PDA

View Full Version : Those who have ever owned revB/C MacBook Airs: Is the MBA your favourite notebook?




Jobsian
Jun 4, 2010, 11:52 AM
Is the MBA your favorite notebook of all time?

Edit: now include Rev D!

I've rather brutally excluded the Rev A MBA because of the issues discussed extensively in this forum, but of course you can join too if you want :)

The reason I ask this question is that I find that time and time again those who buy MBAs tend to fall in love with it and if they have other notebooks at the same time they tend to spend far more time with the MBA.

This is anecdotal evidence only so I'd like to see a poll result here.

On anticipation of "no" votes from naughty jealous fibbers, everyone will be able to see who voted :p



Jobsian
Jun 4, 2010, 12:09 PM
To briefly mention my opinion: The MacBook Air is the best notebook ever created in the history of computing imo. The balance between portability and power, coupled with its breathtaking design makes it stand head and shoulders above everything else in the notebook arena that I have ever seen. For me, this is Jobs' pièce de résistance.

coast1ja
Jun 4, 2010, 12:47 PM
I voted no.

I think the question should be: Do you think the MBA was the greatest Notebook ever made at the time of it's release?

After owning a couple of Rev. As and the Rev. B in my signature... I don't believe the MBA is the best notebook available right now.

I know this doesn't speak to the quality of the MBA overall, but my needs in a notebook surpassed what the MBA was able to provide in terms of performance. I needed to be able to switch quickly between OSs to run various statistics packages, or be able to run a Windows virtual machine. The MBA became sluggish and turned into a hot-plate when running a virtual machine, and even the fastest SSDs available were taking nearly thirty seconds to reboot (mainly due to the PATA interface in the old ones, and the lack of really good 1.8" drives).

I now own a 15" MBP 2.66 C2D with a 256gb SSD and I couldn't be happier with it for my needs. Sure I miss the portability of the Air (which could be why it's still in my sig!), but the MBP is portable enough and runs circles around my old MBA. A full restart takes 8-12 seconds consistently, it can run virtual machines like a champ, and I had totally forgotten that the icons bounce when they open and sometimes the cursor shows a spinning beachball... as I haven't seen either of those on my MBP.

In sum, no, the MBA is not the greatest notebook ever created, at least in my opinion. This is simply because it is far outdated and lacks some key functionality that some users will have to compromise for. The best notebook of all time should be one with no compromises.

jmoore5196
Jun 4, 2010, 12:47 PM
No, the iPad is Steve Job's pièce de résistance.

I have a Rev. B MBA. For computing on the go, it is hard done by. But there are many times each week hen I am glad I have an iMac at home!

That said, when the MBA is refreshed, I will buy the new version ... And this time I won't skimp on the SSD!

lucidmedia
Jun 4, 2010, 01:06 PM
I voted no.

I think the question should be: Do you think the MBA was the greatest Notebook ever made at the time of it's release?

After owning a couple of Rev. As and the Rev. B in my signature... I don't believe the MBA is the best notebook available right now.



agreed... I have a rev. B

jakebot
Jun 4, 2010, 01:43 PM
I voted yes.

I dont need a cd/dvd drive and so having something light and powerful enough to do photoshop work if needed is great.

I can carry my macbook air and my iPad and it's still lighter than a macbook and can still do the same stuff.

love it

theLimit
Jun 4, 2010, 02:06 PM
The Air is most definitely my favorite notebook computer of all time. I have a 2.13GHz SSD Rev C. I sold my 2.4GHz 15" Pro to get it.

The only limitations I've noticed are the RAM and battery life. Virtual machines are nearly useless on the Air with the limited RAM. I've found that 4GB is really the minimum currently for my usage. The 4-5 hours of battery isn't nearly enough for an entire workday. An 8 hour battery would suffice, while 10-12 hours would be great. The battery life is nice compared to other laptops I've used, though.

My thoughts are that battery life should be the most important aspect of a computer this portable. Once you add in the power adapter with the cord and a power strip, it's no more portable than the 13" Pro, which easily runs for 8 hours.

