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Old Jan 3, 2013, 08:25 PM   #1
Sully151
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Drawbacks to the MBA?

Hey All,

I have finally decided that it is time for a new computer (actually 2)

I am currently on an archaic iMac running an Intel Core 2 Duo and 2 G of memory.

Anyway, I am going to be getting a laptop very soon and a new iMac in the next few months if the world and my wife are on the same page as I am.

That being said, I think I am looking at the 13" MBA. I am going to probably max it out with the exception of the 512 GB flash.

It will be used for regular day to day use, a little photo/video editing (the brunt will be done on the iMac, I assume) and will be used for travel.

I have read a lot of positives for the MBA, but what I want to know is what are the negatives? Are there any faults that would/should lead me in the direction of the rMBP?

Thanks in advance!

Sully
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 08:43 PM   #2
zedsdead
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It sounds perfect for what you want to do with it.

The only other choice would be the rMBP should you want a retina screen, but it doesn't sound like you need it.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 09:03 PM   #3
rabidz7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sully151 View Post
Hey All,

I have finally decided that it is time for a new computer (actually 2)

I am currently on an archaic iMac running an Intel Core 2 Duo and 2 G of memory.

Anyway, I am going to be getting a laptop very soon and a new iMac in the next few months if the world and my wife are on the same page as I am.

That being said, I think I am looking at the 13" MBA. I am going to probably max it out with the exception of the 512 GB flash.

It will be used for regular day to day use, a little photo/video editing (the brunt will be done on the iMac, I assume) and will be used for travel.

I have read a lot of positives for the MBA, but what I want to know is what are the negatives? Are there any faults that would/should lead me in the direction of the rMBP?

Thanks in advance!

Sully
For what you are doing it will work, but for anything else it will be bottlenecked by the (nonexistent) GPU.

My 2005 powerbook has better graphics than the macbook air.

----------

Also, you can only get a graphics card in 15" macbookpros. The 13" is stuck on integrated.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 09:11 PM   #4
danistyping
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My 2005 powerbook has better graphics than the macbook air.
Don't you think that's a bit of a stretch?
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 09:14 PM   #5
Stingray454
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In my opinion very few drawbacks. I'd say:

- A little tight on screen space (I'm normally on a 27" iMac, and use the 11" Air) - if you're using it for desktop work I recommend and external screen and it's no problem at all, but enough for surf/mail/movies.

- Wouldn't mind another USB port. I usually want to connect a mouse, keyboard, usb-stick and a phone charger to it.

- Have to use a USB-to-ethernet adapter or wireless (or thunderbolt-to-ethernet, but I currently use and external monitor in that port). I use gigabit LAN for my desktop computers / network storage, but the Air on WiFi, which means transferring large files takes longer. Guess it's fast enough, and there's really no way to fit an ethernet port on the air, so.. guess this boils down to needing more USB / TB ports as well

- When connected to a large display, it doesn't feel _quite_ as smooth when scrolling as I'm used to. For example, when scrolling a full-screen browser window full of images. I guess the HD4000 isn't quite as fast as my desktops GPU.

However, all of the above are very small issues for me. Screen size is OK on the 11" most of the time, especially when moving the dock to the left/right side. When stationary, I can connect it to a monitor anyways. WiFi is fast enough in 99% of the case, and I use a USB keyboard that gives me two extra USB ports on the keyboard. You can also use a Thunderbolt display that has a USB hub built-in. The graphics lag is barely noticeable in the 2012 Air, and the GPU is fast enough to do decent gaming on, but maybe not on an external display.

Overall, the 2012 Air is awesome. I went with 2Ghz i7 / 8 GB / 256 GB, and I use it daily for both professional work, surfing/movies and when traveling. Best computer I ever had.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 09:28 PM   #6
53x12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabidz7 View Post

My 2005 powerbook has better graphics than the macbook air.
The Mobility Radeon 9700? lol

----------




Quote:
It will be used for regular day to day use, a little photo/video editing (the brunt will be done on the iMac, I assume) and will be used for travel.
Sounds like the MBA will be more than enough computer for you. Plus you would save some money over the 15" rMBP (cause why go with the 13" rMBP if you are going to get a rMBP?).

I sold my MBP to get my MBA. Best decision I have made. Especially for someone like you that travels a lot. You will appreciate it.

As far as negatives:

- 13" is the largest screen
- can't upgrade RAM after sale
- not as many ports as rMBP
- only integrated CPU
- speakers aren't as good as rMBP
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 09:30 PM   #7
rabidz7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danistyping View Post
Don't you think that's a bit of a stretch?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 53x12 View Post
The Mobility Radeon 9700? lol

----------

As far as negatives:

- 13" is the largest screen
- can't upgrade RAM after sale
- not as many ports as rMBP
- only integrated CPU
- speakers aren't as good as rMBP




Sounds like the MBA will be more than enough computer for you. Plus you would save some money over the 15" rMBP (cause why go with the 13" rMBP if you are going to get a rMBP?).

I sold my MBP to get my MBA. Best decision I have made. Especially for someone like you that travels a lot. You will appreciate it.
NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200

Graphics ram is not everything, the GPU is just as important, the MBA does not have one.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 09:36 PM   #8
53x12
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Originally Posted by rabidz7 View Post
NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200

Graphics ram is not everything, the GPU is just as important, the MBA does not have one.
That is incorrect.

