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jhgnag
Apr 15, 2010, 10:00 AM
Hello,

Any thoughts on the new 13" MBP vs. the 2.13 MBA? I just received a MBA a few weeks ago and could return/exchange for a MBP if I decide to. I really like the MBA, but have two concerns (RAM and battery life). I use mostly as a home and second travel computer. I mostly use just e-mail, web, office, Aperture (RAW file), and an occasional movie when travelling. I do have my photos on an iMac where I do most of that work.

Anyway, here's how I see it...the MBP has the MBA beat in processor, RAM (existing & upgradable), battery life, ethernet speed, Firewire, optical drive and price. The MBA has a better hard drive (128 SSD) and of course smaller and lighter.

For me, it seems the question comes down to if the smaller size/weight and better drive of the MBA make it a better choice for me than all the performance and price benefits of the MBP. Am I missing anything here?

Also, I know the MBP didn't get the processor everyone was hoping for, but how much would I be giving up with the current revised processors.



blairh
Apr 15, 2010, 12:01 PM
Just a quick word about battery life. When I briefly had the Rev. B MBA, I got roughly 3 - 3.5 hours of battery life in a full charge during my "normal" work conditions (wifi on, screen close to max brightness, running Firefox). Though the current 13" MBP claims 10 hours I'm guessing it is closer to 7.5 - 8 hours. That is still very significant and you need to decide how important that alone will be in your decision. I think it's very safe to say that if battery life is important to you, you should grab the MBP. Also while I loved the toting that MBA around, I really don't find the current MBP's (4.5lbs) to be all that much heavier in my bag.

roxygal9
Apr 15, 2010, 12:21 PM
Just a quick word about battery life. When I briefly had the Rev. B MBA, I got roughly 3 - 3.5 hours of battery life in a full charge during my "normal" work conditions (wifi on, screen close to max brightness, running Firefox). Though the current 13" MBP claims 10 hours I'm guessing it is closer to 7.5 - 8 hours. That is still very significant and you need to decide how important that alone will be in your decision. I think it's very safe to say that if battery life is important to you, you should grab the MBP. Also while I loved the toting that MBA around, I really don't find the current MBP's (4.5lbs) to be all that much heavier in my bag.

This is a great post and thread! I am kinda in same boat considering the new MBP or "new" mba? You say the 1.5 lbs. isnt really that much heavier, and I am wondering if it will make to much of a diff. lugging around school? The MBP has more power and battery and really more economical. I am interested in getting the 13 in MBP with SSD but not sure if I should go with the lower end processor or higher end procesor, will there really be much of a difference? Of course I also want this machine to last for a few years as well. Any suggestions?

PandaOnslaught
Apr 15, 2010, 12:24 PM
This is a great post and thread! I am kinda in same boat considering the new MBP or "new" mba? You say the 1.5 lbs. isnt really that much heavier, and I am wondering if it will make to much of a diff. lugging around school? The MBP has more power and battery and really more economical. I am interested in getting the 13 in MBP with SSD but not sure if I should go with the lower end processor or higher end procesor, will there really be much of a difference? Of course I also want this machine to last for a few years as well. Any suggestions?

i lugged a 14lb laptop around and when i got a 8lber it was much much lighter 1.5lbs would make a difference, but you get used to it regardless of the weight. i don't like MBA's too much because they are essential really expensive net books. the new MBP 13" its great in every respect. i would get that, just my preference, though, some people really love their MBA and i respect that so i wont say anything bad about it

roxygal9
Apr 15, 2010, 12:32 PM
i lugged a 14lb laptop around and when i got a 8lber it was much much lighter 1.5lbs would make a difference, but you get used to it regardless of the weight. i don't like MBA's too much because they are essential really expensive net books. the new MBP 13" its great in every respect. i would get that, just my preference, though, some people really love their MBA and i respect that so i wont say anything bad about it

Thanks for your insight. I agree the MBA is kinda an expensive netbook, though of course much more powerful. I wish Apple would ditch the cdrom drive on the 13in. and decrease its form factor, maybe that will happen in years to come, but I need a notebook before July (i have to get used to the OS, never used OXS before). When I picked up the 13 in MBP it seemed to feel lighter than 4.5 lbs, kindal like the design of it helps perhaps, and though the MBA is nice, I can easily justify a 500 purchase (ipad) over an 1800 purchase (MBA with SSD) in which u will lose some ports in there and lets be honest it is easier to pick up something without a keybpard (ipad) than any laptop. I tend to web surf on my droid a lot (been a verizon customer for years, but will buy iphone once comes out), so picking up a device like the ipad is conducive, and then the 13 in mbp for real work.

I dont know, Apple eems to have given some options but at the same time they are hard options to contemplate since a few products kinda coincide, anyone else feel like that?

madmaxmedia
Apr 15, 2010, 01:05 PM
My only problem with the MBA is the non-upgradable 2GB RAM.

I understand why the RAM is hard-wired, but 4GB should be standard or at least an option considering it is a premium-price product.

This is coming from someone who uses a MBP as my only computer though, not to supplement a desktop. I only have 3GB on my MBP, but that significantly increases the available headroom after taking into account OS-occupied RAM.

hohohong
Apr 15, 2010, 01:20 PM
Sounds like a lot of people is choosing MBP over MBA. Maybe Steve is deliberately set up the line up to get rid of MBA?

In 2008, MBA is one of a kind. Now, there’s so much competition that Steve doesn’t wanna spend effort in MBA. Steve:”Heck, might as well let MBP cannibalize MBA!”

halledise
Apr 15, 2010, 03:52 PM
once Apple work out cooling issues in such a small and elegant form factor, you will indeed see an Intel Core i-something processor with 320M graphics and 4 gb memory.
patience - Steve ain't not going to ditch the Air.
just give it time for the iPad to get established around the world and then … …

bf2008
Apr 15, 2010, 04:07 PM
Hello,

Any thoughts on the new 13" MBP vs. the 2.13 MBA? I just received a MBA a few weeks ago and could return/exchange for a MBP if I decide to. I really like the MBA, but have two concerns (RAM and battery life). I use mostly as a home and second travel computer. I mostly use just e-mail, web, office, Aperture (RAW file), and an occasional movie when travelling. I do have my photos on an iMac where I do most of that work.

Anyway, here's how I see it...the MBP has the MBA beat in processor, RAM (existing & upgradable), battery life, ethernet speed, Firewire, optical drive and price. I the MBA has a better hard drive (128 SSD) and of course smaller and lighter.

For me, it seems the question comes down to if the smaller size/weight and better drive of the MBA make it a better choice for me than all the performance and price benefits of the MBP. Am I missing anything here?

Also, I know the MBP didn't get the processor everyone was hoping for, but how much would I be giving up with the current revised processors.

It sounds like you don't really need a very light laptop. My understanding of the air is that it's for people who are on the road all day and do mainly internet work.
I like the MBP a lot more, and I think it's much better computer (especially much cheaper), so would change it if you still can.
About your hard drive comparison, you're not really comparing like with like. You can also get solid state drive on the MBP if you want. (I still think they are too expensive nowadays, maybe worth to wait one or two years and upgrade later but it's up to you).
Good luck with your decision!

jhgnag
Apr 15, 2010, 04:14 PM
It sounds like you don't really need a very light laptop. My understanding of the air is that it's for people who are on the road all day and do mainly internet work.
I like the MBP a lot more, and I think it's much better computer (especially much cheaper), so would change it if you still can.
About your hard drive comparison, you're not really comparing like with like. You can also get solid state drive on the MBP if you want. (I still think they are too expensive nowadays, maybe worth to wait one or two years and upgrade later but it's up to you).
Good luck with your decision!

Weight is definitely a factor. I'm carrying a Dell E6400 on most work travel (every week or two), so the 3 lbs. is a big consideration since I'm bringing a 2nd laptop on most trips.

Granted the MBP is only 1.5 lbs. more. 50% more for the computer, but considering my entire bag probably weighs 12ish lbs., that's less than a 10% increase in total weight.

I want a 2.5 lb. MBA, 4 GB RAM, with 10 hours of battery life for $1500. Choices...choices....

Scottsdale
Apr 15, 2010, 04:21 PM
The 13" MBP wastes weight and thickness because it has an outdated and irrelevant optical drive in it. Other than that, it's one hell of a system that will obviously blow away the MBA.

