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View Full Version : Macbook air is a pretty cool computer




peapody
May 3, 2010, 08:16 PM
I just picked up a mint condition rev A from the forums for just $650 including apple care, box, snow leopard and all that jazz. I just got it on a whim because I thought it was a great deal..but after using this guy for an hour or so...this is a pretty spiffy computer. Nice size and weight...definitely more toteable than my 15" macbook pro. Going to check the machine for the usual - the crazy hinges, heat etc..

I am hoping that the fan doesn't go on full blast and embarrass me in class. My understanding is that I should be good so long as I don't access flash heavy sites or youtube or hulu. Sure I can make that sacrifice, if this is just going to a work machine. Pretty cool computer.



GoCubsGo
May 3, 2010, 08:18 PM
Bitchen.

And yes, the fan will likely go on if it's on for a while.

Scottsdale
May 3, 2010, 11:04 PM
Congrats on joining the MBA club. Hope you enjoy it as much as the rest of us.

PsyD4Me
May 3, 2010, 11:24 PM
decent deal, now go upgrade that bottleneck of a hd

timsutcliffe
May 4, 2010, 11:39 AM
Your fans shouldn't come on if you're just sat in class taking notes, or just doing some light browsing. Although I do find with mine they'll come on at odd times, but that's pretty rare.

It shouldn't be too embarrassing for you though, even when the fans are on at full speed, they're not really noisy.

Synchromesh
May 4, 2010, 07:02 PM
Wow, that's a really nice deal. Congrats!

tigres
May 9, 2010, 09:28 AM
Welcome to the club. It really is one of a kind computer.

Enjoy it!:)

Cheffy Dave
May 9, 2010, 05:01 PM
Won't be a world beater, until it has a touch screen like the iPad, when that happens, Apple will be even more of a world class stock than it is now:eek: Just imagine,a touch screen MBA with 4 GB of RAM and a decent graphics card. sign me up for another 1K of stock,*****!!!!

Airforcekid
May 9, 2010, 06:07 PM
If I could find a Rev:A for under $600 I would reconsider getting an iPad!

calsci
May 9, 2010, 10:32 PM
wow thats a really good deal actually.

Scottsdale
May 9, 2010, 11:56 PM
If I could find a Rev:A for under $600 I would reconsider getting an iPad!

I have a friend who picked up a 1.6 GHz v 2,1 MBA with 128 GB SSD for $650. He found it in the Phoenix AZ CL maybe four months ago now. There are good deals out there, especially if you find someone who has a 1.6 GHz who doesn't realize the 128 GB SSD adds a lot of value. A lot of people just don't know what they have. The more it's worth, the better chance it's underpriced... the less it's worth the better chance it's overpriced. I have seen many rev A 1.6 w/HDD sell in the $600 range.

For anyone, in the future, looking for a second hand MBA. I personally think you're much better off with ANY 2,1 MBA. I would most be concerned with an Nvidia GPU, then worry about drive (preferring SSD obviously), and lastly worry about the CPU. If you just want to get started, like the OP here, buy whichever you can afford and get used to it and see if it's what you really want... and you can always upgrade later. Good luck.

wildjohn999
May 10, 2010, 06:05 PM
Congrats on joining the MBA club. Hope you enjoy it as much as the rest of us.

Yes the MBA club the most patient and understanding of all Apple consumers. :D

As long as you stay away from Flash or anything that spikes the processor for too long your fan really won't kick on.

wildjohn999
May 10, 2010, 06:06 PM
Hit the submit button twice, must be really excited about the MBA release rumor for this week.

