Going Back to 2015 11" MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jmoore5196, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a

    jmoore5196

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    #1
    B&H Photo had a daily deal on the 'ultimate' 2015 11" MBA - 2.2GHz i7, 512GB SSD and 8GB RAM for $850. I thought this was too good to pass up, especially considering I sold the identical machine a couple of months ago for $1000 on eBay. Prices for used 'ultimate' 11" MBAs are now well above that mark.

    So, I'm going back ... subpar display be damned. I've had my 2.0GHz 2016 13" nMBP for a couple of months and have been singularly unimpressed. I have missed the extreme portability of the 11" and can't see myself migrating to a 12" MB with all the compromises that requires.

    I absolutely love my 15" tbMBP, but it's too heavy to use for extensive travel. The MBA filled that role for me during the past seven years. I had hoped the 13" nMBP would give me a better screen and the same portability. However, I'm unwilling to upgrade the processor and beachballs while performing mundane tasks seem to be par for this little machine.

    At some point this Spring, I'll put my 13" nMPB up for sale. My only question is what I'll do three or four years down the road when the 11" MBA is no longer viable.
     
  2. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #2
    Wow! Congrats! That's a beastly notebook at a terrific price.
     
  3. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #3
    That is really cheap, and I'm surprised because B&H hasn't had any 11" MBA's when I've looked recently. I wonder where they are getting new 11" MBA's from?
     
  4. jmoore5196, Apr 3, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017

    jmoore5196 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jmoore5196

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    #4
    I've no idea! They sold out within a few hours of their email late Wednesday night. Sometime Thursday morning, 'Sold Out' changed to 'Backordered' and I was able to order one at the sale price.

    The latest shipment apparently arrived at B&H this morning. Now the MBA is back to backordered.

    All I know is that mine is arriving tomorrow. I think I got really lucky!
     
  5. jmoore5196 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jmoore5196

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    #5
    The 11" MBA arrived this morning, right on schedule. It is what it was supposed to be, which is a good thing.

    First 11" I've ever had with a Samsung display, and believe it or not, I can discern a difference between the new machine and my old 11" with the LG display.
     
  6. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #6
    B&H is terrific, I have spent *so* much money there over the past 16 years. Unfortunately they just opened a facility in NJ which was like jacking up all their prices by 7%. There are still many specialized things (like pro video) that I'll continue buying from them, but will be thinking twice about other purchases… If I have to pay sales tax, then I may just go to Best Buy.

    But sales tax or not, you got a great deal on the MBA!
     
  7. tommyhobbes macrumors newbie

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    Mar 29, 2017
    #7
    Any thoughts on the 11" MBA compared to the 12" Macbook? I am drawn to the 12" MacBook's screen and speakers but don't know if they are worth putting up with a single USB-C port..
     
  8. jmoore5196 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jmoore5196

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    #8
    Well, I bought my wife a 12" MB for Christmas a year or so ago, and she uses it constantly. I'd point out, however, that the only thing she ever connects to it is the charger.

    My problem with the MB is the processor ... it lags when I'm running Adobe CC apps, and I can't handle the beachballs or the dropped audio. I bought a high-end 2015 model from Apple and wound up returning it for this reason. I'm unsure the high-end 2016 would manifest much improvement in this regard.

    If I weren't using demanding apps and didn't intend to connect anything to it, I'd buy the MacBook. The screen is vastly superior to the MBA display and the keyboard doesn't seem that bad to me. It's about 5 ounces lighter than the 11" MBA, so it's the more portable alternative.
     
  9. azure247 macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I originally owned the MacBook 12 and I find the design completely flawed due to the fan-less design. Watching videos will eventually overheat the machine, leading to throttling and decreased performance and beachballs. It's a pretty design but the intel M processors just aren't there in thermal efficiency to warrant that design yet. My opinion. I rather have a fan inside.
     
  10. hashholly macrumors 6502

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    Oct 13, 2008
    #10
    I agree with the OP on the 11" MBA. I find it the perfect portable mac. I found the 13" nTMBP to feel sluggish for the price and the USB C only was quite annoying, the 12" MB was also pretty sluggish, the MBA 11" however just seemed perfect.

    Hopefully BH has it available at that price again.
     
  11. Macgyver1 macrumors member

    Macgyver1

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  12. racoop macrumors member

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    #12

    They have them at $999. That is still an excellent price for a fully maxed-out 2015 MBA 11".

    I'm a huge fan of these little laptops.
     
  13. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #13
    Wow, you are right. That really is a good deal. I think my 11" 2013 i7/8gb/512gb cost $1750! :eek: Don't regret it however, still love this machine and will be keeping it a few more years. The 2013 is very close to the 2015 specs so it wouldn't make sense to upgrade at this point.
     
  14. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

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    #14
    The MB is awesome, but in reality, all had to do is put new Intel graphics in the 11"MBA and add a Retina screen, and most of us would have ante'd up, so simple, but Apples Pig Heads, reared their heads and DISCONTINUED IT
     
  15. roncron macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    #15
    I used to have an 11" MBA and I loved the form factor and just about everything about it.

    But the screen resolution. When the 2015 MBP came out, I bought the 13" and really love it. It's not heavy by laptop standards but it's heavy compared to the 11" Air.

    I thought the 2016 MBP would be the answer to my prayers: As light as a 13" MBA but with a next generation Retina display. My employer bought me one and while I do love the form factor, in every respect I prefer my 2015 MBP. I really dislike the keyboard on the 2026 MBP's, which is supposed to be an improvement on the 12" Macbook's butterfly keyboard. My typing speed and accuracy have suffered.

    The touch bar is a cool idea but it can bea bit frustrating.

