What's The Problem? (difference between MB and MBA)

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by slight32, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. slight32, Mar 12, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2015

    slight32 macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2014
    From what I can see, the only major difference between the specifications on the MB and MBA is the screen and processor. Pricing is almost no different, here in Turkey at least. Let me explain:

    Macbook.............8gb / 256 = 4,127TL ($1,587)
    13" Macbook Air...8gb / 256 = 4,339TL ($1,668)
    11" Macbook Air...8gb / 256 = 4,039TL ($1,553)

    Let's be fair and assume the purchase of an adaptor to enable charging while using USB-C and running an external monitor, which is 249TL. The cost then becomes almost the same, 4,376 ($1,683) for the Macbook, meaning just 40TL (15$) difference for the 13" MBA and 337TL ($129) for the 11". Price differences are minimal therefore.

    There is a trade-off to be made, less power but better screen, and I'm guessing that most people would be happy with that, and for those that aren't we can be sure of increasing degrees of power in yearly updates.

    But then that single port, oh my goodness, a single port, whatever will we do? Keep calm and carry, is what. One adaptor will provide the majority of people with all they need, when they need. It's not a brick, it's not made of super-heavy materials, it's an adaptor. How many of us already carry them anyway?

    Time will tell if this is a good machine, the first in depth reviews will be interesting, but when the Air was launched there was a lot of noise about its lack of ports, it's small HD, no CD drive etc etc. The Macbook seems a step forward in an increasingly wireless/cloud connected world, I like it.
  2. Serelus macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2009
    The problem:

    People wanted a Macbook Air, with a retina display.

    What they got:

    A Macbook with all its utility ripped from it's design, but still have a retina display added to it. You don't even get enough power to drive anything that fully utilizes that retina display. It's a shame really.
  3. slight32 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2014
    Put a retina screen on a Macbook Air and you have a slightly thinner, slightly less powerful Macbook pro, there'd be almost no distinction. There's every possibility the Pro range will get thinner, so then the differences become even smaller.

    The Macbook is probably not intended for pro users, it's for coffee shops, students and light users. Why do people want this to be a serious work machine?
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    You're giving up a lot in the MB just for the screen. I think apple erred in making a third computer line that is all but identical to the MBA line. The only difference worth mentioning is that the MB has a retina screen.

    Given the lower powered CPU/GPU, I wonder if people will experience even more lagging and performance issues with the MB
  5. slight32 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2014
    Really, what's "a lot"? It seems to me it's some processing power and ports which can be added with an adaptor. I do realise that if people want to run heavy software it could be a problem, but is the machine aimed at people like that? I think not. It should easily handle Office, browsing, media files and email. What else would people want to do on such a small machine on a daily basis, that buying a rMBP wouldn't solve?

    I read somewhere that it's probable the Macbook and macbook Air would converge to the point of discontinuing the Air altogether. Maybe the technology isn't there to do that just yet, so Apple offer alternatives for the time being?
  6. aristobrat, Mar 12, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015

    aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Didn't they do essentially the same thing with the retina MacBook Pros?

    They kept the name basically the same (prefixing "Retina" to the existing model names), but both the 13"/15" retina MacBook Pros were essentially new computer lines that were very close to the existing lines, no? Smaller in size, fewer ports, ... they just didn't switch the processor quite as drastically.

    If Apple hadn't have created a new computer line for the Air, it seems that adding a retina display to the existing Air would result in a noticeable decrease in battery life. For people that need the battery life, the Air line of computers might no longer be suitable for them. To me, that'd be Apple erring.

    By leaving the Air line alone, and creating a new line for this MacBook, there is choice. Want the battery life, ports, and processing you're accustomed to? -- pick the Air line.

    Interested in an ultra-light notebook with a retina display? -- pick the new MacBook line, but understand this line comes with the same caveats that accompanied the two computer lines with retina that preceded it.
  7. LadyX macrumors 68020


    Mar 4, 2012
    I don't think Apple will discontinue the MacBook Air anytime soon like many seem to be saying here on the forums.
  8. Nozuka macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2012
    i give it 2 years
  9. crsh1976 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2011
    We get it, the rMB is about looks rather than function; it is for coffeeshops and students and light users. The price doesn't matter, we're not supposed to look at the specs and make sense of them.

    If your impression isn't "oooh thin! and I get one in gold! spiffy! all my BFFs will be so jealous!"*, then it's not for you, get a MBA instead.

    * It may sound as if I'm saying the rMB is for airheads, I'm exaggerating..
  10. lchlch macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2015
    I respectfully disagree.

    I think that the new macbook is the best representation of form follows function (aside from the colors). Its just that they have traded power & expandability for mobility. I think most people forget that lightness i.e. mobility is a function as well.
  11. pasadena macrumors 6502a


    Sep 12, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    It's a proof of concept. It will eventually replace the MBA when it catches up with it in terms of power and usability (at least one more port and USB-C has become widespread enough in the accessories/peripherals world).

