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kuwisdelu
Jan 31, 2008, 11:17 AM
Many people have pointed out the fact that the footprint of the MacBook Air is no smaller than the regular MacBook as a flaw, claiming that it's not a true ultraportable because of this. Obviously, Apple decided to do a different direction than many ultraportables, and wanted a full-size keyboard and screen, opting for thinness over a smaller footprint.

Personally, I think that was a pretty good choice--it offers a different kind of ultraportable from the others out on the market. At the same time, I think it would be pretty cool if Apple also released at 12" MacBook Pro to replace the old 12" PowerBook. For my own use, I see the usefulness of a thin, light computer over a smaller footprint in that I'm going to be carrying a bag anyway. My bag also has notebooks in it and possibly textbooks, all of which are at the very least the same footprint size as the MacBook Air, so a smaller footprint wouldn't help me any, while the thinness may mean I could carry an extra textbook or a few more notebooks. Also, I'm not sure I could justify sacrificing much more screen real estate (for my purposes) just to have a smaller footprint, which won't help me much.

Now obviously, many others disagree, and want a smaller footprint, not seeing the point of thinness. I'm wondering how a smaller footprint is very useful, which is why I'm asking (not saying it isn't, just curious why people like what they do). So I'd like to hear what everyone here's reasons are for wanting what they do. Do you prefer small footprint or thinness? Which do you find more useful, and why?

Edit for wordmunger's point: Also, who finds weight most important, and how do all three influence your decisions?



wordmunger
Jan 31, 2008, 11:22 AM
Honestly, neither one matters that much to me. It's the WEIGHT.

I *must* have a full-size keyboard (I'm a writer), so I'd never buy an ultraportable that had a small keyboard. The macbook air looks great to me.

Unfortunately I won't be getting one -- I can't justify the cost. But it sure is a nice computer. I'll be drooling over my wife's MBA (which her employer is buying her in a few months).

tuneman07
Jan 31, 2008, 11:33 AM
I always considered an ultraportable to be very small, much smaller than your standard laptop (Macbook for instance). Something like the Iphone really- this is something very small that handles very basic computing like E-mail or maybe some mild note taking. I think the problem people see with the MBA is that it is basically the same size, needing essentially the same amount of space- sure it tapers down smaller but the majority of the computer isn't much smaller than the MB so when it comes to real world portability you only lose a small amount of the thickness and 2 pounds. I just am not sure what Mac was trying to do with the MBA and honestly I'm not sure if they were 100% sure on its role either.

robrose20
Jan 31, 2008, 11:52 AM
Honestly, neither one matters that much to me. It's the WEIGHT.

I *must* have a full-size keyboard (I'm a writer), so I'd never buy an ultraportable that had a small keyboard. The macbook air looks great to me.

Unfortunately I won't be getting one -- I can't justify the cost. But it sure is a nice computer. I'll be drooling over my wife's MBA (which her employer is buying her in a few months).

dude ... the thing weighs 3 lbs, a macbook weighs a pound or so more. Thats 16 oz, Is that such a difference? The whole point of being ultraportable is that it is small enough to be used in places where conventional laptops cannot be used. On a plane, in class, a small table without much room, etc etc.

Unless a pound or so of weight makes a tremendous difference for you, it is the footprint that really matters with respect to ultraportables. This in not an ultraportable machine. It has the same footprint as the Macbook, there is absolutely no advantage from an ultraportable perspective.

It is an ultrathin computer, nothing more, nothing less.... A completely stripped down macbook... People will be very disappointed... wait and see.

I bet the apple stock will plunge even lower when consumer reviews come back and they start returning these "macbooks"

robrose20
Jan 31, 2008, 11:54 AM
Honestly, neither one matters that much to me. It's the WEIGHT.

I *must* have a full-size keyboard (I'm a writer), so I'd never buy an ultraportable that had a small keyboard. The macbook air looks great to me.

Unfortunately I won't be getting one -- I can't justify the cost. But it sure is a nice computer. I'll be drooling over my wife's MBA (which her employer is buying her in a few months).

The weight will be more than made up for all the extra crap you will have to carry around with you (ethernet, dvd player, USB hub, etc etc)

Techguy172
Jan 31, 2008, 11:59 AM
I think apple is trying to reinvent every thing the iPhone the iPod The Apple TV but I'm still not sure about this one the apple tv didn't take off and i still don't think it will it stands a good a chance but it's just not the time for these machines and I think the same could be for the Air it is a really good design but it's just not it's prime time it's expensive not overly powerful and most of all people like it but it's just not practical For their day to day work maybe it's still too early to let go of the CD drive for some but others will be fine.

Give it a few years and it will be more appealing for people.

imiloa
Jan 31, 2008, 12:03 PM
re: Motivation for smaller footprint, the main example I know is ease of use on airplane seat trays. Large laptops/displays often make for cramped working.

That said, I, too, prefer a full-sized keyboard, so don't like tiny laptops.

Thin is not an issue for me. My MBP is plenty thin. I'm with wordmunger as weight being my primary concern. I travel a lot so every kg adds up.

I probably won't get a current MBA for now. Need the power & ports of the MBP, which is already amazingly portable for it's feature set.

On the other hand, I fully agree with Stuart in Oz's "Real point of MBA" post, in that the MBA shows amazing tech innovation that will eventually permeate the entire Mac and greater PC industry, and people will remember that Apple released the concept first.

EvryDayImShufln
Jan 31, 2008, 12:03 PM
dude ... the thing weighs 3 lbs, a macbook weighs a pound or so more. Thats 16 oz, Is that such a difference? The whole point of being ultraportable is that it is small enough to be used in places where conventional laptops cannot be used. On a plane, in class, a small table without much room, etc etc.

Unless a pound or so of weight makes a tremendous difference for you, it is the footprint that really matters with respect to ultraportables. This in not an ultraportable machine. It has the same footprint as the Macbook, there is absolutely no advantage from an ultraportable perspective.

It is an ultrathin computer, nothing more, nothing less.... A completely stripped down macbook... People will be very disappointed... wait and see.

I bet the apple stock will plunge even lower when consumer reviews come back and they start returning these "macbooks"

By the way, macbooks weigh 2 pounds more, not 1 pound more.

ctt1wbw
Jan 31, 2008, 12:05 PM
dude ... the thing weighs 3 lbs, a macbook weighs a pound or so more. Thats 16 oz, Is that such a difference? The whole point of being ultraportable is that it is small enough to be used in places where conventional laptops cannot be used. On a plane, in class, a small table without much room, etc etc.

Unless a pound or so of weight makes a tremendous difference for you, it is the footprint that really matters with respect to ultraportables. This in not an ultraportable machine. It has the same footprint as the Macbook, there is absolutely no advantage from an ultraportable perspective.

It is an ultrathin computer, nothing more, nothing less.... A completely stripped down macbook... People will be very disappointed... wait and see.

