Am I missing something?? Macbook Air poor buy?

filmbuff

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2011
809
142
I see a lot of other students with the 13" MBP instead of the Air. The way I look at it, they probably just took the advice of an Apple genius and bought the Pro because "it has a bigger hard drive". I was just smart enough to order exactly what I wanted :D
 

jacob-07

macrumors regular
May 14, 2011
182
0
What are the other students doing that the MBA is inadequate?

One opinion is that the students are carrying older MBPs. When the MBA first came out it was pretty expensive.

Now that the MBA is priced very well, the MBP isn't really that much more powerful.
This was my guess also... seeing as the 13" mbp was the cheapest option for students, before the keynote this year, students generally purchased the pro over the air.

Now that the base 13" air and pro are evenly priced I think more airs will start being used by students.
 

iAppl3Fan

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2011
793
21
Yeah the MBA is bad so give it to me! j/k

The MBA is great for school and everyday usage.
 

asting

macrumors 6502
Jun 10, 2012
377
3
They're apple users, not known for being the most tech savvy of consumers. Of course they'll look down on you for not getting the "pro" despite the air being a better or equal computer in nearly every way. The pro is also a terrible value when compared to comparable computers, while the air is only slightly above most similarly equipped ultrabooks, and even below a few high end ones.

To be clear, there are plenty of apple users who are tech savvy, and plenty users of all (religions) operating variant.
 

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,524
3,079
I see a lot of other students with the 13" MBP instead of the Air. The way I look at it, they probably just took the advice of an Apple genius and bought the Pro because "it has a bigger hard drive". I was just smart enough to order exactly what I wanted :D
Exactly. Remember, the salespeople at Apple just want to sell you something. They aren't exactly the most knowledgeable people about their products. $10/hour doesn't get you much.

There is a legitimate market for the 13" MacBook Pro. For people who need Macs and also need cheap storage and/or an optical drive, it is good. For the rest of us, the Air is likely the better deal. It's no surprise that the Air has become Apple's best selling model. Those of use who have been Air users since early 2008 just wondered what took the rest of you so long. :D

Seriously, though, pre-October 2010, the Air was a niche device, since it had just 1 USB port and bad heat management that limited the processor. The 2010 version made it genuinely useful, and since 2011 it has been downright mainstream. Perhaps some of the opposition to the Air is from people who remember the rather limited early versions and still associate that with the current product.

----------

They're apple users, not known for being the most tech savvy of consumers.
Ahem. I'm pretty tech savvy, but switched to Macs a few years ago. OS X is actually a pretty advanced OS, with a pure Unix core and a more powerful command line than Windows.

As a group, Mac users probably are slightly more tech savvy. Remember, Windows users make up more than 90% of the computing public. That include the secretaries at the office, as well as those who are buying $299 desktops or $399 notebooks because they need "something."
 

Ay_Zimmy

macrumors 6502
Jan 9, 2010
272
1
Long Island, NY
This is simply not true. Apple uses the same high quality parts in all laptops. The only difference is the type, performance, and configuration.

When you buy an Apple computer, you are paying for the name as well as a very good machine. It's no different than buying any luxury item.

Buy a Mac and you'll have a top of the line computer you can count on.
I meant more space, more ghz in the processor etc. performance
 

ixodes

macrumors 601
Jan 11, 2012
4,430
2
Pacific Coast, USA
Well, as far as I can see, MBP screen color and quality still much better than the one on MBA. It might has a bit higher pixel density, but MBA's display color is always a bit off. Almost like iPod Touch to iPhone.
And I'm not even comparing it yet with iMac or ATD display.

So it's not exactly a slimmed down Pro.
You'll notice I didn't say it was better than a MBP, if you re-read my post it states "configuration". That refers to the major differences in specs.

I'm responding to the topic of this thread which questions the value of the MBA, which I say is excellent based on all the OSX & top of the line Windows laptops I've had.

Presently I have the full line of 2011 MBA's & MBP's. I've calibrated the color on both models. Once that's done they're so close to identical that using the naked eye, you can't tell the difference. But most people don't have access to the equipment. We have it at work, so all mine get calibrated.

