New MacBook versa the New MacBook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by tesarver, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. tesarver macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2015
    #1
    I currently own a Late 2010 MacBook Air and started looking to upgrade. as I was looking at the specs between the new MacBook and the New MacBook Air, it seems that I could get more for my money by buying the Air vs the MacBook.

    In addition with the Air I would not need to buy new pigtails to attach a cd drive, external hard drive or attach it to my flatscreen tv. In addition, I can also meet the Air on an external power source while using these attachments, which on the MacBook you need to run off the battery.

    So my question is, what is the advantage to buying the new MacBook over the New MacBook Air?

    Tom
     
  2. DennisD7 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    #2
    • Retina display
    • Lightness
    • Thinness
    Those are mine at least :) Also I don't need a lot of external stuff, so it works for me.
     
  3. bibyfok macrumors 6502

    bibyfok

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    Location:
    France
    #3
    Retina, weight, color... I think that's it
     
  4. mattopotamus macrumors G4

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #4
    keyboard, trackpad (unless the air got the new one)
     
  5. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    #5
    Pretty much everything. I'd suggest going into the store and taking a look.
     
  6. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Location:
    Shanghai, PRC
    #6
    Apart from the price, lack of ports....

    I would say the only (technically) relevant advantages of the new Macbook are the display, both in size and resolution and the faster SSD (doubtful though if this is relevant in everyday use). At everything else it is at par or below the Air (lack of ports, lack of magsafe, lower resolution camera, harder/impossible to repair or even change the battery).

    The reduced thickness and weight are negligible in IMHO, at least when comparing with the 11" Air.

    There is then however the novelty factor and 'beauty' (in the eye of the beholder), hard to put a value on that one ;)
     
  7. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #7
    Predominately the display Retina and 16x10 versus the 11" Air`s 16x9, touch lighter. The new MacBook has a more up to date premium look and feel. New "Force Touch" trackpad and an all new keyboard design.

    Am at the same quandary, the 11" Air doesn't have a great display for 2015, equally it`s far more capable than the new MacBook. One consideration I have is I think I may actually get more "mileage" out of a maxed out 11" Air as it can be run docked and serve as a lightweight desktop, tethered to a decent external display, and will remain a reasonably capable Notebook for several years.

    The new MacBook is weaker in the CPU/GPU and I would be looking to upgrade to Skylake ASAP to improve the overall experience, which to some extents reduces the value of the Notebook. The only real downside I have with the Air is the TN panel, the rest works for me very well, ports and all, equally the display is one of the most important aspects of any Notebook...


    Q-6
     
  8. Cvx5832 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2014
    #8
    Remember that like for like they're only a hundred bucks different.

    For that hundred bucks you get a better screen, in my opinion better keyboard, form factor, and the Core-M hasn't been as bad as it's been made out to be. In fact I find this thing more zippy than my 2012 rMBP 13.

    rMB all the way if the decision is against the Air.
     
  9. msb3079 macrumors 6502a

    msb3079

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Location:
    collingswood. nj
    #9
    I echo the other comment. This is a different laptop than the others - which could be great or might not be. For me, it is. But it's not something you can decide by specs - go look at one.
     
  10. newellj macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #10
    I've owned the 11" MBA (twice) so I feel qualified to offer an opinion.

    First, although the dimensions appear very similar on paper, in real life - in your hands - the rMB is very noticeably lighter and thinner. Whether that matters is a different question, but if portability is important, it may be a factor for you.

    The display is a huge difference. The MBA has never gotten an upgrade from the original TN panels that were so-so when first introduced and have made no progress since then. The viewing angles and color accuracy are poor, and calibration doesn't really fix this. Resolution may or may not be an issue as well. Yet another display issue is that the 11" is 16:9 vs. 16:19 for the rMB, which means you get maybe half an inch/12-13mm additional vertical display space, which is nice if you work with documents or spreadsheets.

    I think the port issue is hugely overblown, but if you think you'll have a hard time managing with dongles, avoid the rMB. Personally, I don't see much difference between having a bunch of cords connected to a single cord vs. having a bunch of cords connected individually, other than the fact that unplugging the dongle is faster. ;) If you need the dongle while traveling, though, it could be a factor for you.

    MagSafe is a sad loss but i have never had a laptop snagged on the charging cord, and neither have my wife or my two now-adult sons or any of their friends. YMMV, I guess.

    The keyboard is different, neither better nor worse. I've had this rMB since Monday night and I've basically used to it. The setup at the Apple Stores is poor because the table height is horrible for trying to type, but you might want to visit an Apple Store and try it out in person.

    In real life use, the performance of the Core M is for practical purposes as good as the 11" MBA. I don't do encoding or other long-term CPU intensive projects on any laptop; if you think you might, you might tilt toward the 11" MBA. Personally, for tasks like that, I use a desktop.

    Configured "equally," they're only $100 apart in price - but it isn't really equal, because for the extra $100 you get one of the best displays Apple has ever put in a laptop. (See the Anandtech review.)

    There is a caveat with the rMB: it is a first-gen machine and there is a big chance that it will be changed significantly in the next couple of product refresh cycles. If you're adverse to early adopter risk, steer clear.

    TLDR: the 11" MBA is a wonderful machine crippled by a horrible display. The rMB is better in many respects and worse in none unless your are hung up on ports that you probably don't use. The rMB is a far superior machine for most people.
     
