Second Laptop

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ritsard, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. ritsard macrumors regular

    ritsard

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    #1
    I currently have a 15" rMBP. I am thinking of getting another laptop either an 11" MBA or a 13" MBA. I wanted something I can carry around. Mainly for email, document editing, browsing, and occasional Xcode and/or VM access. What do you guys think?
     
  2. Acronyc macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    #2
    My use case is similar and I also have a 15" rMBP (2012) and had the same thought. I bought the 11" MBA first as a second laptop for travel and it was great for the nostalgic value (my first Mac was a 2010 11" MBA) but after using high-res displays for the past few years the screen just started to get to me.

    After thinking about it I decided to return it and get a Retina MacBook and don't regret it at all. The one port is a little annoying sometimes and technically it's slower, but I don't notice it in my day to day use and for me the screen more than makes up for any other shortcomings.
     
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors G3

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #3
    rMB or 13" rMBP. MBA's wishy-washy display is almost unbearable to look at once you're used to a Retina Display.
     
  4. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #4
    I tried an 11" MacBook Air last week, and immediately noticed how washed-out and less sharp the display was compared to the 13" rMBP I normally use. I can't recommend one if you're used to a Retina display on your Mac, as you will notice a difference.

    If you want a secondary thin/light laptop for basic usage, consider getting the 12" Retina MacBook. It's more expensive, but easily worth the extra.
     
  5. maxsix Suspended

    maxsix

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    Location:
    Western Hemisphere
    #5
    It's an excellent setup, one I've relied on for years. My 15" MBPR is my work laptop with my 13" MBA for lighter work since I fly across continents for the company. I see both 11" & 13" in the air when I fly. The reason I prefer the 13" size is I'm on the web a lot. It's just a personal decision. 11" leaves more space on the tray table if that's important to you. :D
     
  6. proshare macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
  7. SSD-GUY macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    I have a secondary 11 MBA when I can't take my 13 rMBP around, or if I'm travelling light.

    The 500G of difference between the two is noticeable, especially when I don't need all the extra horse power and am travelling.

    I bought my 2013 11 MBA 2nd hand from a craigslist style website for a bargain of £350, which makes it slightly more expensive than an iPad, but much more productive! There are deals to be had on ebay and craigslist for MBAs. Just make sure it has applecare remaining on it and that everything is working when you test it out.
     
  8. cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502

    cincygolfgrrl

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    Somewhere In Time
    #8
    As I wrote in another thread: To those who profess emotional attachment to retina screens, I say, enjoy the view, and the price tag. The rest of us will be getting work done.
     
  9. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #9
    11": If you want something like those old-ass "netbooks" that have an Intel Atom processor, except the Air has great specs and performance.
    13": Would be a very good choice for small portable computer but...
    12" rMB: Probably your best choice, as it is ultra-portable and is as small as the 11" MBA but the screen feels like a 13". However, I don't recommend if you need connectivity or performance apps.
     
  10. keysofanxiety macrumors G3

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #10
    I thought it prudent to recommend Retina Display as the OP currently has a 15" Retina, so it really is a step down to the MBA screen once you're used to the Retina. It's not really emotional attachment if it genuinely looks terrible in comparison.

    Also for just a little extra, the rMBP comes with a better display, better CPU (stock i5 is better than the i7 BTO on the MBA), better GPU, more ports, new trackpad, quicker SSDs, more RAM as standard, and quicker RAM. So they'll be getting their work done quicker. ;)

    Plus it's better value for money anyway, you only really need a MBA if you can't afford the extra to the 13" rMBP or if it's too heavy for you IMO.
     
  11. Acronyc macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    #11
    I find these types of comments very annoying. I'm not sure if you are talking about all retina equipped Macs or just the rMB, nevertheless you are insinuating that all people who use such a machine don't get any work done, without any facts to back it up. And you're looking down on those that do use these machines as you make this factless insinuation.

    If it's just about the rMB, there are lots of people who use them to get a great deal of work done. It just depends what kind of work.
     
  12. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #12
    Good point.

    It's just that the rMB seems very limited for most of us. Especially considering the pricetag.
     
  13. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #13
    What a silly post. I've been using Retina Macs since August 2012, but I don't recommend Retina because of an "emotional attachment". Rather, it actually improves the computer usage experience, by providing richer colors, sharper text/less eye strain.

    "The rest of us will be getting work done" is a very vague and uninformed statement. If it's basic word processing, for instance, my mid 2005 12" iBook G4 would be quite sufficient. But that doesn't mean a 12" Retina MacBook wouldn't be an overall faster and better experience.
     
  14. LittleLuth macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    #14
    I use a 15" rMBP as my primary workhorse, but have a rMB as my travel machine, slip in the portfolio (don't even need a briefcase to carry it...) kind of thing that I used to use my iPad for - except now if/when I have the opportunity I can actually get real work done with the rMB. Not that I couldn't with the iPad, but just way better and more for my needs which range from some data analysis, financial modeling, web research, presentations, emails... To the folks who don't think retina is worth it (which it is quite debatable how much of a real premium there is) I really don't understand that - I literally have a hard time reading non-retina. But that's just personal taste I guess. I can assure the one poster I get PLENTY of work done on retina machines.
     
  15. whodatrr, Nov 9, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015

    whodatrr macrumors 6502a

    whodatrr

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    #15
    We have two rMBs in the family, as well as a 13 MBA (company issued), iMac 27, rMBP (Kids), 11.6 MBA (KB broken), and some other stuff floating around.


