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Mastamarek
Jan 17, 2008, 01:48 PM
Welcome
I was reading many comments form many smart users from macrumors and a lot of them say, that the MBA is underpowered!! Now, I would just go on and read the next topic but they say it in every possible one and its not like one user but a bunch. So I think, did I miss something from the keynote or there really are other ultra-portable laptops with Quad-Xeon processors. So I did some research, and I could not find any ultra-portable laptop in screen range from 11-14' that weight <3lbs with anything close to C2D 1.6 not ULV!! So if anyone can please explain me this phenomenon of MBA being underpowered.
Thx in advance
Marek



PlaceofDis
Jan 17, 2008, 01:49 PM
its not.

people are saying that it is because the speed is less than a macbook.

which is ridiculous imo. its spec'ed just fine imo.

waterskier2007
Jan 17, 2008, 01:50 PM
Welcome
So I think, did I miss something from the keynote or there really are other ultra-portable laptops with Quad-Xeon processors....
Marek

the air is not a quad?

dpaanlka
Jan 17, 2008, 01:50 PM
Welcome to my response.

I don't know if I've seen a lot of people complaining about it being "underpowered" - mostly just people complaining that it doesn't have an optical drive or enough ports or 12 hour battery life or an espresso maker or a hair dryer attached to it.

Catch
Jan 17, 2008, 01:54 PM
Welcome to my response.

...or an espresso maker or a hair dryer attached to it.

Hehe that made me smile so thanks for that!

How many cores and how many Mhz does it take to run email, surf the web, type a report in word, work out some budgets in Excel, or prepare a presentation before watching a movie or listening to your favourite tunes, until the "Fasten Seat-belts" comes up? :D

Now if it could only get some more ice for that G&T...

Regards,


C

neiltc13
Jan 17, 2008, 01:55 PM
MacBook Air is a 13.3 inch notebook. Compared to other 13.3 inch notebooks it is underpowered. Certainly, if I was spending £1199 on a 13.3 inch notebook with Dell, they'd give me:

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz
4GB RAM
320GB SATA Hard Disk
nVidia Geforce 8400M GS 128MB

And I still wouldn't be hitting £1199. The price of that machine is £1099. With MacBook Air for £1199 you get:

Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6GHz
2GB RAM
80GB PATA Hard Disk
No proper GPU

I am kinda sick of people comparing MacBook to the Sony TZ or to proper ultraportable machines. The point of an ultraportable is not that it is thin but that it is smaller than other machines - MacBook Air is the same width and depth as a MacBook and is less powerful.

diabolic
Jan 17, 2008, 01:56 PM
people are saying that it is because the speed is less than a macbook.

That must be it, because everything else in the same weight/thickness range has a less powerful processor.

I think most of them are just dismissing the thickness as a gimmick that doesn't matter. To me it's a feature that allows less weight while still keeping a bigger screen and full-sized keyboard. I wouldn't compromise on the keyboard or go below a 13" screen in order to gain a smaller footprint, so it's perfect for me.

MacBook Air is the same width and depth as a MacBook and is less powerful.

And still it takes up significantly less volume and weighs less. There is a trade-off for this device.

lasuther
Jan 17, 2008, 02:05 PM
Welcome
I was reading many comments form many smart users from macrumors and a lot of them say, that the MBA is underpowered!! Now, I would just go on and read the next topic but they say it in every possible one and its not like one user but a bunch. So I think, did I miss something from the keynote or there really are other ultra-portable laptops with Quad-Xeon processors. So I did some research, and I could not find any ultra-portable laptop in screen range from 11-14' that weight <3lbs with anything close to C2D 1.6 not ULV!! So if anyone can please explain me this phenomenon of MBA being underpowered.
Thx in advance
Marek

The MacBook Air isnít an ultra-portable. Itís a really thin and much better looking MacBook.

The reason so many people think its underpowered is comparing a MBA with 1.6Ghz, 2Gig of Ram, and a small 4200rpm HD to a cheaper MacBook which can get 2.2GHz, 4 Gigs of Ram, and a big 7200rpm HD. When you buy a MBA, you are paying more for less (size, power, and features). Some like it, some donít.