Intel HD Graphics 4000 = 134
NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 = 2

(higher is better)

http://novabench.com/gpuchart.php?a=1
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 07:31 AM   #9
Abazigal
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There aren't really any drawbacks I can think of without it sounding like I am grasping at straws. I feel the macbook air looks and works great, and is reasonably priced to boot.

If I had to complain, it would be that the price of their spec upgrades is so expensive.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 07:39 AM   #10
AndyWong
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Originally Posted by rabidz7 View Post
NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200

Graphics ram is not everything, the GPU is just as important, the MBA does not have one.
It is not possible to not have a GPU in a computer. It only integrated or dedicated one.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 07:56 AM   #11
nightmars
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My 2005 powerbook has better graphics than the macbook air.[COLOR="#808080"]

----------
So let's see whether your powerbook or my MB Air 11" from 2010 (or any 2012 MB Air) can fire up Portal 2 ;-)

or Duke Nukem Forever
or Doom 3
or Quake 4
or Most Wanted
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 09:02 AM   #12
Stingray454
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So let's see whether your powerbook or my MB Air 11" from 2010 (or any 2012 MB Air) can fire up Portal 2 ;-)
For reference, I play World of Warcraft on my 2012 Air sometimes. Works like a charm. Though I usually limit the fps to 30 manually, this keeps the computer nice and cool while playing while it almost never drops below 30 fps. If I disable the FPS limit, I can get anywhere from 30-100 while doing quests / instances / raids, but with louder fans and hotter computer. So yeah, a bit better than the powerbook.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 09:05 AM   #13
tgif1386
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Mba

The only draw back I have is the power charger. It is easy to break and not durable. And it costs a fortune to have it replaced.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 09:10 AM   #14
AdrianK
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Originally Posted by rabidz7 View Post
NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200

Graphics ram is not everything, the GPU is just as important, the MBA does not have one.
You're saying that a GPU from 2004 is better than a GPU from 2012?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nightmars View Post
or Doom 3
Funny you should say that, it might be able to. I know the FX5200 is the desktop card, but it might work (just not very well) :P

Quote:
Mac Requirements:
Operating System: Mac OS X 10.3.8 or later
CPU Processor: PowerPC G4/G5 or later
CPU Speed: 1.5GHz or faster
Memory: 512 MB or higher
Hard Disk Space: 2.0GB free disk space
Video Card (ATI): Radeon 9600 or better
Video Card (NVIDIA): GeForce FX5200 or better
Video Memory (VRam): 64 MB
Media Required: DVD Drive
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 09:17 AM   #15
Stingray454
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The only draw back I have is the power charger. It is easy to break and not durable. And it costs a fortune to have it replaced.
+1 on that, or at least for the magsafe. The Magsafe 2 is just SO much worse than the 2010/2011 magsafe (I've had both). Disconnects all the time, you barely have to touch it. Though I never had any of them break.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 09:31 AM   #16
cedwhatev
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Yeah, for me, it's the MagSafe and SD card slot. I would actually like an SD card slot.. I didn't think I did at first, until I bought my Nikon DSLR...
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 09:39 AM   #17
Vandefilm
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Uuh, if youre complaining about the magsafe 2 youre just searching for something to moan about. It works great and I can't see how you could break it without doing things to it that are just plain dumb.
If you're using it for what you say you are using it there are no draw backs. I can't think of a reason to buy an external monitor if you're also buying an iMac. I can't think of a reason you would have to exchange large files if you're also having an iMac and if you do, just use an external HDD and its beeped in a few minutes. I can't think of a reason to hook up an external mouse and keyboard if you're also having an iMac. And why the hell would you game on a MBA when you're having an iMac?

The only drawback I can think of is the battery life. You would want it to last a full day's of work when you're travelling and it's just not doing that (but which laptop is?).
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 09:40 AM   #18
nissan.gtp
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I really like mine a lot. Drawbacks are inability to upgrade RAM and cost of SSD (so get it right when you buy), and the display quality isn't as good as MBP -- it's a little washed out. The super-portability is fantastic (no need to be any smaller/lighter IMO), and it's plenty fast for everything I do with it (similar to the OP's list).
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 09:54 AM   #19
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No negatives, do it, you will love it.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 12:38 PM   #20
robvas
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Drawbacks: No quad-core, no optical drive, no ethernet, can't upgrade it.

If any of those are a deal-breaker get a Pro.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 12:53 PM   #21
53x12
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Drawbacks: No quad-core, no optical drive, no ethernet, can't upgrade it.

If any of those are a deal-breaker get a Pro.
OP was mentioning rMBP, which does not have an optical drive.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 01:02 PM   #22
coldjeanzzz
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Well when I booted it up for the first time immediately I was put off by the screen size (13 inches). Everything felt SO small I was like how the hell am I going to use this thing? But that was because I came from a 15.4 inch laptop on 1366x768 res so everything felt gigantic there. However it took barely two days before my eyes adjusted and now the screen doesn't feel small at all to me. If you have poor eyesight I can see how this would be a problem though.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 01:57 PM   #23
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been running a 11" MBA for over a year, mostly home use.
drawbacks are limited screen space and sound/speakers are horrible.
other then that its a solid machine.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 02:30 PM   #24
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My 2005 powerbook has better graphics than the macbook air.
No, it does not.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 02:33 PM   #25
jojoba
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I have a maxed out 13" and I really love it. It's a great mix of (relative) power and portability. I'm hoping it will last me a while.
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