But the truth is, do you NEED that extra performance or do you just want it because it's "better?" I have a theory that basically hypothesizes that in our minds we think we "deserve" more for our money. We don't like the value proposition for an MBA right now because it's the same price as it was nearly eleven months ago for the exact same MBA. We read 4 GB of RAM here or 8 GB of RAM there, and we want it. We read new processors at 20% faster and we want them. We read 1 GB VRAM over 256 MB shared VRAM and we want it.

What is it that truly benefits us? The advantages are NOT the components but what the user experiences. The advantages of the MBA - lightweight, super thin, full-sized keyboard and display even though thin and lightweight, backlit keyboard, large trackpad, mini display port that drives a 30" ACD, LED backlit display that looks beautiful, ultra cool aluminum and design that just feels amazing like a tool, a faster computer than most other Mac notebooks to the business user by reducing the bottleneck of the drive, and an OS that just works.

What would we prefer more? An MBA with a Core 2 Duo CPU and integrated graphics OR an MBA with a Core i7 and dedicated graphics? Why? Would we actually use any of that power? Some of us would, sure. But I don't think most of that means anything to the average MBA user. What we should be looking for are other innovative improvements and worry less about the CPU being the latest and greatest. Now, we absolutely NEED more RAM if we want to run two OSes at the same time, and that's the only thing we all probably really need out of this next update. Wouldn't it be better if Apple gave us a few new innovative features and kept with the C2D and Nvidia GPU if that could provide us with the best experience? I would love to have an MBA with an aluminum capped keyboard. How simple does that sound? How much would it cost? A $1 maybe? How much would it add to my experience? I would love it for the feel and the look. What else would I benefit from? How about a new IPS display that looks gorgeous? What else sounds good? A better audio/speaker system. What else could I really use? Some new innovative feature like not just a glass trackpad but an OLED trackpad that displayed the same screen as the display we look at so gave users an iPad like experience with the trackpad to pinch and zoom on what we want. What other things would I truly enjoy? How about black aluminum? How about new wireless tech to send the display signal wirelessly? How about a USB 3.0 port? Or LightPeak? How about less bezel space? How about removing space around keyboard to make the footprint smaller but still give us a 13" display and full sized keyboard?

There are much better ways to make the MBA better than just upgrading the CPU. The CPU isn't the real bottleneck in today's computers. Graphics are a constraint, but most of the time the user is waiting on the drive system. The point is I can be fine with C2D for some time to come, if Apple would focus on what truly gives its users an amazing experience.

I want an amazing experience from my MBA first and foremost. I hope Apple ignores the idea of going forward with the most powerful every component and gets back to what makes the MBA amazing, innovation through creativity.

The problem with Tuesdays MBP updates was they offered NOTHING new other than a better resolution display option in the 15" MBP. All previous updates I can remember featured things that gave the user a better experience, whether it be as simple as a glass trackpad, or beautiful as an LED backlit display, or obvious as a backlit keyboard, or even as simple as sure beauty in the form factor/case via an upgrade to solid aluminum rather than various parts glued together. We got nothing new in terms of INNOVATION. That is what scares me the most. The MBPs are really nice, but I expect some real innovation and Apple isn't delivering there because it's too focused on the iPads. Think of the MBA. There has been nothing new at all since October 2008. The design and case have been exactly the same since March 2008. We did get new features with October 2008, but wouldn't we expect more for our money now two plus years later? I want a computer that just works for both OSes so I need 4 GB of RAM, and I also want a computer that is innovative and offers true advantages over PC counterparts. There isn't a feature of the MBA not available for a PC counterpart, or specifically the Sony Vaio Z. In addition, the quality of every component on the Z is better. Think about when the MBA was introduced in October 2008, nobody even came close on 1/2 the components and innovation, whereas now every other company has competing products that use all of the same features of innovation. Where has the innovation gone with Apple and its Mac computers?

gri
Apr 15, 2010, 06:02 PM
...Where has the innovation gone with Apple and its Mac computers?

Well said - and probably easily answered: into the iPad. Seems like Apple truly stopped being Apple Computers Inc. They seem to delay the new OS for the iPad/Phone OS. I think they see that this is a golden road, and the iTunes store is the money machine that needs iPads and iPhones - not Macs. So Macs are updated half-heartedly as shown with the last update.

jhgnag
Apr 15, 2010, 06:43 PM
It sounds like you don't really need a very light laptop. My understanding of the air is that it's for people who are on the road all day and do mainly internet work.
I like the MBP a lot more, and I think it's much better computer (especially much cheaper), so would change it if you still can.
About your hard drive comparison, you're not really comparing like with like. You can also get solid state drive on the MBP if you want. (I still think they are too expensive nowadays, maybe worth to wait one or two years and upgrade later but it's up to you).
Good luck with your decision!

Thanks for all the responses and in particular Scottsdale for your input in the forum and PMs (yes, I do read and enjoy the long posts).

What you are all saying makes sense. What I need vs. what I "think" I need. Three considerations keep resonating to me: RAM, battery life and size/weight.

I did to a few tests w/Aperture after I installed 4GB RAM from the 1GB in our 2.4 Ghz iMac today. I have a few thousand pictures in my main file. Most 7-8MB RAW files. What I noticed right away is that adjustments happen real time, rather than waiting a second or so to appear. Also when flipping between pictures, they now instantly load vs. "Waiting to Load" for a few seconds. I guess I am seeing some of the benefits of additional RAM.

Then, I looked at the same pictures that I had copied to the MBA. They take 4 seconds to load each time I click the next arrow. Then wirelessly accessed my iMac Aperture file wirelessly w/the MBA. Pictures were taking about 6 seconds to fully load. I'm not sure if the delay is due to the 2 GB RAM on the MBA, or because I accessed the file wirelessly.

One thing I'm concerned about is if I upgrade my camera from my 5 year old Canon 20D and all of a sudden am dealing w/15 MB files.

I absolutely LOVE this MBA. It's just a great size and performs well. But...I am seriously considering the 13 MBP. I decided today the 15 is just too big and heavy. The 13 MBP gives me some headroom on RAM and battery, but obviously at the cost of size and weight.

One more consideration, although I don't really want the optical drive, it would be handy for those family trips when the wife wants to play a DVD for the little one. As I did it last week, I had to Handbrake a DVD, then I was paranoid the whole time it played that I was draining my battery life.

Decisions...decisions.

One more question. Am I giving up ANY performance with the revised MBA 13 (other than the SSD) vs. the 2.13 MBA? Any ideas where to get and how much a 256 or 512 SSD would cost for the MBA if I decide to go that route?

Thanks.

jhgnag
Apr 16, 2010, 12:12 PM
...a faster computer than most other Mac notebooks to the business user by reducing the bottleneck of the drive...

Scottsdale, can you elaborate on this. Is this relative to the updated MBPs as well?

Thanks.

AppliedMicro
Apr 16, 2010, 12:39 PM
The problem with Tuesdays MBP updates was they offered NOTHING new other than a better resolution display option in the 15" MBP.
Just not true.
Did we get a 10 hour battery replacing the previously 7 hour battery on the 13", or didn't we?

All previous updates I can remember featured things that gave the user a better experience, whether it be as simple as a glass trackpad, or beautiful as an LED backlit display, or obvious as a backlit keyboard, or even as simple as sure beauty in the form factor/case via an upgrade to solid aluminum rather than various parts glued together. We got nothing new in terms of INNOVATION.
I think that's quite an unfair assessment.
3 hours longer battery life on the 13": is that a better user experience or not?
Doesn't a hi-res display display a "better experience" to the user (SOME users), or does it?
I mean… shall we count the number of times people on this forum have wished for a higher resolution display on the 15" MBP?
On the other hand… who can spot the difference between LED backlight or not - and who could, back in the day…?

Besides that, I'm pretty much d'accord with everything you wrote in your previous post.

