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Old Jan 8, 2011, 06:47 PM   #1
CorvetteZR1
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11.6 in. Macbook Air review

I just picked up a new 11.6 in. Macbook Air at my local Apple store and I wanted to come on here and give some feedback for anyone interested in picking one up for themselves. My model has 2GB of ram and the 128GB HD. I replaced a 13" 2.26GHz unibody Macbook Pro that also had 2GB of ram and a standard 160GB HDD. I am a full time college student studying a social science so raw processing power is not as important to me as it would be for some other users. The biggest selling point for me was the weight reduction going from the Macbook Pro to this 11.6 in. Macbook Air.

Wow. What a difference in weight! I'm the type of user that usually carries my computer with me all day, walking to and from the bus, to and from classes, to and from the library. You get the idea. I walk a lot and so weight is a huge deal to me. I have to say I am very pleased with this little notebook computer. It is my primary machine at the moment and I'm doing fine with it. I was worried the screen wouldn't be big enough but I've become used to it quite fast. I should not that before my 13" Macbook Pro, I did use a 12" iBook G4. So, this is kind of like a return to that form factor for me. As such, it has been a painless transition moving from the 13" machine to this one as far as screen real estate goes. I will say that if you are a 15" Macbook Pro user and you want to get the 11.6 in. for your primary machine, you may have some issues with the size. As for me, it's great.

So far, I have had a few issues with programs crashing and freezing up. Mail locked up on me a couple times, as did the App store, and iTunes. I was doing a lot of transferring of data during these instances so that could have played a role. Not in so much as heavy data transfers slowing up the machine, but rather possible glitches coming up because of improper transfer methods. Regardless, I don't know why I experienced the freezes and lock ups. Hopefully, they were just a phase and I won't have these "issues" later on.

Also, I should note that anyone using a current Macbook Pro with the edge to edge glass display, should be forewarned that colors are not as vibrant on this new Macbook Air as they are on the Macbook Pro. The colors don't pop out at you and they don't appear to be as sharp or bright. With that said, you get used to it and the display is still excellent.

The keyboard has less travel in the keys than the Macbook Pro but I like that. They seem to have a firmer feel. No backlit keyboard sucks but what can you do?

The speaker is surprisingly loud and useful. I opted for the larger storage capacity as this is my main machine. This is my first computer with an SSD and it is amazing. Everything is very quick and snappy.

Overall, I love this computer and would recommend it to anyone needing to lighten their carry load throughout the day. Students and other "on the go" people will love the 11.6 in. model.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
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Old Jan 8, 2011, 08:00 PM   #2
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Thanks. I just purchased a base 11" model. I haven't opened it yet though. For my usage, i think that it is perfect, but I have never bought a base model Mac before. I sold a 64gb ipad to get one.
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Old Jan 8, 2011, 08:10 PM   #3
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Ive had my 11" from day one and still love it, have both this and the 13" and although the larger screen size is nice on the 13" for some reason this one I am just in love with --I think because I take it everywhere with no problems! Have a great waterford case as well.. love em both!
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Old Jan 8, 2011, 08:49 PM   #4
CorvetteZR1
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Nice! Congrats to both of you on your purchase. Are you guys loving the light weight of this machine?! I sure am! Did you guys have any freezes of programs?
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Old Jan 8, 2011, 09:24 PM   #5
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Nice! Congrats to both of you on your purchase. Are you guys loving the light weight of this machine?! I sure am! Did you guys have any freezes of programs?
Did you actually read the original post at all? Says he loves the light weight portability, and went on to say he had a few freezes, but chalked it up to possibly being related to some data transfers he was doing at the time.
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Old Jan 8, 2011, 09:41 PM   #6
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Did you actually read the original post at all? Says he loves the light weight portability, and went on to say he had a few freezes, but chalked it up to possibly being related to some data transfers he was doing at the time.
I am the OP.
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Old Jan 8, 2011, 09:44 PM   #7
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i am the OP.
This made me laugh very very heartily
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Old Jan 8, 2011, 10:25 PM   #8
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This made me laugh very very heartily
Indeed, that is one of the biggest reason that I still like to read the MBA Rumors even though I already have my 11.6" MBA Ultimate (and love it).

We all makes mistakes like that sometimes...
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 12:34 AM   #9
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I used a PowerBook Duo 210 for many years. So even my 12" iBook seemed somewhat bulky and on the heavy side to me. The MBA 11 is the first Apple laptop to rival (and beat) the portability and svelteness of the Duo.