That said, of course the display on my 15" MBP is of higher quality since it's a hi-res, anti-glare screen. My 17" MBP came standard with hi-res.

So after it's all said & done, the facts are that Apple's MBA is one fine laptop. It's not supposed to compete with the MBP, it's target market is entirely different.
 

vodkaPT

macrumors member
Jun 10, 2012
78
0
Lisbon, Portugal
Well, you can't blame people for calling MBA a cute notebook, or ultrabook. Or more importantly, a less "real" notebook. Except for ugly looks and heavyweight, a $1300 Asus laptop beats MBA on each spec. CPU, graphic, RAM, storage, screen estate.

People shouldn't get an MBA for power, it's designed for one top priority; ultra mobility.

  • SATA III? Who cares, most PCs have it too and it's not like you're going to replace your SSD (officially) anyway.
  • USB 3.0? Most PCs and laptops get their hands on it far before 2012.
  • Intel HD4000? Well .. 60% improvement over already suck@$$ HD3000 is still sucks. Enough for daily desktop activities, video playback, and that's about it.
  • TurboBoost? MBA uses ULV Intel CPUs, it compromises even more when compared to notebook CPU. It's a bit slower to save power.

MBA is enough for common people, but let's just say some of us are not easily satisfied when it comes into computer.
Yes, of course, for the same amount of money of the MBA you can buy a better one, or even for less, and is not the point of the MBA.
But despite that fact, my point is that the MBA, specially the 2012 , is actually better that other 2011 and some 2012 low and middle cost pcs, but not everyone realize it and made jokes about the air.
The processor is a tricky question, lots of people really think that this i5 1.8Ghz is more slow that a Core2Duo at 2.4Ghz for instance.
 

Elijen

macrumors 6502
May 8, 2012
401
597
*Ba dum, tssss*

Yes regular mac users point and laugh at people like you. And ffs, you NEED a pro. An MBA is not made for tasks such as emailing, web browsing and using office.
Said somebody with "Unibody Macbook 2.4 GHz, 2GB RAM, 250 GB HDD"
 

SoIsays

macrumors regular
Nov 1, 2011
235
10
I'd venture to guess that some of them choose the MBP because it's more durable than the Air. I read how people with MBA's crack their screen from a light walk and the MBA in their bookbag with a book or two. The MBP seems a little more robust and psychologically it makes you feel reassured it will feel safer to have for a busy full time employee or student.
 

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,524
3,079
Well, you can't blame people for calling MBA a cute notebook, or ultrabook. Or more importantly, a less "real" notebook. Except for ugly looks and heavyweight, a $1300 Asus laptop beats MBA on each spec. CPU, graphic, RAM, storage, screen estate.
Apart from the screen (which is better on the ASUS), a MacBook Air compares quite favorably to the similarly-priced ASUS UX31E.

People shouldn't get an MBA for power, it's designed for one top priority; ultra mobility.
However, in August 2012, ultra mobile computers come with quite a lot of power.

  • SATA III? Who cares, most PCs have it too and it's not like you're going to replace your SSD (officially) anyway.
  • USB 3.0? Most PCs and laptops get their hands on it far before 2012.
  • Intel HD4000? Well .. 60% improvement over already suck@$$ HD3000 is still sucks. Enough for daily desktop activities, video playback, and that's about it.
  • TurboBoost? MBA uses ULV Intel CPUs, it compromises even more when compared to notebook CPU. It's a bit slower to save power.

MBA is enough for common people, but let's just say some of us are not easily satisfied when it comes into computer.
SATA III makes the SSD that the MacBook Air comes with a lot faster. Most PCs have it, too, but most PCs don't come with SSDs. Those that do are in the same price range as the MacBook Air.