  11. recoil80 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    #11
    The MBA starts with 4GB of RAM. If you upgrade the MBA 11'' to 256GB and 8GB of RAM the difference is just $100 and you get:
    - retina display
    - 16:10 screen size (much better than 16:9)
    - force touch on trackpad
    - new keyboard
    - no fans (very comfortable)
    The pros of MBA 11 are a slightly better battery life and of course the USB ports and the magsafe.

    So if you're looking for a very portable machine go for the new macbook, if you need more ports and more power is better to go for the Air or maybe spend a little bit more and get the MBPr.
    In my opinion the best buy mac today is the 13'' MBPr, I have a MBA and it is my last laptop without a retina display, I really want an higher screen res next time.
     
  12. newellj macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #12
    If portability is not a major factor, I agree that the 13" rMBP is the magic bullet in terms of overall functionality. It's a beautiful machine and close to a very good value, all of the Apple and Windows nay-sayers notwithstanding.
     
  13. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #13
    Definitely agree on the Air, the lack of ports for me on the MacBook is not challenging. I am more concerned that the current performance is borderline for my needs, this is where the maxed 2.2Ghz i7 11" Air would win-out over the current MacBook.

    Q-6

    ----------

    Absolutely the best Notebook Apple have ever produced, strong performance with very little compromise. As for Retina once you move to the HiDPI display, dropping back to a "standard" resolution is harder than one would think.

    Q-6
     
  14. newellj macrumors 601

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    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #14
    Understood - your needs as I've read them in other posts are possibly greater than this was designed for. Neither good nor bad, just life as it is.
     
  15. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #15
    Reality is without trying the new MacBook, I wont really know. I will likely pick one up mid June now, equally that brings Skylake ever closer and possibly a better fit for what I need.


    Q-6
     
  16. Anand953 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2015
    #16
    My take -

    Overall functionality and best all round apple laptop - MacBook Pro retina
    If extreme portability and lightness matters more sacrificing ports and power - new MacBook
    A little cheaper Apple MacBook which falls in between the above two (excluding retina display) - MacBook Air 13inch

    The choice now depends on what an individual wants.. My choice - MacBook Pro retina
     
  17. Cvx5832 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2014
    #17
    "Sacrificing" is a relative term. In my case all I've ever done with the ports on my rMBP is backup my iPhone. That was until iCloud backups became cheaper and more popular. Same thing with "power". I think the most intensive program I've run is BMW's TIS on Wineskin, if that even counts as intensive.

    I imagine I'm not the only one with a similar use profile. So for people like me, the rMB is no sacrifice at all.
     
  18. ucfgrad11 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    #18
    I just bought the 2015 MBA 13. Honestly, I don't get why people say this screen sucks. It's very sharp to me coming from a 2012 non-retina MBP. I guess people have OCD about that kinda stuff. I got it with 256GB and 8GB RAM. It's very snappy as well. My only complaint is the silver bezel instead of black.

    I tried out the rMB at the :apple: store. I was surprised at how tiny it actually was! To me it kinda seemed like an iPad with a mouse and keyboard. It's very nice.
     
  19. crsh1976 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    #19
    Sounds like you could get everything done with just an iPad, actually.
     
  20. junkw macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
  21. epirali macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Location:
    Maryland
    #21
    This is a very good summation (I also own both). But I will add that MacBook does seem more "laggy" and a little jerky on everyday usage than the MBA 11". And I am one of the few people who will say this: if you ignore the retina display I think the MBA has a better "feel" to it. The rMB wobble a little when typing, and seems a little "thin."
     
  22. Mindinversion macrumors 6502

    Mindinversion

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #22
    Use a Retina display for month exclusively. I made the mistake of getting one, and I have since completely migrated back to Apple.

    Once you get used to it, it's VERY difficult to go back.
     
  23. Cvx5832 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2014
    #23
    When the iPad gets a bigger screen, the ability to run Windows programs and a physical keyboard's tactile feedback, maybe. Until then the MB/MBP fits my use profile quite nicely.
     
  24. newellj macrumors 601

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    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #24
    If it's wobbling, it's probably defective and should be returned. :(

    I don't notice any difference in snappiness among the rMB, my rMBP and the 2015 11" MBA I had. I would be surprised if there weren't differences, but doing the things I do most of the time on a laptop (Word, Excel, Safari, Citrix sessions, Acrobat Pro edits) it isn't observable. It probably exists and can probably be measured, but I doubt it's meaningful. However, more CPU-intensive tasks could change that. I want to do some major Lightroom exports this weekend and compare times. The Core M is an outstanding 25 yard sprinter. Whether it has the legs to excel in the 440 or the mile is less likely - but also probably not important for most users of the rMB - they should be buying a rMBP or MBA. :)
     
  25. tesarver thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2015
    #25
    Thanks everyone for your input and insights. I went to the apple store and looked at the new macbook, the Macbook Air and the 13" macbook pro. After talking with the Apple Tech and comparing the 3 machines and what I use it for, I ended up ordering the MacBook Pro with 16 gig of memory. It has the same technology as the new macbook, faster cpu, ports that I use and a SD card reader since I do a lot of photography work on my laptops. So with the 16 gig of memory, I ended up paying only $100 more if you included the dongle with the macbook

    Tom
     

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