Moving back to MBA from rMB

tim0409

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 6, 2010
171
110
Hi there

I recently sold my 11" MBA and bought a rMB when I was visiting the US (BB $999), and whilst I love the screen, after 2 months I am still struggling to get used to the keyboard, and taken together with the other compromises I am now thinking about selling it and buying a new MBA 11".

I just wondered if anybody else had made the switch back? My only concern is getting used to the MBA screen (again....).
Thanks
Tim
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,266
Hi there

I recently sold my 11" MBA and bought a rMB when I was visiting the US (BB $999), and whilst I love the screen, after 2 months I am still struggling to get used to the keyboard, and taken together with the other compromises I am now thinking about selling it and buying a new MBA 11".

I just wondered if anybody else had made the switch back? My only concern is getting used to the MBA screen (again....).
Thanks
Tim
The screen on the 11" MBA would just be too much of a step down to go back to, IMHO. I definitely appreciate your concerns with the keyboard on the rMB - no real way around that.

I'd suggest a third option which may not immediately be up your street -- possibly step up for the 13" rMBP? With regards to the hardware, you get a lot more power for your money, and the only real compromise is the weight, as the battery life is better than the rMB and comparable with the 11" MBA.
 

jgelin

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2015
901
1,064
St Petersburg, FL
My only concern is getting used to the MBA screen
MBA screen is solely the reason why I am waiting for refresh of rMBP... I really cannot handle the quality difference between my monitors and when I am on the go.
rMB just is too little for me, I would be worried about breaking it even though I know the build quality is super strong and your complaints about the keyboard are not unheard here.
 

entedankfest

macrumors newbie
May 14, 2015
6
6
I'm in the same boat. Coming from an 11" MBA, I couldn't get used to the rMB keyboard. Plus I realized how a the n and m keys started to get a noticable different feel compared to the other ones (almost no feedback at all). After reading quite a few posts about the sticky key issues with the rMB, I started to be super protective with it (when my partner would use it I'd be like "be easy on the keyboard", haha).

So now I sold my rMB to go and buy the 11" MBA again tomorrow. I know going back to a non retina-screen will be tough, the rMB screen being the best I've ever used. But I really miss the keyboard, the sturdy design and maybe also the performance of the i7 MBA at certain points.

Btw. I really enjoyed the usb-c port. I wish Apple would swap the air's magsafe with a usb-c port (keeping all other ports of course). And then I guess this is never going to happen (as for a retina or high-res screen on an air).
 
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jmoore5196

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2009
774
263
Midwest US
After spending a couple of weeks with a MacBook, I gave up, returned it and ordered a refurb 11" MBA. I could not reconcile myself to the keyboard (a common complaint for touch typists, I imagine) or the lack of a MagSafe connector.

Doing without a retina display will be a challenge, but there are tradeoffs in any notebook design. I don't think the MBA display will be the productivity drain that the MB keyboard is for me.

The MB is a lovely machine; my guess is that it will soldier on while the 11" MBA will be discontinued this Spring. I'm sure I can get three or four years' usage out of the 11" MBA before I have to tackle this issue again, and perhaps by then there will be another alternative.
 
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entedankfest

macrumors newbie
May 14, 2015
6
6
Got my 11" MBA two days ago. As already stated by jmoore, coming back to a non-retina screen is a challenge. But that's about it. Really happy to have that keyboard again and since it's a specced out MBA it's just flying when doing batch processing in Photoshop. Really missed this combination of portability and power. Hope for a better screen in a future MBA or a better keyboard in a future rMB.
 

infernoguy

macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2011
254
80
Nashville, TN
Did this last week. I liked the rMB but it was too cramped for me (I'm a big guy so my shoulders didn't appreciate the smaller width).

Bought a used 2012 MBA 13 for $400. Battery life isn't what the rMB is but the 1440x900 standard res screen isn't too bad.
 
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Mrbobb

macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
4,989
194
So what's wrong with the keyboard? Look man, if you go out of town and rent a car, then you come back home, your own car will feel weird at first, but your body will adjust. The two keyboards THAT different?

For the guy who switched because of the power? adapter... really?
 

burgman

macrumors 68020
Sep 24, 2013
2,103
1,569
So what's wrong with the keyboard? Look man, if you go out of town and rent a car, then you come back home, your own car will feel weird at first, but your body will adjust. The two keyboards THAT different?

For the guy who switched because of the power? adapter... really?
Look man? What's up with that? If you haven't used the rMB keyboard then why comment and yes they are very different.
 

BornAgainMac

macrumors 604
Feb 4, 2004
6,506
3,548
Florida Resident
I have both and I really like the rMB keyboard the best. But the Air keyboard is good too. Not sure if Apple will move forward with that keyboard design with the Air and Pro with the next update. I see too many complaints about the rMB keyboard.

The rMB is probably more of a test bed to try new things for Apple. If something sticks, then the rest of the line will get that feature later. If you can only have one Mac, the Air probably is the better choice over the rMB for most people. Eventually, the Air will get that screen upgrade.
 

jmoore5196

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2009
774
263
Midwest US
Okay, I've actually owned both. The rMB keyboard is (for those of ye who feel compelled to comment without having used one) an acquired taste. It's difficult to hit high sustained touch speeds. Since what I do revolves around text input, it was difficult for me to adjust.