Because of the MBA 11's built-in SSD, I'm finding it to actually be the faster machine for iOS SDK development than a Mac Pro. It boots up with my regular set of desktop applications and the iOS SDK over three times faster my MacBook Pro. I've had zero adaptation problems with the keyboard feel or the trackpad, and stopped noticing the screen was shorter by the 2nd day of use.

Small downsides: The non-backlit keyboard slows me down when checking email at night in the dark. The MBA is so light and portable that I want to use it in more non-ergonometric situations than the MBP.
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 03:45 AM   #10
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I'm surprised so many people mention the backlit keyboard as an issue. I guess I've never had that feature hence why I don't miss it and rely on my touchtyping lessons from grade school (closest thing I've had is my Lenovo T-series laptops from work each year have had a small light built into the laptop lid which shines onto the keyboard).
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 04:01 AM   #11
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13" here, but just wanted to say how surprised I am that I miss the backlit keyboard so much. Otherwise these MBAs are outstanding.
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 05:54 AM   #12
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11.6 is pretty perfect or light usage and travel purpose because of its portability.
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 07:42 AM   #13
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I also have a 11.6 MBA and I really like it. I'm using it as my primary computer, coming from a 13 MBP.
I have no complain about processing power and it is perfect to carry with me everyday.
I want to ask OP if has he ever used his MBA for many hours, reading and typing a lot of texts. I'm asking because I also got used to the small screen but I miss 13 or 15 space when using for long time.
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 08:59 AM   #14
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Thank you for your 11.6 opinion, CorvetteZR1! It sounds like your needs are exactly mine. I'm a college student majoring in Computer Science so I really just need something to write code and to type. I do some graphic work and video editing but nothing heavy duty. My biggest concern is weight. I started out with a 12" iBook in '05 as my first Mac, moved to a 13" MacBook Pro right before I went to college in mid-'09. Now that the 11" has been released, I will be moving to that and I know the experience of a light computer will be worth it. The SSD will make up for speed in my eyes. I will miss backlit keyboarding seeing as I use that on a daily basis when I sit on my computer in the dark but I think I've been a typist long enough that backlit keyboards are more of a luxury than a necessity. Meaning, I'm sure I won't miss it much when compared to wait I'm GAINING from a lightweight, flash based machine.
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 10:54 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by elwood58 View Post
Did you actually read the original post at all? Says he loves the light weight portability, and went on to say he had a few freezes, but chalked it up to possibly being related to some data transfers he was doing at the time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorvetteZR1 View Post
I am the OP.
lol
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 12:20 PM   #16
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I love the understated response .. "I am the OP"
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 12:36 PM   #17
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13" here, but just wanted to say how surprised i am that i miss the backlit keyboard so much. Otherwise these mbas are outstanding.
+1
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 12:40 PM   #18
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I used a PowerBook Duo 210 for many years. So even my 12" iBook seemed somewhat bulky and on the heavy side to me. The MBA 11 is the first Apple laptop to rival (and beat) the portability and svelteness of the Duo.

Because of the MBA 11's built-in SSD, I'm finding it to actually be the faster machine for iOS SDK development than a Mac Pro. It boots up with my regular set of desktop applications and the iOS SDK over three times faster my MacBook Pro. I've had zero adaptation problems with the keyboard feel or the trackpad, and stopped noticing the screen was shorter by the 2nd day of use.