thinkdesign
May 12, 2010, 11:10 PM
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Newton's lesson for the Air: The Newton's dimensions were personally dictated by Apple's then-CEO, who handed a wood block to the engineers and rigidly ordered them to make it fit that size. Even when it led to using 4 AAA batteries in the 1st and 2nd models, making for short life. Which got piled on top of 1 or 2 other big shortcomings, to spoil the launch's press. (Actually the handwriting-recognition complaint whick the cartoon made world-famous, was a bit of misleading-by-omission. 99 out of 100 articles seemed to not mention that you didn't NEED it; since there was an on-screen keyboard. Models #3 and beyond crammed in 4 AA cells, but with a tiny bit of management flexibility on dimensions, the first model could've ha good battery life, too. IMHO they designed themselves into a corner with the Air's dimensions and weight. Unless some energy-saving major miracle happens someday in screens, CPU's, etc. -- they need to adjust the size and weight up a little to get battery life up to a level that deals with many folks' real-world needs. (My local library still doesn't let users plug in anything, to charge. And the biggest bookstore in NYC removed the one outlet I could find near the chairs.) Now that what's often called the Air"s "form factor" (or "form"; nobody ever says "screen factor" or "keyboard factor") has so famously been declared, some people (ahem) seem to think the dimensions and weight were chiselled into stone on Mt. Olympus, and must never change. The way it drops the front of the keyboard down so low is ergonomic gold. But to get in a big enough battery (and a few other misssing things like a 3G modem and maybe a SD-slot/firewire/USB3/etc. jack, and a durable hinge (can't be portable if it isn't durable), they must let the hinge-end thicken a little, and must let the wonderful pain-releiving and air-travel-enabling 3 lb. weight grow just a little. Even if the fanboi hoi polloi whine a little, before they actually try it.

robrobin10
May 13, 2010, 06:04 AM
That's a pretty sweet deal you've got there for a mint condition macbook air. Although I would agree on Airforcekid to go for an iPad instead with that given price.

I'm a type of person who's an internet savvy that's why I would prefer for an iPad that's pretty comfortable when in comes to internet surfing.

Scottsdale
May 13, 2010, 09:04 AM
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Newton's lesson for the Air: The Newton's dimensions were personally dictated by Apple's then-CEO, who handed a wood block to the engineers and rigidly ordered them to make it fit that size. Even when it led to using 4 AAA batteries in the 1st and 2nd models, making for short life. Which got piled on top of 1 or 2 other big shortcomings, to spoil the launch's press. (Actually the handwriting-recognition complaint whick the cartoon made world-famous, was a bit of misleading-by-omission. 99 out of 100 articles seemed to not mention that you didn't NEED it; since there was an on-screen keyboard. Models #3 and beyond crammed in 4 AA cells, but with a tiny bit of management flexibility on dimensions, the first model could've ha good battery life, too. IMHO they designed themselves into a corner with the Air's dimensions and weight. Unless some energy-saving major miracle happens someday in screens, CPU's, etc. -- they need to adjust the size and weight up a little to get battery life up to a level that deals with many folks' real-world needs. (My local library still doesn't let users plug in anything, to charge. And the biggest bookstore in NYC removed the one outlet I could find near the chairs.) Now that what's often called the Air"s "form factor" (or "form"; nobody ever says "screen factor" or "keyboard factor") has so famously been declared, some people (ahem) seem to think the dimensions and weight were chiselled into stone on Mt. Olympus, and must never change. The way it drops the front of the keyboard down so low is ergonomic gold. But to get in a big enough battery (and a few other misssing things like a 3G modem and maybe a SD-slot/firewire/USB3/etc. jack, and a durable hinge (can't be portable if it isn't durable), they must let the hinge-end thicken a little, and must let the wonderful pain-releiving and air-travel-enabling 3 lb. weight grow just a little. Even if the fanboi hoi polloi whine a little, before they actually try it.

This is a very nice exploration into how the Newton should have already taught Apple this lesson. I agree with the main point of your argument here, as it's going to be difficult to go bigger, thicker, and heavier with the next MBA. However, Apple is apparently ready to show us a new iPhone HD that rids the tapering from the iPhone in favor of a thinner design. Moving to remove the taper wouldn't allow Apple to advertise the MBA as is as thin as .16" but would eliminate the wasted space in tapering in general.