I bet the apple stock will plunge even lower when consumer reviews come back and they start returning these "macbooks"

You got yours already? How do you know people will be dissapointed? I fail to see how people can say this, probably because of the 1.6 ghz c2d. This is the same that's in my new Dell laptop that came in the mail yesterday. It flies, it's so fast.

kuwisdelu
Jan 31, 2008, 12:06 PM
dude ... the thing weighs 3 lbs, a macbook weighs a pound or so more. Thats 16 oz, Is that such a difference? The whole point of being ultraportable is that it is small enough to be used in places where conventional laptops cannot be used. On a plane, in class, a small table without much room, etc etc.

Unless a pound or so of weight makes a tremendous difference for you, it is the footprint that really matters with respect to ultraportables. This in not an ultraportable machine. It has the same footprint as the Macbook, there is absolutely no advantage from an ultraportable perspective.

It is an ultrathin computer, nothing more, nothing less.... A completely stripped down macbook... People will be very disappointed... wait and see.

I bet the apple stock will plunge even lower when consumer reviews come back and they start returning these "macbooks"

The weight will be more than made up for all the extra crap you will have to carry around with you (ethernet, dvd player, USB hub, etc etc)

Hey, hey, hey, let's not jump on everyone's opinions here. This isn't meant to be another "the MBA is awesomez vs. the MBA suxorz" thread. Everyone is entitled to what is important to them, which is why I made this thread: so we can understand what trade-offs are important to the people who do or don't want the MacBook Air.

Like I said in my initial post, personally, I've never had to use a computer in a place where a normal MacBook-size footprint was too big, but I have been in situations where a thinner, lighter laptop is perfect. If it goes in a bag, thinness and lightness will make room for more things to carry, but footprint makes no difference at all. That's why it's useful to me, and footprint isn't. People's needs and what's convenient for them differs, and I was hoping we could understand that by learning what different people are looking for and why.

Also...someone buying the MacBook Air probably won't need to carry around all those externals. Many of us can live without a DVD drive away from home, and so on.

So back on topic... what's important among weight, thinness, and footprint in a laptop to you, and why?

ryanmcd02
Jan 31, 2008, 12:08 PM
I am sticking with my 26 month-old 12" Powerbook, which is .75GB RAM and .1GHz less powerful than the MBA. It has all the ports and the superdrive built in, which I need. Also, my HD spins faster at 5400 rpm, while the MBA is only 4200. I like the keyboard more (even though backlit would be nice) and I can connect to a bigger screen if I really need it. My biggest irk is poor wireless connectivity.

My PB also doesn't have such a wide case border around the screen like the MBA, so I assume it is actually more like a 1.6" difference diagonally. Footprint is big for me because I see it like packing my cameras and lenses: you want to be able to put them into the bag without cramming everything together. It fits loosely into my bag, and is only a quarter inch thicker. So more important I suppose than thickness is weight and footprint, for me.

My ideal would have been a new 12", either thin or standard PB thickness. When I bought the PB, it was going to be my only computer, so if the MBA had existed I would have still gotten this since (sacrificing thickness for power, assuming that the MBA of that time would be 512 and ~1.2 GHz). Here in a few months I may switch to having a home and a portable, in which case the MBA would get more consideration for weight. But it is still wide.

ctt1wbw
Jan 31, 2008, 12:08 PM
The weight will be more than made up for all the extra crap you will have to carry around with you (ethernet, dvd player, USB hub, etc etc)


Man, you gotta be weak. If you can notice the fact that you're carrying around an ethernet adapter... man, hit the gym.

And you don't HAVE to carry around a dvd player, usb hub, etc etc. I said this before, not being able to watch a dvd doesn't make a computer underpowered.

robrose20
Jan 31, 2008, 12:09 PM
By the way, macbooks weigh 2 pounds more, not 1 pound more.

Ok, 2 pounds more. 32 oz ... who cares? I'm sure if you put together all the extra stuff you will need to cart around with you it will more than make up for those 2 pounds.

You lose a tremendous amount of capability for those 2 pounds. Especially with something that has the same footprint as the MB.

robrose20
Jan 31, 2008, 12:11 PM
Man, you gotta be weak. If you can notice the fact that you're carrying around an ethernet adapter... man, hit the gym.

And you don't HAVE to carry around a dvd player, usb hub, etc etc. I said this before, not being able to watch a dvd doesn't make a computer underpowered.

Thats my point .. Everyone who is so obsessed with weight should hit the gym and do some bench presses.

ITS ONLY 2 POUNDS FOR HEAVENS SAKE!!!! ARE WE ALL SO WEAK THAT WE CANNOT LIFT AN EXTRA 2 POUNDS!!!!!!!!1

tstarks33
Jan 31, 2008, 12:11 PM
Man, you gotta be weak. If you can notice the fact that you're carrying around an ethernet adapter... man, hit the gym.

And you don't HAVE to carry around a dvd player, usb hub, etc etc. I said this before, not being able to watch a dvd doesn't make a computer underpowered.


Oh, because the 2 pounds difference is so huge when carrying around a MBA vs a MB? Right...

Maui19
Jan 31, 2008, 12:12 PM
dude ... the thing weighs 3 lbs, a macbook weighs a pound or so more. Thats 16 oz, Is that such a difference? The whole point of being ultraportable is that it is small enough to be used in places where conventional laptops cannot be used. On a plane, in class, a small table without much room, etc etc.

Unless a pound or so of weight makes a tremendous difference for you, it is the footprint that really matters with respect to ultraportables. This in not an ultraportable machine. It has the same footprint as the Macbook, there is absolutely no advantage from an ultraportable perspective.

It is an ultrathin computer, nothing more, nothing less.... A completely stripped down macbook... People will be very disappointed... wait and see.

I bet the apple stock will plunge even lower when consumer reviews come back and they start returning these "macbooks"

Dude, the MB weighs 5 pounds--it's a brick (if it wasn't such a brick, I'd already own it). It's about the weight to me, too. And yes, two pounds is a big deal, especially when you're talking about something that weighs 40% less.

Phil A.
Jan 31, 2008, 12:19 PM
Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A93 Safari/419.3)

for me it's about matching my requirements: I never use the DVD drive on my MBP, I never use the Ethernet port and I never use the FireWire port (i've got a stonking great macpro for that!)
Any laptop is underpowered compared to the behomoth that is my macpro so what I want in a portable is something that gives me the functionality I need whilst on the road. I've been using a MBP but it's too big and overkill for what I need.
The MBA however is a perfect match for my requirements which is why I've got one on order :)

ctt1wbw
Jan 31, 2008, 12:19 PM
Thats my point .. Everyone who is so obsessed with weight should hit the gym and do some bench presses.

