Maybe getting a MacBook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by JohnIV, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. JohnIV, Feb 8, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013

    JohnIV macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2011
    I don't really need one right now so it makes sense to wait for the next models... but I really want one RIGHT NOW. Maybe with the right rationalizations and evasions... It's worth a shot.

    To begin with, what's the latest on when the new models will arrive? I hear June a lot. Sometimes later, rarely earlier (I guess the Haswell delay rules earlier out.)

    I will use it mostly for journal writing, so I suppose getting a pro retina doesn't make much sense? Money is an issue, but I could go pro retina if I'm prepared to sacrifice my teeth. Let me know what you think.

    Then there's the whole RAM thing. I don't really need 8GB right now, but as a future proof it might be a good idea? Not so much in case I expand my activities on the machine, but more to be able to run future OS updates. (I'm planning on using it for a long time.)

    13" or 11". Is there any other reason than price and portability to go 11"? Is it possible to just like it more? I'm using an Asus netbook currently and I don't mind a smallish screen (and it's even smaller than 11"), but I'm thinking it might be neat with a bigger screen for once, but maybe I'll just hate it? I do like that the difference is in height, goes well with writing (I hate writing with too much width for the text, but height is welcome... I think)

    Right now I'm leaning toward a 13" 8GB MacAir.
  2. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    Here's the thing on a June release.

    Apple RARELY releases a new Mac within a week or two after a new Intel chip release. The average is really more in the 3-4 week range. That means that if Haswell is released on-time on June 1st (Which isn't really in line with Intels track record, they often over-estimate their ability to get chips shipped!), you're looking at the end of June, early July. It's also not uncommon for it to take two or even three months for Apple to update to a new chip.

    It's not IMPOSSIBLE to think a June or even early-June release of a Haswell MBA. But, It's DEFINITELY not definite. Some people are preaching a June Haswell-MBA/MBP like it's Gospel but it just doesn't work like that, it doesn't fit in line with 7 years of Intel Mac history.

    If you want it, get it, if you don't, wait. If you wait until this summer, then you're only 6-12 months away from Broadwell. People are ALREADY talking about waiting for Broadwell. You could go crazy. I don't think I'd buy a current Mac the second week of June is Haswell wasn't out yet... but your mac will still work just fine, still smoke all the other 'ultrabooks', 6 months or so from now when we start seeing the Haswell macs.

    I bought my MBP in December and I wouldn't lose a wink of sleep if Apple released Haswell Mac's tomorrow. Mine is still a fantastic machine, and it will be even when the next fantastic machine comes out, and the one after that!

  3. burnout8488 macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2011
    Endwell, NY
    Don't short yourself on the screen if you're doing any type of writing for extended periods. The 13" is still ridiculously light and portable, you'll love it. The 11" would be shorting yourself, IMO.

    You just missed an awesome $200 off Best Buy sale on the 13", but the 8GB model was not part of that. Check local Best Buy stores for open box models, they usually have amazing discounts and are in near-perfect condition for $200 off or more.

    8GB is a good idea if you want to have it for 5 years and want to guarantee future OS compatibility and smoothness. I got 4GB, but I really don't do anything that matters. Even if OS 11.2 comes out, I'm sure it will still run on my 4GB Air and browse the internet just fine. 8GB is a nice, but expensive safety net. The peace of mind is worth it more than anything at this point though if you're just doing basic tasks.
  4. Violet1337 macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2013

    Oh wow, it sounds like you're in the exact same boat as me! I, too, really want to purchase one now except I've decided to wait until the refresh. I hope that it gets released soon! I'm also thinking that it will be released sometime in June. I won't be purchasing the retina screen as I have no need for the additional component. I, too, have the RAM dilemma but I think that I'll go with the 8GB as well, just to be on the safe side and it'll help with multi-tasking and software updates in the future. For me, I'll be choosing the 13" as the 11" is a bit too small for me and it will be replacing my current 15" laptop and becoming my new main laptop. I, too, am leaning towards the 13" 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD MacBook Air 2013! :) I'm keen!!
  5. JohnIV thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2011
    Definitely. I'd be hard enough to wait for June, but to wait until then only to discover I have to wait an additional three months would be hellish. And it's not like I need the extra power (right now anyway), although an Air retina would be neat.
  6. JohnIV thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2011
    Portability is not even important actually, I'll keep it at home most of the time. The reason I'm going Air instead of Pro is mostly the SSD.

    I saw that price without knowing it was a discount (I had just gotten the idea to get a MacBook). When I came back two days later to -- maybe -- make a purchase the price had gone up. Since then I've been researching and thinking back and forth etc. Maybe it's for the better since I now want the 8GB.

    Is the RAM a "weaker link" than the CPU in the 4GB model, in terms of running later OSes?
  7. JohnIV thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2011
    You're stronger than me then. The only firm decision I'm able to make is to buy now, any decision to wait will not be final, I'll just keep questioning it. A purchase on the other hand is pretty much final.

