Switching to MBA - Battery and Retina?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by VaioGrave, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. VaioGrave macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2011
    I currently have a late 2011 15" MBP and am thinking of switching to a MBA as soon as I can. Its just too big for my current lifestyle (traveling, writing) and the 10-12 hour battery life of the MBA would be a godsend. But I'd like some advice before I buy anything.

    Since the MBA line just got updated, I'm looking into the 11" but I'm wondering about processor and ram. If I max to an I7 and 8gb of ram would that affect battery life? I'd prefer the full 10 hours.

    And I guess another thing that's bothering me are the rumors of the new 12" retina. I am able to wait for it, if the Fall 2014 timeline seems correct, but I am wondering if I should? I would probably seriously appreciate the screen, but I remember when the first MBP retina came out they had huge price premiums and people were complaining about screen quality.

    I'm also worried about the battery life of a new one. I know broadwell is supposedly more energy efficient, but do you guys think it would have less battery levels than the current ones because it may need a stronger processor for the retina screen?

    I'd have to sell my current MBP before I can purchase anything, so the longer I wait, the less its worth. I guess I'm asking if anyone has more educated speculation or can help me weigh my options better. I would really appreciate it!
  2. flowrider macrumors 603


    Nov 23, 2012
    ^^^^A CPU and RAM Upgrade MAY affect battery life to a minor extent, but IMHO, you won't notice it.

    As far as the next MBA. If we all stood around waiting for THE NEXT BIG THING, we'd never buy anything. THE NEXT BIG THING is always around the corner and when it finally arrives, THE NEXT NEXT BIG THING is coming. If you have a need for it now, buy it now.

    These folks who upgrade their phones every year (or sometimes even more often), just to have the latest gadget make absolutely no sense to me:confused:

  3. VaioGrave thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2011
    How long do you mean by a minor bump?

    I usually agree with your sarcasm about the "next big thing", but the new one will actually have a retina screen versus just a minor bump.
  4. carjakester macrumors 68020


    Oct 21, 2013
    If you are worried about portability and prefer the retina screen, the new 13" pros are extremely thin and light. I compared mine to a classmates air and they are pretty much the same and the battery life is extremely impressive though it doesn't get the 12 hours of battery life the air boasts.
  5. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Mar 2, 2007
    What keyboard style does it have?
  6. VaioGrave thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2011
    Yeah, I've been considering the 13" rmbp as well especially because of the power, but the form factor of the 11" mba has me hooked. When I see an 11", I just want to pick it up and use it, almost like a tablet and you can sit it on an airplane tray or any small surface. The only thing that's bothering me is the resolution, I'm already having trouble with multiple windows on my 1680x1050. That huge bezel is a little annoying too. The 12" is "supposedly" the same size.

    I'm not sure what you mean. They're black, not the aluminum ones if that's what your thinking about.
  7. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Mar 2, 2007
    I mean, the layout.
  8. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I have the 2013 i7/8gb/512gb MBA and get terrific battery life. Have never run it all the way down, but I think 10+ hours is right. For example, I can spend 4 hours watching ripped DVD's in iTunes, browsing the web, checking e-mail, maybe using MS Office, and it will still show 70% battery capacity. Yesterday I was watching a movie at lunchtime for over a half hour with the screen at full brightness and noticed the battery capacity still showing 99%.

    I previously had a 2011 13" MBA and switched to the 11". I love it, especially for travel. I watched my ripped movies on an all day international trip recently and arrived with plenty of battery power left. :)
  9. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    There is always the next big thing around the corner. Rumors swirl about this 12" MBA release in the fall. Broadwell is rumored to come in sometime in Q1'15. If you wait until fall to see if the 12" is around the corner; then at that time Broadwell refresh will be around the corner and so on after that.. How long you wish to be strung along like that?
  10. VaioGrave thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2011
    I thought the layouts were the same, but its this one [​IMG]

    That's amazing, thanks for the info. I think I'm close to pulling the trigger.

    Is Broadwell really Q1 2015? Any chance we'll know for sure which processor the retina will use at WWDC? I can wait until the back to school sale.
  11. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Mar 2, 2007
    No they're all different. This one is the impractical US-English.
  12. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    A retina screen and smaller size will also mean significantly worse battery life.
    I doubt Broadwell will compensate for that.
    I am curious how :apple: is gonna solve that problem.
    In my opinion the 2013 haswell mba will probably stay the macbook with the best battery life.
    Even after the next update.
  13. kyriostrife macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2010
    If battery life is your focus then yes the air will be a better choice.