ITS ONLY 2 POUNDS FOR HEAVENS SAKE!!!! ARE WE ALL SO WEAK THAT WE CANNOT LIFT AN EXTRA 2 POUNDS!!!!!!!!1


I don't know, are you? I for one, use a cane to walk, so maybe a 3 pound Macbook Air would help out.

ryanmcd02
Jan 31, 2008, 12:20 PM
I think the intent is that no one will carry the extra things though. As far as apple is concerned, they want the only wire be for power. They would do away with it if they could.

Right now this might not be plausible for some, but I think the true MBA market are people constantly moving and being in Wifi areas. The iPhone doesn't have a USB or ethernet port, but there is no complaint because it isn't its purpose. This computer is meant to only connect wirelessly, except for the one USB port and headphones.

robrose20
Jan 31, 2008, 12:23 PM
I don't know, are you? I for one, use a cane to walk, so maybe a 3 pound Macbook Air would help out.

Touche my friend, Touche ... :(

IJ Reilly
Jan 31, 2008, 12:24 PM
Footprint isn't really an issue unless you frequently use the laptop on airplane tray tables. The custom-sized briefcase I bought for our 12" PowerBook was hardly used because almost no space was left over inside for anything else. I almost immediately needed a larger one, which could easily accommodate a 13" laptop, and a projector and files. I've lugged around six pound laptops and that gets old in a hurry, so light weight is definitely a virtue, and I've seen some of the sub-notebooks from Sony and don't think the tiny screens and keyboards are so wonderful.

Bottom line: thin and light is good. It's more likely than a small footprint to leave over room for other things.

kuwisdelu
Jan 31, 2008, 12:27 PM
I think the intent is that no one will carry the extra things though.

Yes, if I had an MBA I wouldn't feel any need to carry those extras around. I don't use any of the corresponding features on my MacBook on-the-go, only at home.

I don't know, are you? I for one, use a cane to walk, so maybe a 3 pound Macbook Air would help out.

I see a whole new market opening up for Apple in those who use canes... I can just see it now. They'll advertise on House. Everyone will want one.

:D

Phil A.
Jan 31, 2008, 12:27 PM
Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A93 Safari/419.3)

Man, you gotta be weak. If you can notice the fact that you're carrying around an ethernet adapter... man, hit the gym.

And you don't HAVE to carry around a dvd player, usb hub, etc etc. I said this before, not being able to watch a dvd doesn't make a computer underpowered.

Thats my point .. Everyone who is so obsessed with weight should hit the gym and do some bench presses.

ITS ONLY 2 POUNDS FOR HEAVENS SAKE!!!! ARE WE ALL SO WEAK THAT WE CANNOT LIFT AN EXTRA 2 POUNDS!!!!!!!!1

by that argument we should all be carrying around 30lb luggables - portable computers are by definition cut down in power and weight.
within those constraints individual users can determine how much power they want to trade for reduced weight. Just because not everyone thinks the same as you doesn't mean you should resort to shouting and insults to try and make your point

j26
Jan 31, 2008, 12:27 PM
Staying on topic, to me there's a trade off between thickness and footprint.

I had a 12" Powerbook and loved the footprint it had. I changed to a Macbook and while I love the performance boost, I preferred the look and feel of the Powerbook. In some ways I regret selling and changing to the Macbook it instead of getting an iMac and keeping the Powerbook.

What annoys me is that there is so much wasted space in the bezel around the screen - it adds to the footprint and is not pleasing aesthetically (I'm typing from a Macbook with the same bezel, so I know what I'm talking about). Surely the width around the bezel could have been reduced without adding significantly to weight or thickness. I mean the edges are tapered - there couldn't be too much critical electronics near the edges.

(I'm not going to go into my other gripes about the Air, but I also believe too many things were lost in the quest for thinness)

kuwisdelu
Jan 31, 2008, 12:32 PM
What annoys me is that there is so much wasted space in the bezel around the screen - it adds to the footprint and is not pleasing aesthetically (I'm typing from a Macbook with the same bezel, so I know what I'm talking about). Surely the width around the bezel could have been reduced without adding significantly to weight or thickness.

That's a good point. I'm not sure how much electronics they're stuffing into the bezel, so it may be necessary for the thinness, but it would be nice to be rid of it, if possible.

tstarks33
Jan 31, 2008, 12:34 PM
Dude, the MB weighs 5 pounds--it's a brick (if it wasn't such a brick, I'd already own it). It's about the weight to me, too. And yes, two pounds is a big deal, especially when you're talking about something that weighs 40% less.

Please dont' go into percentages, as they are nearly meaningless in this context. One piece of paper is 50% the weight of two pieces of paper, but the difference is negligible. 5 lbs to 3 lbs is not a big deal. My old laptop, with its extended battery, was 8 pounds. My macbook is 5 pounds. I do not notice a significant difference. It really blows my mind that people are too burdened by 5 pounds.

Still, I haven't played with a MBA yet; perhaps the proof is in the holding (or using).

IJ Reilly
Jan 31, 2008, 12:35 PM
That's a good point. I'm not sure how much electronics they're stuffing into the bezel, so it may be necessary for the thinness, but it would be nice to be rid of it, if possible.

The screen has to be the same dimensions as the base of the laptop. This and the size of the screen would appear to be the controlling factor in the size of the bezel.

It really blows my mind that people are too burdened by 5 pounds.

Consider your mind blown, then. It blows my mind that anyone would question it.

ctt1wbw
Jan 31, 2008, 12:46 PM
I see a whole new market opening up for Apple in those who use canes... I can just see it now. They'll advertise on House. Everyone will want one.

:D

That'd be cool if I got some of the proceeds. :D

tstarks33
Jan 31, 2008, 12:48 PM
Consider your mind blown, then. It blows my mind that anyone would question it.

That really blows your mind? That I question people who can't handle a 2 pound increase on something that is carried on their shoulder or in a bag?

Anyways, back to the topic at hand. If Apple announced a 12 inch MBP for 2000, it'd have sold better than the MBA will. Footprint vs thinness does matter. Before the MBA, I can't recall many apple users saying "Man, I wish this computer was half as thin!"

Gregintosh
Jan 31, 2008, 12:48 PM
I guess it depends on what else do you carry. For me, I will be using a sleeve with a strap from Waterfield Designs and I will carry the Air & its adapter in the "piggyback". And thats it.

I am sure if you carry around a crap load of accessories and books and other junk in a big backpack the 2lb difference gets lost in the shuffle but if you are ONLY carrying the laptop and its adapter (which is smaller & lighter on the air anyway) the extra 2lbs will be felt.

I have lugged around a 15.4" system before and it wad heavy. Going to 14.1" made a difference but was still tiring lugging it on my back or shoulder all day (I'd be out morning till evening with it). I am sure the air will feel better still.

j26
Jan 31, 2008, 12:49 PM
The screen has to be the same dimensions as the base of the laptop. This and the size of the screen would appear to be the controlling factor in the size of the bezel.

There is an equivalent amount of wasted space around the keyboard, so that could go too, and MBP's have a much thinner bezel, so it's not a given that the bezel has to be that big.

