Anandtechs discussion of MacBook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DaLurker, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. DaLurker macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2006
    Over the years as a PC hardware enthusiast I've come to trust AnandTech for the technical write ups about FSB overclocking, cooling, and etc.. But I stumbled upon this article and thought it was a good read.

    Most notably:
    This explains why there is so many posts and threads about how unsuitable the product is.

    And this I think is a good reason how the situation arose.

    Notice this is page two of their article. There is also a page one that centers around the hardware side regarding the processor.
  2. ahaxton macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2008
    I think its just part of the same nonsense that was all the rage during the launch of the iPhone. Every products a niche. Though I must say, for an "inferior product for the price" as some iPhone bashers put it, sure does sell well!

    None of the apple products are for everyone. None of anything is for everyone lol.

    The trend I notice when it comes to expensive things that people notice on me, they'll say wow I can't believe you have that or whatever, then go on to saying I can't believe it cost that much why would you pay that? In all honesty, majority of people who can't really afford something are not going to be praising a product or even understand the product.

    Nothing new to see.

    Why would you spend that much on a car, what a rip off. Why would you buy such a huge house as a single person, what a waste of money or that house is so much money, why would you want to pay so much for a house. You paid $800 for jeans? you got ripped off. I have never paid that much for jeans, I can't believe you paid so much.... on and on and on
  3. NickFalk macrumors 6502


    Jun 9, 2004
    I don't know.
    I certainly wasn't an iPhone-basher but I really fear Apple has created their second Cube anyway.

    Fair enough, it might not be geared towards the same customer-segment as the regular Macbook but as many have stressed the only obvious benefit compared to that cheaper model is the fact that it's light. At the same time the drawbacks are obvious. So, while Apple might want to sell their new baby to a different "target market" it's fairly obvious that this intended "target market" might choose differently.

    When Apple released the iPhone they sort of re-introduced user-friendliness to the mobiles while at the same time doing it in a mouth-watering tech-package. This time around Apple have released a product that has to compete with their own, in many ways superior, product...

    I still love it though, but it just feels like it did with the cube. It's hard to find a reason to buy this one rather than "that other" model...
  4. maestrokev macrumors 6502a


    Apr 23, 2007
    The MBA isn't going to appeal to people who don't already use a Mac as it won't do as a primary computer.

    I'm not sure the MBA will lure over people from the Windows world.

    The MBA will definitely appeal to people like me who own an iMac, MBP and MB . I'll sell one of these and get the MBA.
  5. NickFalk macrumors 6502


    Jun 9, 2004
    Yeah I'm sure there is a market, but not that it's big enough to warrant Apple's expenditure on this project. If the buyers will mostly be macuser who use it as a third machine I dare say the sales-figures will be less than stellar.
  6. TheStu macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2006
    Carlisle, PA
    Please tell me you don't actually own $800 jeans... cuz, you know, I am usually the last to bash a person for spending too much money, but seriously... that is just ridiculous for a pair of jeans. I don't care if Armani himself went out and picked the the cotton himself, and then, by hand, ginned it, dyed it, stitched it, riveted it, and then wore them for a year to give them that good worn look/feel... that is just an obscene amount for a pair of jeans.

    I do not actually think that you spent that much BTW.
  7. ahaxton macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2008

    I have lol, sorry.

    Anyways, I think the MBA appeals to new mac users as well! and to people with just one computer. Even college students are wanting the MBA as their only computer. I think some people will be surprised at the MBA sales figures. A few in our brokerage are windows users and getting the MBA as their new computer for business and pleasure. I don't think any one group of people is attracted or not attracted to the MBA.
  8. Catch macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2004
    London, UK
    Most importantly... I have no problem with anyone spending $800+ on Jeans, but please please tell me that they were not Armani! :D

    Less importantly, I totally agree that I think people buying the MBA will be a very wide and surprising segment of consumers. I spoke to my long term Apple bashing friend today who said that for the first time ever he would buy a Mac...

  9. diabolic macrumors 68000

    Jun 13, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    Don't you think they'll apply the things they've learned building the MBA into future products? That alone will make the expenditure worthwhile for Apple. This is only one step on a longer journey.
  10. nikhsub1 macrumors 68020


    Jun 19, 2007
    mmmm... jessica.'s beer...
    No i disagree. I think someone at Apple needed to make this machine so they could say it is the 'thinnest in the world'. I think this machine is about ego as it certainly is not functional - at all. Now that it is here, the marketing dept. must do what they can with it. The more I think about the target market for this machine, the more I can't help but think it really suits just about no one. Apple is generally smarter than this, this is what makes me think this was someone's baby *cough* Steve *cough* with no real regard to it's target market. What have they learned by building the MBA? Well, they learned to leave just about every needed feature off the machine in order to call it the thinnest. The ONLY thing they gave this machine first was the multi touch track pad... they could have done this with the MBP or MB just as easily.

