mba/2.13ghz/SSD : an extremely deceptive experience

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by usw, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. usw
    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    Lyon France
    #1
    I've spent almost a week with it, and having now swapped it for a mbp is a huge relief...really...

    -battery life is a joke.
    -the restrictive screen tilt angle and really badly placed air vents make finding the right position extremely difficult out of desk use.
    -the hinges seem like they can break anytime, and contribute to an overall flimsy feel.
    -web browsing, average office work are ok, but more intensive operations (like a few floating-point computations) will cause overheat, turn on those high pitched/loud vents almost instantly, and occasionally lag its responsiveness...
    -occasional graphical issues with large text files in Drscheme, scrolling getting *mad* for 1 minute or so...
    -the speaker is mono, but they sourced it very carefully with the word "trash" in mind...
    -the screen is ok, but slightly uneven, with a limited viewing angle.
    -it's light indeed, and its keyboard feels great...but I could say the same about the mbp, except it's a great computer, with an ugly black bezel ;-)

    How can Apple have so badly engineered and then commercialized this thing is beyond my rational abilities...
     
  2. macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    If you do possess rational abilities then surely you're capable of understanding that your machine may very well have been faulty.

    At that outset note that I owned the second revision HDD model of the Air. I found it to be suitable for your standard pre-installed applications with the exception of iMovie, iDvd, Garage Band, and iWeb. Mostly because I own a desktop machine that is better suited for such applications and I did not feel it necessary to use the Air for such antics.

    I note that Adobe Photoshop Elements worked very well as well as a few other applications in their "lite" revisions.

    Your statement regarding the hinges is indeed close to factual. The hinges on my Air were tight and gave way to play over the course of a year. However, they did not give way enough to warrant a repair of a highly documented defect of the machine. (search this site for further information). Your statement regarding the battery is also relatively true and I echo your opinion that the battery life on an ultra-portable machine should last longer than 4-5 hours.

    I note that your opinion of the maximum tilt angle is subjective to you and your use. It was good for me but YMMV. Your assessment of the screen is again subjective. The MBAir is one of the best screens I've had on an Apple notebook, even, crisp, and had good viewing angle. Then again, I did not sit on the couch with the machine over on a chair at 180º. That is just me. On the note of the screen you mention GPU. The GPU is the better GPU of the Air line but it is not intended to be this amazing workhorse. Again, YMMV because what you do or did is likely not what I do. For me, iTunes, web work, browsing, e-mail, chat, Photoshop elements, Netflix and Hulu streaming all worked for me.

    You continue to note that the vents (fans) were loud, they were no more audible than most Apple notebooks I have used that managed to hit 6000 rpm. I would often hit that fan speed when I was watching a movie or viewing Netflix or Hulu streaming web content. This is simply the consequence of small space big job. Is it is a flaw? I did not see it as that. I see fans not coming on as a flaw.

    I agree that the placement of the vents did not afford users to sit on the couch with the machine on their lap or in bed with a pillow, though I did use the machine roughly 90% of the time just like that. I commend you for saying the vents are badly placed but not offering suggestions on where they could be placed. At this point I would ask that you tell me where you think they'd go.

    While you feel cheated and mislead I feel the Air is a decent machine needing a memory upgrade, seriously. I would often max the memory out but easily fixed by a reboot. I will say that even maxing the memory out I did not encounter these frustrating problems that you had.

    In short, you have sold or returned the machine and bought what you wanted. That is great for you. I hope the MBP serves you better. Your opinions of the machine are opinions, likely shared by some but not all but I still wonder if your machine was not defective.
     
  3. macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    take it back and buy a dell....come back in 6 months and tell me your experience.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    PsyD4Me

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    under your bed
    #4
    sounds like you already came into the MBA experience biased to the MBP.
    Those who come in neutral end up loving this thing...
    Currently I am using both and the MBA is a pleaure, especially with the Runcore SSD.
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    Scott6666

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    #5
    Sounds about right to me.

    Dunno why they don't finally make a few design tweaks to fix this thing. I think there are just some mistakes in the design to make the Air fit some image of a computer they wanted to have. A real case where absolute adherence to form is killing substance.

    I suspect they are not so far off from a real computer here but enough to make this product irrelevant.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Location:
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    #6
    heh heh heh - good call :D
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    nj-mac-user

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #7
    Case and point the MBA just isn't for everyone... especially if you're going to compare it to a MBP.