IJ Reilly
Jan 31, 2008, 12:51 PM
That really blows your mind? That I question people who can't handle a 2 pound increase on something that is carried on their shoulder or in a bag?

By what right do you "question people" about such a thing?

There is an equivalent amount of wasted space around the keyboard, so that could go too, and MBP's have a much thinner bezel, so it's not a given that the bezel has to be that big.

I'm assuming that the space under and around the keyboard is where the guts of the machine go. If Apple could have trimmed that space I'm sure they would have.

pondie84
Jan 31, 2008, 12:55 PM
The weight will be more than made up for all the extra crap you will have to carry around with you (ethernet, dvd player, USB hub, etc etc)

Unless of course you don't need any of those things.

frogcat
Jan 31, 2008, 12:55 PM
I just want say that some people in this thread are really dense. Apple does not tailor specifically to you. Actually Apple probably tailors mostly to your wife. Now ask your wife if she would rather have a 5 pound workhorse, or a 3 pound media-pup.

You wanna know who Apple is targeting as the end user of the Air? Your wife. Because they are the decision makers of the household and the more intuitive sex. Who here would even question a wife's taste in her clothing? No man bothers about women's intuition. They just do their thing, and we'll just buy them macbook airs. Plus, they are the last market to target in computers and electronics. We're all sold on gadgets already. Look how well the ipod did after putting other colors than black and white. Women ate that up, and Apple made billions.

Lastly, 3 pounds is significantly less than 5 when you are carrying some heavy books for hours at a time. Its like rocket science: 5 extra pounds of human accounts for much gallons more of gas. Yes footprint would be really cool if it was decreased, but also remember Apple wanted to price this thing aggressively. I bet if they shaved 1 inch off the dimensions, we'd be paying for a 3000 dollar Air without the SSD.

much love to the complainers in this world. they make sure products get tailored. but remember this product is perfect for so many other people...like women.

pondie84
Jan 31, 2008, 12:56 PM
I just want say that some people in this thread are really dense. Apple does not tailor specifically to you. Actually Apple probably tailors mostly to your wife. Now ask your wife if she would rather have a 5 pound workhorse, or a 3 pound media-pup.

You wanna know who Apple is targeting as the end user of the Air? Your wife. Because they are the decision makers of the household and the more intuitive sex. Who here would even question a wife's taste in her clothing? No man bothers about women's intuition. They just do their thing, and we'll just buy them macbook airs. Plus, they are the last market to target in computers and electronics. We're all sold on gadgets already. Look how well the ipod did after putting other colors than black and white. Women at that up, and Apple made billions.

Lastly, 3 pounds is significantly less than 5 when you are carrying some heavy books for hours at a time. Its like rocket science: 5 extra pounds of human accounts for much gallons more of gas. Yes footprint would be really cool if it was decreased, but also remember Apple wanted to price this thing aggressively. I bet if they shaved 1 inch off the dimensions, we'd be paying for a 3000 dollar Air without the SSD.

much love to the complainers in this world. they make sure products get tailored. but remember this product is perfect for so many other people...like women.

Gender stereotypes are so 20th century.

kuwisdelu
Jan 31, 2008, 12:57 PM
I'm assuming that the space under and around the keyboard is where the guts of the machine go. If Apple could have trimmed that space I'm sure they would have.

This is what I assumed. I don't think Apple would put a bezel on it just to have a bezel. It would be nice to have a smaller one, but I'm not sure if it would have been possible.

cliffardo2001
Jan 31, 2008, 12:59 PM
That really blows your mind? That I question people who can't handle a 2 pound increase on something that is carried on their shoulder or in a bag?

Anyways, back to the topic at hand. If Apple announced a 12 inch MBP for 2000, it'd have sold better than the MBA will. Footprint vs thinness does matter. Before the MBA, I can't recall many apple users saying "Man, I wish this computer was half as thin!"

As a student who has to walk everywhere on campus and travels a fair amount, my MacbookPro really takes up space amongst my piano books and other class notebooks, etc. Anything to make my bag less bulging is welcome. And yeah, two pounds will make a huge difference for me. That loss of two pounds means less daily stress on my back.

Maui19
Jan 31, 2008, 01:03 PM
Please dont' go into percentages, as they are nearly meaningless in this context. One piece of paper is 50% the weight of two pieces of paper, but the difference is negligible. 5 lbs to 3 lbs is not a big deal. My old laptop, with its extended battery, was 8 pounds. My macbook is 5 pounds. I do not notice a significant difference. It really blows my mind that people are too burdened by 5 pounds.

Still, I haven't played with a MBA yet; perhaps the proof is in the holding (or using).

All I can tell you about weight is when I'm toting stuff around an airport, I really feel the weight of my (5.6 lb) Powerbook G4. Taking 2-1/2 pounds out of that backpack would be a big deal, and make it much more comfortable to carry around on my shoulder. It's not about how much I can carry, it's about how much I want to carry, and in an airport or traveling around a city, I want to carry as little as possible.

frogcat
Jan 31, 2008, 01:06 PM
Gender stereotypes are so 20th century.

I don't know if that was supposed to be witty, but I'm sure that the electronics market is moving towards a female-focus. It just makes sure that the product is aesthetically pleasing and intuitive, for ALL users.

IJ Reilly
Jan 31, 2008, 01:11 PM
Apple does not tailor specifically to you.

This is exactly the point I've made in other discussions about the MBA. Simply because the MBA isn't 100% geek-compliant, some will insist that it's a product nobody should need or want, and if they do, then maybe there's something not quite right in their heads. I'm always amazed to hear this argument made with a straight face, but it has been over and over again.

The really amazing thing is that several PC-makers sell subnotebook computers which to my eye offer few to no advantages over the approach Apple has taken with the MBA, including price. Maybe there's something wrong in the heads of the people buy them too.

moreAAPLplz
Jan 31, 2008, 01:24 PM
Until you've actually owned an ultraportable, you can't imagine how great they are if you're a person on the go. I owned a Sharp MM-10. It was super thin, had a small footprint, and no optical drive. I never missed an optical drive (seriously, they're for people who buy records, tapes, or cds and not living in the 21st century). We're in the wireless world, embrace it.

gauchogolfer
Jan 31, 2008, 01:25 PM
I am sticking with my 26 month-old 12" Powerbook, which is .75GB RAM and .1GHz less powerful than the MBA.

I just want to point out that the C2D 1.6 GHz processor is much more powerful than the 1.5GHz G4 that is in your powerbook.

mashoutposse
Jan 31, 2008, 01:25 PM
Unless a pound or so of weight makes a tremendous difference for you, it is the footprint that really matters with respect to ultraportables.

Wrong.