    I agree with what someone said above, it is the next Cube.
  11. ahaxton macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2008

    lol no not Armani, pssssshhh.

    Yeah I have also heard more from people who don't own macs now wanting a mac. The thing is with some people who don't think about owning a mac they usually don't want it because of something software related "I don't want the OS, all my stuff is on mac". The way to attract these people is more physical I think. I think it'll be one Apple product that will have a varied consumer base.
    Hmm wow nice trackpad, wow nice design, so much nicer than a windows laptop. All stuff that could turn someone to OS X and of course people like me where thinner, lighter, yet still very full of features (display and keyboard is a huge thing for me, I don't need those to be made smaller)
  12. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    To understand the MacBook Air you must first accept that it's not aimed at the same target market as the regular MacBook or MacBook Pro.

    Absolutely correct.

    People need to realize that Apple, or Microsoft, or Sony, or whoever create distinct product lines because not every product is suitable for every potential user or use. This is why, for example, Apple sells multiple models of notebooks:

    MacBook Pro: targeted at the power user who wants a desktop-equivalent machine in a portable package

    MacBook: targeted at the more casual user who just wants to check e-mail, surf the web, do some lifestyle-type stuff like working with photos, and run some standard apps

    MacBook Air: targeted at the user for whom portability is the most important quality

    No one of these three models is going to suit all purposes, and it's foolish to think that that would ever be the case. What you have to do is to determine what you want your notebook to be able to do, and then choose the model that fits your requirements. In my case, I am moving from a MacBook Pro, which is perhaps more of a notebook than I really need, to a MacBook Air, which will do everything that I want for it to do, in a much smaller (and yes, sexier) package.

    What I find mildly amusing (but not unexpected; this is teh Intarwebs, after all) is how so many people are projecting their desires for what they think the MBA should and should not include: "Where's the optical drive?" "Where's the extra USB ports?" That sort of thing.

    If the MBA will do what you need for it to do and you can afford it, then it's a perfectly fine machine for you. Otherwise, perhaps a MB or MBP is more your cup of tea. Yes, it does cost more than a MB or MBP, but part of living in a consumer culture is that we get to make personal decisions about buying "luxury" items. ($800 for jeans does seem excessive to me, but hey, it's your money.) For a lot of us, we don't mind spending the extra money to get a MBA if we think it'll work better for us than the other Apple notebooks.

    And if you think ego doesn't enter into it, think again. But most excellence in this world stems from ego.
  13. JasonBourne9 macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2008
    How is it not functional? It's going to work fine for my needs as good second computer. Was the original titanium powerbook 'not functional'? The MBA is considerably faster, has more RAM, has more storage... Yes it has a smaller screen but other 'functional' macs such as the 12" powerbook or MB have the same or smaller. It has fewer ports and expandability but for some people, as a second laptop in particular, those are unnecessary. The only two ports I have ever used on my crappy work laptop PC, on which I am typing this message, are the power plug and the USB port. It does have two USB ports, but I've never used them simultaneously. This tablet also doesn't have an optical drive (yet is at least 1.5" thick) and I've never once missed it. So what exactly am I giving up with the MBA?

    Millions of business people use way less functionality than this thing has everyday.

    And when I want to edit photographs or do some other computer heavy lifting, I use the Mac Pro with the 30" ACD. Why would I bother doing that stuff on any laptop, Even maxed out 17" MBP is slower, smaller, has less storage, less expansion, etc... than any mac pro. I just never have a need to do 3D rendering on an airplane. If I did I would reconsider my choice.
  14. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    The MacBook Air really appeals to me.

    1. I have a 2.8Ghz 24" iMac with 4GB RAM and a 750GB HDD.

    2. I want a laptop for websurfing, and travel. I may also need it eventually for work. Nothing I do on it will suffer from what it doesn't have. ie. 1 usb port, get a pocket hub. Need ethernet instead or WiFi, get the $29 adapter. Need firewire - all my drives have usb as well.

    But I am curious about "To understand the MacBook Air you must first accept that it's not aimed at the same target market as the regular MacBook or MacBook Pro." this statement.

    For me the slim factor combined with the 3lbs. and who can ignore the sexy look are the key things. Why carry a larger machine with more weight. 2-4 lbs makes a difference. Battery life is also a key thing.

    a. I wouldn't get a 17" MBP - too big.

    b. I wouldn't get a white MB - don't care for the white.

    c. That leaves the black MB vs. a low end 15" MBP. The black MB is $1,649 with 2GB RAM vs. $1,799 for the MBA. Not a huge jump, and while the MBA has smaller/slower HDD, slower CPU, less RAM capacity, less ports, - all valid complaints, for my uses as a 2nd machine to my iMac, it seems to fit the bill. The 15" MBP is pricier and weighs more.
  15. diabolic macrumors 68000

    Jun 13, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    If all that the marketing does is get people to say "Wow, look what Apple did," then it's a success in my opinion, no matter the sales.

