MB Air, SP3, or Chromebook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Mr West, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. Mr West macrumors member

    Mr West

    Apr 9, 2012
    I'm looking for a new machine.

    The main tasks would be:
    - working on startup (mostly Google docs and e-mail)
    - studying (writing master thesis)
    - browsing web
    - music library (iTunes) (About 17 Gb)
    - some light coding (Python)

    It should be ultra portable. Budget is max. $1000,- (or €).

    Since I like a nice screen and keyboard/touchpad, the choice would currently go to the Mb Air 11.
    I don't have any experience with Mac though, so I have 3 small questions:
    - would you guys agree it's better option than the SP3 or a Chromebook?
    - is it convenient to code Python on it?
    - should I wait for the new model? (It's not that urgent, I can wait some months).

    Thanks in advance for your much appreciated answers.
  2. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Three very different machines.
    They should all be ok for your usage.

    But this is a mac forum ...

    SP looks and feels nice, but windows is a no-go.
  3. Mr West thread starter macrumors member

    Mr West

    Apr 9, 2012
    Thank you for your reply.
    I have experience with a SP3 but I don't how it's unstable on your lap and it more pricey than the MB.
    The keyboard isn't that good either.
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Well you specify the air and the screen on that is a failrly low resolution TN panel, so thats out, the SP3 is fine if you use it at a desk or as a tablet only and you like windows, a chromebook won't run office softwareso might be a real pain for doing a thesis.

    To be honest if I was you I'd get a refurb rMBP or wait until the rMB gets into the refurb store.

    Unforunately the best ultraportables are usually above your price range. See list below

  5. Mr West thread starter macrumors member

    Mr West

    Apr 9, 2012
    Thank you for the replies. I'm afraid the rMB would be an overkill.
    Maybe I'll just wait for the new MbAir would should come out in early 2016 if I'm not mistaken.
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    You could well be very mistaken. It's a fair guess that with the rMB getting better as the fanless silicon gets better we have already seen the last ever Air update, think of it as the old MBP that was kept around at a slightly cheaper price when the retina MBP came in (it's still around and hasn't been updated since 2012).

    Personally I think that the rMB sounds perfect for you unless you need ports for external screens etc but it's out of your price limit by quite a way.

    Failing that a refurbed rMBP is only 1/2 a pound heavier than the macbook air and actually a bit smaller footprintwise, I'd take a long hard look at that if I was you.
  7. Mr West thread starter macrumors member

    Mr West

    Apr 9, 2012
    Oh my bad. I was mistaken the MBpro for the rMB, with rMB you are referring to the flat 12', one port, model right?
    Looks nice and it might suit my needs. But I'm a bit reluctant hearing that it might be one Apple most overpriced products of all time and basically just an iPad with keyboard (poor performance).
  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Yep rMB the new ultraportable, there is a whole section here on it (go to the macbook section) and it's surprisingly good by all accounts for light usage scenarios, with people even doing light video and photo editing and even a bit of gaming on it.

    With the PRO it's much the same performance as the air ( about 20% increase) with a fantastic screen and more ports.
  9. brookter1, Sep 4, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2015

    brookter1 macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2015
    Some people have said that it's just an iPad with a keyboard, but frankly, they either don't know what they're talking about or are just trolling. You will see many posts here from people who own the rMP 12" and who are very happy with it for exactly the sort of usage you're planning. Me included...

    When you consider that a similarly specified MB Air (e.g with 8Gb RAM and a 256Gb SSD drive) costs only about $100 less than the new Macbook, while the latter has the retina screen which is simply far superior (try it and see the difference for yourself...), then they're not all that different in cost.

    It should perform the tasks you want it to with no problems at all -- it won't do heavy video editing or gaming quickly, but other than that, it's fine. It's far more capable than an iPad with a keyboard.

    Don't be put off by the reports of the keyboard being bad, either: it's not. I find it better to type on than my MBP 17".

    The Macbook Air is still a very good computer: if you need the extra ports or want a bit more power, fine. But the new Macbook should be very good for your needs and you'll get a much much better screen.
  10. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Yep, almost universally the people criticizing the new retina Macbook are not the owners, who tend to love it. I have one, and I have a Surface Pro 3. Unless you specifically need or want the tablet/stylus features of the Surface, that's out, as the keyboard and trackpad are really poor. The retina Macbook would be just fine for your needs, although it is a bit expensive. Some people are getting them new in box on eBay for about $1100 or so though, and there are used ones sold here from time to time.

    I would be hesitant for the Macbook Air because of the screen - it's really low resolution which would be hard to work on anything more complex than a Word document, IMO, and it's not sharp. I would stretch the budget for something else in the Mac lineup.

    How about the Macbook-like Asus Zenbook ux305? http://gizmodo.com/asus-zenbook-ux305-review-a-great-laptop-for-just-700-1706784530

    if not that, the Dell XPS 13?
  11. Mr West thread starter macrumors member

    Mr West

    Apr 9, 2012
    Thanks for the information. I did some research on the ux305 before and seems like a good deal. Especially considering that you get a lot more power for a lot less money than the rMB. I might opt out for that one.
    I would be dissapointed though if Apple wouldn't come out (in the near future) with a new Macbook air or something similar.

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