    Like some of you said above, if only Apple had kept the 11" MBA and upgraded its display to retina IPS. I really don't like where it's going with laptops (but still would never go back to Windows).
     
  16. Pugly macrumors regular

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    Jun 7, 2016
    #16
    What an amazing deal. I paid $1150 for a refurb i7/8GB/256GB about a year ago.

    I don't have experience with the MB, but it doesn't seem that much more compact than the 11" MBA. The 11" is actually a smidge smaller in depth, and only 1" wider. I just don't see the tradeoff of going to a slightly more compact design at the expense of using a more conventional CPU to be worth it. While at the same time having to change your whole computer world to a 1 port usb-c style. Some of the portability is surely diminished if you have to bring along a usb-c hub with you at all times if you want to do something as simple as plug in a usb stick.

    I use the MBA docked 50% of the time, and when I don't I need it to be as portable as possible. It has enough power to do everything I want it to. And it never feels like it is getting bogged down doing logic projects with 40 or so virtual instruments. It is even okay for some light gaming at times. It's really the ideal form of a computer with only minor compromises: stupid large bezel, and a 7 year old screen design. But it's still a decent enough screen and nothing about it is distracting or annoying to deal with. It's an acceptable compromise.
     
  17. danf1 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 13, 2017
    #17
    What kind of tasks did your 2016 MacBook Pro beachball with? I've been using the same nTB machine for 24 hrs and have yet to encounter any issues in Office or Adobe Creative Cloud. It's early days but it runs smoothly so far.
     
  18. jmoore5196, Apr 15, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2017

    jmoore5196 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jmoore5196

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    #18
    Dan, I had beachballs galore with the 2014 13" rMBP when using CC apps ... especially Audition and InDesign. I've had no beachballs with the nMBP, but the machine is just ... slow. By contrast, the MBA is 'snappy.' I guess I'm willing to trade 'snappy' performance for the substandard display. That tradeoff may not make sense to everyone, but it works for me. I find myself far less irritated by the MBA's limitations.
     
  19. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #19
    Great story, @jmoore5196 and enjoy your "ultimate" 11" MBA.

    That is exactly the machine I have myself at the moment - an 11" with 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, and a Core i7; it is a superb machine, fast, reliable, portable, powerful, great battery life - a fantastic little computer that has - quite literally - travelled the world with me, and probably my favourite computer ever.
     
  20. appleish19 macrumors regular

    appleish19

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    Dec 4, 2014
    #20
    I'm upgrading from a 13 inch 2012 MacBook Pro. Can't wait to get my ultimate 11 inch 2015. It's like brand-new and I got it for 700. Couldn't pass it up like you guys said. :D Looking forward to 4K display support, thunderbolt two for possible egpu and of course 2.4 pounds. :)
     
  21. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

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    #21
    It's not that bad, actually. There are small adapters available, nearly the size of a conventional USB stick, for the odd case you need to have a standard USB port on your machine. USB sticks with both standards in one product are easily available. And USB-C is getting popular quite fast as well, so the selection of available products grows by the day.

    Apart from that, being portable usually also means going wireless in most cases. The 12" works very well when used with that intention in mind.

    For me, the 11" MBA never worked: The screen resolution is awful once you're spoiled from a Retina display. And the 16:9 format in the 11" MBA makes it even worse for me. This is just my workflow, though, and I fully understand people feeling differently.

    To me, the 12" MB is like the very first 13" MBA: Sometimes woefully underpowered, price/performance ratio questionable and the focus more on looks than ports. But it's a technological marvel and fantastic that it comes fanless (I'm a big fan of the Cube, though, so I'm biased ;)

    And look how the MBA has evolved over the years. I expect the 12" MB to evolve similarly and eventually fully take over today's MBA's place in the portfolio.
     
  22. jmoore5196 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jmoore5196

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    #22
    Neodym, I couldn't agree more with your assessment of the MB. For my purposes, raw processing power and portability are key concerns and the current 13" nMBP just didn't deliver. If I'd been able to sacrificing some processor cycles, I'd certainly have gone the MB route. My guess is that when the MBA is no longer serviceable, I'll wind up with a MB for travel.

    And FWIW ... I had a Cube and loved it! I remember doing the little wire fix to stop the heat-induced shutdowns because I didn't want to do without the little machine long enough to take it into an Apple tech.
     
  23. Pugly macrumors regular

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    #23
    I'll probably use the 11" for a long time. But with a couple of changes/tweaks the MB would be a good buy. I'd want it to have another usb-c port, more powerful cpus, and a bit cheaper. I'd just have to carry around a usb-c hub.
     
  24. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #24
    The rMB reminds me of that the MBA was when it first came out - a beautifully designed, stunning looking machine with tremendous promise but significantly over-priced and under-powered for what it offered. The memory was also quite small - the original models offered 2 GB RAM and, either 80GB HDD or a 64 GB SSD; now, the SSD was excellent, but, as you can see, quite limited in size.

    When I first held a MBA in my hands, in 2008, the year they were released, I was awestruck. But, I bought a MBP.

    Nevertheless, I promised myself that I would buy a MBA when the specifications improved sufficiently, and I did buy one, in 2010, the so-called Rev-C. This was a very good computer - I held onto it until 2013 - but the MBA only because the computer it always had the promise of becoming in 2013. That was when upgrades gave it a stunning battery life, power and memory.

    I am trying to persuade myself that the rMB will undergo a similar transformation, and I sincerely hope that it does.
     
  25. RealityM macrumors newbie

    RealityM

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    #25
    What external monitor(s) can this MBA power? I love the idea of snappy portability but want to power dual monitors in the office.
     

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