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How is the MBA air underpowered???

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Mastamarek, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. macrumors regular


    I was reading many comments form many smart users from macrumors and a lot of them say, that the MBA is underpowered!! Now, I would just go on and read the next topic but they say it in every possible one and its not like one user but a bunch. So I think, did I miss something from the keynote or there really are other ultra-portable laptops with Quad-Xeon processors. So I did some research, and I could not find any ultra-portable laptop in screen range from 11-14' that weight <3lbs with anything close to C2D 1.6 not ULV!! So if anyone can please explain me this phenomenon of MBA being underpowered.
    Thx in advance
  2. macrumors Core

    its not.

    people are saying that it is because the speed is less than a macbook.

    which is ridiculous imo. its spec'ed just fine imo.
  3. macrumors 68000


    the air is not a quad?
  4. macrumors 601


    Welcome to my response.

    I don't know if I've seen a lot of people complaining about it being "underpowered" - mostly just people complaining that it doesn't have an optical drive or enough ports or 12 hour battery life or an espresso maker or a hair dryer attached to it.
  5. macrumors 6502

    Hehe that made me smile so thanks for that!

    How many cores and how many Mhz does it take to run email, surf the web, type a report in word, work out some budgets in Excel, or prepare a presentation before watching a movie or listening to your favourite tunes, until the "Fasten Seat-belts" comes up? :D

    Now if it could only get some more ice for that G&T...


  6. macrumors 68040


    MacBook Air is a 13.3 inch notebook. Compared to other 13.3 inch notebooks it is underpowered. Certainly, if I was spending £1199 on a 13.3 inch notebook with Dell, they'd give me:

    Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz
    4GB RAM
    320GB SATA Hard Disk
    nVidia Geforce 8400M GS 128MB

    And I still wouldn't be hitting £1199. The price of that machine is £1099. With MacBook Air for £1199 you get:

    Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6GHz
    2GB RAM
    80GB PATA Hard Disk
    No proper GPU

    I am kinda sick of people comparing MacBook to the Sony TZ or to proper ultraportable machines. The point of an ultraportable is not that it is thin but that it is smaller than other machines - MacBook Air is the same width and depth as a MacBook and is less powerful.
  7. macrumors 68000

    That must be it, because everything else in the same weight/thickness range has a less powerful processor.

    I think most of them are just dismissing the thickness as a gimmick that doesn't matter. To me it's a feature that allows less weight while still keeping a bigger screen and full-sized keyboard. I wouldn't compromise on the keyboard or go below a 13" screen in order to gain a smaller footprint, so it's perfect for me.

    And still it takes up significantly less volume and weighs less. There is a trade-off for this device.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    The MacBook Air isn’t an ultra-portable. It’s a really thin and much better looking MacBook.

    The reason so many people think its underpowered is comparing a MBA with 1.6Ghz, 2Gig of Ram, and a small 4200rpm HD to a cheaper MacBook which can get 2.2GHz, 4 Gigs of Ram, and a big 7200rpm HD. When you buy a MBA, you are paying more for less (size, power, and features). Some like it, some don’t.
  9. macrumors newbie

    ... yeah and dont forget that dell has that bto option for blu ray at just over 150 bucks. I completely agree with you on the portability also.
  10. macrumors regular


    Good point, but ....
    This 13.3' phenomenon is another interesting thing. I travel a lot. Usually fly once a week so n ultra-portable is a great solution for me. Now I used the TZ series. Great laptops, but I dont use half of what is offers on the plane. I mean I dont edit videos, so I dont need FireWire, I do not hook up my laptop to ethernet port + pretty much everything else. Now the sony is small. For my needs it might be even too small. The keyboard is a pain to use and the small screen is unreadable when using "word" type documents. Its light thought and that what counts for me. Ohhh and the TZ sereies are ullltrraaaa slow, escepcially running vista!! Now the MBA, is just as light, comfortably bigger and half as thick. I understand that this kind of laptop is targeted at me. Travel a lot, need something compact. Now I would trade the TZ series for MB anytime!! I dont use half of the ports on the TZ, its too small for typing documents and is ullltttraaaa slooow. Now MBA offers none of that, so how can people not call it ultra-portable. Does it really have to be 8' display or size of an iPhone??? I look at the TZ series and I think of them more as a gadget and when I think of MBA I actually think it might be the first comfortably usable ultra-portable.
  11. macrumors 6502

    Who's definition of an ultra-portable is that? I kind of see your argument, but I cannot agree with it. Unless you walk around with your ultra-portable in your hand/handbag! then weight and thickness is more important to me...

