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Old 02-11-2013, 01:38 PM   #1
JuYahoo
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Default A Macbook air ?

Hello

Actually I'm considering buying an Ultrabook for my studies (So it has to have a considerable battery life) and while comparing several test I ended up choosing a macbook...

But I'm wondering since I want it to last for at least 4-5 years should I take it with 8gb ram or a i7 processor ? I'm fearing that doing so would decrease battery life... I didn't find any benchmark which compare that.

I would be grateful for any hindsight you could give me ^^
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:43 PM   #2
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8GB RAM shouldn't have a substantive effect of the battery, certainly not as compared to the increase in usable life you'll get out of the machine. As for i7 vs i5... the i7 is certainly faster, but what are you going to be doing with the machine?
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:18 PM   #3
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If battery life is important and it's supposed to last 4-5 years, maybe you should wait till the next gen MBAs with Haswell will be out (probably in 4-6 months or so).
Haswell is supposed to be much more energy efficient than the current Intel chips (Ivy Bridge).
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:26 PM   #4
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Well, the only problem is that I will need it in the next week or so... :/ And my macbook will be used as a way to take notes, and as my main computer I guess... I do not play on it (besides some light stuff like emulators, oldies, and PCSX2) and I won't have time for it anyway... But I would like it not to be outdated in 3-4 years... I guess I will not be doing any heavy video editing, but I'm intent on learning how to do some photo edition in my spare time, but it definitely won't be heavy... Besides that, watching videos, internet browsing... that kind of stuff.

Last edited by JuYahoo; 02-11-2013 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:31 PM   #5
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Which Air? The 11" Air's battery life isn't great. The 13" Air's battery life is listed as substantially better at 7 hours web.

I'd recommend 8 GB RAM. The i7 is totally unnecessary. I'm still using a 13" MacBook Pro from 2009, with 2.26 GHz Core 2 Duo. Speed is fine, and I'm running 10.8 Mountain Lion on it. Actually, I only have 4 GB, but it's fine too.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:48 PM   #6
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The 13" with 256go I actually checked almost every ultrabook and ultraportable on the market, and it was the one with the longest battery life...
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:57 PM   #7
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I have a 13" MBP with i5 and 16GB RAM - CPU speed is not an issue. I am a developer and it was very sluggish with the base 4GB so I bumped to 16 - I would bump my head on 8GB but it would certainly have been better for my purposes than 4GB. I would personally recommend 8GB over the i7 since memory is not user-upgradeable on the MBA.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
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The 13" with 256go I actually checked almost every ultrabook and ultraportable on the market, and it was the one with the longest battery life...
You'll be running OS X? That's the key to long battery life, expect something like a 40-50% hit if you boot up Windows.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:00 PM   #9
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I will be running OSX
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuYahoo View Post
Well, the only problem is that I will need it in the next week or so... :/ And my macbook will be used as a way to take notes, and as my main computer I guess... I do not play on it (besides some light stuff like emulators, oldies, and PCSX2) and I won't have time for it anyway... But I would like it not to be outdated in 3-4 years... I guess I will not be doing any heavy video editing, but I'm intent on learning how to do some photo edition in my spare time, but it definitely won't be heavy... Besides that, watching videos, internet browsing... that kind of stuff.
You could still get yourself a stopgap notebook for the interim. Buy something like a Thinkpad x200s for about $200, use it for a few months and then get the new Air. You'll still be able to sell the Thinkpad at a minimal loss in half a year. Buying an expensive model that late in the product cycle usually isn't the best idea.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:17 PM   #11
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Do you really think it's worth the wait ? :/
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:21 PM   #12
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According to Intel, Haswell's going to be the biggest generation to generation jump in energy efficiency in Intel's history. So, if you care about battery life...
And in addition to that, it's not like an x200s is a bad machine for note taking, so it's not like you'll be suffering while you're waiting for the new MBAs to arrive.

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Old 02-11-2013, 03:27 PM   #13
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Well, you're right, but where to find one now ?...
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:29 PM   #14
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Ebay. Just search for x200s (or x200, if you want a little more power). There should be plenty in the 200-220$ range.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:42 PM   #15
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Oh :/ Isn't there any new ones ? I usually don't like buying PC's which have already been used...
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:16 PM   #16
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Sure there are new ones, but those are more expensive and you'll lose more money if you buy one now and sell it later.
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:34 AM   #17
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I'm also waiting for Haswell; though I also suspect the new airbook will have retina display so it is difficult to see how it will playout (both battery life and cost). Right now the airbook is about the best deal on the market for a sub 3lb ultrabook with good battery life. One concern I have with the airbook (if I remember correctly) is that it is diffcult to replace the battery and the battery has a 1/2 life of a few years (max charge will drop to 1/2 after a two or three years of normal use).
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:25 AM   #18
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Why do you think the battery longevity is so bad? I haven't heard that.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:56 AM   #19
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Quote:
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I'm also waiting for Haswell; though I also suspect the new airbook will have retina display so it is difficult to see how it will playout (both battery life and cost). Right now the airbook is about the best deal on the market for a sub 3lb ultrabook with good battery life. One concern I have with the airbook (if I remember correctly) is that it is diffcult to replace the battery and the battery has a 1/2 life of a few years (max charge will drop to 1/2 after a two or three years of normal use).
MacBook Air
Half-life

The sealed batteries in every portable Mac sold has a stated expected life of 5 years or 1000 cycles. In battery terms, they don't measure half-life, but rather when the battery will hit 80% capacity. Apple is stating that their batteries will, after at least 5 years or 1000 cycles, still retain at least 80% of the shipping capacity. So if it was a 4000 mA battery, they are saying that after 5 years of use, it should have a capacity no less than 3200 mA.

A lot of this depends on usage scenarios as using the battery less can actually reduce its life faster, and they have diagnostic tools to check that sort of thing in the store if you take it in for that reason.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:15 AM   #20
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Their battery life management has gotten a lot better. It was a problem with their old G4 iBooks, but that was a decade ago.

The battery life of my 2009 MacBook Pro is still quite good. My main complaint with the Airs' battery life is the 11" Air's undersized battery. They went too small on that model IMO.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:48 AM   #21
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My comment on the batter life might be based off of stale data. I also think manufactur tend to overstate (or state optimal result) of things like battery (I don't think that apple offers a 5 year warranty on the battery). Still if it gets close to 80% after 5 years I would consider that to be very good. From what I saw (when I was looking at 13inch sub 3lb) there were two 'good' candidates (asus ux31a which has much nicer screen but has other issue such as slow ssd) and the airbook and if I were to purchase today it would definitely be the airbook (even though the asus screen is absolutely fantastic). I've decided to wait and see what 2013 brings (hd500 should be a lot faster than hd400) and haswell will improve battery life a little; also I wouldn't mind a 1080p screen on the airbook but I suspect the price will also increase to $1400 or so if it has a higher resolution screen (this is not a given but because of last year update to the other apple portables it seems likely).
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:05 AM   #22
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According to The Loop and The Verge, they are dropping the price of the 256GB 13" Air by $100 today. And the rMBP 13 will go down by about $200-300.
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