Well said - and probably easily answered: into the iPad. Seems like Apple truly stopped being Apple Computers Inc.
Quite on the contrary.
The iPad is the future of personal computing.

gwsat
Apr 16, 2010, 01:42 PM
All I had to do was confirm that the refreshed 13 inch MBP still weighed 4.5 pounds to end the inquiry. Despite its, in many ways, impressive capabilities, the 13 inch MBP is too heavy for my tastes when compared to the much less powerful MBA and way less capable iPad. I agree with Scottsdale's observation that for many users, the MBA's 2Gb of RAM is plenty. Unfortunately, though, many of us have learned the hard way that 2Gb is woefully insufficient to run the apps we use, think Fusion and Windows 7 in Unity mode or Aperture. If the MBA were cheap enough for it to make sense to buy it for use as not much more than a Web browser and email computer, as the iPad is, a lot more folks would buy it. But, given its premium price, I would be unwilling to buy one until and unless it had the capability to be my every day go to machine, as my MBP is now.

jhgnag
Apr 16, 2010, 01:53 PM
All I had to do was confirm that the refreshed 13 inch MBP still weighed 4.5 pounds to end the inquiry. Despite its, in many ways, impressive capabilities, the 13 inch MBP is too heavy for my tastes when compared to the much less powerful MBA and way less capable iPad. I agree with Scottsdale's observation that for many users, the MBA's 2Gb of RAM is plenty. Unfortunately, though, many of us have learned the hard way that 2Gb is woefully insufficient to run the apps we use, think Fusion and Windows 7 in Unity mode or Aperture. If the MBA were cheap enough for it to make sense to buy it for use as not much more than a Web browser and email computer, as the iPad is, a lot more folks would buy it. But, given its premium price, I would be unwilling to buy one until and unless it had the capability to be my every day go to machine, as my MBP is now.

What issues/concerns do you have w/Aperture on MBA?

Scottsdale
Apr 16, 2010, 03:17 PM
Just not true.
Did we get a 10 hour battery replacing the previously 7 hour battery on the 13", or didn't we?


I think that's quite an unfair assessment.
3 hours longer battery life on the 13": is that a better user experience or not?
Doesn't a hi-res display display a "better experience" to the user (SOME users), or does it?
I mean… shall we count the number of times people on this forum have wished for a higher resolution display on the 15" MBP?
On the other hand… who can spot the difference between LED backlight or not - and who could, back in the day…?

Besides that, I'm pretty much d'accord with everything you wrote in your previous post.


Quite on the contrary.
The iPad is the future of personal computing.

Look at why you got your 10-hour battery. The battery is 3% larger on the 13" MBP. You got your extra battery by the TDP savings on the Nvidia 320m. Apple didn't give you a 40% larger battery at the exact same weight... miraculous and beneficial that would be for the MBA.

Everyone wants to think Apple is somehow adding 40% more battery for no added weight or space... that's not how this is happening. Apple is changing the demands of power to give the user the graphics capabilities.

I have said before that the only real innovation in the MBP updates was only to the 15" MBP and that is IF the user is willing to pay more money for it. In the past, Apple has given true innovation, something that PCs didn't offer at the time. Tell me where those features are on these new MBPs? I even pointed out what they were in the past.

Now, go time your 10-hour battery and tell me what you really get through normal use. People using the 15" are getting around 5.5 hours. These magical transformations aren't very magical. And these MBP updates didn't take the MBPs to the "next level" as SJ would have you all believe.

Scottsdale
Apr 16, 2010, 03:27 PM
Scottsdale, can you elaborate on this. Is this relative to the updated MBPs as well?

Thanks.

My point is the drive is the bottleneck in the common user's computer. Apple uses an SSD as standard in the high end rev 2,1 MBA. The common user will get a faster experience through normal tasks, on an MBA with an SSD than a standard configured MBP without an SSD.

Now, the MBP can have an SSD added to it, but they don't sell them standard that way. If you go to the Apple Store, you can pickup an MBA with SSD in it, but you cannot an MBP. You have to build to order your MBP to get an SSD in it. Sure, it's available for the MBP user, but most aren't going to pay more money than a standard configuration. People will buy a low-end or high-end Mac, but unless it includes an SSD in one of those configurations most people are never going to see the advantage of an SSD.

The real advancements in the speed of computers can come far faster by improving the drives and drive controllers than by upgrading to a faster CPU. But in reality, anyone can BTO an MBP with an SSD.

That's what I meant about the SSD in the MBA. An SSD in a 2.13 GHz MBA is going to give a user a bigger advantage than a 2.66 GHz Core i7 in an MBP with a 7200rpm HDD FOR COMMON TASKS.

jhgnag
Apr 16, 2010, 03:33 PM
My point is the drive is the bottleneck in the common user's computer. Apple uses an SSD as standard in the high end rev 2,1 MBA. The common user will get a faster experience through normal tasks, on an MBA with an SSD than a standard configured MBP without an SSD.

Now, the MBP can have an SSD added to it, but they don't sell them standard that way. If you go to the Apple Store, you can pickup an MBA with SSD in it, but you cannot an MBP. You have to build to order your MBP to get an SSD in it. Sure, it's available for the MBP user, but most aren't going to pay more money than a standard configuration. People will buy a low-end or high-end Mac, but unless it includes an SSD in one of those configurations most people are never going to see the advantage of an SSD.

The real advancements in the speed of computers can come far faster by improving the drives and drive controllers than by upgrading to a faster CPU. But in reality, anyone can BTO an MBP with an SSD.

That's what I meant about the SSD in the MBA. An SSD in a 2.13 GHz MBA is going to give a user a bigger advantage than a 2.66 GHz Core i7 in an MBP with a 7200rpm HDD FOR COMMON TASKS.

I think you just explained why the MBA feels very quick & nimble to me. For 90% of what I am doing, it is just fast...faster than my iMac w/a standard drive.

Scottsdale
Apr 16, 2010, 03:46 PM
I think you just explained why the MBA feels very quick & nimble to me. For 90% of what I am doing, it is just fast...faster than my iMac w/a standard drive.

Yes, that is why the MBA feels so damned fast. Most just think it's amazing, and they don't know why a 2.13 GHz MBA can be so fast. That is why the MBA with HDD feels so damned slow too!

If you put an SSD in your iMac, you will feel the exact same thing. It will scream. I am surprised that Apple hasn't used Small SSD and soldered to the logic board to get this kind of speed and performance in all Macs at least from the OS and basic Apps. A 32 GB SSD would make most people truly love their Macs... then use an HDD separate as the removable/upgradeable drive. Most people want an SSD for the speed, but they have to buy one big enough for all of their files. We would all be much better off getting an SSD standard for our OS and application files. Of course an SSD would be faster for all non-OS and non-application files too, but the majority of the speed comes from the SSD running the OS and applications.

gwsat
Apr 16, 2010, 05:10 PM
What issues/concerns do you have w/Aperture on MBA?
I have no personal experience with Aperture. I included it as an example of an app that runs better with more than 2Gb of RAM because another poster who does use Aperture said so. He indicated that Aperture ran faster when he upgraded his RAM. Can't recall which thread it was, though. Sorry about that. I can tell you from first hand experience, though, that 2Gb of RAM were insufficient to allow me to satisfactorily run Fusion and Windows in Unity mode on my MBP.

darngooddesign
Apr 16, 2010, 05:27 PM
Thanks for your insight. I agree the MBA is kinda an expensive netbook, though of course much more powerful...

So not really a Netbook then.

jhgnag
Apr 16, 2010, 05:37 PM
I have no personal experience with Aperture. I included it as an example of an app that runs better with more than 2Gb of RAM because another poster who does use Aperture said so. He indicated that Aperture ran faster when he upgraded his RAM. Can't recall which thread it was, though. Sorry about that. I can tell you from first hand experience, though, that 2Gb of RAM were insufficient to allow me to satisfactorily run Fusion and Windows in Unity mode on my MBP.

It may have been my post yesterday when I upgraded my iMac to 4GB from 1GB.

johnnymg
Apr 16, 2010, 05:40 PM
Hello,

Any thoughts on the new 13" MBP vs. the 2.13 MBA? I just received a MBA a few weeks ago and could return/exchange for a MBP if I decide to. I really like the MBA, but have two concerns (RAM and battery life). I use mostly as a home and second travel computer. I mostly use just e-mail, web, office, Aperture (RAW file), and an occasional movie when travelling. I do have my photos on an iMac where I do most of that work.

Anyway, here's how I see it...the MBP has the MBA beat in processor, RAM (existing & upgradable), battery life, ethernet speed, Firewire, optical drive and price. I the MBA has a better hard drive (128 SSD) and of course smaller and lighter.

For me, it seems the question comes down to if the smaller size/weight and better drive of the MBA make it a better choice for me than all the performance and price benefits of the MBP. Am I missing anything here?

Also, I know the MBP didn't get the processor everyone was hoping for, but how much would I be giving up with the current revised processors.

How long does your Air last on the battery?

The long "up to 10 hours" of the new 13" was the deal clincher for me. Ordered it straight away.

I do expect an updated AIR soon and I expect it will have a slightly longer bat life than the current version.

cheers
JohnG

jhgnag
Apr 16, 2010, 06:30 PM
How long does your Air last on the battery?