As for performance, tasks feel the same or faster on the Air as they did on my faster Pro. The SSD is certainly a big part of that, but the CPU definitely is not a bottleneck in my work. That being said, I do refrain from doing any heavy lifting on the Air. I save heavy work for my desktop, such as HandBrake encodes, Logic, and gaming. For a portable, I mainly need my workday applications, MS Office, iWork, and a few others. On returning to the hotel I like to have some entertainment, my ripped DVDs and some light games.

tigres
Jun 4, 2010, 02:36 PM
Without a doubt!!!

madmaxmedia
Jun 4, 2010, 03:11 PM
As a non-owner, I wish they'd bump it to 4GB already!

Scottsdale
Jun 4, 2010, 03:26 PM
Another nice thread Jobsian. I have a difficult time starting new threads, but you sure seem to have the right ideas weekly.

The MacBook Air, to date, is the most beautifully designed computer of all time.

I believe the MacBook Air is the greatest Mac ever!

It was the greatest notebook ever of its time "October 2008 through maybe April 2009." A six month period seems more than fitting for a notebook product cycle.

The problem is "real" PC companies update their products every quarter or so. The MBA is now completely outdated in terms of technology. It hasn't really been updated since October 2008, so it's not really even "fair" to compare the technology now. Let's face it, the competitors have caught up in terms of innovation, components used, and materials used. Sony has some of the most incredible pound for pound notebooks. Lenovo has some of the best made notebooks. Others all compete somewhat in terms of designs and similar materials and some better lighter weight notebooks. There are thinner ultraportables. There are more powerful ultraportables. There are ultraportables with faster CPUs, more RAM, much nicer graphics, larger drives, better displays, and etc.

When it was introduced:
Thinnest notebook ever. Most powerful ultraportable with fully capable C2D CPU. Most powerful graphics in an ultraportable with Nvidia's 9400m. Most and fastest DDR3 RAM in an ultraportable. Largest SSD standard which was first 128 GB SATA-II SSD standard in a notebook. First to introduce aluminum unibody construction which looks industrial and simplistic yet elegant and beautiful. First ultraportable to introduce full-sized LED-backlit display. Full-sized backlit keyboard. Largest trackpad in any Mac. Most capable graphics output in an ultraportable with the Mini Display Port to drive up to a 30" ACD at its native resolution.

For the same advantages to be made by Apple in a new MBA right now, they would have to offer something incredible. There is almost no way Apple could be this innovative in a new MBA right now. For its time, the v 2,1 MBA has been a hell of a notebook. I hope Apple tries to make the MBA compete again, but I don't think there's any way for Apple to make the MBA as innovative as it was in October 2008 when introduced.

I certainly understand people bashing the MacBook Air recently. Apple has really let it fall behind in terms of comparison against Macs and against PCs. The CPU isn't a problem, and the 9400m is still far better than anything Intel offers which is in most ultraportables, but the RAM limitation is terrible, the drive is too small for many, the weight is heavy for an ultraportable, the battery is far too incapable for most, and the overall advantages have been minimized because everything has caught up in terms of technologies used. I certainly hope Apple makes an attempt, but I fear any attempt will have to come Early 2011 or later.

halledise
Jun 4, 2010, 03:47 PM
Yes :D

tsubikiddo
Jun 4, 2010, 03:58 PM
Is the MBA your favorite notebook of all time?


Yes, it is.
In fact, it is my only laptop (, so it has to be my favourite, right :P)
It still is even before my old HP laptop fried its motherboard.

