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View Full Version : 3 Months with the MBA 13"..Experience




telemark948
Mar 20, 2011, 10:45 AM
I have now had the MBA ultimate for 3 months now. I have travelled abroad with it several times over the past few weeks. Here is my experience:

Before I start, I switched in September last year to 27" iMac from windows, and I use to travel with a 17" windows laptop or Linux laptop running VMware, if i needed to switch.

What an amazing machine, what ever Iv'e thrown at it it's worked like a dream. I have programs that only run in Linux and Windows XP, Parallels has worked great. I have had both machines XP and Linux on at the same time and switching between native programs, XP and linux..... fantastic. Although I could do with a little more ram sometimes..:D

Even running three OS's at the same time, running some heavy CPU intensive programs, no noise or heat problems. I don't think I have heard the fan!!

The only struggle at the moment has been installing Oracle natively. I get it installed and working for the first time. But trying to connect Linux to Oracle doesn't always work 100% of the time...work in progress:rolleyes:

I use office for Mac 2011, so far not one single problem.

Connecting to a projector through the VGA adaptor and giving presentations, was simple, plus the Mac is a great talking point..I have had many envious looks.:D

Working on a plane was a breeze, even when the guy in front dropped his seat back :( I worked between all three OS's for 3 hours no problem, with still 2+ hours to spare.

So far 10 battery cycles in 3 months...

The wireless has worked great picking up some week signals in hotels.

I installed the free Sophos, as I have been swapping files with other OS users. I have two instances when people have brought a memory stick infected with stuff, Sophos has been great. It's amazing how surprised they were, it should be clean they claim!! I transfer files back to my windows machine back at work, so I have to be careful.

I am really glad I chose the 13" option, I did spend a long time in the apple store looking at both. But the larger HD and the bigger screen was the biggest factor for me. I bought a great travel bag from THECUS (online apple store) which opens up for security checks at airports, this has been very useful.. I have bought a Be.eZ cover from Amazon, which does a great job and I have added a palm protector from Moshi, I was concerned about my watch scratching the surface.

That's about it, I am very impressed, it's made working on the road easy and painless, although I have no excuses for not working on the plane journey. It's a shame that my work don't offer an MBA as an option, can't have everything...



Psilocybin
Mar 20, 2011, 11:19 AM
great write up... one thing though,10 battery cycles in 3 months? i have like 80 since december 28th

DarwinOSX
Mar 20, 2011, 12:06 PM
I'm loving mine too. Especially on long trips. I slip it in may laptop case along with my pos work Lenovo running XP and use it for everything possible.

telemark948
Mar 20, 2011, 01:25 PM
great write up... one thing though,10 battery cycles in 3 months? i have like 80 since december 28th

Thanks...

I have been very fastidious about when to use the battery or mains power. When i'm settled at home, office or running a recent workshop, I use mains. Airports, travelling etc or just quick work I will use the battery. I have deliberately ran down the battery twice, once for calibration and once after using it for 2 months.

I'm probably too cautious...:D

teerexx52
Mar 20, 2011, 01:34 PM
I have now had the MBA ultimate for 3 months now. I have travelled abroad with it several times over the past few weeks. Here is my experience:

Before I start, I switched in September last year to 27" iMac from windows, and I use to travel with a 17" windows laptop or Linux laptop running VMware, if i needed to switch.

What an amazing machine, what ever Iv'e thrown at it it's worked like a dream. I have programs that only run in Linux and Windows XP, Parallels has worked great. I have had both machines XP and Linux on at the same time and switching between native programs, XP and linux..... fantastic. Although I could do with a little more ram sometimes..:D

Even running three OS's at the same time, running some heavy CPU intensive programs, no noise or heat problems. I don't think I have heard the fan!!

The only struggle at the moment has been installing Oracle natively. I get it installed and working for the first time. But trying to connect Linux to Oracle doesn't always work 100% of the time...work in progress:rolleyes:

I use office for Mac 2011, so far not one single problem.

Connecting to a projector through the VGA adaptor and giving presentations, was simple, plus the Mac is a great talking point..I have had many envious looks.:D

Working on a plane was a breeze, even when the guy in front dropped his seat back :( I worked between all three OS's for 3 hours no problem, with still 2+ hours to spare.

So far 10 battery cycles in 3 months...

The wireless has worked great picking up some week signals in hotels.

I installed the free Sophos, as I have been swapping files with other OS users. I have two instances when people have brought a memory stick infected with stuff, Sophos has been great. It's amazing how surprised they were, it should be clean they claim!! I transfer files back to my windows machine back at work, so I have to be careful.