The long "up to 10 hours" of the new 13" was the deal clincher for me. Ordered it straight away.

I do expect an updated AIR soon and I expect it will have a slightly longer bat life than the current version.

cheers
JohnG

3-4 hours. I got about 2 1/2 on an HD movie. It's not awful, but it's always on my mind...

roxygal9
Apr 16, 2010, 08:27 PM
So not really a Netbook then.

No it isnt and I dont think it is whats so ever. I was talking in relative terms that were being used.

I am opting for the 13 MBP with 256 SSD. I dont think the new MBA will have a 10 hr battery life, and though it is lighter and quite powerful, it is hard to justify it economically. THough I like the thinness/lightweight the battery life and less memory (2gb) is deal breaker.
Perhaps Apple is trying to get consumers to ditch air, and get maybe 13 mbp with ipad?

I am waiting on some benchmarks that compare it to the old 13 and 15 in mbp, and then will pull trigger.

As an owner of a dell XPS, the sleek design of the mbp and the beautiful display/glass trackpad is awesome! Perhaps next go around i can get the revised mba (if its refreshed). Bummer, but again they really gotta look at drpooing the price a little.

Scottsdale
Apr 16, 2010, 08:42 PM
How long does your Air last on the battery?

The long "up to 10 hours" of the new 13" was the deal clincher for me. Ordered it straight away.

I do expect an updated AIR soon and I expect it will have a slightly longer bat life than the current version.

cheers
JohnG

I agree... the new MBA will have a slightly better battery, and it might even get marketed to 7 hours. I suspect Apple will use the new battery tech that gives it 1000 cycles, and the slightly denser. However, they cannot do what they did with the MBPs/MBs, because it started in the MBA. Apple already saved space by not using removable batteries. It cannot go too dense or add any weight at all. The whole purpose of the MBA is to keep it at 3 lb.

I would be disgusted to keep the same shape/case of the MBA but add even a 1/2 lb to gain double the battery life. We all have to realize that the weight demands determines we are stuck with four to five hours... or at least we all SHOULD realize that the weight we want AND THE POWER AND PERFORMANCE LIMITATIONS OF THAT WEIGHT, is right at the limit of 3 lb. To go lightweight we have to give some power and performance and some battery too.

I will prefer keeping low voltage CPUs and Nvidia GPUs over ultra low voltage Core i7 and sole use of Intel's GMA IGP. We all have to think about what Apple wants to offer us. I hope we can get an extra hour by using a slightly larger battery or better battery tech without adding weight or mass at all.

blesscheese
Apr 17, 2010, 07:40 AM
I was comparing the MBA vs. the 13 inch MBP, and chose the MBA. I had wanted to upgrade over a year ago, but did not like the current models then. I then used a "hackintosh" for over a year (an MSI Wind), and found out (again) how enjoyable having the lightest computer was, compared to lugging around huge, heavy (6 pounds or greater) machines.

Using the netbook also convinced me that optical drives are basically irrelevant.

In any event, for my purposes, the MBA was the clear winner. I have a home desktop, and my business requires me to travel, and provides me with a (blech) Lenovo T61. For me, I just wanted to thinnest and lightest laptop, because I have to lug around 2.

My MBA does everything I need, even with a "paltry" 2GB of RAM and a 128SSD. (My hackintosh did 90% of what I needed to do, with only an Atom processor!) At the expense of being long winded, I can't wait for Apple to ditch the optical drives from the laptops! What a waste of space and weight. When Steve Jobs ditched the floppy, I was there like, OMG how could he? Now, I want to push him to get rid of the optical drive...pretty soon I'll be replacing my desktop with a Mac Mini that will be hooked up to the TV to stream hulu and Netflix & iTunes. That can me my server. In this scenario, a lot more people would find a MBA could fit their needs, and it really would not be such a niche product.

To end this, if there was no MBA, I would probably do what the others on this thread are talking about: go with a 13 inch MBP and put an SSD in it. But if there is a choice, I would always go with the MBA. Since most people with home theater setups will have a desktop server of some sort, I really can see (and hope) that the MBA form factor will live on.

jhgnag
Apr 17, 2010, 08:56 AM
I was comparing the MBA vs. the 13 inch MBP, and chose the MBA. I had wanted to upgrade over a year ago, but did not like the current models then. I then used a "hackintosh" for over a year (an MSI Wind), and found out (again) how enjoyable having the lightest computer was, compared to lugging around huge, heavy (6 pounds or greater) machines.

Using the netbook also convinced me that optical drives are basically irrelevant.

In any event, for my purposes, the MBA was the clear winner. I have a home desktop, and my business requires me to travel, and provides me with a (blech) Lenovo T61. For me, I just wanted to thinnest and lightest laptop, because I have to lug around 2.

My MBA does everything I need, even with a "paltry" 2GB of RAM and a 128SSD. (My hackintosh did 90% of what I needed to do, with only an Atom processor!) At the expense of being long winded, I can't wait for Apple to ditch the optical drives from the laptops! What a waste of space and weight. When Steve Jobs ditched the floppy, I was there like, OMG how could he? Now, I want to push him to get rid of the optical drive...pretty soon I'll be replacing my desktop with a Mac Mini that will be hooked up to the TV to stream hulu and Netflix & iTunes. That can me my server. In this scenario, a lot more people would find a MBA could fit their needs, and it really would not be such a niche product.

To end this, if there was no MBA, I would probably do what the others on this thread are talking about: go with a 13 inch MBP and put an SSD in it. But if there is a choice, I would always go with the MBA. Since most people with home theater setups will have a desktop server of some sort, I really can see (and hope) that the MBA form factor will live on.

Sounds pretty similar to my situation. My work PC (Dell E6400) is locked down and I can't do much on there I want to, so the size of the MBA is a serious plus for me. Then I keep thinking an extra 1 1/2 lbs. isn't that much, especially considering my bag is already about 20 lbs.

koyou
Apr 17, 2010, 09:06 AM
Sounds pretty similar to my situation. My work PC (Dell E6400) is locked down and I can't do much on there I want to, so the size of the MBA is a serious plus for me. Then I keep thinking an extra 1 1/2 lbs. isn't that much, especially considering my bag is already about 20 lbs.

I've similar situation too, thinking to go for the MBP or wait. I've tried comparing both in the store. While holding them on each of my hands, I can tell 1.5 lbs could be significant!

flynz4
Apr 17, 2010, 09:16 AM
i lugged a 14lb laptop around and when i got a 8lber it was much much lighter 1.5lbs would make a difference, but you get used to it regardless of the weight. i don't like MBA's too much because they are essential really expensive net books. the new MBP 13" its great in every respect. i would get that, just my preference, though, some people really love their MBA and i respect that so i wont say anything bad about it

I do not agree with this statement in any way. The MBA is not at all like a netbook. Other than weight... they are not remotely comparable.

A net book has a cramped keyboard, and a tiny, low resolution screen. By contrast... the MBA is light and agile laptop that is a joy to use.

/Jim

JCT
Apr 17, 2010, 10:18 AM
I've similar situation too, thinking to go for the MBP or wait. I've tried comparing both in the store. While holding them on each of my hands, I can tell 1.5 lbs could be significant!

As I still own a Rev A HDD MBA I have gone to the Apple store many times to make that comparison as I have considered giving up my wait and switching over to the 13" MBP.

The heft test sends me back to my pokey MBA every time.

But my patience is wearing thin for an MBA upgrade.

raccoontail
Apr 17, 2010, 01:36 PM
The heft test sends me back to my pokey MBA every time. But my patience is wearing thin for an MBA upgrade.

The 13" MBP is too heavy to be a constant companion, and the MBA makes some odd compromises to achieve its featherweight. I think the ideal portable would be a 12" MBP with the specs of the 13" MBP, minus the optical drive. Keep the MBP ports. (SD reader and FW800 are nice to have!) and at least 6 hr battery life. I would guess that would end up about 1/2lb more than the MBA.

gwsat
Apr 17, 2010, 01:41 PM
I do not agree with this statement in any way. The MBA is not at all like a netbook. Other than weight... they are not remotely comparable.

