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View Full Version : Would like MBA Users opinions please.




Hamster747
Sep 9, 2009, 04:56 PM
Hi Guys, I'm new to this forum and this is my first posting. I'm a writer and have decided to switch to a mac, a Macbook Air to be specific. The only thing is I live in Ireland and no retail store really has them to test :mad: . So I've decided to post a thread and get some insight. from MBA I'm aware of the heat issue :( . There are a few things I would like to know. Is it worth the money? I've read on the MR forums Snow Leopard has glitches and other problems, Is this affecting a minority of users? How do the mono speakers sound? I am a big user of iTunes. Are there any issues I should be aware of? How many MBA users bought the air super drive and actually used it? Which is better HDD or SSD? Is there anything else I should know? Please No immature remarks. Yes I know the MBA has limited RAM and HDD/SSD But feel free to point out why I should not buy one. Also do many people use the MBA as their only machine?

Thanks Guys. :)



netdog
Sep 9, 2009, 05:08 PM
My MBA has become my main computer. I only fire up my Mac Pro when doing serious media editing. 'Nuff said?

ayeying
Sep 9, 2009, 05:13 PM
My MBA has become my main computer. I only fire up my Mac Pro when doing serious media editing. 'Nuff said?

Same here, except I have access to a iMac to do heavy stuff

robabb
Sep 9, 2009, 05:20 PM
Hi there, fellow Meath Man!

I've lurked in the Macbook Air forums for some time now as I am planning on purchasing one in the future. I just registered on the site though, so that I could give you a little feedback on your question.

I don't know if you get in to Dublin City Centre frequently, however Curry's in the Jervis Street Shopping Centre have a Macbook Air on display (Rev B, last time I checked) that you can play around with.

I was there one Saturday just after the new Macbook Pro 13" was announced. They were still awaiting the new machines, however there was a dedicated Mac salesperson on hand (in a black Apple tshirt) and he was really helpful. He seemed to be really into his Macs and we spent a while talking about the Macbook Pro 13" v Macbook Air 13" conundrum - there's plenty of that going on here too! ;-)

If I were you, I'd take a trip in to try out the machine. I have to say, I found it great - and that's coming from someone who uses a Macbook Pro 15" 2.33ghz everyday for work (I also have a 24" iMac at home). I think that the Macbook Air would most likely suit you as a writer, though the Pro would be a great fit too.

I don't know if you're aware of it, but there's also a new Apple Store in Belfast. I haven't been, but apparently it's easy to find and the exchange rates just may make it cheaper than buying from the Irish store.

Anyway, I hope that this advice can be of some help to you. Incidentally, I just found the coolest bag for my, soon to be, Macbook Air - it's called the Ristretto Messenger Bag from Tom Bihn. It's a bit of a Man-bag, but it's small and cool and should suit a "writer"... just don't choose the green one or else I'll spot you a mile away should we cross paths on Grafton Street! :-)

Good luck with the search. By the way, I am holding off until November to see if they bring out a 4gb version.

Hamster747
Sep 9, 2009, 05:27 PM
Thanks Robabb. Will do so. Out of curiosity, How did the debate go between you and the apple salesman? Which was better the MBP or MBA? :rolleyes:

robabb
Sep 9, 2009, 05:37 PM
No bother, you're welcome!

Well, he was of the belief that the Macbook Pro 13" offered so much more power, battery life and expandability that it was therefore worth it to carry around the extra 1.5lbs. He saw it as a no-brainer.

He was also thrilled as, according to him, this would be by far the easiest Mac laptop to sell in the history of Mac laptops!

That said, when I spoke about the lust-factor that the Macbook Air evoked, he agreed with me. It was as if his heart loved the Air, but rational decision-making forced him to settle for the Macbook Pro. It would seem that many people are having the same battle!

Incidentally, I forgot to say to you that the unfortunate thing about the Jervis location is that both machines are stuck down to the desk, so you don't get the real feeling of the lightness, beauty and form-factor of the Air. It's a real pity - I played with one in the Apple Store on 5th Avenue and I have to say, it is an absolutely beautiful machine and you really need to pick it up to get the full impression!

Good luck in your search and please let me know what you decide to do :)

Hamster747
Sep 9, 2009, 05:44 PM
Hey Robabb, I think your right, Maybe I'll hold out until November to see if a 4GB model goes on sale, Sadly I'm not a Meath man, I'm a Dub (from Ballymun) But dont hold it against me :p

robabb
Sep 9, 2009, 05:46 PM
...Finglas... born and bred! Living in Ashbourne!

I think we're quits :D

Airforcekid
Sep 9, 2009, 06:18 PM
For you I would get the Macbook Air 64GB SSD people say it has issues and it does to an extent most have been corrected. But it would boot up fast and for writing and iTunes its a great companion. Get an SSD no question and if money isnt an issue go for the 128GB SSD model. As for a superdrive you will not use it just for the fact you considered the air you can remote disc in a pinch. As for Snow Leopard for your needs I would stick with Leopard until Snow leopard becomes more mainstream since you will be wanting to try out new apps. Good Luck!:apple:

MajorTCS
Sep 9, 2009, 06:25 PM
Can you purchase a Refurbished MBA through the online store? I bought mini speakers at the Apple Store. Think they are iHome. Wonderful. SSD for sure.

stoconnell
Sep 9, 2009, 06:44 PM
I use my Air as my only computer. The value of the Air has certainly gone up since I bought mine in March with the large price drop in June (sigh .. :rolleyes:). The Air can be a very good only computer if your need align with what it offers and you understand its limitations. If you aren't looking to run a bunch of VMs, encode huge audio/video files, mix complex multitrack arrangements, manipulate huge files, blah blah, it will work pretty. The speaker is as "meh" as you would expect given the amount of space they had to work with.

