11.6" MBA too big! Review from a netbook user.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by zartemis, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. zartemis macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #1
    OK, I'm exaggerating, but really, that was my first thought when I took my new 11 inch MBA out to a restaurant for real world use.

    Keep in mind that for the past 2 years I have used a Dell Mini 9 nearly daily. It goes with me everywhere since it fits in my purse. I've long since adjusted to its small keyboard. The MBA is my new new upgraded netbook. Some thoughts:

    The MBA has the same weight as my netbook but its footprint on the table is bigger than the Mini, so on small tabletops at cafes it can be harder to find space for it where it's not in danger of being splashed with food or getting knocked by a neighboring elbow. Still much better than a 13/15/17" laptop.

    And its funny, but I also found the keyboard too big at first. I even took out my measuring tape and made sure it's no bigger than my regular size desktop keyboard. Spacing is identical. I don't know why it seems different. I have a MS Arc keyboard at home. Maybe the curve fits my hand better than the flat MBA one even though the key distances are the same? What I do love about the MBA keyboard is the shallow key depth. I prefer extremely easy to depress, low travel keys (I'm a fast touch typist) and the keys on the MBA are great.

    What I don't like: the effort to click on the trackpad -- it's just way more effort than key presses and seems unnatural and thus unbalanced. I'll have to investigate options since I do love the other features of the trackpack -- and have already installed BetterTouchTool for more options.

    I also find the lack of either a gigabit ethernet port or USB3.0 (to allow the option of a gigabit ethernet dongle in the future) disappointing. My NAS supports time machine and my NAS is dual gigabit to a gigabit switch. It would have been nice to not have the initial full backup limited by wifi bandwidth and instead give the MBA a full gigabit connection to my NAS for backup.

    Other than those few niggles, this is a fantastic upgrade for me. The screen is a big improvement over my Dell Mini and startup is quicker (even though with an SSD itself, the Mini was already pretty fast). I haven't tested Picasa yet on the MBA -- I would use it from time to time on the Mini and there were periods of sluggishness, I'm looking forward to improvement.
     
  2. unagimiyagi macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #2
    Give it time. There is no way that you'll go back to your netbook after upgrading to this netbook. The ergonomics of a macbook air can not be beat at 11.6", and neither can the screen quality. The battery life is as good as it could get per pound of weight, although they should have kept it 3 lbs and added more battery life. But you've got the three most important factors for having an enjoyable computing experience that nothing else comes close to currently. Thinkpad X series comes the closest, but they have really poor screens, which is a deliberate and foolish financial decision by Lenovo.
     
  3. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    #3

    Turn on the touch to click feature in the trackpad set up. Then you don't have to puch the trackpad button at all.
     
  4. zartemis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #4
    Yes, I'm going to try that. A bit worried about inadvertent clicks, but I'm sure I can find a good solution. Love, love gestures, though. I have BetterTouchTool set up to toggle full-screen in Chrome with a gesture (much easier than shift-command-F) and I use that all the time now. I also want to figure out how to turn chrome bookmarks into gestures as well. The trackpad is awesome.
     
  5. mattpreston11 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
  6. M87 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    #6
    I love tap to click. Never had any trouble with accidentally clicking things.
     
  7. Intel Inside macrumors 6502

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    Sep 19, 2008
  8. ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030

    ReallyBigFeet

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    #8
    Sure it is! And likely the best netbook available right now!
     
  9. Fanboyofnothing macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    #9
    I love touch to click, and like the others have said, I dont think I ever unintentionally click. It's really that good, and I'm surprised its not the default setting. Especially considering how unpleasant clicking the mouse pad is.
     
  10. hachre macrumors 6502a

    hachre

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    #10
    Problem is that the 100 MBit max speed is lower even than the n-Wifi max speed...
     
  11. hachre macrumors 6502a

    hachre

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    #11
    You're calling the 13" a netbook too by now? You've certainly gone mad ;)
     
  12. biggerboy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    #12
    Not always true. In a clear field with no interference from anything else, then n will speed past Fast Ethernet. However, these days it's hard to find clean spectrum, especially in an urban environment.
     
  13. ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030

    ReallyBigFeet

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    #13
    You are probably right....calling the 13.3" MBA a "netbook" may be pushing it given its overall size/dimensions and performance. Its likely more accurate to call it the Macbook Pro "Junior," a name I had affectionately applied to the current-gen 13" MBP. Since the 13" MBA now approaches, and in some places exceeds, the performance of the 13" MBP, that's probably more appropriate to let it graduate out of the netbook category.

    But the 11" is most certainly the finest netbook money can buy today. No ifs, and's or but's.
     
  14. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    #14
    Going from Pc laptop/netbook to macbook is already a huge upgrade. I cannot believe I took this kind of pain for so long with pcs. Trackpads are horrible on every single damn laptops in PC. They suck. Apple glass trackpad is just ahead of the game. I don't carry mouse anymore with my Macbook. I am not going back to PC unless for gaming.
     
  15. hachre macrumors 6502a

    hachre

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    #15
    Ok, but still... A 1GBit Ethernet solution would be nice - but sadly not possible since it would either require USB3 or a real Ethernet port... Or maybe Apple should introduce some proprietary mini ethernet port with an external adapter...


    Haha, okay deal ;D


    I agree 100%, I hate those touch pads most PC laptops have...
     
  16. zartemis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #16
    No, I mentioned gigabit ethernet intentionally. I know there are 10/100 USB ethernet adapters. There are no true gigabit ethernet USB adapters because USB 2.0 bandwidth cannot support full speed gigabit (though you could get up to around 320Mbps (real life anyway -- you'll never reach the USB theoretical max of 480) and that would be nice (I'd get one), but I'm not sure if existing pseudo-gig ethernet USB adapters work on Mac OS 10.6. It's at least theoretically possible to do gigabit speeds over USB3.0 -- which is why I lamented the lack of one for future possibilities.
     
  17. HelloMikee macrumors 6502a

    HelloMikee

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Location:
    San Diego
    #17
    I had the same reaction a few years ago when they introduced this. It takes awhile to get use to and before you know it, you'll realize how amazingly useful the trackpad is.
     

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