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Greg Terry
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Here's my 11" MBA with the nifty Skinit decal I created:

 

post-34-008632000 1319313753_thumb.jpg

 

(Raphael's School of Athens)

 

Rick:

 

That is one fantastic looking MBA and it has given me some inspiration, too. :-)

 

I should have been a little more specific when I inquired about the i7 and temperature. I am most concerned with how warm (or not) the case may be to the touch and whether it would be uncomfortable on one's lap. Have you any experience with excessive heat in that regard?

 

This has been a most helpful discussion!

 

I am currently awaiting an Apple gift card from Power On for recycling of a laptop. Once that is received, a shopping I will go. I really appreciate all the insight everyone has contributed.

 

Now if I could just find a cure for indecision-o-mania.

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I am most concerned with how warm (or not) the case may be to the touch and whether it would be uncomfortable on one's lap. Have you any experience with excessive heat in that regard?

 

No significant heat issues at all. My MBP was much hotter.

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The MacBook Pros just got about as minor of an update as you could draw up. A shame no screen upgrade to keep up with the MBA's (though I'm happy since I bought a new MBP 3 months ago).

 

Here's a summary of the changes.

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Well, as Joe just beat me to mentioning, the MacBook Pros were given minor speed bumps over the weekend, and that seems to be all. Not a major upgrade, and I doubt we'll see any more updates to them this year.

 

I think that I would still hold to my original opinion: I find the 11" MacBook Air to be of value because of its small footprint and weight. I'd recommend the maximum 4 GB of RAM, 1.8 Ghz dual-core i7, and the 256 GB SSD (unless your hard drive needs are relatively minor).

 

Personally, outside of saving a couple of pounds in weight, I don't see quite the same advantage in the 13" MacBook Air as I do in the smaller version . If it were me (and that's the key point), if I really felt like I needed the larger screen, I still believe I'd be inclined to get the 13" MacBook Pro with more power and options. If I were getting a 13" Mac, I'd get the MacBook Pro with 8 GB of RAM, 2.8 Ghz dual-core i7 and 500 GB SSD. I'd remove the optical drive and replace it with a second hard drive--probably a non-SSD in the 1 TB range for video editing and storing my iTunes folder. That's going to be pricy, but it's going to be one incredibly powerful and fast Mac that will last for a very long time before its outdated.

 

Nevertheless, I'm still very pleased with my 11" MBA and if I had it to do over, I'd still buy the same machine.

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No significant heat issues at all. My MBP was much hotter.

 

 

The MBP's are hotter, particularly if they have a 7200 rpm HD in them. I usually use a lap desk when I work from my recliner. At some point, I hope to add an SSD to mine from OWC. It will run cooler and be faster.

Edited by Timothy Jenney
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  • 2 weeks later...

I am currently awaiting a gift card from Apple for selling an old MacBook to PowerOn. I am hopeful that I might get the gift car yet this week and visit the Apple store this weekend, but it might have to be next weekend.

 

I will have the benefit of all your excellent insight and comments while making my selection of my next Mac. It is always an event to visit an Apple store - even just to look.

 

I'll let y'all know the outcome.

 

Thanks, again!

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I received my Apple Gift Card from PowerOn in the mail on Friday. So, today we took a trip to the Apple store in Indianapolis and I was pretty quickly convinced that the 11" MacBook Air was the computer for me. The 13" just seemed to large - a real surprise to me! I purchased the 2nd tier model with 4GB of memory and the 128GB Flash Drive and to this point I am extremely pleased with it. The size is just perfect for toting and seems to be good for using as well. The upgraded processor might have been nice but my needs are pretty nominal for speed and I think I shot my budget as it was. I am quite pleased with what I have.

 

Thanks for all the opinions and insight. They were really quite helpful.

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Glad that you found one that's suitable for your needs. In reality, they're all great, so the final choice is tough. Enjoy Accordance on your new Air

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  • 8 months later...

Well, call me fickle, and my apologies to anyone who might feel I've led them astray [and my apologies for the singular they], but I've changed my mind.

 

After having the 11" MacBook Air for almost an entire year, I've decided the screen is simply too small for my needs. I've got a 15" MacBook Pro on order.

 

If you followed this thread from the beginning, you might remember that I was so taken with the small size and portability of the iPad, I wanted a much smaller Mac, too. So last summer, I traded in my 15" MBP for the 11.6" MBA. I figured that with an external monitor on both my home and office desks, the small screen wouldn't be a negative issue. Well, it actually is a problem at times.