    Also, I'm pretty sure Apple engineers thought about how it's designed. It's easy for us to say "Well it's obvious the vent is placed in a bad location", etc., but we aren't engineers having to create a computer in such a thin form factor. I'm sure they tried several different ways with different things before the final version came about. And the hinges are not that bad. They're only bad if you're the kind of person that's rough with your machine.
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    Scott6666

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    #8
    I'm sure they did - and it was quite innovative at launch.

    HOWEVER, after almost 2 years in the field now with plenty of discussion of the issues, they haven't PROGRESSED the design really at all.

    I don't think it would take too much to fix a lot of the complaints. But someone at Apple has to actually TRY! Maybe there is no future to the Air if there really isn't much progress here. Gotta wonder if any engineers are assigned to this project at all.

    Or can nothing be done because Steve has dictated that they can't add a mm here or there to add a decent heatsink, another usb port, or space for larger drives?
     
  9. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #9
    The MacBook Air is not a lightweight MacBook Pro. It was never intended to be and it's not marketed as such.

    Features like 7-hour battery, are not feasible in a 3lb Mac that was focused on being lightweight and perform as powerful as a MacBook. The MBA is meant for those who don't need a professional grade computer for their daily workload. Will anyone here keep the same form factor and add another half pound to double the battery life? I will not. Three plus hours is more than enough for me; I can get four hours if I turn the display down. That's perfectly acceptable for an ultraportable.

    I don't feel the MBA has badly placed vents, but I did alter how I work with the MBA to relieve the vents being placed underneath. I simply place a magazine under the MBA if it's on my lap or I place the underside of the MBA so not on my legs themselves and just corners touch my legs. Problem solved. Whether I am in bed, on the couch, or elsewhere, the MBA is far more portable and fun than the MBP. The MBP is far too heavy to be comfortable away from a desk anyways.

    While some have had hinge problems being too flexible or breaking, it's not the norm of the product. I haven't had a single hinge problem, and I have used the MBA as my primary Mac basically since December 2008. The MBA focuses on being lightweight. A heavy lid to give it extra "support" would make the experience worse. It's all about providing MacBook powered experience at a 1.5 lb drop in weight.

    I do some intensive stuff, and I have never had an overheating problem with my rev B/C v 2,1 MBAs. My original MBA overheated all the time. All it took was two minutes of basic video, and the MBA was done. The new MBA is NOT a MBP! It's not designed to do professional grade work in the sense of what's needed from a professional grade computer. It's not designed for intensive gaming. It's not designed for intensive graphics requirements. While it's not intended for "pro" like computing, it has the exact same GPU as the MBP running at 80% of the power/performance capabilities. That's a fair number given a 1.5 lb drop in weight and running within a tightly confined space at around .5" average thickness.

    The speaker is extremely acceptable for an ultraportable. You are wrongly identifying the MBA as a MacBook Pro in Air form. It's NOT a PRO, this is an ultraportable NOTEBOOK performing EXTREMELY WELL in its ultraportable class. The MBA was the first ultraportable to provide notebook like experience/performance from an ultraportable sub-3lb computer. You need surround sound, leave your MBP at your desk and plug it into a Bose surround system.

    The displays I have seen have had various line problems, but most of the problem there is solved with Gamma 2.2 over 1.8... which is the new standard in OS X 10.6. I agree, the MBA's display is not equivalent to the MacBook PRO... but then again this is NOT a PROfessional grade computer. It was never intended to be. At the same time, the display is far superior to the display that was found in the MacBook introduced at the same time. The original MBA had a gorgeous display. The newer MBA, when introduced in October 2008, has a display far superior than the aluminum MB introduced in October 2008. The viewing angle is definitely not the problem with the MBA's displays in my opinion. There is a problem, but it's due to reducing the power to the display thus sometime creating line artifacts on bright white backgrounds... rarely results in visual impairments during video playback. Even HD videos look and play perfect on the MBA. The MBA doesn't have the glass which means the display is far less glossy.

    When Apple introduced the MBA it was lightyears ahead of the competition. In its first version, the MBA was a terrible performer not being able to cool within its confined space. In v 2,1, the MBA is incredibly capable. No matter what it doesn't have, it's an incredible technology in such a well designed computer that is an amazing ultraportable. It's not an amazing "PRO" notebook because it's not a pro notebook nor is it even a notebook.

