Now or later?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by donjgatlin, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. donjgatlin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2013
    #1
    Hi guys. New to the forum and I'm wonder what you all think about my situation. I will be going to college (hopefully) within a year and currently all I have is a Windows 8 (triple-display) system. It's not so easy to lug around and I'll be needing a mobile device for computing. The main thing I've been looking at would be the 11" MBA (base config) because of it's price tag being the lowest. Given that the MBA's will likely not be updated again until next Summer and that the Fall updates are a while away (somewhat), do you all think I should wait until then and see what Apple has to offer? Ideally I'd like to wait until December and get a rMBP 13", but that's very costly, even with educational discounts.

    My desktop will likely be with me at the school I plan to go to, so gaming performance isn't quite what I'm looking for in a laptop. I want something that has a premium design like the Macbook Air, but this would be my first Apple computer. If I did play any games, it would most likely be (when released) Sim City 2013/5. Would the Haswell chip do the job with the integrated HD5000 graphics? I'm assuming it would have to run on low settings, which I am fine with given that it's an ultrabook form factor.

    With regards to the 11" MBA, do any of you find it hard to use given it's size? I've seen a few in store, it looks like I could use it just fine, although I do have very large hands and I'm wondering if while typing they would block any portion of the screen. I am also looking to get a device that will be future proof and will last a minimum of four years with excellent performance down the road. Of course going with the ultimate/maxed out configuration would be nice, but it may not be best in financial interests. I do consider myself to be a power user, so even on a mobile device I demand having several programs open as well as running virtual machines for various purposes.

    Final question: Do you all think I should save up a while longer and look into a 13" r/MBP or just go for a 11/13" air with a base configuration? Ultimately it is my choice, but from experience with usage over time, what do you all recommend? (future proofing heavily in mind)
     
  2. TC25 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    #2
    1. You need to list your requirements so you, and others, know what they are and not bury them in paragraphs.

    2. There's no such thing as future proofing.

    3. Unless your hands are as big as Mickey Mouse's, they won't block the screen on an MBA11 or 13.

    4. If you don't need it now, don't buy it now.
     
  3. rabidz7 macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

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    Ohio
  4. Lakailb87 macrumors regular

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    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #4
    Why? The MBA is cheaper, more powerful, better battery life, more portable, faster, and has a higher resolution screen (13" has more pixels 11" has a better PPI).
     
  5. rabidz7 macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Location:
    Ohio
    #5
    The cMBP has more RAM and a faster processor, the MBA has a better iGPU and battery life. 16GB of RAM will make a massive difference. I have yet to meet anyone who knows a thing about computers and uses laptops off the charger. The battery is so you can move from place to place, not to use all day.
     
  6. donjgatlin thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 13, 2013
    #6
    Sorry for not posting requirements, I thought it would be better to explain my usages rather than saying I need specific things. As far as future proofing, no you really can't do that, but at least buy something that will perform pretty well over time. I've dealt with a lot of windows pc's that are terribly slow after a year or so, partially why I'd like to switch to a Mac.

    Requirements:
    Portability-13" screen size or smaller.
    Processor: i5/i7-Doesn't matter which.
    4GB RAM Minimum
    128GB SSD- no 5400rpm HDD's, too slow.
    Resolution >1366x768
    Battery Life-Greater than 4-5 hours.
    Lifespan- 4 years.
    Main usage: Light gaming, heavy multitasking.
     
  7. TC25 macrumors 68020

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    Mar 28, 2011
    #7
    Budget?
     
  8. donjgatlin thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 13, 2013
    #8
    Preferably below $1,500 w/ education discounts.
     
  9. rabidz7 macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

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    Jun 24, 2012
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    Ohio
    #9
    Are you speaking of casual (big fish games, inbrowser games etc.), mid (minecraft etc.) games, heavy (cod bf civ skyrim)?
     