The times have changed and due to the long-lasting battery in the 13" MBP and MB, MBA fans want a 7-10-hour battery. When they expect that from the MBA, they're missing the fact that the MBA reduced thickness and weight by not having a large battery... that's the one ultimate difference between an MBA and a 13" MBP/MB. What Apple didn't do was make the 13" MBP/MB thinner with new technology when it was possible. It used that newfound extra space, saved by using smaller tech, to make the battery bigger.

Onto the main point you're making, can Apple get away with now making the MBA larger? I do believe it could if it eliminates the tapering. Just make an MBA .65" thick across the entire case, and Apple will probably double the space for the battery! People think they need a 7-hour battery now, and I think it's ashamed as it's going to add weight to the MBA no matter what. I guess we all have different hopes for what the MBA ultimately becomes, but more than anything else I want to keep performance at MB level and weight at ultraportable level. I can handle with a thicker, non-tapered design a whole lot better than I can deal with a heavier MBA. I fear the advantages of the MBA might quickly disappear when all people really want the MBA to be is an MBP less the optical drive.

thinkdesign
May 13, 2010, 02:37 PM
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Ergonomics vs.Symbolically-Valued Dimensioning: The current Air taper down at front helps some people like me avoid carpal tunnel. Esp. in a world where 30" desks and tables haven't been dropped to 28" when a keyboard's to be placed on top. (Secretary desks used to be 30" high for the main part, and 2" lower for the typewriter extension table on the right.) If the 'Air' is for working while travelling, well, what happens while travelling? You take your support surfaces where you find them, at whatever height they may be. Some incompetantly-designed chain-restaurants set their booth's tables so damned high, it's hard to even eat on 'em! Last month I went to a university lecture, and the chairs had little writing desks on them, somehow so un-ergonomic that I instantly got carpal tunnel paralysis just from the added factor of my hand being lifted up for the 1" thickness of my spiral notepad. Luckily it went away in a few days. Now, for the Air, keeping the front end down so comfortably low, and increasing the volume by lifting the back or hinge-edge, does what? Tilts the keyboard a little more. Which as far as I can tell, is OK ergonomically, if not a bit better. The weight of 3 lbs. (or 3-1/4", or 3-1/2") is the thing; more than the closed unit's dimensions gaining a fraction of an inch at point A or point B. Nobody's jamming it into a bag that fits that tight! In general I think Apple needs to think through the mobile worker's situation and needs more: (1.) We never know if the next place we can sit down will have an outlet, so, a big battery life boost is needed. (2.) The more you travel, the tougher the case must be. (And who cares if it's "3 lbs.!", if you have to ADD another 2 or 3 pounds of padding and cladding to protect it, because the hinge is fragile or crushing it produces a "white donut" on the screen, or pushes the trackpad button into the screen?). (3.) Travellers never know how good/bad the ergonomics of the next place to use the computer, will be. So the Air's design should just avoid making anything worse. (4.) The idea that a travelling worker can rely on finding unlocked Wi-Fi to use, is unrealistic in the extreme. Increasingly everyone's locking them up. Even the ones that initially seem unlocked... if you try to use 'em, turn out to actually be locked. So built-in 3G modem is NOT a luxury, it's a neccessity. Somebody puhleeeze wake up Rip Van Jobs about that! (...plus, Sprint's 4G service may start in NYC next month, they just told me. And, Apple can afford to buy them, before someone else does; whatever happened to that rumor/idea?) And if one's rigid about the Air's loveley dimensions and weight, well, plugging an outboard "aircard" into the USB will disrupt the lovely design's width, weight AND aesthetics. Not to mention the pry-bar effect over time on your only USB jack and the little flip-down door that it's hidden in. /// If as in your delete-the-taper idea -- the thick end gets no thicker, then that flip-down door which some air-cards/etc. can't even plug into, remains in the Air's design. Ack! But if the thick end gets a little thicker, as in my idea -- 1 or 2 additional jacks might fit in a now-normal way on the right, deleting the weak design detail of the little door. .... And then for a big finale, Ive can take a page out of the book of the Casio G-Shock solar watches, and use the whole black bezel around the screen as a solar battery area. And on the solar Model III, anodize the rest in black, so it all matches. And finally -- White-on-black keys already are scientifically the most visible choice (check "low vision" web resources), so I want no change there!

