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View Full Version : Is perceived 'exclusivity' of the MacBook Air an asset for you?




Jobsian
May 15, 2010, 06:46 PM
The MBP seems to be a massively bigger seller than the MBA, I always see MBPs around the place, but absolutely rarely do I ever see MBA. Maybe it's the price, or lower specs than the 13" MBP. Also as an illustration of the difference in popularity, there's always more activity on the MBP forum by a factor of about a trillion.

When I do get a rare glimpse of an MBA in the wild, it's always a welcome sight. In my opinion it's the best-looking noteobook ever created, in fact I'd also extend that to the best notebook ever created - the weight/power ratio, especially revs b/c, is the most impressive and pleasing I have ever seen in a notebook.

I sometimes wonder if my fondness of the MBA would be the same if it was as ubiquitous and common as the MBP, and I have to say, with a tinge of shame, that no it might not have been. It's still a head-turner and people marvel at it's capability eg at presentations, airports, etc. That effect doesn't seem to have been diluted. It feels more 'exclusive' to own one, more unique.

A tacit admission of bare-faced materialism? Not a savory thought for me at all!

Your own thoughts on the 'exclusivity' of the MBA? Do you like the fact that they're a rarer and premium breed? Do you view other notebooks as common, lesser creations than your lofty MBA? Do you quietely hope for, dare I say it, a more expensive MBA Rev D? :D



Scottsdale
May 15, 2010, 08:38 PM
Absolutely not. I don't care who else has the MBA, as all I care about is what the MBA looks like, feels like, and performs like for my own personal use. I do want a laptop that looks nice for when I meet clients, but I don't care whether it's an MBA or MBP. I place the value in appearance as a general thing that any aluminum industrial design Mac notebook conveys.

I believe the value is in realizing how capable the MBA is while being ultraportable. Nobody benefits by the MBA being lightweight except the owner/user of the MBA. The benefit is something that is truly amazing as it wouldn't seem 1.5 lb. would make that much of a difference from the 4.5 lb that the 13" MBP weighs. But anyone who uses the MBA for a week will not want to go back as long as their computing needs are met by the MBA. I just hope the MBA becomes a lot more capable soon.

flynz4
May 15, 2010, 09:33 PM
Of course not. The benefit if the MBA is its usability. Who cares what other people think? As I have said many times here... I have owned about 20 laptops in my life... and the MBA is in first place by a mile! There is nothing in 2nd place.

In the past two weeks, I have decommissioned my 15" MBP. Now I am exclusively using:

1) 27' i7 2TB iMac
2) MBA rev C w/SSD
3) iPad 3G (64GB)

A perfect combination for my needs.

/Jim

thinkdesign
May 15, 2010, 09:51 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

No. At my age I'm too far from cool, for an Air do that for me. I have early-onset arthritis and less weight gives me a better chance to get through the day, before pain levels rise to a level curtailing my activity. A 5-1/2 pound tablet was way too heavy for carrying in a shoulder bag. So I'm waiting 5 months now for the 'Air' refresh, to buy my first. I recently discussed the Air vs. MBP with a high level computer whisperer in one of New York's art schools. Who advises both teachers and students. Who sees nearly all Macs in school, but hardly ever Airs. Apparently it's the price, maybe the small SATA/SSD sizes too. Apparently nobody in that school pays for weight reduction, if they can do without. Of course average age there is young, except a few faculty. --- Factor #2: My Dr. weaned me off continuous arthritis Rx to avoid cumulative side effects, in time for me to dodge the new-improved big-big-big Rx for this a few years ago, whose side effect turned out to be death. Phew! The FDA took it off the market. And, as I understand it (not giving medical advice here) even over-the-counter stuff for joint pain can burden the liver, or burn a hole in the gut if taken too often. --- SO, I'd rather have a weight-saving MacBook Air burn a hole in my wallet ;o)

JodyK
May 15, 2010, 10:12 PM
After drinking the Apple cool aid and making the leap I quickly learned that I was years late to the party. I had a MBA 1.8 with the first ssd ... This was very early on with the MBA and it got ALOT of attention everywhere I went.

I used it as an opportunity to share my love of the Mac and how I had switched. Kinda sold others on it also. Being in sales I had a friend who had family in from out of the country and when I opened it to show him a website he offered me more than I paid for it ... An offer I couldn't refuse! So I am like many others ... Waiting to see what revisions the MBA gets.

