Enjoying my 15" Macbook "Air", yet is a testament to awful PC industry

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mzjin, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. mzjin macrumors 6502

    mzjin

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    #1
    I needed a laptop and I need a 15" laptop as I've grown accustomed to how well it fits on my lap without the need to stick my face in close to see anything...

    That being said, I am enjoying my 15" rMBP but oh how 1st generation Macbook Air it feels, in fact, that I have basically resigned myself to the fact that it is a 15" Macbook Air.

    1) It lags even on the Apple website
    2) It's just powerful enough to do some serious stuff but not really powerful enough to take advantage of its gorgeous resolution.
    3) It's definitely a loss of some ports and optical drive, much like my first Air

    The bonuses however, are there. Some casual gaming is possible, by turning down your resolution to 1440x900. But... that's really about it. It doesn't have enough storage (even with a future 512 or 1TB upgrade) to feel like a primary system.

    It feels like a nice portable 15"er that will last me a few years (or more than likely, will be sold next year before the Haswell refresh), but could it a primary computer for me? Nope.

    All that said, the PC industry is in a sad place right now. The problem is that there is nothing better than the MacBooks. None of them. They all have horrible battery life, horrible displays, horrible keyboards and trackpads, lack of any graphic prowess and/or any combination thereof that makes them not even worth considering.

    So sadly, if any PC manufacturers even care, I wonder if any realize there are simply no competition to the Apple products at any level. In terms of raw graphics power, that could be the only exception, but then I question the point of 17" Alienwares that could be outperformed by a much more inexpensive and similarly sized desktop PC.
     
  2. philosopherdog macrumors 6502a

    philosopherdog

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    Dec 29, 2008
    #2
    Apple is pretty much the only one innovating, but I noticed that 5 years ago. If you're good with cheap then PC's are awesome.
     
  3. Fortimir macrumors 6502a

    Fortimir

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    Location:
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    #3
    1. Do you have the most recent updates? Don't forget that ML improves performance substantially in this department... but with that said, are we looking at the same Apple website? Either it's something on your end, or the Apple site lags on my 2011 iMac as well, and in both cases it doesn't appear to be lag to me. I'm using the latest Lion updates and the Google Chromium browser.

    2. It's super powerful. Almost 4,000 more Geekbench points than my 2011 iMac, and in practice my 36.3mp RAW image files move and edit easily 3x faster than that same iMac. It multitasks better. The works.

    3. That's less of a comparison to the Air than it is commentary on the nature of making an ultra-thin computer.

    Did you actually use or own a 1st gen Air? Are we talking about the same $3,000 joke of a paperweight? The 1st gen Air was an exercise in "can we do this?" It was merely to see if a fully-capable computer could be made to those physical specifications. It was gorgeous. It was cutting-edge. It was a $3,000 e-mail machine.

    USB 3, Thunderbolt, HDMI, single-pane Retina, quad-core 3.6GHz, dual graphics... Are you kidding me? This is a fully-featured ultra-mobile powerhouse, and in actually working with it... it shows.
     
  4. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    #4
    the lag problem aint hardware related, seriously if a website cant render smoothly on a IVB i7 quad... I cant imagine how people with dual cores can handle that. Its software related.

    Storage is something that people are pushing to the cloud or local networked storage. I only have a 120gb SSD, with win 2008 r2 + OSX + 2 linux VMs. How can I get things done? Im magic, that must be it

    Aside that the RMBP currently is unique, I dont doubt it will come a time that more OEMs join the fray, currently there is none.

    You dont know much about the workstation class of notebooks, nor enterprise class at all. Some gaming notebooks are forgotten to you as well. The 650m, though clocked at the 660m speeds is just a middle range gpu. When you compare it against the 7970m or the 680m you will notice how mid range that thing is. Its not even a fair fight, simple as that.
     
  5. Kekerot macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    #5
    There are a huge selection of laptops with more "graphics prowess" than an over-clocked 650M, but it comes at the cost of battery life and portability. There are also laptops with great screens and keyboards. I agree when it comes to trackpads however.
     
  6. psykick5 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    #6
    Casual gaming? Lulz.

    I'm running games at 1920x1200 at the highest settings with no slowdowns. Sure Starcraft 2 is no Crysis, but having it at extreme and constantly running at 60 fps even during big battles is really great. All in a laptop that is .7" thick? Yeah. It's great.
     
  7. PVisitors macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    #7
    It would be interesting to see if OP is actually using the MBPR's power (ie. the GPU/CPU). If you are doing editting you wouldn't be calling it a 15" MBA as you would be noticing a dramatic increase in performance. Equally if he is playing games like Skyrim/Diablo then he wouldn't be calling it this either.

    However if OP is only using the SSD then it isn't going to feel any faster than a MBA.
     
