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View Full Version : Feedback on a 2012 MBA from a student.




Gorrfink
Nov 14, 2012, 07:14 PM
Hi all, been lurking since I got my 13.5 I7/8/256 MBA 2.5 months ago. I am not an apple fanboy by any means, used windows laptops since '96ish, but felt that after learning so much from you guys prior to purchasing, that I should offer my feedback for people a few months later.

Context:
I am currently doing an MA in business related field in UK. I am a mature student (40), enjoying my self imposed middle-aged sabbatical. It seemed a lot more sensible than buying a 1967 Triumph and coasting down Route 66... I live 3 miles from Uni, and take the bus in every day due to parking restrictions. I am comfortable from a financial pov but not rich. Enough preamble....

Currently, I have open Word for Mac with 5 files open (text only) 3 Powerpoint pres open ( about 100 slides). Mail open, apple mail looking after my hotmail and gmail. Firefox (sorry safari, you're not there yet!) with 9 tabs open (doing research) Preview open with 4 docs open (more research, meh) Growly notes with about 150 pages of notes(imo easier to use than evernote) , recordings, pdf's photos, etc etc. Also open are various apps, like a pdf scanner, pic snip, RSS feed, dropbox, battery reader.
I'm listening to music, and have a few thousand songs now on my ssd.

I can zip from app to app, screen to screen, zoom in and out on text (my eyes are old and bent) without a single hiccup, stutter, or anything slightly annoying. I was positively surprised by the speed it has.

Screen: Oh noes, I was sooo disappointed to learn I had an LG screen. I had read all the comments on how bad they are. Visibility should be awful as well, apparently. Well it's not. It's fine for my usage.

Weight: I thought a half bag of sugar weight difference would make no odds, but it actually does. I can pass it over to a friend with one hand easily. People seem to think about weight in relative terms, not when you are holding one edge and passing it to someone else. It's little things like that that actually DO make a difference (at least to me). It's small enough to be a durable little bugger, but I wouldn't go bouncing it around to prove a point.

Battery: I have 2x 3 hr lectures a day. I follow the sop on trying to increase battery length. After 6 hours, I usually have about 50% left. I can go to the library and the battery lasts a lot longer than I do.

Magsafe:I only connect it at home, but so far magsafe has saved my laptop from dropping to the floor twice. People don't seem to notice small designy things like that until you think "um ok, so that could have been disastrous".

What would I do differently? I would definitely keep the RAM upgrade. No question. The SSD? Um probably. As a student, I want to keep all my research PDF's in one place, so Growly notes can access them in real time. I don't want to have to worry about space any time this year. I have 200GB left on my ssd, and 10 months of my course to go, so that should be on target for EOY.

The I7 upgrade? I can give or take it tbh. All I can look at is the current responsiveness my laptop has and say I am incredibly happy with it. Would it be the same with an I5? Most likely yes. Would I take the risk and down-change my processor? No.

Yoga Pants. All the girls in yoga pants love playing with my apple. But that falls under my own Murtagh list....

Anyway, I hope this helps someone, somewhere, on any side of the world make a decision, be it for or against getting a mac. For me, the ability to whizz between Word, PP, Growly, Preview, mail and web with a flick of the hand makes note taking a pleasure - and that for me is a big thing. I actually still enjoy taking notes on my laptop rather than falling half asleep and watching the world drift by outside. That is worth more to me than a Triumph and Route 66 any day.

Kindly regards
Gorrfink



AdonisSMU
Nov 14, 2012, 08:24 PM
Hi all, been lurking since I got my 13.5 I7/8/256 MBA 2.5 months ago. I am not an apple fanboy by any means, used windows laptops since '96ish, but felt that after learning so much from you guys prior to purchasing, that I should offer my feedback for people a few months later.

Context:
I am currently doing an MA in business related field in UK. I am a mature student (40), enjoying my self imposed middle-aged sabbatical. It seemed a lot more sensible than buying a 1967 Triumph and coasting down Route 66... I live 3 miles from Uni, and take the bus in every day due to parking restrictions. I am comfortable from a financial pov but not rich. Enough preamble....

Currently, I have open Word for Mac with 5 files open (text only) 3 Powerpoint pres open ( about 100 slides). Mail open, apple mail looking after my hotmail and gmail. Firefox (sorry safari, you're not there yet!) with 9 tabs open (doing research) Preview open with 4 docs open (more research, meh) Growly notes with about 150 pages of notes(imo easier to use than evernote) , recordings, pdf's photos, etc etc. Also open are various apps, like a pdf scanner, pic snip, RSS feed, dropbox, battery reader.
I'm listening to music, and have a few thousand songs now on my ssd.

I can zip from app to app, screen to screen, zoom in and out on text (my eyes are old and bent) without a single hiccup, stutter, or anything slightly annoying. I was positively surprised by the speed it has.

Screen: Oh noes, I was sooo disappointed to learn I had an LG screen. I had read all the comments on how bad they are. Visibility should be awful as well, apparently. Well it's not. It's fine for my usage.

Weight: I thought a half bag of sugar weight difference would make no odds, but it actually does. I can pass it over to a friend with one hand easily. People seem to think about weight in relative terms, not when you are holding one edge and passing it to someone else. It's little things like that that actually DO make a difference (at least to me). It's small enough to be a durable little bugger, but I wouldn't go bouncing it around to prove a point.

Battery: I have 2x 3 hr lectures a day. I follow the sop on trying to increase battery length. After 6 hours, I usually have about 50% left. I can go to the library and the battery lasts a lot longer than I do.

Magsafe:I only connect it at home, but so far magsafe has saved my laptop from dropping to the floor twice. People don't seem to notice small designy things like that until you think "um ok, so that could have been disastrous".

What would I do differently? I would definitely keep the RAM upgrade. No question. The SSD? Um probably. As a student, I want to keep all my research PDF's in one place, so Growly notes can access them in real time. I don't want to have to worry about space any time this year. I have 200GB left on my ssd, and 10 months of my course to go, so that should be on target for EOY.

The I7 upgrade? I can give or take it tbh. All I can look at is the current responsiveness my laptop has and say I am incredibly happy with it. Would it be the same with an I5? Most likely yes. Would I take the risk and down-change my processor? No.

Yoga Pants. All the girls in yoga pants love playing with my apple. But that falls under my own Murtagh list....

Anyway, I hope this helps someone, somewhere, on any side of the world make a decision, be it for or against getting a mac. For me, the ability to whizz between Word, PP, Growly, Preview, mail and web with a flick of the hand makes note taking a pleasure - and that for me is a big thing. I actually still enjoy taking notes on my laptop rather than falling half asleep and watching the world drift by outside. That is worth more to me than a Triumph and Route 66 any day.

Kindly regards
Gorrfink
Ram what ram do you have?

.:R2theT
Nov 14, 2012, 09:00 PM
Ram what ram do you have?

It looks like 8 to me.

Hi all, been lurking since I got my 13.5 I7/8/256 MBA 2.5 months ago.

DollaTwentyFive
Nov 14, 2012, 09:08 PM
Thanks for the thoughtful post. Should help a lot of people. I'm a fan of the MBA myself, as I don't really do anything that requires and MBP. The small amount of weight difference makes a surprisingly big difference as you have stated.

oldtime
Nov 15, 2012, 10:31 AM
Nice post. Been thinking about getting this same MBA and my use for it would be similar to yours.

Mafamaticks
Nov 15, 2012, 11:01 AM
lol @ the Murtagh list

AdonisSMU
Nov 15, 2012, 11:12 AM
It looks like 8 to me.

I looked at that part too fast...