Have you ever owned an ultraportable before? The reality is that there are only three general footprint sizes that matter:

1) pocket-size
2) bigger than pocket-size, smaller than a typical sheet of paper or folder
3) bigger than a typical sheet of paper or folder

The MBA and other ultraportables fit in #2. It doesn't matter how the footprint varies within these constraints -- a very small but not pocketable laptop will STILL require you to carry a bag. The bag must have a size to match the footprint of your papers and folders, so anything smaller is not noticeable and provides zero benefit.

The slight increase in situations where the smaller footprint makes sense is counterbalanced by the fact that working on the small screen/keyboard is a chore practically 100% of the time.

So, with the MBA clearly designed to fit into footprint category #2, the design makes sense:

-largest screen possible
-largest keyboard possible
-smallest dimensions possible that still allow for the above (thickness is the only dimension to work with)
-lightest weight possible while retaining the use of high quality materials

In practice, I believe that the above design strategy results in a portable that is optimal for the majority of users.

Yaboze
Jan 31, 2008, 01:40 PM
The Macbook Air is sexy, but I couldn't justify the price for my needs.

I chose a Macbook SR 2.2 because:

1. Same footprint and it's still thin.
2. Macbook is not that much heavier, 3 vs. 5lbs?
3. I wanted a SATA HD >100GB
4. I wanted 4GB
5. Superdrive being built in is a must.

Things I love about the MBA

1. Aluminum shell, but I do like the White.
2. The thickness is more of a cool factor for me.
3. LED backlit.
4. Backlit keys
5. Multitouch

For me, it was too much of a sacrifice of features and price just to shave off some thickness and 2 lbs. The opened laptop on my lap is still the same size.

wordmunger
Jan 31, 2008, 01:41 PM
Ok, 2 pounds more. 32 oz ... who cares? I'm sure if you put together all the extra stuff you will need to cart around with you it will more than make up for those 2 pounds.

You lose a tremendous amount of capability for those 2 pounds. Especially with something that has the same footprint as the MB.

If you're carrying around all that stuff with your computer then you just don't "get it." I have an iBook G4, and when I carry it around I carry *only* the computer, plus whatever other stuff I need in my bag (pens, books, etc.). I take no accessories, not even a power adapter. The battery will suffice during the 4 hours or so when I'm out of the house. Then I plug the computer back in when I get home, and I'm good to go for the next day.

I will often not even bring my power brick when I take weekend trips. I use the computer for a couple hours total to check email, the weather, and so on, and that's it. If I can easily fit everything, including my computer, into just one carry-on bag, that makes my trip that much more pleasant. Cutting two pounds off the weight with an MBA would be a welcome bonus.

If all I was going to do was use my computer all weekend, I'd be staying home.

clevin
Jan 31, 2008, 01:42 PM
Wrong.

Have you ever owned an ultraportable before? The reality is that there are only three general footprint sizes that matter:

1) pocket-size
2) bigger than pocket-size, smaller than a typical sheet of paper or folder
3) bigger than a typical sheet of paper or folder

The MBA and other ultraportables fit in #2. It doesn't matter how the footprint varies within these constraints -- a very small but not pocketable laptop will STILL require you to carry a bag. The bag must have a size to match the footprint of your papers and folders, so anything smaller is not noticeable and provides zero benefit.

The slight increase in situations where the smaller footprint makes sense is counterbalanced by the fact that working on the small screen/keyboard is a chore practically 100% of the time.

So, with the MBA clearly designed to fit into footprint category #2, the design makes sense:

-largest screen possible
-largest keyboard possible
-smallest dimensions possible that still allow for the above (thickness is the only dimension to work with)
-lightest weight possible while retaining the use of high quality materials

In practice, I believe that the above design strategy results in a portable that is optimal for the majority of users.

hey, you can't just make these definitions, categories, logics, reasonings all by yourself and ignore the real world thinking.

Not to mention that MBA does NOT need to be that big to give you the screen and keyboard size you want.

You can't argue the reasoning after you get a result, its backward research.

pondie84
Jan 31, 2008, 01:49 PM
I don't know if that was supposed to be witty, but I'm sure that the electronics market is moving towards a female-focus. It just makes sure that the product is aesthetically pleasing and intuitive, for ALL users.

What exactly does 'female-focus' mean? If you can explain this without using broad gender stereotypes then I'll accept it. I wasn't trying to be witty, I was just expressing my surprise that we're still boiling down features as 'male' or 'female'. Some women may like certain aesthetic designs, some men may like those designs too. Saying "This product will look good to your wife" is a really broad statement to make.

IJ Reilly
Jan 31, 2008, 02:04 PM
The MBA and other ultraportables fit in #2. It doesn't matter how the footprint varies within these constraints -- a very small but not pocketable laptop will STILL require you to carry a bag. The bag must have a size to match the footprint of your papers and folders, so anything smaller is not noticeable and provides zero benefit.

I can attest to the truth of this statement, having owned a 12" PowerBook bag that was too small for the computer and virtually anything more than a couple of very thin, letter-sized manila folders.

sterlingindigo
Jan 31, 2008, 02:21 PM
The MBA is very eye appealing! But as for an ultraportable, I was expecting a smaller footprint. Thin is sexy as all-get-out, I'm very tempted. But a lot of people (like myself) would like to see a 12" MBP and would probably be willing to forgo the Ginsu-like thinness.

As a former Toshiba Libretto 100 ultraportable owner (which I loved though very outdated), I was really hoping the ultraportable rumors were true about an 8"-12" footprint which I know Apple could design just as stunningly as all it's other products. Keeping the keys aluminum of course, he he he.

Perhaps Apple will add a 10" or 11" MBA Light to the lineup in order to compete more closely with the Sony TZ (and other ultraportables) in terms of footprint.

tstarks33
Jan 31, 2008, 03:20 PM
By what right do you "question people" about such a thing?

What right do I need?

Wrong.

Have you ever owned an ultraportable before? The reality is that there are only three general footprint sizes that matter:

1) pocket-size
2) bigger than pocket-size, smaller than a typical sheet of paper or folder
3) bigger than a typical sheet of paper or folder

The MBA and other ultraportables fit in #2. It doesn't matter how the footprint varies within these constraints -- a very small but not pocketable laptop will STILL require you to carry a bag. The bag must have a size to match the footprint of your papers and folders, so anything smaller is not noticeable and provides zero benefit.

The slight increase in situations where the smaller footprint makes sense is counterbalanced by the fact that working on the small screen/keyboard is a chore practically 100% of the time.

So, with the MBA clearly designed to fit into footprint category #2, the design makes sense:

-largest screen possible
-largest keyboard possible
-smallest dimensions possible that still allow for the above (thickness is the only dimension to work with)
-lightest weight possible while retaining the use of high quality materials

In practice, I believe that the above design strategy results in a portable that is optimal for the majority of users.

