Give my upcoming purchase the once-over: 11" 2012 mba

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ammirare, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. ammirare macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2012
    Hello, all!

    I'm returning to undergrad this fall and I have been meticulously researching my next laptop purchase. However, as I am not especially confident in my knowledge of computer systems... I'd feel a lot better if *you all* my review my train of thought about my upcoming purchase, so I don't waste my money on excessive upgrades or end up with a computer that doesn't ultimately meet my needs.

    My current computer: an old Powerbook G4 12". I bought it used in great condition in 2008 --the guy was basically using it as a glorified harddrive--for about $600. It suited my needs well for three years of undergrad work. Now, however, it feels very sluggish, is really picky about picking up any wifi, and desperately needs a new battery. I LOVE it, though. Wonderful size. AND! To my great surprise, in the 4 years I've owned it, I've only occupied about 40GB of its harddrive space.

    I'm interested in the 2012 11" MBA, i5 processor, 128GB SSD, 8GB RAM.

    I've read that the price difference between the i5 vs i7 processor does not correspond to the computer's actual performance increase, so decided against i7.

    I've read that upgrading RAM, which we all know is soldered on in these Airs, is the best way to "future-proof" it, for not too high a premium.

    I've decided that 128 GB SSD should suit me just fine. I've barely used 40GB in my other device(!). I access and save more of my images/movies/music in the cloud now, too, which frees up more HD space. Also, I can easily use an external hd to store stuff if I need to, and I imagine that the price of SSDs will fall in the future. If in a few years I decide I need more space, the premium won't be so high.

    I'm about 85% sure I should go with the 11" vs the 13", as I enjoyed the small footprint of my 12" powerbook so much. It was only kind of a pain when writing research papers and wanting to glance at multiple documents all up on the screen at the same time. I like that the 11" will fit into the bag I already carry. I like that I can easily use it in bed or on my knee or on a small table or anywhere, and that it is tsa-friendly (I will be flying between Kentucky and Maine for school).

    I have 2 more years left of undergrad. I am interested in architecture, design, planning, and I do worry that the 11" air is not powerful enough for my potential future needs. BUT I don't want to shell out a hunk of change to get a computer based on my hypothetical future needs.

    Any thoughts? Any suggestions?
  2. kolz macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2012
    gonna be short and simple: get it! :D

    11" vs 13" - 2hrs battery difference matters for u? if not go 11"

    the air should be sufficient to handle the graphic processes for you now.
  3. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a


    May 19, 2009
    Midwest US
    I'd second the recommendation: Go for it!

    I purchased an 11" i7/8/256 two weeks ago and don't regret it a bit ... it's a beautiful machine.
  4. IndianaSolo macrumors member


    Apr 8, 2010
    I'll third it, lol.

    I just ordered the exact system you are considering and expected delivery is August 2nd.

    I'm upgrading from a 2007 15" MacBook Pro. Passing it on to my dad and still debating whether or not to upgrade it to Mountain Lion. I currently have Snow Leopard on it and experience no issues.
  5. MacLappy macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2011
    Looks like it would be a perfect fit for you, go for it. :D
  6. MagicThief83 macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2012
    Just buy it and don't look back. My sig will tell you what machine I purchased :D I love the 11" Air. It handles everything I throw at it extremely well. From word processing, web surfing, email, to D3 gaming under Bootcamp in Windows, the 11" performs and does so stylishly! I contemplated as to whether I should've gotten the 13", but I will be getting a new iMac hopefully when they are refreshed soon, so the 11" is perfect for the time being. This is by far, the most beautiful and best machine I have ever owned. If you prefer portability, I recommend the 11" over the 13" Air.
  7. Scylax macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2009
    Go for it!

    The configuration you've described sounds exactly right for your needs. Definitely max out the RAM to 8GB. I use the 11" MBA basically as my sole machine for my undergrad work, and it's a brilliant tool (though I badly want the 8GB of RAM, hence my recommendation). The screen doesn't feel that small, especially with apps that use the full screen.
  8. sonofpismo macrumors regular


    May 20, 2002
    Orlando, Florida
    2012 MBA 11.6" i7/8GB/128GB

    The thin, light and widescreen aspects of the 11" are a true win. Unless you are video or photo editing regularly, the i5 should be fine, but I recommend the 8GB RAM.

    I went with the i7 and regret it as the performance is not noticeable in my daily use, and the added battery drain and heat is a drawback in my opinion.

    The 8GB RAM is key, as it set the VRAM to 512MB instead of 256MB. Remember that the VRAM is shared.

    I replace a 13.3" with a 11.6" and for me it wasn't a great move. I miss the larger palm rest, easier placement on my lap and overall build quality of the 13". It could just be my machine, but the keyboard, trackpad and screen backlighting are subpar compared to my 2010 13".

    I am sticking with the 11" as it replacing my iPad as well as my previous Mac. I will use it for a couple years until a Retina MBA (or equivalent) is ready.
  9. cedwhatev macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2011
    The 11" Air is the greatest notebook ever invented. Just do it. :cool:
  10. ammirare thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2012
    Hey, OP here!
    Thanks for all the encouragement. I'm gonna place my order by the end of the week. Can't wait!
  11. pilotkid macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2006
    Chandler, AZ/Chicago, IL
    You wont look back one bit. I just purchased an 11" and couldn't be more happy with it and I'm coming from a 2010 MacBook Pro
  12. msullivanxi macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2010
    What are you going to school for?

    Also it says you are interested in architecture, design, and planning
    so consider the extra screen real estate and the better battery life on the 13

    also the 11 in is just about as powerful as the 13 so thats pretty much a wash

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