  12. macrumors newbie

    I would like to walk around with it in my hand/handbag. that to me is ultra portable (a definition that is fulfilled when looking at sony's true portable laptops, and others in its class). an mbp wont fit in my backpack. neither will the mba. if you call the mba portable then so is the mbp.
  13. macrumors 601


    MacBook Air will certainly fit in my backpack, and weigh a hell of a lot less than what I stuff in there now.
  14. macrumors 6502

    The MacBookPro is very portable I agree. The MBA is more so. I need portability, but not at the expense of productivity. The MBA is the best of both worlds. I would use my iPhone if I needed less productivity and even more portability.

  15. macrumors regular


    So MBP is not portable?? U cant take it anywhere?? also u cant fit MBA in your backpack?? handbags?? Like this?? http://www.gucci.com/us/us-english/us/spring-summer-08/handbags/#197015_BCC8G_5647

    bump, anybody can explain me this phenomenon??? How is MBA underpowered and not ultra-portable??
  16. macrumors 65816


    You've seen all possible opinions on it by now, there's no other explanation. People define it differently.
  17. macrumors 65816


    The Mac mini even ran at 1,5 GHz and I never heard anyone complain. The MBA is not meant for heavy computing. For it's purpose, 1.6 is more than enough.
  18. macrumors 6502a


    It is ultra-portable and it isn't underpowered for an ULTRAPORTABLE.

    However, an ultra-portable like the Air has a very small market. The main reason for this is because the Macbook offers better speed and features than the Macbook Air for much less.

    The situation boils down to whether a slightly thinner laptop that weighs 3 pounds as opposed to 5 pounds and is weaker than the alternative is worth the extra cash. To most users it is not, hence them calling it "underpowered." There are some users that this might fit the needs of, but from the forums consensus, most people won't need something like it unless for a fashion statement.
  19. macrumors 65816


    And I'm sick of hearing that it is not an ultraportable just because it's footprint is bigger. I don't know what you people put your ultraportables in, wallets, letter envelopes, etc, but honestly to me if I needed one it would probably be the weight that is the biggest issue. You can't compare the dell M1330 to the Macbook Air at all! You can compare that dell to the macbook though.

    The Macbook Air needs some work, and I wouldn't buy it, but not because it has the same footprint as the macbook but for other reasons.
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Ryan T.

    If people are complaining about the CPU, they're way off, that won't be even close to being the bottleneck on the MBA. 2GB of RAM soldered in is concerning, but will be fine for now.

    The big concern is the 1.8" 4200RPM hard drive. If you can't afford the SSD, this drive is just going to be deathly slow. Trust me on this one, I owned a Thinkpad X41 Tablet with the 1.8" drive and although I fully expect OS X to be snappier than XP on the drive, be prepared for a major slow down in boot and app load times. A system is only as strong as it's weakest link, and the MBA's weakest link by far is the anemic albeit likely necessarily slow disk.
  21. macrumors 68000

    The people who had first hand experience using them at MacWorld said they didn't seem slow. Apple said the demo units were using the 80GB hard drives.

    But I was concerned enough about it to order the SSD. :)
  22. macrumors regular

    The ThinkPad X61s is 12", 3lbs, slightly thicker but smaller in the other dimensions than the MBA, and has the same CPU options.
  23. macrumors regular

    If you can compare the MacBook to the Dell M1330, you can compare the M1330 to a MacBook Air, because in terms of size and weight, the M1330 is exactly in the middle of those two. But it does not make any of the compromises in terms of cut features that the Air does.
  24. macrumors regular

    the 1.8" 4200rpm PATA harddrive is very slow compared to the 2.5" 7200rpm SATA harddrive you're now using. You'll notice significant longer boot time and loading times
  25. macrumors regular

    thank god it doesnt look like the sony tz!!!

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