I won't abandon my MBA again for a while

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Bill Killer, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Bill Killer macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2011
    So today, I decided to make a jump from a mid-2011 13" MBA to a late-2012 13" rMBP.

    Initially, I was sold on my decision. The screen looks incredible. The machine looks fantastic. It's very quiet.

    But as the day went on, the more I realized that I had made a mistake. And mostly, for two reasons:

    1) The lag on the rMBP. Yes, it's there. I wanted to believe everyone that it was overblown, but it's there. I normally have to have something along the line of 7-8 windows or applications open (unorganized multitasker), and this machine slowed down on my several times, even at the default resolution. My 2011 MBA lags every now and then as well, considering the workload, but I expect that from a less powerful machine that's 1.5 years older. Not the brand new MBP with Retina.

    2) I didn't really anticipate this: it's uncomfortable to type. I took the MBA for granted. The thin bezel made typing incredibly comfortable, but the rMBP's front bezel is raised, sharp, and not very pleasant around the wrists.

    So, the plan tomorrow is to take the rMBP back to the Apple Store. The screen is fantastic, but it's not enough of a trade-off, in my opinion.

    I won't abandon you again, MBA.
  2. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Now that u mention it, my old box-shaped laptop, I popped it up on its hints for comfort, but never gave it a thought, then the MBA, I didn't have to pop it up anymore.

    When getting the MBA I had mis-givings about the wedge shape, NOBODY made a wedge shaped laptop before the Air and I was afraid of its weird shape on my hands, but NO, it's absolutely comfortable! Don't you love it when you buy a product and feel that, yeah, SOMEBODY put some thought into it. Brilliant.
  3. Bill Killer thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2011
    As long as the MBP models maintain the current design, then I can't go back. The perfection of the MBA design has ruined them for me.
  4. Stingray454 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2009
    The problem is probably that the 13" rMBP still uses the same GPU as the Air, while having 4 times the pixels to push. I'm intrigued by the rMBP too, but in all hosety, it's currently too weak to drive that display. Maybe in a year or two the GPU will have caught up, but for now I agree - MBA is awesome :)
  5. Bill Killer thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2011
    I was taking a look at the specs between the two units. It now makes sense, considering both the MBA and rMBP have the same integrated video card. That's mind boggling to me.
  6. help4desk macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2013
    Exactly, that's why it is nonsense for me a retina with HD4000. Maybe new Haswell video cards will change the situation in late 2013, but right now I find rMBP 13" laggy when used at scaled resolutions (more than 1280x800).
    Btw, there are people who don't even notice it....
  7. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    I guess that's why Apple makes both lines. I switched from an 11" MacBook Air to a 13" rMBP and, even though I'd been using MacBook Airs since February 2008, I'm happy with the switch and won't go back to a MacBook Air until it gets a Retina Display (which I'm hoping is this year).
  8. Sean76 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2013
    I agree with that statement! As soon as an AIR is released with a Retina display my current rMBP will be getting sold.

    As for lag like some others have mentioned, I see a few hangups here and there, nothing crazy, but yea there is some slight lag from time to time that honestly shouldn't be present on such an expensive machine.
  9. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    If it wasn't for companies like Apple pushing the envelope, Intel would probably still be putting out garbage like the GMA 950. Supposedly it was Apple who pushed Intel to improve the integrated graphics (hence the reason it stuck with the Core 2 Duo for so long on the Air and 13" Pro), and also to focus on reducing the TDP.

    As you point out, lots of people don't even notice the lag. HD 4000 isn't spectacular, but it's "good enough" so that Apple didn't see the need to wait any longer to release the rMBP.
  10. help4desk macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2013
    I agree with you, Apple is pushing Intel to update their performances, and I still understand there are people who are happy with a "good enough" experience from their products. We are all different, and it's absolutely normal to have different opinions on their stuff.

    Anyway, SJ's Apple has never been a "good enough" company. Others were: HP, Microsoft, Samsung, Acer etc. but not Apple.

