MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2011) vs NEW Macbook

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by SD449, Sep 18, 2015.

  1. SD449 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2012
    #1
    Hi All

    My wife if now starting an Open University Humanities Degree and I was thinking of treating "her" to a new laptop with the student discounts and free headphones.

    Currently we have a MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2011) and I have my eye on the new Macbook.

    Pros currently 8gb Ram (vs 4gb) 256gb (vs 128gb) lighter, smaller and better screen.

    Cons weak processor (I think/assume) lack of ports (but only really plug USBs into laptop to charge them i.e. iPhone)

    My 2nd choice would be a 13" 256gb Retina Pro as I feel the extra £100 is worth it for the screen even if it is a bit thicker/heavier

    What are your thoughts?

    Thank you in advance for your replies
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    I'd suggest Retina Pro, as it's considerably more powerful in every area. But really it's what you want and what's most important for you. If you're going from the 13" Air to the 13" Pro you may be a little alarmed with the additional weight.

    If thinness/lightness is the most important thing in a portable for your wife, then get the 12" Retina MacBook. If power is more important, then get the 13" Retina MacBook Pro.

    Little reason to pick the MacBook Air other than for its battery life IMHO, the big bezels and (comparitively) washy display will just make you regret the purchase when you have it side-by-side with the rMBP or rMB.
     
  3. Evad3 macrumors member

    Evad3

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    Sep 18, 2015
    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    #3
    I would go for a 13" rMBP - perfect all round laptop for uni etc
     
  4. SD449 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 6, 2012
    #4
    Thank you for your reply

    Portability isn't important as we will only use it at home on the sofa/table. Also since its an Open University Degree she will not be taking in to school.

    I appreciate the power of Pro, but surely it is just the processor as the RAM and SSD will be similar.

    How will the speed of the New Macbook compare to my existing machine?
     
  5. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #5
    Processor is much better, SSD read/write speeds on the 256GB rMBP are well over 1.4GB/s, whereas the rMB won't get beyond 800MB/s. Better battery life on the Pro, better graphics card, many more ports and the addition of MagSafe -- remember you'd essentially have to plug in an additional hub to make the rMB useful. And if you trip over the cable on the rMB, it'll won't pull out.

    Honestly if portability and weight isn't important, there's no practical reason I can see to get the rMB -- the only reasoning in your situation would be that you prefer the design.
     
  6. SD449 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 6, 2012
    #6
    I must admit I do like the idea of a black macbook ;)
     
  7. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

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    Nov 23, 2011
    #7
    The heart wants what the heart wants! Sorry I couldn't justify the plunge for you, though I had an inkling you wanted the Retina MacBook :D it's still a lovely capable machine, you won't regret it!
     
  8. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    Location:
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    #8
    Unless the course work requires heavy CPU usage there will be no difference in real world usage. My own 1.2 MacBook is significantly faster in use than either of our 2011 MBA`s (13" & 13") In basic usage (non CPU intensive) the rMB keeps pace equally well with my 13" & 15" rMBP`s. It`s not until you load up the rMB with heavy computational and or graphical applications that the more powerful system pull ahead.

    Q-6
     
  9. SD449 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 6, 2012
    #9
    True and if I was giving advice to a friend or family member my advice would be the same 13" MBP
     
  10. SD449 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 6, 2012
    #10
    See this is the kinda help a wanted :)

    But to be fair it will just be web research and office apps so nothing to strenuous.
     
  11. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
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    Denmark
    #11
    Then the Macbook will suit you just fine.
     
  12. Queen6, Sep 18, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #12
    Then the Retina MacBook will be more than capable. I use mine (1.2Ghz - 512 SSD) as a component of my work; heavy Microsoft Office (2011) predominantly Word, Excel & PowerPoint, multiple mail accounts on Apple Mail, proprietary engineering applications running in a compatibility layer, web research, some image manipulation, Skype, FaceTime, iTunes etc.

    The Retina Macbook can easily deal with business related applications, the 15" MacBook Pro deals with the "heavy lifting" that neither the 12" or 13" are really very good at. All the same the 13" rMBP is without any doubt Apples most balanced portable and offered by far the best value for money. My choice is more a function of my usage/workflows than a criticism of the 13" rMBP.

    As for the Air I personally wouldn't consider due to the vastly inferior TN display, nor is the pricing attractive once you "up" the specification closer to the rMB & rMBP.