Engage
Jan 17, 2008, 02:06 PM
MacBook Air is a 13.3 inch notebook. Compared to other 13.3 inch notebooks it is underpowered. Certainly, if I was spending £1199 on a 13.3 inch notebook with Dell, they'd give me:

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz
4GB RAM
320GB SATA Hard Disk
nVidia Geforce 8400M GS 128MB

And I still wouldn't be hitting £1199. The price of that machine is £1099. With MacBook Air for £1199 you get:

Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6GHz
2GB RAM
80GB PATA Hard Disk
No proper GPU

I am kinda sick of people comparing MacBook to the Sony TZ or to proper ultraportable machines. The point of an ultraportable is not that it is thin but that it is smaller than other machines - MacBook Air is the same width and depth as a MacBook and is less powerful.

... yeah and dont forget that dell has that bto option for blu ray at just over 150 bucks. I completely agree with you on the portability also.

Mastamarek
Jan 17, 2008, 02:06 PM
MacBook Air is a 13.3 inch notebook. Compared to other 13.3 inch notebooks it is underpowered. Certainly, if I was spending £1199 on a 13.3 inch notebook with Dell, they'd give me:

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz
4GB RAM
320GB SATA Hard Disk
nVidia Geforce 8400M GS 128MB

And I still wouldn't be hitting £1199. The price of that machine is £1099. With MacBook Air for £1199 you get:

Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6GHz
2GB RAM
80GB PATA Hard Disk
No proper GPU

I am kinda sick of people comparing MacBook to the Sony TZ or to proper ultraportable machines. The point of an ultraportable is not that it is thin but that it is smaller than other machines - MacBook Air is the same width and depth as a MacBook and is less powerful.

Good point, but ....
This 13.3' phenomenon is another interesting thing. I travel a lot. Usually fly once a week so n ultra-portable is a great solution for me. Now I used the TZ series. Great laptops, but I dont use half of what is offers on the plane. I mean I dont edit videos, so I dont need FireWire, I do not hook up my laptop to ethernet port + pretty much everything else. Now the sony is small. For my needs it might be even too small. The keyboard is a pain to use and the small screen is unreadable when using "word" type documents. Its light thought and that what counts for me. Ohhh and the TZ sereies are ullltrraaaa slow, escepcially running vista!! Now the MBA, is just as light, comfortably bigger and half as thick. I understand that this kind of laptop is targeted at me. Travel a lot, need something compact. Now I would trade the TZ series for MB anytime!! I dont use half of the ports on the TZ, its too small for typing documents and is ullltttraaaa slooow. Now MBA offers none of that, so how can people not call it ultra-portable. Does it really have to be 8' display or size of an iPhone??? I look at the TZ series and I think of them more as a gadget and when I think of MBA I actually think it might be the first comfortably usable ultra-portable.

Catch
Jan 17, 2008, 02:07 PM
The point of an ultraportable is not that it is thin but that it is smaller than other machines - MacBook Air is the same width and depth as a MacBook and is less powerful.

Who's definition of an ultra-portable is that? I kind of see your argument, but I cannot agree with it. Unless you walk around with your ultra-portable in your hand/handbag! then weight and thickness is more important to me...

C

Engage
Jan 17, 2008, 02:10 PM
Who's definition of an ultra-portable is that? I kind of see your argument, but I cannot agree with it. Unless you walk around with your ultra-portable in your hand/handbag! then weight and thickness is more important to me...

C

I would like to walk around with it in my hand/handbag. that to me is ultra portable (a definition that is fulfilled when looking at sony's true portable laptops, and others in its class). an mbp wont fit in my backpack. neither will the mba. if you call the mba portable then so is the mbp.

dpaanlka
Jan 17, 2008, 02:12 PM
MacBook Air will certainly fit in my backpack, and weigh a hell of a lot less than what I stuff in there now.

Catch
Jan 17, 2008, 02:14 PM
an mbp wont fit in my backpack. neither will the mba. if you call the mba portable then so is the mbp.

The MacBookPro is very portable I agree. The MBA is more so. I need portability, but not at the expense of productivity. The MBA is the best of both worlds. I would use my iPhone if I needed less productivity and even more portability.