    Should Apple have forgotten its roots, its impulse to -no compromise- quality, that would means it's only a matter of time before it becomes a Samsung or so.
  11. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    This would be the same Steve Jobs who shipped the original MacBook Air with the Intel GMA, 4200rpm HDD, and Merom Core 2 Duo that put out so much heat it frequently shut down a processor core. It also had a flimsy hinge that Apple didn't quite get right until October 2010. Evidently he thought it was "good enough" to put out.

    The 2012/early 2013 rMBP is a far more refined product than the 2008 MacBook Air.
  12. Bill Killer thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2011
    I agree with this 100%. Combine the most desirable feature of the rMBP with the form factor of the MBA = perfection.
  13. help4desk macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2013
    And it was a major miss from him. All design and no functionality, almost as the original Macintosh.
    The 2008 MBA was simply a beautiful experiment, as the current Apple TV, but far more expensive and as a result had so little success.
    It took two years for Apple to focus on the troubles and release a serious update that set the real standard for ultraportables.

    But here we're not talking about an all-new and standard-settings machine as the 2008 MBA. Just a revised, stripped down version of the unibody cMBP along with Retina display. The 15" rMBP, besides some youth troubles, seems to be work quite fine thanks to its second video adapter.
    The 13", in my opinion, is simply "good enough". We know that it had serious heating problems that delayed launch for several months.
    Then, even without a correct balance between the integrated video card and the retina display, had been put on the market with an extremely high price that backfired, contributing to a serious decrease in Mac sales into the last quarter, the first since a long time.
    And yet, it is now in the macbook product line along with MBA11, MBA13, cMBP 13, cMBP15, rMBP15 (in addition, you can still buy a cMBP17 from the refurb store!).

    There is a said the Apple is becoming an MBA-company (not Macbook Air, but let by Masters in Business Administration). People who instead doing innovation, just increase their product lines to expand sales.
    I just hope it is wrong.
  14. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    By your standard, the original MacBook Air was a stripped down version of the standard MacBook. The 13" rMBP isn't "stripped down" in any way. It has the same (and now better) processor and GPU as the cMBP, a fast SSD, a much better screen, and better connectivity since it includes HDMI and a second Thunderbolt port. It also has better built in speakers.

    Apple waited until the 13" rMBP was ready, just as they did with the white iPhone 4. It's more than "good enough." How many other 13" notebooks are there with 4 million pixel displays? It's a lightweight package, has a huge battery, and is cutting edge. And I have been very impressed by the thermals. Unlike my previous MacBook Air, the rMBP has been whisper quiet.

    The HD 4000 is more than capable. After all, we were using the Apple Cinema Display with the HD 3000 and even the NVIDIA 9400M IGP.

    This romanticizing of Steve Jobs has gotten too extreme. Jobs made plenty of mistakes along the way. The G4 Cube, the ROKR, and the original iPhone pricing (and its lack of 3G) come to mind, along with the original MacBook Air that you mentioned.


    The decline in Mac sales was mostly because they entered the holiday quarter with the new iMac in short supply. That was a major error, to be sure, but I don't think the high pricing of the rMBP was the reason for the decline. After all, it isn't as if they stopped selling the cMBP, and there really wasn't much that Apple could have done to update the cMBP.

    If anything, I get the sense that the high pricing of the rMBP was deliberate. Apple couldn't get the yields on the displays. There were a fair number of complaints about image retention as it was, and Sharp's issues with display yields are well known, leaving Apple stuck with Samsung and LG. I'm guessing they probably wanted somewhat higher sales than what they got, but we're probably talking a couple hundred thousand at most. $1699 for the base sounds like an attempt to keep demand in check. Apple's been selling computers long enough to know that a $1699 notebook won't sell as well as an $1199 notebook. $1499 sounds more like an attempt to make it mainstream. I wouldn't be surprised to see it hit the $1299 price point by the end of the year, particularly if they drop the cMBP.
  15. help4desk macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2013
    The original MBA came from the Macbook but had almost nothing in common: case, connectors, cpu, keyboard, hard disk/ssd, interfaces, power supply....