    Perception is more important than reality in sales, and if the general public believes that Apple is on the cutting edge of technology because they advertise the world's thinnest laptop, whether it really true or not, then it's a success from a marketing standpoint.

    No matter what gets written here, when people see the MBA commercials, they will associate Apple with innovation, whether or not it is truly the case.
  16. EvryDayImShufln macrumors 65816


    Sep 18, 2006
    Nicely put
  17. Cybergypsy macrumors 68040


    May 16, 2006
    Central Florida!
    Not really, I am going from my macbook as my only to a MBA, i am disabled and its hard for me to carry the macbook around the house, I dont game, use it for music or movies.....for me it a god send...and love the style....
  18. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    Most of the people in my office work on PCs and have limited apple experience: an ipod or maybe even an iphone.

    Half of them use a laptop as their main work computer...almost all of them are thinkpads with XP SP2.

    One person has an old powerbook G4 that he uses as his second machine at his desk.

    Everyone was sitting around yesterday and talking about stuff and someone mentioned the MBA, and apparently we'd all seen person was like "it's so thin, but it has the same hard drive as my ipod. I can't use that for work"

    someone else said "can't you put windows on it?" and someone else said "yes, but it doesn't have a firewire port, so you can't put it on a fast external drive, and it will be slow with no storage."

    Then someone asked where they put the ethernet port, because our office's wireless network is typically at about 90% capacity during the day, and most people end up plugging in even though .n is more convenient. People started laughing when i said "oh, it doesn't have one. you have to buy a usb adapter, and it only has 1 usb port, so you either have to carry around a usb hub or get used to not having any other usb things."

    I don't see this appealing to many "fast-moving executives" who need ultra-portability. The price isn't an issue for them, but the lack of an optical drive and ethernet are both serious issues, not to mention the storage constraints.

    It costs too much for it to become the new macbook on college campuses.

    I guess someone with a mac pro who doesn't already have a laptop might be interested, especially if money is no object, because the SSD would make things a lot nicer to tolerate.

    But honestly, if that was the market, it should have been 12" and 2.8 pounds, instead. Put one of those ultra-dense pixel displays in there that dell uses, except with an LED backlight, and a 12" version of this would represent a truly unique product.

    I have to ask, though, would it have been so much more difficult to include a second USB port?
  19. Catch macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2004
    London, UK
    Mate?! All the people in that example seems to be stuck in an office! Fast-moving executives? Half of them use a laptop as their MAIN work computer? I am not surprised that the MBA is unsuitable for them! Fast-moving eh?

    I do not mean to be rude, but I hardly think your business is Apples target audience...

  20. JasonBourne9 macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2008
    Read my post above. I am an executive. And I move pretty fast :)

    I have used the following features on my current work PC tablet this many times in the past year:
    - USB slot: maybe 100 times
    - Second USB slot: 0 times
    - Ethernet port: once (stupid client office without wifi and walls too thick to use EVDO card)
    - Optical drive: 0 (it doesn't have one)
    - Firewire: 0 (it doesn't have one)
    - Video out: 50 times (outputing to a LCD projector for presentations)
    - EVDO card: every day
    - Wifi: everyday
    - Tablet functionality: roughly 5 times. Mostly it's a gimmick for me
    - 5 lbs weight and 1.5" thickness for a device with a 1024x768 screen: pisses me off every single day.
    - 60GB drive: No problem for me - maybe 2/3 full. It's a portable work machine, I have work files, emails, and basic office application etc... on it. No need for oodles of space for media and porn.
    - Core 2 duo at 1.6GHz and 2GB RAM: plenty of capability for my needs
    - Windows XP: AAARGGG!!!! Please get me a mac!

    So based on my use, the only thing that seems 'missing' from the MBA is built-in EVDO. I really wish Apple had offered that as a BTO option. Everything else is perfectly fine for my needs as a real member of the target market.
  21. Catch macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2004
    London, UK
    That pretty much echoes my usage as well. I do use the USB heavily though as I have financial data/contracts on a USB stick that is extremely sensitive so I use that allot.

    Although I am more office based than say our Operations Director and he does not even own a USB device at all. At least not for business.

    At the office we have several MacPro 'seats' that are empty that our execs use when they come into the office. Obviously the Office staff have their own workstations. Rarely, if an office based member of staff needs to go on the road they grab a shared laptop (or take their own; both OSX and XP) and bring their files on a USB stick.

    Everybody in my office wants the MBA. Not all will get it!


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