Scylax
Jun 4, 2010, 08:41 PM
I am using my latest model MBA with 2.13GHz and SSD. I love it and choose to use it over the MBP and iMac I have access to. On paper they are much faster, but in practice the SSD means this MBA runs rings around them. It boots and shuts down in about a third of the time, runs everything I need and is a total joy to use. I've never had the smallest problem with it in all the time I've had it (since the latest revision came out), and I get a real thrill out of using it, sometimes to the extent that I pick it up and turn it on without any purpose other than that I want to use it. I would recommend it to anyone, any day.

thinkdesign
Jun 4, 2010, 09:29 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

Re: One thing at a time in the USB jack. To get enough power. Does that apply only if plugging in the disc drive.... or does that apply also if I want to plug in any OTHER 2 items (neither one of which is the disc) ? ------ Today an Apple Store salesman on W. 14th in NY tried to talk me out of an Air, and into a 13" MB Pro. If so many salespeople seem to do this.... (to avoid complaints later ?)... doesn't that suggest that Apple is quite aware that the Air needs an upgrade?

Drag'nGT
Jun 4, 2010, 10:29 PM
The Air is a companion computer. It's not something, even at it's price point, to use as your only computer. I use it to travel with, type papers on the go etc... My photos, video etc... are all on my iMac.

pharmx
Jun 4, 2010, 10:49 PM
The Air is without a doubt my favorite, compared to the other notebooks I own, which include a Voodoo Envy (Pre-HP) and a Sony Vaio Z. I've also used a few Dell and Toshiba laptops extensively, and needless to say I prefer my MBA over those as well.

nph
Jun 4, 2010, 11:55 PM
Given the battery time, heat generation and sometime lack of speed but above all the first two reasons, I can not say it is my no 1 all time favorite notebook.
Dont get me wrong, Apple is and has always been my no 1 but I have realized and caught myself not using the MBA due to lack of battery and heat. I actually disabled any temp reading software since I am tired of seeing the temp it displays!

All time favorite would have been Pismo or 520C. Still waiting for Apple to do something similar. Actually if the MBP Pro 13 inch just got a non-glass display I would get it in an instant!

Today I have mac 24 2.8, MBA rev B with SSD, first gen Intel MBP and finally Pismo 400Hz version.
Wife ends up using my first gen Intel MBP and me the imac and on occasions the MBA.

spacecadet610
Jun 5, 2010, 12:35 AM
I've got a RevA, and it's my favorite notebook despite it's known limitations.

I've been using it for over 2 years now, the longest I've ever owned a laptop without upgrading. That could partly be due to the fact that the revisions haven't been all too exciting.

iBookG4user
Jun 5, 2010, 12:42 AM
Honestly, no, I had a MacBook Air for about a year and sold it a few months back. After being back on my MacBook Pro for a few months I've noticed that I don't really mind the added weight, I appreciate the speed and I like the matte screen. I may reinvestigate the MacBook Air in the future, but, as of current, I like my MacBook Pro more than I did my MacBook Air.

antonioanmar
Jun 5, 2010, 01:38 AM
Yes, for me it is.

I have owned many portable computers (PCs first, and later Macbooks), and NEVER i have been so satisfied with any other portable computer.

Bobjob186
Jun 5, 2010, 02:57 AM
Absolutely. I'm waiting to get back in the air game. It's been too many months without one. As soon as rev D comes out I'm replacing my netbook and my pristine 12" 1.5ghz powerbook baby with a rev b/c air. I'll probably cry when i sell my 12" but I can't justify 3 laptops once the air arrives. Anyone who doesn't love the air based on its design and sheer performance to size is kidding themselves.

theappleguy
Jun 5, 2010, 03:18 AM
The Air is a companion computer. It's not something, even at it's price point, to use as your only computer. I use it to travel with, type papers on the go etc... My photos, video etc... are all on my iMac.

I use my Rev A as my sole computer. I won't be for much longer as its struggling now, but I've managed ok for the last two and a half years and I suspect at the price, a large number of other people do as well.

However, while I love my MacBook Air, I couldn't say it is my favourite because of the poor build quality - I've had the screen replaced, the fan wore out because it pretty much runs constantly at full speed, the microphone and speaker have failed (which I can't be bothered fixing at this point) and I had to replace the charger because the cable wore out. So all in all, it is my favourite design, but needs some work before it will be my favourite laptop ever.

flynz4
Jun 5, 2010, 03:32 AM
I have owned about 20 laptops in my life. Most were high end models. Without any doubt, the MBA (rev C w/SSD) is the finest laptop computer I have ever owned. Nothing is in 2nd place. Even my 15" MBP w/160GB SSD is now retired.

