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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Diff between Macbook Air and new macbook

Diff between Macbook Air and new macbook
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Chimpmaster
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May 5, 2015, 09:30 PM
 
Hi guys,

Other than the obvious, how is apple positioning the new macbook? It looks just like a macbook air with a choice of chassis colours. It also costs more.

Doesnt make sense to me. Are they killing off the macbook air with the new macbook?
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OreoCookie
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May 6, 2015, 06:54 AM
 
The naming alone makes that very clear: the MacBook will be the default machine very soon, it will eventually replace the Airs, it's as simple as that. Just like the original MacBook Air, it's still too expensive to be the entry-level product, but that'll change over time — the only question is »when«?

I expect that we'll get a choice of chassis color across all MacBooks (including the Pros).
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P
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May 6, 2015, 09:13 AM
 
Even the rMBPs are thin enough that there is little reason to make an especially thin model anymore. It needs to get a little cheaper (and probably make sure that the new keyboard and trackpad can be produced in volume - the 13" MBA is probably the biggest selling model Apple has) but after that, the MBAs as we know them will be EOL.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
honestone
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May 6, 2015, 01:58 PM
 
Yeah, the 13" MBA is a darn good machine. I guess when Apple moves away from the 11" MBA and produces more and more of the new Macbook, it could be wise to try and pick up a 13" MBA at a good price.

Also, anyone have any info on a Retina 13" MacBook Air? Does such a model seem a possibility, or is the future in the new Macbook model?
( Last edited by honestone; May 6, 2015 at 03:06 PM. )
     
amiller77
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May 12, 2015, 09:05 PM
 
Well of course if you mean by "besides the obvious" to include the retina display on the new 12" MacBooks, then there's not much difference besides the slightly lighter weight of the new MacBooks (plus slower speed of the same). I wouldn't want to purchase a MacBook Air now unless having a non-retina display doesn't matter at all to you now, and it wouldn't bug you after ALL MacBook's presumably have retina displays in a year or two (I'm on a 5-6 year replacement schedule now, so I'd hate to have a non-Retina display for 4 years while all other Macs had one. Of course, one could always "trade up"). Its all a matter of personal priority and preferences and, as a result, there is no "right choice". Depending on your eyesight (with glasses if needed), having the sharpest screen available could reduce eye strain during a long session, or, if bad enough, might not even be a detectable difference (my brother's theory). If you do most of your computing at home then, by all means, a 13" MacBook Pro w/Retina display makes perfect sense (talking similar priced models), in terms of overall performance value. In terms of weight, does the 1.5# difference matter between a 12" MacBook and 13" MacBook Pro? Depends on what else you're carrying and how far and often.
     
pigmode
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May 13, 2015, 02:47 PM
 
Agree, The presentation of print on the retina is for me a game changer. Can't say for sure if there are physiological benefits, but it definitely puts a smile on my face.
     
donaldkepler
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May 15, 2015, 04:39 AM
 
Some of the major differences between MacBook air and new MacBook are given below:-
1. MacBook (2015):
• Price ($1299)
• RAM (8 GB)
• Weight (1.98 lb.)
• Screen-size (12 inches)
• Processor speed (1.1 GHz)

2. MacBook (2014):
• Price ($979)
• RAM (4 GB)
• Weight (2.31 lb.)
• Screen-size (11.6 inches)
• Processor speed (1.4 GHz)
I don’t see any major differences except that new MacBook is the improved version of MacBook air.
     
OreoCookie
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May 15, 2015, 11:03 AM
 
The big difference is the Retina display in the MacBook: that is a high-resolution display which is a tremendous jump. That alone is worth it IMHO.
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kustardking
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May 15, 2015, 04:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by honestone View Post
...Also, anyone have any info on a Retina 13" MacBook Air? Does such a model seem a possibility, or is the future in the new Macbook model?
Seriously? Waiting for Godot? It is PLAINLY obvious that retina is NOT going to show up in the Air line. Rather, the Air line will eventually evaporate.
     
panjandrum
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May 15, 2015, 06:59 PM
 
The solution is pretty simple really; buy a 13" MacBook Pro with Retina. It's the best bang for the buck in the Apple line. The very basic rundown is simply this:

MBAir - very poor screen by today's standards - but reasonably speedy and the cheapest of the three
MacBook - Great screen, but expect relatively poor performance by today's standards. Almost certainly overpriced for the performance you get.
MacBook Pro 13" - Great screen. Good performance. Only slightly more expensive that the other two... Still a VERY nice form factor, even if slightly heavier (go hold one compared to the other two, you won't be disappointed).
     