Small downsides: The non-backlit keyboard slows me down when checking email at night in the dark. The MBA is so light and portable that I want to use it in more non-ergonometric situations than the MBP.
I agree. In many ways, this 11.6 in. Macbook Air feels faster than my Macbook Pro. The SSD is amazing. I miss the backlit keyboard as well. I don't think you can really miss the backlit keyboard unless you've had one. It's a great feature and hopefully Apple will add it to the next revision. That's interesting you mention the ergonomics of the 11.6 in. Macbook Air. This was actually a concern of mine prior to making the purchase. I was worried that because the machine is so small that I would be straining a lot to see text on the screen. Needless to say, it hasn't been an issue at all. I'm loving this machine. In fact, the lightweight of it actually makes my neck and back feel better since I have significantly lightened my carry load.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jace88 View Post
I'm surprised so many people mention the backlit keyboard as an issue. I guess I've never had that feature hence why I don't miss it and rely on my touchtyping lessons from grade school (closest thing I've had is my Lenovo T-series laptops from work each year have had a small light built into the laptop lid which shines onto the keyboard).
At night, the brightness of the screen does illuminate the keyboard quite a bit. But, I still miss the backlit keyboard on the Macbook Pro's. It's one of those things you don't really need or think you want until you've had a machine with it. It really does help a lot in low light situations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by netdog View Post
13" here, but just wanted to say how surprised I am that I miss the backlit keyboard so much. Otherwise these MBAs are outstanding.
Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazziethomas View Post
11.6 is pretty perfect or light usage and travel purpose because of its portability.
I totally agree. That's really it's shining point. It's very portable and light. In my humble opinion, that's what makes a good notebook computer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cvkai View Post
I also have a 11.6 MBA and I really like it. I'm using it as my primary computer, coming from a 13 MBP.
I have no complain about processing power and it is perfect to carry with me everyday.
I want to ask OP if has he ever used his MBA for many hours, reading and typing a lot of texts. I'm asking because I also got used to the small screen but I miss 13 or 15 space when using for long time.
Before I made the purchase, I was concerned about the small screen. However, I've become used to it very quickly. I love it now. It's not too small for me. It works great. I can type papers, read text, and browse the internet just fine and satisfactorily. I can't honestly say that I miss the 13" Macbook Pro screen. I don't. I'm totally satisfied with the 11.6 in. screen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alwaysg5 View Post
Thank you for your 11.6 opinion, CorvetteZR1! It sounds like your needs are exactly mine. I'm a college student majoring in Computer Science so I really just need something to write code and to type. I do some graphic work and video editing but nothing heavy duty. My biggest concern is weight. I started out with a 12" iBook in '05 as my first Mac, moved to a 13" MacBook Pro right before I went to college in mid-'09. Now that the 11" has been released, I will be moving to that and I know the experience of a light computer will be worth it. The SSD will make up for speed in my eyes. I will miss backlit keyboarding seeing as I use that on a daily basis when I sit on my computer in the dark but I think I've been a typist long enough that backlit keyboards are more of a luxury than a necessity. Meaning, I'm sure I won't miss it much when compared to wait I'm GAINING from a lightweight, flash based machine.
No problem! It's the type of gratitude you've all expressed that keeps me coming on here and answering everyone's posts. It's no problem at all. Before I made the purchase, I was searching high and low for user opinions and reviews of the machine so I understand that it's very helpful to hear of other user experiences with a machine of interest. With that said, if you are a college student like me, I HIGHLY recommend this computer. The size and lightweight of this machine make it simply invaluable. As I said before, I was using a 13" Macbook Pro prior to purchasing this machine and that computer comes in at nearly 5 lbs. This machine is dramatically lighter and that makes your backpack MUCH easier to carry. I cannot stress that point enough. If you are someone that needs to carry your computer with you to and from school, work, or just out and about, this is the one to get. If you're just writing code as a computer science major, you should be totally fine with this machine and it's processing capabilities. I honestly don't notice any difference using this machine compared to my Macbook Pro. Granted, I only use my computer for word processing, youtube, internet, music, watching movies, and the occasional light game.

As you stated, the SSD seems to make up for the lack of a high speed processor. The machine I have works very well. It's a good package and I highly recommend one to you because you seem to have very similar needs to myself.

My specs are: 11.6 in. Macbook Air. 1.4 GHz processor, 2GB DDR3, and a 128GB SSD. If you have any more questions at all, don't hesitate to ask. Also, another good thing to do is to visit your local apple store or best buy and play around with one. That helped me a lot!
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 12:52 PM   #19
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I'm surprised so many people mention the backlit keyboard as an issue. I guess I've never had that feature ...
Once you've gotten used to using a backlit keyboard in the dark, and then try using a keyboard without, especially on a laptop not on a desk, only then do you realize how many extra fractions of a second you actually waste finding or adjusting your hand position by feel for touch typing.
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Old Jan 9, 2011, 02:19 PM   #20
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I am the OP.
I just laughed so hard that I almost sharted.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 05:50 PM   #21
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I will say that if you are a 15" Macbook Pro user and you want to get the 11.6 in. for your primary machine, you may have some issues with the size. As for me, it's great.

I totally agree with you on that. Love my MBA 11" but would never have it as an only machine.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 06:28 PM   #22
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I totally agree with you on that. Love my MBA 11" but would never have it as an only machine.
I have a 15" i5 MBP and the 11" Air...perfect combo...I mostly use the i5 connected to a 23" Samsung monitor and now use the Air as my little portable...
Very happy with these two right now...
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 07:34 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drxcm View Post
This made me laugh very very heartily
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorvetteZR1 View Post
I am the OP.
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Originally Posted by eVolcre View Post
I love the understated response .. "I am the OP"
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Originally Posted by Funkymonk View Post
I just laughed so hard that I almost sharted.
Now that is funny
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