I just bought a 2013 Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by musika, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. musika, Jun 12, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013

    musika macrumors 65816

    musika

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    New York
    #1
    I'd like to start this topic by saying that I already ordered this machine this afternoon, so I can't really justify this post other than saying it's out of pure geekery.

    So, I'm a musician by day, a writer by night (speaking of which, I don't feel like proofing this post so I apologize in advance for any typos), and soon to be a student at college somewhere in between that. Two years ago, I bought a specced-out Mac mini (2011) for my studio, did an entire album on that, and it's been and still is an incredible machine. The mini is underrated. I love it. I've also been using an iPad 2 as my portable for the past two years and that's been excellent, too.

    But I've faced a new problem. I'm going to be away from my studio (and Mac mini) for most of next year while I'm at school. I'm close by (only 35 minutes away), so I will be back and forth, but I need a MacBook for working with Logic Pro, ProTools, Max MSP, and all of that stuff while I'm at school. I'm also working on a project now that involves more electronic music, which means I'll be incorporating a MacBook into my live performances as well.

    So while I loved the Mac desktop/iPad combo, I need to add a notebook to the workflow.

    So I decided to buy a new 2013 MacBook Air 11-inch, 1.7GHz Core i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and some nice AppleCare.

    I figured this would be more than powerful enough to take care of Logic Pro projects on the go, some Pixelmator work, and simple PlainText writing work. I didn't need anything more than 128GB of internal storage because I keep all of the heavy files (Logic Pro, iTunes library, iPhoto library) on an external hard drive, but I decided to future-proof and go with 256GB internal anyway. I actually plan to pick up a cheap WD 1TB hard drive for the new machine soon, too. I also plan to get a Dell monitor for when I need the screen real-estate when I have it docked in the dorm.

    It seemed like the best possible portable for me. I'll be keeping the Mac mini in the studio for my serious studio work, but I needed something with me for when I'm away and doing live shows.

    I worked all of this out in my head already, but I'm posting just to share and see if it sounds like a good setup.
     
  2. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

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    May 1, 2009
  3. sick z33 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    #3
    A great setup indeed! I am debating on selling my MBP for a loaded 13'' Air. Post some pics!
     
  4. robertpetry macrumors 6502

    robertpetry

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #4
    Sounds good. Take some advice from an old pro, back up that external drive often. Seriously. All the time or you will regret it.
     
  5. musika thread starter macrumors 65816

    musika

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    New York
    #5
    Update: I just got a little crazy (it must be the warm weather) and I bumped my order up to an 256GB SSD. No second thoughts. Can't wait.
     
  6. JMountainDew macrumors regular

    JMountainDew

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    Apr 24, 2012
  7. musika thread starter macrumors 65816

    musika

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    New York
    #7
    Will do!

    ----------

    I use Time Machine and I have a subscription to BackBlaze which has been incredible.
     
  8. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a

    jmoore5196

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest US
    #8
    I have a 2011 2.0GHz QC i7 MBP with a 500GB SSD, and a 2012 11" MBA.

    I think I'm at the point where I'd seriously consider trading the portability of the 11" if I felt I could also lose the MBP in favor of an "ultimate" 13" MBA as my sole Mac.

    I anxiously await feedback from the OP and others here who've actually purchased the new iteration. I run a lot of Adobe CS6 and I am fearful I would miss the discrete graphics capability of my MBP.

    On the other hand, it would be wonderful to get down to a single machine! Bring on your reviews ... I'm sure a lot of folks like me will find them helpful.
     
  9. mopppish macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    #9
    You just listed almost the exact things I've been using my 2011 11" 1.6ghz i5 4GB RAM Macbook Air for: MaxMSP, Logic Pro, Pro Tools...
    I've been getting by just fine with this computer, but will be buying the 13" i7 8GB with a 256GB SSD soon. I'm entering graduate school in the fall, and I'm preemptively upgrading because a) I won't have enough money to buy a new laptop over the next 2 years, so I'd better do it now and b) this 11" has had enough power, but I could see exceeding that with the work I'll be doing over the next 2 years and c) as much as I've loved the 11" form factor, mixing and editing in Logic on an 11" screen was kind of a bear, and Reason looks almost unusable at this size.
    If you look at Geekbench scores, the new 1.7ghz i7 is about 50% faster than the 1.6ghz i5 in my current machine. I have no doubt it will be plenty for at least the next couple of years. And if not, the music department at U-MI has plenty of Mac Pro's for me to do serious work on. :D
     
  10. musika thread starter macrumors 65816

    musika

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    New York
    #10
    Sounds good! The 11-inch isn't my only machine, but I plan on buying a cheap external monitor if mixing ever pisses me off enough.

