Which Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Lambrook, Sep 27, 2015.

?

Which Air is best for this situation?

  1. Air 11"

    6 vote(s)
    30.0%
  2. Air 13"

    14 vote(s)
    70.0%
  1. Lambrook macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    #1
    Okay so a quick preamble for years I had nightmares with laptops but were dependent on them. My first favourite was a netbook, a Dell Mini 9. I eventually ditched that for what became the ultimate memorable laptop, the (Late-2010) Air 11. Alas after a blizzard not only was my dag drenched but the laptop was. everything was fine, except the keyboard. I resorted to a maxed out MBP 13 and have stuck with it for nearly 4 years. The weight of it is killing me.

    So here's my situation. I don't need huge expanses of GB. I like light, fast, and never-ending battery life. My life includes travel, 3-4 days I'm moving around my city from early as 6:30am till 3pm. So I really just need a battery to run from around 7ish till 4ish. My portable laptop will be my primary use, when I'm at home I am much more likely to open up pixelmator or Paintbrush. But the reality is that I'm doing 85% web browsing from Wiki to YT. the other 10% is heavy open office, and the rest is essentially Pixelmator. I do do photography and use compact flash and SDHC cards so I guess an SD card slot is a benefit but not essential.

    My bag has a bit of all-sorts which makes it sadly weigh around 7kg (15.4lbs) all up. Sadly most of it is health stuff. Now my battery on my MBP is clocking in below 4:30H I am finding it difficult not to pack the charger. I bought the MBP when it promised 7H battery life, and I was okay lugging around this monolith for the life. Now it's going to be a more stay at home, casted off to family member situation. I might be able to use it from time-to-time. However I prefer to stick to one laptop for everything.

    I have gotten use to the roomy 13" screen and my mind is still trying to think whether or not going to the 11.6". The reason why I didn't pick another Air was down to the fact it had only a 5 hour battery. Now it has a 9 hour. I am racking my mind over the real estate on the screen. Logically the Air 13 makes sense, but I sometimes feel like my laptop atm is sometimes a little too big at times. My MBP by the was has a 113 dpi and is 1280x800.

    Ideally I would place screen quality over real estate. but really weight, portability, and battery life are the fundamentals. I will no doubt be "future proofing" and maxxing it out though not sure about the processor... So I'd appreciate any feedback or people's experience on an Air 11.

    Thanks in Advance!
     
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #2
    I have a 2013 11" i7/8gb/512gb MBA and love it, no plans to upgrade anytime soon. It's my primary computer and I run all kinds of software like Final Cut Pro and Logic pro on it. At home I mostly use a big external screen, keyboard and mouse (plus other peripherals). I previously had a 2011 13" MBA but I like the 11" much better, especially for travel.

    I guess the newer 13" models have a little better battery life, and the i5 also gives a little more runtime than the i7. But I have always been able to get 10 to 12 hours runtime with a little sensible power conservation. I don't think you'll have a problem with running from 7:00 to 4:00.

    Regarding the screen, if you already have owned an 11" MBA then surely you know what to expect there. Not sure if they have really changed since 2010, but you could go play with one in a store and see what you think. I find it quite acceptable, it's very bright and I only turn it up full when I'm in a really bright place, like my porch watching videos.
     
  3. MacBoook160 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #3
    My primary computer is an 11 inch air, and it's perfect for me; If I had gone for the 13" I would have had to think a lot harder about where I should get a rMBP instead. But since I wanted light, powerful and primary computer-worthy, the 11" won hands down. Wish I had retina, but you can't have it all.

    Boyd, I too, have the screen on the lower end of the spectrum almost always, very comfortably. If it's above the halfway mark, it's often too bright for me.
     
  4. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    #4

    WAIT! Before Apple kills the Air Line, they WILL add Retina Screens!!!!, then milk and update the line for an additional 3 years, which will enable the maturation of the MB
     
  5. MacBoook160 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #5
    Wow, though that would be certainly lovely, I can't see it, CheffyDave, and I'm a huge fan of the Air. I think that next year, there may be a Skylake "upgrade," but in the meantime, the MB will either get a second port, or become more powerful than it is right now, and possible drop in price a bit, in order to get the secondary adopters. But as much as I love the Air, I ended up buying a refurb model this year because I think the time of massive upgrades to the product are at an end. However, for many people - myself included - it serves as a valuable product offering.
     
  6. Lambrook thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    #6
    This is on point. Macbook's designs philosophy is suppose to be ultraportable cloudless computing. I doubt they'd put another port on it, make it more powerful and cheaper, very realistic it's what they did to the Air eons ago.

