Opinions would be greatly appreciated!

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by DesignFusion, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. DesignFusion macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2008
    Hey guys I currently had a desktop mac and a mbp 2.66 core2duo, I am thinking about getting rid of the mbp for the 11" i7 mba as it stands I rarely use the mbp because of its size and weight. I have read that it actually benchmarks better than my current mbp? (but not quite on graphics i doubt).

    A little extra info...
    Use: I plan on using it as a laptop... lol at uni for essay writing, along with some graphic design ie adobe cs5 suite. Most of my actual design work will be done on my desktop but obviously i will need to be productive at times ie a little bit of illustrator photoshop indesign etc when at uni.

    Know reading the forums as i normally do I am reading two things that are a little concern... 1. the battery life, now i dont expect it to last all day but i would like it to get around what my current mbp gets, (im not 100% sure on stats but i would say a good 3hrs or general use ie youtube facebook and light illustrator) will the mba be ok?

    2. the other thing that kinda sticks in my mind is the gradient affect at the bottom of the screen I have used one and one i noticed it on a bit and another not so much... Would any of you that actually own one say that it matters? or is it not really noticeable after a while? It doesnt help that im a a picky perfectionist but that doesn't necessarily mean i would be to bothered if it wasnt top bad as they all have it.

    Sorry for the long post! but any opinions would be greatly welcomed! thanks in advance.
  2. donster28 macrumors 68000

    Oct 5, 2006
    Great White North
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    1. I think you're better off with the 13" in my opinion. I owned the 11" before and I was never satisfied with the size of the screen...it felt kinda cramped. I now own a 13" and it's just right for me. The 13" though, considerably bigger, never feels non-portable as other people might think. It is easier to lug around than the 13" MBP.

    2. Mine does not have the gradient effect at the bottom and I bought it on launch day. I know it us a gamble, and there are other defects to think about (eg. Dead pixels, backlight bleed, etc.), but you have the 14-day return buffer to lean on.
  3. teerexx52 macrumors 68000


    May 1, 2005
    Florida West Coast
    My wife and I take our 11" Airs all over. We are retired and use them at Starbucks, Panera and such. Sometimes we surf, do iPhoto, docs for hours. The battery never seems to be a problem. I also had a 13" Air but the screaming fans turned me off. Just couldn't seem to get that under control. Either way if you can go to the Apple Store and try them both. They are both great machines. In the end it is you that has to make the decision and live with it.
  4. donster28 macrumors 68000

    Oct 5, 2006
    Great White North
    I don't know why other people's 13" 'scream'. Mine is dead silent most of the time, much like my 11". Even if my fans kick in (mainly when watching Flash videos) it doesn't sound like a jet engine.
  5. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    The 11" i7 should last 3 hours given the usage you describe. The 13" would last about 5 hours. I have owned both (13" 2010 and 11" i7) and prefer the portability of the 11". I haven't really noticed the gradient effect (I have the LG screen). The i7 has the horsepower to handle what you want, though if you will be doing serious design, you might also consider getting an external display for desktop use.
  6. mickier macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2011

    Really, I suggest you either get the i5 (base) 11.6 or even stay with the 2010 model MBA 11. It does everything so quick and smooth... I think that with the apps you mentioned that you will only be able to measure 6 or 7 seconds of difference in performance per hour of use... Why would that matter?

    In fact, on side-by side test comparisons, some functions are even faster on the c2d (2010) mba probably due to Snow Leopard vs Lion... but my point is that you can't really go by speed tests - showing the difference in performance between processors. There are too many other factors.. - you need to compare based on total time to do your application.

    i have been very suprised to find how a "25% higher CPU score" really translated into actual speed increases -- You will likely find that upgrading from the i5 to the i7 will yield an insignificant "true" difference in the time required to do a function...

    For example - Youtube shows the 2010 MBA 11 c2d vs 2011 i5 bootup time - 14 seconds vs 15 or 16 seconds... The i7 (MIGHT) shave a 1/2 second off that time -- you would have to test it...

    i suspect that launching Photoshop CS5 with 30 photos may be 20 seconds vs 19.5 seconds... It's certainly not going to be 20 seconds vs 15 seconds...

    Exporting 10 minute videos might shave the time from 3.5 minutes to about 3 minutes... (One speed test I saw does show the 2010 exporting a movie in 6.5 minutes but only 3.5 minutes on the i5 2011 MBA... more significant, for sure, but really - going from the i5 to the i7 probably only shaves a few seconds from that score... (!)

    Just my 2 cents.
  7. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    What disadvantages might the i7 have over the i5 ?
  8. DesignFusion thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2008
    Luckily Desktop use will not be a problem as i already have a desktop. so it will only be for portable use... Cheers for your input! Appreciated.


    My thoughts on this are that I can justify the lower power because of the size and portability of the 11" but when it comes to the 13" i think all in all i would rather have the 13" mbp if that was the case. But im pretty sure if I am to purchase one and get rid of my mbp it will be for the 11". cheers for your thoughts! helps
  9. mickier macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2011
    just $
  10. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    As I was playing Civ 4 last night at native resolution and high graphics, I was pondering how much the extra 8% processing muscle of the i7 had to do with my enjoyment of the game and whether the extra $100 was worth it.

    Glad I didn't have to ponder long... :cool:
  11. Steamrunner macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2008
    I've found the 11" to be perfectly usable; I was expecting there to be some occasions where I might briefly long for a larger screen, but so far there haven't been any. And I don't mean that I've "put up" with the smaller screen, I simply haven't come across a single scenario where it's been an issue (and my smallest desktop is the 27" iMac, so I'm used to a lot more screen estate to work with). CS5, FCP X, remoting servers, running a Win7 virtual machine to enable a remote virtual desktop - no problems anywhere, which has surprised me.

    I haven't noticed any gradient at the bottom of the screen - guess my eyes are just immune to it, as I didn't notice it in the Apple store either.

    Battery life on the i7 for me is around 2.5 - 3 hours, wifi on, bluetooth off, quite heavy app usage (including Parallels running Win7), screen brightness between 25%-50%, keyboard light off. I did buy a 65W charger to keep at work - it's cheaper than the 45W one and means I've always got a fully charged lappie when I'm mobile.
  12. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006

    Yours must have been before the 2010 update.

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