Macbook Air now?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Federico87, May 2, 2016.

  1. Federico87 macrumors regular

    Federico87

    Joined:
    May 2, 2016
    Location:
    Italy
    #1
    Hi guys,
    my first thread in this forum and already looking for purchase tips :)

    Here's my situation. I'm to buy a new mac, the last one was the MBP mid 2005.
    Given my budget and what currently on the market, I would go for the Air with the following configuration:
    MacBook Air 13 inches
    • Intel Core i7 dual-core a 2,2GHz, Turbo Boost fino a 3,2GHz
    • Intel HD Graphics 6000
    • 8GB di SDRAM LPDDR3 a 1600MHz
    • Unità flash PCIe da 256GB
    And this would be the same price as a rMBP, with Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB...basically at the same I would get an i7 but not the Retina Display.

    Now, from all the rumors doing the round since December, it seems pretty clear that a the MBP is due to be upgraded by the WWDC 2016 in June and so may be the price. No cleare indication does exists about the Air...probably to be discountinued...

    The Air perfectly fits all my needs, computational power and portability with few photoshopping.

    So, the big question is: should I buy the Air or wait anyway for the rMBP upgrade?

    Thank you guys,

    Federico
     
  2. Frosties macrumors 6502a

    Frosties

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    #2
    It's just a month, I say wait, but if you must have it now the macbook air is great little computer.
     
  3. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #3
    I think the Air 13" has been a hard sell for a long time. Unless you absolutely need the extra battery life or can't afford the extra cost, the current MBP is a much better computer, in a smaller overall footprint, that weighs only half a pound more. Don't make the mistake of thinking that an 'i7' in the Air line is the same or better than an 'i7' or 'i5' in the MBP. They are different classes of processors despite the stupid naming convention.
     
  4. Federico87 thread starter macrumors regular

    Federico87

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    May 2, 2016
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    #4
    Hi Frosties, of course I can wait :)

    Is it possible the Air 13" will be discontinued?
    --- Post Merged, May 2, 2016 ---
    Extra battery life and price are the main reason I'm considering the Air over the MBP, and I'm aware of the bigger footprint of the Air but having tried the MBP I could really feel the extra half pound.
     
  5. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    #5
    Whenever and whichever you buy, do you know about the refurb store? Apple's refurbs are a good buy -- same warranty, same 14 day satisfaction guarantee etc..

    For example, the same spec Air in the OP but with double the storage is only $50 more.
     
  6. Federico87 thread starter macrumors regular

    Federico87

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    #6
    Of course I'm considering the Refurbished Store, but I've got to take into consideration the Italian availability... :)
     
  7. throAU, May 2, 2016
    Last edited: May 2, 2016

    throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    Location:
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    #7
    I'd wait. Or go for the i5 Retina MBP 13" (and this is what I did after going through the same choices last year).

    In 2016, the Macbook Air display is pretty terrible, there's no other word for it. Not just in terms of pixel count, but being TN instead of IPS (like the Pros, and any half decent modern LCD), the distortion of colours when viewing on an angle is just bad. It wasn't bad in 2010, but times have moved on and almost any machine in that price range will have a higher resolution or IPS (which gives way better viewing angles) display or both.

    In terms of the i5 vs. i7 in the 13" and under form factor, theres very little in it. The i7 in those sizes/voltages is NOT a quad core and gets 100-200mhz more and a little more cache from memory. That's IT. Oh, and i7 on the badge instead of i5. Look up the specs on http://ark.intel.com if you don't believe it. It's a sham, and not worthy of the i7 badge.

    You're talking 10% performance difference, if that on entirely CPU bound workloads. In other words, you may notice a small difference in things like video rendering/transcoding. And that's it. In general use you will not notice the difference at all.

    Looked into it when i bought my current machine, in the 13" and under form factor the i7 is SO not worth spending any money on. The i5 in the pro has the marginally better GPU, also.

    So... 13" MBP retina or wait IMHO.



    edit:
    TN vs IPS - it's not just the resolution on the Pro displays which makes them so much nicer...
    http://www.differencebetween.net/technology/difference-between-tn-and-ips/

    This is also why even the older Pro displays are so much nicer than those on the Airs (all the Pros at least back to 2010 are IPS). Would take a 13" Classic Macbook Pro display over the Macbook Air any day of the week personally, even at the lower resolution.
     
