Macbook Air vs Macbook

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by toddsimon, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. toddsimon macrumors member


    Feb 14, 2014
    I have a MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013) 1.3 GHz Intel Core i5 4gb of ram andwas thinking of selling it for the 12" Macbook. Would the Macbook perform better? Has anyone had experience with both machines? Thoughts? Opinions?
  2. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    On paper, the MBA would "perform" better. But to get a better idea - you ought to look at what you intend to do with the laptop. For everyday tasks, the rMB will be perfectly capable. It has certain weaknesses if you are intent on doing heavy processor intensive tasks (on a regular basis) or if you connect a lot of peripherals. But a MBA is hardly a powerhouse for any intensive tasks either.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    MBA, may have a better battery life (I forget what the 2013 battery life was rated at), its going to be a little faster and have more ports

    The MBA is smaller, more ram a nicely sized SSD, gorgeous screen but has a single port for data and power. I think (at least in my situation) you need to see if that single port is a deal breaker.
  4. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    Performance is going to be very similar. The screen is the biggest difference. I do not see how people can still use the screens on the air.
  5. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed, it really depends on what you are going to do with it.
  6. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    This comment is like saying i don't see how people can still watch non 4K tv. There is nothing wrong with the screen on the air for the majority of people. Unless you watch movies or play games on your Air.

    I chose a 2015 13inch 2.2 Ghz intel Core I7 just two months ago over the 12 inch Macbook and am very happy with my decision. i use the two USB 3 ports everyday and have no problem with the screen. I have not picked up my iPad since i got the Air.
  7. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2006
    What's funny is I think the Air's screen is actually very good. My problem with it is solely that it's tiny...I could easily use a couple of 27" monitors, so 11 or 13" isn't exactly ideal. The quality of it though is good by notebook standards.
  8. roxysdad macrumors member

    May 19, 2005
    I have used both (the 11" air with 8gb RAM and the new macbook only for a few days) and I think they are very similar in performance - but the Air wins by a small margin. That computer really was great, a nice balance of size and power. This one is similar, but just a tad slower when opening apps, opening from sleep or having logged off. For me the perfect computer would have been the 11" air with a larger Retina screen - they could have fit it in there no problems. But I guess they wanted to reengineer the whole dang thing, and this is what we get. It is a nice tiny computer with an amazing screen.
  9. whodatrr macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2004
    I have the exact same mid 2013 MBA, issued by my company, except with 8GM RAM. I'd say that the two are about equal, performance wise. I haven't run benchmarks or anything, but the performance feels about the same with MS office and the Web stuff that I do. What's more telling is that my 13 MBA has been gathering dust for the last 2,5 years, while I haven't been able to put my rMB down from the moment I bought it.

    I think the comparison will boil down to comparing how the two displays look to your eyes, as well as the cost and portability. You may also find the extra RAM will help a bit (you said yours has 4GB), if you're the type of person that always has tons of docs and apps open, like I am. But overall actual performance between the two "feels" pretty close. Me, I prefer the smaller but sharper rMB any day of the week.

    But you may lose some battery life. Still, I find the 12 rMB has plenty juice for my uses. YMMV.
  10. Ovedius macrumors 6502


    Aug 2, 2012
    As someone who had an Air for over three years I have to say that the biggest draw of the Retina Macbook is the promise of fanless cooling.
    I hated the incessant whine of the fans in my Air!
    By the end I could hardly use Safari without the fans driving me crazy.

    Of course the Air has gotten quite a lot more potent since 2010 (the one I had) so hopefully the later models can handle heavier usage before they get hot enough for the fans to start whining.

    Personally I think the Retina Macbook outclasses the Air absolutely.
    -in fact I intend to get one once the second generation rolls out.
  11. Roller macrumors 68020

    Jun 25, 2003
    I've had an 11" Core i7 MBA since 2011. By far, it's been the best Apple laptop for my needs since my PowerBook 170 in 1992. I know that its display isn't Retina-class, but it's been fine. The only problem is that the MBA now lags noticeably playing some Keynote presentations with complex animations and movies, so I'm in the market for a replacement.

    The latest MBA is an option, but I'd like the Retina screen, and I suspect that Apple will discontinue the MBA line within a year. I almost pulled the trigger on a 13" MBP, but I'd like something a bit lighter. That leaves the MacBook, but I need to be confident that it'll run my presentations smoothly. I'd also like it to have 1TB flash storage, though I don't know if Apple will offer that yet. So I'm also waiting for the 2nd generation, which should offer CPU and graphics improvements. Hopefully, that'll come in the March-April 2016 time frame.
  12. Nychot macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2011
    This year I bought a base mba 11" and later a base rmb. I hardly use the mba now. I'm actually going to set it up as a desktop with a new 27" monitor with two hdmi ports, one for the mba and one for my mac mini. The mini is now my go to laptop for a lot of things. I find it as fast and sometimes faster than my mba, and the screen is just a 180 degree difference. I also like the keyboard more. The trackpad not so much.
  13. iMi macrumors 65816


    Sep 13, 2014
    I was just contemplating the same decision and ultimately decided to sell the MacBook Air and buy the MacBook. The Air wins on overall performance but the MacBook's portability and superior display are more important features for me. I love the MacBook. It's fantastic. Next to it, the Air feels dated... Because it is!

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