Thinking of Getting an Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by bob616, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. bob616 macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2008
    I currently have a 2.8GHz 15 inch Macbook Pro and use it for video editing, coding, and web surfing. I am looking into getting the highest end 13 inch Macbook Air when the new ones are released. Has anyone here switched from a Macbook Pro to an Air and had any regrets?

    The reason I am looking to switch is because I'm no longer going to be editing videos on Final Cut Pro as often, just an occasional video here and there, and wanted a computer that had great battery life and was portable. I'll mostly be using Xcode, Safari, and Word/Pages on the Air.

    So does anyone have any advice or comments?
  2. Roman2K~, Jul 16, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011

    Roman2K~ macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2011
    I switched from an early 2011 15" MBP to a late 2010 13" MBA (rev. D), zero regrets ;):
    • Higher pixel density: same resolution (1440x900, default for the 15") in a smaller surface area -- smoother, more pleasing to the eyes with text and 720p+ videos
    • Unbeatable portability, even just at home moving from room to room, and holding on my lap
    • No more graphics switching to deal with
    • No more glass over the screen: what a relief! The MBA's screen is glossy, but without the glass I am no longer bothered with reflections
    • Same battery life (as the MBP while on the iGPU) with a slight tweak
    One obvious "minus":
    • The CPU is less powerful: compiling programs and encoding H.264 videos using HandBrake takes a lot longer (but that's compared to a second generation quad-core i7 2.2 GHz :cool:). Though that's about the only time the C2D is crawling. It's blazing fast at every other tasks I throw at it.
  3. PaulWog Suspended

    Jun 28, 2011
    What graphics solution does your Macbook Pro currently have? That's the only drawback that you'll see (if your Macbook Pro has a decent graphics card). The HD3000 will still be alright though in the Air.

    So the drawbacks will be:
    - low hard drive size
    - relatively slow graphics processing power, but not horrible

    Processing power won't be an issue, assuming the refresh uses the i5 and i7 processors (the ultra-low power consumption ones). They're relatively powerful still.

    I'd say go for it if you want the portability. It looks like it'll fit your needs well.
  4. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    I went from a 15" i7 MBP to a 13" Ultimate Air and love it.

    I only notice the slower processor when I'm doing something processor-intensive, like rendering a video in iMovie, or ripping something with Handbrake. My day-to-day stuff (Mail, Safari, iTunes, Aperture, Office, Quicken, etc) only uses 10-20% of the processor.

    My MBP had a 7200 RPM HDD, the Air has a SSD. Night and day difference, IMO. Anything disk related (which is just about everything) goes sooooooo much more quickly on the Air. Love it!

    Miss the backlit keyboard a little. Hopefully that comes back with the next update. And hopefully the Intel on-board video that will come with the next Air update won't hurt overall performance!

    Anyhow, I don't miss my MBP at all. I love how light the Air is, that it has the same screen resolution as my MBP, and how much "snappier" it feels!
  5. bob616 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2008
    The graphics cards that my Macbook Pro has are the "NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256 MB" and the "NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT 512 MB"
  6. shurcooL macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2011
    The 3000 HD is roughly equivalent to "NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256 MB", so you won't be losing too much. As long as playing games locally isn't a big concern for you. You can still do things like OnLive with the Intel gfx...
  7. bob616 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2008
    I almost never play games on my computer so that isn't a problem, however how does the intel 3000 HD do with Final Cut Pro 7?
  8. Apple Expert macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    I'm to of thinking of going with the MBA. However I've read stories of how delicate it is. I hope they are some what durable. :confused:
  9. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Were they talking about anything specific in regards to durability? I haven't noticed any major common threads where people are having problems. Some of the first generation ones had problems with the screen hinges, but Apple ended up covering those by extending the warranty, or something like that.
  10. Apple Expert macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    How fragile the screen is. That the LCD cracks easily. Never seen it in person, but that's what they are saying.
  11. bob616 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2008
    Also how about size? Does anyone with the 11 inch think that it is to small? The reason I want a MacBook Air is is for increased portability so if the 11 inch is equal in processing power and the smaller screen doesn't hamper productivity then I'd probably opt for that.
  12. lomby macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2011
  13. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Loving my new (to me) 11". Screen and keyboard a lot easier to use than I thought it would. And the battery life is to die for.
  14. nomad01 macrumors 68000


    Aug 1, 2005
    Birmingham, England
    Plus one except I went from the i7 to the 11inch basic Air. Again, aside from CPU intensive stuff, everything else is SO much faster.