A net book has a cramped keyboard, and a tiny, low resolution screen. By contrast... the MBA is light and agile laptop that is a joy to use.
I agree that the MBA is certainly not a netbook. When Apple failed to refresh the MBA this week, I immediately bought a 16Gb iPad. Despite its impressive display and the best virtual keyboard I have seen yet, the iPad is not an MBA, either. The MBA is a real computer. Thus, if and when Apple introduces a model of the MBA that would allow me to put 6 or 8Gb or RAM in it, I'll be first in line to buy one. Because of its high price, I would expect an MBA to serve as my every day machine. Unfortunately, though, the current MBA won't do that. In order to be an every day machine, I need one that will run Fusion and Windows 7 in Unity mode, which no Mac with only 2Gb of RAM can do adequately.

Scottsdale
Apr 17, 2010, 07:29 PM
As I still own a Rev A HDD MBA I have gone to the Apple store many times to make that comparison as I have considered giving up my wait and switching over to the 13" MBP.

The heft test sends me back to my pokey MBA every time.

But my patience is wearing thin for an MBA upgrade.

Agreed. The problem is Apple could have given us 4 GB of RAM and an Nvidia 320m several months ago... so an update by WWDC seems obvious now given Apple's past strategy. However, Apple doesn't do the obvious thing and often disappoints. Why so long? Why not at least give us a 4 GB RAM feature and option to go bigger for the SSD? Apple could even charge more via BTO options and make ridiculous margins on these systems. I don't care if I have to pay for every extra feature, I just want the options to get the MBA I truly want.

JCT
Apr 17, 2010, 09:20 PM
? Why not at least give us a 4 GB RAM feature and option to go bigger for the SSD? Apple could even charge more via BTO options and make ridiculous margins on these systems. I don't care if I have to pay for every extra feature, I just want the options to get the MBA I truly want.

This is all I would want -- 4GB of RAM and a good sized SSD would be enough to get me to break out my wallet. It *really* shouldn't be too much to ask for.

blairh
Apr 18, 2010, 12:14 PM
Seeing that the MBA is an ultra-portable, I'd be using mine a lot of course away from home. Often times when I don't have access to a power outlet. So with that in mind I hope Apple really improves the battery life. Also, please don't touch the screen of the MBA! I love my MBP, but the glass panel from edge to edge is less than wonderful when sunlight comes into the mix in any way.

justit
Apr 18, 2010, 11:12 PM
Perhaps Apple is trying to get consumers to ditch air, and get maybe 13 mbp with ipad?

Are we seriously comparing a 10 Hour Macbook Pro and a 3 Hour MBA? :(

After having owned several Rev A and Rev B MBAs, aside from heat, which I got software to control, and lower processing power, which I worked around, the BIG deal breaker was poor battery.

Last years refresh lineup of alu models included the MBA. Hence, it's been left behind this year (what you're still expecting a lonesome MBA only "quite" refresh later this year??) . :rolleyes:

And the MBA will further be left behind once we start seeing iPad cases with integrated hard keyboards. (I know not a "real" computer, but an entry level plastic macbook PLUS an iPad is cheaper than a SINGLE comparable CPU powered MBA.)

The public has now been introduced to that iPad– a device that realistically runs 12+ hours, and coming back to a 3+ hour device will be unacceptable for the keepin' it real light crowd.

Apple now doesn't care for one ultra thin and light, it wants you to think of a thin/light iPad added to whatever laptop you choose.

MBA is soon to be EOL, so get your collectors edition now while they last. :D

gwsat
Apr 19, 2010, 12:13 PM
Are we seriously comparing a 10 Hour Macbook Pro and a 3 Hour MBA? :(

After having owned several Rev A and Rev B MBAs, aside from heat, which I got software to control, and lower processing power, which I worked around, the BIG deal breaker was poor battery.

Last years refresh lineup of alu models included the MBA. Hence, it's been left behind this year (what you're still expecting a lonesome MBA only "quite" refresh later this year??) . :rolleyes:

And the MBA will further be left behind once we start seeing iPad cases with integrated hard keyboards. (I know not a "real" computer, but an entry level plastic macbook PLUS an iPad is cheaper than a SINGLE comparable CPU powered MBA.)

The public has now been introduced to that iPad– a device that realistically runs 12+ hours, and coming back to a 3+ hour device will be unacceptable for the keepin' it real light crowd.

Apple now doesn't care for one ultra thin and light, it wants you to think of a thin/light iPad added to whatever laptop you choose.

MBA is soon to be EOL, so get your collectors edition now while they last. :D
I think that the decision of which ultra lightweight device to chose is more complicated that battery life alone. I have been using an iPad for the past week and have been delighted with its great display, small size, light weight, and impressive battery life. Nevertheless, it has an inadequate browser (no Flash support), limited data storage (64Bb max), and limited application software (you get what Apple deigns to give you through the iPad App Store). In stark contrast, the MBA weighs only three pounds and will run all software apps, even Windows apps, but it has very limited battery life and only 2Gb of RAM. The refreshed 13 inch MBP, as you noted, will do even more that the MBA because it can accommodate 8Gb of RAM and has a 10 hour battery. Unfortunately, though, it weighs 4.5 pounds and so does not qualify as an ultra lightweight, at least not by my definition.

My conclusion from all of the above is that every ultra lightweight device is made up of a series of compromises. Thus, all of them have weaknesses in one place or another. Before buying any them we have to decide which strengths are important enough for us to accept the accompanying weaknesses because there is no free lunch.

justit
Apr 19, 2010, 04:43 PM
Unfortunately, though, it weighs 4.5 pounds and so does not qualify as an ultra lightweight, at least not by my definition.

Agreed, but it's not up to us to define what or even if an ultra-lightweight stand-alone is needed. I stated it was Apple that seems to no longer care for this category especially since the iPad.

No one is claiming the iPad replaces an MBA. But they're trying real hard at disrupting our buying habits: Buy an iPad PLUS another laptop as the norm. And if that's the case, there is no room left for the MBA.

Scottsdale
Apr 19, 2010, 05:36 PM
Are we seriously comparing a 10 Hour Macbook Pro and a 3 Hour MBA? :(

After having owned several Rev A and Rev B MBAs, aside from heat, which I got software to control, and lower processing power, which I worked around, the BIG deal breaker was poor battery.

Last years refresh lineup of alu models included the MBA. Hence, it's been left behind this year (what you're still expecting a lonesome MBA only "quite" refresh later this year??) . :rolleyes:

And the MBA will further be left behind once we start seeing iPad cases with integrated hard keyboards. (I know not a "real" computer, but an entry level plastic macbook PLUS an iPad is cheaper than a SINGLE comparable CPU powered MBA.)

The public has now been introduced to that iPad– a device that realistically runs 12+ hours, and coming back to a 3+ hour device will be unacceptable for the keepin' it real light crowd.

Apple now doesn't care for one ultra thin and light, it wants you to think of a thin/light iPad added to whatever laptop you choose.

MBA is soon to be EOL, so get your collectors edition now while they last. :D

I don't think the MBA will be EOL because the iPad is here. In fact, I believe Apple can sell more MBAs than it ever has just by upgrading the RAM and drive space options. The market buyer for the MBA just cannot run their necessary apps nor create properly and efficiently on an iPad.

What I do agree with and is a nice strategy is buying a white MacBook and an iPad for a lower price than the MBA. That is a great idea for CONSUMERS. I don't believe the average MBA user, who was the intended market buyer for the MBA, will select an iPad and MB or even just an iPad over the MBA. The person that bought the MBA as a cheap secondary computer for $999 when Apple dumped them, will move to an iPad next because that's all they ever intended to use it for (observation and entertainment viewing).

The MBA target buyer is a business type user. Someone that travels and doesn't need raw power. They do need TRUE computing capabilities and mostly need to type or run applications that need OS X and a capable CPU for. The MBA can replace the capabilities of the iPad. The iPad can replace a couple of the capabilities of the MBA. For the consumer that wants to surf the web, watch a movie (and wants to pay for it via iTunes), or check their email while traveling, the iPad is grand. For someone that is working away from the office, the MBA is the perfect tool.

I don't see the MBA's purpose as going away anytime soon. When the MB/MBP get the MBA case or form factor, the MBA will just become more portable, thinner, and more perfect for the business user on the go. The idea of the MBA is more portability yet same performance as I would NEED from an MB or MBP. There will always be tech getting smaller and smaller.

justit
Apr 19, 2010, 06:48 PM
I believe Apple can sell more MBAs than it ever...

They've never moved off the shelf as fast as the other units. Of all the notebooks, the MBA models have always stocked the refurb store. Indicating high returns (like my 3) and overstock.


The person that bought the MBA as a cheap secondary computer for $999 when Apple dumped them, will move to an iPad next because that's all they ever intended to use it for (observation and entertainment viewing).

