Is an Air right for me?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by MacAttackMark, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. MacAttackMark macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2013
    I've had my dell inspiron for a little over 4 years now and had no problems till earlier this month, seems like the screen on my laptop is dying/fading. I hate the new windows 8, and haven't used a mac in a little over 10 years now... so this will be interesting.

    I'm looking for a new long term main. I'm currently a college student, so I'm looking for a nice durable sleek (it was a huge pain luggaging that inspiron from class to class) laptop, with a great battery life. Also my dorm last semester didn't have wifi, so an ethernet port would be ideal.

    I've heard great things from friends and other colleagues about MBPs, and I'm looking to buy a 13 inch pro. Although I'm stuck between choosing the older 2012 model or the new retina version. Though when I made this board on the pro forumns, a lot of users recommenced me an air, and with it being the newest apple edition, it wouldn't hurt to take a look at it? Though, I don't like the flimsy feel on the airs, it feels like if I'd ever drop it the whole thing would shatter (silly I know). Anyone got some pros cons and advice for the air? The only real thing that interest me is the battery life, though if my laptop can at least last 7 hours that's more than enough for me.

    For the most part, I'll probably be using word/office creating essays, graphs, and power points. I'm also a huge internet surfer so battery life would be essential as I can barely get maybe 2 hours if I'm lucky on my insprion. Along with your usual music/video player. I am a heavy internet user, so it's nothing casual, but I'm not a photographer/designer so little to no photo editing.

    I keep switching back and forth between pros now I'm also considering the air, care to share some advice? Pros and cons would be great as well! It will keep me occupied while I hold my breath in hopes for apples B2S sale.
  2. iterva, Jun 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013

    iterva macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2013
    Go for it

    This should be the least of your worries.. As someone wrote (dont remeber who) in another thread: If the Air would be any sturdier it would be a tank
    I.E it is very durable and consider that it is also made in unibody, metal as is the pro models.

    IMHO - Your needs will be covered with a MBA, without a doubt. However you will need the USB to Ethernet or Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter since Airs dont have ethernet port.

    My Pros/Cons:
    +Batterylife (2013 models)
    +Very thin
    +Light weight

    -Screen res, OFC it would have been nice to get a MBA with high res display this year, but this is just nitpicking.. I have no issues with current display res/technology, just a "would have been nice to have" thing.
    -Only 2 USB ports

    The MBA goes practically everywhere with me even thou i have an iPad, just because the formfactor/design, speed and that it is a powerhouse..

    Im no expert in any means, just my thoughts on your question :)
  3. MacAttackMark thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2013
    That's very interesting! I'll see if I can find that old post! and I'm no expert at all. So I'm open any and all advice, and there greatly appreciated! :)
  4. iterva macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2013
    And if your considering the Non-Retina Pro then the weight difference between those and MBA will be noticable, MBA is much lighter to carry around, so for carrying to/from school, and back and forth between classes the MBA is a no brainer, and as mentioned: the far better battery life makes it (IMHO again) a even bigger no-brainer :cool:
  5. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    There are also lots of shells you can buy that will protect it from dents and scratches and even a fall or two (depending on how it hits the floor). ;) But it's certainly as sturdy or sturdier than any comparable PC. The last thing I'd ever call it is flimsy.

    You can certainly get a Retina - but it is heavier, more expensive and more powerful than you need.
  6. MacAttackMark thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2013
  7. filmbuff macrumors 6502a


    Jan 5, 2011
    If you can afford the 13" retina MBP Then go with that, just for the awesome display. Otherwise, go with the Air. There is really no reason to buy the old MBP anymore unless you NEED a built in DVD player. For college you probably don't even need an ethernet adapter. I've had my Air for over a year and never felt the need to plug in the ethernet.
  8. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    I'm not talking about a case, but a shell that always stays on and will protect it when in use. See here for some examples.


    The ethernet-only dorm he mentioned is a pretty good reason.
  9. MacAttackMark thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2013
    I was thinking about opting for a retina, but it is pretty costy, and I wouldn't be able to do any upgrades so it would be a standard 128 GB retina model, and I'd prefer to at least have 256 GB space.
    I've used an ethernet port countless times in college. My dorm did not have wifi, except for the lounges and so I relied solely on my ethernet port, which both are lacking? Plus wired internet in my opinion seems a lot more reliable than wireless when doing vital things, such as signing up for your next semester classes.
    I would like to have DVD player for preference as I've used DVD sources in the past, in three of my classes for essays/reports. Though if anything I could always opt for an external drive....

    I'm still considering the 2012 MBP, as it's very affordable, yet still pretty powerful, I'm not fully sold on the SSD, but it does look nice, and if I did go for 2012 model, there would be a lot of extras (ethernet adapter, external drive and player) that I wouldn't have to buy, so that's something for me to think about.


    I've taken a fancy to the iPearl cases
    seems a lot cheaper and looks nicer than any of the cases apple sells.
    I planned to buy all those extra outside of apple to save me a couple bucks.

    and thanks for reading that part, it was a huge annoyance to find that out when we moved in
  10. InfinitiG, Jun 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013

    InfinitiG macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2010
    unibody macs are built like a tank for responsible usage, however they are not meant to be dropped

    look into a thinkpad instead. they are flimsy and not as solid as unibody macs tho, but they can survive drops
  11. MacAttackMark thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2013
    I'm usually quite careful when it comes to my laptop, but accidents do happen, I honestly never considered the macbook air "durable" because of it's thin features, but I've been wrong before!
  12. ShiggyMiyamoto, Jun 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013

    ShiggyMiyamoto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 29, 2004
    Just outside Boston, MA.
    I'm kind of in the same boat as MacAttackMark (OP). I'm looking to replace my MacBook (specs in sig) and I initially wanted a 17" MBP (now discontinued sadly), then the Retina MBPs came along, of which I fell in love with instantly. Most recently the new MacBook Airs with Haswell processors came out, and though they're not Retina display'd they have some awesome specs.

    I'm looking at a maxed out 13" 2013 MacBook Air (1.7 GHz i7, 512 GB SSD, 8GB RAM) that totals to US $1849. I don't need anything like the TB displays etc, so that's a good price for maxing out the machine from the get go.

    With all that said, my only concerns are:

    • Will games like Starcraft II play at a decent frame rate with decent settings?

    • Will anything above 720p video look good on the 13" display's 1440 x 900 res?

    • How does the battery fare? I travel to conventions at least 3-4 times a year and I'd love my laptop to last the bus/train/plane trip between charges.

    I know the above depends on graphics processing, of which I know is powered by the HD 5000 chipset, and with it being an integrated chipset you really can't expect it to perform as well as a dGPU does. Although, the HD 5000 seems to be getting somewhat closer to the power of a dGPU, hence why I'm intrigued to get this machine should it be the one I decide on when I have the money available for it.

    At the same time I'd almost be willing spend an addtional $5-600 more on a modestly spec'd rMBP 15" which would really only gain me a dGPU and a quad core CPU, of which I know I wouldn't totally utilize as I'm not a creative professional. I do make convention vlog type videos, but I assume the MBA 13" listed above would be fine for that. I went low-end-esque when I got my MacBook back in 2007, and it felt that it got outdated almost instantly, and I wasn't happy, since I couldn't play the hottest games that came out not too long after I got it. I'm by no means a gamer either. I have this custom i5 PC for that, but yeah.

    If you took the time to read this far, what are y'all's thoughts? Should I get the maxed out MBA? Should I go for a modest rMBP? Thanks in advance.

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