 

The reality is that there are simply too many times when I need or want to use the laptop simply by itself. Sometimes that means I need to work in a setting where I'm not at either desk, or sometimes I just want to work from the recliner in the living room! And although I admit it quite begrudgingly, my 44-year-old eyes need something larger than 11.6" for grading a half-dozen papers or so at a time in one sitting.

 

But there's a bigger issue. And I already know that some will disagree with what I'm about to say--and that's okay. If you disagree, just wave your hand toward your computer screen of whatever size you have and say, "Well, that's his opinion."

 

Here it is: I don't like using Accordance on an 11.6" screen.

 

Now, let me be clear: that's not a knock against Accordance. I really think this would be true for any Bible software program--Logos, BibleWorks, WORDsearch, and the rest. I simply use Accordance the most.

 

One of the values of any of these modern Bible programs (for my purposes) is to have multiple texts arranged together on the screen. I found that I had to limit Accordance to four windows for it to be usable on an 11.6" screen. Not only did I feel restricted by this, I found myself constantly having to expand one window in front of the others to do what I needed to do.

 

For what it's worth, Accordance has been marvelously developed to accommodate itself to users with the smallest of Apple's laptop screens. I simply miss the freedom I had with the larger screen.

 

These issues and the fact that I'm down to about 10 GB of free space on the 256 GB SSD in my MBA (I already carry an additional 1 TB external drive) made me realize that I had to do something. Normally, I'll buy the extended AppleCare warranty near the end of a laptop's first year of use. I bought the 11.6" MBA on August 12, 2011, so that deadline is running out. Did I want to spend another $200 on a machine I wasn't happy with? Also, with the hard drive issue, I was probably going to have to shell out $750 to OWC to get their 480 GB replacement SSD drive. I really wasn't keen on this either.

 

The question is--what size to get? The 17" is no longer a strong option because they've been discontinued. Yes, there are some in Apple's refurb store, but I had a 17" PowerBook at one time, and that added weight can really make a shoulder sore when carried for any significant length of time. A 13" MBP would probably be fine, but then over the weekend, the fellow whom I sold my 15" MBP to last year came over for me to help him with some photos. As I looked at my previous Mac, wondering why I ever gave it up to begin with (It's still a very functional machine!), I thought about how nice that 15" screen looked.

 

That was the deciding factor. I've got a 15" MBP on the way, and I've also already put in my order for a new 15" School of Athens skin from Skinit.com.

 

And if you know anyone in the market for a gently used 2011 11.6" MacBook Air, let me know.

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Rick:

 

I really like my 11" Air but would agree that at times it would be nice to have a larger screen (at my home desk I have a 23" monitor) and my 56 year eyes have no real problem with viewing the small screen for periods of time. But I am not grading papers for an extended time - that might make a big difference. :)

 

My major concern is the storage space. I purchased the 128GB model and I am running anywhere from 20 to 30 GB of free space. I am considering the move to an OWC model of higher capacity. I really like my Air - the flash drive makes a world of difference. I don't think I would have another laptop without a flash drive.

 

If you haven't considered it, perhaps the Apple recycle & reuse program http://store.apple.com/us/browse/reuse_and_recycle might be worth looking at. They may not give you exactly what you would like for the computer but it is an option.

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Greg,

Here's my take - hope it's worth 2 cents!

I had an 11" Air and while I liked the portability, I was always a bit frustrated by the screen size - it was too small. I like my Accordance setup with multiple tabs and it always felt cramped on the 11. Last month I upgraded to the new 13" Air and I must say that it is the best computer I ever used. It's still very portable - I sometimes use in in the living room and the computer is light enough to rest on my chest while I recline and type (I know - decadent at best). The extra screen real estate makes using Accordance, or multiple programs very nice.

My take, having owned both, is that the only reason you should go for an 11" is if you absolutely can't stand any heavier or bigger than that. Other wise, I'd say go for the 13 Air - it's a better all around computer.

 

Enjoy your decision :)

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I too love my 11 inch MacBook Air, but appreciated all the points made. Portability, storage, speed, screen size have to balanced. Sometimes it is a compromise. All are great computers. Consider what you were using 5-7 years ago!

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At least with the new MBPs, I can get a 768 GB SSD.

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Hey - I didn't follow this thread from the beginning, but read a lot of it this morning. Very interesting discussion.