    I went from a 2011 11" air to a late 2011 15" mbpro and needless to say the larger screen size is important to me. I've debating on going back to the 11" (or 13" air) plus a thunderbolt display, because of the pricepoint. But my value is in the power of the 15" pro models, so I'm entertaining the idea of the rmb 15" instead. The 15" handles what I need when I'm working on projects when mobile. So I highly doubt I'll go back to the air unless the price point is amazing (and right now they are) but I am definitely intrigued by the 12" rAir because of the possible resolution it can have.

    But you have to look at your uses. If you value the weight and size of the air it may be in your best interest.

    You also may want to ask this in the macbook pro forum. You are obviously going to get different responses there. I actually opened your thread to see if maybe going back to an air would be right for me.
  14. MrT-Man macrumors regular

    Jan 22, 2008
    Broadwell should start shipping to OEMs end of June, according to Intel (from their quarterly call las month) meaning that we should very definitely see a Broadwell MacBook in the fall. I find it incredible that the Q1-15 delay rumor got so much press, but Intel's actual comments got little press. I guess "Broadwell delayed!!" makes for a more sensational headline and more page views than "Broadwell on time!!".

    Broadwell and IGZO each provide dramatic battery life enhancements. Put them together, and that's how Apple is going to give us a 12" retina Air with little, if any, compromise on battery life.
  15. walkthruwalls macrumors member


    Apr 30, 2014
    waters of Thailand
    That's because you're fixated on a general statement from the CEO based on your other posts about this. We have no idea which chipsets are being shipped to OEMs this year and which are 'on its right schedule' for early next year. Unless you get concrete proof that the 14nm Broadwell ULX with 4.5w TDP is being shipped earlier than expected, there's no use assuming that what that CEO was talking about is for the 12 inch Air. Dig deeper on Intel news. A single general statement doesn't equal to your specific Apple machine. Broadwell is broader that you might think.
  16. Yaboze macrumors 6502a


    May 31, 2007
    The Garden State
    I have a 15" 2011 and I am eyeing the 11" MBA, but I'm going to wait as my 2011 is still holding up pretty well. The 15" is nice, but it's so big and I hook it up to a 24" LCD panel when I'm home anyway. I think I am starting to get deterred with bringing it around because of it's size.

    Someone at work had the 2013 i7/8GB/512 11" and it was amazing. I played around with it for a while and I was hooked.

    Also, keep in mind the i7 CPU wasn't updated for 2014. In other words, the 2014 i7 MBA is the same as 2013's. Only the i5's got the refresh/spec bump.
  17. yosemit macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2013
    I have a 11" i7/8GB/256GB. The base 13" rMBP is slightly slower than the i7 Air (for CPU-intensive programs), so you don't have to worry about the performance if the base 13" rMBP is good enough for you.

    As for battery time, anandtech and laptopmag have tests comparing the i5 (2013 version) and i7 Airs:
    Basically, for light use, the i7 version has slightly longer battery time. Both i5 and i7 are very good.

  18. coldjeanzzz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    I don't think you'll get 10-12 hrs of battery life with the 11 inch MBA. It's advertised at 9 hours
  19. Idarzoid macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2013
    You'd be surprised, I had 20 hours with 13" MBA and it's rated at 12 hours (2013 model), for the most part battery life on these machines are better than what Apple tells you. (Sure, I wasn't doing anything demanding, just light surfing, screen on 50% brightness, but still, going through a day or two without having to recharge is amazing)
  20. iizmoo macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2014
    Battery life will varies significantly depend on the workload, it's different every single day. With that said, I'm a software engineer, and I run databases, webservers, sometimes a VM (with DB and web server inside too) on my 13" i7 8GB MBA and I get very very good battery life.

    Unless I'm cranking the CPU with constant processing for something, I usually get 10+ hours on an engineering workload with 1-3 browsers (2-5 tabs each) open, mail, a DB server running, and some productivity software or programming IDE running.

    I know you're set on the 11", but remember that when you're not very mobile, the 13" will feel much more natural if you're sitting down at a desk instead of being on a plane. Depending on your workload, there are just some things like graphing or graphic software that just demand the extra space.
  21. coldjeanzzz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    Did you get 20 hours of actual use or did that include standby time?
  22. Idarzoid, May 16, 2014
    Last edited: May 16, 2014

    Idarzoid macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2013
    No standby, most of the time it was left idle, actual use time is closer to 15 hours, which is what I've been getting over the few months I had the machine.

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