gwsat
May 13, 2010, 04:35 PM
The times have changed and due to the long-lasting battery in the 13" MBP and MB, MBA fans want a 7-10-hour battery. When they expect that from the MBA, they're missing the fact that the MBA reduced thickness and weight by not having a large battery... that's the one ultimate difference between an MBA and a 13" MBP/MB. What Apple didn't do was make the 13" MBP/MB thinner with new technology when it was possible. It used that newfound extra space, saved by using smaller tech, to make the battery bigger.[/B]
Earlier, when I posted to another thread about the 13 inch MBP versus the MBA, I failed to mention the MBP's much longer battery life. That's a big deal. Earlier today, I was watching a Netflix streaming video on my 17 inch MBP while it was running on battery power. Although iStat indicates that my two year old battery is still 94% healthy, the battery ran down to reserve power in less than an hour and a half. That's not very good, even for a 17 inch MBP. It is clear to me, at least, that Apple has to address battery life on the new MBA, as well as the other deficiencies we have been discussing here.

thinkdesign
May 13, 2010, 08:52 PM
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If in the MBpro 13" example, the dimensions stayed constant, and as you - Scottsdale, noted, the battery could physically grow because everything else in there shrank... we know the before and after overall weights (exactly same?), but do we have that info broken down to the battery, etc., etc. individually? Any number of items may have gone up/down in wt., to produce the new net total. Were old/new total wts. exactly = ? Wouldn't the battery weigh more per unit of volume, than other internals? If so, whether we're talking about revising the 13" Pro last month, or revising the Air next month or next year (as you suggested, with a rectangular case, letting battery volume grow) -- where do they / can they offset the weight of a bigger battery, plus maybe throwing in a 3G modem too? A non-tapered Air case has a slightly lower surface-to-volume ratio compared with the current tapered one (I'm assuming: case wt. being aproximately proportional to surface area, though shape affects wt. too), but if the revision does the needed stiffening of the lid (fixing the "white donut" problem), then I'm thinking that any little weight savings turn into a wash. New thought: Aluminum's a soft metal; does titanium work better for a svelte Air form? And is the hinge-area problem related to anchoring into soft metal, or bolting 2 soft-metal slabs together? Why did they abandon titanium for alum., and what are the pros and cons of each? New thought: Consider the keyboard etc. half's Longitudinal Section (cut left to right, so we're looking from front towards back or hinge). The current smaller tapers in the extreme left/right edge, could be deleted, to pick up a little more internal volume for more battery. This might also eliminate need for the pop-out jack door's weak detail, and allow one more conventionally-installed "future-type jack" of whatever type is most useful. Of course I am assuming that Apple is able, detailing-wise --for either my steeper-taper or your (Scottsdale) no-taper version -- to utilise any bit of new volume gained, in whatever shape or location. I guess the battery can ooze into any available space? Another new thought: Help dissipate heat, by increasing surface area on back, by adding a little outer-surface (and corresponging inner-surface) corrugation wherever it can be done without upsetting aesthetics. Like where it could double as a grip. This should cost nothing extra since it'd mean just different programming for the CNC router. (I could be wrong, but at NYC's beloved independent mac store on 23rd, I suspect their 'Air' display model has had 2? 4? of its rubber feet custom-replaced by taller non-Apple ones, to better ventilate the underside.) Last thought: In higher of 3? Air models, keep case size the same but change the screen to 12", for less battery load. Make the lost inch acceptable by using some better screen-tech, like OLED / touch. (Remember rumors of 2 nearly-same-size screen options in iPad, the higher-tech one being slightly smaller?) Ooh... then that makes the bezel get a little wider, making it work even better when used as a Casio G-Shock-like solar cell! LOL, I'm on a roll! The 2012 luxe version-3 model! There's lots to tweak and play with other than CPUs/GPUs in the Air's design, IF Apple still gives a hoot.