    So, you see, I practically have no choice, haha.
  8. Violet1337 macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2013
    Hahaha, not even! I keep questioning myself everyday as to why I haven't purchased it yet! But, I just keep telling myself that the 2013 model will be better and I only have to wait 4-5 months, which will quickly pass once University starts :p I'm so excited! I can't wait to replace my 4 year old laptop with a MBA!! I recommend that you wait but if you really can't, then just buy one now and I'm sure that you won't regret it! Good luck :)
  9. Hirakata macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2011
    Burbank, CA
    FWIW, I love my 11" 2012 MBA. I use it for writing (Word) and don't have a problem with the screen size at all. Granted I haven't used the 13" (other than in an Apple Store), but I like my choice.

    I think for what Apple is charging, and the fact that you can't upgrade later, 8GB is a no brainer. While writing I often have several tabs open in Safari, iTunes running, several images and pdfs open in Preview, Mail open, Messages open, etc. and I never have any Page Outs. Now I've heard people say they have no problems with 4GB because the SSD's speed makes Page Outs insignificant. May be something to think about.

    The only con (if you want to call it that) in my opinion is the battery life. 13" > 11". Just last night though, I was out writing and turned Wi-Fi off and would have gotten (if I had stayed that long) around 6 hours. Not bad, but you will get more from the 13".
  10. CJM, Feb 8, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013

    CJM macrumors 65816


    May 7, 2005
    Yeah, I disagree. Random capitalisation doesn't accentuate your point much, either.

    Five minutes with Google yielded this source.

    Apple quite often receives new chips early or with preferential supply. If Haswell comes out around June, you can bet there will be new Macs.

    If you take a look at the Buyers' Guide, the MBA is approaching its end of cycle. At this stage, if it's not of dire importance, you might as well wait.

    Personally, I'm waiting for new Pro Retinas or an MBA with IPS screen. Haswell promises a lot for the ultrabook market.
  11. BigMacAttack1 macrumors regular


    Feb 4, 2013
    Bellingham, WA
    I took the plunge and bought my first Mac a week ago. It came in the mail Wed and I love it, though I still have a lot to learn! I went refurbished and got a heavy discount ($250) for the MBA 13" w/i7, 8GB RAM, & 256GB SSD. If you want a solid computer right now and don't want to pay top dollar, go for a refurbished! You can get a model more than the base model for much less money than you will for a brand new 2013 model. I don't see the sense in holding out for a 2013 and paying full price when in a year it'll already be "last year's model" anyways! Go for it!!
  12. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    Yeah, and that's not the only time I've seen that source presented as evidence that Apple will immediately release Haswell.

    However, that's not a chip (CPU), that's a chipset. And it was one iMac update. Occasionally, Apple DOES release spot-on or even early. The original MacBook Air had a penryn (I believe) chip that was custom made and was so far unreleased on any other platform. It does happen, just not always. My information came from googling around out of curiosity, the release date of the specific chip that was used (like the 2.5GHz Dual Core i5, though I forget the model name off of the top of my head, currently used in the 2012 MBP), and the refresh of the MBP models. That's what I found. Take it or leave it, I'm just saying even though there are a few examples of close, there are as many or more examples of it taking several weeks. All I was saying in my post, is that preaching a first-week-of-June MacBook line refresh as absolute truth isn't exactly a great idea. There is plenty of reason to believe it could take a few weeks. There's also evidence that it might be right away too, sure, who knows. But I just don't think I'd be promising anyone the first of June like some people have been saying.

    What I found, was that more often than not, it took greater than two weeks, sometimes as much as three months, for notebook models to have the latest intel chips. Apple does often (probably always) get an early supply of chips, but that doesn't always equate to on-the-shelf shipping release date anything better than a few weeks after the Intel release.

    Yes, there will be new Macs, like you said. But, unlike what some folks are saying, I don't think we should be lining up on June 1st. Exception cases aside, Apples history shows a few weeks in between chip release and notebook release.

    As far as the capitalization's, well, don't know what I can do for ya there. It's intended to emphasize certain words. Like "definite" in reference above. In hopes that folks like you would be able to distinguish the meaning of my posts, that we are not sure that Haswell equipped Macs will be out the first week, and people shouldn't jump the gun and be led to believe that, as it is very possible it could be weeks afterwards that a refresh comes (or more). It is an internet forum after all, not an academic paper. I don't tend to use the APA or MLA format either. I'm not a fan of tons of shorthand or "tlking liek dis u kno wut i meen?", but it's still a message board. Sometimes you've gotta let stuff go.

    ne-way I gots two go so eye will tealk too yu l8r!
  13. hkim1983 macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2009
    1) It will arrive after Haswell is released. How soon after Haswell is an educated guess at best.

    2) If you're going to be reading a lot, then the quality of the screen is absolutely important if you like treating your eyes nicely. This isn't to say that the Air screen is horrendous, but reading for a long period of time on a retina screen is much easier than the Air's. That being said, if it's outside of your financial comfort zone, then it's a moot point.

