rMB or MBA 11?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Wildo6882, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. Wildo6882 macrumors 6502

    Wildo6882

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    Location:
    Illinois
    #1
    I'm *finally* making the full jump into Apple/iOS/Mac and I picked up an rMB on a Flash Sale from Best Buy last week for $1149. Once I picked up the USB-C adapter, I'm about $1243 into the rMB. I also would like to add AC+ on it, which adds another around $200, so I'd be around $1450 all in on the rMB. I checked out the refurbs on Apple's site, and these are the prices I'm seeing right now (they are all including AC+ on them and tax):

    MBA 11" (4gb/128gb): $1008

    MBA 13" (4gb/128gb): $1096

    MBA 13" (8gb/128gb): $1181.50

    My use would basically equate to this: backing up via iTunes, browsing, email, movies, the occasional picture/video edit, travel companion, couch/bed computer. I also don't like the MagSafe charger, only because I'm OCD as all get-out with my tech and it leaves marks in the charging port. Other than that, I like it due to it obviously saving damage from cord trippage. I'm also not a huge fan of paying a grand for a computer with the screen of a $200 Chromebook. Other than that, especially due to the price savings, the MBAs seem like better bets for me as any of them would save me around $300+.

    Can I get some advice from anyone more invested in MacOS to help me out. Which would be the best bet for my usage, etc.? Is 4gb of RAM enough or should I make sure to pony up to the 8gb if I'm going with an MBA?

    Thanks!
     
  2. zamboni52, Nov 18, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015

    zamboni52 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    #2
    You have the right computer for your needs. There are others that will meet your needs for cheaper but arguably not with the same quality, portability and reliability you'll get with a rMB. The reliability piece speaks to non-Apple laptops. I had the same dilemma 2 months ago and ended up spending about 3 weeks each with the MBP13, MBA13 and rMB.

    I initially purchased the base 13MBP because it is the best bang for the buck ($1099-$50 student discount at Best Buy) for processing power, portability and battery life. The display is awesome, battery life was easily 9-10 hours of normal use and the processing power handled anything I through at it. However, like you, on a daily basis I use my laptop to check email, browse the internet, use 2016 MS Office for Mac, light coding using Virtual Box and Xcode, use iTunes to listen to music and watch movies, use Sonos to control my speakers...basically normal office stuff with some entertainment thrown in. For this use, the MBP was not even being pushed...but I was carrying a heavier laptop with less battery life than the Air.

    So, I exchanged it for a MBA13. The dimensions were slightly bigger than the Pro, but it was thinner, lighter, and had much better battery life. It was tapered making it easier to carry and about .5 pounds lighter. I easily got 13 hours a day using it normally. When I took it on a 2-day trip, I didn't even think about bringing the charger. The processing power of the Air again easily handled everything I threw at it. I looked at the display in the store before I bought it to gauge whether i could get by on a non-retina display. The colors were good and the brightness was fine so I took a shot. For the first 3 weeks I was happy because I found the perfect computer than met all my needs...all day battery life, excellent power for my use and about $300 cheaper than the MBP ($799-$50 student discount at Best Buy)...but I kept getting jealous of the retina display on my Air 2 when I was using it for normal browsing.

    So, I exchanged the MBA13 for rMB ($1149 - $50 student discount). New technology, perfect form factor, awesome retina display, good battery life (7-8 hours) and a Core M processor. Before I even get to how it works...I just love how the rMB LOOKS! The size is barely bigger than my iPad Air2 but has full OS X capability. I carry it everywhere just like I did with my iPad. When you put it in a bag you don't even notice its there. It is the perfect size to bring into Starbucks to do some online work and to bed to check email or watch a movie on the awesome display AND excellent speakers. The battery life is good enough to last an entire day of medium duty work, and the charger is not much bigger than my iPad charger making it easy to carry if you want to. For my use, the Core M easily handles everything I need to do! I've read reviews where they use the rMB to produce iMovies, rip DVDs, etc and while rMB can do those comfortably the MBA or MBP would be a better fit. I have an iMac to take care of that.

    In summary, I prioritized size and portability over excess processing power (for my use) and the rMB works perfectly for me. If price is priority then the MBA is the correct computer. The MBP13 and rMB are about the same price so you just need to resolve what is most important to you: processing power or portability. Actually, the rMB is slightly cheaper because a 256GB version of the MBP runs $1499 right now on Best Buy.

    Just my two cents...
     
  3. 3568358 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Location:
    United States
    #3
    Go with the rMBP. No questions asked, it's definitely the right choice. Just do it :)
     
  4. Wildo6882 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Wildo6882

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    Location:
    Illinois
    #4
    Wow, thanks for the awesome response. You basically hit the nail on the head for me. It looks like the rMB is going to be what I want/need. I don't need extreme processing power, so the Core M doesn't worry me. It seems like it would be plenty fast for me. The size of the machine and the screen is really what drew me to it. I want something I can lug around and not feel like I'm literally lugging something around. I have a gear bag that I don't want to weigh down with an MBP. Not that an MBP is heavy, but it's still too much for what I'm looking for. And it just bothers me that for $1k you get a TN panel on the MBAs. A grand is nothing to sneeze at, and I feel like you should get more bang for your buck when it comes to the screen. rMB it is!
     
  5. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
  6. roxysdad macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2005
    #6
    I have the new rMB, a 1.2/512 model. I went out of my normal conservative (silver) purchasing colors and got the gold model just for fun. My wife has the latest model rMBP, and I just sold my 2013 11" MBA. I wish Apple had just put a 12" screen on the 11" MBA and called it a day, but we get what we get.

    I agree with everything Zamboni52 says in his analysis of owning the three computers. This little computer is just fantastic. It does everything I need it to do, as I have pretty much the same uses as the others. The battery is awesome (when kept at 1/2 level brightness), the keyboard is just fine once you get used to it, and the speakers (wow, the speakers?) are so cool. I have paired my apple electronics down to just this little computer and my iPhone 6. Couldn't be more pleased.
     
  7. Wildo6882 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Wildo6882

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    Location:
    Illinois
    #7
    Thanks for the response, too! I wasn't sure if it would be worth the extra $3-400, but it kind of sounds like it is. I just don't think I could work with the screen on either MBA, and the size/weight of the rMB is exactly what I'm looking for. I can't forget that you do also get defaulted to 8gb RAM and a 256 SSD on the rMB. The refurb MBA 11 with an i5 and 8gb/256gb is only $130 less than what I paid for a brand new rMB from Best Buy. It honestly sounds like I should stick with the rMB. I, too, will only have phone and Mac (6s Plus and rMB), but I'll most likely be looking a 2nd generation Apple Watch when it comes out, and will probably end up with an Apple TV at some point in the not-so-distant future.
     
  8. roxysdad macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2005
    #8
    Yes, you are spot on. If you spec out the rMB, MBA, and rMBP to 8/256 then the prices all line up and it begins to make more sense that the rMB is priced appropriately.

    The old screen tech on the MBA really got to me after a while. Every year I couldn't understand why Apple never updated the dang screen. So this year I had enough and made the change. It cost a bit to sell my old computer and buy this one, but in the end I'm glad I did it.
     
  9. Wildo6882 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Wildo6882

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    Location:
    Illinois
    #9
    Yeah, the screen is honestly what kills the MBA line for me. It is only slightly better than the screens on dirt cheap Chromebooks. I can't stomach that for a grand.

    I appreciate the responses - it really sounds like I made the right choice.
     

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