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View Full Version : 2.13GHz MacBook Air -- keep or sell?




bumknees
Dec 3, 2009, 09:26 AM
I received a 2.13GHz MBA early in November as a gift, but I'm wondering if it's "right" for me. I'm an evening law student, and I found my last laptop, a 15" 2.4GHz MacBook Pro (not unibody) to be nice, but a bit too heavy to carry along with my monster textbooks.

I mainly use Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Skype, but I also would like something that can handle the higher quality youtube videos. My classmate has a 1st gen MBA, but that seems to have much difficulty handling the youtube stuff.

Would this fit my needs? Also, would the MBA be able to handle playing movies directly from Netflix?

I opened the box, just to make sure that everything was inside, but I haven't even removed the plastic wrapping for fear of further diminishing the resale value. I've been really tempted to use it, because I had sold my old MBP several months ago, but I'm wondering if I should just sell this and get a 13" MBP instead. Any suggestions? Or perhaps should I sell it and just wait until the Spring for updated MBA's or MBP's?

Lastly, if I do keep this, is there anything that can be done to prevent the keyboard and trackpad button from marring the screen and bezel (I noticed this on my classmate's 1st gen MBA, and a bit on my old MBP)? Thanks!!!!



gnr319
Dec 3, 2009, 09:45 AM
I received a 2.13GHz MBA early in November as a gift, but I'm wondering if it's "right" for me. I'm an evening law student, and I found my last laptop, a 15" 2.4GHz MacBook Pro (not unibody) to be nice, but a bit too heavy to carry along with my monster textbooks.

I mainly use Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Skype, but I also would like something that can handle the higher quality youtube videos. My classmate has a 1st gen MBA, but that seems to have much difficulty handling the youtube stuff.

Would this fit my needs? Also, would the MBA be able to handle playing movies directly from Netflix?

I opened the box, just to make sure that everything was inside, but I haven't even removed the plastic wrapping for fear of further diminishing the resale value. I've been really tempted to use it, because I had sold my old MBP several months ago, but I'm wondering if I should just sell this and get a 13" MBP instead. Any suggestions? Or perhaps should I sell it and just wait until the Spring for updated MBA's or MBP's?

Lastly, if I do keep this, is there anything that can be done to prevent the keyboard and trackpad button from marring the screen and bezel (I noticed this on my classmate's 1st gen MBA, and a bit on my old MBP)? Thanks!!!!

I'm a 1L and I have been using the Air all semester. Do not underestimate the weight you will save with the Air nor its svelte form factor. For me, a lighter and less voluminous laptop is an even more appreciated luxury since I usually bike to school or take public transportation. As you very well know, casebooks are not only dreadfully heavy but take up so much room.

As far as youtube goes, the choppy playback is not so much a fault of the MBA in particular as it is a general problem with OSX and Flash. The next version of Flash is due out soon and may address the issue.

I don't have experience streaming netflix so I cannot comment on that.

If you're worried about the bezel scratching, either purchase a Radtech Screensavrz or use the keyboard cover that comes with the Air.

Spanky Deluxe
Dec 3, 2009, 09:49 AM
To be honest, YouTube playback on an MBA or a 13" MBP is not really that different since it is still held back by Adobe's awful flash player. Flash videos sometimes even stutter on my Mac Pro.

You say your friend's MBA has marred its screen with the keyboard. Are you sure that isn't just grease? My MacBook Pro's screen has a clear outline of the keys when the screen is off. All it is is transfer of the grease on fingers to the keypad and then onto the screen when closed. It is easy to clean off and the only reason I haven't done so yet is because I don't notice it when the screen is on and so forget.

bumknees
Dec 3, 2009, 10:06 AM
gnf389 -- I'm a 2LE (evening student -- work full time during the day). You keep your MBA in a separate bag from your casebooks, right? I can only imagine that a nice thick Con Law casebook would easily crunch the MBA. What sleeve/case do you use? Good luck on your final exams! I can send you some outlines if you need them.

Spanky Deluxe -- it actually seemed to be scratches on the screen. He wiped the screen and bezel with an iKlear wipe, but the keyboard impressions remained. Also, I never seemed to have trouble with videos on my old MBP (MacBookPro3,1, 2.4GHz, 8600M GT w/256MB VRAM). Would the 9400M be much worse?

Thanks!

christofvds
Dec 3, 2009, 10:17 AM
1. the latest MBA's are much more powerful than the 1st generation. Current version is 3rd gen and even the 2nd gen (which I am using) is a big leap forward. Personally I would never go back to a MBP: I travel for business very frequently, don't miss my optical drive at all, and can now always carry my mac with me wherever I go, without even noticing its weight.

2. for the screen: I had the same problem with my previous MBP. You can get a transparent screen protector to cover the screen. If any etching/scratching occurs over time, you can remove the protector and replace it.

3. dunno about NetFlix

applesupergeek
Dec 3, 2009, 10:20 AM
A keep it from me too.

Btw, there are options, I just can't remember them right now, to bypass the flash in youtube like the iphone does, the simplest being to choose high quality from within the youtube vid, the other one is a non flash youtube website which somehow you can access, and a third and perhaps the best is to download a separate youtube (and other vid sites) player for the mac that doesn't use flash in playing the vids, I d really like to be more specific but it's been a while seen I was reading about all that. Have a look at macupdate.

macintologist
Dec 3, 2009, 10:39 AM
http://rentzsch.github.com/clicktoflash/

Install that and select the option to play Youtube videos in Quicktime rather than flash. Problem solved.

applesupergeek
Dec 3, 2009, 11:04 AM
http://rentzsch.github.com/clicktoflash/

Install that and select the option to play Youtube videos in Quicktime rather than flash. Problem solved.