 

I have a late 2008 unibody 15" MBP. I have upgraded the memory from 4GB to 8, and the HD from 320GB to 750. (Love OWC.) While I have looked with longing at the smaller machines, the screen size just won't cut it for me. For my daily reading time, I always have at least 3 texts open at once - 2 English + the GNT for the NT, 3 English versions for the OT (after I learn some Hebrew, I'll probably have it open, too). I like to have my own notes open, notes for the NASB, a study Bible, plus other stuff. This is the window I use every day for my devotional time.

 

http://www.accordancebible.com/forums/uploads/post-330-0-45684600-1343393282_thumb.png

 

Rick, you mentioned your 44 year old eyes. Wait until you hit 60. The situation does NOT improve. I have an astigmatism, too. I frequently use my MBP away from my desk. Trying to make out the breathing marks in the Greek text on a small screen would be nearly impossible unless I significantly enlarge the font. And I really do want more than a couple of verses on the screen at a time.

 

Since my machine is still working perfectly (now with Mountain Lion), I don't have to make a decision soon. But I will probably be sticking with a 15-inch. Hope the price of the Retina display comes down in the next year, as well as the price of the SSDs. The difference in the clarity in Accordance between the iPad 2 and the new iPad is significant and well worth the upgrade. The Greek is crystal clear. That is the kind of display I need for my laptop.

 

I would dearly love to have a smaller, lighter-weight machine. But until my eyes become bionic (I'm not holding my breath), I'll have to stick with a 15".

 

Julie

in Upper NE Tennessee

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Julie, your screenshot is an example of what I miss being able to do on my MacBook when I just have it by itself.

 

I did go ahead and order one of the retina display MBPs. I realize that most applications, including Accordance, don't take advantage of it yet, but I assume they all will eventually. The RD MBP, from what I read, is about a pound lighter than previous MBPs.

 

Like you, I had the 2008 15". I wish I'd kept it, but a friend of mine offered me $1000 for it last year, and that seemed like a good deal at the time. That was a solid machine and more upgradeable than any of them are now. I'd even bought from OWC one of the trays for adding a second hard drive (in place of the optical drive) and had two hard drives in that Mac before I sold it. Now, I have to carry an external 1 TB drive with me.

 

I ordered the maximum 768 GB SSD for my new Mac, which actually still won't be larger enough, but I'll be able to fit everything on it except for my iTunes library, so I can live with that.

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If you haven't considered it, perhaps the Apple recycle & reuse program http://store.apple.c...use_and_recycle might be worth looking at. They may not give you exactly what you would like for the computer but it is an option.

 

Greg, thanks for the link. They seem to be comparable in price for what gazelle.com would give me. If I can't easily sell it to someone locally (I don't feel like dealing with eBay or Craig's List), I may just one of these other options.

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Rick - I have two 1TB Mercury On-The-Go Pros (from OWC) that I use for TimeMachine. At any given time, one is safely stored away, and the other is in use. I don't have room on my MBP for all the video we own, but that's not a big deal - I rotate stuff off and on. Our classical music & sermon collections fit, and that's more important.

 

My the way, I love the little On-The-Go drives. They're bus-powered (no plugging into an outlet) and nearly silent. Plus they're compact. My husband uses full-sized drives in a "toaster" (like the NewerTech Voyager) for TimeMachine, but the thing has to be plugged in, and the drives are noisier.

 

I'll be back later interviewing everyone about their Retina MBPs. I think that's the direction I will be going, but not for at least a year. Unless something bizarre happens, I won't replace my machine until it's 5+ years old. By that time, Accordance may take advantage of the Retina display, and I hope, I hope, that the price will have come down. The whole idea of spending $3000+ on a laptop is daunting! I might have to start rotating sermons, too, rather than go for the 750GB drive.

 

Julie

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quick story:

 

I too have a late 2008 15" Unibody MBP and instead of upgrading last year, maxed out the RAM (4GB), installed a 256GB SSD + 500GB HDD (7200) w/ an OptiBay. It was like a whole new machine and is still running strong.

 

But, with the impending update of the MBPs I was planning an upgrade. And, after considerable thought I ended up going with a 13" MBA (2.0 i7, 8GB RAM, 512 Flash). After about a month using it for development work I'm happy with the decision. I decided not to go with the rMBP because it is not upgradeable and in order to get 16GB RAM you have to buy the top model, which I couldn't justify $3,000. And, I primarily work from a 24" Cinema Display - which would mean that I would mostly not be using the Retina Display. So, the Air it is and it's been a smooth experience so far.

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Yeah - There's a genuine sticker shock with the Retina machines. That's why I'm waiting.

