. all in favor of the MacBook, not to mention the looks, trackpad size, etc. Do you need to beefier processor? because if not the MacBook seems very superior in comfort. The screen is the primary interface with you, if you've ever seen a retina display you'll know it makes a difference.

    All I'm saying is everyone is hooked on specs, comapres with Windows etc. But which one do you WANT to buy?
  7. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    How could anyone answer this without knowing how you plan to use the computer?
  8. Rok73 macrumors 65816


    Apr 21, 2015
    Planet Earth
    Battery life isn't better on the MacBook.


    I decided to go for the latest MBA instead of the MB a couple of months ago.

    For ME the retina screen wasn't a must and the MBA has everything I need for MY use case:

    It's super fast, it has all the ports I need, I like the keyboard more. Overall, I think it's still a sweet machine and you get some good deals for it these days.

    And although it's nearing the end of its product cycle I am pretty sure that it will run just fine with the next 3, 4 or even 5 iterations of macOS, at least when you look at any previous MacBook (Pro) model.

    But it wouldn't be bad if you posted what you want to do with it.
  9. Mainsail macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2010
    I really really like my MBA. Hands-down, it is the best computer I have ever purchased, and I got an unbelievable deal when I bought it (Base 13in 2014 MBA for $750 at BB). These days, you can find lots of good deals on new 2015 MBAs with 8GB RAM.

    My machine will be 3 y.o. in April, so I plan to keep it a couple more years, since I like to get about 5 years from my laptops. Also, in the next couple of years, I think the 12in rMB is going to get better and less expensive: faster processor, better isight camera, better battery life, Thunderbolt 3 replace USBC port, etc.. This is exactly what happened to the base 13in MBA, when it was released in 2010; 7 hour battery life, no backlit keyboard, 4GB RAM, $1299 base price. Current 2015 base 13in MBA: 12 hour battery life, backlit keyboard, 8GB RAM, $999 base price (with frequent deals offered at $200 less).

    With all of this said, I would buy the rMB rather the MBA because the MBA's design, display, ports, and technology are just getting long in the tooth. I think Mac OS updates for the MBA will be supported for a few more years (This is conjecture on my part based somewhat on the history of Apple OS support for their laptops.), but probably not five more years....which is my preferred hold period for a laptop.

    If you can not wait a couple of years for the inevitable 12in rMB price drops and other improvements, then I would at least try to wait until the next rMB update (probably Spring 2017). You might be rewarded with a small price drop, a better processor, and 720p isight processor.
  10. Pugly macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2016
    The screen, extreme portability and having usb-c are the things that make the retina MacBook worth a look. If I wanted a MacBook I would still wait, because with a couple of improvements it will be really great... with fewer compromises. It needs 2 ports and better cpus for the money, and perhaps better battery life... with those things it'll be perfect... maybe a price drop will be in the works in a couple of years too.

    The MacBook Air has fewer compromises, but it's less of a flashy machine... and the screen is adequate but not impressive. You get more power, more usable ports, sd card and better battery life. And the cost is much better.

    I'm not one to miss out on performance and usability for a nicer screen, so I choose the MacBook Air. But some can't live without the most beautiful screen they can get... so they choose the Retina MacBook...
  11. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    The MBA because it has ports and power.
  12. Left4DeadBoy macrumors regular


    Sep 20, 2015
    hi The Macbook has FASCINATING girly colors that girls enjoy . Macbook air is for the willing to pay less money when its considered alltogether crowd .
  13. Jyby macrumors 6502

    May 31, 2011
    I have a late 2013 MBA 11". It has an i7 1.7 to 3.3GHz duel core. Intel 5000 HD, 8GB ram, and 512 SSD.
    It's pretty as powerful as I need it, except for gaming. I bought it refurbished from Apple for $1100 + Apple Care.
  14. cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502


    Apr 2, 2012
    Somewhere In Time
    Until last week I would have said MBA without hesitation. Then my college student granddaughter got a refurbed rMB with the same specs the OP posted. It was her first Mac and since I was in town (and influenced the purchase) I helped her work through the transition from her ugly, overweight Dell. In the process I got to spend some time messing with the MB. It's fast and behaves like every other Mac, and it's a great computer for someone who just needs to be mobile.

    I have no desire to trade in my old reliable MBA, but if I did a MacBook would be at the top of my list.
  15. Billy Underhill macrumors newbie

    Billy Underhill

    Jun 2, 2016
    I would go with the MacBook Air

    Mainly for the processor

    I'm not a big fan of the "M" chips

    Having an i5 chip, to me, is a much better processor

    I hope they start putting i5 or i7 processors in the MacBook
  16. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    If you can tolerate the Air display, it's a better buy. If not the rMB is nice, if you don't use a lot of ports.
  17. bingeciren macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2011
    Get the rMB and use it for 14 days. You will be surprised how responsive and how quick it is. After using it for a week, if you still don't like it, return it. But I have a feeling that you will keep it. I can't vouch for the 1.1 m3 but if you get the 1.3 m7, which is what I have, you won't regret it.

    I gave my maxed out late 2012 11" Air to my son and got myself the rMB. I don't feel any sluggishness, slow down or anything negative about this machine. A lot of the negative comments are probably coming from people who have never even tried one.
  18. jmoore5196, Jan 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017

    jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a


    May 19, 2009
    Midwest US
    Between the two - 13" MBA and 12" rMB - I'd choose the rMB purely because it's a technologically advanced machine. If I had to choose between an 11" MBA and the rMB, I'd opt for the MBA for portability. I've owned all three; the 11" MBA is, hands down, the best notebook I've ever had. The 13" is fine, but outdated. The rMB may be underpowered and under-ported, but it's the future. That counts for something with me.
  19. 576316 macrumors 601

    May 19, 2011
    Plus none-Retina is unbearable. The Air screen looks rubbish. Couldn't personally put up with that.
  20. villicodelirant macrumors 6502


    Aug 3, 2011
    If it's gonna be your only computer, another vote for the Air, for reasons already mentioned.

    If it's gonna be strictly a portable machine for email and stuff on the go, perhaps the rMB.
  21. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    Ah, you are one of those super X-Men with hypervision able to pick out individual pixels on a retina display from 20 feet away. :p
  22. pika2000 macrumors 601

    Jun 22, 2007
    People made fun of the Core M chips, but they are actually quite decent, especially the Skylake iteration. They will fulfill the computing needs of majority of people, even if those people think they need the Core i series. I guess blame it on intel's own marketing for people thinking they need Core i5/i7 for their basic computing tasks.
    I have a Core m7 Windows laptop, and I can play some games on it decently enough. There are youtube videos showing the retina Macbook handling 4K videos on Final Cut.

    If you are concerned about screen quality and weights, the retina Macbook is the way to go.
    If you are concerned about USB ports/SD card and battery life, then get the Macbook Air 13"
  23. 576316 macrumors 601

    May 19, 2011
    The Air does not have a Retina display. The Air looks terrible compared to a Retina display. In this day and age, buying a laptop with a display of that resolution is silly and you're bound to be sick of it in less than a year. It's an eye sore.
  24. villicodelirant macrumors 6502


    Aug 3, 2011
    You do realize about 99% of humanity manages to get real work done every day with "a display of that resolution"? :)

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