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Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by tim100, May 22, 2010.
now that the air has not been updated how many looking for a new mac are going to buy a 13 MBP?
Who's saying it won't get updated?
If Apple doesn't release a 15" MBA by Jan 2011, I will buy a 15" MBP, it will pain me to do so. I will most likely carry my current MBA around for the majority of the time, but there are certain tasks that the extra 2" diagonal really help.
1) no glass trackpad
2) no glass or black boarder like other glossy macbooks
3) only speed bumps since its release
But it could still be updated, and it is either being EOL'd or updated, so we should hope for the latter.
i hope it is updated. the 13 mbp is an attractive alternative.
I have a feeling that jobs may unveil it at All Things Digital. He updated the Apple TV last time with YouTube, so he may do something again and this fits the bill. I doubt it, but it could happen. If not, then WWDC which will bring about a design change which the Air needs.
Does a minor spec bump really require Steve Jobs to unveil it? The answer is no he didn't unveil the amazing new polycarbonate macbook.
After Apple failed to update the MBA at the same time it refreshed the MBP lineup, I came this close (holding up thumb and forefinger one eighth of an inch apart) to buying a 13 inch MBP. I changed my mind only because I could not quite turn my back on the MBA's beautiful form factor and ultra lightweight.
In some ways a 13 inch MBP would probably be a better choice than even an updated MBA for anyone who needs a lot of horsepower in a small package. The 13 inch MBP can easily be upgraded to 8Gb of RAM, accepts a standard 2.5 inch SSD drive, and has a 10 hour battery, none of which are likely to be available even on an upgraded MBA.
I am currently using a MBA rev C w/SSD and honestly, I am content the way it is configured right now. I have 100% of the data on the machine synced to the cloud (MM, Dropbox, IMAP, Evernote, etc)... so everything works without any explicit syncing. I just pick up any machine and start using it and all of my data is there. The heaviest use is probably Aperture 3, which appears to work fine. I only use A3 while in the field, as my primary library is at home on my iMac.
Over time, I almost stopped using my 15" MBP completely. I still do use the 27" i7 iMac a fair amount. It contains my main libraries (iTunes, Aperture, etc), and it is the single computer that gets automatically double backed up to TM, and to the cloud (CP+). Since my computers all sync... anything I do on any laptop is also backed up through the iMac with the rest of my data.
My wife really wants to take over my MBA (replacing her 15" MBP), but she is content to wait until I replace this machine with the next version of the MBA. Personally, I do not care if they do it next month, or if they wait till Q1 since I am already using my current MBA which fits my needs nicely. If something happened to my current MBA, then I would replace it almost immediately (at this point I would wait for WDC in 2 weeks).
In order of personal use, I would estimate that I use:
60% - MBA
20% - iPad
15% - iMac
05% - MBP
I predict the MBP will reduce to 0% in the not too distant future. The other three machines all do one thing exceptionally well, and I am fortunate to have all 3 at my disposal. By contrast, the MBP does several things reasonably well, and is an exceptional choice for people who only plan to have a single machine. My analogy would be a carpenter that has a set of excellent specific tools... vs a single swiss army knife (albeit a really nice one).
I think Apple is going to ditch both the Mac Pro and the MacBook Air. Because the iPad has come out, not many will buy the MacBook Air now. And the Mac Pro hasn't gotten an update for yonks.
MacPro are 3-5k machine for professional user. They are not going to let them go...
At what price?
From a purely sociological viewpoint, the culture of this website is wildly intriguing. The knowledge is impressive. But sometimes the hostility that gets expressed is shocking. I say all this merely to ask for leniency. This is my first post; I'm the other side of knowledgeable, and I have no agenda. I'm genuinely just looking for advice. With that said...
I've been following the various threads on the MBA for about a month now. Like many of you, I've been torturously deliberating whether to buy a 13 MBP now or hold out for an updated MBA.
So here are my 2 questions: IF the MBA gets an update by WWDC (and if it doesn't I'm going with the MBP), and assuming it has at a minimum 4 RAM and 128 SSD, what price do you think it will come in at?
For those who already have an MBA do you use an external optical drive? If so, how smooth is it, say, when watching DVDs? Does it require its own power-cord? Is it bulky? (When I travel for long periods throwing some DVDs in the suitcase is better than paying out for Hotel movies.)
Thank you in advance for help.