The power adapter is a small brick; certainly, it's smaller than the large MagSafe adapter I carry in my bag. What makes it difficult to use is the CABLE, which (again, for ye who feel compelled to comment without having owned a rMB) is a monumental pain. I found myself strategizing how long I could leave a hard drive plugged in before my battery levels got low enough to crater the machine. Then I bought the $80 dongle and began missing the TB and USB3 ports on the MBA. There's a certain point - and I hit it - wherein the compromises necessary for the rMB are no longer worth the admittedly excellent display.

For those who don't habla, my suggestion is to buy one before you wade into the discussion with questions about why actual users feel as they do. Incidentally, I bought both my rMB and MBA refurbished and now wonder who I took so long to wean myself away from the boxed new product. The refurbished quality really impressed me.
 
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kingdf

Cancelled
Feb 18, 2014
125
35
United States
Went from a rMBP 13" to a MBA 11" last year and it only took me maybe an hour tops to get used to the MBA's screen. And for $809 before taxes for a 4/256 it was a no brainer. I couldn't justify getting the rMB. $1300 before taxes for a machine that's not even as powerful as the Air or Pro is a deal breaker to me not to mention the lack of ports. I love my MBA and the screen looks good to me. I recommend it to anyone that wants a super portable yet powerful laptop.
 

Ulenspiegel

macrumors 68040
Nov 8, 2014
3,169
2,437
Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
So what's wrong with the keyboard? Look man, if you go out of town and rent a car, then you come back home, your own car will feel weird at first, but your body will adjust. The two keyboards THAT different?

For the guy who switched because of the power? adapter... really?
Of course, everything is relative and at the same time subjective. You are not the only one who is capable of spreading banalized wisdom.
Yes, really, MagSafe is a must for many. Surprised? Chill and use your typewriter.
 

Cape Dave

macrumors 68000
Nov 16, 2012
1,964
1,110
Northeast
Me, I wish they would separate out the rMB keyboard. I would buy one for my iPad and my iMac. Immediately. But backlight the darn thing for crying out loud this is 2016!
 

throAU

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2012
6,733
4,372
Perth, Western Australia
Hi there

I recently sold my 11" MBA and bought a rMB when I was visiting the US (BB $999), and whilst I love the screen, after 2 months I am still struggling to get used to the keyboard, and taken together with the other compromises I am now thinking about selling it and buying a new MBA 11".

I just wondered if anybody else had made the switch back? My only concern is getting used to the MBA screen (again....).
Thanks
Tim
Check out the 13" Retina (maybe a refurb to get within budget).

It's not exactly heavy, has more ports, faster CPU, retina screen.

I prefer the keyboard on the Pros to the Airs too, it has slightly more travel.
 
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jmoore5196

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2009
774
263
Midwest US
It's not exactly heavy, has more ports, faster CPU, retina screen.
As I've noted many times in the past couple of years, the "faster CPU" is largely illusory. The real advantage of the MBA for processor-intensive tasks is that the processor is not burdened by a demanding display. I can run Adobe CC apps on my 11" MBA without a hiccup. The same apps stall on the 13" rMBP, despite the "faster CPU." The fact that the CPU also has to push out to all the retina display pixels is the reason, so the "faster processor" isn't really an advantage.
 
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throAU

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2012
6,733
4,372
Perth, Western Australia
As I've noted many times in the past couple of years, the "faster CPU" is largely illusory. The real advantage of the MBA for processor-intensive tasks is that the processor is not burdened by a demanding display. I can run Adobe CC apps on my 11" MBA without a hiccup. The same apps stall on the 13" rMBP, despite the "faster CPU." The fact that the CPU also has to push out to all the retina display pixels is the reason, so the "faster processor" isn't really an advantage.
Depends what you're doing.

If you're doing transcoding, rendering, etc. the faster CPU in the pro will get the job done quicker.
 

oldmacs

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2010
4,506
6,234
Australia
I went back to the Non Retina Macbook Pro after 1 day with the retina pro told me that it wasn't right for me - I use a retina iPhone and regularly use Retina display devices, and it hasn't really bothered me.
 
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oldmacs

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2010
4,506
6,234
Australia
Which model?

My 2015 feels faster than my 2011 15" at doing almost everything other than 3d or bulk video transcoding (where the quad core i7 in the 15" steps up) or rendering.
2015 Retina Pro 2.9 ghz i5 to a 2012 Non Retina Pro 2.9 ghz i7. Very happy I sold the 2015 Retina, as I much prefer the Non Retina pro.
 

jmoore5196

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2009
774
263
Midwest US
If you're doing transcoding, rendering, etc. the faster CPU in the pro will get the job done quicker.
You should try rendering audio or video (via Adobe Audition or Premier) with an i5 MBA and then compare the times to your i5 MBP. I think you'll find that the MBA is significantly faster.

Oh, wait ... you don't own an MBA.
 
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