PDA

View Full Version : Praising the new MacBook Air and some observations (nitpicking)




nyc4lifedt
Aug 9, 2011, 11:27 PM
Purchased MacBook Air 2011 13 inch, the top stock model (4GB, 256GB SSD). Absolutely, hands down, the best computer I've owned ever. Beautiful design, light, portable, fast and even packs power. This will change a lot with all future Apple computers as certainly most will follow MacBook Air.

No optical drive, no ethernet port, no firewire, no issues. Things are moving to digital and wireless, and I never used those features on my previous MacBook Pros or iMacs anyway.

Anyone that never used SSD before, will get spoiled right away. It's so fast and smooth, you can't really go back to HDD after tasting SSD.

BUT. I had to return it, since it didn't fit my needs. Shame.

Probably for 99% of users out there, the new MacBook Air can and should be considered for your primary and only computer. Mac OS X Lion is almost built strictly FOR the new MacBook Air. Multitouch gestures, multiple desktops, etc, all makes using MacBook Air a joy.

Now things to consider.

1) Cinema Display. I have the three year old 24 inch Apple Cinema Display. I like to dock my notebook at home to it and use it as a desktop. Knowing the MacBook Air has integrated graphics card, it would be pushing it. Everyday tasks run fine. Mail, iTunes, Safari works fine. But the base temperature will be above 60 degrees Celsius, quickly overheats once you run YouTube or HD video onto Cinema Display. Runs up to 80 and 90 degrees range and the fan starts to kick in. Running the videos and heavy tasks on MacBook Air alone works fine, even faster than my previous MacBook Pro. New Thunderbolt Cinema Display might change things, who knows.

2) Virtual Machines. Boot Camp should run much smoother on MacBook Air, but Virtual Machine does push the processor. I have some outdated Windows programs that I run sometimes and VMWare Fusion does eat up a lot of resource.

3) Disk Space. My iTunes library is around 150GB including music and video, and installing Applications do eat up quickly. Going backwards from 500GB Hard drive to 256GB, you'll have to make sure you have plenty of space.

All these nitpicks, I knew this. For power users like myself that do video editing sometimes and have a lot of things stored, MBA might just be a dream machine. For most users, buy the darn thing. The design won't change anytime soon and the specs of the current generation should stay competitive for awhile.

As for me, going back to MacBook Pro. Now I have to go harass MBP forums and jump on the "when does the new design come out?" sections...



vitzr
Aug 9, 2011, 11:36 PM
Probably for 99% of users out there, the new MacBook Air can and should be considered for your primary and only computer.

That's a very odd assumption.

Epic Xbox Revie
Aug 9, 2011, 11:54 PM
That's a very odd assumption.

I wouldn't say 99% of all users.... I would say 99% of very basic computer users. i.e. email, web browsing, and light itunes.

KPOM
Aug 10, 2011, 12:40 AM
I wouldn't say 99% of all users.... I would say 99% of very basic computer users. i.e. email, web browsing, and light itunes.

What do you think most of use use our computers for? Plus, the i5/i7 can handle a lot more. 99% of users could probably at least get by, and a majority can do just fine with the MacBook Air without noticing what a faster processor would do.

meistervu
Aug 10, 2011, 01:51 AM
The "good enough for 99% users" statement is interesting when I really thought about it.

I don't play games, so I can't speak from the experience of a gamer, but my impression is that you want a machine with faster graphics. So for gamers, the MBA is probably not a good choice.

If you are not a gamer, the MBA is a lot more appealing. My previous laptop was 6 years old, and when I got it, it was really fast for what I wanted to do which included software development and some Photoshop work. It came with a 60GB HD. I didn't think I need a faster machine then.

Fast forward to 2011, my new MBA feels a few times faster, and I got 4 times as much storage space. Heck, compared to my 4 year old MacPro with 4 Xeon processors, the MBA feels faster for most tasks I throw at it, and the MacPro is not a slow machine.

It's hard to imagine most people who are not gamers needing a faster machine. I am not talking about wanting, but needing.

As a photographer, not professional but enthusiast, I understand the need for more disk space. But that's where storage servers or external hard drives come in to play. You can't store everything on your laptop because you need a redundant storage any way, so if you need more storage, chances are no laptop is going satisfy you so external storage is the solution any way.

So while I think the MBA won't satisfy the need of 99% of the population (there appears to be quite a few gamers out there), the figure is pretty close, as long as you discount the people who need reading glasses and refuses to wear them :)

misterneums
Aug 10, 2011, 02:46 AM
@ the OP - At least your honest. Those are pretty nitpicky things. I haven't attempted to have my 13" drive any other monitors, so I cannot provide any feedback on that. (Incidentally, I haven't ordered any mini-displayport adaptors yet.)

RobQuads
Aug 10, 2011, 03:34 AM
But the base temperature will be above 60 degrees Celsius, quickly overheats once you run YouTube or HD video onto Cinema Display. Runs up to 80 and 90 degrees range and the fan starts to kick in. Running the videos and heavy tasks on MacBook Air alone works fine, even faster than my previous MacBook Pro..

I think you need to replace overheats with gets warm. The CPU is designed to run at <100 degrees. As long as its running in that window there is nothing wrong so while it may be a little noisy to cool when its running hot its not 'overheating'

Saturn007
Aug 10, 2011, 05:42 AM
Not nitpicks at all.

If it gets hot and noisy, those are major downers!

There are many posts around the net complaining that the new MBAs are not good in those two key areas. Many have described the previous MBAs as "cool" and "quiet"-- never hearing them, never noticing them heatwise--but very quickly hearing and feeling their new MBAs.

A laptop should be seen and not heard! :)

Of course, the new ones are faster, have backlit keyboards, Thunderbolt, the 13" has SD card slot, etc. But I was hoping for an iPad Mac--cool, quiet, just there, with blazing speed and instant on. If I hear it and can't use it with my shorts on , I won't buy it. The iPad has spoiled us.

kilonet
Aug 10, 2011, 05:50 AM
YouTube ie Flash will make fans/processor grazy even without external monitor. This I think is known issue with Flash/Lion and can be avoided.

Virtual Machines I dont know about this but Id like to know if this is only a Windows issue or does Parallels have any similar problems?

Disk Space and iTunes and photos and videos. I keep my iTunes library and other media in external storage.

alecgold
Aug 10, 2011, 06:27 AM
2) Virtual Machines. Boot Camp should run much smoother on MacBook Air, but Virtual Machine does push the processor. I have some outdated Windows programs that I run sometimes and VMWare Fusion does eat up a lot of resource.


I run parallels with windows XP and even running two separate XP's and a lot of other things (word, excel, large pdf-files, mail, safari, iTunes, ical, Skype and some more) I never had any trouble with the VM's eating to much resources.
perhaps you need to update the VMWare?
Or switch to Parallels :D

3bs
Aug 10, 2011, 06:42 AM
Not nitpicks at all.

If it gets hot and noisy, those are major downers!

There are many posts around the net complaining that the new MBAs are not good in those two key areas. Many have described the previous MBAs as "cool" and "quiet"-- never hearing them, never noticing them heatwise--but very quickly hearing and feeling their new MBAs.

A laptop should be seen and not heard! :)

Of course, the new ones are faster, have backlit keyboards, Thunderbolt, the 13" has SD card slot, etc. But I was hoping for an iPad Mac--cool, quiet, just there, with blazing speed and instant on. If I hear it and can't use it with my shorts on , I won't buy it. The iPad has spoiled us.

I definitely feel and hear my late 2010 11"