blackbook vs air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by pattman247, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. pattman247 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto
    #1
    quick question. if you had the chance to switch a brand new 2.4ghz Penryn blackbook with 3gb ram for a macbook air, would you do it?
    Heres the kicker, price is not an issue, as a matter of fact I would make $200 doing it, but it would have to be your primary computer.
    What you lose:
    0.8ghz per core (from 2.4ghz to 1.6ghz)
    1 gb ram
    superdrive

    What you gain:
    0.16"/ 0.76" computer
    led display
    backlit keyboard
    aluminum casing
    new macness :D

    Is it worth it. It would stay mostly at home. Do I really need all that the blackbook offers. Casual user here, just the simple vmware fusion/ photoshop cs3/ visual basic/ everything else type of mac guy.
     
  2. teknikal90 macrumors 68030

    teknikal90

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #2
    penryn with 3 gb ram???
    personally, i wouldnt...only cause as an only computer, i wouldnt be ale to stand the decrease in performance and such..
    i mean, 2.4ghz penryn with 3gb would be pretty fast..not to mention a better battery life..
     
  3. macanudo macrumors regular

    macanudo

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #3
    For someone who is going to use their portable as their primary computer, I would not recommend the MBA - either the MB or MBP. With that being said, I've used both and I love my MBA...I really never cared for the MB...but then again, I have a Mac Pro as my primary machine.

    I'd go to the apple store and try out both. Just remember that the MBA was meant to be a traveling computer, not a main computer machine (not to say that people on here use the MBA as their primary machine - there are plenty out there!)
     
  4. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #4
    If the computer will stay at home, and you are going to be doing work with the things you mentioned above, I would not recommend the MacBook Air. In fact, you might be better off getting a MacBook Pro. I am typing this on a BlackBook now, and I have to say I cannot imagine doing serious CS3 work on it, because of the 13" screen. The extra 2" on the Pro makes a huge difference, IMO. The MBP would suit you much more nicely, and especially because you said it would stay at home most of the time (which makes the MBA even worse of an idea to get, since it's #1 feature is portability).

    Also, from the "what you gain" park of your post, the MBP covers all of those points except the thinness. Not to mention it is the best notebook in the world :)
     
  5. pattman247 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto
    #5
    Yea I guess you have a point there. my computer can handle any task I through at it, and then some. I don't think I would feel to comfortable loosing that luxury for thinness. I was in class today using my computer for some heavy typing, and this is what I noticed.
    With only pages on at medium brightness, my laptop's CPU temp was 35 degrees celcius, and the battery meter was indicating around six hours left.
    On average 95% of the cpu was at idle, 2 gb of ram was free and 512mb unactive.
    Is it really true that the macbook air is only good for word processing and other light tasks. Because that was the average throughout an hour an a half, which means I had ALOT of legroom left over.
    On the 2.16, I was able to run 8 movies at once, all divx, with 24 fps all the way through.

    Can the air do anything better than word processing? I heard it struggles with youtube :D
     
  6. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #6
    Yeah, I misread your post just a tad, and after rereading it, if you are content with your BB just keep it and don't look back. The MBA likely fares fine with Word Processing, but it really isn't meant for anything more than that.
     
  7. macanudo macrumors regular

    macanudo

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #7
    I use my MBA for iWork 08, safari (youtube has never been an issue for me - no second core shutting down, etc), parallels to use MS project and logon to my exchange server and aperture. I am MORE than pleased with the performance.
     
  8. pattman247 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto
    #8
    the number one thing I love most about macs is how you can hook up an external display soo easily.
    I have a viewsonic vx924 that has two inputs. I use one for my xp computer, and the other for my mac, and I can switch between them by the flick of a switch. So when im at home, all I gotta do is plug in one connector, and it automaticaly becomes a beast desktop. This computer CRUSHES my 3.2 GHz pentium 4, its amazing.

    I love how the battery life is soo amazing on it. I went on bestbuy.ca and noticed the hp's there have an estimated battery life of only 3 hours. So, even though my comp is much more powerful, it lasts longer too. Couple that with my n router and its the best computing experience I ever had.
    Spaces really helps with vmware fusion aswell. Since when I switch to a different space, I can now switch to a different operating system on the fly. I showed my tech teacher today, and he was totally amazed.
    There are just so many cool things about macs, and the best part is I learn more about it everyday.
    This week, I learned you can reload widgets by pressing :apple: and r/ I can switch the calculator to scientific mode by pressing :apple: + 2, I can quickly access the dictionary in safari by pressing :apple: + control + d.
    Those are all useful for me, and just makes my purchase all the greater.
    Btw, sorry if I get flamed, but what is everyone's opinion on osx86 on these forums? :D
     
  9. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #9
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 16GB: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A102 Safari/419.3)

    where do you get that idea from? I run my MBA as my main computer now and my mac pro is pretty much gathering dust. I regularly run vmware, eclipse, jbuilder, xcode, office 2008, photoshop cs3 and aperture and it takes everything in its stride. I wouldn't swap my MBA for any other notebook: it is simply superb :)
     
  10. sadilak macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Location:
    NY
    #10
    Nope - If you are a die hard fan of the multi touch trackpad and are paralyzed without it, then go for the Air, else the Macbook is a much better and scaleable option..
     