Hamster747
Sep 9, 2009, 07:10 PM
Wow Thanks for all the reply guys. How does the remote disk work? The only other computers in my house are PC, So should I buy the external Disk drive?

MacLadybug
Sep 9, 2009, 07:55 PM
Anyone have Snow Leopard running on their MBA yet? I'm very curious about the speed changes if any with the Air's slower processors working SL and how that works with the SSD too. Any differences that anyone has noticed that they can share?

Gadgetman99
Sep 9, 2009, 08:00 PM
Anyone have Snow Leopard running on their MBA yet? I'm very curious about the speed changes if any with the Air's slower processors working SL and how that works with the SSD too. Any differences that anyone has noticed that they can share?

I do, but have not really notice much difference. I am new to Mac anyway, and installed SL within a couple days of having my MBA. It seesm like some popel says they have heat issues after the upgrade, but to me, there seems to be 2 things that rev it up: Online flash video and time machine backups. So far I love this machine, now if I could only get it to print at work (network printer on a windows network).

MacLadybug
Sep 10, 2009, 10:51 PM
I do, but have not really notice much difference. I am new to Mac anyway, and installed SL within a couple days of having my MBA. It seesm like some popel says they have heat issues after the upgrade, but to me, there seems to be 2 things that rev it up: Online flash video and time machine backups. So far I love this machine, now if I could only get it to print at work (network printer on a windows network).

Thanks for the response. My husbands BlackBook may end up being replaced in the not to distant future. Trying to decide between an Air and a MacBook Pro 13". Just curious if SL made any speed improvements that would be noticeable since the Air's processor is slower than all the others.

Scottsdale
Sep 10, 2009, 11:13 PM
Anybody telling you to get an original MBA with 64 GB SSD is flat out wrong in even considering such egregious advice. The original MBA was problematic from DAY ONE!

I too spend most of my time typing on the MBA, as I do a lot of writing and consulting which entails writing. I absolutely love the MBA, and while the original may work for writing, it absolutely lacks the ability to work for all of the other things you might expect out of it, like watching a video or going to Flash based sites and etc.

The rev MBAs with Nvidia GPU, and Penryn CPU, and SATA-II SSD, and DDR3 RAM, and etc, are powerful enough for today's work and for several years down the road. The original is already lagging, and requires lots of extra maintenance.

I wouldn't believe you would honestly take the advice, but I must tell you per value, even $499 wouldn't make it a worthy value versus a rev C at full price brand new. I highly recommend either of the Nvidia GPU MBAs with 1.86 or 2.13 GHz and SSD. To get the absolute best performance you need the SSD. It eliminates waiting on your MBA, which is what the HDD owners do (likely 5x as much). The SSD is the amazement that takes the MBA from an ordinary ultraportable to a fast notebook like speedy Mac.

So, I don't know about your options where you are, but in the US the MBA is $1549 2.13/SSD refurbished and $1349 1.86/SSD refurbished. I would say if you cannot afford one of these, you reconsider your decision to go MBA.

A lot of people who are happy with their HDD models are using them as secondary Macs. I am using my 2.13/SSD as my primary Mac and sole machine. It never lets me down. I absolutely love it.

I would say if you can wait for a few more weeks, we might learn some rumors for when the next MBA will be released. I think it is very likely Apple will update both the Mac notebooks and iMacs before the holiday season! It really makes sense to keep updating Macs in this economy to continually improve reason for people to upgrade. The point is if you know you can wait until November, it may be worth your wait. At the same time, there isn't much money to lose on an MBA at the refurbished price points we currently have... you will not lose much at all from today's price if you sell and rebuy a few months down the road. The pricing is ridiculously low for the MBA right now. In the past, people were losing more money on their MBA's than any Mac I can recall reselling.

An MBA released in the next few months may include a new GPU, same CPU, 4 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, and a glass trackpad. It may also cost a lot more!!! So take that into consideration. Apple would need to recover the high cost of the SSD, and the price point will be a lot higher than the current $1799 brand new.

Also, definitely consider a few other things... 24" LED ACD, Time Capsule (AirPort Base Station w attached drive), and MobileMe. All make the MBA experience a true Mac experience.

An MBA next year may bring anything from new form factor to super powerful MBA to anything. So, if you need it now, buy it now and don't worry.

Good luck.

MacLadybug
Sep 10, 2009, 11:16 PM
Sounds like good advice. We're waiting a bit anyway, so I'll see what happens in Dec/Jan.

Hamster747
Sep 11, 2009, 07:56 AM
Great advice scottsdale. As for macladybug, Why not start a new thread, you may get better answers rather than hijacking someone else's. ;)

MacLadybug
Sep 12, 2009, 12:20 AM
Great advice scottsdale. As for macladybug, Why not start a new thread, you may get better answers rather than hijacking someone else's. ;)
I struggle with the whole "new thread" thing when it's on the same topic. I thought they wanted these things consolidated so there weren't a bunch of similar threads asking the same questions. Sorry, won't make that mistake again. Didn't mean to hijack anything.