    As for brightness, I hope screens have improved since 2011, I usually have mine at 13 or 14/16. But then I live in a country where I barely get clouds... You know this would've been settled by now if I didn't have such fond memories with the 11". I think the reality is it will be fine because it is a higher resolution for that screen. A 1280x800 to 1366x768 surely means I can see more stuff on my screen right?

    It's even a 135ppi.
     
  7. MacBoook160 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #7
    I really, really debated about the MB, Lambrook. For that kind of money, and for my own desire - however silly it might be to others - to have a separate USB port AND MagSafe for now, I chose the 11" Air. I absolutely think I'm going to own a MB in the future, though screen issues aside, it's clear to me that the Air I bought this year will still be kicking strong at least 4 years from now (barring any stupid moves on my bar, God willing!)

    Lucky you with all the sun! It is a cloudy day here today and despite having the shades drawn (I'm prone to migraines), i'm at five bars of brightness and very comfortable with it.
     
  8. Left4DeadBoy macrumors regular

    Left4DeadBoy

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
  9. Lambrook thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    #9


    Yeah well I intend to buy this for use for the next 5 years. It's not a short-term stop. Is the i7 worth doing?

    I believe I live in the sunniest city in Australia so my brightness barely goes below 5 dots. I actually miss the mild crisp days, and long nights. :( I hate it when it's a 35ºC+ day which won't be too far away now.
     
  10. MacBoook160 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #10
    I'm on the i7 (and very happy with it), so I don't know how to compare it with an i5. My last computer was an early 2011 MBP, which was i7, too (though obviously a far different processor). I've read comments here for both sides of the equation, and I suppose it depends on what kind of processor-heavy work you plan to do.

    Here are some benchmarks of the Mac line overall, if you find it of value:

    http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks
     
  11. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #11
    If you are thinking in a 5 year timeframe, I would go with the top spec on everything unless you really can't afford it. We can nitpick about what apps you run, what is the best deal, etc, but I'm pretty sure you will not be saying "I should have gotten the cheaper one" in the year 2020. ;) Anyway, that is my philosophy so I got the i7/8gb/512gb in 2013 and am sure it will continue to meet my needs for several more years. I also run software like Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, FileMaker Pro, VectorWorks and Photoshop, so I don't want to skimp on specs.

    The only possibe consideration would be that battery life may be a little longer with the i5. That seems to be the "current wisdom" on this forum, but I don't recall seeing any tests results. I suspect the difference, if any, would be pretty slight.
     
  12. Lambrook thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    #12


    Having a quick browse I just noticed the new basic rMBP's is a A$210 gap from a max spec Air13, and 200-odd grams heavier, so it seems somewhat obvious that if you go 13" then rMBP is better for the dollar. So I think that settles it. Go with Air 11, and for the same weight of my current laptop, I can carry a hardback of Julia Gillard's My Story. That's the literal difference between the two. :p
     
  13. Lambrook thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    #13
    Okay, one last thing guys, and we know all know Air's 11 achilles is that it has no IPS retina do you think it's worth it?

    As it stands I will either go Air 11 | 128GB | 8GB or MB12. The keyboard bothers me, but I will go and try one last time and see. I do get tired of having the screen near max and the glare, but its not a monumental issue.

    I'm just thinking, I mean this MBP will be at home with another user, if I want a usb fine I'll use that. I mean I have to for CompactFlash disks, I don't use the superdrive really. The internet in my area sucks that transferring data (and I don't have airdrop) is too costly that way. A$3.59 for a third-party adapter. I know you sacrifice the magsafe which is like a laptop lifesaver. I'll sleep on it.

    So Air 11 is A$1359 MB12 is $1799. Just worked out today's money I paid for the 2011-MBP is around A$1925.
     
  14. BenTrovato macrumors 68020

    BenTrovato

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #14
    The retina screen is absolutely worth it if you value the display. For me, I can't look at the Air's screen anymore. However, I know people who look at both and don't really see a difference. Totally personal choice. If the screen doesn't bother you, then you just saved $400. I like retina :)
     
  15. jahala macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    #15
    Based on your preamble, I would recommend the 13" Air. It has the longest battery life of all the laptops. It also has the SD card slot for your photos and is light. Personally, I use an 11" Macbook Air and love it for the size, but I do not need the battery to last all day.
     
  16. Lambrook thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    #16
    Yeah, although I use my Nikon D2X more than the Leica and that uses the brilliant compact flash cards, I tend to use SD cards as extra storage and a way to carry photos, and have the CF cards nearly blank. The battery is a good point. I've been testing to see the real-time use I'm getting at my now 5,017 mah battery.
     