Agreed, but they are far and few between. Why would a $billion company, commited to reducing model numbers, keep such a device. It was introduced for it's "cool factor" status symbol for discrete buyers and that's been replaced now with iPad.


The MBA target buyer is a business type user. Someone that travels and doesn't need raw power.

A few months back I was at a trade show, went to a booth that had cutting edge software. Sales team/presentation was slick. When questions were asked, with one hand they pulled out the MBA to demo their product. You can now do that with an iPad.

Another time I was listening to a CEO give a presentation. It went long and had to stop to find the power outlet. You can now do that with an iPad.

For many high level execs, the MBA was their first intro to Mac. They're all closet Dell 10 lb. laptop users. They travel with both units, keep the Dell in the hotel room and using the MBA on the show floor. You can now do that with an iPad.

These are just some of the real world use cases for the "business type user" you mention.

Do I miss my MBA? Ofcourse. The best ultraportable I ever owned (when it was hooked to a power supply) :D

Apple can sell more MBAs than it ever has just by upgrading the RAM and drive space options

That's wishful thinking on the part of mostly _existing_ users. Would it become a better machine? Ofcourse. But Apple is trying to train the market that up-specking is irrelevant. That the use case for machines are far more important (ie. Steve Jobs: 13" MBP 10 Hour battery life more important than faster i3/i5 processor) The iPad will sell _more_ b/c it doesn't have a USB, hard drive space, and RAM. And so far the public and professionals are listening/buying.

gwsat
Apr 19, 2010, 08:26 PM
Agreed, but it's not up to us to define what or even if an ultra-lightweight stand-alone is needed. I stated it was Apple that seems to no longer care for this category especially since the iPad.

No one is claiming the iPad replaces an MBA. But they're trying real hard at disrupting our buying habits: Buy an iPad PLUS another laptop as the norm. And if that's the case, there is no room left for the MBA.
You may very well be right that, in a sort of roundabout way, the iPad could pressage the end of the MBA. As indicated in an earlier post, my iPad has proved to be capable and useful, despite it's limitations. It is a lot more than a giant iPhone but a lot less than an MBA or any other full fledged computer. Thus, I could end up living with the iPad and my still perfectly serviceable MBP for awhile longer and then buying an updated MBP next year. All of that said, my bet is that Apple will refresh the MBA sometime during the next few months, probably before the end of the year.

jhgnag
Apr 20, 2010, 11:39 AM
Hello,

Any thoughts on the new 13" MBP vs. the 2.13 MBA? I just received a MBA a few weeks ago and could return/exchange for a MBP if I decide to. I really like the MBA, but have two concerns (RAM and battery life). I use mostly as a home and second travel computer. I mostly use just e-mail, web, office, Aperture (RAW file), and an occasional movie when travelling. I do have my photos on an iMac where I do most of that work.

Anyway, here's how I see it...the MBP has the MBA beat in processor, RAM (existing & upgradable), battery life, ethernet speed, Firewire, optical drive and price. The MBA has a better hard drive (128 SSD) and of course smaller and lighter.

For me, it seems the question comes down to if the smaller size/weight and better drive of the MBA make it a better choice for me than all the performance and price benefits of the MBP. Am I missing anything here?

Also, I know the MBP didn't get the processor everyone was hoping for, but how much would I be giving up with the current revised processors.


Well, I ended up switching for a 2.4 base MBP. While I absolutely loved the MBA, I just had too many concerns (primarily battery life and the RAM). Seems the MBA would serve my needs for the next year or two, but not much beyond that (especially if I upgrade my camera and end up with 15 MB RAW files). I suspect I may end up with another if/when there is a revision, but I think the MBP is just a better value at this time.

Thanks for all your comments and advice. Apple was very accommodating. I was in Saturday (day 29) and the employee told me he would be in on Monday (day 31) if I still wanted to exchange it. I went in last night and it was quick and seamless. No restocking fee. At the same time, I purchased a second MBP for my wife.

gwsat
Apr 20, 2010, 02:16 PM
Well, I ended up switching for a 2.4 base MBP. While I absolutely loved the MBA, I just had too many concerns (primarily battery life and the RAM). Seems the MBA would serve my needs for the next year or two, but not much beyond that (especially if I upgrade my camera and end up with 15 MB RAW files). I suspect I may end up with another if/when there is a revision, but I think the MBP is just a better value at this time.

Thanks for all your comments and advice. Apple was very accommodating. I was in Saturday (day 29) and the employee told me he would be in on Monday (day 31) if I still wanted to exchange it. I went in last night and it was quick and seamless. No restocking fee. At the same time, I purchased a second MBP for my wife.
As long as the 4.5 pound weight of the MBP won't cause too much inconvenience for you, I think going with it instead of the MBA was clearly your best choice. As I have studied the matter, I have concluded that every ultra lightweight, the MBA included, is a series of compromises. In order to achieve its sleek form factor and ultra light weight Apple had to compromise in ways that meant the MBA lacked the battery life, RAM capability, graphics, and sheer horsepower the 13 inch MBP. That just goes to show how much more laptop designers can do when they have 4.5 pounds to work with instead of just 3.

Scottsdale
Apr 20, 2010, 03:41 PM
As long as the 4.5 pound weight of the MBP won't cause too much inconvenience for you, I think going with it instead of the MBA was clearly your best choice. As I have studied the matter, I have concluded that every ultra lightweight, the MBA included, is a series of compromises. In order to achieve its sleek form factor and ultra light weight Apple had to compromise in ways that meant the MBA lacked the battery life, RAM capability, graphics, and sheer horsepower the 13 inch MBP. That just goes to show how much more laptop designers can do when they have 4.5 pounds to work with instead of just 3.

Absolutely. If someone is just as happy with 4.5 lb. as 3 lb., buying an MBA would be stupid. The 13" MBP is so incredibly superior in so many ways right now. The CPU is running full out without throttling at a higher clock speed. The GPU is 80% improvement over the former 13" MBP so probably 100% improvement over the MBA. The RAM capability has a 400% improvement capability. The display is higher quality with better color gamut. The battery easily lasts an extra two hours (although most say nowhere near ten hours). The port selection is better on the 13" MBP with FireWire and two USB ports. It also has a kensington lock slot. In addition, the 13" MBP has the highly useless optical drive that has been outdated for at least three years, but it's there none the less wasting space that could be used for a dedicated graphics chip or even an extra SSD or BluRay. The drive options are so superior on the 13" MBP allowing a full 2.5" drive for incredible options and 4X the SSD drive space option. All around, the 13" MBP is an incredible Mac. At $1199, I would buy the low end model, then upgrade the drive to an Intel 160 GB SSD, and then upgrade the RAM to 8 GB. Then I would be completely happy for a month until the MBA is updated... then I would go right back to the MBA... but for the person happy to carry around 4.5 lb. the MBP is sure joy and incredible value vs. the MBA.

In all honesty, right now people would be crazy to buy an MBA unless they really need ultra-portability, thin, and super lightweight and they couldn't wait for WWDC. I wouldn't buy an MBA right now at all. It is 18 months old. It has been the same price as it was for the same technology 11 months ago.

If I had to buy a notebook right now, I would buy a 13" MBP for $1199 or a 17" MBP for $2299 or a Sony Vaio Z for around $3k for a dream system - depending on my needs. If I had to buy a desktop, I would absolutely be happy yo buy a 27" iMac with C2D refurbished for $1449. If I had to buy a server, I would definitely buy a Mac mini Server for $849 refurbished. If I had to buy a display, I would buy a 24" LED backlit ACD. If I had to buy a router I would buy an AEBS. If I also needed a backup system, I would buy a Time Capsule. If I had to buy an ultraportable device for entertainment or observation, I would buy an iPad. If I had to buy a smartphone, I would buy an HTC Droid Incredible. If I could wait until June for a new smartphone, I would buy an iPhone HD. If I had to buy an MP3 player and wanted to play games too, I would buy an iPod Touch. If I just needed a simple MP3 player, I would buy an iPod Shuffle. If I wanted to buy an entertainment/movie playing system, I would buy an AppleTV or Mac mini.

The point here is there are many Apple products worth buying. Apple is doing a lot of things really right. However, the MBA is the worst value it has been in eleven months. It needs an update so badly, that I wouldn't blame anyone for buying ANY other Apple product rather than the MBA. Even the Mac Pro is older than the MBA, but it's still 100% capable of professional grade computing. The MBA has lost its status as the premier ultraportable that dominated every category/component in the ultraportable market. In addition, the MBA is incapable of doing what the average dual OS user wants to do with it... run Windows 7 in a virtual machine which really needs at least 4 GB of RAM.

