Switching to an Air from rMBP

jetjaguar

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Apr 6, 2009
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I love the air .. love the battery life etc of ones I had in the past. I was given a 13" rmbp for xmas but I think I want an air instead. I mainly will use it for web .. email .. my online business and spreadsheets etc. Would the base model 13" air be fine or should i go with an 8gb version. The rmbp I have is i5, 8gb, 256. Haven't opened it yet.
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
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I love the air .. love the battery life etc of ones I had in the past. I was given a 13" rmbp for xmas but I think I want an air instead. I mainly will use it for web .. email .. my online business and spreadsheets etc. Would the base model 13" air be fine or should i go with an 8gb version. The rmbp I have is i5, 8gb, 256. Haven't opened it yet.
Base model would be fine but switching from a rMBP to a 13" Air doesn't make that much sense to me. The weight savings are fairly minor, as is the increase in battery life.

(Minor in the sense of, if you have 9 hours of battery life then that will last you for more than an entire workday or a trans-oceanic flight. How much more battery life do you need?)
 

Tzuten

macrumors 6502
Sep 20, 2011
399
193
There is no reason that I can see to switch to a MBA. I have a 13 2011 MBA, which is the same form factor as a new one. I also have a 13 2014 rMBP that my work gave me to use. The MBA is actually wider than the MBP in the 13 inch trim. The weight is difference is barely noticeable. The retina screen and more powerful processing I would pick any day. MBA is a fine computer and I've had zero problems with mine after 3 years of constant use, but keep the rMBP.

I would've been stoked to get a rMBP for X-mas.. You have some really cool friends/family/significant others..
 

tresmith

macrumors 6502
Jul 25, 2014
415
194
I wouldn't trade in the rmbp for a mba. the current model of the mba is old and is soon to be replaced. the rmbp is a more powerful and more recent design and will last you a whole lot longer than the mba.

if you want something that's going to be more future proof and last awhile longer than hold onto the rmbp.
 

skaertus

macrumors 68040
Feb 23, 2009
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Brazil
Keep the retina MacBook Pro, it is a superior machine. The screen is amazing, it has a more modern form factor and a more powerful processor. And it has plenty of battery life.
 

organic bond

macrumors regular
May 5, 2007
177
125
I disagree with other posters. The weight difference is indeed noticeable, I prefer the MBA form factor (old?) and who cares about the CPU if the goal is to surf and check email. Your reasoning makes perfect sense and 4GB are enough.
 

JoelTheSuperior

macrumors 6502
Feb 10, 2014
379
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London, UK
As someone with experience with the 15" Retina MacBook Pro and the 11" MacBook Air:
It's entirely up to you and the MacBook Air would be more than sufficient for what you do, although honestly I'd rather keep the Pro. The weight differences are no longer significant with the lovely new Retina Pros and the retina display is quite simply gorgeous - once you've seen it you won't want to use a non-retina display again.

With that said, both machines are fantastic - I think you'll be happy regardless of which one you pick.
 

jetjaguar

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Apr 6, 2009
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Wait for the Broadwell MBA! It is the fastest MBA with an insane battery life. 8 GB reduces the SSD usage and increases therefore the battery life.
ended up getting a mba .. when the new air comes out i will probably pick it up .. i just like the form factor of the air
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,424
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Wait for the Broadwell MBA! It is the fastest MBA with an insane battery life. 8 GB reduces the SSD usage and increases therefore the battery life.
Broadwell will only be slightly faster than Haswell. Right now the CPU isn't the component that takes the most power in a MBA so Broadwell won't increase battery life by very much either. And 8GB is unnecessary for most peoples' workloads.

