Help me decide between these Macs!

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Rory76, May 5, 2017.


Which MacBook should I buy? (See post for details)

  1. 2015 "fully spec'ed out" 11" Air

    3 vote(s)
  2. 2015 "fully spec'ed out" 13" Air

    6 vote(s)
  3. Forget the Air, sell the 2016 M5 MacBook and spend money to upgrade to an M7.

    3 vote(s)
  1. Rory76, May 5, 2017
    Last edited: May 5, 2017

    Rory76 macrumors member

    Apr 24, 2017
    I currently have a 2016 12" M5/512GB MacBook. I got an incredible deal on it and it's currently my only personal home computer (I only use it just for casual use). However, I'm debating on getting a laptop for both personal AND professional purposes, and if I do this, I'll really need it to be a able to handle whatever I might throw at it. So, I'm thinking about getting more of a "workforce" laptop if I do this and keeping my M5 MacBook for the purposes I presently use it for.

    I love the Air series, and I'm ok with the non retina screen. I'm in the market to get a fully spec'ed out 2015 Air (i7, 8GB RAM, 500GB storage) to use as my "workhorse" laptop. I've come across two really good deals and I'm trying to make up my mind between them. One is the 11" version and the other is the 13". Both are in mint condition, still under initial one year warranty, and the same price, $1K. I just can't decide on which one to get. I keep going back and forth weighing the pros and cons of portability, battery life, SD card slot, form factor, resale value, screen real estate, pixel density/resolution, aspect ratio, etc. So, I thought I'd set up a poll for help in making this decision. Also, I'd welcome any comments or advice.

    My third option is to sell my current 2016 12" M5 MacBook and upgrade to the top of the line M7 version, which would cost me around $300-$400 more after all is said and done. Then, hopefully, I would be able to use this "maxed out" Mac for all my uses and in lieu of purchasing the Air.

    And just to note, I considered the 2016 non TB MacBook Pro as an option, but decided against it as I'm not a big fan of 1st Generation Apple products. Just too many bugs...

    Look forward to responses and any help!

  2. Pugly macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2016
    The jump from M5 to M7 isn't as much as from M3 to M5 I think.
    This article makes it seem like the Air i7 is about 10-15% faster than the m7, in these sort of sustained loads. The M7 and i7 seem close in the geekbench scores.

    Gaming and the GPU is better on the Air, but Gaming isn't the main use of the computer anyways.

    I think it just depends on how often the M5/M7 MacBook is throttling. The Air will throttle less. But really it depends on the work you do. I rarely ever hear my fan spin up during Logic Pro sessions. But the MacBook M5/M7 could be just as good... I don't have first hand experience.

    I think not having to drive a Retina display makes the Air feel faster too.

    I like the Air for the USB ports and price just as much as the performance. So I like the full spec 11". But it doesn't seem like you lose that much performance sticking with the MacBook.
  3. Rory76 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 24, 2017
    Thanks for your reply. Much appreciated. Would you mind telling me why you think the 11" Air is a better choice than the 13"?
  4. madrich macrumors 6502


    Feb 19, 2012
    World Class City of Chicago
    I had a MacBook Pro 15" early 2008 4GB 256 GB storage, and I recently bought MacBook Air 13" early 2015 with 8GB Ram and 256GB Storage Memory 1.6 GHz.

    I love it.

    PS: I am running El Capitan.
  5. Pugly macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2016
    I just like the portability, but it's really personal preference. Screen size, battery life and an SD card slot are good to have too.

    You are getting a discount so this doesn't really matter, but with Apple's upgrade prices I feel it's a better buy just to get the 2015 13" rMBP instead of the 13" MBA. The 11" is more unique and there are no "Pro" machines in that size. The full spec 11 is as close as you can get.
  6. Fabmac macrumors member


    Apr 5, 2017
    I would go for the 13.
    I had an Air before, it die verry soon a little more than two years of not much use, it sucked all the time, hot and it was a complete mess, slow...

    So believe me it took me faith to buy an air again, I completely love the i5 it's silent and fast.
    I use it almost always with an extrernal screen, so I don't care anyway about the screen
  7. Boyd01 Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    Does it really take a villiage for you to choose a computer? You need to focus more and make a decision based on research and experience instead of a poll on a forum.

    However, I'll say that I owned a 13" MacBook Air for two years and switched to an 11" i7/8gb/512gb in 2013. I like the 11" so much more, it's just cool to have such a small package with all that power, a decent variety of ports, great keyboard and excellent battery life. The screen is the weak link, but I am used to that. You really might not agree however so you need to play around with one in person.

    Have never even tried a MacBook.
  8. wlossw macrumors 65816


    May 9, 2012
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  9. cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502


    Apr 2, 2012
    Somewhere In Time
    All the choices you've laid out are good. You haven't said what you expect your *workhorse* to do. The 11" will be a touch larger and a touch heavier than your MacBook.
  10. Lawzen macrumors member


    Apr 28, 2017
    I got the 13 too, just with 128GB. I must say, it's nice having the SD card slot on the 13s versus the 11.
  11. organic bond, May 6, 2017
    Last edited: May 8, 2017

    organic bond macrumors regular

    May 5, 2007
    I bought a 2010 MBA 13" and then another one in 2015. I originally wanted to buy a 11" but when I saw it I realized its vertical resolution wasn't enough and didn't like the 16:9 ratio. In 2015 I also bought a 1st gen MB, but it wasn't powerful enough, plus its size wasn't ok for me because I was used to having a bigger screen, and so I returned it. A jewel though, design-wise. It's definitely nice to have the SD card on the 13", that's where my iTunes library is. My suggestion is go to a shop and make your decision there, that's what I did in first place, when I chose the 13" over the 11".
  12. Osty macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2008
    Melbourne, AU
    I voted for the 13 inch Air. I've owner both sizes and prefer the 13 inch - as much as I loved the portability of 11. For my line of work (writer, trainer, developer) I prefer the extra screen real estate and I really like having the SD card slot which I use for flashing raspberry pi images and extra storage.

    I also find the 13 inch chassis more comfortable. I'm a tall guy with big hands and found the 11 inch air's palm rest was too shallow and my wrists would end up chaffing on the sharp edges of the chassis after long writing and coding sessions.

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