SierraDragon
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May 16, 2015, 11:06 AM
 
Others are suggesting EOL for the MBA, and that might be true for the MBA as we know it, but I doubt if Apple will kill the MBA brand. When/if they have a particularly thin/light product of distinction they will call it MBA.

IMO the new Macbook is just the lower end being released early because the chips are available, yawn. That is what "Macbook" is. If Apple is smart (and Apple _is_ smart) early summer (probably WWDC) we will see strong new MBPs using appropriate desktop-replacement-grade processors. And hopefully really strong independent graphics processing for folks like me doing heavy graphics and i/o who use the MBP as a true desktop replacement box.

Possibly one-more-thing superthin MBAs too, but that seems like a lot of products for a June release. More likely such an item would be a fall pre-holiday release.

Personally I am looking forward to a new top MBP to replace my 17" 2011 i7 because although the processor, upgraded SSD and 16 GB RAM remain strong, the 2011 display really shows its age. The latest less-glare retina displays are a game-changing improvement for an images person like me. The 2011 battery is certainly lame too but that does not bother me too much.
( Last edited by SierraDragon; May 16, 2015 at 11:21 AM. )
     
pigmode
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May 17, 2015, 10:54 AM
 
Apple is also using "Air" as an upgrade suffix, if you look at the current iPad. They could very well drop the MBA, and bring back Air in a MB line a few cycles later. :shrugs:

Has Intel published specs of the Skylake M processors? Perhaps it might be powerful enough in a utilitarian sense to *just* edge out the MBA.
     
P
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May 17, 2015, 10:59 AM
 
No published specs. There are leaks of Skylake CPU specs, but I haven't seen any of the Core-M models. Intel probably wants to sell Broadwell for a while now, and it's not like Cannonlake is just around the corner to push them either.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
OreoCookie
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May 18, 2015, 10:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by pigmode View Post
Has Intel published specs of the Skylake M processors? Perhaps it might be powerful enough in a utilitarian sense to *just* edge out the MBA.
For a lot of workloads (such as surfing the web where processor activity comes in bursts), the new MacBook is as fast as a MacBook Air, because its CPU turbos up to the same type of frequencies than then processors in the Airs do. Most benchmarks hammer the CPU consistently for a long period of time, and this is where thermal throttling becomes apparent. There are workloads where you will see differences, but for many people the two machines will have comparable speeds.
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P
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May 18, 2015, 11:44 AM
 
True, but there is one spot where 4.5W TDP will really hurt you, and that is gaming. Not AAA shooters either - I'd be happy if I could play my strategy games at a decent clip on one of Apple's thin laptops, but that doesn't appear to be possible. This is why I'm looking at a 13" MBP for my next model, once that CPU is in the class I like (ie, quad with Iris Pro).
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
OreoCookie
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May 18, 2015, 12:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
True, but there is one spot where 4.5W TDP will really hurt you, and that is gaming. Not AAA shooters either - I'd be happy if I could play my strategy games at a decent clip on one of Apple's thin laptops, but that doesn't appear to be possible. This is why I'm looking at a 13" MBP for my next model, once that CPU is in the class I like (ie, quad with Iris Pro).
Yup, gaming is an activity where the whole systems has a considerable sustained load, and then you'll really see the effects of throttling. Point of my post was that in many use cases, the performance of the new MacBook is much better than what the benchmarks suggest.
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driven
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Jun 9, 2015, 10:11 AM
 
Want thin with expansion ports and a somewhat faster processor? Macbook Air.
Want thin with a retina display? Macbook

Want both? SOL for now. (I'd love an 11" Air with Retina)
- MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.3Ghz / 256SSD (Work laptop)
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