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Ars Technica review on the 11" MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by maflynn, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Ars posted their review of the 11" MBA: Review

    The review seemed fair and balanced. highlighting both some of the positive aspects of the MBA and some of the negative facets.

    One thing I had not noticed or thought about was the sleep indicator light. This mac does not have one. I love the pulsating light to indicate whether the laptop is sleeping/on/off. I'm disappointed in apple not having that.

    Ars also mentioned the lack of a backlit keyboard and while that's a topic for another thread they really didn't seem to make a major issue out of it.
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Always nice to read the Ars reviews, a bit more informative than most.

    It's funny that Steve said how Apple wouldn't produce a netbook, and yet, that seems to be exactly what they're produced... with one small problem. The price!!

    I think the Ars conclusion is very accurate, that this might lead to something more interesting in future - it's not all that interesting in itself.
  3. macrumors regular


    Thanks for the link.

    I'm glad the MBA does not have the sleep light. I can't just close my MacBook and leave it in the bedroom at night, it's just too annoying. The sleep light is cute but I've been having an Alu iMac for 3 years so I'm used to the lack of it. And with the MBA 30-days standby time, you don't really need to know if it's off or sleeping.
  4. macrumors 68020


    I'll be happy to see some comparisons in the future about how performance changes against a unit with 4GB Ram or the 1.6ghz model. I like Ars reviews though, no crazy indepth like Anantech's was but useful.

    After playing with one at the store I am rather taken with it. The value proposition of getting anything above the 999$ version is a bit hard though. These reviews keep me teetering back and forth :p
  5. macrumors 68000

    First off, thanks for the link. Good review and seemed pretty balanced in their thoughts and testing.

    I don't ever recall SJ saying they wouldn't make a net book. He stated net books are cheap, slow computers that can't do anything useful. Also that Apple doesn't know how to make a $500 computer, which clearly they didn't try that either lol.

    The MBA is not cheap $$, it is useful and can run full powered applications, has a full size keyboard (except F keys), useable size trackpad. So ultra portable, net book or laptop, terminology doesn't matter if people find a use for it that suits their needs. Personally find it to small just as I did other net books. The 13" MBA will serve my portability needs just fine, the 11" is to limited in several areas for me. (yes I did use one for nearly a week before returning it.)

    I'm not really disagreeing that is expensive for what you get but none of the Apple laptops are, so it's no huge surprise to anyone familiar with Apple products. The trade off for crazy thin, light and portable comes at a cost.

    I do hope the trend moves to solid state storage soon, it makes the overall feel of any computer much faster and finally kills the huge bottleneck spinning platter based drives have had vs the modern CPU and GPU.
  6. macrumors 68040

    This 11" is a curious thing.

    I do recall that SJ said that they wouldn't make a 'cheap' notebook (as in cheap construction).

    The 11" Air ain't el cheapo.

    (even though mine makes creaking noises around the plastic area)
  7. macrumors member

    It's not a netbook. Netbook's are crippled laptops. What about the 11" MBA is crippled. It is faster than the 13" Macbook and many of the 13" MBP's. Stop making retarded statements!
  8. macrumors regular

    It took them over 2 weeks to put this review together and they didn't bother to review the 13" either?

    THUMBS DOWN. Engadgets review was much better.
  9. macrumors 68040


    In more way than one.... :)
  10. macrumors member

    Seem slike everyone is reviewing th 11.6, wish someplace would do a review on the 13.3
  11. Moderator


    Staff Member

    I don't recall any apple product being cheap, i.e. low priced.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Sorry but it is a bit crippled. Even if you doubt me, have a look over on Anandtech's just-published review...

  13. macrumors 65816

    Thanks, I looked at the review. It's too bad you quoted them so selectively, because the review said "I call it a netbook because it can do all of the things you could do on a netbook, without any of the performance or quality headaches. You get a great display, a beautiful chassis and much better performance."

    That doesn't sound 'a bit crippled' to me.
  14. macrumors member

    Those that dismiss the 11.6 MBA have not used it. I was hesitant at first but after a couple days I love it. We also have a true netbook, Dell mini 10V. Trust me the 11.6 MBA is a real computer and not a toy.
  15. macrumors 68040


    I concur. The 11.6 MBA that I got for my wife is a way better machine than what the specs would suggest.
  16. macrumors 65816


    It was a good review. Puts Engadget, Gizmodo and all the other tech blogs' to shame.

    I still liked AandTech's one better. They wrote it up faster too.
  17. macrumors 68000


    So true. The best netbook ever, and you know it's a Mac because of the obscene price ...:)

    Poor Steve, he's such a lier it's a way of life.
  18. macrumors 65816


    Their battery charger seems pretty reasonably priced.
  19. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Faster isn't better but in this case it is :)

    anandtech's review was a highly indepth review that was better then the rest
  20. macrumors 6502a


    Not sure either of us are going to win this one, but for what it's worth I'd like to point out some other parts of Anandtech's review to you:

  21. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Maybe its semantics but when I hear crippled, I envision a manufacturer clearly and explicitly altering the performance of a component (or a computer) for specific reasons. That is, its a fast computer that they make slower.

    Apple does this quite often, specifically with the GPU but underclocking it.

    In the MBA's case, I see no such crippling, they opted for a slower ULV processor given the size and battery contraints. They also remember the over heating issues of the prior revisions. It makes a lot of sense to put a cooler running cpu into such a tiny enclosure. To that end, apple did not cripple the MBA. That's not say its a speed demon, but it is running at the speed it should.

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