    I mean, it's a scaled-down version of the MBP 13". Sorry for having used a wrong term.

    I still stand to my judgement and find this machine simply unbalanced with the integrated HD4000. A mistake, in my opinion, that Apple avoided on iPad3 that was equipped with an enhanced GPU.
    I'm not a bench junkie, but I still think that managing 4x pixels would require some improvement on graphics hardware, especially for such an expensive product. And that working on performance-conscious design, it would have somewhat been possible to put a dedicate board inside a bit less scaled-down case.

    Let's be honest, how many rMBP have you seen in the last months in hotels or in starbucks or just inside private companies? I'd admit I have seen one or two (on a few hundreds, mostly air).

    It's obvious they made an historic fail with the iMacs, which probably accounted for 80%-90% of the loss in sales, but very few of the lost sales reverted toward a rMBP. At least for the 13", as we can see by the quasi-immediate price drop (and refurbished availability).

    I wouldn't as well, but I've seen too many small and big mistakes on the Mac side of the Apple portfolio. At least, in the last two years.
    I hope they are not entering into the "squeeze the Macintosh for every penny it is worth" mode. I just couldn't come back to Win....
  16. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010

    I disagree. The HD 4000 is just fine for what I need it to do. Macs aren't gaming machines. They don't need gaming GPUs. And video editors are more likely to use the 15" anyway (and Apple equips that model with a discrete GPU).

    As for the size, the 13" rMBP is already stretching the limit. Let's face it. Apple changed the standards. 4.5 lbs is now rightfully considered ridiculously heavy for a 13" notebook, Windows or Mac. The 13" rMBP is about as big as it can possibly be and still be viable. I, for one, wouldn't have considered ditching my Air if it were any heavier.

    If you were in the market for an iMac, chances are you weren't going to buy an rMBP instead.

    I think the new rMBP pricing is about right. That amounts to a $200 price drop. The larger price drops on the higher capacity models is mostly a function of Apple's decision to drop SSD pricing across its entire product line. SSDs have been $1/GB or less for a year now. There was no way that Apple was going to be able to get away with charging $2/GB forever. I'm not surprised about the drop, although it did come a little sooner than I expected. I don't think this is a sign of an "epic failure" on Apple's part, though. They probably weren't ready for a massive uptick in demand for the holidays.

    Your beloved Steve Jobs is the one who de-emphasized the Mac. Also, the nonupgradability of the rMPB is in perfect keeping with his philosophy. I know you didn't make this specific connection, but I get very annoyed with people who claim that "Steve Jobs would never have released a MacBook Pro with soldered RAM and a proprietary SSD." I'm sure he'd be quite pleased with the rMBP.
  17. help4desk macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2013
    No, they just had NO iMacs to sell in the busiest quarter of the year. It's all in Tim Cook's words.

    Why the Mac decline?
    I think the best way to answer this is if you look at the previous year[’s quarter], our Mac sales were about 5.2 million. This year, they were 4.1 million, and so the difference is 1.1 [million]. Let me try to bridge that.

    iMacs were down by 700,000 units year over year. As you remember, we announced the new iMacs late in October. And when we announced those, we announced that they would ship—the first one, the 21.5-inch—in November, and we did ship it at the end of November. We announced that the 27-inch would ship in December, and we did ship that in mid-December. And so there were limited weeks of ramping on these products during the quarter.

    We left the quarter with significant constraints on the iMac. And we believe—we know—that our sales would have been materially higher if those constraints would not have existed. We tried to tell people this on the conference call in October; I think I said that we would have significant constraints on iMac. But I recognize to some folks, this may be a surprise.

  18. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    That WAS an operational failure as far as the iMac was concerned. However, I think it's unrealistic to think that a significant percentage of those lost sales could have been converted to rMBP sales.

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