C

Mastamarek
Jan 17, 2008, 02:15 PM
I would like to walk around with it in my hand/handbag. that to me is ultra portable (a definition that is fulfilled when looking at sony's true portable laptops, and others in its class). an mbp wont fit in my backpack. neither will the mba. if you call the mba portable then so is the mbp.

So MBP is not portable?? U cant take it anywhere?? also u cant fit MBA in your backpack?? handbags?? Like this?? http://www.gucci.com/us/us-english/us/spring-summer-08/handbags/#197015_BCC8G_5647

bump, anybody can explain me this phenomenon??? How is MBA underpowered and not ultra-portable??

jackc
Jan 17, 2008, 02:48 PM
bump, anybody can explain me this phenomenon??? How is MBA underpowered and not ultra-portable??

You've seen all possible opinions on it by now, there's no other explanation. People define it differently.

Cloudsurfer
Jan 17, 2008, 02:54 PM
The Mac mini even ran at 1,5 GHz and I never heard anyone complain. The MBA is not meant for heavy computing. For it's purpose, 1.6 is more than enough.

Block
Jan 17, 2008, 02:58 PM
It is ultra-portable and it isn't underpowered for an ULTRAPORTABLE.

However, an ultra-portable like the Air has a very small market. The main reason for this is because the Macbook offers better speed and features than the Macbook Air for much less.

The situation boils down to whether a slightly thinner laptop that weighs 3 pounds as opposed to 5 pounds and is weaker than the alternative is worth the extra cash. To most users it is not, hence them calling it "underpowered." There are some users that this might fit the needs of, but from the forums consensus, most people won't need something like it unless for a fashion statement.

EvryDayImShufln
Jan 17, 2008, 02:58 PM
MacBook Air is a 13.3 inch notebook. Compared to other 13.3 inch notebooks it is underpowered. Certainly, if I was spending £1199 on a 13.3 inch notebook with Dell, they'd give me:

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz
4GB RAM
320GB SATA Hard Disk
nVidia Geforce 8400M GS 128MB

And I still wouldn't be hitting £1199. The price of that machine is £1099. With MacBook Air for £1199 you get:

Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6GHz
2GB RAM
80GB PATA Hard Disk
No proper GPU

I am kinda sick of people comparing MacBook to the Sony TZ or to proper ultraportable machines. The point of an ultraportable is not that it is thin but that it is smaller than other machines - MacBook Air is the same width and depth as a MacBook and is less powerful.

And I'm sick of hearing that it is not an ultraportable just because it's footprint is bigger. I don't know what you people put your ultraportables in, wallets, letter envelopes, etc, but honestly to me if I needed one it would probably be the weight that is the biggest issue. You can't compare the dell M1330 to the Macbook Air at all! You can compare that dell to the macbook though.

The Macbook Air needs some work, and I wouldn't buy it, but not because it has the same footprint as the macbook but for other reasons.

Ryan T.
Jan 17, 2008, 03:02 PM
If people are complaining about the CPU, they're way off, that won't be even close to being the bottleneck on the MBA. 2GB of RAM soldered in is concerning, but will be fine for now.

The big concern is the 1.8" 4200RPM hard drive. If you can't afford the SSD, this drive is just going to be deathly slow. Trust me on this one, I owned a Thinkpad X41 Tablet with the 1.8" drive and although I fully expect OS X to be snappier than XP on the drive, be prepared for a major slow down in boot and app load times. A system is only as strong as it's weakest link, and the MBA's weakest link by far is the anemic albeit likely necessarily slow disk.

diabolic
Jan 17, 2008, 03:07 PM
A system is only as strong as it's weakest link, and the MBA's weakest link by far is the anemic albeit likely necessarily slow disk.

The people who had first hand experience using them at MacWorld said they didn't seem slow. Apple said the demo units were using the 80GB hard drives.

But I was concerned enough about it to order the SSD. :)

em500
Jan 17, 2008, 03:42 PM
Welcome
So I did some research, and I could not find any ultra-portable laptop in screen range from 11-14' that weight <3lbs with anything close to C2D 1.6 not ULV!!

