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MBA 11" just how powerful is it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by barebackbadger8, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502


    sorry guys i know this as been asked many times but would like your advice!
    my current laptop is a netbook (asus eeepc 1000h) and to be honest it almost does everything i want it to do.
    i say almost because i only use it for itunes, web surfing, emails and video converting for my iphone but its painfully slow (i know its a netbook lol)

    i was looking for a macbook pro to do all the above, but for xmas i was given a shuttle pc (new) and i now use that video converting (for my iphone)

    so now im thinking a MBP is over kill for just web, itunes and email!

    but im worried a MBA is just a more expensive netbook, will the MBA do web surfing, with mail open in background and listening to music??

    the 11" screen doesnt bother me, im used to the 10" my asus has. also to be honest i like the small/compact size.

    so basically im asking, is the MBA all that? or should i get the MBP?
    its my wedding present off my wife to be, and my budget is a £1000 which in the uk gets you either of those for £700 for MBA and £850 MBP with cashback
  2. macrumors Core


    Yes. Any Mac since about 2002 can do that.
  3. macrumors 6502


    i know most mac's can but wasn't sure what market the MBA was aimed at, so i wasn't sure if it had the power to multitask
  4. macrumors member

    BBB, you've got my new favorite username. Thank god for Top Gear teaching me that for y'all, badger = beaver.
  5. macrumors 6502

    The MBA is an excellent choice for your stated usage.

    I would caution you to put plenty of thought into the size you choose. The 13" is still very light & portable while offering a lot more viewing area thereby making for less scrolling while browsing the web. It's also easier on your eyes even if you have perfect 20/20 vision.

    Personally I've had every size laptop display in one inch increments (approx) from 10.2 thru 17". For all around usage I find 13.3" ideal.
  6. macrumors 6502


    actually for me, it was an unusual way how i came about the name but as nothing to do with top gear.
    we have a huge badger problem by my house, they tip the bins etc looking for food. anyway one morning they had tipped the whole streets bins and and food/rubbish etc was everywhere!
    that same day i went to work and was asked for a name for my online dreamteam (football in uk/soccer in the us) and i said "**********badgers" the guy running the dream team said i couldn't have that name because children were in the dreamteam aswell. so i was thinking of another name that mean't ********** and i just thought of bareback..... hence barebackbadger!
  7. macrumors 6502


    well i thought of the MBA cuz i have no problem viewing my 10" asus (1024 x 600) its ok for me actually. not sure what the MBA resolution is but as long as 1024 x 600 is an option i should be ok
  8. macrumors 68040


    The 11" is quite fast, you will not be disappointed if that is your intended usage.
  9. macrumors 6502


    yes it is! thing is in the past i have brought well beyond my means.
    thinking i would do this and do that, so i made a list of what i did over a 1 year period on my netbook
    that list consisted of:
    web browsing,
    listen to itunes/music regular
    listen to online radio via the web browser
    write documents
    converted 3 videos for my iphone
    watched films/tv shows that i downloaded/digital copy (none in HD)
    ran malwarebytes many times (lol)

    all the above obviously not at the same time, the most as been web browsing, listening to online radio or itunes music, and having windows mail open
  10. macrumors regular

    I have been very happy with my 11" MBA.

    At this moment I have several browser windows I'm clicking between, the usual Mail/iCal open, Spotify streaming through AirFoil to my Airport Express, AirFlick sending a video to the family TV in the other room, Handbrake doing a video conversion, Photoshop open to resize some photos, and Parallels has been running with an active XP session since I bought it (Steam, mostly).

    Everything is extremely responsive.

    For what you list you should not have any problem at all.
  11. rrl
    macrumors 6502

    Powerful enough? Multi-tasking?

    Dude, your netbook is probably a single-core Atom. The 11" MBA ultimate is a C2D with an excellent GPU and 4 GB of RAM.

    Based on your requirements, the MBA is overkill.
  12. macrumors 6502


    do you have the entry level MBA?
    ive been looking do you think i should go for the 4gb/128gb ssd config and also upgrade to 1.6ghz processor?
  13. 2IS
    macrumors 68030

    Processor wise, compared to the MBP or most current PC laptops it isn't very powerful. Compared to the Eee PC you're currently using it's quite a bit more powerful, so it can very easily do what you want and then some.
  14. macrumors newbie



    Hey BBB, I have just changed my portable machine from a 13" MBP 2.66ghz to the 11" Air (no upgrades) my usage is very similar to yours with the addition of light gaming and iMovie editing. My iMac does any heavy lifting required so I wanted my portable machine to be as portable as possible.

    Now I must admit I havnt tried gaming or video editing yet but as for all the rest it feels faster than the MBP thanks to the SSD, go for it, you wont regret it :)
  15. macrumors 6502


    sorry for £800 its got to have something about it to justify the price, and not the fact its an apple computer!
  16. macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    the MBA or Pro would be a good choice ... I would wait for the refresh on the Pro.