    The 11 inch screen is a bit small for some people sure but it's never caused me a problem. Honestly the best Mac I've owned for the overall user experience.
  15. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    So would everyone agree that the 11 inch is probably the sweet spot if you're not going to be using it as a primary computer? I'm torn between going for the 11 or 13. I have uni work to contend with, and am slightly worried about the petiteness of the 11's screen for writing on.
  16. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Jun 20, 2010
    Going through the same thought process. To help me decide, I bought my 15 and 13 Macs to the store and sat it next to an 11 and opened common applications to see how they appeared alongside each other. Biggest hit for my computing, for example, on 11 inch would be page layout software. Sometimes you want to see the overall page and be able to read content in it, along with seeing your tools. For Illustrator, zooming in and out for detail can be tiresome, along with being unable to zoom in to a larger view as see more of what you are attempting to edit. Other than that, I don't see any issues. So having an external monitor for page layout and drawing will mitigate those issues when using that software, in which case it becomes a matter of scheduling and/or what percentage of time a person needs to use that software away from the monitor.
  17. Red Warrior macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2011
    I'm also looking at using air for coding 11 or 13 is the question

    I'm currently leaning towards the 13 inch ultimate for coding in Xcode and also unity 3d. Has anyone used unity on an existing air and found it workable? I would use an external monitor for most of the work but it will be nice to do a bit of coding and design on the go. I would love the 11 inch but am a bit worried about the lack of vertical real estate it offers for dev work.
  18. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    It will do perfectly fine since any card will draw your desktop without stress.
  19. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    i agree that the mba is delicate. there is no getting around that. look how thin the lid is. that is the price of getting an ultralight laptop. it isn't a toughbook.

    shove that in a bookbag with a bunch of textbooks, then toss it on your bed when you get home (or something like that) and you really shouldn't be surprised if bad stuff happens.

    BUT, it's not like the mbp (or any other laptop) lid is all that much tougher. i have a plastic case on my mbp, and i doubt i will have any issues. my recommendation is to go ditital (i read on my ipad). scan all of your books. don't carry around any computer with a bunch of other crap stuffed into a backpack. your back will thank you.

    i would not let the delicacy issue stop you from purchasing an mba. a few changes in how you pack the computer (digitize everything) will help you not only take advantage of its lightness (i get by most days with a man purse), but also keep it from any harm.
  20. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    To the OP, debating whether or not to get a MBA over another computer is usually a debate between power and portability.

    I have had a MBP and bought a MBA last September, for, as I travel a lot, portability is a major issue for me. For power and spec, and possibly, value for money, the MB and, more especially, the MBP offer more.

    However, the MBA does offer portability, good battery, fast and stable SSD, and excellent screen resolution. It will do everything you ask of it but the portability comes at a price of less "heavy lifting" power than you would find in say, a MBP. I'm very happy with mine, but then, I'm not a gamer.

    Re delicacy, it may look a bit delicate but is more sturdy than it appears. All laptops are designed to be relatively sturdy - they are designed to be carried around constantly from place to place - and thus, are designed to offer protection to their own interior workings. In common with most of the rest of Apple's range, the MBA is designed from a solid piece of aluminium, and not plastic.

    According to threads on fora I read in the years before I bought my MBA, an early area of concern was the hinges, which were less well designed than they might have been. In addition, while I have read that the screen has presented problems for some users, in truth, that has not been my experience.

  21. torbjoern macrumors 65816


    Jun 9, 2009
    The Black Lodge
    One of the reasons I went with the 13-inch was coding. Even 800 pixels (like MB and MBP 13") vertically was a bit short for me. In comparison, the 11-inch MBA has only 768, which is 4 % less than the MB, even.
  22. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    This is the second Air I've owned. I've handled them the same as every other notebooks I've owned of the last 10+ years, with no issues.

    If anything, the Air takes more of a beating because of its portableness. It's constantly going on off-road trips with me in my Jeep, being pulled in/out of the seat back throughout the day when I need to upload pics/clear my camera's SD card. With all of the bouncing around that comes with that, no way I'd ever consider bringing a laptop with a traditional HDD.

    Personally, I don't see how you can crack the screen on the air unless you either grab the screen and try to twist it (which isn't going to be easy with the aluminum back), or you stack too much dead weight on top of it (i.e. step on it, put it under 30lbs of textbooks in your backpack, etc). Neither of those are "fragile" issues, IMO.

    Either way, I think MacRumor's Air forum here is one of the largest on the Internet. Take a look back through the older threads and see if you notice a common thread about the screen being fragile. I don't think you will. Not saying nobody's never broken a screen, just that it's not a common problem that I see posted here.
  23. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    It's actually pretty tough. I used to have a 13" Air and I did toss it into my bag with books and when I got back to my room, I'd throw it onto my bed or on the couch when I'm done using it. But, as long as you don't manhandle it, you'd be fine. The hinge is somewhat weak though since mine did just flop back on its own sometimes.

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