  10. donjgatlin thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 13, 2013
    #10
    I really won't be doing any serious gaming on this, I have a desktop w/ a GTX660ti in it for doing that. Main thing would be Sim City 5 and I'm fine with having it on low settings.
     
  11. filmbuff macrumors 6502a

    filmbuff

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    #11
    Have you seen the refurbished rMBPs on Apple's site? They only cost about $1300. Yes it is "last year's model" so you might want to wait a bit until Haswell MBPs come out.
     
  12. falconeight Guest

    falconeight

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    Apr 6, 2010
    #12
    I would wait for the model after the next model. It will definitely be better than anything out right now.;)
     
  13. falconeight Guest

    falconeight

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    Apr 6, 2010
    #13
    Both last year and current base rMBP's are the same.
     
  14. iBreatheApple macrumors 68020

    iBreatheApple

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    Florida
    #14
    If you have a hardcore desktop system, def go for the air in my opinion. The portability is wonderful. It doesn't seem like a huge difference but it is exceptionally more convenient. It's like going from carrying around the iPad and then getting a mini. You'll likely only need your portable for browsing, notes, Internet, and media, right? Also, this is your first Apple computer. Although it's hard to believe (even myself), Apple is not for everyone. You don't want to waste all that money on a system you may potentially hate. Don't spend the extra cash on a rMBP at the moment. Get an air and finish college and buy Apple's big boy at that point in time.
     
  15. mortenandersen macrumors 6502

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    Apr 9, 2011
    Location:
    Norway
    #15
    Intersting thread... and I am in a similar situation

    Please allow me to chime in: I need a machine primarily (almost exclusively) to create and edit Word, emails, and light net browsing, and what is really important for me, is portability: So I am now looking for the new MBA 11 (i5, 8RAM and 256GB). As I am at present not so familiar with Mac OS and keyboards (!), but am a traditional Windows user, I am worried about how easy is it to learn the day to day tasks like transferring files and so forth on the MBA, taking your bold statement into consideration: "Although it's hard to believe (even myself), Apple is not for everyone."

    I also have a further demand: That the machine must be close to dead silent when used only for Word, for instance. That is: No disturbing fan noise or key pressing clicking noise. (I considered the new Sony Vaio Pro 11, but on the basis of several user experiences on Forums and reviews, I think the risk is too high of getting a machine which is far too noisy and also [now, initially, at least] with WiFi issues. The screen would be superior, though, but I presume that MBA 11 screen is vibrant and bright enough?)

    As I will use Word 2011 a lot, will it have the same (or easy to learn) key combinations as the Windows versions of Word have? (For instance, is it easy to delete the word on the right side of the cursor by pressing a simple key combo? Is it easy to move the cursor to the beginning or end of the line in a document? And to the next paragraph? And can text be marked easy by for instance pressing the left shift key in combination with an arrow key?

    While being in the think tank now and being close to buying the new MBA 11, I would highly appreciate to get points of view from experienced Mac users on these (and other?) matters. Thanks, in advance!
     
  16. mattferg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    #16
    If the MacBook is going to be your portable machine, and you've already got a powerful desktop, go for the 11 or 13 air, depending on what you'd prefer. It's got longer battery life than the Retina and is smaller :)

    As for Word 2011, it has a few differences to Word 2013 but it's roughly the same, just with cmd instead of ctrl, and you use fn-backspace for a delete key function. My MBA is silent doing anything but gaming.

    The 11/i5/8/256 sounds like a great combo for you :)
     
  17. donjgatlin thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 13, 2013
    #17
    That's a good tip. The only Mac's I've used would be from 08-09, which were running Leopard. Given that Apple has added lots of new features to the operating system, I think I'd be right at home. Even though it's a mobile os, a different one at that, I've loved my iPhone 5. One of the main things I've admired about the MBA's and MBP's would be the glass touch pad. I don't need to tell you all, it's simply fantastic. I also do some minor graphic design and video production for website purposes, iMovie would be a plus to have. I would probably virtualize Windows 7/8 for one or two programs, which I can find alternatives for, better alternatives at that.