I am really glad I chose the 13" option, I did spend a long time in the apple store looking at both. But the larger HD and the bigger screen was the biggest factor for me. I bought a great travel bag from THECUS (online apple store) which opens up for security checks at airports, this has been very useful.. I have bought a Be.eZ cover from Amazon, which does a great job and I have added a palm protector from Moshi, I was concerned about my watch scratching the surface.

That's about it, I am very impressed, it's made working on the road easy and painless, although I have no excuses for not working on the plane journey. It's a shame that my work don't offer an MBA as an option, can't have everything...

I see in your sig you have an imac so does that do your heavy lifting. I have been wondering if I should go to a 13" pro as an "only computer" to go with my ipad and iphone. Interested in your opinion on it.

telemark948
Mar 20, 2011, 03:55 PM
I see in your sig you have an imac so does that do your heavy lifting. I have been wondering if I should go to a 13" pro as an "only computer" to go with my ipad and iphone. Interested in your opinion on it.

Nearly all my hard core work is work related..I run computer simulation modeling with heavy Oracle usage and some minor SQL developer etc. When I do bring work home (sad) I run all my stuff through parallels, no problems at all. Now I also travel a lot, and try to recreate my work environment as close as i can in a small a package as possible. This is why I went to the MBA, I have to be careful about what I run especially running two parallels machine at once, but my setup works great. I can still write all the trip reports and back briefs, run some testing in Parallels etc, it's perfect. Well perfect for me would be the MBA size with 8GB ram and quad core, but i am probably a couple of years too early:D

This is my experience, my colleague does the same job, he bought the 15" i7 MBP with 8GB ram, although he doesn't travel as much. He loves it and swears by it. He does use boot camp for XP, and uses parallels for Linux.

At the end of the day, I weighed all the pro's and con's, and went with the MBA, I have not been disappointed.

teerexx52
Mar 20, 2011, 06:56 PM
Nearly all my hard core work is work related..I run computer simulation modeling with heavy Oracle usage and some minor SQL developer etc. When I do bring work home (sad) I run all my stuff through parallels, no problems at all. Now I also travel a lot, and try to recreate my work environment as close as i can in a small a package as possible. This is why I went to the MBA, I have to be careful about what I run especially running two parallels machine at once, but my setup works great. I can still write all the trip reports and back briefs, run some testing in Parallels etc, it's perfect. Well perfect for me would be the MBA size with 8GB ram and quad core, but i am probably a couple of years too early:D

This is my experience, my colleague does the same job, he bought the 15" i7 MBP with 8GB ram, although he doesn't travel as much. He loves it and swears by it. He does use boot camp for XP, and uses parallels for Linux.

At the end of the day, I weighed all the pro's and con's, and went with the MBA, I have not been disappointed.

Thanks for the reply. My needs in a computer are much simpler now that I have retired. Just surfing, email, light photo work. It is just I have had 13" Macbook Pros until this 13" Air and loved the Pro. The SSd and higher res screen sold me on the air. My wife is going back to a 13" MacBook Pro from her 11" Air. She does much more work with Aperture and such than I do.She needs more storage. I think if the 13" Pro had a higher res screen I might go back to it. Anyways, for now I'm going to stick with the Air.

Psilocybin
Mar 20, 2011, 07:28 PM
Thanks...

I have been very fastidious about when to use the battery or mains power. When i'm settled at home, office or running a recent workshop, I use mains. Airports, travelling etc or just quick work I will use the battery. I have deliberately ran down the battery twice, once for calibration and once after using it for 2 months.

I'm probably too cautious...:D

Nothing wrong with being cautious. Proves you respect your electronics and want to get the most out of em. I do the same thing with some.

Thanks for the reply. My needs in a computer are much simpler now that I have retired. Just surfing, email, light photo work. It is just I have had 13" Macbook Pros until this 13" Air and loved the Pro. The SSd and higher res screen sold me on the air. My wife is going back to a 13" MacBook Pro from her 11" Air. She does much more work with Aperture and such than I do.She needs more storage. I think if the 13" Pro had a higher res screen I might go back to it. Anyways, for now I'm going to stick with the Air.

The 13" mbp has a higher Res screen than the 11" not 13" MBA

DeusInvictus7
Mar 20, 2011, 08:56 PM
The 13" mbp has a higher Res screen than the 11" not 13" MBA

No it doesn't. The 11" has 1366x768. 13" MBP has 1280x800.

matelot
Mar 20, 2011, 11:41 PM
did you check how hot the underside is when running 2 VMs ?