    Q-6
     
  13. Vladislav macrumors regular

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    Oct 28, 2011
    #13
    I tried yesterday in the Manchester airport both rmb and 13 pro. Well to compare them Weight wise - rmb floating in the air versus 13 pro :)
     
  14. boltjames macrumors 68030

    boltjames

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    #14
    So from a performance standpoint all the notebooks you're considering would be the same for your level of work and multi-tasking, so you can take that out of the conversation. I own the notebooks you're talking about, they'll all feel the same under your conditions.

    What it then boils down to is a) screen size, b) screen clarity, and c) weight/size form factor. If you're just using it on the couch and it's not a road warrior, I'd tell you to skip the RMB. I love it, best notebook I've ever owned for use on-the-go, but if you're not taking it on the road you probably should get something with a bigger screen. Then for the sake of your eyes you'll want a retina display (don't settle for anything less), so I'd recommend the Retina MBP.

    BJ
     
  15. revenent macrumors regular

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    Jul 26, 2008
    #15
    For your usage, a balance of power and portability will be the Retina MacBook Pro 13".
     
  16. SD449 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2012
    #16
    Just looked at Geekbench and whilst the Macbook is very similar to my 2011 the MBPr smashes it, not the news I wanted...

    Geekbenck 32 Sgl / 32 Multi / 64 Sgl / 64 Multi

    Air i7 1.8MHz - 1941 / 3741 / 2354 / 4621

    rMB M 1.1MHZ - 2114 / 3982 / 2295 / 4464

    MBPr i5 2.7MHz 2892 / 6061 / 3206 / 6862
     
  17. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #17
    My 1.2 rMB is noticeably faster in use than the two 2011 Air`s that we still have kicking about, and easily keeps pace with my rMBP`s for non CPU intensive tasks. it`s only when you use applications that require heavy CPU/GPU loads, then the dynamic changes and obviously the rMBP`s pull ahead by a significant margin.

    You won't know until you buy and use the rMB in real world use, equally if you don't buy you will never know, equally your usage/workflows will very much dictate the user experience. For your described use 12" or 13" Retina will be more than adequate, equally as some have pointed out portability is not a priority therefore the 13" Retina makes more sense.

    Q-6
     
  18. SD449 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 6, 2012
    #18
    Do you know if I buy it can I open it, play around with it and still return? (In UK)
     
  19. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #19
    Yes you will have 14 day from point of purchase, equally to be 100% certain ask Apple they will be happy to advise.

    Q-6
     
  20. mtneer macrumors 68020

    mtneer

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    #20
    If you already have a functional MBA, fully paid for, that is the best laptop for the use scenario described. I would rather use that as long as it holds out and then upgrade when necessary (i.e. current laptop no longer functional).
     
  21. toddzrx macrumors 6502a

    toddzrx

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    #21
    I wouldn't pay too close attention to these numbers. These can be a bit misleading when it comes to every day usage, and it sounds like you and your misses won't be doing a lot of processor intensive work. As may in this thread and elsewhere have stated, the MacBook is just as quick as other current machines when performing nominal work like email, browsing, etc.

    In general, I would say that unless you really need the portability, go with the MBP.
     
  22. KrisLord macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 12, 2008
    Location:
    Northumberland, UK
    #22
    The 12" MacBook is lovely, I got one despite not planning on using it much out of the house. I just didn't need the power of the pro.

    4 months on I'm still happy with my choice.

    Whatever you go for, buy online via the higher education store. You get 3 year hardware warranty instead of the standard 1.

    (I'm assuming the OU are part of this scheme. )
     
  23. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Location:
    Land of Smiles
    #23
    Theirs no doubt that the new rMBP is superior and better value power to pound cost ratio etc to the rMB where you are paying a premium for design and lightness.

    My wife had a 11" MBA which was 2 years old so I swapped her out (not the wife) for a new rMBP 13" as I refused to buy another Air without the retina upgrade. She liked it but underlying she simply preferred the old air for it's compact size and just browsing and emails, having a higher res screen was no real benefit for her. More often or not she had a zoom on to make the txt bigger and easier to read.

    Additionally unlike myself she tends not to use a table to use her laptop and sits on the sofa with it on her lap or propped up in bed on her knees, the rMBP was uncomfortable after using the Air

    I have now changed her rMBP for a rMB and she could not be happier for both in the house and for travelling

    Get her the rMB IMO
     
  24. Dj64Mk7 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #24
    I don't get this. Are you talking about AppleCare?
     
  25. KrisLord macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Location:
    Northumberland, UK
    #25
    You get an education discount in the UK if buying in store and proving you're at University. Do this online and it falls under a "higher education agreement" the university's signed with Apple. As well as a discount you get a 3 year AppleCare Hardware Warranty. For a fee of about £40-50 you can add telephone support so it's the full AppleCare warranty.
     

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