/Jim

Scottsdale
Jun 5, 2010, 11:00 AM
I have owned about 20 laptops in my life. Most were high end models. Without any doubt, the MBA (rev C w/SSD) is the finest laptop computer I have ever owned. Nothing is in 2nd place. Even my 15" MBP w/160GB SSD is now retired.

/Jim

That's just the thing, Jim. Most people think they need "more power." In reality, the vast majority would absolutely fall in love with the MBA if they ever gave it a chance. The thing is, the MBA "fan" or market buyer will probably say best Mac/notebook ever. But the MBP or "more power" buyers clicking through here will say no way whether they ever owned an MBA or not. Wouldn't it be great if "more power" was available via BTO options in the MBAs.

This poll and thread should be for MBA rev 2,1 owners only. That would give us more realistic statistics from those who have actually owned an MBA.

Another thing. I think the MBA needs to be used for a full week and in normal usage conditions for the owner to realize just what they have. I never gave my original MBA a chance because it was such a failure, and it was hard for me to give Apple's MBA another try when the 2,1 was introduced. I really didn't realize how capable it was going to be. I planned on wanting an MBP after the October 2008 keynote.

I know an engineer who stopped using his Mac Pro after he got addicted to the MBA. He said he used his MP two hours per week for the "heaviest" loads, but used the MBA the rest of the time. Before that, he wouldn't even use an MBP as it wasn't "worth" the load to use an MBP. However, the MBA provides such amazing performance for normal tasks with the SSD and was so lightweight that he didn't mind carrying it. Nearly any user who doesn't need a professional-grade workstation will fall in love with the MBA if they give it a chance.

The MBA truly changes the computing experience for the vast majority who give it a chance. Almost everyone I know who has bought a v 2,1 MBA has ended up making it their primary Mac/computer. Some still use iMacs or Mac Pros for their "heavy lifting" but that heavy lifting is a rare need for the average user. The other "funny" thing is all but one of my colleagues who bought original MBA's had sold/retired them less than a year later. I only know one person who bought a v 2,1 MBA that doesn't still have it, and that's going back to November 2008!

I believe the MBA could change and alter its market if it were to get a discrete GPU like an ATI 5430. If the MBA was updated Monday with a Core i7 CPU at 2.13 GHz boosting to 2.93 GHz, with an ATI 5430 and 256 MB VRAM, and 160 GB Intel SSD, two RAM slots, glass trackpad, and IPS display, I believe it could sell not just to the MBA market but also to the MBP market of those who would just "overpay" for a discrete GPU and "Core" series CPU. I don't believe it even matters if Apple jacks the price back up to $2499. If it had those specs, it becomes a tool that expands the normal market of the MBA. Most "pro" or MBP buyers I know find the optical drive in Macs to be pointless, and most want a true MBP with a discrete GPU in the 13" MBP. If the MBA could offer "pro-like" luxury performance it could truly change the market and the history for the MBA. I know I am ignoring the battery here though, because such an MBA isn't going to have a 10-hour battery; but who really needs more than a 5-hour battery?

This is all just dreaming... but I certainly think a $2499 MBA with Core i7 and discrete GPU could be a hell of an upsell from the 13" MBP at $1499. And people would add BTO options like IPS display, 8 GB RAM, and Intel SSD over any base configurations. The price doesn't even matter in a luxury good like this! People will buy it fully loaded no matter how absurd the price, because that's just the primary market of the MBA.

Where Apple is going wrong is not taking advantage of the buyers that want to spend more money on their laptops than Apple lets them. There should be MBPs and MBAs with 20 different BTO options allowing BTO pricing configurations in the $5K+ range.

flynz4
Jun 5, 2010, 12:18 PM
That's just the thing, Jim. Most people think they need "more power." In reality, the vast majority would absolutely fall in love with the MBA if they ever gave it a chance.