If you have to buy right now, DON'T BUY AN MBA! If you get one from work, or get one as a gift, or find one in a local bar with an iPhone 3G cover on it, go ahead and be happy with it. If you have to pay real money for it, the MBA the worst value possible in the last eleven months. Even with a few small updates it would be a good value, but for a Mac that will not be relevant in 12 months let alone three years, there is no reason to pay $1799 plus tax for an MBA. If you can get one for $1349 via the refurbished store it's different if you're happy losing a little bit to upgrade and dump the old one when the new one is released. If you can wait, you will be greatly rewarded or greatly disappointed if the MBA gets EOL'd. Either way, there is no way anyone should spend $1799 plus tax for a current MBA.

gwsat
Apr 20, 2010, 04:58 PM
Scottsdale -- I agree with everything you have said. I have became more sanguine about the weaknesses of ultra portable devices than I once was. I finally understand what I have come to call the Dirty Little Secret that all super lightweight computing devices have to have weaknesses or they wouldn't be as small and light as they are. Thus, I bought an iPad for quick, dirty, and highly mobile tasks, understanding that I would still have to use a real computer for serious data input, multitasking, and other such stuff. The iPad has worked out well so far, primarily because I understood going in that there were things it simply couldn't do. Fortunately, my current MBA suits my needs perfectly and is likely to continue to do so until my AppleCare coverage on it ends in not quite a year. Then, but only then, will I buy a new every day laptop. The only thing that might make me buy earlier would be the unlikely possibility that Apple will put two RAM slots in a refreshed MBA.

The iPad really impressed me yesterday. I ran out of reading material and went to a nearby branch of my public library, where I am a frequent patron. They have wi-fi there, so I took the iPad. As I was browsing the stacks for books to checkout, I saw what Amazon's book critics and buyers had to say about each book that I thought might interest me. I was delighted with how well the exercise worked.

JCT
Apr 20, 2010, 06:02 PM
+++ for both Scottsdale and gwsat

Couldn't agree more. And my iPad 3G arrives 4/30 .

All I can say is that after making a machine that has turned out to be exactly what I needed-- actually a revelation given all of the traveling I do, if Apple EOLs the MBA I will be seriously ticked off. Talk about having to go cold turkey from a "gateway drug".

JT

gwsat
Apr 21, 2010, 08:48 AM
+++ for both Scottsdale and gwsat

Couldn't agree more. And my iPad 3G arrives 4/30 .

All I can say is that after making a machine that has turned out to be exactly what I needed-- actually a revelation given all of the traveling I do, if Apple EOLs the MBA I will be seriously ticked off. Talk about having to go cold turkey from a "gateway drug".
JCT -- I think that you will enjoy your iPad. The problem I have with many of the posts concerning the iPad here is that some claim that it is nothing but a crippled dog, while others take the position that it is a viable replacement for a laptop. Both are wrong in my view. The iPad does a wonderful job of providing a large easily readable display, a decent Web browsing experience, and a virtual keyboard that is spectacular by smartphone standards. Its 10 hour battery life is also outstanding. Nevertheless, the browser lacks Flash, so you can't watch Hulu or videos from other sites as well. The email app is clumsy and the virtual keyboard, while impressive in some ways, is inferior to a laptop's conventional keyboard.

Despite its weakness, I have loved the iPad because it is the first ultra portable computing device I have seen that will let you get information from the Web quickly and pleasantly while you are walking around.

MickeyVee
Apr 21, 2010, 10:11 AM
I'm serously considering moving to the 13" MBP. I have a Rev A MBA and with the internal drive, it was painful. Also gave up on running WinXP under Fusion. Thats OK as I run in on the latest Mini.
Since I upgraded to the Runcore 128GB SSD, this little puppy flies for everyday computing needs along with some light Lighroom work. Only thing is my RAW files are 25MB so space may be an issue. Again, that's where the Mini comes in.

So, the question now is, do I do the MBP? Weight is not really a concern. Really getting down to it, 95% of my use is on the train to work to listen/view podcasts & read magazines and couch surfing. Maybe an iPad is in order.

Anyway, out of cusiosity, what is a fair asking price for a Rev A, 128GB Runcore, MBA Superdrive & an extra power adaptor?

ejkionka
Apr 21, 2010, 10:52 AM
Absolutely. If someone is just as happy with 4.5 lb. as 3 lb., buying an MBA would be stupid.

I totally agree with this Scottsdale post. I have a firm "one computer" rule. I love the MBA (I've had three of them, all sold). I have to carry my computer back and forth from home to work every day, and sometimes on the road, and I love the lighter weight of the Air. But -- the big differences, and the reasons I'm sticking with the 13" MBP, are -- the slower performance, shorter battery life, and the lack of ports. At work, I need to connect to the network via ethernet, and I also need to connect to a scanner via USB. (I also use an external monitor, bluetooth keyboard and bluetooth mouse.) I can print using an Airport Express. But if I tied up the single USB port with the USB-ethernet adapter, I wouldn't be able to use the scanner without unplugging and switching. Also, I like the SD card slot for quickly importing photos, and on the road, I occasionally need the CD drive for movies and maintenance. And I like having the security slot.

So, the trade-off is the extra 1.5 pounds. I think there's no chance the MBA update will have two USB ports. (Of course, I could just buy the Apple LED Cinema display, one for each location, but then my total equipment cost, with an SSD (which I think is necessary on the MBA), is off the charts.)

In the end, to each his/her own. Every choice is an individual choice, based on his/her needs and budget, which must be carefully and logically analyzed.

gwsat
Apr 21, 2010, 03:03 PM
I'm serously considering moving to the 13" MBP. I have a Rev A MBA and with the internal drive, it was painful. Also gave up on running WinXP under Fusion. Thats OK as I run in on the latest Mini.
Since I upgraded to the Runcore 128GB SSD, this little puppy flies for everyday computing needs along with some light Lighroom work. Only thing is my RAW files are 25MB so space may be an issue. Again, that's where the Mini comes in.

So, the question now is, do I do the MBP? Weight is not really a concern. Really getting down to it, 95% of my use is on the train to work to listen/view podcasts & read magazines and couch surfing. Maybe an iPad is in order.
Because you said that the 13 inch MBP's weight wouldn't bother you, I would suggest that you get one. If you upgrade its RAM to 6 or 8Gb, it will run Fusion and Windows in Unity mode with no trouble. Several months ago I upgraded my MBP's RAM in order to have a better Fusion/Windows experience. That RAM upgrade has turned my MBP into the most all around useful computer I have ever used. Of course, I don't have to carry the 6.5 pound 17 inch MBP very far very often. Note, however, that the 13 inch MBP weighs 2 pounds less than the 17 inch model.

Scottsdale
Apr 21, 2010, 03:40 PM
Because you said that the 13 inch MBP's weight wouldn't bother you, I would suggest that you get one. If you upgrade its RAM to 6 or 8Gb, it will run Fusion and Windows in Unity mode with no trouble. Several months ago I upgraded my MBP's RAM in order to have a better Fusion/Windows experience. That RAM upgrade has turned my MBP into the most all around useful computer I have ever used. Of course, I don't have to carry the 6.5 pound 17 inch MBP very far very often. Note, however, that the 13 inch MBP weighs 2 pounds less than the 17 inch model.

Wouldn't make sense to upgrade to 6 GB. Upgrade to 8 GB or don't waste the money and leave it at 4 GB. On the old MBPs with Santa Rosa and some early Penryn, 6 GB of RAM was the max they would accept due to firmware issues. In a newer Mac, 8 GB of RAM is doable and makes far more sense.

gwsat
Apr 21, 2010, 05:00 PM
Wouldn't make sense to upgrade to 6 GB. Upgrade to 8 GB or don't waste the money and leave it at 4 GB. On the old MBPs with Santa Rosa and some early Penryn, 6 GB of RAM was the max they would accept due to firmware issues. In a newer Mac, 8 GB of RAM is doable and makes far more sense.
In the best of all possible worlds you would be right. Nevertheless, an economic issue cuts across the decision whether to upgrade to 6GB of RAM rather than 8. The new MBP comes with 2 2Gb RAM chips. This means that one 2Gb module could be retained and all one would have to do in order to upgrade to 6GB would be to buy one 4Gb module. The price of a DDR3 4Gb module at OWC is only about $200, whereas two 4Gb modules go for $375. If my math is right, that's almost twice the price for only a 33% bump in RAM. It's worth thinking about.

