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View Full Version : Odd questions and MBP 13" comparison




terrificbatman
Dec 1, 2010, 10:41 AM
a) Can you rotate it and hold it like a magazine, or a book, and read a PDF like that? I don't care if it's "stupid" or "useless".

b) Can you really open it with one finger, or does it tilt back and then you have to use two? Does it sit well on your lap or is a heavier Macbook a better option?

Sorry for these two somewhat silly questions, but I'm having trouble deciding between the 13" MBP and MBA, because they present the same test results. So, first of all, I'm interested in the MBA weight and build differences. As for the specs, obviously the 1.86hz/4gb setup is 200$ away from the default MBP package, but the MBP SDD and RAM upgrades seem rather costlier.

The long run is the issue here, and I wonder if computing isn't evolving to less demanding tasks, rendering the 'portable powerhouse' category useless. Obviously, 'intensive' use seems related to either 3D, video processing, or gaming, and I have rather light uses planned for the first two. For real hardcore gaming, I'd rather buy a console.

On the other hand, a 128gb seems tiny, not so great when compared to the MBP's default 250gb, but consider this: I'm not worried with having a huge media library, but I can imagine myself downloading 30gb Blu-Ray dvds or 1080p tv show seasons somewhere down the line, and will 128gb be enough for that 'data flow'? I also fear the new application state-saves brought about by Lion will fit the MBA much better. New MBPs are rumoured for April, but if the MBA is 'the new generation of Macbooks', what can we expect? The form factor won't change unless they finally get rid of the optical drive, so it'll still be about a better processor and maybe a new SSD drive, right?

The main issue I have with my current laptop, besides Windows usability and lame hardware design, is the noises (HDD and fans) as well as the lights. I need something that sits next to my bed and doesn't disturb my sleep or light up the whole room. How do the MBP and the MBA stand in this regard? If I use them as primary computers, can I just leave it to download something huge, close the lid, and forget about it?

Finally, if you can just recap the MBA/MBP 13" comparison, or point me a link to it, that would be great. Besides the usual benchmarks, I'm more interested in knowing what's different your daily activity, or of any shortcomings the transition to the MBA has presented.

Thanks!



Hellhammer
Dec 1, 2010, 10:54 AM
a) If you mean will it stretch so it will be like an iPad, no, it won't.

b) At least I can open mine. Depends on the surface though, if it's on a table where it slides easily, then I need two. I've spent the last two days laying on my bed and being with my MBA so I would say it sits pretty well. No heating like in MBPs

I find 128GB enough because I also got a 500GB 2.5" HD where I store my whole music and video library. Only few GBs of music and couple TV-shows are on the SSD as that's all I need.

My MBA is literally noiseless. It makes no sound at all. You can use e.g. InsomniaX to prevent your Mac from sleeping when closing the lid so yes, you can keep it next your bed and it shouldn't disturb you (though its sexy look may :D)

I've been using my MBA for three days now and I have to I love it. So light yet so powerful. The battery is amazing. I've been using it since noon and it's 7pm now. 7 hours and still 50% left (okay, few breaks and only light stuff but still). I haven't noticed any shortcomings. The resolution is great, the trackpad is great, everything has been great for me so far.

And some benches:

http://www.barefeats.com/mbpp29.html
http://www.barefeats.com/mbpp30.html
http://www.marketingtactics.com/Speedmark/

terrificbatman
Dec 1, 2010, 11:37 AM
I meant: can you use the MBA as a magazine, rotating it, and using the screen (on the left) as a page. Just to provide some context, I've done it with my netbook, but it wasn't as rewarding as I expected, because the screen was small (10") and I couldn't really scroll the page with ease, due to bad touchpad rotation.

Anyway, and still on the netbook comparison, you'd say there is barely a risk of dropping the MBA whenever you pull your sheets and forget it is right there next to you? I mean, is this the sort of object that gets thrown around easily because it's so light?

Thanks for everything else you said. I'm still really impressed with what people are saying of this device. A small question related to HD use: do you keep a Windows partition? If so, how big is it? I'm with you on the reduced media use thing, because there's only so much tv/music you can consume in a day, but i'd still like to know how much 'data flow' you can keep. You'd say maybe 30% of the HD use is fixed, while the other 70% can vary?

Hellhammer
Dec 1, 2010, 12:05 PM
I meant: can you use the MBA as a magazine, rotating it, and using the screen (on the left) as a page. Just to provide some context, I've done it with my netbook, but it wasn't as rewarding as I expected, because the screen was small (10") and I couldn't really scroll the page with ease, due to bad touchpad rotation.

So, what you're asking is can you use the screen in portrait mode? I don't think you can.

Anyway, and still on the netbook comparison, you'd say there is barely a risk of dropping the MBA whenever you pull your sheets and forget it is right there next to you? I mean, is this the sort of object that gets thrown around easily because it's so light?

I don't think its lightness is an issue. At least I'm very careful when handling any objects so pulling the sheets or anything like that isn't an issue for me.

Thanks for everything else you said. I'm still really impressed with what people are saying of this device. A small question related to HD use: do you keep a Windows partition? If so, how big is it? I'm with you on the reduced media use thing, because there's only so much tv/music you can consume in a day, but i'd still like to know how much 'data flow' you can keep. You'd say maybe 30% of the HD use is fixed, while the other 70% can vary?

I don't have Windows in my MBA. That sounds about right. I've used around 30-40GB of the HD and I have all what I need in it.

foiden
Dec 1, 2010, 12:51 PM
I haven't put the windows thing to the test yet. I still need to get Windows 7 as previous Windows are not supported. Partially because XP doesn't properly support SSD drives. So it matters completely on the Windows 7 footprint compared to XP SP3. I do note that there are quite a few 11" users that have Windows 7 on there, and their Max SSD space matches the minimum for the 13" MBA.

On my MBP, 32 GB was enough as long as you still did most of your work, and kept most of your files on the Mac side. 40GB is more than enough with XP. However, I could imagine you'd be closer to the 40 with Windows 7. Again, I don't know how much extra space Windows 7 takes up. If you plan on installing everything on external things (including SDHC/SDXC cards), then you may be able to go for near minimum space. (Just leave some Gigabytes free for swap/flash/silverlight/browser cache/system updates/codecs/general things that increase datafile type and browser access).

One of the advantages of the 13" is that you get a full direct card interface on the thing. That's potential high speed non-obtrusive external hot-swappable space. Like mini SSDs not bottlenecked by a USB interface.

Drezin
Dec 1, 2010, 01:08 PM
I haven't put the windows thing to the test yet. I still need to get Windows 7 as previous Windows are not supported. Partially because XP doesn't properly support SSD drives. So it matters completely on the Windows 7 footprint compared to XP SP3. I do note that there are quite a few 11" users that have Windows 7 on there, and their Max SSD space matches the minimum for the 13" MBA.

Im looking foward to buying a MBA (probably 11') in january and it will be my first Mac. I dont get it why you cant use winXP on SSD... I currently own a Dell Mini 9 (crappy, i know) that came standard with 16gb ssd and winXP

Hellhammer
Dec 1, 2010, 01:09 PM
Im looking foward to buying a MBA (probably 11') in january and it will be my first Mac. I dont get it why you cant use winXP on SSD... I currently own a Dell Mini 9 (crappy, i know) that came standard with 16gb ssd and winXP

Apple does not provide the necessary drivers for Windows XP. You can still, however, run it in a VM but not via Boot Camp

Drezin
Dec 1, 2010, 01:14 PM
Since the MBA boots so fast, ill just get win7 for bootcamp then..:)