324 of 368 people found the following review helpful
MBA Will Be Perfect Once It Gets Retina Display,
This review is from: Apple MacBook Air MD712LL/A 11.6-Inch Laptop (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)
This might look like just a minor spec bump from last years model. However, the new MBA boasts all day battery life: 11 inch (9 hours) and 13 inch (12 hours). This is a big step up from the previous generation. This is due to a larger battery and more efficient processor. The upcoming OS X Mavericks is supposed to be even more energy efficient than Mountain Lion. The MBA is also faster due to the new processor and has a faster wifi connection. The solid state drive in this computer makes it much faster than a regular hard drive computer.
This is a great computer overall. The screen is not as nice as the retina Macbook Pro, however it is not a deal breaker. The MBA is a lightweight, portable computer and the Retina screen is thicker, heavier, and more expensive. Once they manage to make a thin, lightweight Retina Display this computer might be perfect. You will probably not miss the disc drive on this computer because it is a featherweight without it and you can use an external disc drive if you have to or remotely access another computer with a disc drive.
If you are debating between the 11 and 13 inch models, it depends on what you want to use it for. The extra screen space, SD card slot, and longer battery life for $100 more makes the 13 inch a worthy choice. However, some want a truly portable machine that can fit easily in a large purse or briefcase.
If you are debating between this computer and an iPad with a bluetooth keyboard, consider the ease of use and functionality of the computer versus the portability and cost of an iPad. For students, it is nice to have a real keyboard and be able to easily create documents, spreadsheets, and powerpoints on an actual computer, but I see more and more students with iPads and a keyboard case getting by just fine.
If you are debating between 128GB and 256GB (or custom order 512GB from Apple), consider cloud storage. Flickr now has 1 TB free photo storage with no size restrictions. Google Drive and Evernote are great for documents and you can always store your iTunes library on an external hard drive if you have a massive library.
If you are debating between this and a Windows Ultrabook/ Google Chromebook, consider the operating system, reliability, customer service, and resale value. People love Apple products and you can resell the computer if you want to eventually upgrade. They hold their value pretty well. The operating system takes a little getting used to but it is a lot smoother than Windows and you will probably never want to switch back to the dark side. If you really need a Windows Program, you can run Windows on a Mac.
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 12, 2013 7:02:00 AM PDT
A. Khatoon says:
Congrats for your MBA. A silly question :P Will apple allow Maverick upgrade for these MBA's?
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 12, 2013 10:47:50 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 12, 2013 4:21:36 PM PDT
I am sure that you can upgrade to Maverick, not sure if it will be free though. Usually if you buy the computer and the new OS comes out within a month or so, it is a free upgrade.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 12, 2013 6:02:39 PM PDT
K. Smith says:
Not if you buy one now. If you buy one closer to it's release in the Fall they will let you. (At least this is how it has worked previously)
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2013 6:55:11 AM PDT
S. Das says:
It wont be free if you buy it now. But it is about 20 bucks to upgrade, not a big deal.
Posted on Jun 13, 2013 3:35:23 PM PDT
Great review, those are all valid points that I couldn't agree with more than I already do...
However, your Review title wasn't mentioned in the actual review, but I wanted to comment on it anyway. I actually think Retina in its current form would be awful on MBA. The reason being as you stated in your review, the battery life is a major draw to this unit. Retina displays are HUGE power hogs and would drain a significant portion of that extra battery life you're getting from the new 4th generation (Haswell) processor, if not more. Having an ultra-portable laptop that can legitimately stay off wall power for most/all of your work day is a pretty major sticking point to me. I would not want to sacrifice that for a better display.
Now I'm sure somewhere down the line the Retina will become a better power saving unit, then I'd be all for it. Until then, I have no problem with there being a distinct difference between the two Apple lines of laptops.
I guess that means I think the MBA is perfect the way it is right now? lol
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2013 6:46:32 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 15, 2013 6:46:50 PM PDT
That is a good point. I feel the same way about the iPad Mini. If it had a Retina Display the battery life would suffer. It is definitely a trade off. As battery life and screen manufacturing improves, we will eventually get the best of both worlds.
Posted on Jun 25, 2013 10:48:52 PM PDT
The Incarcerator says:
Hey Mike B,
Thanks so much for such an informative review of this product. I've been a little in the dark with respect to cloud storage and you mentioned numerous services I wasn't aware of. I currently use only Dropbox and now am beginning to think the free storage they are offering is pretty shabby compared to say Flickr if it's true they're offering 1 TB free to store all your photos in the cloud! Man, that's crazy! You may only need a hard drive if you store a lot of music then?
How's the 802.11AC on this MBA? Do you notice substantial increase in pages loading and file transfer speeds?
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2013 6:39:31 AM PDT
Flickr does indeed offer 1 TB of space. You can also store music in the cloud using google play, itunes match, or amazon cloud player. My internet service at home is pretty slow so I haven't noticed much of a speed increase here.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2013 9:58:11 AM PDT
The Incarcerator says:
Is there a downside to storing the files online? I know with pictures and documents, you would sometimes want to manipulate them and then resave them. Can you do this if your files are in the cloud?
I haven't tried saving documents directly into say Dropbox without saving the file to my hard drive first. What I end up having is two separate files over time and I end up having to go back into Dropbox, delete what I have stored there and then resave everything to "sync" the files. Dropbox doesn't automatically "sync" my documents folder.
Posted on Jul 18, 2013 8:10:53 PM PDT
How is 4GB of ram? I was really looking to buy the 8GB Ram option from Amazon, but they don't seem to offer it; Is it really that big of a deal since it's an all SSD machine?