Scottsdale
May 14, 2010, 12:12 AM
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If in the MBpro 13" example, the dimensions stayed constant, and as you - Scottsdale, noted, the battery could physically grow because everything else in there shrank... we know the before and after overall weights (exactly same?), but do we have that info broken down to the battery, etc., etc. individually? Any number of items may have gone up/down in wt., to produce the new net total. Were old/new total wts. exactly = ? Wouldn't the battery weigh more per unit of volume, than other internals? If so, whether we're talking about revising the 13" Pro last month, or revising the Air next month or next year (as you suggested, with a rectangular case, letting battery volume grow) -- where do they / can they offset the weight of a bigger battery, plus maybe throwing in a 3G modem too? A non-tapered Air case has a slightly lower surface-to-volume ratio compared with the current tapered one (I'm assuming: case wt. being aproximately proportional to surface area, though shape affects wt. too), but if the revision does the needed stiffening of the lid (fixing the "white donut" problem), then I'm thinking that any little weight savings turn into a wash. New thought: Aluminum's a soft metal; does titanium work better for a svelte Air form? And is the hinge-area problem related to anchoring into soft metal, or bolting 2 soft-metal slabs together? Why did they abandon titanium for alum., and what are the pros and cons of each? New thought: Consider the keyboard etc. half's Longitudinal Section (cut left to right, so we're looking from front towards back or hinge). The current smaller tapers in the extreme left/right edge, could be deleted, to pick up a little more internal volume for more battery. This might also eliminate need for the pop-out jack door's weak detail, and allow one more conventionally-installed "future-type jack" of whatever type is most useful. Of course I am assuming that Apple is able, detailing-wise --for either my steeper-taper or your (Scottsdale) no-taper version -- to utilise any bit of new volume gained, in whatever shape or location. I guess the battery can ooze into any available space? Another new thought: Help dissipate heat, by increasing surface area on back, by adding a little outer-surface (and corresponging inner-surface) corrugation wherever it can be done without upsetting aesthetics. Like where it could double as a grip. This should cost nothing extra since it'd mean just different programming for the CNC router. (I could be wrong, but at NYC's beloved independent mac store on 23rd, I suspect their 'Air' display model has had 2? 4? of its rubber feet custom-replaced by taller non-Apple ones, to better ventilate the underside.) Last thought: In higher of 3? Air models, keep case size the same but change the screen to 12", for less battery load. Make the lost inch acceptable by using some better screen-tech, like OLED / touch. (Remember rumors of 2 nearly-same-size screen options in iPad, the higher-tech one being slightly smaller?) Ooh... then that makes the bezel get a little wider, making it work even better when used as a Casio G-Shock-like solar cell! LOL, I'm on a roll! The 2012 luxe version-3 model! There's lots to tweak and play with other than CPUs/GPUs in the Air's design, IF Apple still gives a hoot.


I don't enjoy criticizing people, and I appreciate reading threads and posts here, but I am having a problem reading your posts. I believe there's a lot of great substance in there but it would be even better if you could break it up with some paragraphs separating ideas... or even just groups of sentences. You have taken the time to write down your ideas, so if you just broke the ideas up it would be easier to comprehend.