I agree that there is a dichotomy between users, and non-users of a MBA. As a result of me carrying a MBA as my primary laptop, I know that several people have switched to the MBA and to Apple based on my recommendations. 100% have been delighted. By contrast, non-MBA users often wonder if it is powerful enough. I tend to give more credibility to the actual users. ;)

Almost everyone I know who has bought a v 2,1 MBA has ended up making it their primary Mac/computer. Some still use iMacs or Mac Pros for their "heavy lifting" but that heavy lifting is a rare need for the average user.

I am one of the people who uses my MBA in conjunction with my 27" i7 iMac. I like the large screen for aperture, I like the performance for video transcoding, and most of all, I like having the 2TB of space to hold 100% of my data (original copies). That data is automatically backed up twice both locally and to the cloud. All the data I want is available to my MBA (or other computers, iPads, iPhones) via cloud synchronization. Anything that I work on in the field is automatically synced back to my iMac and backed up. This change in my computing methodology (cloud) for me has been the most powerful change to how I use technology. It also made me intolerant of owning any laptop that is larger/heavier, or less capable (size/ease of use/ergonomics) than my MBA.

By contrast, my brother is a total minimalist... and he switched to a MBA as his single computer, paired with a 2TB TC and Mozy cloud backup. For him... he is 100% satisfied with his configuration.

/Jim

thinkdesign
Jun 5, 2010, 12:31 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

Jim: Your brother's 2TB tc... brand? And what does the Mozy backup cloud cost? It's mozy.com ?

Mhkobe
Jun 5, 2010, 12:32 PM
Macbook air is my favourite notebook I've ever owned, and my early '08 iMac is my favourite desktop of all time despite its laptop parts (it was my first mac).

flynz4
Jun 5, 2010, 12:42 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

Jim: Your brother's 2TB tc... brand? And what does the Mozy backup cloud cost? It's mozy.com ?

My brother uses an Apple 2TB Time Capsule. I am using a pair of them... one is dedicated to back up my iMac, the second is for the laptops (MBA + 2 MBPs). TC's have a horrible reliability reputation, but they have switched to the WD caviar green low rpm drives which operate much cooler. I suspect the reliability problems are over. However, since I am double backed up automatically, it is not an issue if my TC was to crash.

Mozy.com and crashplan.com are my two recommendations for cloud based backup. Both are under $5/month for unlimited backup. I personally trust mozy more, if for no other reason that they are owned by EMC. I am currently using Crashplan+ (get the + version), because unlike Mozy that has 30 days of versioning.... CP+ supports unlimited versioning. One CP+ subscription also allows you to back up all of your computers (vs just one on Mozy)... but because of my computing methodology described on my previous post... I only need to back up the single iMac since everything syncs back to that automatically.

/Jim

thinkdesign
Jun 5, 2010, 06:43 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

Drag'nGT: "The air is a companion computer." Just curious... have words to this effect ever passed the lips of any official Apple spokesperson in public (excluding sales staff), or ever appeared on any Apple web site's description of the product ? ------ If we were to review the text of SJ's initial public presentation of the "Rev. A" model... what sentance, if any, would come the closest to hinting that it's just intended as a "companion" to a larger computer?

Huubster
Jun 5, 2010, 07:00 PM
The outcome of this survey is insignificant when posted in an MBA forum...

Huubster
Jun 5, 2010, 07:10 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

Drag'nGT: "The air is a companion computer." Just curious... have words to this effect ever passed the lips of any official Apple spokesperson in public (excluding sales staff), or ever appeared on any Apple web site's description of the product ? ------ If we were to review the text of SJ's initial public presentation of the "Rev. A" model... what sentance, if any, would come the closest to hinting that it's just intended as a "companion" to a larger computer?

Whatever SJ or Apple says or doesn't say to market a product isn't relevant at all!

Example. Is an Ipad magical? hocus pocus?
Another example. A microwave pizza could be advertised as delicious and authentic. Does it mean that it is?

In other words, people may buy or use a product for whatever they believe its worth for them.
My MBA becoming a secondary computer is an option for me. That's my believe and I don't care how Apple does market it.

flynz4
Jun 5, 2010, 07:31 PM
The outcome of this survey is insignificant when posted in an MBA forum...