In the mean time I got a 3G ipad to get me by ... It has the same wow effect when I get it out that the MBA did ... Everyone you meet becomes a new friend and I like it!

tsubikiddo
May 16, 2010, 01:33 AM
Your own thoughts on the 'exclusivity' of the MBA? Do you like the fact that they're a rarer and premium breed? Do you view other notebooks as common, lesser creations than your lofty MBA? Do you quietely hope for, dare I say it, a more expensive MBA Rev D? :D

I'd have to agree on the fact that the Air is quite an exclusive product.
There's simply not a lot of them floating around. I see MBs and MBPs a lot but rarely the Air.
IMO, it is either for the really smart or the really dump.
For people who are really fashion conscious and will always take the next level,
MB/MBP ain't good enough, they go for the Air.
But also for the people who really know what they are doing,
it is only then and for these people that the Air will enter their consideration list.
All the people in the middle, they consider the MB or the MBPs, for either one or two (but not exclusive to) of these pts:
i.) Performance; or
ii.) Price,
or a combination of the both - Performance/Price ratio. Many critics align too.

I am personally neutral about the fact that the Air is a rare breed,
but I don't know if it is a premium breed. In fact, I don't really care.
I knew what & how I'd use a computer (i.e. Winz & Mac) to suit myself.
As long as I can get what I needed to get done, that's my primary concern. Other considerations are much much further down the list.

And for the same reason, I see the other notebooks equal. 17" MBPs, Alienware m11x, other HP/Acer offerings...etc. are all the same.
I hope their owners knew what they were doing but I will never find out and I have no interest in doing so.

With regards to the rev.D, I'd watch and see how AAPL plays its cards.
At the end of the day, it's supply and demand, the market will adjust itself.
If the new rev.D can deliver more, and out of the ordinary, and at the same time valued by potential customers,
I think it is perfectly justified to command a higher price tag.
Personally, if the battery endurance goes up, I don't think that's enough. Same for the CPU and display card.
But if the new Air can has a virtual augmented reality screen and preferably a transparent screen like those that can be see-through in <<Minority Report>> and still can be seen under broad daylight,
then there's a premium feature.

I am still happy with my rev.B, let's just seat back and relax.
Wait & See:rolleyes:

Jobsian
May 16, 2010, 02:26 AM
Interesting (and humbling) insights here.

I believe the value is in realizing how capable the MBA is while being ultraportable.I have to reiterate that ultimately it's this facet of the MBA that primarily places it as my no.1 notebook that has ever been created. Though other factors certainly contribute like design.

flynz4
May 16, 2010, 03:22 AM
Regarding the cost of an MBA.

Personally, I have zero interest in owning any laptop without an SSD. By the time you add an SSD to a 13" MBP, the cost is very similar to an MBA, but it is still 50% heavier.

I for one do not think an MBA is overpriced (relative to other Apple notebooks). I would much rather have an MBA w/ SSD than a 13" MBP w/SSD. It simply matches my needs better.

/Jim

MartiNZ
May 16, 2010, 05:37 AM
Regarding the cost of an MBA.

Personally, I have zero interest in owning any laptop without an SSD. By the time you add an SSD to a 13" MBP, the cost is very similar to an MBA, but it is still 50% heavier.

I for one do not think an MBA is overpriced (relative to other Apple notebooks). I would much rather have an MBA w/ SSD than a 13" MBP w/SSD. It simply matches my needs better.

/Jim

Fully agree with you there. Not only that but now with 8GB RAM capacity in the MBPs, maxing out the 13" makes it all the more expensive again and suddenly the maxed out Air looks a far better deal :).

flynz4
May 16, 2010, 11:07 AM
Fully agree with you there. Not only that but now with 8GB RAM capacity in the MBPs, maxing out the 13" makes it all the more expensive again and suddenly the maxed out Air looks a far better deal :).
I do not think the "8GB price argument" holds water since that is something that you cannot do with your MBA.

I will be happy if the only new thing added to the MBA is 4GB of non-expandable memory, and a larger SSD, at the same price point of today.

/Jim

stoconnell
May 16, 2010, 12:52 PM
For my purposes, I wanted a laptop that could run MacOS X that weighed less than 4 pounds .. that is a universe of exactly one product. I am not terribly interested in the hacintosh concept at least as a primary machine that I depend upon (perhaps as a toy/hobby).

dukebound85
May 16, 2010, 01:00 PM
Nope as it's silly imo to care about what people think about a measly computer

Detlev_73
May 16, 2010, 07:58 PM
I love my Air, just haven't booted it up since I got an iPad. The battery life on the iPad is amazing, something the Air could learn from. The only disappointment is the lack of Flash on the iPad...I've wanted to visit Hyundai's website for a while, but can't on the iPad or iPhone. Hurry up and die Flash!:mad:

MartiNZ
May 16, 2010, 08:58 PM
I do not think the "8GB price argument" holds water since that is something that you cannot do with your MBA.

I will be happy if the only new thing added to the MBA is 4GB of non-expandable memory, and a larger SSD, at the same price point of today.