The ThinkPad X61s is 12", 3lbs, slightly thicker but smaller in the other dimensions than the MBA, and has the same CPU options.

em500
Jan 17, 2008, 03:46 PM
You can't compare the dell M1330 to the Macbook Air at all! You can compare that dell to the macbook though.

If you can compare the MacBook to the Dell M1330, you can compare the M1330 to a MacBook Air, because in terms of size and weight, the M1330 is exactly in the middle of those two. But it does not make any of the compromises in terms of cut features that the Air does.

icecone
Jan 17, 2008, 03:57 PM
the 1.8" 4200rpm PATA harddrive is very slow compared to the 2.5" 7200rpm SATA harddrive you're now using. You'll notice significant longer boot time and loading times

MacBooksRock
Jan 17, 2008, 03:59 PM
thank god it doesnt look like the sony tz!!!

Ryan T.
Jan 17, 2008, 03:59 PM
The people who had first hand experience using them at MacWorld said they didn't seem slow. Apple said the demo units were using the 80GB hard drives.

But I was concerned enough about it to order the SSD. :)

I realize, but I wouldn't consider that empirical evidence. There is no question they're going to be much slower than the 2.5" 5400RPM and 7200RPM drives, but the real question will be if it's distractingly slow as it was on the X40/X41 from IBM.

Hansii
Feb 10, 2008, 05:34 PM
Sorry for hijacking the thread, but I was wondering how well the MBA work with heavy web use? At any time I have about 40 tabs open in Opera and Firefox, some of them auto refresh so they are not just static pages. I read in the Ars Technica review that heavy Firefox use made the MBA slow down, they tested the 1.6, I have ordered the 1.8 HDD, plus Opera works better with many tabs open.

stainlessliquid
Feb 10, 2008, 05:47 PM
Your first was mistake was to assume that people are saying its under powered "compared to other ultra portables". They arent saying that. They are saying its underpowered period. Most people think all ultra portables are underpowered stupid little computers for how much you pay, dont think that the MBA is being singled out as being underpowered (maybe underfeatured though).

In its price range you can get a MBP. Compared to other computers in its price range it is underpowered.

I think a 1.8ghz C2D is a great processor for a laptop that has great speed. But not for a $2000+ laptop.

illian
Feb 10, 2008, 06:10 PM
In its price range you can get a MBP. Compared to other computers in its price range it is underpowered.

I think a 1.8ghz C2D is a great processor for a laptop that has great speed. But not for a $2000+ laptop.

so which cpu would you prefer in a small notebook?!

mashoutposse
Feb 10, 2008, 06:43 PM
The MacBook Air isn’t an ultra-portable.

It's volume is the same or less than the majority of "ultraportables."

Footprint ceases to matter once it can't fit in a pocket. And if its footprint is the same as or less than that of the typical papers and folders that most of us carry with our laptops, it REALLY doesn't matter.

The ThinkPad X61s is 12", 3lbs, slightly thicker but smaller in the other dimensions than the MBA, and has the same CPU options.

Definitely not "slightly thicker" -- it is double the thickness on average. That means double the volume, which means double the space to cram stuff in. And also double the space occupied in your bag.

cohibadad
Feb 10, 2008, 07:42 PM
MBA isn't underpowered. It's no powerhouse workstation but it is plenty for what I use it for. I don't know what the definition of an ultraportable is but I do know that picking up a MBP 15 feels like lifting a brick to me now.

kabunaru
Feb 10, 2008, 07:55 PM
Welcome
I was reading many comments form many smart users from macrumors and a lot of them say, that the MBA is underpowered!! Now, I would just go on and read the next topic but they say it in every possible one and its not like one user but a bunch. So I think, did I miss something from the keynote or there really are other ultra-portable laptops with Quad-Xeon processors. So I did some research, and I could not find any ultra-portable laptop in screen range from 11-14' that weight <3lbs with anything close to C2D 1.6 not ULV!! So if anyone can please explain me this phenomenon of MBA being underpowered.
Thx in advance
Marek

It would still be a fine computer and will serve people well.