    I'd say go with the rMB, because you're looking for a 2nd system that's portable.

    • Price - Many complain about this, without taking the 8GB Ram and 256 SSD into consideration. When you add those, it's not bad vs the MBA. We bought two open boxes, each under $1,000. So, there's that.
    • Performance - Adequate for what you're doing. remember that these mobile CPUs are designed to live much faster than their base clock speed. I find ours' very good for light work. Actually, I've been pleasently surprised by its performance.
    • Screen - What you're getting is the effective working resolution of the 13 MBA, but in a much better and smaller screen. To my eyes, it's much better. Your eyes may be different.
    • Portability - This is amazing!!!! Smaller & lighter than our 11.6 MBA, and makes the 13 MBA look gigantic. Really, it's like carrying a tablet.
    • One Port - Two would be nice, but one works. Really, I rarely plug stuff into laptops anyhow, unless they're docked. If you want to dock it, you're stuck buying Apple's overpriced adapter. Buy it, and then move on. And let's not forget that many have been desiring being able to dock one port for everything, for a while now. While the PC has had docks like this for years, Apple always required separate cables for power and data. So, there's that, whether it's your thing or not, one port to rule them all is finally here.

    Everything is light and mobile about this system. the charger is even tiny, plus you can charge (albeit slowly) with USG chargers and batts.

    BONUS - It's so small and light that our iPads gather dust. Heck, even my SP3 is feeling neglected.
     
  16. mtneer macrumors 68030

    mtneer

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    #16
    Since you already own a 15" and are obviously able to afford a second machine - I would recommend going for a 11" MBA since that gives you the greatest separation between the two use niches. A 13" rMBP or 12"rMB are much closer in screen-size to your current 15" rMBP.
     
  17. whodatrr macrumors 6502a

    whodatrr

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    #17
    As the owner of those three devices: 11.6 MBA, 13 MBA, and two 12 rMBs, I'd say avoid the 11.6 MBA. First off the 11MBA is heavier than the 12 rMB, and bigger in just about every dimension (OK, 11 MBA is about 1.4" shallower, but the other dimensions are such bulkier). the reason it's shallower is the screen height. The 11.6 MBA is only 768 pixels high. While this may seem insignificant vs the 12, it's a big deal.

    • Clarity - Native resolution is 1366 by 768 for the MBA vs 2304-by-1440 for the rMB. That means the rMB screen will seem much more crisp and fonts easier to read, depending on your eyes. Also, pics and videos will just snap, again depending on your eyes.
    • Productivity - But the biggest story, for me, is usable real estate. I run the rMB at a scaled resolution of 1440 by 900, which makes it equivalent to the 13" MBA, only a bit smaller and much clearer. But the native resolution of the 11.6 MBA is 1366 by 768, which was a problem for me. the 132 pixels between 900 and 768 may not seem like much, but I found myself very limited. Tough to edit docs, read pages, etc. It just wasn't tall enough for me to use for much.

    But this is my subjective view. Your eyes may be different than mine. I would suggest that you look at the two side by side. When you do, just take sure you play with the scaling on the rMB. By default it's set ridiculously low.

    And before you ask why I have three models of Apple light laptop, 13 MBA is work-issued, 11.6 MBA is the woman's now broken system (keyboard issue), and the two 12 rMBs are our mobile systems. I also have a 27" iMac, and the my oldest kids have a 13 rMBP. It's all good.. LOL



     
  18. cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502

    cincygolfgrrl

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    Somewhere In Time
    #18
    The OP said he is specifically thinking about getting a Macbook Air. Yes, he has a 15" Macbook Pro, but he didn't say when it was built; there's good chance it's not Retina. My point was, and still is, you "Retina at all costs" guys think everyone looks at computers the way you do. If a Retina screen makes you feel good, awesome, go for it. But not everyone feels that way.

    The new Macbook is underpowered for someone who needs to run VM, as the OP stated. It's a great machine for what it was built to do, but VM is outside the performance envelope. A well-speced MBA will handle it.

    A Macbook Air provides a good basic screen, reasonable specs, portability, and good battery life. Trashing it because it doesn't have a pretty screen is ridiculous.
     
  19. cerberusss macrumors 6502a

    cerberusss

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #19
    Don't forget that a second laptop is quite a hassle if you don't use it much. Every time you open it up, it'll have a bunch of updates. Also, you'll want to have your documents on both laptops, so you either rely on iCloud, or on some other solution. All of the syncing solutions have limits to their storage space, so with a new laptop could come monthly costs as well.
     
  20. SSD-GUY macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    #20
    Sugarsync. It's perfect if you have multiple devices.
     
  21. dogslobber macrumors 68040

    dogslobber

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    Location:
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #21
    I have a 13" rMBP and a 13" MBA but can't really see any difference in the display.
     
  22. viperGTS macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    #22
    Open box rMB for under $1000? Where at? I'm thinking of replacing my 2012 13" non-Retina MacBook Pro with something much more portable. I've also been looking at the 11.6" MBA.
     
  23. Acronyc, Nov 16, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015

    Acronyc macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    #23
    That's interesting that you know what other people are thinking. I do not think that everyone looks at computers the same way I do. We all have different preferences and there's no need to knock people down because of their choice. The MacBook Air is a fantastic laptop for many people. I used one for three years and it was awesome. But for me right now, I don't need the power of a MacBook Air and would rather have a high resolution display instead of a more powerful processor or more ports. I didn't get the rMB because it "makes me feel good." I got it because it was the best tool for my purposes.
     

Share This Page