  17. Lambrook thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    #17
    I'm going with the Air 11 in the end. The keyboard and the no magsafe was a complete deal breaker. I'm sure the 2nd iteration will be better. The Macbook concept is the perfect concept for me though.
     
  18. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    #18
    YES!!!!!
     
  19. Lambrook thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2015
    #19
    What kind of applications do you run though?
     
  20. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #20
    I can't imagine buying a non-retina screen, which feels outdated today, for use for the next 5 years. The Air lineup is really dated right now. If you just need something for a stopgap, fine. But for the long-term? No way.

    I'm *really* picky about keyboards, and now that I've adapted to the retina MacBook's keyboard, I like it a LOT. My wife still has an 11" Air, and it just feels old in comparison. Fuzzy, low resolution screen, squishy keyboard with backlight bleed everywhere, and the diving-board trackpad. Yes, Magsafe is great, but so is the fact that I can charge my retina MacBook from a $5 cable from virtually any USB charger, including the one I have built into the wall on my kitchen counter...
     
  21. Lambrook thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    #21
    This is sort of Devil's Advocate that I was after. I am incredibly fastidious about a lot of things mainly due to Aspergers, I have been known to choose a laptop on the basis that's it's fanless. So it's breaking me that I don't like the Macbook keyboard. But then there is part of me saying to me that I've worked with some keyboards that I've adored which are terribly designed. I think the Macbook keyboard is quite clinical, you also don't feel like you're pressing anything, and the spacing of it bothered me too. I'd have to break into it I guess.

    Like let's just give people some perspective here - I still get nostalgia over the Dell Mini 9; that was the concept of the laptop I seek for. The Air was the answer when it arrived on the scene and loved that throughly. So part of me knows returning to one might be rekindling that memory. But the other is tempting myself to go for that new thing. I do think Apple's current keyboard isn't great though, it is too spaced out to type fast for me. Plus I'm a Dvorak to make things even more complicated.

    As for the charging on a $5 cable, that just doesn't even impress me. The magsafe is quite a deal in my opinion, and it annoys me that it's been ditched. Yet I understand the philosophy that you shouldn't have it hooked up 99% of the time, however the reality is that's not going to be the case for me all the time. I don't even understand why a laptop would even be in a kitchen either...

    Yes it's old, yeah the screen is antiquated, but when I looked today (twice) I just don't see the value utility. of course logic is saying "you need this screen because the Air is a thing of the past."
     
  22. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #22
    I found that I had to adjust my typing style a bit with the MacBook. If you bang on the keys, you will just bottom out against the uncushioned metal chassis, which is annoying, but if you learn to type with a lighter touch, you instead feel the fabulous 'click' of every keystroke that feels satisfyingly mechanical. I really like it now, and I think I've become a better typist as a result of it.

    That said, in the end you need to get what you'll be happiest with. For me the screen, the trackpad, the fact that it's lighter and thinner and fanless, all outweigh any of the negatives that the MB might have. But that's just me.
     
  23. Lambrook thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    #23
    Well if anything my typing is really like a caressing style and a touch type. It's not like I am a sledgehammer and I am aware standing and typing on a macbook is nowhere near the same as typing while sitting down with the laptop at your preferred height and table. So there's that aspect to it. I can sort of see how you'd say that a keyboard of the Air could be a bit candy-like because you've adjusted to a thinner button height/profile. I'll mull over it during the weekend. You sound someone that's quite similar.

    The trackpad is superior though.
     
  24. s2mikey macrumors 68020

    s2mikey

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    Location:
    Upstate, NY
    #24
    Yeah, there is a feeling of buying yesterday's tech with any Air these days but still, it's a strong performer and there is no reason buying one today can't last it's user a long time. No reason at all. The screen, while subjective is clearly the major issue with the Air line. That alone has kept me at bay. The new MacBook has a lot going for it but it's expensive, it has limited connectivity, and it's not as powerful as an Air.

    Tough call, honestly.
     
  25. Lambrook thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    #25
    Obviously I have been mulling it for quite some time, and I would say that the Macbook is at the right price. If you want an 11" Air with 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM; then it is only A$110 more, and the 13" Air with the same setup is $40 more than the Macbook. So then the question is do you want less connectivity and a fantastic screen or the other way.

    I've concluded for my needs, I don't need a retina screen; it's nice to have no question about that. I actually came to the conclusion last night, and am very certain of my choice. While the Macbook's concept is the holy grail of what I want ideally, the Air is far more practical and ticks more boxes.
     

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