TurboBoost means that the ULV processors are a lot closer to the "mainstream" CPUs in terms of performance. Let's face it. The CPU isn't the bottleneck for most people anymore. True, the ULVs are the slowest Intel processors currently sold, but they are still very fast processors that run circles around the fastest dual core processors that Intel sold in 2009 and 2010. The bottleneck for most people is the hard drive. The SATA III SSD addresses that.
 

rockyroad55

macrumors 601
Jul 14, 2010
4,152
59
Phila, PA
I'd venture to guess that some of them choose the MBP because it's more durable than the Air. I read how people with MBA's crack their screen from a light walk and the MBA in their bookbag with a book or two. The MBP seems a little more robust and psychologically it makes you feel reassured it will feel safer to have for a busy full time employee or student.
Those are careless people not the MacBooks fault.
 

iSayuSay

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2011
3,252
380
Apart from the screen (which is better on the ASUS), a MacBook Air compares quite favorably to the similarly-priced ASUS UX31E.
Well I intended to compare it with $1300 Asus ROG laptop like G53SX. Not exactly in the same class, but as usual, when we're talking about Apple, you may get a lot more grunt for the same money out there.

However, in August 2012, ultra mobile computers come with quite a lot of power.
And in August 2012, notebook and desktop CPUs also quite a lot faster? Sometimes a lot faster, and typical notebook/desktop still comes with better and dedicated GPUs?

SATA III makes the SSD that the MacBook Air comes with a lot faster. Most PCs have it, too, but most PCs don't come with SSDs. Those that do are in the same price range as the MacBook Air.
Sure .. but average PC/notebooks, or even MBP featuring SATA III doesn't come with proprietary blade SSDs, which may or may not need different ports each year.
So it saves you a lot of money to get a regular 2.5" SSD, and it's also relieving to know that it's not going to be obsolete in a year.
 

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,524
3,079
Well I intended to compare it with $1300 Asus ROG laptop like G53SX. Not exactly in the same class, but as usual, when we're talking about Apple, you may get a lot more grunt for the same money out there.
That may be true in general of Apple, but from a value perspective, the MacBook Air fares quite favorably compared to the Ultrabook competition. No one seems to be calling Ultrabooks "toys."


And in August 2012, notebook and desktop CPUs also quite a lot faster? Sometimes a lot faster, and typical notebook/desktop still comes with better and dedicated GPUs?
Yes, but my point is that computing power has reached a point at which most people don't need the extra power. Notebooks outsell desktops now, and Intel expects Ultrabooks to become 40% of the notebook market within a year.


Sure .. but average PC/notebooks, or even MBP featuring SATA III doesn't come with proprietary blade SSDs, which may or may not need different ports each year.
But how is this relevant to the average user who isn't going to install a new SSD over the life of a notebook?

So it saves you a lot of money to get a regular 2.5" SSD, and it's also relieving to know that it's not going to be obsolete in a year.
Apart from RAM and storage, most notebooks aren't upgradable, and even there upgrades aren't particularly common. Yes, the MacBook Pro or a mid-range PC notebook may be upgradable, but even the MacBook Pro is officially limited to 8GB RAM. So most notebooks will be "obsolete" in a year as processor, GPU, and display technology progresses.
 

lukekarts

macrumors regular
Mar 16, 2009
155
0
A lot of people over here have the 13 inch 2011 or pre-2011 pro which was £999 - equivalent to the entry level 11 inch Air. Obviously pricing has changed but I think low awareness consumers see the 'Pro' name and associate with performance therefore better value for money.

There's a general lack of consumer awareness to Ultrabooks - to many they are just Netbooks - low performances ultra light use second computers.

The best thing you can do with an Air is let some of these people use one. People are stunned with how fast they are - partly because they already have a misconception about the performance, and partly because they are genuinely fast.

A few of my friends questioned my purchase but now my best friend has an Air, another friend has just purchased their first Mac, and a third friend wants to buy an Air later this year. It's all about awareness.
 

urkel

macrumors 68030
Nov 3, 2008
2,783
858
I think the history of the Air has to do with the negativity. As awesome as the air is now, we can't forget that the first few years they were more a novelty than anything else because being "thin" came at an enormous cost in power, specs and especially price.