Basically, if you want a MBA now, might as well get one. The Broadwell MBAs will be better but not by a big margin.
 

jetjaguar

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Just opened my Mba and the screen is so dark .. Normally I keep all my screens around 40% but the air is so dark. I don't remember my other air having a screen this dark
 

jetjaguar

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Apr 6, 2009
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I perceive my 2014 MBA screen to be brighter than my 2013 rMBP 15 screen... well, at the same settings (4 bars = 25%). Since the screens are so different I don't know if I can make an effective guess, but I find myself turning the brightness up to see things more often on the rMBP. And the light sensor changes my settings all the time and they are different on the two models so it's hard to make a judgement since I rarely use them side by side.

Naturally I prefer the size, WEIGHT and battery life on the MBA. But it's hard to go back to fuzzy screens after using retina displays. It happened for me with the iPad (I couldn't keep the iPad 2 or mini after getting retinas), iMac (just ordered a 5K despite wanting to wait for the non-gimped version), and I find myself wanting to replace the Air with a super-heavy rMBP 13... although battery life is still a concern.

I'm not comparing the screen to a retina but to my previous air I have used .. It just seems pretty dark. If I have to use the screen much higher it is gonna kill the battery:(
 

dyt1983

macrumors 65816
May 6, 2014
1,359
152
USA USA USA
I'm not comparing the screen to a retina but to my previous air I have used .. It just seems pretty dark. If I have to use the screen much higher it is gonna kill the battery:(
Oh sorry about that. I read the thread title (Switching to an Air from rMBP) and that you have a rMBP, you're the OP. So I missed the part about "my other air" cuz the lower case didn't stand out. Anyhow, a lot of times the auto-adjustment makes it difficult to compare two machines.
 

jetjaguar

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Original poster
Apr 6, 2009
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Oh sorry about that. I read the thread title (Switching to an Air from rMBP) and that you have a rMBP, you're the OP. So I missed the part about "my other air" cuz the lower case didn't stand out. Anyhow, a lot of times the auto-adjustment makes it difficult to compare two machines.
i always have auto adjustment off and just keep my monitor at 40% and also uncheck the dim my display on battery .. and it is still dark :(
 

mafaky

macrumors regular
Jun 12, 2014
159
5
Istanbul, Turkey
Broadwell will only be slightly faster than Haswell. Right now the CPU isn't the component that takes the most power in a MBA so Broadwell won't increase battery life by very much either. And 8GB is unnecessary for most peoples' workloads.

Basically, if you want a MBA now, might as well get one. The Broadwell MBAs will be better but not by a big margin.
Assuming there will be a MBA with Broadwell (nothing else will be changed, other than the processor, when compared with the current MBA with Haswell...), what's your estimation on the average battery usage time for the 13" model (the current figure is 12 hrs.)?
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,424
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Assuming there will be a MBA with Broadwell (nothing else will be changed, other than the processor, when compared with the current MBA with Haswell...), what's your estimation on the average battery usage time for the 13" model (the current figure is 12 hrs.)?
Current 13" battery is 54 watt hours. If it lasts for 12 hours that means Apple figures an average power consumption of 4.5 watts.

Haswell uses between 0.5 and 2 watts if it isn't too stressed out. Let's figure an average of 1.5 watts. Broadwell is supposed to reduce power consumption by 30% according to Intel, so that reduces the CPU consumption to 1 watt and total system average to 4 watts. So I would expect battery power to be 54/4 = 13.5 hours.

So Broadwell should give you an extra 1.5 hours of battery power on the 13" Air. Basically just 12% more.
 

mafaky

macrumors regular
Jun 12, 2014
159
5
Istanbul, Turkey
@motrek

Excellent clear-cut explanation & calculation. That was also my estimate; I'd asked the question to justify my estimation.

If this model really surfaces; I wonder how Apple is going to advertise about it: they can't say "13.5 hrs." as that will look odd; and if they say "13 hrs." that may be interpreted as the unlucky figure. Otherwise they may go along with it and say "min. 13 hrs. on the 13" MBA..."