  8. blesscheese macrumors 6502a

    blesscheese

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    Central CA
    #8
    If you can wait...wait for the June WWDC to see if there are any announcements/updates.

    I'm looking at getting a 13" Air as well, but going to wait to see if there are any more updates. I love the form factor and screen size, I do a lot of text work so I don't need a retina display. It will be interesting to see if the retina MacBook Pro line gets updated, maybe to a more Air like form factor?
     
  9. BenTrovato macrumors 68020

    BenTrovato

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    Canada
    #9
    It is possible the Air is discontinued, but of course we don't know for certain. The screen is a big difference in the two laptops your considering and it sounds like you plan on keeping your laptop for a long time.
     
  10. Federico87 thread starter macrumors regular

    Federico87

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    #10
    --- Post Merged, May 2, 2016 ---
    Hi Ben, we're on the same page on this :) So, we should wait, shouldn't we?
    --- Post Merged, May 2, 2016 ---
    My same point of view, so I hope the MBP will receive an air-treatement
     
  11. BenTrovato macrumors 68020

    BenTrovato

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    #11
    Haha absolutely. One more month. Start the countdown
     
  12. theluggage macrumors 68030

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    Jul 29, 2011
    #12
    Its wise to wait for WWDC if you're not in a hurry - but manage your expectations.

    There's absolutely no certainty about a MBP update at WWDC. Possible - yes. Likely - maybe. Pretty clear - no. I don't see any leaks of parts or benchmarks etc. on MacRumors, just speculation from Captain Obvious "analysts" that the new rMBP will have Thunderbolt 3, USB-C and a thinner Macbook-like design (...as if they were going to make it 5mm thicker and re-instate the optical drive).

    Also, if the rMBP does get updated you might not like the result (2 x USB-C/TB3 and nothing else + MacBook-style ultra thin keyboard seems likely). However, unless its such a stinker that everybody starts buying up the old model, it might be an opportunity to get a good deal on the old model from refurb or an independent reseller (in the UK, Jigsaw24 often have reductions on the previous models).

    My guess? (rolls dice, peers at tea-leaves, consults spirit guide) - before the iPad event I'd have said that a new slimmed-down 13"-er would replace both the 13" rMBP and the Air. Post iPad Pro, however, I'd say that they'll slim down the rMBP, bump the price up, and keep the current Air 'while stocks last' as an entry-level machine (there seems to be a lot of love for the Air and the screen is not that bad for nonretina). This has been an uniformed guess - but then there aren't any informed guesses out there.
     
  13. AFEPPL macrumors 68020

    AFEPPL

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    England
    #13
    You could get a rMP 1.1 for less, or the 1.2 for a little more or you could get a 2.7Ghz i5 rMBP
    I wouldn't get a MBA, the rMP are very similar spec'd more portable with newer tech. The rMBP is a workhorse if you want more power and a much better screen.

    Given the choice between same money and i7 or retina, it's a no brainer... Retina screen every day of the week and twice on a weekend. You can wait forever for new specs, you'll always be chasing..
     
  14. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

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    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #14
    I've got the 2013 MBA 13" i7 with 256GB & 8GB ram. It is better than the 13" i5 MBP, as the battery life is better and the speed is good enough for programming.
    However, I am going to keep it for my fiancee when I get the best of what is released / announced in June, as I have a 40th birthday to think about in July.

    It is a question of do you need the extra battery life, and the hyperthreading of the i7 (basically 4 cores from 2) ; or do you want the retina screen and only 2 cores ?
    If the answer is I need portability and power, then the 13" Macbook Air is your best mac,
    If you want a nice screen and don't need much CPU performance, then the 13" Macbook Pro Retina is your best mac.
     
  15. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #15
    Battery on the 2015 retinas is pretty awesome. I've seen 12-13 hours on mine. Maybe a 2015 air might be better but at the life we see on the 2015 onwards models it's a case of enough is enough...

    2c

    Edit: obviously depends what you're doing with it of course
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #16
    From what I've read the i7 on the MBA shows little improvements to real world activity. I'd opt for the rMBP as you get a better CPU, GPU, and screen. The weight and size difference between the 13" MBA and the MBP is negligible. Overall, you get a better faster computer imo.

    Quite possibly.
     
  17. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #17
    All the dual core i5 and i7 processors that Apple use in their mobilecomputers have hyper threading that's what makes the i7 upgrade so utterly pointless and expensive it really just does give you a 2-4% speed boost that is it.
     