Where do you come up with this stuff? How can you flat-out call someone "wrong" when all you did was give your own opinion, as if, somehow, it's automatically correct? Your entire argument seems to come down to: footprint doesn't matter, because you'll still have to use a bigger bag to hold your files and folders. Right... all of us wanted a 12 inch powerbook replacement simply because we wanted to use smaller bags. :confused:

kuwisdelu
Jan 31, 2008, 03:54 PM
Perhaps Apple will add a 10" or 11" MBA Light to the lineup in order to compete more closely with the Sony TZ (and other ultraportables) in terms of footprint.

I don't think Apple will do that, since the focus on thinness over footprint is part of what differentiates the MBA from other ultraportables. Making a smaller footprint would require the MBA to be thicker, which would require a complete redesign. However, I would like to see a 12" MBP as much as everyone in that camp. I think it would be great if Apple came out with a 12" MBP to satisfy the footprint-focused power users and kept improving the MBA as the ultralight, ultrathin laptop that it is. We'd have the best of both worlds. I'd have a hard time deciding between the two when I came to the checkout, though.... :D

wordmunger
Jan 31, 2008, 04:05 PM
I don't think Apple will do that, since the focus on thinness over footprint is part of what differentiates the MBA from other ultraportables. Making a smaller footprint would require the MBA to be thicker, which would require a complete redesign. However, I would like to see a 12" MBP as much as everyone in that camp. I think it would be great if Apple came out with a 12" MBP to satisfy the footprint-focused power users and kept improving the MBA as the ultralight, ultrathin laptop that it is. We'd have the best of both worlds. I'd have a hard time deciding between the two when I came to the checkout, though.... :D

Given how much apple is focusing on the MBA ads lately, I wouldn't count on that happening.

kuwisdelu
Jan 31, 2008, 04:20 PM
Given how much apple is focusing on the MBA ads lately, I wouldn't count on that happening.

Certainly not too soon, but they seem to have listened to people's complaints about Leopard and it sounds like they're addressing many of them (menu bar, etc.) in 10.5.2, so if enough people want a 12" MBP, maybe it'll happen. I don't know. But then, I'm not one of the people who'll die without it. I'm fine with my MacBook for a while; hasn't even had its first birthday yet.

mashoutposse
Jan 31, 2008, 04:23 PM
Where do you come up with this stuff?

Um, actual firsthand experience from ownership of a multitude of "real" ultraportables?

How can you flat-out call someone "wrong" when all you did was give your own opinion, as if, somehow, it's automatically correct? Your entire argument seems to come down to: footprint doesn't matter, because you'll still have to use a bigger bag to hold your files and folders. Right... all of us wanted a 12 inch powerbook replacement simply because we wanted to use smaller bags. :confused:

OK, the floor is yours. Name the situations where the smaller PB12" footprint comes in handy.

clevin
Jan 31, 2008, 04:37 PM
Um, actual firsthand experience from ownership of a multitude of "real" ultraportables?


care to share your "ultraportables"? lets see if its convincing enough for you to make comprehensive summary of this type of computers.

IJ Reilly
Jan 31, 2008, 04:37 PM
What right do I need?

None I suppose, if you don't mind being a jerk about it.

Eraserhead
Jan 31, 2008, 04:39 PM
Unless you want to get it in a handbag isn't overall volume the key figure? As the MacBook Air has a lower volume than even the Asus EEE, it looks good from that perspective.

topher2889
Jan 31, 2008, 04:46 PM
I am sticking with my 26 month-old 12" Powerbook, which is .75GB RAM and .1GHz less powerful than the MBA.
I just want to point out that the C2D 1.6 GHz processor is much more powerful than the 1.5GHz G4 that is in your powerbook.

Thank you for that! What ryan said was bugging me. Of course the C2D is more powerful!

sterlingindigo
Jan 31, 2008, 04:48 PM
I don't think Apple will do that, since the focus on thinness over footprint is part of what differentiates the MBA from other ultraportables. Making a smaller footprint would require the MBA to be thicker, which would require a complete redesign. However, I would like to see a 12" MBP as much as everyone in that camp. I think it would be great if Apple came out with a 12" MBP to satisfy the footprint-focused power users and kept improving the MBA as the ultralight, ultrathin laptop that it is. We'd have the best of both worlds. I'd have a hard time deciding between the two when I came to the checkout, though.... :D

I can sort of see Apple making a 10" or 11" (maybe smaller) MBA. I think I'd would be sweet! Perhaps wishful thinking. I wouldn't think it would be that much thicker if any. 12" mbp? Another hope so!

deputy_doofy
Jan 31, 2008, 04:50 PM
I just want to point out that the C2D 1.6 GHz processor is much more powerful than the 1.5GHz G4 that is in your powerbook.

Exactly. In fact, just one core destroys the G4. Hey, I'm a poet and I didn't.... realize it. :p

clevin
Jan 31, 2008, 04:52 PM
Unless you want to get it in a handbag isn't overall volume the key figure? As the MacBook Air has a lower volume than even the Asus EEE, it looks good from that perspective.

1. over all volume can be reflected in different ways, two piece of cloth folded together can be a bag, with eee, even thicker, the bag can be smaller. for MBA, you don't have that flexibility

2. MBA's volume is NOT lower than EEE.

mashoutposse
Jan 31, 2008, 04:54 PM
care to share your "ultraportables"? lets see if its convincing enough for you to make comprehensive summary of this type of computers.

Sure:

Sony X505SP Carbon Fiber model (import from Japan, Sony's first use of CF on a laptop). Cost: $4k. Funny how everyone finally talks it up three years after release

http://img159.imageshack.us/img159/4580/im0003823ti.jpg
http://img159.imageshack.us/img159/5082/im0003910zi.jpg

Sony TR3AP 10" Centrino.

http://img128.imageshack.us/img128/7393/im0003704og.jpg
http://img128.imageshack.us/img128/7605/im0003785dz.jpg

Sony UX280P

http://img167.imageshack.us/img167/5823/dscn1100di1.jpg

Sony U3 (never sold here in the US; not my picture)

http://www.nurs.or.jp/~hayashi/RynNote/MyComImage/VaioU3.jpg
http://www.h5.dion.ne.jp/~vic1001/archives/images/walku3.jpg

Each of these were at or very near the top of their respective categories in portability at the times of purchase. I can assure you that I have a deeper understanding about ultraportables than most.

clevin
Jan 31, 2008, 04:57 PM
Sure:

Each of these were at or very near the top of their respective categories in portability at the times of purchase. I can assure you that I have a deeper understanding about ultraportables than most.

indeed, with so many ultraportables, I didn't find any with larger than 12" screen. right?

mashoutposse
Jan 31, 2008, 05:05 PM
indeed, with so many ultraportables, I didn't find any with larger than 12" screen. right?

True. But then no previous manufacturer ever thought it wise to miniaturize a computer with such a "large" built-in footprint. The X505 in 13" widescreen would have been bought instantly.