aiongiant
Feb 10, 2008, 08:00 PM
this thread can go on forever lol
everyone has thier own definition of what ultra portable is and what underpowered is etc etc

for it's weight class i believe it's plenty powerful...
and how thin it is and it's light weight matters more than footprint

it's like holding a brick vs a piece of paper
yes the paper has a bigger footprint but also alot lighter and thiner :rolleyes: than the brick.. which would you rather carry around? =)

shafj
Feb 11, 2008, 12:29 AM
it's like holding a brick vs a piece of paper
yes the paper has a bigger footprint but also alot lighter and thiner :rolleyes: than the brick.. which would you rather carry around? =)

Perfect analogy! :)

Weight and thickness generally matter more than footprint when it comes to portability (as long as the footprint is of reasonable size of course).

The MBA is about the same footprint as a sheet of paper. Therefore the MBA will fit in most briefcases no matter how thin the briefcase is.

Unless you plan to bring around your ultraportable in a purse than the MBA will fit most briefcases and bags.

I have a Sony Vaio TR series laptop. This thing has a tiny footprint but it's also realtively thick. I normally use a normal briefcase and when its loaded with papers and folders, I have trouble fitting in the Vaio because of its thickness.

pothen
Feb 11, 2008, 01:12 AM
if your really interested in comparing it to the MBP via the ratio of what if can do to $$$$, then it might be, but it still has it's advantages.

i love it:D

kockgunner
Feb 11, 2008, 01:39 AM
its not underpowered. Half the 'midrange' laptops at best buy have 1.67 ghz amd turions and they don't even have 2gb of ram. My cousin recently got a supposed 'gaming' laptop with a 1.67 ghz processor.

CaptainCaveMann
Feb 11, 2008, 02:33 AM
Welcome
I was reading many comments form many smart users from macrumors and a lot of them say, that the MBA is underpowered!! Now, I would just go on and read the next topic but they say it in every possible one and its not like one user but a bunch. So I think, did I miss something from the keynote or there really are other ultra-portable laptops with Quad-Xeon processors. So I did some research, and I could not find any ultra-portable laptop in screen range from 11-14' that weight <3lbs with anything close to C2D 1.6 not ULV!! So if anyone can please explain me this phenomenon of MBA being underpowered.
Thx in advance
Marek

No, it's not underpowered. Does that answer your question? :rolleyes:

Your gonna have to be way more specific here.

jameskohn
Feb 11, 2008, 03:21 PM
I have an MBA (1.8 SSD) and i love it. Fact remains: MBA is Apples least powerful laptop. It's a reasonable trade off for the thinner, lighter form factor, but it is still the least powerful laptop Apple makes right now.

mashinhead
Feb 11, 2008, 04:24 PM
i don't consider it underpowered in terms of processor speed, especially if you're considering the 1.8 processor. But I do consider it underpowered because it can't hold 4 gb of ram. If it had that, which has nothing to do with physical space, i wouldn't consider it underpowered.

Catch
Feb 11, 2008, 04:41 PM
I don't understand this fascination with power? Its a 1.6-1.8 C2D processor. It is faster than me or my applications. Benchmarks mean nothing in the real world unless you are trying to shave time off of compressing video or are visualizing in 3D applications etc. If you are doing any of these kinds of applications professionally, ANY laptop will be an anchor. Buy a workstation. No self respecting video pro sits rendering a feature film on the train. If you are a gamer don't buy the MBA. If you are a run of the mill user the MBA is powerful enough to crunch spreadsheets, presentations and spellcheck your novel.

Anyone that buys a laptop based on benchmarks needs to come back down to earth. It was some time since we had machines that were slower than what we can type and think.

I used to upgrade my workstation every year until my G5. I kept it for 4 years as it was an incredible machine. I only upgraded because I like the technology in the new MacPros and always wanted to be able to boot into XP for accounting functions. The power is wasted on me.

Anyone that reads the MBA forums thinking about getting one does not need a more powerful machine. If they did they would know not to waste their time whining on here...

