Recommendation: MacBook or MacBook Air for this type of buyer?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Dante Rising, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. Dante Rising macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2013
    I already own a 2013 15" MacBook Pro, but I need something with more portability as I travel quite often, so I'm willing to sacrifice performance to get it. I'm looking at the 11" MBA vs the new MB. budget is $1350.

    Wish List:

    -Quality Screen. I've only used IPS screens for the past several years. Returning to a TN screen has me concerned, but from viewing it at the Apple store, the Air's TN screen seems higher quality than most. I'm just concerned that in the long term I would regret the screen. I'm curious if most Air owners have slight buyers remorse over the screen and resolution, especially for watching movies or long bouts of Internet time.

    -Must absolutely play high bit code 1080P flawlessly. No stuttering. Most of my media content is digital, so I tend to hook up my laptop via HDMI to my plasma TV. I use this feature every single day. This is my number one critical desire. I keep hearing horror stories about the performance of the M processor, but it looks like it would fit my needs without issue.

    -Quieter=Better. I know it's a first world problem, but fans are distracting. I have no idea if a MacBook Air remains silent while streaming 1080P content. Likewise, I'm concerned that the new Macbook's processor will throttle under load and then my media content will stutter while streaming.

    -Trackpad. While traveling the laptop is almost always....on my lap. So a mouse is a non starter. A high quality trackpad is vital.

    -I might possibly throw Boot Camp on it, but this isn't exactly a necessity.

  2. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    Some people dislike tablets.

    Either get an iPad or the iPad-esque MB. Wait for reviews first to check it's fluidity and performance.
  3. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    The OP is clearly looking for a Mac.
  4. Skylitfly macrumors 6502a

    May 3, 2014
    Get the rMB. It's a capable and very portable laptop.

    Intel Core M is capable processor. Don't listen to these skeptics blinded by the spec sheet of their rMBP.
  5. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    And an iPad clearly does the same job better, but for less $$$


    Good advise! I would wait to see how the new macbook performs.
  6. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009

    Not even close.
  7. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    Nobody can answer your questions about the new Macbook with certainty until it is available for testing. In principle the Core-M CPU is easily capable of HD video playback, but it remains to be seen how well the passive thermal management of the Macbook works and how much the CPU has to be throttled under enduring high load.

    Regarding the Macbook Air 11":

    - The screen is actually not bad in terms of brightness, colors and viewing angles; it's just that there are better ones now. It's perfectly adequate for video playback. Text rendering is where higher DPI would bring the biggest benefit. Also, the small height of the screen can be a problem when working with (predomintantly vertical) text documents, if that is important to you.

    - HD video: The MBA plays back video without breaking a sweat. It almost lasts an entire flight from the west coast to Europe. I'm talking HD videos from iTunes. I have not tried full-bitrate Blu-ray rips, since they are really too big for the SSD.

    - The trackpad is as good as any Apple trackpad, but of course it doesn't have the new force feedback feature. It remains to be seen how useful this will really be (will to a large extent depend on developer support).

    - Bootcamp works well, but keep in mind that the battery life is much better under OS X.
  8. FrankB1191 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 14, 2013
    When my wife bought her 2013 rMBP, we looked at the MBA. It only took two seconds of side-by-side comparison to see that the retina display was in another league entirely. I'd go for the retina MacBook myself, but I hardly ever use a laptop. ;)

    I gave AnandTech's brief review a look, and they're cautiously positive about the new MacBook. :D
  9. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    OP wants:
    - HD streaming
    - portability
    - high quality screen

    An iPad does that for half the price, it's lighter and more portable/flexible because it doesn't fold.
  10. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    What is this, your iPad phase? The OP is clearly trying to decide between two Mac laptops.
  11. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    I see that this post has a lot do do with the one it quoted :rolleyes:


    Since you already have a 15" rmbp, I recommend you seriously look into getting an iPad for traveling.
    If you don't need certain features of OSX, an iPad is vastly superior when it comes to portability and battery life. I use a mac mini, rmbp, ipad, ipad mini and iphone myself and when I travel (which is frequently) I mostly just take the iPad mini and iPhone. Works perfectly for webbrowsing, office apps, email and entertainment. And it fits in your coatpocket!
  12. kultschar macrumors 6502a

    Mar 26, 2010
  13. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Depends on your needs. I use them all the time for basic text and spreadsheets. The touch keyboard is as fast and you can use it standing or sitting in tight spaces. I got a lot of serious work done that way.
  14. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    maybe the OP already has an iPAD!
    so he asked us what to take between Air and this new macbook

    i would suggest to take THE Macbook
  15. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68040


    Nov 8, 2014
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    +1. These are very reasonable points.
  16. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    I am sure he can just get any macbook. Doesn't have to be THE macbook.
  17. Serban, Mar 14, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015

    Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    Yes it must because it can't be any macbook, why would be the reason to have for example 2 15" macbook? he already has one, so from any macbook, 1 choice gone
    So 13" macbook pro is not like the 15" real estate screen and power and not the portability of the Air/macbook, so no reason for the 13" MBP either, so second macbook gone

    So like the OP said the choosing is from MBA and MACBOOK
    But if you need ports to connect to display at home/office or usb ports, again HE HAS the 15" MBP for that. So the only really logic choosing for an portable device is the Macbook
    And not to mention if he buys a MBA today and pay 1000$, after 2-3 years when he will want to sell it, almost nobody will pay for an non high PPI laptop at a reasonable price. Probably at 300$. But with the macbook after 2-3 years he will sell it with 700 maybe 800$
  18. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Flying over the rainforest at dawn - Priceless
    Personally I am looking more and more at the new "MacBook" as unfortunately the MacBook Air is now a depreciated product, certainly the 11" with omission of; new "Force Trackpad", updated SSD, and same TN display makes this very clear. By the time I spec the Air to my needs it makes no sense, I may as well just go for a second 13" MBPr, with the latest updates.

    The 12" MacBook will meet the middle ground, Retina, greater portability at the cost of some performance, has RAM and storage I require. Had Apple reduced the price of the Air and it`s in house upgrades it would be more inclined to go for the Air.

  19. leolatarc macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2015
    Hard to say with the new MacBook without real-world performance reviews, but the MacBook Air is just fine for everything you listed. So is an iPad.
  20. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    why not a Macbook instead of an ipad? if the OP still need a bag to carry the ipad, why he shouldn't take and carry in that bag a real computer with a real desktop OS? yes twice as heavy than the current iPAD Air 2 but still a very light and compact product
    And with all the rumours about apple watch and 12" macbook came real, i think in 99% proportions that an iPAd pro is coming. So if he is't in a hurry i would wait for fall and see what is happening and what the ipad pro will deliver
  21. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Because an ipad fits in your pocket. No bag needed. You pull it out an type standing or sitting. No ackward lap-typing or surface needed.
  22. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    you carry your iPAD into your pocket??? wtf :))))
    Maybe you are a girl/woman and you mistake the word pocket with purse and yes in this case an ipad is nice to have
  23. Mcdevidr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 27, 2013
    Well depending on which state you live in your budget may not cover the new MacBook. In VA with 5% sales tax you are looking at at least 1365. I think it's more like 5.3. So that is 15 too much.
  24. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    I am not sure about your line of work - If hooking up to a TV via HDMI is a "critical", "must absolutely" feature (using your own words) - why would you even contemplate buying a machine which would require you to use a dongle to be of any use? You forget the dongle one day - then you hit a show stopper. I would suggest getting a rMBP.

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34 March 13, 2015