    On another note, how do you like Max MSP? I'm currently getting over the learning hump. But I bought Max 6 + Gen back in March.
     
  11. sick z33 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 20, 2008
  12. musika thread starter macrumors 65816

    musika

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    New York
    #12
    It's gonna be a long week!
     
  13. musika thread starter macrumors 65816

    musika

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    New York
    #13
    Another thing to add is I've got a business discount because I sell content on the iTunes Store (thanks Apple!). So I got $100 off of the computer.

    I also realized that while Apple gives no business discount on AppleCare, they do give an educational discount on it (about $70 off).

    So I bought the computer with my business discount and the AppleCare with my educational discount. Lucky me. :)
     
  14. mopppish macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    #14
    I've been using MaxMSP for a long time (started on 4.6, so since at least 2007), though not nearly as long as some people!
    I would say that the honeymoon is over, meaning that the fascination of being able to build complicated things in Max has long been replaced with the realization that some other software company has probably already commercially produced a product that does what I want but better and more efficiently.
    There are exceptions- for instance, a piece I recently made required a few samples to play back randomly over and over at 4X normal speed. This was much easier to do with a quick patch in Max than to assemble manually in a DAW.
    I also made something last year that involved a granular synthesis engine driven by TouchOSC controls on an iPad. I can't even think of how I would do that without Max.
    I suspect that I will be getting back into it a lot more over the next couple of years in graduate school.
     
  15. sick z33 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 20, 2008
    #15
    The savings on Applecare Education is very nice indeed. Anything helps while in school :)
     
  16. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    #16
    Nice post, thanks for sharing your setup. I love the 11-inch Air, but I'm a writer and do a lot of that so I was hoping for an updated rMBP. Still deciding what to do.
     
  17. musika thread starter macrumors 65816

    musika

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    New York
    #17
    I've always been interested in the really small notebooks. I had a 12-inch iBook G4 in 2005 and, even though I know this isn't true, I feel like it's the best computer I ever had.

    I considered the rMBP but no Haswell/Airport update at WWDC made me want the Air even more (which was my original choice). Right now, I still feel like the retina machines are a bit underpowered and I'd much rather have portability, reliability, and battery life over a higher DPI any day.
     
  18. musika thread starter macrumors 65816

    musika

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    New York
    #18
    Just received the AppleCare for my Air. Still have to wait until next week for the actually computer.
     
  19. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    #19
    I can definitely see the trade-offs, you get more of the basics with the Air and less to worry about. Like better battery life.

    I briefly considered buying the new MBA, but I can't deal with the screen. Some people can look past that, and some can't.
     
  20. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    #20
    I have a 2012 similarly specced except for a 128 GB. I use it exclusively for portable use - travel or in bed. It's totally the funnest computer I have. It's SO small - barely bigger or heavier than an iPad, but capable of so much more
     
  21. revisionA macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    #21
    All aboard to mobility train! toot!

    It is quite cool to not hear a damn thing or feel any heat coming off this slick slice of silver. I say get the ultimate if you can, I did. The idea is that you can't add these extras later, and if you create any content outside of text, you might find some limitation - some day.

    Make sure you get a sick backpack or laptop case to protect your investment!
     
  22. musika thread starter macrumors 65816

    musika

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    New York
    #22
    Yeah – surprisingly, I really don't mind the screen. But hey, I've been using an iPad 2 for two years, I can totally manage!

    ----------

    I love that train.

    Yeah, I am a little worried about that actually. I'd love to have a totally cool (temp-wise) and battery-efficient notebook, and after reading all of the posts on the forums, I'm afraid of how a maxed-out machine might affect that.

    I went almost completely ultimate, besides the SSD. I use a surprisingly little amount of space on my internal drives, I always have. All Logic projects stay on an external, no exceptions. That way I can easily move them if I need to and it's just how I like to keep it. Otherwise, I did go ultimate with the i7 and 8GB of RAM.

    I really hope the higher specs don't affect the overall experience negatively.

    I see you've got one. How is battery life and heat with the i7 and all?

    ----------

    Besides the instrument apps I use on iPad (Animoog, Samplr, etc.), I'm actually kind of wondering how the new Air will affect my usage of the iPad. Worse comes to worse, I don't use it and I can sell it. Depending on how much I love the Air, maybe when the time comes to buy another iPad I'll go for a mini and use it more as a sketchpad/journal, which is a very big change from how I use my iPad now (basically as a "laptop").

    It's gonna be a weird change, but hopefully good! I've always wanted an 11-inch Air.
     

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