I baught an external optical drive afer sopme research (here on the side) and got the Plextor 8X Ext Slim USB DVD+RW. This one has no additional power inlet and cord and works just fine over USB. I used it so far only to install SL (my refurbished came only with the SL DVD, was not installed) without problems. Its as bulky/small as most of the external drives. There are some bigger and few smaller. Never used it to watch videos, mostly too busy on travel anyways and if I am in a hotel I am either happy to watch TV or if really needed Netflix streaming (didn't try that on the MBA though yet, works only in US also)...
1) Not sure, but I can't imagine a huge increase if RAM is the only thing updated
2) I bought the optical drive(superdrive) with my MBA because I've never had a computer without one, and thought for sure I would need one. I've probably used it 5 times total, lol. It does not need it's own power cord, and connects through the usb port. The drive is not bulky at all, and actually conforms to the "thinnovation" concept of the MBA. I didn't notice any problems when watching DVD's but again, I never used the drive extensively, so someone else may be able to answer that better. The only thing that bothered me about it was the extremely short usb cord.
I don't like the 13" MBP as it doesn't match my wants very well and it wastes both space and weight to accomplish goals that do not match my needs or wants in a Mac. I don't want to carry around 4.5 lb. to have a 10-hour battery and an optical drive. I don't want to carry around an inch thick MBP to have a 10-hour battery and an optical drive.
The MBA is here to function like a 13" Mac would in a thinner and lightweight form factor. Apple just needs to update the MBA with the same components used in its two other 13" Mac notebooks.
I know that I cannot have a 10-hour battery nor optical drive in an MBA that weighs 3 lb., so I am happy with the MBA at 3 lb that works for 4+ hours between charges without an optical drive. I know that I cannot have an MBA as thin as the current MBA that has an optical drive and a 10-hour battery, so I am happy with an MBA that doesn't have an optical drive nor a 10-hour battery.
When people say they want an MBA that lasts 10 hours between charges, I say what they really want is a 13" MBP less the optical drive. Apple could make four products out of these two products and make its customers a lot happier.
MBP(g) with 10-hour battery, less optical drive, discrete GPU, 1" thick.
MBP(o) with 10-hour battery, with optical drive, 1" thick.
MB with 7.5-hour battery and less optical drive that's 3/4" thick.
MBA with 5-hour battery less optical drive that's tapered as current MBA's thickness.
All of these products should have same base configuration except MBA's drive since it would require smaller form factor SSD/HDD.
I believe this system would benefit buyers much more by allowing them to buy the Mac they really WANT. Apple makes everyone buy a certain level of Mac whether they want it or not. This system would provide users the Mac notebook they really want.
Having read a few of your posts Scottsdale, I know you'd say that we'll see this only in another possible world. But you are right, if there was a MBP(g), and assuming it dropped some weight, I might just jump. Still, 3.0lbs is just so damn attractive to a coffee-shop hopper like myself.
So, a last question, what is the max battery you think is possible with current tech in the MBA? Could it get to 6hrs?
Thanks again. This already helps.
Not do derail this thread but your setup is very similar to what I plan to do. What does "CP+" stands for? Do you also sync your iTunes and Aperture library between your machines (or some of them), and if so, how?
4.30 just word processing screen barely visible no internet connection.
3.30 word processing some browsing with flash blocked some email brightness at an average setting
It's not surprising that you and many others find the current MBA satisfactory. Unfortunately, I need to run both Windows apps and OS X apps simultaneously and I couldn't do that with only 2Gb of RAM, which eliminates the current MBA from consideration. Even it the MBA is updated it is unlikely to have more than 4Gb of RAM, which means that it would be no more than marginal for my needs.
In stark contrast to the current MBA and, probably, the next version, too, the 13 inch MBP can accept 8Gb of RAM, the biggest SSD your budget can stand and has a 10 hour battery, to boot. Although the 13 inch MBP is 50 percent heavier than the MBA and is also thicker, there is no doubt that it can do what I need it to do, while the MBA may not be able to. I hope an updated MBA would work for me, of course, but the doubt remains.
Same here. If the Air isn't updated at WWDC though I think I might have to retire my Rev A and replace it with a MacBook Pro.