/Jim

Nah it doesn't, only psychologically as I know I would always be tempted especially with RAM to go as high as possible, and with the MBA you just don't have to worry :).

cleric
May 17, 2010, 10:36 AM
Well I've kind of gone through this with the original iPhone, albeit even then it was still much more popular than the Air. It was interesting to see peoples responses, much like the stories above. Though when it comes down to it the deciding factor for me is that it's the most minimalist Mac I can buy. However it's always nice to have something unique.

thinkdesign
May 18, 2010, 08:19 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

Is there really no way to ferret out the sales figures for the Air and other individual notebooks? Even people like Gene Munster doesn't know? No leaks from sources near the fabricating contractors? This info would feed into the "How motivated is Apple to make the Air an up-to-date product?" question. We can see that the way MacBooks and MacBook Pros sell like hotcakes, and the way Apple's overall sales and profits are zooming as if the recession didn't exist... could mean that APPLE IS SEVERELY UNDER-MOTIVATED to do faster improvements on those models. /////// But by simple observation of the world around us, we can guestimate that the Airs DON'T seem to be selling like hotcakes. Which might motivate them to not care (the product's weaknesses so far, support that perception) --- OR --- it could motivate them to someday redouble their efforts and at least keep up with the Jonses. Or even show leadership. Which will it be? THAT is the question. ///// In the wild, I've only seen them occasionally in one Starbucks -- near N.Y.U. and The Cooper Union (a college). A high level tech advisor/manager at one of NYC's big art colleges told me last month -- that nearly all students' and teachers' individually-owned laptops are Macs -- BUT that Airs are never seen. Attributed to its tiny SATA/SSD sizes, and price; so it's apparently perceived there as a higher price to get less... suggesting that few in the school value the light weight to pay for it, or more likely to sacrafice memory for it. Few need to run several programs at once. I guess they'd rather get a heavy MB Pro and then have a "laptop backpack"? ///// Suggesting to me that Apple's lackadaisical attitude towards the "Air" is more likely to continue, than not. A different decision to get serious about the Air and really fix all the botches and omissions in the design, "taking it to a higher level" (and not just in geektastic specs) would have to be based on faith that a way bigger effort would be rewarded with way bigger sales. BUT, Apple's trend in recent years seems to be -- big effort on the phone and the i-Pad, and small even miserly effort on the computers. Which sell anyhow. Profits as % and in absolute terms, and their cash hoard are now sky high, and yet the absurd penny-pinching on the some of the laptops (and sometimes reportedly refusing to honor warranties when Air cases or plastic cases break !!!) continue unabated. THAT is extreme greed... not leadership. The stores are designed super-expensively, but that'll be $900. to fix your broken Macbook Air hinge. ///// I think I saw one computer backpack with the versatility to also sprout little wheels and a pull-handle, even a shoulder strap too. Use it with the wheels, and that plus get a 17" MB Pro = portability without the Air's crappy specs, low battery life, video trouble, lack of slots, jacks or even a provision for a lock, and the galling physical fragility! Problem solved ! Use wheels! :o)

nukiduz
May 18, 2010, 08:30 AM
Absolutely not (and I find impressive all the opposite answers). Actually sometimes it is kind of uncomfortable to use a MBA in public because of what people might think.

flynz4
May 18, 2010, 09:36 AM
By far, the most common place that I see MBAs is at airport gates, the Red Carpet Clubs, and on actual flights.

/Jim

ReallyOldGuy
May 18, 2010, 09:49 AM
But if the new Air can has a virtual augmented reality screen and preferably a transparent screen like those that can be see-through in <<Minority Report>> and still can be seen under broad daylight,
then there's a premium feature.

I would buy another MBA TODAY if that feature was available, and yes, in this case it would be about the "exclusivity". By the way, is this actually a viable feature for computers?

but to answer the question....I bought the MBA because it met my needs in the style I wanted and was willing to pay for. i am never uncomfortable using it anywhere and at 60 i'm to old to care what peoples opinions are of the things i own. For me this was the ultimate device for business travel.

RGREN
May 18, 2010, 11:47 AM
but the portability trumps everything. I have even covered the lid with a steampunk Gelaskin. I use the MBA every day for presentations in various classrooms, hotel ballrooms, and convention centers. It is all I need in airport lounges, airplane seats, and meeting rooms.

I gave my new 13" MBP to a student research assistant. She doesn't mind the extra weight, but she is 1/3 my age...

I have the 3G iPad and I am investigating its superior portability for some travel/work. It won't be a complete substitute, based on my needs to compose complicated text, presentations, and analyses away from the office. But there is nothing I cannot do on the MBA.

