11" Macbook Air experience

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ammar577, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. ammar577 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    #1
    hi, im planning to buy the updated 11" MBA ultimate, once its out. i currently own a 2009 13" Macbook pro 2.5 GHZ 250GB which is working beautifully. its my primary and only mac that i use for everything, photo editing, watching and streaming movies (Air Video), Music, downloading, and off course work.

    but its getting more and more difficult to carry it around with me every where with my other work related documents, or with my camera's when im on holiday.

    what i would like to know is:
    1- what is your experience with the MBA 11" ultimate ?
    2- any regrets ?
    3- does is take a long time to get adjusted to the smaller screen ?
    4- would you recommend it as a primary machine?
     
  2. TC25 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    #2
    .
     
  3. kwajkat macrumors regular

    kwajkat

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    #3
    1. I love mine so far have only had it for a couple of weeks. (And no I don't care if a new model is coming out shortly, this does what I want it to and am very happy with it). Coming from a PC, it took me a couple of days to figure out the basics of Mac and also keynote (still have lots to learn). But in those two days I was able to put together my presentation from scratch and present it with success after my PC with powerpoint up and died 4 days before the presentation was due! So to say I am impressed with my little Mac is an understatment!

    2. Enough said on the first comment. No regrets at all!

    3. I was surprised that the smaller screen didn't bug me more. Once in awhile it bugs me but that is mostly when I forget how to make the program use the full screen! Again coming from PC. It works for me playing a few games, doing genealogy and using for a class.

    4. It works for me
     
  4. sillyrabbitt macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #4
    Can it run a virtual version of windows using vmware? Would it work just as good as it does on the Macbook?

    thanks
     
  5. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    #5
    My experience with the 11" MBA has been extremely positive. Very small, very thin and light, good battery life, runs cool, quite fast, and few glitches. Best travel machine I've ever owned.

    I have no actual regrets buying it but think it's capable enough to deserve more RAM and Larger SSD options. Depending on use living within 128gb may be a challenge. I just ordered a 240gb SSD from OWC for mine but would upgrade to a new air for more RAM (don't think it will be offered though).

    The screen is fantastic. Very crisp and bright. All I really did is move the dock from the bottom to the left side to make better use of the aspect ratio.

    This turned into my primary machine the moment I got it and has been a great experience. There are some rare things I need more ram for so my old uMB does see occasional use though.

    I've tried Vmware fusion and parallels with an XP vm and it runs great. I prefer parallels because it seems to use less overhead and run faster, but the difference is not huge. I run some windows only apps for work and everything I use runs great on the 11" MBA.
     
  6. sillyrabbitt macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #6
    thanks jim!
     
  7. Hankster macrumors 68020

    Hankster

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #7
    1- what is your experience with the MBA 11" ultimate ?
    The MBA is the best laptop I've ever used, and my first laptop was back in the early 1990s. I've had well over 10 since. The overall build is very good with strong specs for everyday use. It's not a work horse for programming, heavy photo/movie editing and such. But, for anything else it's 100%. It can even stream 1080i from YouTube with very little lag.

    2- any regrets ?
    When I purchased the MBA there was some concern for the lack of an optical drive. But, I took the risk and purchased it anyway. Since then I've needed an optical drive about 4-5 times and at first it was very frustrating because not everything is downloadable or available online. If you work with documents or older files often times they are on disks. I ended up buying the portable optical drive. I've used it a handful of times and it's helpful. But, I don't keep it with me at all times. I store it away and only take it out when need.

    There's been a lot of bad reviews about the portable drive, and for the most part the reviews are correct. The cord is very short and it will break if it's bend too much. But, because I store it at home and rarely use it the cord is fine. If you plan on carrying it around in a bag often then you will run into issues with the cord breaking. But, if you really need an optical drive that often/badly then the MBA is not for you.

    3- does is take a long time to get adjusted to the smaller screen ?
    The 11" screen is surprisingly not as small as it sounds because the resolution is very nice. Sometimes I do miss the extra space for 2-3 windows, but I've managed to lean how to switch between 2-4 windows very quickly. Bottom line is you get used to it.

    4- would you recommend it as a primary machine?
    My MBA is my primary machine. But, that's because I don't do a lot of programming, photo editing, gaming, etc anymore. Each person is different so you have to look at it from what you need. If you don't need an optical drive or the horse power to run heavy processing, then the MBA could easily be your primary machine.

    Personally, I absolutely love the portability. It's so small and light I feel like I'm carrying around a folder. I honestly did not think I would love the MBA as much as I do.
     
  8. ammar577 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    #8
    What's the average battery life do you get with the 11" ?
     
  9. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    #9
    Under constant use I usually see between 4 and 5 hours of battery life. Wifi on and screen at 3/4 or more. Under normal intermittent use I can usually get 7-8 hours though. Not as good as an iPad but ok for my usage pattern.
     
  10. setasai macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    #10
    100% agree with all the above posters on their MBA 11" Ultimate experience.