But what and if they later bring out a Skylake based redesigned MBA with retina screen? Certainly their "thinness" madness and ego will push them for a slimmer case (I also assume it will somehow resemble the nowadays rumoured 12" rMBA; but under the given circumstances I have started believing that 12" thing will not surface within the foreseeable future, but will come out in October 2015 with Skylake; Broadwell skipped...) that may force them to use a battery with smaller capacity that 54 WH; the retina screen will add negatively to the consumption and the economy due to Skylake's usage will easily be nulled. We may get back to 12 hrs. again, if not less like 10-11.

But by those days (or a few months later) we may also expect a redesigned 13" rMBP. Assuming they will retain the same battery capacity (as in current rMBP 13") and Skylake's availability, that 13" rMBP may have something better than 10 hrs. So which one would you prefer to buy if and when those days will come?

Maybe to make life easier for everyone (including themselves) Apple will totally drop the redesigned rMBA concept and will have only one model on the MBA front: that rumoured 12" rMBA with Skylake. If you want the light side to carry and the lighter side for computing, you just buy that 12" rMBA; if you want more you switch to 13" rMBP with Skylake. Makes sense, to anybody?
 

wjereb

macrumors member
Aug 9, 2012
57
7
I just went the other way, from a 3 year old 13" MacBook Air to a rMBP 13" and I wouldn't go back. The weight difference is almost nothing and the screen is fantastic. I also beefed the Pro up with 8GB and 512GB SSD.
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,424
149
...
But by those days (or a few months later) we may also expect a redesigned 13" rMBP. Assuming they will retain the same battery capacity (as in current rMBP 13") and Skylake's availability, that 13" rMBP may have something better than 10 hrs. So which one would you prefer to buy if and when those days will come? ...
Dunno what Apple will do. There are a lot of possibilities that seem equally justifiable to me.

There were some pictures leaked of a display assembly that seemed to be 12" but it also had edge-to-edge glass like a MBP so I wonder if Apple isn't making a 12" rMBP and keeping the Air as-is.

In the end I think we're really all just guessing.

I doubt Apple will make a fanless laptop though, and I doubt they will make one with only one USB port.
 

GameFreak348

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2014
152
0
I did the same thing, the Retina Macbook pro was sooo laggy with everything, im happy with the Macbook air. and the overall os feels so much smoother

----------

lmao this is so funny, i just reseated the wifi chip, put the mac pro on his right side. booted, voila 2.8 mb. I put the side thing the cover, and voila i lose 600kbs, I put the mac pro like it would stand normally and guess what! 100kbs download speed. Silly Mac pro
 

mafaky

macrumors regular
Jun 12, 2014
159
5
Istanbul, Turkey
Dunno what Apple will do. There are a lot of possibilities that seem equally justifiable to me.

There were some pictures leaked of a display assembly that seemed to be 12" but it also had edge-to-edge glass like a MBP so I wonder if Apple isn't making a 12" rMBP and keeping the Air as-is.

In the end I think we're really all just guessing.

I doubt Apple will make a fanless laptop though, and I doubt they will make one with only one USB port.
If your predictions (and doubts about fanless and/or single port design(s)) come out true, can we presume that those leaked images for the rumoured 12" slick & sexy rMBA, are fakes or deliberately disclosed misleading ones?

Personally I'm also against that single USB3.1 port design; there should at least be 2 of them so that you can spare one, at all times, for charging. Because that sexy thin 12" rMBA (or rMBP ???) may not have more than 9-10 hrs. battery usage time if it's going to have a retina screen despite the usage of Broadwells. Can it be that Apple's planning this model to replace the existing 11" Haswell (non retina) MBA? If yes, then where will they place the 13" MBA? Isn't it weird to have a 12" (sexy & sleek) rMBA and a more robust and classical looking 13" non retina MBA (even though they plant this one with Broadwell, in due course), co-existing? Or can it be that Apple will create a totally new "ultra line Air" with this 12" model (maybe add another 10" and/or 14" version, in the coming year(s) to that family), keep the current style 11" & 13" non-retina MBA alive with some Broadwell refresh and then let it quietly die in second half of 2016? Looks pretty fuzzy picture to me...???
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,424
149
If your predictions (and doubts about fanless and/or single port design(s)) come out true, can we presume that those leaked images for the rumoured 12" slick & sexy rMBA, are fakes or deliberately disclosed misleading ones?