    Maybe in a couple of years.
  12. LadyX macrumors 68020


    Mar 4, 2012
    What's The Problem?

    Maybe. But I say not anytime soon because right now the MacBook Air is Apple's "cheapest" or I should say least expensive laptop.
  13. pasadena macrumors 6502a


    Sep 12, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    I agree, certainly not this year, most probably not next year. I also meant to say "and when the price goes down under $1000"
  14. drnebulous macrumors regular


    Apr 27, 2014
    Salford, UK

    Because it costs more than a Macbook Pro.
  15. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    Like just about everyone here, I want the processing power and ports of the Mac Pro, the screen of the rMBP 15, the battery life of the MBA 13 and the size and weight of the new MacBook. And Tim, if it wouldn't be too much trouble, it should cost about $500.

    Since Apple can't make that - yet - it divides the features into what seem to them to be logical groupings.

    For me, I couldn't stand the screen on the MBA, but I loved the portability and battery life. So I bought a MBP which is definitely heavier than I like. I wish the MacBook had more power and ports. I strongly suspect that is coming - in the next redesign of the MacBook Pro, which I expect will deliver the features of the MBP in the form factor of the current MBA. But we're not quite there yet. If we were, Apple would be MORE than happy to build it and sell it.
  16. pasadena macrumors 6502a


    Sep 12, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Your lack of ambition saddens me. The screen of the rMBP 15" ? Really ? I want the screen of the iMac 5K in my micro laptop.

    Nah. Their business plan is to specifically not do what people want.
  17. PotatoAir macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2015
    It should easily handle Office, browsing, media files and email.

    Those things can even easily handle my 5 years old EEEpc (500€ atom) or my tablet.
    And it had already 2x 3.0 and 1x 2.0 usbs

    Why bother with a 1500€ Laptop?
  18. crsh1976 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2011
    We're back to looks, which the rMB has; I can't really see the whole "mobility" argument either when the MBA is hardly a truck of bricks to carry around.

    Hence why I keep saying the rMB isn't a bad product, it's just very awkwardly positioned in terms of price and features.
  19. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    I considered that, but I'm worried it would bend in my pocket.
  20. The Phazer macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2007
    London, UK
    There's no 11inch Macbook Pro.

    If there were, there might not be an issue.

    The 13 inch Macbook Pro isn't much fun to carry around. The 11 inch Air is okay. A Retina screen would make it a considerably better machine.
  21. slight32 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2014
    Nope, not here in Turkey anyway, it's a fair bit cheaper.


    I agree, it would. But Apple can't please everyone, and it's quite probable that the rMB will evolve into what it is you are looking for, or very close to it anyway.

    Apple aren't Samsung, Lenovo or Asus though, they don't flood the market with variants. The measure of the future is how well the rMB holds up to the competition, with differentiation becoming increasingly difficult outside of the OS.
  22. Cloudsurfer macrumors 65816


    Apr 12, 2007
    Apple has put an immense amount of engineering into this machine, and they want their money back. After the initial wave of early adopters, we'll slowly see the price come down in subsequent speed bumps. Remember the insane price of the original Air?

    I think the MB will replace the Air in the long run, and that ALL ports will disappear eventually when wireless charging becomes mainstream.
  23. sorryiwasdreami macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2004
    way out in the sticks
    The Air is on it's way out and this is the new Air. You can see that just by looking at the machines and how dated the Air looks now compared to the other laptops.
  24. PeterJP macrumors 6502


    Feb 2, 2012
    Leuven, Belgium
    You're making the wrong point:

    “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

    ― Henry Ford
  25. flyinmac macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2006
    United States
    Not a significant function. Laptops are thin and light enough. I can't remember the last time I heard a real person complain that their Mac laptop was too heavy and too thick.

    It's time to stop this quest to turn the computers into low power super thin pieces of paped.

    Weight is also a useful function. It makes something easier to keep in place. Easier to hold onto. And enables it to have sufficient mass to be durable.

    We have hit a point where needless size reduction causes more sacrifice than benefit.

    One should also consider that this miniature quest Apple is stuck on is more about decreasing production costs and creatively marketing these less expensive productions to charge us more money by brainwashing people into thinking they need less functional super thin devices at a higher price tag.

    Nobody asks for them to be super thin. Everybody asks for more powerful tools. What we get from Apple is a continuing backwards movement in capabilities, and a higher price for less functional stripped down devices that take up millimeters of less space.


    But, even Henry Ford wasn't stupid enough to evolve the car's later versions into something that became less functional or moved at mule speed after people were accustomed to horse speed.

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