CountBrass
May 19, 2010, 04:11 AM
I see the 'exclusivity' as a benefit and I'm old enough and have enough self confidence to admit it :p

CountBrass
May 19, 2010, 04:17 AM
I love my Air, just haven't booted it up since I got an iPad. The battery life on the iPad is amazing, something the Air could learn from. The only disappointment is the lack of Flash on the iPad...I've wanted to visit Hyundai's website for a while, but can't on the iPad or iPhone. Hurry up and die Flash!:mad:

I've got an iPad 3G 64GB on order but am thinking about cancelling it because my MBA currently fulfills the role of web-browsing-whilst-watching-the-tv device but I can also use it on the train when I want to play around with some Lisp or play WoW.

The only place I can see a real advantage, again, for me, of an iPad is on long-haul flights: ~10 hours of battery life whilst playing movies is pretty impressive. But. I don't fly much any more, my average is probably once a year (when it used to be long-haul once a week). So perhaps I should cancel my order.

Now that could change if a) Blizzard started supporting the iPad and b) it was possible to install and run command line apps (eg a Lisp interpreter), ie iPad got Terminal. But I don't see either of those things happening. Ever.

For me the lack of Flash is a big, big plus in favour of the iPad.

Scottsdale
May 19, 2010, 07:04 AM
I've got an iPad 3G 64GB on order but am thinking about cancelling it because my MBA currently fulfills the role of web-browsing-whilst-watching-the-tv device but I can also use it on the train when I want to play around with some Lisp or play WoW.

The only place I can see a real advantage, again, for me, of an iPad is on long-haul flights: ~10 hours of battery life whilst playing movies is pretty impressive. But. I don't fly much any more, my average is probably once a year (when it used to be long-haul once a week). So perhaps I should cancel my order.

Now that could change if a) Blizzard started supporting the iPad and b) it was possible to install and run command line apps (eg a Lisp interpreter), ie iPad got Terminal. But I don't see either of those things happening. Ever.

For me the lack of Flash is a big, big plus in favour of the iPad.

My MBA does the job just fine on longer than 4 hr flights. I just use the travel airline power adapter.

The iPad is perfect for movies on flights too, but if I had to have one product to do everything it would be the MBA.

Every time I play with my iPad, about a half hour into use I get bored with it and go back to the MBA. I really think it's missing something, but I cannot put a finger on it... it could be so perfect if it only was everything I expected it to be.

Gruber
May 19, 2010, 09:04 AM
For me, the uniqueness of the Air is more a flaw than an asset. I just want to have a beautiful, robust device. Tuesday's dialog in our office:

"Look, they have updated the Macbook, the plastic one..."
"But not the flat one?"
"Naaw, roadkill is still same old."

Unnecessarily sharp edges, idiotic connectivity and lack of memory mark the Air user as a show-off: I'm a manager, I don't do actual work.

Please, I want to have a light, fast, compact Mac. I dont need a bulky optical drive with only 700MB, I have got USB sticks and SD cards. Give me a smaller, lighter version of the 13in MBP (except for the sharp front edge, very nice and functional industrial design), and I'm good.

flynz4
May 19, 2010, 09:21 PM
My MBA does the job just fine on longer than 4 hr flights. I just use the travel airline power adapter.

The iPad is perfect for movies on flights too, but if I had to have one product to do everything it would be the MBA.

Every time I play with my iPad, about a half hour into use I get bored with it and go back to the MBA. I really think it's missing something, but I cannot put a finger on it... it could be so perfect if it only was everything I expected it to be.

I travel a lot... and even on my longest international flights, my MBA outlasts me. I do not watch movies on my MBA... I use it to create content... and I am not going to be doing that from T/O to landing. For consumption of content, I use my iPad.

While a longer battery life would be nice... I would not want an increase in weight or bulk to accomplish it.

/Jim

thinkdesign
May 21, 2010, 05:33 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

Maybe the reason you stop using the iPad after a half hour, is your hands get tired of gripping it? To use it on the couch -- it could use some shaping to meet the human hand more. (Think: those baby bottles with the hole in the middle, and the shape that brings the scale down to something the baby can grab. iPad's designers could indent the back, to let fingertips nestle into a recess near the perimeter.) Some aftermarket accessory-maker will no doubt make a hard rubber thing to fit around iPad's perimeter, to put a grabhandle all around it. It's funny how the iPad commercial dodges the ergonomic weakness, by showing the user having his thighs sloping up as a support surface; meaning his feet are up on the coffee table. Jobs's intro involved crossing his legs to angle one thigh up as a support surface. ///// To use an iPad on a table... the way the back bellies out means you need one of those support rings like Apple uses in the stores. Inexplicably, they refuse to sell them.

cleric
May 22, 2010, 08:24 AM
YES!!!!

That's why I'm so crushed that Carrie Bradshaw won't have a macbook air in the new Sex in The City Movie!!! http://www.tuaw.com/2010/05/21/carrie-bradshaw-a-mac-no-longer/