  11. pattman247 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 13, 2007
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    Toronto
    #11
    what's so great about multitouch? it's just a few extra gestures. Not enough for people to switch computers for :confused::)
     
  12. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #12
    Someone at the University I am attending has a MBA, and he said that the computer doesn't fare too well with higher end apps (he has the base config). Reading your sig, perhaps the apps fare much better with the high end setup on the MBA. I was just assuming, I have not experimented with the apps myself.
     
  13. asmallchild macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    #13
    As a primary computer, I would also recommend going with the MBP.

    I tend to be saddled with my computers for a long time and while the MBA would certainly meet all my needs now, I'm not sure it will hold up to the test 3-4 years down the line.

    (A top of the line desktop 4 years ago has tided me over quite well. I think the cheapest MBP would do the same for me over the next 4 years)
     
  14. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

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    Shropshire, UK
    #14
    I do think the SSD makes a huge difference in real world usage: The reason I stumped up for it is I was very concerned about using what amounts to an iPod hard disk running at 4,200 rpm as my primary storage!
     
  15. pattman247 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto
    #15
    ssd version costs 1500 more in canada. new white macbook 2.4 for the price of an upgraded harddrive (with less space)
    i hear about people's ssd's failing once a while, which means the technology wasn't proven (at least not to me)
     
  16. jlbrown23 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2007
    #16
    I'm not sure what "huge performance hit" people are talking about with the Air vs the MacBook. Is the MacBook faster? Yes. Is it DRAMATICALLY faster while in actual use? No, it is not. There are some compromises with the Air, but they aren't huge, and the difference in portability is noticeable(I have a BlackBook & an Air, so I am talking from actual experience). And the LED on the Air is clearly nicer than the LCD on the MacBook. Sure the CPU is 50% faster, but how often are you using it full throttle? The Air plays high def Divx files just fine. Of course there is also HD space - the Air is a little more limited, but if you clean out the junk you get 60-70 GB free which is probably good enough unless you are planning on doing Boot Camp(I guess that is a caveat - if you are going to be dual booting, the Air HD is pretty limiting. But then why would you want to ruin your beautiful Air with Windows?).

    If I were you, I'd make the trade in a second. BOTH machines sacrifice speed - one for price, one for size. If you were talking a PRO vs an Air, that is a WHOLE different story. The pro has a larger display, a graphics card & gives you desktop functionality in a laptop. But then you AREN'T talking about a pro.
     
  17. jlbrown23 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2007
    #17
    That is true NOW. Then current extra gestures are nice, but nothing as awesome as two finger scrolling. But the Air is multitouch CAPABLE, so the question is how is this technology going to develop? If Apple comes up with an extensive set of multitouch gestures that are intuitive and useful(I've seen info on doing cut & paste for example), it might be really nice to have.

    But until this happens, I have to agree that the multitouch(although nice) isn't that big of a deal as it currently is.
     
  18. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #18
    Multitouch isn't anything to switch notebooks for...in fact the mba trackpad is a touch too big and I often press it while typing causing my cursor to be all screwy.
     
  19. darwiniandude macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    #19
    jlbrown23:

    You have both, can answer me this: is the MBA lcd less reflective? I was comparing them in the shop today, and I could have sworn that the MBA was less shiny.. eg overhead lights weren't as annoying on the MBA than the MB. Would you agree?

    My MBP sells on eBay tonight, as soon as I get paid, I'm off to get my Air!

    The multitouch isn't enough to make me trade my MBP for a current MBP, but i'll enjoy and use it on the air. I find myself using coverflow mode mostly in finder, as I'm a list view person. I love the pinch to resize the divider between list and coverflow, much quicker.

    Touchpad wasn't a problem for me in the store. i guess i just don't rest my palms on the machine. (probably used to being anal with the MBP trying not to stain the aluminium..... :)
     
  20. Roba macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    #20
    OP you would also lose the ability to upgrade to 4GB of ram. The VMFusion software you use will run better with 3GB of ram than it will do with 2GB.
     
  21. deputylove8 macrumors regular

    deputylove8

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Location:
    in the comfort of my room...in Singapore
    #21
    Yo dude,

    Looking that what u'll be using the MBA for..hahaha..i reckon u shd get the blackbook..heehehehee...unless u wanna rip yr hair off while using MBA..hehe

    But why did Mac choose the blue pill and remove the optical drive...sad.sad sad..hehehe...


    buckle yr seats dorathy coz kansas is going bye bye
     
  22. krye macrumors 68000

    krye

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #22
    I just have to throw my 2 cents out there. You can all spare me the lecture because I know the target audience for the Air. I know why it's $1800. I know that you are paying for portability and not performance. But I for one wouldn't mind the Air being 2mm thicker so they can fit a 160G drive in it. I guess I'll wait until the 120G single platters are out later this year.
     
  23. pattman247 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto
    #23
    okay, i would only consider an air if it could run the programs that I use daily.
    Can the macbook air run lightroom well while on msn/ itunes/ and safari?

    or;
    can the macbook run photoshop well aswell, enough for ten layers/ gradience/ filters etc, nothing to big but still cpu intensive

    can the macbook run dictionary 20 tabs of safari, and 6 different documents in pages

    finally
    can the macbook run 720p videos while any of the top choices
    since a trailer shouldn't consume all cpu resources, it should be more like an on the side thing, like while using a dual display configuration
     

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