  18. dangerfish macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    #18
    I would wait if you can. I do believe that they MBA will be going away as the current MB is more "air" like than the MBA. I believe what we will see is that the MBP takes on a much slimmer form factor than it currently has. It won't get as thin as the MBA but it can certainly get thinner. Apple has an amazing ability to make things lighter and thinner. Not always the best decision in terms of performance but they can make things thinner. We've seen that over and over.
    The MBA has been my favorite computer from Apple for a long time. I think I've owned 3. I'm ready to replace my current 2013 model but I'll wait because I do think there are new MBP's coming that will be thinner and lighter but still offer a better screen than the MBA and better performance. I'm hoping they'll be able to maintain the excellent batter life of the MBA.
     
  19. darkanddivine, May 5, 2016
    Last edited: May 5, 2016

    darkanddivine macrumors member

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    #19
    I have the same thoughts roughly as yourself Federico. It does seem that in the Air situation, the money saved is about whether you really want a key feature of another model. Whether that's the touchscreen abilities of the iPad Pro, or the new Macbook Retina screen, there will always be something you miss by choosing one model over the other.

    Do you use Adobe CC, or previous versions? It should be noted that the old versions of Photoshop/Illustrator etc are not optimised for the retina screen anyway, so the benefit is lost. Otherwise you'll need to upgrade. Sadly, this is the case with a lot of graphics software that is slightly older. Personally I've waited to join the retina screen party for that reason. Many artists/designers have reported similar issues, and therefore if the Air is a bargain at entry price it still seems like a good deal. As others have said (depending on the work they do on the machine) the screen could be better but it's not terrible either. Of course that does depend what you are using it for.
     
  20. Federico87 thread starter macrumors regular

    Federico87

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    #20
    I've recently tried them both in an Apple Store in Dublin and really felt the weight difference.
    Of course I couldn't play around with any other software but the ones pre-installed (Photoshop and Illustrator are the most CPU consuming I'm going to use), so from a processing power perspective I can't say nothing more.
    Retina display it's still a major consideration. By putting them side by side you can immediately spot the difference and that's a big one.

    Still the rMBP is a much more powerful machine and considering both this and the discontinuing perspective for the MBA, I think I'll wait till WWDC to see what happen.

    Hopefully we'll see both an upgrade (Skylake quite sure) and redesign (maybe?).
     
  21. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #21
    Yeah there's definitely a weight difference don't get me wrong.

    But the 13" Pro isn't un-usably heavy by any stretch.

    Given WWDC is so close, if you can wait it would definitely be worth doing so, as both the Air and the Pro are well overdue for refresh.

    If nothing else, expect skylake CPUs at least, one would hope.

    Not that the current machines are bad. But trust me, buying Apple hardware mere weeks/months before it is refreshed stings a bit :D
     
  22. Federico87 thread starter macrumors regular

    Federico87

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    #22
    As many others, I've been waiting since late 2015, then March '16 and now June..another month won't kill me for sure I hope whatever refresh/upgrade they're going to unveil will be worth it!
    In case they wouldn't bring us any new rMBP this WWDC (some speculations have been made), I'll just go for eather one or the other

    In the meantime..somebody else is praying Apple not to discontinue MBA :)
     
  23. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #23
    I suspect the Macbook air will go the way of the Classic Macbook Pro 13".

    Maybe it will get a CPU bump, don't expect anything else. I don't even expect the CPU bump. It got a memory bump recently.

    The updated version is already here; the Macbook.

    People may not like that, but they generally didn't like the Macbook Air v1.0 either.

     
  24. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #24

    The MBP wasn't introduced until January 2006.
     
  25. Federico87 thread starter macrumors regular

    Federico87

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    #25
    My bad...it's been a while and I may have forgotten the exact date ;)
    --- Post Merged, May 7, 2016 ---
    You're right, I was just dreaming. With the last RAM upgrade, no other bumps should be expected.

    I do not see the new MB as a MBA upgrade. That may be true if we're just talking about portability but as for the processing power and usability, I have to disagree.

    First, I've go to say that I never had the chance to fully test a Core m processor, but still from what I've read so far they good just for some browsing, mail, light VLC and nothing more but I may be wrong.

    Then, having only a USB C port is a great concept, really and Apple as again confirmed it can still be visionary and ahead of time but it definitely is not something I would buy for that price.
     

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