What I learned from those computers is this: Small screens and keyboards suck. Simply making it small enough to take without a second thought isn't enough.

akm3
Jan 31, 2008, 05:14 PM
dude ... the thing weighs 3 lbs, a macbook weighs a pound or so more. Thats 16 oz, Is that such a difference? The whole point of being ultraportable is that it is small enough to be used in places where conventional laptops cannot be used. On a plane, in class, a small table without much room, etc etc.


Have you ever tried to eat a 16 oz steak? It's a lot. And it's actually 32 ounces.

32 ounces isn't 'heavy', you can certainly pick it up, it's the long term carrying where every ounce makes a difference.

It's the same reason hikers carry super-lightweight (and very expensive!) gear. A thin 'aluminium foil' blanket is a lot easer to carry up a mountain than even a normal, thin blanket.

clevin
Jan 31, 2008, 05:22 PM
True. But then no previous manufacturer ever thought it wise to miniaturize a computer with such a "large" built-in footprint. The X505 in 13" widescreen would have been bought instantly.

What I learned from those computers is this: Small screens and keyboards suck. Simply making it small enough to take without a second thought isn't enough.

1. As I, and somebody else mentioned above, if you only need 13.3 screen and full keyboard, the MBA could have been shrank even more, since it has so huge borders around screen and keyboard.

2. The whole discussion is about "footprint vs. thinness". Because there might be some conflicts between these two, but from all you mentioned, You do not have this problem at all. Do you care if the MBA has super thin border around the screen and keyboard and thus has smaller footprint, but 0.2" thicker?

3. to Argue that 12.1" screen is too small, thats your own opinion, there is no way that your personal opinion can be cited as an convincing evidence for the necessity of a larger screen. I, for one, think ultraportable with 10~12" screen will be much more attractive.

Eraserhead
Jan 31, 2008, 05:24 PM
1. over all volume can be reflected in different ways, two piece of cloth folded together can be a bag, with eee, even thicker, the bag can be smaller. for MBA, you don't have that flexibility

That was my point with the handbag comment. I think most buyers of the MBA will have a larger bag or briefcase, which is big enough for a pad of paper. In which case the MacBook Air will also fit.


2. MBA's volume is NOT lower than EEE.

Surprisingly the MBA has a lower volume (http://www.isights.org/2008/01/which-is-smalle.html).
1. As I, and somebody else mentioned above, if you only need 13.3 screen and full keyboard, the MBA could have been shrank even more, since it has so huge borders around screen and keyboard.

True, but I think an A4/US Legal pad of paper is the target size worth going for.

clevin
Jan 31, 2008, 05:30 PM
Surprisingly the MBA has a lower volume (http://www.isights.org/2008/01/which-is-smalle.html).
.

lol, I can't believe so many people actually believe that crappy calculation. lol

look carefully
This
http://cache.gizmodo.com/assets/images/gallery/4/2008/01/medium_2194963157_4aa8572bfc_o.jpg

is different from this
http://cache.gizmodo.com/assets/images/gallery/4/2008/01/medium_2194962845_b7b36c5a26_o.jpg

Thinnest part is 0.16", But thats the very end of the front, it represents no realistic value when calculating the volume.

Rather, Most of the MBA's BODY is 0.76" to 0.6", that makes MBA about 70in^3. not 53in^3.

cohibadad
Jan 31, 2008, 05:31 PM
Thats my point .. Everyone who is so obsessed with weight should hit the gym and do some bench presses.

ITS ONLY 2 POUNDS FOR HEAVENS SAKE!!!! ARE WE ALL SO WEAK THAT WE CANNOT LIFT AN EXTRA 2 POUNDS!!!!!!!!1

if I read this kind of ******* comment one more time I think I'll puke. How bout you think of it this way: it's 40% lighter than a MB. Is that enough of a difference for you?

Eraserhead
Jan 31, 2008, 05:37 PM
lol, I can't believe so many people actually believe that crappy calculation. lol

The author did a better calculation and got 57 cubic inches.


[ML: Examining the cross-section, and calculating the top, back of the bottom, front, and midsection separately as discrete elements, and accounting for the radius curves along the sides, I get a combined total of 56.81 cubic inches. Larger, but still smaller than the Eee.

gwangung
Jan 31, 2008, 05:39 PM
3. to Argue that 12.1" screen is too small, thats your own opinion, there is no way that your personal opinion can be cited as an convincing evidence for the necessity of a larger screen. I, for one, think ultraportable with 10~12" screen will be much more attractive.

Are you over 40? :D

clevin
Jan 31, 2008, 05:44 PM
Are you over 40? :D
Im younger than you ;)
The author did a better calculation and got 57 cubic inches.
no, he is still using that 0.16" as a "front section".

there is only one way to measure that thing accurately. and I don't believe he did it.

Sorry I will not buy this type of rough calculation and then turn around to pretend having a accuracy of 0.01 cubic inches.

kockgunner
Jan 31, 2008, 05:51 PM
if I read this kind of ******* comment one more time I think I'll puke. How bout you think of it this way: it's 40% lighter than a MB. Is that enough of a difference for you?

I think people have a hard time conceiving the actual lightness of the air. Two pounds might not seem like a lot on paper, but for those who have actually held an ultra portable before would know that it makes a big difference. Especially when you're carrying your laptop to work every day. I carry a binder (that's not that heavy) to school every day and my shoulder is always straining (and i'm not weak either). Also, apple made the right decision to go with a 13" screen. When you're carrying a laptop around, weight is a far more important factor than how wide the screen is.

diabolic
Jan 31, 2008, 05:54 PM
For me weight is far more important than footprint.

I wouldn't buy anything with a small screen again. I used a 12" for a while and it was just a bit too small. My own cutoff based on personal experience is around 13". A full-size keyboard also matters to me.

BWhaler
Jan 31, 2008, 07:04 PM
For me, weight is the highest priority, followed by how thin it is.

I could care less about the other dimensions since I'm not going to buy a smaller bag.

But taking 3.8 less pounds with me to Asia is a wonderful thing. Sure, it's not the end of the world carrying a 17" MBP, but less weight is often just more convenient.

And thin means I can put more papers, books, etc. in my bag.

Yes, I wish there was a swappable battery. Yes, I wish I had 2 USB ports, And yes, a bigger hard drive would be nice. And no, I don't care that it doesn't have a built in DVD drive.

But the MacBook Air looks to be the perfect companion when I don't need all of the bells and whistles of my MBP. (Which is most of the time when I travel.)

My ONLY fear is Apple's quality. The reports of 8.5 hour battery charge time worry me greatly. And we all know Apple's quality has been on a rapid descent in the past few years, so with the reports of 8 hour batteries and general "the Apple Unboxing Fear," this is what I am worried about.

I just hope I get a solid Mac since I am really fired-up about the MBA. Fingers crossed.