    Another Question: Do you all think Apple will come out with a Macbook in the Fall with a material/color like that of the black iPhone 5 and iPad mini? I'd love to have one in that material. It's very pleasing to the eyes.
     
  18. iBreatheApple macrumors 68020

    iBreatheApple

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    Sep 3, 2011
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    Florida
    #18
    Of course there's no way to be a 100% certain of anything unannounced but I'm going to give you a confident no. We'll see a spec-bump at most but we may not even get that until Q1/Q2 2014.
     
  19. tann macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Location:
    Nottingham, England
    #19
    Honestly MacBook Air is the optimum choice for you I think.

    Why waste so much on a rMBP when the Air is so much less.

    You already have a (by the sounds of it) behemoth of a desktop, so both the 11 or 13" Air would be a great portable companion for that.

    I'd say go with whichever feels best for you (size wise) but the 11" wouldn't be blocked if you were typing (unless you have MASSIVE gorilla sized hands).

    Get the 8GB of ram though.
     
  20. donjgatlin thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 13, 2013
    #20
    Good advice everyone. I think I'll just go with a MBA when the time comes. Now, the crucial choice, 11" or 13". 8GB is a must.
     
  21. falconeight Guest

    falconeight

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    Apr 6, 2010
    #21
    Since one of the arguments for getting a MBA is that its small and portable. I would get the 11 since its smaller and more portable. The 13 has a huge footprint.
     
  22. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    #22
    I'l help you out here:

    1) The 2013 MBA is quiet as a mouse. I have the 13", but I can't imagine the 11" would be any different. I still haven't heard the fans run after nearly a month of use. And this is with multiple Youtube videos running, etc.

    2) Same key combos in the Windows Word (granted, I haven't tried every single one, but the ones I use are all there). Slight difference: it won't be ctrl + c for copying, but rather cmnd + c. But the keys are roughly in the same place so it won't require a big learning curve.


    Re: 11 or 13, I upgraded to a 13 this time around and love it. The 11's screen was just too small for extended use. I really appreciate the extra screen real estate. In addition, the additional 3 hours of battery life is nothing to sneeze at either. I've found neither the weight nor the bigger footprint matter at all. The 13 is still an extremely portable machine.
     
  23. Taskman macrumors newbie

    Taskman

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    Apr 20, 2009
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    Hooden
    #23
    I would recommend that if possible you go to a Apple store and test the 11"and 13". This way you know best what will work for you as for some 11"is to small and others it's just perfect.
     
  24. schopaia macrumors member

    schopaia

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    Apr 14, 2010
    #24
    If you are accustomed to using 3 screens the 11" will be comically small. Go for the 13" for sure. The resolution is the same as the $1800 15" Pro. I've used a 13" air for a year as my only machine and it is a pleasure.
     
  25. pommie82 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Location:
    uk
    #25
    Please explain to us what programs you are going to be using there is a lot of apps on the iPad might be good enough for you and there isn't really a laptop around that would be give you the 10 hour battery life like the iPad would if you buy a bluetooth keyboard too then you have a pretty much a laptop experience i'am not saying a iPad is not a complete replace to a mac book but if you are just sending the old email,word doc,surfing the web or presentations then i should of thought the iPad would be perfect for that sort of thing.I will be honest with you i have a iMac and i never really use it much now at all really i always pick up my mini but if i need to do some heavy work then i will use my iMac eg converting video,editing pictures, or i might use to do some light surfing if my iPad is flat but when the mini is charged then i will use that again.i am using TapaTalk on my iPad mini at the moment and a bluetooth keyboard and it working perfect.I think a lot people are turning in to the tablet world just for the odd quick search of something on the internet because it comes in very handy or checking you emails or sending someone the odd message i would say that i would use my about 40% of the time now and the rest i use my iPad all the time i am not saying the iPad is the perfect device but i personally i think it a very handy device to be using
     

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