    Apple has let the competition catch up, and many competitors have ultraportables that are more powerful, with better hinges, thinner, have longer battery life, have more RAM, have better speakers, and etc... but the MBA is still extremely relevant and capable among ultraportables. Because the MBA still beats the competition when considering all capabilities. Some ultraportables weigh less, but they're not more powerful too. Some ultraportables have a better CPU or graphics (some of the PC ultraportables actually have more capable graphics than the MBP), but they aren't as lightweight as the MBA. When considering the complete MBA in its current form, it still competes extremely well versus other ultraportables. We don't know what Apple has in store for the MBA next, but I am sure it will continue to be better at being an ultraportable than the MacBook Pro is at being a professional grade computer.

    On the other hand, the MacBook Pro is a joke. It has a Core 2 Duo CPU while all of the competitors have Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs. Competitors have had four cores when the MBP had two. While the MBP has a 9400m GPU, all of the competitors have dedicated graphics cards with their own up to 1 GB of dedicated memory. While the MBP in 15" and 17" versions have the 9600GT available, it's a rebranded 8600 which is nearly four years old! And with the dedicated graphics come less RAM than competitors. While competitors have autoswitching graphics on the fly, the MBP is stuck between reboots. While the MBP looks pretty, it's simply not a professional grade computer. We can go on and on about the MBP if we want. And in the 13" version, the MBP fares even worse... While the MBP has some nice features, it's a joke compared to its competition. About the last thing I would call the MacBook Pro is "Professional-grade."

    So while you compare the MacBook Air to the MacBook Pro, the rest of the world compares the MacBook Air to other ultraportables on the market and perhaps the MacBook. While the MBA is still relevant in the ultraportable market, the MBP (especially in its 13" form) is completely irrelevant.

    Why not go post your thread in the MBP section? You decide to be a troll and post it in the MBA section here at Mac Rumors. What's your point? That you cannot understand the fact that the MBA was never meant to compete with the MBP? The MacBook Air is a MacBook in Air form. The MacBook Pro is a MacBook that has a few extra features but is definitely not a "Pro."

    Go play with your MacBook "Pro-less," because you certainly don't need a professional grade computer if you proclaim you use a "MacBook Pro." While Apple engineered the MBA to be revolutionary, it surely succeeded in providing a computer ahead of the competition. Whereas Apple engineered the MBP to sell to the suckers who will pay for a computer stamped "Pro" when even they understand there is nothing "professional" about the MacBook Pro. You have FireWire, and a seven-hour battery and that's a "Pro" computer in your book? Wow! They sure have you fooled!
     
  10. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    #10
    OK great thanks for your review. You could have researched these things before you decided to buy one, but you did not and thus your review.

    Personally I bought a 13" MBP before deciding to buy the MBA as a secondary machine, which is a purpose it serves extremely well.

    Yes, the MBA is not as good a a MBP in terms of power or audio, but it is far better in terms or portability, and way better than any netbook could ever be.

    Owning a MBP and a MBA is the best of both worlds, and it's your loss that you can only have one, as they are both great machines each in their own ways.
     
  11. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    #11

    you could be describing any one of a multitude of Apple products..
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    #12
    you forgot to tell him what to do with the $1k spare he'd have left over..??
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    #13
    My sister owns a 13" MBA, and i've found it to be very sturdy and well built. It's also pretty feels speedy for the average consumer because of the SSD.
     
  14. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    #14
    I did get a Dell - I have one for work and it's pretty darn awesome. It has an LED backlit screen, backlit keyboard, DVD-RW, 8GB RAM, built in 3G modem, expresscard/34, smart card reader, SD card reader, eSata port, 2xUSB and only weighs 1.6kg.

    I realise that specs aren't everything and the Dell is certainly thicker than the MBA. But not so much that it's a bother, and the weight is very close. I also have a long life battery that gives me 7+ hours. It's a great laptop and whilst I prefer OS X, Windows 7 is an excellent OS.

    Apple needs to fix the MBA. It was stunning when first released, so much so that I bought one. It was a Rev A, but despite all the flaws people criticise it for, I loved it. I sold it at the end of last year and I'm glad I did. The lack of connectivity and power is inexcusable, especially in light of the competition. 1.36kgs is not an excuse to be underpowered anymore.

