It arrived, now I'm on the fence

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by h00ligan, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    Yah another one of those posts. My 11" base model just got I'm second guessing the choice. The only demanding tng I do on my old 15" is photography and lately for my couch activities I've been using an iPad.

    Problem with the iPad is text just gets old. So my thought was replace the old mbp (2.4 pre unibody) and the iPad with the base MBA, and actually force myself to go to my office where I have a much faster quad core machine to work on photography..dual monitor setup, quad core, 8 gigs ram..and an actual mouse. I figure using that machine for my photography is a good idea.

    So that said I was thinking of transitioning all the data and photography stuff to the desktop unit, using the air to couch surf and take out and about.

    My thoughts in store were that the 13" just wasn't small or light enough, and after carefully checking activity monitor, even trying on my mbp I couldn't get past about 1.8 gigs of ram used withoutrunning major Photoshop stuffs.

    In store the base 11 felt pretty snappy too, even launching every app in the dock at one time wasn't really an issue.

    So my brain says, this is probably just fine if your lazy ass will go sit at a computer for photography...then my buyer's panic side says, dunce, go get the machine with faster everything, higher res, twice the drive space, sd card, and double the ram...the problem there is, it's 40% more money.

    Since I am selling the iPad and mbp I can afford the higher end model..the original thought though was that it is unnecessary after using the one in store.

    Without photos or music I doubt I'm using more than 20-30 gigs..

    So anyone have the same kinda thoughts, any regrets on the base 11? Anyone regret not getting the smaller unit who went 13?

    I know the knee jerk reaction is to say moar are betterer...but given the usage scenario, what say you..I'd prefer not to eat a restock fee from amazon, but sorta feel like unless I use it for a few weeks, I'm not going to know if I hit a ceiling.

    Sorry for the similar and long post..thanks for taking the time.
  2. JPSensei macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2010
    I am also a photographer i thought the mba 11 was going to be great but not, i find the screen too small to see or show my pictures and battery runs of out of juice very fast compared to the other macs specially the MBP 2.4Ghz -i used to own it-. So i am reselling mine and i am gonna get the mba 13, better screen and more battery life.
  3. Bluemeanie1976 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 1, 2009
    Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
    I thought bigger screens were the daddy when it comes to photography? Why would you consider such a small screen?
  4. h00ligan thread starter macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    I wasn't intending on using it for photography, but there are other issues with it.. the base model 11 is just a bit too slow. It's fine for a lot of stuff, but browsing fredmiranda is an issue, too many images and it chokes.

    see above, I really shouldn't be using a laptop on a couch when I'm processing, it's not really precise enough compared to a mouse at a desktop, so this was mainly a surfing machine with a possible edit here and there through camera raw.... that said, my initial impression is that the 11" base is just slightly too slow. And hey, to others who may read this, it's slow when loading a forum with 20 higher res pics in a thread.. nothing to scoff at but the machine felt faster in the store than it does in my house.

    I"ll used it for a week or so and decide, but my gut reaction is to go to the 13" with 4 gigs of ram - disk space isn't an issue, processor is but I'm not sure i'll upgrade to the 2.13.

    I also agree that at cursory glance, I doubt i'll get 5 hours of time from it.

    I could be very wrong on all fronts.. btw, safari actually does better with the image heavy posts than firefox or chrome, that surprised me but also sucks, because there's no real bookmark syncing possible without mobile me, now that xmarks is looking to be on the way out.

    On the upside, I banged out this reply a hell of a lot faster than I could have on the ipad.. heh.
  5. bossxii macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    Kansas City
    One thing I have found is the ram is a bit less of an issue than one would think, due to the fact it's using (at least I think so from the activity monitor) 6 gig eSATA controller on the solid state storage board. This from what I can tell makes the swap file so freaking fast it's very hard to beachball or slow the system down on ram usage, but that may not be the case with the 1.4 CPU given more processor intensive tasks such as photo editing etc.. I knew I needed the 128 or more of space, so by the time I was looking at the 1200 11", I tried it, found it to cramped for my taste and upgraded to the 256ss base model 13". While I still wonder if I should just max the thing out for another 200 bucks I have been testing it out in some various situations from opening 60 tabs in safari with iMovie processing a file, youtube playing 1080p and iTunes playing a podcast. I have yet to see but maybe a 4 or 5 sec beachball when pushing it thru crap I'll never, ever do in my daily work flow.

    I love the form factor of the 11" and even went back to the Apple store today and they have the 11" and 13" side by side, luckily it wasn't super busy so I messed with both for about 30 mins. The few things that stood out, quality of sound, screen size, small function keys on the 11" (important as I need them for work) and knowing the battery life I had on the 11" vs what I now get on my 13".

    I"m not saying 11" isn't perfect for some people, but the rational side of my brain keeps me using the 13" and I think this one is a keeper unless I decide to go for the max'd version since I'm already within 200 bucks. Either way the MBA to me is so much improved from the Rev B 1.8/SSD model I used for a while it's crazy. The fact I can use this form factor with the glass trackpad, basically silent normal operation, and a battery twice that of what I used to get. I'm amazed how responsive both systems are.
  6. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    It would either be your network connection or something wrong with Nothing on the internet is going to make your MBA choke. My eeePC (original model) does fine. Something else would be causing problems here.
  7. h00ligan thread starter macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    check that specific link - the stalling and general slowness scrolling through what is, admittedly, a freak of a forum post does give me a massive slow down.

    Maybe I'll take some video of what I'm seeing so other's can benefit...

    Actually, even gmail causes some stutter. In the store my impression was that feel was close to my old mbp, in practicality it isn't, it feels slow.

    btw, thanks for the sane mature replies.. I admit, it's my fault I got it wrong, and it's quite a specific thing.
  8. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    This little 11 incher is good for web browsing, writing, email, etc.

    But if you have demanding tasks, why would you want to torture yourself with something underpowered?

    You can't have it both ways most of the time, and this isn't the exception.

    Just buck up and get the one you need. The 13" is still way-light.

    The 11 inch is for ultimate portability at the expensive of power.

    I don't even want to use mine for Slingbox or Flash, LOL

    (the old Air wasn't good for these either, but this new 13" perhaps has less of an spastic fan, that loves to rev up constantly )

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