That's the option I couldn't remember and was trying to! Thanks for reminding it. It's a superb option for mac user by all accounts, and does away with that awful pest that is flash.

MultiFinder17
Dec 3, 2009, 12:23 PM
I'd second keeping it. I have a Revision C 1.83GHz Air, and it has no trouble playing HD youtube. I'm a full-time student that carries his bag everywhere he goes, and having an Air is truly a godsend. As for your worries about it getting crushed, I jam mine in my messenger bag with thick, heavy advanced calculus texts and engineering texts, and it looks no worse for wear :)

gnr319
Dec 3, 2009, 01:42 PM
gnf389 -- I'm a 2LE (evening student -- work full time during the day). You keep your MBA in a separate bag from your casebooks, right? I can only imagine that a nice thick Con Law casebook would easily crunch the MBA. What sleeve/case do you use? Good luck on your final exams! I can send you some outlines if you need them.

Spanky Deluxe -- it actually seemed to be scratches on the screen. He wiped the screen and bezel with an iKlear wipe, but the keyboard impressions remained. Also, I never seemed to have trouble with videos on my old MBP (MacBookPro3,1, 2.4GHz, 8600M GT w/256MB VRAM). Would the 9400M be much worse?

Thanks!

I use a Waterfield sleeve for my Air and I put it inside Crumpler's "The Famous Wine Bar".

The Waterfield sleeve is great although no bargain. You can purchase at sfbags.com

The Famous Wine Bar is one of the largest messenger backpacks made by Crumpler and I highly recommend it as well. It is more conservative-looking than some alternative backpack messengers, but for me that is a good thing. It is somewhat expensive at $175 but as a law student you have a lot of belongings to carry around. I like it because the main compartment is separated. I put my Air on the outside compartment so it does not get squished by the casebooks that I stash on the inner compartment. You can take a look at Crumpler's website: www.crumpler.com

Thanks for offering the outlines! I'll keep that in mind...

powerbook911
Dec 4, 2009, 01:11 AM
Obviously you'll lose some money selling it, the 2.13 machine is really good. The graphics are also better now than the 1st gen you saw your friend use.

I'd say open it up and use it a couple years at least. The small drive would bother me a bit, but you can just use an external, for huge files.

The high end Air like that one is really a competent computer. Truly, I doubt you'll find it performs much worst than your last Mac. Probably about the same. My 2 GHZ Mac Mini performs just as good as my 2.4 GHZ iMac effectively as the memory is faster now too. Plus you have the SSD in that Air.

If you do open it up, let us know what you think!

bumknees
Dec 4, 2009, 01:26 AM
Thanks for all of the replies! I'll probably end up keeping this. I posted it on Craigslist, but I've only gotten replies from scammers and people asking to buy it for $900 or less.

Are they any known "issues" with this version of MBA aside from lines on some screens, and weak hinges?

alphaod
Dec 4, 2009, 03:16 AM
T
Are they any known "issues" with this version of MBA aside from lines on some screens, and weak hinges?

Resist cutting cake with it.

M-X
Dec 4, 2009, 03:56 AM
I just picked up a 2.13 MBA for travelling, and it is one of the best mac laptops i've ever used (and i've had most). Toyed with the MBP 13" but much preferred the form factor and screen on the MBA.

Not too worried about the 2gb ram limit - for casual use that's fine, and will replace once applecare runs out in 2012

Jayomat
Dec 4, 2009, 02:23 PM
http://rentzsch.github.com/clicktoflash/

Install that and select the option to play Youtube videos in Quicktime rather than flash. Problem solved.

That's the option I couldn't remember and was trying to! Thanks for reminding it. It's a superb option for mac user by all accounts, and does away with that awful pest that is flash.

where can I enable the option to play videos in quicktime? i can't find it.

thx for a reply in advance :apple:

edit: lol,... got it ;) never mind... but it seems as if you cannot play every youtube vid in quicktime... ??!?

entatlrg
Dec 4, 2009, 04:17 PM
Within the last 10 months I've bought every style of MacBook for my Company and spent time with all of them ...

Right now I'm using a Mac Pro, 15" MBP and an Air. The Air is never out of reach, it's a GREAT computer, truly fun to use, easy to carry, great screen ... once you've owned/used an Air it's hard to be without one!

Good choice to keep yours.

a.chufong
Dec 4, 2009, 07:01 PM
@OP: Glad to read that you decided to keep it.

Ya probably don't need this advice, but I've found boot camp to be essential 'cause ExamSoft only runs on Windows. (Or at least that was the case when I was in law school and took the bar.) Just throwing in my 0.02 :)

Balthezor
Dec 9, 2009, 05:14 PM
Thanks for all of the replies! I'll probably end up keeping this. I posted it on Craigslist, but I've only gotten replies from scammers and people asking to buy it for $900 or less.

Are they any known "issues" with this version of MBA aside from lines on some screens, and weak hinges?

I bought mine back in June for med school. No issues yet really. Mine does have the lines, but I seriously don't notice it anymore. I use to be anal about it when I first got it.

Maybe the fan noise might annoy you. But theres threads here to combat that, to lower the RPMs. Enjoy your Air. Random people always come up to me and ask me if this is the Air.