 

Our son has a masters in computer science and is employed as a programmer. When I was getting ready to buy my machine, he advised that I go with the faster MBP - said that when it was 5-years old it would still feel fast and I would not feel compelled to replace it. At nearly 4 years old, I'm still not feeling like I need to upgrade further. It may be a different story the end of next year. Until I'm forced to make a decision, I'm just going to keep collecting data and hope that the decision won't be a tough one. This is not a life or death thing, but a good laptop is never cheap. I think that's why we agonize over what to buy.

 

Rick - the Airs aren't upgradeable, either, are they? With the way Apple is going, I'm going to miss being able to improve my machines as they age.

Edited by Julie Falling
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I have a mid-2011 13" Macbook Air, 1.8ghz Core i7, 4 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, and I love it. Except for the size of the SSD. I really need 500 GB. If anyone might be interested in purchasing this from me, let me know. I purchased it in April and it is in excellent condition.

 

 

Moderators: If this post is inappropriate or a violation of the terms of use, I'll be glad to take it down... or y'all can.

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<p>Re: Julie Falling' the Airs aren't upgradeable, either, are they? With the way Apple is going, I'm going to miss being able to improve my machines as they age. </p>

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<p>Juie, you, and others of course, might find this interesting: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/06/opinion-apple-retina-displa/</p>

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<p>Again, Moderators, if this post is inappropriate or a violation, etc. please remove and forgive me!</p>

<p> </p>

<p>Kevin.</p>

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<p>Sorry about that! ( I tried quoting just a part of Julie's post - the first time I have done this and as you can see I was not at all successful). The link should be: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/06/opinion-apple-retina-displa/</p>

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<p>Kevin.</p>

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<p>I give up! Sorry.</p>

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Kevin,

 

When the original MacBook Air was released, the same thing was essentially said--that they were non-upgradeable by the end user. My wife had the original MBA, and I was able to upgrade her tiny 80 GB spinning drive with a 120 GB SSD.

 

The SSD cards on the current MacBook Airs can be replaced with third party (and faster) SSDs from OtherWorld Computing. I was at the point that I either needed to do that or just get a new Mac, and I opted for the latter option.

 

The retina display MacBook Pro that I ordered should arrive tomorrow. As in the Wired article you referenced above, they too are being called "un-upgradable." However, from what I've read, the SSD cards are not glued in--they just have a proprietary form factor. That would seem to indicate that there's at least a potential for hard drive upgrades down the road if a company thought it would be worth the investment to create replacements. Regardless, I went ahead and ordered mine with the 768 GB SSD, which is the largest that Apple currently offers.

 

Realistically though, the average person never upgrades their computer. You and I may have, but most people just go out and buy a new computer when their old one starts to get slow or if they run out of room. While it's nice to have an upgradeable computer, for Apple (or any other company) to make them available, they have to use mostly off-the-shelf parts. The inside of the new retina display MBPs are custom designed, which allowed Apple to do things they wouldn't have been able to do otherwise. I think that's a pretty good tradeoff.

 

If I can keep my new rMPB for five years or so, I imagine it will be the last traditional computer I'll ever buy. I say that because by 2017, I'm sure there will be some hybrid device that is inbetween an iPad and a Mac. I think the technology that we've essentially been accustomed to over the last two or three decades is about to significantly change.

Edited by R. Mansfield
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Hey -

 

Read the article. It was useful. I really want the Retina display because, as we get older, clarity of print really becomes as issue. With an astigmatism, it's really an issue. By the way, age + astigmatism is a nasty combo.

 

Here, I hope, is the link to the article that you referenced.

 

http://www.wired.com...-retina-displa/

 

I have more than a year to make up my mind I hope.

 

I have upgraded every Mac that I have owned - Wallstreet PowerBook (bought used), eMac (2 of them), iBook, Dual G5 (bought used and now bordering on antique, doubles as a space heater), and now my MBP. We have liked being able to keep the sticker price down at the beginning. Apple charges way too much for the bump in memory and HD capacity. OWC sells great stuff for very rational prices, and gives good advice, too.

 

There may be some new offerings late 2013-2014. We'll see.

 

Julie

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Rick. Thank you, that was very interesting. By the way, thank you for 'Other World Computing'. Others had mentioned OWC and I did not know what that referred to!

 

Julie. Thank you for writing out the link properly for me (I am glad you found it useful).

 

Rick and Julie. I don't know what on earth I did to end up with my unreadable contribution but I thank you both for your kindness in responding to it!

 

Kevin.

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