I hope this will be taken as constructive criticism, but if not I apologize in advance.

thinkdesign
May 14, 2010, 05:29 AM
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Sorry. Point taken. Having dropped my home ISP to avoid too many ISP bills, 1st: in anticipation of using Wi-Fi (the last neighbor locked his), and then in anticipation of 3G on a revised Air... my only ISP at the moment, is on my phone. I'm posting from a TouchPro WinMobile 6.1 phone. Whose manual contains zero info about its software. I haven't figured out, what key to press to make separate paragraphs when posting here. Not 'tab'. Anyone know? And what's with the last word on a screen often getting chopped in the middle? Ah, the joy of software! All I can do at moment, is think shorter, and scroll scroll scroll the tiny window - to check things more.

Scottsdale
May 14, 2010, 07:46 AM
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Sorry. Point taken. Having dropped my home ISP to avoid too many ISP bills, 1st: in anticipation of using Wi-Fi (the last neighbor locked his), and then in anticipation of 3G on a revised Air... my only ISP at the moment, is on my phone. I'm posting from a TouchPro WinMobile 6.1 phone. Whose manual contains zero info about its software. I haven't figured out, what key to press to make separate paragraphs when posting here. Not 'tab'. Anyone know? And what's with the last word on a screen often getting chopped in the middle? Ah, the joy of software! All I can do at moment, is think shorter, and scroll scroll scroll the tiny window - to check things more.

So you're typing all of that from a phone? OMG! You're dedicated to get your point through.

gwsat
May 14, 2010, 08:45 AM
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Sorry. Point taken. Having dropped my home ISP to avoid too many ISP bills, 1st: in anticipation of using Wi-Fi (the last neighbor locked his), and then in anticipation of 3G on a revised Air... my only ISP at the moment, is on my phone. I'm posting from a TouchPro WinMobile 6.1 phone. Whose manual contains zero info about its software. I haven't figured out, what key to press to make separate paragraphs when posting here. Not 'tab'. Anyone know? And what's with the last word on a screen often getting chopped in the middle? Ah, the joy of software! All I can do at moment, is think shorter, and scroll scroll scroll the tiny window - to check things more.
Suspicions confirmed, thanks for leveling with us. When I saw your post and then read Scottsdale's comment concerning it, I thought you must have had to input the text with some sort of smart phone. You are a better man than I am, partner. Barring dire emergency, I won't use my 3g G1 smartphone's keyboard for anything more extensive than a Google search -- and the G1 has a real, not a virtual, keyboard, albeit a very small one. Even the large virtual keyboard, large by smartphone standards anyway, on the iPad is a poor substitute for the MBA's real keyboard.

thinkdesign
May 17, 2010, 10:18 AM
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If we looked on Jon Ive's bookshelf, I wonder how many titles on "ergonomics" we'd find??? What's that? I should design keyboards to face the realities of what human bodies are actually like? What a concept ! ///// Now to fix my prior post's CLARITY: My neighborhood did once have an open wi-fi or 2 that I could latch onto, but now all are locked. And the other vaguely-worded thing.... I assumed that by early 2010 I'd buy a new AIR and stick a Sprint/Verizon 3G aircard into it (I wasn't thinking Rev. D would have 3G built into it). ^^^^^ As a design affecionado, Apple's starting to remind me of the Citroen DS, as introduced in 1955. Some of the DS was an great innovative step forward (FWD plus self-levelling hydraulics), much other stuff about it was OK, and then they drove you nuts with 2 or 3 poorly-done details which nobody else I know of at that time, was botching. Not unlike an AIR whose hinge breaks and wrecks the case. Like a mouth-watering lobster dinner on the patio, but as you're about to dig in, -- splash! -- a dash of pidgeon poop falls on it! So I can add 3 pounds of padding and cladding to my fragile 3 pound AIR, and that = 6 pounds total. Plus a 3G aircard hanging off the side, looking about as slick as an exposed colostomy bag. Will a post-Jobs Apple take care of some of the biggest problems that Jobs has neglected?