    As for netbooks ... they seem to all have short lifespans
  17. macrumors 6502


    netbooks are cr@p!
    i had my MBP a week and was made redundant. luckily i got it from john lewis (a uk retailer) where they give 2 years as standard on there computers, and i was able to get most my money back on the MBP from selling it on ebay.
    but needed a pc to do my job searches etc i needed a cheap laptop and for some reason i got a netbook! its ok for web browsing hence netbook. but anything else it struggles massively

    i was never that keen on the MBA, but i saw one yesterday in bestbuy.
    to be honest i feel in love with it. the guy was given me the usual sales patter but reading reviews (and your kind replies) on the MBA it is a pretty decent piece of kit
  18. 2IS
    macrumors 68030

    Hey, don't kill the messanger, I didn't make the pricing. The MBA is my first Mac, i've been mainly a PC guy most of my life, but use both now so I think I have a fairly neutral opinion on the subject and here's my take on pricing...

    If you're looking for pure price:performance ratio, Apple laptops fall well behind. You can easily get more performance for the same or even less money by going with a Windows laptop. (speaking specifically on processor here)

    That said, pure performance isn't the only thing you're paying for with the MBA. The build quality of the MBA is pretty solid, better than any other laptop i've owned. High end Lenovo and Sony Vaio laptops are probably the closest thing you can get to it as far as pure build quality, but even they are made of plastic vs aluminum, and that costs money.

    Form factor, it takes R&D to make a laptop this thin, with this much battery life while managing NOT to use a weak Atom processor. That costs money too.

    SSD. Most laptops don't come with a SSD and you'll find that pricing on those that do are right in line with what the MBA costs, or perhaps even more.

    I chose an Apple product this time around simply because I wanted to educate myself on the product and learn how to work my way around the OS. I'm in the IT field and I hate telling a client "i'm not sure" when I get asked a question related to Mac's. I chose the MBA specifically because it was the one that most impressed me and it's also the product that will catch the eye and help strike up a conversation with potential clients when i'm out in the field using it.
  19. macrumors 6502a

    The MBA can absolutely do what you're asking of it.

    You don't need to upgrade to 1.6 GHz.

    You probably don't need to upgrade to 4GB RAM, as "hard-disk" (SSD) swapping is so much faster than with a traditional hard disk. But I'd upgrade this before the processor if you have £80 spare. In 2-3 years 4GB might well be minimum-spec to run lots of software, who knows?

    Storage space - only you can answer. 64GB isn't much, for me. See what you currently have in use on your netbook, and what you *actually* want to be carrying around on the laptop.
  20. macrumors 6502


    2IS: i wasn't being funny buddy was just asking thats all :)
    i know mac's tend to be overpriced but i feel you get what you pay for! i know what the MBP's can do, i had one. but wasn't sure about the MBA and what market it was aiming at.

    jdavtz: my asus is 160gb and its only my itunes on there (23gb) all my videos/photos are stored on my external hdd!
    however i think i will go for the 128gb and 4gb ram option, but i won't be getting it for a few months, so ill be hoping for a MBA refresh

    on a side note when do apple refresh the macbooks? because i know apple tend to be a bit anal when it comes to announcing things on certain months
  21. macrumors 68030

    Macbook air is awesome. As long as the screen is not too small with 11.6 for you, then it works fine.
  22. macrumors 6502


    no the screen size is more than enough, ive put up with this 10" asus for about 18months now so the 11.6" will be a godsend :D

    bit freaky this, went to work and was presented with a new laptop.
    its a lenovo edge 11.
    its got:
    intel i3 1.33ghz cpu
    4gb ram
    320gb HDD
    W7 Pro
    same as this one, but mine as 4gb http://www.misco.co.uk/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=500691&CatId=3589

    now got to say this machine is proper quick, now i want to know how does the MBA compare to these specs?
    does the i3 make that much difference?
    i aint bothered about HDD space and the 4gb ram is what i would put in the MBA.

    anyway if the MBA is anything like the lenovo (speed wise) i will be well chuffed
  23. macrumors 6502


    will the MBA be ok to use for like a 2-3 hour a night usage? for just basic web surfing
  24. macrumors 68020


    I've become so spoiled by the SSD in my MBA 11" that I am now going to upgrade my 15" i5 MBP to an SSD when the new SSD's are released in mid February...
    If I had a choice between a Lenovo i3 or a MBA Core 2 Duo with SSD, I'd take the MBA/SSD in a heartbeat...the SSD makes THAT much difference...
  25. macrumors 68030

    If you are trying to find the best value for your money, then apple laptops aren't for you at all...

    You can buy much better laptops at 999 dollars. Apple computers costs more because they have Mac OS, better build quality and you are definitely paying more for the brand. But, apple laptops also have good resale value in the future.

    If you want to get newest intel processors, then MBA ain't going to fit your style or needs. MBA ain't designed to run latest games and softwares.

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