Another factor contributed to my suggestion that 6Gb might be an alternative to 8Gb. I know for a fact that Fusion will run Windows in Unity mode with 6Gb of RAM without a problem. As I have noted in other posts in other threads, I have yet to see any post in which a poster claimed that the same results could be achieved with only 4Gb of RAM.

DJY
Aug 4, 2010, 06:45 AM
+++ for both Scottsdale and gwsat


Firstly thanks to all in this thread, but especially Scottsdale and gwsat - in this thread and others...

3 months on I'm keen to hear views... obviously the MBA hasn't been updated, and thus is in a worse situation that it was when Scottsdale was rightly encouraging people not to buy MBA in April.

I am a business user. I do travel extensively (domestically and internationally), and love my Rev B MBA with SSD. For many of the reasons others have written... I'm struggling with my beloved MBA increasingly though.

Spinning beach balls, system slowing right down, and running out of room. I find myself always with 10% (sometimes less) free... which starts to impact on performance as well.
I'd love a 256 SSD, I'd love more RAM! Whilst CPU isn't critical, I'd love a faster slightly more capable MBA!

Is one still coming?
I am finding myself being drawn more and more to the 13 MBP...
battery life, extra ports, bigger SSD, more RAM...
but know after my MBA the weight will hit me hard.

I love my iPad - and for very short domestic trips have travelled just with my iPad, but longer trips need a computer. Occasionally even I have to take a work laptop as well (to access secure network).

13 MBP: Still only has C2D - is this a problem? 15 & 17" got i5 & i7.
Go for 2.4 or 2.66?
Bigger SSD (256? 512? both become very expensive options)
RAM - go for 6 or 8GB?
SuperDrive - yeah - might be used rarely... sort of agree with Scottsdale's view - but having said that being able to watch DVD's purchased on the road might be nice.
Extra USB ports - handy,
Firewire - nice for faster back ups but not essential

Love to hear people's comments.
Do people still think MBA will be updated this year?
Or the current 13 MBP views and upgrade options?

skate71290
Aug 4, 2010, 11:23 AM
Thanks for all the responses and in particular Scottsdale for your input in the forum and PMs (yes, I do read and enjoy the long posts).

What you are all saying makes sense. What I need vs. what I "think" I need. Three considerations keep resonating to me: RAM, battery life and size/weight.

I did to a few tests w/Aperture after I installed 4GB RAM from the 1GB in our 2.4 Ghz iMac today. I have a few thousand pictures in my main file. Most 7-8MB RAW files. What I noticed right away is that adjustments happen real time, rather than waiting a second or so to appear. Also when flipping between pictures, they now instantly load vs. "Waiting to Load" for a few seconds. I guess I am seeing some of the benefits of additional RAM.

Then, I looked at the same pictures that I had copied to the MBA. They take 4 seconds to load each time I click the next arrow. Then wirelessly accessed my iMac Aperture file wirelessly w/the MBA. Pictures were taking about 6 seconds to fully load. I'm not sure if the delay is due to the 2 GB RAM on the MBA, or because I accessed the file wirelessly.

One thing I'm concerned about is if I upgrade my camera from my 5 year old Canon 20D and all of a sudden am dealing w/15 MB files.

I absolutely LOVE this MBA. It's just a great size and performs well. But...I am seriously considering the 13 MBP. I decided today the 15 is just too big and heavy. The 13 MBP gives me some headroom on RAM and battery, but obviously at the cost of size and weight.

One more consideration, although I don't really want the optical drive, it would be handy for those family trips when the wife wants to play a DVD for the little one. As I did it last week, I had to Handbrake a DVD, then I was paranoid the whole time it played that I was draining my battery life.

Decisions...decisions.

One more question. Am I giving up ANY performance with the revised MBA 13 (other than the SSD) vs. the 2.13 MBA? Any ideas where to get and how much a 256 or 512 SSD would cost for the MBA if I decide to go that route?

Thanks.

Scottsdale always seems to be able to point everyone in the right direction, but one thing i find really annoying about the MBA (1.6GHZ, not sure about other models) is that it overheats, incredibly quickly, and unless i'm wrong the processor reduces clock speed to keep it cooler? therefore the 1.6GHZ i'm guessing probably drops a considerable amount, and it may not be enough for you (it certainly isn't for me as i run VLC, Safari - 5 Tabs, Transfer Files Via USB and WiFi and this can bring the whole OS to a standstill) and also something i do notice, is that once you start to see/feel the OS slow down it will not speed back up until you restart the Laptop (in my experience anyway), hope this helps, if you want a machine that is more futureproof i would recommend the MBP and put the rest towards 8GB RAM/SSD

entatlrg
Aug 4, 2010, 11:52 AM
I totally agree with this Scottsdale post. I have a firm "one computer" rule. I love the MBA (I've had three of them, all sold). I have to carry my computer back and forth from home to work every day, and sometimes on the road, and I love the lighter weight of the Air. But -- the big differences, and the reasons I'm sticking with the 13" MBP, are -- the slower performance, shorter battery life, and the lack of ports. At work, I need to connect to the network via ethernet, and I also need to connect to a scanner via USB. (I also use an external monitor, bluetooth keyboard and bluetooth mouse.) I can print using an Airport Express. But if I tied up the single USB port with the USB-ethernet adapter, I wouldn't be able to use the scanner without unplugging and switching. Also, I like the SD card slot for quickly importing photos, and on the road, I occasionally need the CD drive for movies and maintenance. And I like having the security slot.

So, the trade-off is the extra 1.5 pounds. I think there's no chance the MBA update will have two USB ports. (Of course, I could just buy the Apple LED Cinema display, one for each location, but then my total equipment cost, with an SSD (which I think is necessary on the MBA), is off the charts.)

In the end, to each his/her own. Every choice is an individual choice, based on his/her needs and budget, which must be carefully and logically analyzed.

I like your one computer rule idea. The 13" MBP seems perfect for what you need to do.

I tried and tried some more to do it all on the MacBook Air but battery life, lack of ports etc forced me to upgrade to the 13" MBP. It's a great notebook!

Spacekatgal
Aug 4, 2010, 12:18 PM
I respect everyone's right to make their own mind up, but I don't think a one computer rule is very realistic for a lot of people. It's like a set of screwdrivers, you might need more than one for different jobs - rather than shoehorning yourself in.

Besides, Macs are fun! It's like limiting yourself to just one of the gaming platforms. :)

thinkdesign
Aug 4, 2010, 06:35 PM
... during certain programs running. So it seems switching to a 13" MBp doesn't solve that problem, as much as it may solve others.

This month's "aptop mag arrived, with a review of the EnRoute ChillCase. You can supposedly open it to use as a lap desk, and plug its little fan into the USB. They tested 10, 15 and 17" ones. Then on p. 61 they're noting a different one said to be "ergonomic". But for 10", ohmetric.com "dualfunction" case. Sigh.

The idea of solving the problem of too much heat when using it on one's actual lap... with the case... sounds OK to me. But really, shouldn't Apple develop a good case that in effect, completes the design of a "laptop". Maybe that's why they switched to the term "notebook"? :o

Since manufacturing tolerances on the Air are apparently wide enough that I might end up with a fragile one, my list of carry bag criteria isn't short: Max. protection, ergonomic (I might have other stuff adding weight, some days), stylewise not something to make the snobs sneer, also not so soignee/upscale that it says "this is a laptop, probably a good one; steal me". If I had to cave in and get the Big Mac MBP, I don't know if any shoulder bags even are ergonomic enough to avoid needing a backpack for 4.5 lbs.

(There used to be a shoulder bag called "backsaver", with a very sort of asymmetrical design. But I guess they're out of biz now. Last time I searched for that name, all I found were chairs.)

The way some bags have white interiors so you can see stuff: brilliant. Especially if nothing gets traded off, for it!

The whole idea of buying a shoulder bag that one has only seen a picture of, kind of defeats careful buying. The web can tell me that STM? ones that were high on my list, have dubious workmanship. But I need to inspect and try on a bag, to buy. I have to keep looking for more stores with them in NYC. If I don't find anything on an actual store shelf, that is really good and worth paying for; I'll probably just head for the basement of Century 21 in lower Manhattan instead, and get some brand name's OK last-year model bag or computer backpack for half or 2/3 off. Until I find something I really like.