advice on buying an air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by heliocentric, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. heliocentric Guest

    Nov 26, 2008

    i have just sold my white unibody macbook (which was on its last legs) in order to upgrade to a Macbook Air!

    Can anyone advise me on these questions? :)

    1. Does the new macbook air get very hot? I liked my unibody macbook because it didn't seem to get very hot on the base (maybe due to it being plastic and not metal?).

    2. How much space is actually available when you turn on the 128gb macbook air for the first time (I am not considering the bigger hard drive option at the moment due to the much higher price)?

    3. Will I notice a speed bump from my 2010 unibody macbook? Hardware wise are the i5's in the macbook airs better than the 2.4ghz c2d that was in my macbook? How do the graphics card compare?

    4. Do people miss the DVD drive?

    5. Whats the screen quality like on the new 13" macbook air's (I was very happy with the screen on the unibody macbook)

    Any responses would be greatly received :)

  2. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    The 13" i7 gets hot if you're doing a lot of things with it (Lightroom photo editing, lots of file transfers, video playback). But it's still significantly cooler than my 2010 MacBook Pro was with similar activity. When it's idle or doing text editing or web surfing (without Flash), it's not hot at all.

    I don't remember the exact amount, but I think there was something like 6GB taken up by the bare system? So you should have at least 110-120GB free.

    Yes, you will notice a speed bump, the new i5 and i7 are WAY faster than the old Core2Duos (roughly 2X faster). Additionally the SSD is somewhat faster. The bad news is the graphics card is a bit less capable than the old dedicated ones in the 2010 models. Hard to say exactly how much but many people are saying 10%-20% slower, and of course it depends what you're doing. For basic operations it's plenty snappy, for hardcore GPU-dependent games at native resolution and higher settings, you may notice a moderate frame rate drop.

    I don't at all as I've already ripped all my CDs and I can use my iMac's drive (via AirDrive) if I ever need it for something. But I can't remember the last time I came home with a physical disk for anything, and they are going to get more and more rare.

    Very good out of the box on mine, good contrast and black levels, more than bright enough, decent but not outstanding viewing angles. I'm going to put the calibrator on it tonight to see how good it can get.
  3. heliocentric thread starter Guest

    Nov 26, 2008
    Thanks for your well thought out replies!

    I am thinking about just getting the stock 128gb 13" model. I just looked at my hard drive usage on my current mac and its only at 50gb so that should be fine (always expandable by SD card right?)

    I will mostly be using for music recording, web browsing, very light gaming, organising photos and running handbrake.

  4. PaulWog Suspended

    Jun 28, 2011
    I'm using the 1.6GHz 11.6-inch Macbook Air 4GB / 128GB model.

    1. It gets hot but not too hot. Idles between 45 celcius and 55 celcius (depending on if you're browsing or text editing, how vigorously you're browsing). Can climb up to the low 80's when watching an HD youtube video. Can climb up to the mid-high 80's when playing a game (celcius). That's the processor I'm speaking about in particular. Of course, the maximum safe temperature is 100 celcius, so it should all be fine. The case gets somewhat hot, but it's more just toasty warm to the touch... nothing unpleasant, unless in a hot day (in which case it might be running even hotter).

    2. It has a fair bit of space. I think it's just over 100GB but I'd have to double-check, and I'm a Mac newbie so I don't want to spend 5 minutes figuring out how to view my hard drive space :p

    3. You will possibly notice a speed bump. But this all depends on what you do with the Air.

    4. I don't miss a DVD drive. The only time I wish I had one is when I have to install a game which I have lying around... which is only once or twice in the whole laptop's lifespan; in this case, I whip out the external disc drive we have in the house from maaaaany years ago (over 10 years ago).

    5. I don't know how the screen quality is on the 13-inch, but on the 11-inch it's quite good.

    Color quality: outstanding
    Contrast: Very very good, though could be just a very smudge bit better, particularly with blacks. That said, it's still very very good: I'm just picky.
    Uniformity across the screen: Everything is about uniform. The bottom and top aren't 100% uniform though (when it comes to viewing angles and corresponding black tones). But that's again... like a 1-2% difference if you were to measure it. It's hardly anything. You wouldn't notice it unless if you were super picky like me. Finally, the very bottom mm of the screen appears just ever-so-slightly darker than the rest of the screen... and again, you probably wouldn't notice that either even if I pointed it out. It's so very slight it takes very good eyes to see.

    So aside from the pickiness about the screen, it's an awesome screen. The only screen that beats the 11-inch Macbook Air in terms of portable computers would be the Macbook Pro. Other than that... I've never see a better screen on a laptop. And that does say a lot I think. The 13 inch should be similar in quality, however I have heard that it's not *quite* as nice due to the size difference for some reason... but maybe that's just anecdotal or simply a rumour; either way, I hear the difference is minimal. My recommendation: check the stuff out in stores :p The Apple store is best since its lighting is good, so you get to see the realistic quality of the screen as opposed to ideal settings in a Best Buy where they're dark and it makes everything look twice as good.

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