    Couple things:
    1) if you havent already, go to the apple store and check it out. Close it and pick it up and see how portable it is. That was the main selling point for me.
    2) install clicktoflash + adblock for whichever browser you end up with.

    If you end up using it for constant videos, it wont last more than a few hours but if you use it as it's intended for, ie. school or typical work, it'll last you the whole day without worry. It all comes down to processor use. If 90% of your applications are processor heavy, you're battery life will never make the intended 5+ hours. To be honest, I carry the charger everyday on campus thinking i'll need it but I never do.
     
  11. firewood macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #11
    I am using a 2010 MBA 11 Ultimate as my primary Mac. A MacBook Air 11 feels even better after using it for awhile than it does in the Apple store.

    I don't watch multiple movies, or do video transcoding (et.al.), so I've rarely had to charge it during a normal work day. The only downside I've found is the more limited storage space, so a network file server (iCloud?), or an external HD is very useful.
     
  12. revelated macrumors 6502a

    revelated

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #12
    You need an alternate opinion.

    1: I don't have the ultimate. But quite frankly the ultimate 11" isn't that much more powerful than the base 11". This is because Apple nerfed the possible processor options in the 11". Appeal, not value.

    2: Yes. But the regrets aren't "I should have bought XXX", rather that Apple went against its "no compromise" statement with the 2010 Air. Backlight gone, processor poor, RAM options poor, can't upgrade any internals. You're stuck with what you bought and tethered to Apple's rip off upgrade scheme. I'm rather interested to see if Apple gets back on the bus with the 2011, though I doubt it.

    3: No. The pixel count in the MacBook Air screen is high enough that adjustment isn't an issue. Where it's a pain is when you are working spreadsheets and full size documents where you find yourself wishing for more real estate.

    4: This is a hearty NO. Now maybe your use case is just simple browsing - I'd recommend an iPad. Maybe your use case is simple docs, notes, or you're a frequent traveler. Then I would recommend the Air as long as you can justify the premium placed upon it. But if you're doing anything heavy, I don't recommend the Air because it's appeal, not value. The 13" MacBook Pro destroys it, literally, if you just don't care about the form factor.



    If one considers the Air as the lightweight companion to a MacBook Pro OR a full computing companion to an iPad, then yes, the Air is a perfect fit.
     
  13. brand macrumors 601

    brand

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #13
    The MacBook Air is able to be as thin as it is due to not having a socketed CPU or RAM. If you want the ability to upgrade the RAM yourself then it sounds like a MacBook Pro or plain ol' MacBook are for you. If you want a socketed CPU then buy a PC because Apple is not going to put that back into any MacBook line.

    Do you really think Apple will make the computer thicker in order to accommodate user replaceable RAM? If you think yes, guess again.

    Just because the parts are not upgradeable after purchase does not mean that Apple compromised on anything. I'd rather have it as thin and light as can be just how Apple designed it.
     
  14. aramosc macrumors regular

    aramosc

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #14
    what i would like to know is:
    1- what is your experience with the MBA 11" ultimate ? I love it. I "upgraded" from an iPad and I never looked back!
    2- any regrets ? No regrets.. we shall see when the new one comes out :)
    3- does is take a long time to get adjusted to the smaller screen ? It didn't take any time to get adjusted.. but then again i hve a nice 24" at home where I can get the work done
    4- would you recommend it as a primary machine? I have to say no. The MBA is a great machine but it is also very underpowered and it can't handle video editing at all and it has "limited" storage. I currently have a Mac Pro and the Air and I feel I couldn't have a better setup..
     
  15. Oppressed, Jun 12, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011

    Oppressed macrumors 65816

    Oppressed

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #15
    1. Fantastic experience. I was skeptical at first about the internals and if it would smoothly run what I want it to, but I was pleasantly surprised. The SSD makes a world of a difference. Once you go SSD you don't go back. Its completely quiet when web surfing which is perfect for when the wife is sleeping next to you. I also play some games such as SC2 and WoW and again I'm pleasently surprised with how well it can run them. One thing you will learn quickly is power and space management. 128 GB of space if limiting based on how much music and pictures you have. I store all of my photos on an external hard drive to solve this. Also iCloud will solve many of these space problems. People mock the C2D, but I've never found myself saying "whats taking so long", and unless you know before hand that you are going to do CPU intensive work on it then it will do what you ask of it.

    2. The only thing I find myself "wishing" I had would be a larger SSD. I first wanted to install Windows 7 under boot camp, but I wouldn't have enough space to put the OS and the applications that I wanted and keep my media. If you have the cash then opt for a third party larger SSD.

    3. Not long at all. Maybe a day or two? I find the screen great for watching wide screen movies. In fact after using this size of a screen and at this high of resolution I have a hard time going back to standard screen sizes at lower resolutions.

    4. I went from a self built top of the line desktop PC to this machine and I never even use the PC any more. People say that a MBA cannot be a primary machine, but you may surprise yourself using it more and more over your current machine.

