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joewandy
Jan 27, 2011, 06:47 PM
Hi guys,

I'm considering getting my girlfriend a MBA 11" (with 4GB RAM) because her computing needs are light (web surfing, youtube, emails, IM, etc.) and she would like a small and light portable which are easy to maintain. However, a major use of her laptop is to make 720p HD video call using the Logitech HD Webcam C510 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003LVZO92/ref=cm_rdp_product). The specs page for the product says that

For HD 720p video calling and recording on Logitech Vid HD:
# 2.4 Intel GHz Core 2 Duo
# 2 GB RAM
# 200 MB hard drive space
# USB 2.0 port
# 1 Mbps upload speed or higher
# 1280 X 720 screen resolution

So the 1.4 GHz cpu of the base MBA 11" falls rather short of expectations. The question is whether it is significant or not ? If you have the base MBA 11", can you still make HD video calls with skype or ichat ? I'm not sure whether skype video calling on mac is hardware accelerated or not, so can't count on the GeForce 320M.

Please give me some advise whether the MBA 11" is suitable for her, or whether we should go for the MBP instead. Thanks !!



Ronnoco
Jan 27, 2011, 07:25 PM
Hi guys,

I'm considering getting my girlfriend a MBA 11" (with 4GB RAM) because her computing needs are light (web surfing, youtube, emails, IM, etc.) and she would like a small and light portable which are easy to maintain. However, a major use of her laptop is to make 720p HD video call using the Logitech HD Webcam C510 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003LVZO92/ref=cm_rdp_product). The specs page for the product says that



So the 1.4 GHz cpu of the base MBA 11" falls rather short of expectations. The question is whether it is significant or not ? If you have the base MBA 11", can you still make HD video calls with skype or ichat ? I'm not sure whether skype video calling on mac is hardware accelerated or not, so can't count on the GeForce 320M.

Please give me some advise whether the MBA 11" is suitable for her, or whether we should go for the MBP instead. Thanks !!
I have the 1.6GHz 11" with 4GB RAM and I have no problems with iChat or Skype (or FaceTime for that matter)...I have not however, tried any HD video conferencing...I can tell you that this little computer handles playing 720p video as well as my 15" i5 MBP...

Anonymous Freak
Jan 27, 2011, 07:41 PM
Please give me some advise whether the MBA 11" is suitable for her, or whether we should go for the MBP instead. Thanks !!

The MacBook Air has a webcam built-in (Apple calls it a "FaceTime camera".) It supports full-resolution (for it - 640x480,) Skype and iChat video calling just fine. No reason to buy a third-party cam.

MR1324
Jan 27, 2011, 07:55 PM
these guys don't know what they are talking about. they are comparing the quality of a crappy on board camera vs a dedicated HD 720P external camera. of course a 1.4GHz CPU can run facetime and ichat, but not in HD quality because the camera quality is really poor. You're going to need some real power to run 720P video calling. There's a reason manufacturers list recommended specs for their products. Read through some of the reviews on Amazon and you'll find the answer you're looking for right away

Anonymous Freak
Jan 27, 2011, 10:57 PM
these guys don't know what they are talking about. they are comparing the quality of a crappy on board camera vs a dedicated HD 720P external camera. of course a 1.4GHz CPU can run facetime and ichat, but not in HD quality because the camera quality is really poor. You're going to need some real power to run 720P video calling. There's a reason manufacturers list recommended specs for their products. Read through some of the reviews on Amazon and you'll find the answer you're looking for right away

Is your internet connection good enough to hold a 720P video chat? Mine isn't, and I have 20/5. The 1280x1024 camera in my MacBook Pro goes to waste.

If you oftentimes find yourself recording the 720P input, yeah, it'll be slightly better than the 480P in the MacBook Air. The OP asked about video chat, with one specific camera mentioned. I replied that video chat is perfectly acceptable at 480P using the built-in camera.