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View Full Version : 1.86 GHZ Macbook Air Rev C vs 2008 Macbook




Fusion Jones
Apr 28, 2010, 08:43 PM
Alrighty, here's the dilemma:

I'm entering University in the Fall and have the opportunity to get a new laptop as a grad gift (Thanks mom!). The form factor/portability of the Macbook Air is very alluring to me, but I'm wondering about its performance in comparison to my current laptop.

I'm currently using the mid-2008 white Macbook with 2.4 GHZ, and 2GB of 667MHZ RAM running on the GMA X3100 graphics card. Now with the Air, I'm looking at a drop in GHZ, a bump in RAM speed (is that called bus side or something?) and a better graphics card. I will be using the laptop mostly for note taking, internet browsing, and editing sports video in iMovie. Will the Air perform much better/any better than my current Macbook?

Also, I'm wondering about battery life. Using my current Macbook for some light web browsing at 50% brightness, I get around 4 hours of life. I'd like to use the Air in class, so will I see better or worse results?

Thanks so much!



gimmi80
Apr 28, 2010, 09:59 PM
Better results in: portability.
Worse in: video editing (if video is longer than 10-15 min) and battery life.

The SSD version is very very fast, but only for light use (word processing, email, surfing web with flash blocked, music playing, and you can also combine all these things and it will be ok). When you go on the serious stuff: videocall with skype, imovie, aperture (with big libraries 2-3Gb, iphoto is ok even with big library) you feel the machine suffering.

If you can wait a new model should come out shortly (we hope) or at least buy a refurb from store.apple.com
Get the SSD version.
I love my MBA but it's not for everybody.
To take note in class is definitely better than the MBP (the new unibody is very nice but cut the circulation to you hand after few minutes and they become tingly)

Fusion Jones
Apr 28, 2010, 10:02 PM
How much worse in battery life?

And is SSD that much better than going with the HDD type? If so, I might go with the Rev B 1.86 version refurbished... Just don't know what to expect out of an Apple Refurb as far as scratches go...

Scottsdale
Apr 28, 2010, 11:29 PM
You're MUCH better off buying a refurbished rev B with SSD over a rev C with an HDD. Seriously, save yourself $150 and get a MUCH faster MBA. The HDD in the MBA is a serious bottleneck for the user. After using Runcore and stock SSDs in the MBA, I could never use an HDD in an MBA. The SSD truly makes the MBA capable and usable for the Mac user who uses it as their main, primary, or sole Mac notebook. Do NOT buy an MBA with an HDD.

An MBA with an SSD will fly around your old Mac. If you get an MBA with an HDD you will beg to get your old Mac back. Honestly, Apple has already built in the savings on the 2.13 GHz MBA with 128 GB SSD. It's priced at $1799 and is an incredible value over the $300 less expensive HDD model. Furthermore, $1349 for a rev B refurbished is great, or you can get a C refurbished 2.13 GHz with 128 GB SSD for $1549. For $50 extra you get the same warranty, a faster CPU, and 10X the drive capabilities over the new 2.13 GHz.

stoconnell
Apr 28, 2010, 11:30 PM
You might search around in this forum for discussions on battery life. People's reported battery life vary a bit, and it depends on if you have Bluetooth on, brightness of the screen/keyboard back light, wifi on or off as well as what you are running (watching a hulu show at full screen, vs. typing in textedit or terminal). I think I can usually count on somewhere between 3 and 4 hours.

The SSD is faster at random I/O operations so it makes the whole package feel faster. Plus, it's listed capacity is a bit larger,etc. There are also very few aftermarket options (look around this forum for options) should you decide to upgrade after the fact.

You might also look around for people's experiences buying refurb units, but off the top of my head people have found their units to be in good to immaculate condition.

The Air is a nice computer if your usage patterns align with its features. Otherwise, I suspect it can be very frustrating. Are you cross-shopping the Air with another computer? I think the Air will feel a lot more solid as well as lighter.

Good luck with your search.