Dispelling some rumors and misconceptions

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by timewarrior, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. timewarrior, Aug 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2011

    timewarrior macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011
    I have extensively used various 11" and 13" MBA with both Toshiba and Samsung SSD and LG and Samsung Display - my company buys in bulk for employees. Following is the summary of analysis (mostly inline with what AnandTech says):
    1. Samsung SSD is faster than Toshiba, but you wont notice it in day to day use - so dont worry.
    2. LG Display is pretty good, but Samsung has slightly better viewing angles so its more convenient if you dont want to keep adjusting so that the view is perpendicular.
    3. If you are considering using MBA on your Lap, it might not be a good idea to get the 11.6" because you need to crane your neck a lot (unless you have a < 5'2" frame)
    4. If you are getting 11.6 - LG will be more of a disadvantage because its more difficult to keep the perpendicular angle.
    5. MBA works fine with Apple Cinema Display. When you see perceived lag at UI actions - this is because of issues with Apple's implementation of Animations and hopefully they will fix it soon - or we will find ways to disable these animations. Till then I am avoiding using swipe actions to switch desktop and instead not using full screen mode and using ^-key_num and Alt-Tab to switch to Desktops and applications.
    6. If you use MBA in clamshell mode its tends to get hotter but gets a little bit more performance. But given that Lion feels slow not because of hardware constraints but because they did not optimize the animations and the OS at this stage - do not expect clamshell to give much better performance. If we had an option to install Snow Leopard on the new MBA, we would have found everything to be much much faster.

    I have this helps dispel some of the queries that people have.

    Just my thoughts.

    And just to add to this:
    i7 is not hotter and doesn't impact the battery life if not used under load. I would say if possible get the i7.
    In normal browsing use either on 11.6 or 13.3 I did not get hot. However the 11.6 did get a bit hot after half an hour of skype session.
  2. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Thanks for the information. Which models does your company buy most often (e.g. i5 vs i7, 13" vs 11"), and how many have you seen so far? I'm a bit surprised a company has jumped right in with Lion, but I guess with a Mac there's not much choice since Apple won't let you "downgrade" to a previous OS.
  3. timewarrior thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011
    My work desktop is Mac Pro 2-Quad-Xeon with dual video card and 64 GB RAM. Everyone has desktops of similar config. We use laptop just for Skype, Remote Displays etc so it doesn't matter if we have Lion - however we will wait for a months before we start widespread deployment of 2011 MBA.
    Till early this year we had 15" MBP Ultimate AG and recently shifted to 2010 MBA.
    We got 2 each of 2011 13" i7, 13" i5, 11.6 i7 and 11.6 i5 for testing and based on our own tests and our requirements we chose to go for 13.3" Ultimate.

    The Displays on 2011 are the same as 2010. We have had absolute zero complaints from any of around 100 employees who have 2010 MBA with LG displays.

    Needless to say forums have helped me a lot with many decisions - but they have contributed to a lot of distress because of listening to too many nitpickers and naysayers. You start worrying about things that you would not have noted otherwise at all. Worst MBA is way way better than any non-apple laptops I have used. I know everyone wants the best for their money - but is this incremental improvement really worth the stress and anxiety.
  4. VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2009
    I think now we'll be able to close the MacBook Air Forums until the 2012 update. :)
  5. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    I would second that Snow Leopard notion. Snow Leopard not only has faster animation but also better battery life by a good margin.
  6. timewarrior, Aug 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2011

    timewarrior thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011
    Well, some price needs to be paid for the early adopter advantage. By 10.7.2 (potentially by Oct) - Lion would have sorted out all these kinks.

    Another thing we found was that if you keep running iStat pro it will make your computer run hotter. So just disable it (even from dashboard) - and enjoy your machine and fantasize about what the next MBA will be (8 GB RAM, faster video card - cannibalize MBP and become the last frontier before tablets rules the masses and Laptops become niche).
  7. YEEZY macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2011
    iStat will really heat up your computer like that? Damn, that's depressing. I love keeping it in my dashboard to check how my computer is every now and then :/
  8. timewarrior thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011
    Even Activity Monitor causes increase in CPU utilization, and iStat pro even more so. Under basic browsing my computer is using around 2% cpu. iStat pro adds atleast 1.5% to that. I would say that iStat pro could lead to at least 45 mins decrease in battery life and higher temperatures because its constantly using CPU where as apps like browsers are optimized to do periods of no-op and thus letting cpu to cool.
  9. jblock macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2006
    I've been testing an i5 and i7 11.6 side by side for a few days now. This is completely unscientific but I have noticed some differences. In my day to day usage there is little difference in speed between the two. The only way I tax the system is to duplicate large folders or convert music files or export from Logic Express and it takes around 20% less time on the i7, but that only translates to 5-10 seconds based on the files I've been doing. Applications definitely open a split second quicker on the i7.

    I've been running the same apps and number of windows on both and the i7 definitely runs 5-10 degrees C hotter although the fans don't come on any more than the i5. The SSD are Samsungs on both but the i5 is a Samsung screen and LG on the i7. The Samsung is definitely slightly brighter while the LG is a little washed out even after trying out some of the profiles.

    At this point I'll probably stick with the i5 as the speed difference is not noticeable to me on a subjective level and I really have no issue with waiting up to a half a minute to convert files as has been the average based on what I'm using the Air for. In the end I prefer the Samsung screen and the slightly cooler laptop over the speed gains.
  10. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    You are too kind. Try, OCD. :D
  11. adnoh macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
    My work uses dell.

    I wana work where you work.

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