I agree... especially since non-MBA owners can vote.

I personally do not need a survey. 100% of the people that I personally know who use an MBA love it. Granted, I only know about a dozen, but even with that small of a sample size, I have never seen as much praise for any other laptop as compared to the MBA.

Secondly... I really don't care what others think.

/Jim

Detlev_73
Jun 5, 2010, 08:40 PM
The MacBook Air is definitely my favorite notebook of all time. There is no need for a DVD-R drive, and the form factor is awesome.

flynz4
Jun 5, 2010, 08:46 PM
The MacBook Air is definitely my favorite notebook of all time. There is no need for a DVD-R drive, and the form factor is awesome.

I think this comment is understated. Not only is there no need for an optical drive... but rather an optical drive makes a laptop worse in my opinion. Physical media is dead. Why carry the bulk and weight of an obsolete function? We dropped floppies from laptops years ago. The optical drive is overdue.

/Jim

Philscbx
Jun 7, 2010, 06:28 AM
As a non-owner, I wish they'd bump it to 4GB already!I'm the same.
I came so close to getting the AIR just 3 months ago, then the thought of having a MBP13 with FW, SD slot, optical drive really swayed the deal in the end.
Doing tons of RAW conversions worried me for the AIR.

An SSD upgrade would simply ice the cake on the MBP13.
For the right type of daily activity, I'd do the AIR before the iPad.

GoCubsGo
Jun 7, 2010, 06:40 AM
I'd have to say yes. I loved my Air and I sort of miss it. If the Air were a bit better in terms of specs and easily allowed me to put in a better SSD then I would probably buy another Air.

daze
Jun 7, 2010, 09:22 AM
My favourite was and still remains to this day, a PowerBook 12" with 867MHz CPU and 1GB RAM!

Dagless
Jun 7, 2010, 10:03 AM
No, I replaced mine with a 13" Macbook Pro and haven't looked back since. I prefer the sound quality of a MB, the DVD option, the larger HDD/RAM, the availability of more ports without need of an adapter.

roxygal9
Jun 7, 2010, 10:10 AM
I voted no for my friend who owns one and is in school. He is selling it because of the battery life and RAM Limitations, as many have mentioned. He had the 2.13/128 SSD which I also played around with since I thought about buying it. However the option of not being able to virtualize due to memory constraints can be a real deal breaker to some of us who may ned windows to run certain apps in the classroom.

jimboutilier
Jun 7, 2010, 06:49 PM
The MBA is my all time favorite notebook. It's ultra mobile and all day useable.

My only real gripe is capacity. It really needs at least 4gb of ram and at least 256gb Ssd.

For now i've gone back to a MB with enough memory and storage to satisfy all my laptop needs, and an iPad to meet my mobility needs.

I'd still love to see a new MBA with the capacity to be my only computer but I expect with an iPad my future laptops will be MBPs.

Perhaps the advent of the iPad will prompt apple to make some progress on cloud computing and we'll get cloud friendly versions of many apple apps like iTunes, iPhoto etc. That will also help great machines like the air manage capacity.

colonelsanders
Jun 7, 2010, 08:28 PM
My top three fav notebooks.

1) My fav was the original Powerbook Ti 400! I think that was one of the best break through designs Apple has ever made. Nothing else came close.

2)The next on my list was my Powerbook 12inch 867 revA. I bought that machine in 2003 and kept it through 2008. I am still amazed that it lasted so long! I sold it only because the G4 867mhz processor just couldn't hack it any more.

I learned my lesson after the PBTI and the 12inch RevA...no more early adopter(ness) for me!

3)It took all my will power not to buy the MBA rev A. The MBA Rev C 1.8 is third on my list. It's third because I would have expected that after the rev A and B that Apple would have addressed some of the thermal design issues and hinge problems.

cleric
Jun 7, 2010, 10:07 PM
Considering I'm really in to computers and work in IT and the MBA is my first laptop, I would say yes! :D