C

MacRumorUser
Feb 11, 2008, 04:53 PM
I don't understand this fascination with power? Its a 1.6-1.8 C2D processor. It is faster than me or my applications. Benchmarks mean nothing in the real world unless you are trying to shave time off of compressing video or are visualizing in 3D applications etc. If you are doing any of these kinds of applications professionally, ANY laptop will be an anchor. Buy a workstation. No self respecting video pro sits rendering a feature film on the train. If you are a gamer don't buy the MBA. If you are a run of the mill user the MBA is powerful enough to crunch spreadsheets, presentations and spellcheck your novel.

Agree with you completely. Apple already provide two other laptops with varying degrees of customisation. If the MBA doesn't suit your needs, then simply look elsewhere.

The MBA is one laptop solution for some. It was never designed to suit ALL. If it was then Apple would have 1 laptop solution in 1 configuration, but it doesn't.

ddd269
Feb 11, 2008, 08:46 PM
Agree with you completely. Apple already provide two other laptops with varying degrees of customisation. If the MBA doesn't suit your needs, then simply look elsewhere.

The MBA is one laptop solution for some. It was never designed to suit ALL. If it was then Apple would have 1 laptop solution in 1 configuration, but it doesn't.

or better yet... buy them all! :D :apple:

cedar
Feb 11, 2008, 09:08 PM
Welcome
I was reading many comments form many smart users from macrumors and a lot of them say, that the MBA is underpowered!! Now, I would just go on and read the next topic but they say it in every possible one and its not like one user but a bunch. So I think, did I miss something from the keynote or there really are other ultra-portable laptops with Quad-Xeon processors. So I did some research, and I could not find any ultra-portable laptop in screen range from 11-14' that weight <3lbs with anything close to C2D 1.6 not ULV!! So if anyone can please explain me this phenomenon of MBA being underpowered.
Thx in advance
Marek
When in doubt, get the MBP or one of the MB's. The MBA is for the sophisticated buyer who knows very well what he wants and how it fits his needs, and is willing to spring for the extra dollars to get it. The MBA is not for the insecure or someone lacking in confidence.

zapp
Feb 11, 2008, 09:31 PM
.....it's like holding a brick vs a piece of paper
yes the paper has a bigger footprint but also alot lighter and thiner :rolleyes: than the brick.. which would you rather carry around? =)

Well a brick might come in handy sometimes, like when you are getting mugged, you could through it at the mugger. Unless there are more than one mugger, then you need more bricks, probably why Dell still stays in business.

tstarks33
Feb 11, 2008, 11:26 PM
Agree with you completely. Apple already provide two other laptops with varying degrees of customisation. If the MBA doesn't suit your needs, then simply look elsewhere.

The MBA is one laptop solution for some. It was never designed to suit ALL. If it was then Apple would have 1 laptop solution in 1 configuration, but it doesn't.

I am getting so tired of hearing this. "It's a soln for some, but not all, may not be for you, etc etc." Yes, we all know this. We do! That doesn't mean a damn thing. We can still discuss the machine, and for some, it is underpowered for whatever reason. In your world, no one should ever complain about anything, because if you have a complaint, then it wasn't made for you. It was made just for the people who find no fault at all with the machine. That's just idiotic. You can't keep narrowing down the applicable market until 100% of that market is 100% satisfied.

That said, I have no problem with the power of the MBA, with the exception of the slow std hard drive.

katejones
Feb 12, 2008, 12:30 AM
Depends if your comparing it by weight, size or cost.

For the same price you can buy a more powerfull machine. For the same size you can get a more powerfull machine.

It excels in it's low weight while retaining a 13 inch size.

People just need to be aware if there expecting the MBA to be lighter,faster and cost less than a macbook there going to be dissapointed and that is why people consider it underpowered.

Beric
Feb 12, 2008, 12:41 AM
If the MBA were a 12 or 11-inch, and the same thickness and other specs as it is now, I would be happy. For the things I do, I don't need a high-end system. However, I use an optical drive on my MB, so the MBA wouldn't work for me.

Thinness is good, but Apple should have an option for a smaller footprint as well. And the optical drive is still critical for just too many users. But the system specs are incredible for a laptop of that size, and the average user doesn't need more.