Personally I'm also against that single USB3.1 port design; there should at least be 2 of them so that you can spare one, at all times, for charging. Because that sexy thin 12" rMBA (or rMBP ???) may not have more than 9-10 hrs. battery usage time if it's going to have a retina screen despite the usage of Broadwells. Can it be that Apple's planning this model to replace the existing 11" Haswell (non retina) MBA? If yes, then where will they place the 13" MBA? Isn't it weird to have a 12" (sexy & sleek) rMBA and a more robust and classical looking 13" non retina MBA (even though they plant this one with Broadwell, in due course), co-existing? Or can it be that Apple will create a totally new "ultra line Air" with this 12" model (maybe add another 10" and/or 14" version, in the coming year(s) to that family), keep the current style 11" & 13" non-retina MBA alive with some Broadwell refresh and then let it quietly die in second half of 2016? Looks pretty fuzzy picture to me...???
The leaked pictures were only of a display assembly. We can't draw any conclusions from those pictures about number of ports or whether the machine has a fan or not. For all we know, the display is for a new version of the Mini that has a flip-up display. :)

I don't know why the article with the leaked images also mentioned fanless, 1 port, etc. Now there are a lot of people who think that there are pictures of such things when there aren't. Irresponsible, if you ask me.

The latest rumors are that the existing MBAs will be refreshed soon. I think this is extremely believable. They've been refreshed with little fanfare for the last 2 years, no reason Apple wouldn't do it again now.

This also lines up with my "common sense" that Apple wouldn't make any major changes to the 11" Air which is a pretty cost-effective way to get people into the Apple ecosystem.

So, if Apple keeps the Airs basically the way they are, I would expect a new 12" retina laptop to be introduced, either as a retina Air or a more portable Pro. Sort of how the retina Pro was introduced alongside the existing models.

I doubt it will be fanless (there's no real reason to make it fanless) and I doubt it will have one port (no reason for it to have only one port).

I suspect it will keep the MagSafe charging connection because that's been a selling point for MacBooks for a while now and something that lots of people are aware of and like.

USB 3.1 seems 50-50, there's no reason not to do it. On the other hand, it's cutting edge technology that is only now coming out and Apple might want to wait a little bit extra.

I can see Apple switching to USB-C connectors. They seem fairly happy to change connectors when they think it's appropriate (e.g., 30-pin to lightning) and I'm sure they'll be happy to sell adapters for $15-$20. And since it'll be a standard USB port type, you'll be able to buy adapters for $1 pretty soon.
 

windywalks

macrumors 6502
Mar 12, 2004
463
295
I love the air .. love the battery life etc of ones I had in the past. I was given a 13" rmbp for xmas but I think I want an air instead. I mainly will use it for web .. email .. my online business and spreadsheets etc. Would the base model 13" air be fine or should i go with an 8gb version. The rmbp I have is i5, 8gb, 256. Haven't opened it yet.
Whatever you do, don't for the love of all things holy get anything less than 8GB. The amount of RAM is crucial to a comfortable usage. I have 4GB on my bones stock rMBP and notoriously get a large swap file slowing the system down.

The screen on the rMBP is also something you'll get used to really quickly and you'll love it so much, that looking at those grainy TN displays in the MBA will be an eyesore.
 

jetjaguar

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Apr 6, 2009
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Whatever you do, don't for the love of all things holy get anything less than 8GB. The amount of RAM is crucial to a comfortable usage. I have 4GB on my bones stock rMBP and notoriously get a large swap file slowing the system down.

The screen on the rMBP is also something you'll get used to really quickly and you'll love it so much, that looking at those grainy TN displays in the MBA will be an eyesore.
i ended up with a 15" rmbp
 
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