College Student's Air review (as first Mac)

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mpsruo, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. mpsruo macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2008
    Hey everyone,

    I've been a lurker here for a while as I gradually convinced myself to make the switch. Before anyone starts to read this review thinking it covers the same basis as most reviews, this is geared towards college students who are debating getting a mac and if so, which kind.

    I believe its important to state that I have been a computer technician for several years. I have worked for Circuit City's Firedog as on-site and in-home repairs and installations (say what you will about Geek Squad, we got the job done, regardless of how much they rip you off at both companies). I've also been a contract and freelance web designer all before I got my high school degree. I only say these facts because it will help give reason and significance behind my review and views. I am now a 2nd year student at a university.

    Before I switched yesterday, my last machine was a dell XPS gen2 (2.0ghz core 2 duo, 2gb ram, geforce 7800 mobile). This thing had been a beast for several years for me and did all I needed. My needs have changed, however, and I needed a laptop i can easily carry with me. I drive a sportbike and I needed something light that would not weigh down my backpack when riding to campus.

    I was debating between an air + imac, a macbook + imac, or just a macbook pro. My reasons for an imac supplement is because I still do website design and I need a large screen footprint and processing power, especially when handling graphics design aspect of this kind of work. So my imac, which I will purchase when the update rolls by, will serve as my workhorse synched up by .mac.

    If any of you are college students and you have organization problems, get an iPhone. The mac's iCalendar's smooth synch with the phone keeps me on top of my game when it comes to exams, projects, papers, etc.

    On to the review as Ive babbled enough. When I first opened the box, the air really is half as light and thin as you imagine it to be. It feels like a solid machine and starting it up and configuring was effortless. When compared to a windows machine, the sleep --> on --> login --> connected to wifi process is faster then you can count to a few sheep. In other words, you can cycle through this process a few times before a windows machine has time to connect to a wifi. Simply pleasing!

    In terms of performance, I'm running the air's HDD and i have seen NO slow-downs whatsoever. Now, please understand this is my first true mac and in comparison to a pro i may be wrong, but i'm extremely satisfied with this performance in comparison to my xps which has a faster processor. I opened as many programs as I could and they all ran smoothly without a hitch. I have also streamed video with no frame problems.

    In terms of hardware, the screen is beautiful. Say what you will, it kicks ANY other laptop or desktop's ass out of this planet. The battery life has been very pleasing. I have been surfing for about 20 minutes now at full brightness, full keyboard backlit, playing music and wifi on and I have 91% battery. Awesome.

    To those of you debating getting an air, if you have enough funds to have a desktop next to it (preferrably mac based, as I am forever done with windows) then do it. I am 100% satisfied and happy with my baby. If you are looking to purchase just ONE unit to be your primary and secondary all in one, then look elsewhere. The drawbacks of small hard drive, screen real estate, and lack of built in dvd drive will eventually begin to annoy you.

  2. w00tini macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
  3. iHerzeleid macrumors 6502a


    May 5, 2007
    Yea, I am also a college student. But an iMac would be a nice addition to my collection.
  4. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    I would absolutely love a MBA, but until I think some of the kinks will have to be ironed out first. The one I saw was way too hot for hardly doing any work, and I'd want some more ways to connect stuff to it before I pull the trigger on one.
  5. Sijmen macrumors 6502a

    Sep 7, 2005
    Two questions:

    1. How do you like the iMac? Which one did you get?
    2. How do you handle the syncing of calendar, addresses, and music between your iMac and Air, if at all?

    And of course, nice to hear you are so pleased :)
  6. mpsruo thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2008
    1. Will be getting the 24 inch imac, whatever specs depends on what comes out on this upcoming model. Ive gotten a chance to use one and I love it, especially that screen size its just beautiful to look at, enough footprint to type a paper and have firefox open on the side for research. very nice.

    2. You just get the .mac. it synchs the data batween my iphone, my air, and my imac at the same time. in other words, it synchs my iphone to my soon to be imac, and then i just run .mac to synch the air and vice versa.

    To the issue of heat, i've seen none. It gets a bit warm, but nothing compared to my old XPS. even the common problems with batteries hasn't applied. i get a few hours, i havent counted exactly but 3+ of constant use on bright screen. so to reiterate, im definately content with this purchase
  7. Detlev_73 macrumors 6502


    Jul 20, 2004
    Roswell, GA
    Although I agree that just using a MacBook Air as your primary and only system is probably not realistic, it does make an EXCELLENT sidekick to a 20- or 24-inch iMac.

    I used a 15" G4 Powerbook during my last two years in undergrad, and it was sufficient for what I needed it for. I was particularly miffed when Apple decided to go with Intel, but ONLY because it meant that I would be out of the loop in being able to run Windows on my Mac, that and having minimal memory and an extremely slow bus speed put a damper on the whole Powerbook experience for me.

    I'm glad I got myself a MacBook Air, and don't find that an 80 GB HDD is not to restrictive, especially since it's not my primary system, after all, my old PowerBook had the same size HDD. :apple:

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