So you can't blame people (even Mac users) from not feeling the Air isnt Apples best notebook. You really need to use the 2011-12 model first hand to realize that. (That said, After owning both the 2011 11" and 2012 13" I ended up settling for an 2011 MBP13" because even after upgrading to SSD, installing 750GB HDD and 8GB memory then I still saved several hundred.)
 

SuperRob

macrumors 6502
Mar 14, 2011
250
0
Because of the architecture changes, this year's Macbook Airs are generally faster machines than last year's Macbook Pros. The Air is a fantastic machine for the money, particularly the 13", which gets two more hours of battery, and has an SD slot you can use for extra storage in a pinch. I just got one for work, and the 13" fits nicely in an old leather folio I've had for AGES. It would be nice if it had a retina display or more storage/RAM for the price. I will say that if you're getting the 13", spend the extra $100 and get the RAM upgrade. It's absolutely worth it.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this machine to anyone. For college work, there shouldn't be anything it can't do.
 

asting

macrumors 6502
Jun 10, 2012
377
3
Ahem. I'm pretty tech savvy, but switched to Macs a few years ago. OS X is actually a pretty advanced OS, with a pure Unix core and a more powerful command line than Windows.

As a group, Mac users probably are slightly more tech savvy. Remember, Windows users make up more than 90% of the computing public. That include the secretaries at the office, as well as those who are buying $299 desktops or $399 notebooks because they need "something."
If you had bothered to read my whole response you would've seen I said that there are obviously exceptions. It appears you took offense to a single statement when isolated. There are obviously people who are tech savvy and use macs, and of course a forum dedicated to mac computers will be full of those type of people. Of all the users I know from classes and my personal life all but one purchased it because "mac's are pretty" or because "they just work", not because they're a technically superior machine. Of course this is just in my experience, and the following is conjecture mixed with a little marketing knowledge but I bet that the social consumption of the "pro" is seen as advantageous to those not in the loop tech wise.


At any rate, this is overkill anyway. If OP is complaining (sillily I might add) about people thinking hte air sucks compared to the pro then clearly those users are not capable of technical analysis and comparison between computers (given the state of the current air vs pro).
 

Judas1

macrumors 6502a
Aug 4, 2011
794
42
You don't need a Pro for school because you're won't be doing anything pro-level. For some reason, everybody over-estimates how much computing power they need, or go for the fastest thing available even if they don't need it. I can't think of a field of study in school that requires more power than an air.
 

asting

macrumors 6502
Jun 10, 2012
377
3
You don't need a Pro for school because you're won't be doing anything pro-level. For some reason, everybody over-estimates how much computing power they need, or go for the fastest thing available even if they don't need it. I can't think of a field of study in school that requires more power than an air.
You win this thread. The whole point is people latch onto that word and think it makes their laptop much better. There is nothing pro about the base pro model and nothing desirable when juxtaposed against the air.

You are the laughable marketing being discussed.
 

NuggetSauce

macrumors regular
Aug 10, 2012
128
1
The Air owns. Why people choose this model should be pretty obvious to even the most uninformed mac users. Not too bright for college students.
 

koigirl

macrumors 6502a
Jul 29, 2011
716
207
Raleigh, NC
I have a new MBA (arrived last Friday) after owning base model MBP's for years. I usually get a new MBP every year or two and pass them down to my kids as the older models become obsolete. We have replaced hard drives, added RAM, etc., for extended use on the aging models. I love my new machine but I can see pros/cons for MBP vs. MBA. Someone might very well hesitate to buy a college student a MBA just from a fragility standpoint (carrying it around in a bookbag with heavy textbooks, etc). I love this machine but I definitely feel like it is more fragile, especially the screen, and feel like I need to be more careful toting it around. I am also a bit uneasy with the fact that I can't upgrade the RAM or even upgrade memory easily later on for extended use. So I can see arguments for/against each model. My daughters' laptops are one and two year old MBP models (with 4GB RAM) and I plan on replacing the HD's with SSD's when they go bad (based on years of experience with HD's dying on MBP's) plus upgrading RAM as needed.