    3) Do not concern yourself with "future proofing". You can not use a computer for 5+ years without serious diminishing returns unless you're an extremely basic user (even then, components tend to break down around the 4-5 year mark anyway). If you aren't going to use virtualization software or other heavy resource using applications, 4 GBs of ram is probably fine for the next 2-3 years. If it really bothers you, then the extra $100 for the 8 GBs of ram is not a big deal considering the initial cost of the machine you're buying.

    4) If you're going to be reading on the screen a lot, but are not planning on using an external monitor, then I would opt for the 13" personally regardless of how often you travel and use it on the go, it will be easier on your eyes.

    If you're unsure whether you'll "like" it or not, Apple has a 2 week return policy, and if you buy it elsewhere, I'm sure you could find better return policies. You should know exactly how you feel about it after a week or so.
  14. dkersten macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2010
    It doesn't sound like you are doing anything too extensive and probably don't need a Haswell based MBA. The only thing that would effect you would be the improved battery life. Personally I always recommend upgrading RAM if possible but that is just me. As for the size, I went back and forth between the 13in and 11in for months. In the end I decided to go for the 13in but often regret that I didn't get the 11in. If you have an external monitor you can use the Air with I would personally recommend the 11in. But then again these are my opinions. Good luck on choosing a model
  15. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Jan 24, 2013
    I think you have to decide what's more important -

    A. Getting a nice deal on current macbook airs and saving $.
    B. Getting a slight increase in speed, and maybe another hour of battery life (just speculating).

    Personally, I'm bringing a charger with me anywhere I take my laptop. 5-6 hours without being plugged in is nice, and getting another hour or two out of it simply means I get to go slightly longer before plugging it in.

    I'm much more happier saving almost $300, and having my 11" now. It's a spectacular computer..!
  16. JohnIV thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2011
    I'm not sure I'll save much money by buying a current Mac (I'm not waiting for a discount). The benefit from buying now is not having to wait, but that's a big one.

    I don't really need the extra power of the next model, not until the OS needs it. Or until I discover awesome and demanding apps, I suppose. (The plan is to do almost nothing but writing on the Mac. I will most of the time have an iPad nearby, and that's my app-hoarding device.)
  17. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    You can write on a 166MHz PowerBook from years gone by running Mac OS 8 and AppleWorks Word Processor. Not as nicely.. but I mean, you CAN!

    I think you're on the right track. I think the Air will be with you for years to come and work well for you. I also think the new Air will be with you for years to come and work well for you!
  18. JohnIV thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2011
    How so, portability? I don't need that, aside from carrying it from room to room in my home.

    I've never had a laptop aside from netbooks, how is it to have a 13" laptop on top of your lap while sitting in an armchair resting your legs on a leg rest? Not too unwieldy? Does it get warm? Fall to the ground easily?


    I'll probably use it until it goes broke or until Apple stops providing security updates to whatever OS it's capable of running (or wait a minute, not even that matters since I won't have it online most of the time anyway -- that's actually part of my anti-distraction strategy.) Not necessarily as my writing comp, but I can always find some usage. Having a dedicated bedside netbook changed my life (for audiobooks etc).
  19. JohnIV thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2011
    I'm in Sweden so I can't buy from, and if there's a Swedish version of selling refurbished units (can't find it) the supply is probably smaller. Even the UK version doesn't currently have an 8GB Air. Plus I'm a little too paranoid anyway, not that it won't work but that life has been drained out of it, shortening its lifespan, lol.
  20. JohnIV thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2011
    I will mostly just read as I write, pure reading I do on my (retina) iPad.

    It's more like $233, comparing the cheapest 4GB I can find with the cheapest 8GB (in Sweden, but with shipment cost plus added taxes it won't be cheaper elsewhere). But I'm getting 8GB anyway. If I had planned to get a new MacBook in three years or so maybe I wouldn't, but I want to use it longer.
  21. JohnIV thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2011
    Nope, done thinking (8GB it is). But it's good to know paging is fast, never know when 8GB becomes insufficient. (Although right now I don't see how it could be, 640 k ought to be enough for anyone.)
  22. Vikinguy macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2007
    I got one a couple weeks ago when Best Buy ran the special. It's the nicest computer I've ever had by far.
  23. dkersten macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2010

    Yeah I kinda regret not getting the 11in because I take my MBA to and from school via bike. The 13in weighs 2.96 lbs so it is still super portable. I have no problem with the laptop on my legs lying on the couch or in a chair. It is light enough that it doesn't bother me. After all its certainly lighter than the 13 MBP I used to have. The only time it gets slightly warm is if I'm streaming video for an extended period of time and doesn't fall off my lap easily. If you are only going to be using the computer at home the 13in may be the better option for you (and you get better battery life as a bonus). However I would test each out in the Apple store for awhile. Its all going to come down to your personal preference.
  24. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010

    I recently switched to the 13" rMBP, but I had an 11.6" MBA for 2 years before that. I like the 11.6" form factor, and think it suits the Air perfectly. That said, the 13" model is equally comfortable on a lap, and it has the benefit of the higher resolution 1440x900 display.
  25. ohbrilliance macrumors 6502a


    May 15, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    I disagree. I am a developer (so far from an extremely basic user) and my nearly-six-year-old Macbook Pro still serves me well.

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