Fortunately, whether Apple updates the MBA by WWDC doesn't have to be the make or break issue governing my decision whether to buy one. My 17 inch MBP has almost a year to go under Applecare and my iPad is a nice ultra portable adjunct to it. Thus, I can wait until next spring to see if Apple finally gives the MBA enough horsepower to satisfy my needs. I hope that it doesn't talke that long but I can live with the delay if necessary.
CP+ = CrashPlan +
The two leading cloud backup providers are Crashplan (get the + version) and Mozy. I actually like Mozy better, but I dislike that they only have a 30 day retention period for deleted items. CP has unlimited retention. The only time it would matter is for inadvertent deletions... but that is significant.
What I sync is all of the data that I want to have with me regardless of where I am. This includes most, but not all of my data. For example... I do not need 10 year old tax files with me when I am traveling.
For email, use IMAP email. It allows you to pick up any machine, and you always have a common and consistent view of all your email. You can read, delete, file, mark, etc mail on any machine... and the state is automatically replicated across all machines. Managing mail becomes a "brainless" function. It just plain works. POP3 is obsolete, and anyone still using it should reconsider.
I do not think it makes sense to try and duplicate your photo library onto multiple machines. I think it makes sense to keep your Aperture 3 projects on the main home machine... and create albums that are a subset of various projects (or collections of projects) and then sync those to the various machines. You end up with a more interesting collection of photos that tell a story... rather than a huge glob of photos that won't fit on your SSD anyway.
Regarding A3 projects while I am traveling, I think the best method is to create specific Aperture 3 projects while traveling as referenced libraries. This allows you to organize, tag, apply ratings etc during a trip... and then the project can be easily imported into your main library when you return home. Robert Boyer ( http://photo.rwboyer.com/ ) has some incredible information on how to effectively use A3 on his website, and in his ebooks. He goes into a lot of detail using his (well deserved) opinionated discussion style that will make this all clear. I think that A3 is an awesome program and by itself, enough reason to use a Mac vs a PC.
Regarding music, I keep all of my music at home in my "main iTunes"... and I create a relatively small playlist of a couple thousand songs that I sync to my laptops, iPad, iPhone, etc. This allows me to have some music for background if I really want it (I almost never do).
My real mobile music solution is to use a 160GB iPod classic that will easily hold my entire music collection and that goes with me on all trips. That way I have 100% of my music with me, in a form factor that is much better to use than a laptop or iPad. Eventually, I expect Apple to boldly move into the 90's and offer a subscription based music model... where you subscribe to "all the music in the world" rather than trying to hoard music. For many (inc me) it is a better model.
As an aside... I do not really need a 160GB iPod classic anymore. In addition to all of my music, I also used to keep 100% of my photos on it for an extra backup, but that was before I adopted the combination of TM and CP+ described above. Now I do not need to carry around those photos since they are guaranteed to be safe because of my excellent automated backup strategy. I think I could probably get by with 100GB iPod now... but I already own the 160GB.
Similar to how I transport my music (with my iPod) ... my home iTunes library contains all of my movies. I will take a collection of those (maybe 20) in my iPad. This allows me to view movies during a trip, and I think the iPad is the ideal device for watching videos on a flight. Because of the large size of movies, it is not really practical to carry 100% of my movies with me unless I was to carry a portable HDD. I am not willing to do that, but I find that having 20+ movies available on my iPad to be sufficient to meet my needs.
Bottom line, I adopt the following methadology:
I use extensive us of cloud computing whenever possible
All documents or similar data that I conceivably need often is always available on every computer that I own
I only use IMAP email
Since all data is synced to my home machine... my home machine always has 100% of all of my data irrespective of where I edit it.
My home iMac is double backed up. Once locally using TM, and once to the cloud using CP+. Both are automatic and need zero human intervention
Original photos are kept on the home machine using A3, and "albums" are created using my best photos which tell a story. These albums are synced to my various computer, my iPad, etc for consumption anytime.
Likewise, my media collection is kept at home in iTunes and it is synced to "media optimized" devices. Specifically, an iPod for my music, and an iPad for my videos
I hope this helps.
Here is one more thought. It is a mental model that I use to test if I have truly embraced the cloud sufficiently.
Would I be willing, without hesitation (except the $$), to throw any (or all) of my computers, iPhones, iPads, laptops, etc that I own into the lake (fire, wood chipper, etc)? If the answer is no... then I fix my methodology.
Well why haven't they updated them for god-knows how long? Its certainly put me off buying one. I might get one still, but not until they update it.