    Based on your needs the MBA will meet all of those requirements, but depending on how large of files you work on for photo editing you might have issues. Web based graphics is fine (72 DPI <10 MB files) but large scale photos (300 DPI > 10 MB files) you will experience slow downs. A simple way to test speeds is to go to an Apple store, open Photoshop Elements on a MBA and MBP, and create a large file and start working with it.
     
  16. MXSkier62 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    #16
    1- what is your experience with the MBA 11" ultimate ?
    I love the machine to do work on. I only use it for reading word docs, pdfs, school related things. My primary hub computer is an iMac, so I don't have any music or anything on it, but I know it can handle it all very well. And with the upgrades coming, it should be a great computer.

    2- any regrets ?
    Nope. 11.6 is perfect to throw in the bag, and it supplements GREAT with the iPad

    3- does is take a long time to get adjusted to the smaller screen ?
    Not at all. High screen res is great.

    4- would you recommend it as a primary machine?
    Depending on what you're doing. If all you are doing is what I do (school things, no programming, no editing (storing photos or videos sure, editing.. dunno, but the upgrade should take care of that). If it's just for work, it's great. And I have gotten up to 7 hours of battery just doing word based things, and dropbox connections. But if you're looking to do more editing, I might pick up a 13 pro.

    We don't know what the specs are yet for the upgrades, but the 13 air could be better for a main computer than the 11 air, just because of the screen and battery life. It still weights under 3 pounds, and gives you just a bit more freedom.
     
  17. rikahlberg macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #17
    I find that type on the 11" screen is just a little too small for me. The 13" is much better in that respect. I've grown accustomed to the small screen, but every now and then I feel like I should have gone for the 13" instead. I don't have an external display, so this is my primary work machine. I'm always pressing command-+ to make type bigger in Safari :)

    I have to really manage the disk space on mine. I sync my iPhone and iPad to an old MacBook that has my music and video library; I'd never be able to fit all that content on my MacBook Air. I can't remember the last time I needed to use a CD or DVD, so I certainly don't miss that. At my desk I use a bluetooth keyboard and mouse and prop the Air up on a Rain Design mStand.

    Overall, it works well, but if you want to store lots of videos or music and use apps that require lots of disk space (Photoshop, iMovie, etc.) you may want to look at a MacBook Pro instead.
     
  18. moxxey macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #18
    My old 2009 MacBook Pro 13" can, so the latest Air will.

    The biggest issue with virtualization isn't the CPU, it's memory. It's wise to allocate 2GB of memory to Windows, virtually, meaning only 2GB for OS X, leaving you a bit short. Hence why I want an 8GB Air!
     
  19. brand macrumors 601

    brand

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #19
    While RAM is important for virtualizing you also need a place to put your virtual machine image. The 64GB on the 11" would be stretching it pretty thin depending on how everything was setup.

    I would love to have 8GB on the next MacBook Air along with a 256GB SSD. I'm not sure which is more likely to happen, I doubt both will.
     
  20. sillyrabbitt macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #20
    THANKS guys! I have been running xp pon my late 2008 MB and I upped the ram to 4gb and it all works great! so if all stays the same except my hardware is a MBA i would be very happy!
     
  21. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #21
    Really? No video editing at all ?
     
  22. revelated macrumors 6502a

    revelated

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #22
    CPU <> RAM. Apple could very easily add a horizontal single slot for RAM upgrades. They chose not to so they can overcharge. Don't kid yourself.
     
  23. brand macrumors 601

    brand

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #23
    Your right they could make the RAM user upgradeable but unfortunately that would add to the thickness, make the logic board larger and the battery smaller. Luckily they made the right choice when they designed it and we have what we have today.
     
  24. jsgreen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #24
    1- what is your experience with the MBA 11" ultimate ?

    I have 4Gb RAM and 128Gb SSD, but 1.4 CPU (so not quite the "Ultimate").

    My use has been 8+ hours per day since mid April; lots of business travel - can't beat the MBA 11 form factor. Most of my usage is in Office for Mac 2011; Powerpoint or Keynote for presentation development, Word, Excel and Outlook. I also give a lot of presentations to clients.

    Best laptop I've ever used.

    2- any regrets ?

    No. Performance has been great for my usage (typically low CPU stuff). I'm really very happy with the machine.

    3- does is take a long time to get adjusted to the smaller screen ?

    I came from a 15" Dell Latitude as my primary work machine (have used an iMac at home since 2007); I thought the adjustment was going to be harder than it was. I don't have an external monitor - might get one, but really no urgent need to. The resolution on the MBA is excellent.

    Working in multiple windows made easier by Divvy (for window management).

    I put the dock on the right and keep it hidden to maximize screen real estate

    4- would you recommend it as a primary machine?

    For usage like mine, definitely.
     
  25. revelated macrumors 6502a

    revelated

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #25
    Err...a horizontal RAM slot would NOT add to the thickness on a properly designed board. Do you realize what you're talking about?
    [​IMG]

    The yellow is the RAM, soldered onto the board. That's ALL that's there, is RAM. That means they could have substituted a horizontal RAM slot very easily. In fact, they could have put two, each side-by-side, with no increase in chassis. Again, they did it so they can overcharge.
     

Share This Page