    The Dell I have packs all the power of an MBP, but weighs much less. If Dell can do it, Apple can do better. And when they do, I will buy one. But if they just bump the memory and processor, and leave that ridiculous bezel and flip down USB, forget it.

    Damo
     
  15. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    #15
    Congratulations that you're satisfied with owning a Dell and using a Microsoft OS in Windows 7. While this may not be the case for you, some of us are sick of Microsoft products, as I personally have to use them all day long at work where their software crashes all the time, but when I come home it's great to be able to use a stable and reliable OS in Mac OS X, and not some Windows OS that is copycat crap of Mac OS X.

    I'd much rather pay a premium to have a stable Mac system with OS X than a Windows based system any day, regardless of how in-expensive the Windows based machine may be as you get what you pay for and if you buy a machine with a crappy Microsoft copycat OS, you are stuck with nothing but a crappy copycat machine that may have saved you a bit of money, but it's still not as good as a Mac.

     
  16. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    #16
    I have certainly had issues Microsoft products, especially with Vista which was a pile of cr@p. Windows 7 is much nicer. I consider it to be just as stable as OS X which I also use extensively.

    LOL at copycat cr@p. Everyone copies, who really cares? Isn't it really about getting the right tool for the job?

    Anyway, back on topic - I'd happily lay out the $$ for a new MBA, so long as the next version is as cutting edge as the original. Fingers crossed.

    Damo
     
  17. usw
    thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    Lyon France
    #17
    Jessica, I don't think the mba I got was faulty : issues with scrolling thru large code files in Drscheme are inherent to the program, but even my small G4 ibook handled this better (which excludes the underspecified ram argument)...Performance wise and for my specific use, the mba was very close to my 2.4 ghz imac (more than enough for me, but I consider its functional/design ratio as flawed, silly and contradictory, which is totally subjective, just like anything down there...).

    I was not initially biased toward the mbp (computers are just tools, and I tend to find Apple's marketing a bit vulgar...), I needed a reliable, reasonably powerful, easy to carry around, main computer, and leaving the unix based architecture hasn't been an option for me for the last ten years (neither is the knowledge/time/energy one has to spend in order to set up a good linux system, yet...), that's all.
     
  18. macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #18
    keep it for the repairs when you call customer service and cannot understand them because there outsourced to india.

    or when dell decides not to honor there warranty because they dont feel like it.

    yea....i can keep going.
     
  19. macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #19
    i bet it does...

    i suppose your talking about the V13 ? or adamo?

    those are not even close to as fast as the MBA, my company has several V13's....there trash.

    They DO NOT have 7 hour battery life....4.5 if your lucky.
     
  20. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    #20
    You won't do it...:D
     
  21. macrumors 68020

    jamesryanbell

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #21
    You're calling someone else out for trolling when you're posting stuff like this in response?

    The high road is to call out a troll while NOT trolling yourself. Kind of invalidates the call out in my opinion.
     
  22. macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #22
    no you really cant
     
  23. macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #23
    Oh i cant?

    how about dell screwing people in the 8000 series video card fiasco.

    how about dell financial services who directly LIES about there interest rates and deliberately screws people out of money.

    or how about there battery issues? or adapter issues?

    how 75% of there adapters never last a year?

    http://en.community.dell.com/forums/t/19319999.aspx

    how about how they make the adapter so third party manaf. cannot duplicate it.
     
  24. macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #24
    apple had this same problem and more be it yellow screens, iphone cracks, bad laptop displays, the RSDS with early mb's...you know just off the top of my head
    need to supply links of this illegal activity
    like apple's swollen battery issues? even i had that experience with my mb:cool:
    need to provide a link other than a forum thread. i can dig those up concerning apple products as well.

    like how i can go buy a 3rd party magsafe power adapter? ohh....i cant

    you need to do better than simply try to formulate your opinions as fact
     
  25. macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #25


    you can buy tons of aftermarket magsafe adapters, maybe you just have never looked or do not want to bother.

    dell cheating customers

    http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/57410.html

    i dont care if you can provide links about apple...there small scale.

    dell problems are LARGE scale.

    swelling batteries is nothing compared to one catching fire and burning a table to the ground.....a dell laptop....
     

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