Brianstorm91
Jan 31, 2008, 07:05 PM
I think its footprint it too large.

ryanmcd02
Jan 31, 2008, 07:32 PM
To those regarding the strength of the 12" powerbook--

Yeah (sorry), I way underrepresented/over-simplified the actual difference. But for me, the 1.5 in my PB is sufficient, although it has made me adverse to using handbrake too much (more so because of the heat issues associated, which the MBA reportedly does not suffer from so badly). I am bias for the PB because I enjoy it so.

louden
Feb 1, 2008, 01:55 AM
The MBA is not the first laptop from Apple to fit in one of those interoffice envelopes. I figured this would be a good thread for these pics (taken with my phone) - I'm surprised I haven't seen pics like these anywhere yet!

http://www.xmlcom.com/env1.jpg

http://www.xmlcom.com/env2.jpg

http://www.xmlcom.com/env3.jpg


Sure it weighs twice as much, but the footprint is a big deal for me. I'd love for someting as small or smaller to take with me just about everywhere. Something bigger than an iPhone but smaller than the new MBA.... Then I'll buy it.

louden
Feb 1, 2008, 02:02 AM
I can't believe you sissies are complaining about the difference between a three and five pound laptop.

I'd like for you to tell that opinion to some WWII vet that spent three months in the Bataan Death March.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bataan_Death_March

I'll bet the average BMI of those complaining about the weight of of a PowerBook is over 30 (obese) - which means the little fatties could stand to lose about 20 pounds to more than make up for the extra two pounds in their laptop...

profiteor
Feb 1, 2008, 02:48 AM
Weight, thinness AND footprint are important to me, but not actual deal killers for me. The decision to go with a MBAir is a bit more complex than that.

I like my laptops lighter not because I loathe carrying 5lb vs 3lb. The strap on my Incase bag will break if I attempt to shove more things into my bag. Now, you can argue whether or not I really need an iPhone AV kit and a laptop AV kit, a ton of cables, random knickknacks, and still slip a pen and a notepad into the case, but if my laptop weighed less that means a few extra things. My bag is heavy enough now, with a MacBook, that it will trigger the passenger seatbelt warning should I place it next to me in my car. No, I'm not a packrat, really, I'm not... I just hate going around in a day depending on other people to provide x/y/z for a presentation, or lack something at a customer's site, or...

Thinness ends up being a derivation of the above. The bag has finite volume. It's possibly my fault for using an Incase Canvas Vertical Sling instead of something larger, but I also don't want the associated bulk of a larger bag. It then would not fit under the seat in front of me on an airplane, and...

Footprint is actually a toss-up. I realize, even at 26, my eyes are going on me. Genetics and a lifetime of staring at various computers for 18 hours a day I suppose. A few years back, my company got me a 12" PowerBook G4 since I did enough traveling. I started using my personal MacBook wherever possible, not only because it was faster and ran WoW better after work, but also because the screen was larger. However, that very same 12" PB did teach me that it's a bit more comfortable in economy with a smaller laptop. I've seen people take 17", even 20" laptops... luggables? into economy. The 20" ones spill over several trays. It's hilarious, and uncomfortable looking... Anyway, the upshot on footprint for me is that I'll accept the MBAir's compromise, because I can at least use the thing. I can already use a MacBook in economy (no tray table, just on my lap), and so being the same is not a bad thing in this case...

I'll also take the opportunity to shed some of the crud in my bag with the self-imposed "new paradigm" coming in with the Air (read: excuse to toss stuff I can't use with a MBAir) and my MacBook's inverter was going anyway (this is an excuse -- getting it fixed is WAY cheaper than an Air).

I gave up on compromised laptop decisions. I don't want to have another MacBook again because it's not what I had in mind. It's not powerful enough for its weight/size class -- it's almost as big/heavy as a 15" MBP. I don't want a MBP to replace the MB because it's really a bit too big for cramped spaces. I'll stop short of saying the MBAir was just right, but at least it gets closer to my ideal travel companion. I'll get something else down the line, perhaps a used MBP, to serve as my high performance mobile machine.

Evangelion
Feb 1, 2008, 03:00 AM
I am sticking with my 26 month-old 12" Powerbook, which is .75GB RAM and .1GHz less powerful than the MBA.

Um, there's more to "power" than raw GHz. G4 in your PB might be only .1GHz less powerful, but in real-life performance it's A LOT slower. It has slow as molasses bus (166Mhz on the G4 vs. 800Mhz on the C2D), a lot less cache (512KB on the G4, vs. 4MB on the C2D), not to mention the fact that your PB has one processor-core running at 1.5GHz, whereas MBA has TWO processor-cores running at 1.6Ghz!

I would say that the CPU in the MBA is about 2-3 times faster in real-life tests when compared to the G4 in your PB, maybe even more.

shadie
Feb 1, 2008, 03:09 AM
I'm with the camp that hoped for a new sub notebook from Apple, I would never class the MBA as a sub notebook, you could probably easily fit a 15.1" screen with 1650X1050 resolution in the dimensions of the MBA lid.

What I was hoping for was a sub notebook similar to the Thinkpad X series, full size keyboard without a compromise on available ports and performance. (The new Peryn X61 @ 2.1GHz is available later this month) etc etc.


People that say a 12" screen is too small miss the point, we want small, if the resolution is unreadable change the DPI settings till you can read comfortably.

The MBA is light it is NOT small.

Evangelion
Feb 1, 2008, 03:14 AM
Unless you want to get it in a handbag isn't overall volume the key figure? As the MacBook Air has a lower volume than even the Asus EEE, it looks good from that perspective.

It boils down to diminishing return. If Apple went and halved the volume of next-gen MBA by either

a) halving the thickness

b) halving the footprint

Which would make it smaller in real-life? Both would reduce the volume by similar amount, but I would say that by making the machine thinner wouldn't really offer any additional value. Reduction in footprint WOULD bring added value for those who want a smaller computer. The thickness of regural MacBook is very rarely a limiting factor in it's mobility, it's footprint and weight is more so. If Apple went and made a MacBook that had a 11" screen, weighted 3 pounds and were 0.7 inches thick, I would bet that people would consider it a lot more mobile than what MBA is.

Or, to put it in other words: MBA would have even less volume if Apple made it 1mm thick, while increasing the footprint three times what it is now. Would it still be "smaller" than it is now? I mean, the volume would go down? Answer: No.

BWhaler
Feb 1, 2008, 03:46 AM
I can't believe you sissies are complaining about the difference between a three and five pound laptop.

I'd like for you to tell that opinion to some WWII vet that spent three months in the Bataan Death March.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bataan_Death_March

I'll bet the average BMI of those complaining about the weight of of a PowerBook is over 30 (obese) - which means the little fatties could stand to lose about 20 pounds to more than make up for the extra two pounds in their laptop...

You miss the post here from the person who walks with a cane so the weight does matter?

Don't be so judgemental, and in general, just because someone wants a lighter load does not mean they are obese.

My friend just bought a MBA for the Peace Corpe in Africa. He's carrying 15x the weight of a pro laptop in his backpack, and he still wants a light computer.

People are really being idiots here...