  8. riveting macrumors 6502

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    Mar 11, 2009
    #8
    I think this is way too generalized for PC laptops. There are lots of good PC laptops have good battery life, good display, good keyboard, good graphics power, probably not as good a trackpad as macbooks, they just are not running OSX.

     
  9. beamer8912 macrumors 65816

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    #9
    There is no 1TB option on the rMBP
     
  10. stevelam macrumors 65816

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    Nov 4, 2010
    #10
    not sure about that. similar arguments can be made about the RMBP as an exercise in "can we do this?". its also a 1st gen retina-capable laptop that clearly has hit certain limitations with current hardware/software. we're all hoping ML solves all issues with with it but if/until that actually happens, its quite clear the RMBP isn't ready for primetime.
     
  11. Fortimir macrumors 6502a

    Fortimir

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    Indianapolis, IN
    #11
    The original Air couldn't do anything I required of a working laptop at the time. Web browsing, e-mail, office suite apps, light work... all that stuff was fine. And yeah, that made it great for non-creative professionals who needed to travel light with a full computer.

    The lack of ports was astounding. I mean, a single USB and a Micro-DVI... nothing else. It also had a severely limited GPU, the HD/SSD options were poor, and the processor was akin to the typical 1.6GHz ones found in the netbooks of the day.

    It's no contest. The MBPr is a first gen product that excedes the rest of the field even remotely close to it. Everything I can possibly throw at it today is handled with flying colors... markedly better than my 1-year-old desktop even. The performance is something remarkable on its own and I'd say the "limitations" are blown massively out of proportion, but when you combine it with the packaging... it's something really special.
     
  12. Trey M macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #12
    The 1st gen air was seriously underpowered and had not so great battery life. I don't really see how you can compare the two...And if you say this machine isn't powerful that's just not true. I'd say it has to be at least in the top 10 most powerful laptops in its class and it is very capable of almost anything you can throw at it. And I've played several games on higher resolutions than what you've said and they've all played at worst decently, some even fantastically. I don't know what you're expecting it to do...it's not a desktop machine.

    And you say that the lack of ports is a bad thing....to me, and several others, the lack of ports available on the machine make it even better. I love not having a damn optical drive that I'll use twice a year yet weigh down and thicken-up my machine. Firewire is obsolete, if I absolutely require ethernet (which I currently don't) I can use the ethernet adapter.

    It sounds like you're nitpicking for problems that aren't really there. I am a very picky person myself, especially with electronics, yet I've seen the Retina MBP do everything I want and more. It's extremely capable for an ultraportable, and I don't understand what else you're expecting it to do....

    ----------

    Okay since you think the rMBP requires a "can we do this?" excercise, why don't you list something it can't do versus a Samsung Series 9 or even a classic MBP? Those are really two of the best competitors and 2 of the nicest 15'' laptops period, so what can the Retina not do that those machines can?

    Have you used a Retina? Even if ML never came I still see hardly any deficiencies with it. Some people are just refusing to admit that the rMBP is a capable, nice machine and people are nitpicking for such minor problems.
     
  13. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    Pennsylvania
    #13
    I think you should look into $2000 PC laptops, and then reconsider this statement.
     
  14. Trey M macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

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    USA
    #14
    I'm not a PC guy really but I'll even agree with you on this. There are so many good options. The Vaio Z and Series 9 both look fantastic, and have gotten very good reviews, so I don't see what the OP is seeing.
     
  15. elchorizo macrumors member

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    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    #15
    I enjoyed your post except this part. While I agree with you and others that Apple is doing all the innovating, there are PCs which are high quality, and comparable to the Macs. In particular, I have two Thinkpads, both of which are excellent. Both have better screens than my 11" Air (although probably not as good as the rMBP :p). Both have much longer battery life than my Air (in particular, my X220 has MUCH longer battery life), and both have better keyboards (although this is obviously subjective). The trackpads though, they do indeed suck! I think there are PC manufacturers who are making excellent machines, they're just not innovating like Apple is.

    All that being said, I applaud Apple for caring about User Experience and making the rMBP. I drool on it whenever I'm in the Apple store! I am a total resolution whore and the Retina concept (on the iPad) is what finally brought me into the Apple camp after all these years of being a Windows user. The awesomeness of these high res displays cannot be overstated IMO. I would have bought the rMBP but I just couldn't justify the price, so I settled on an AIR instead, which I love so far.
     
  16. entatlrg macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

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    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #16
    Really?

    Vaio Z - Horrible hazy screen, 1900x resolution in that 13.1 display not so good, loud and hot, detached graphics, soft, shallow keyboard, trackpad size of a matchbox, pathetic customer service ... owned many, never again.

    Samsung et al - hazy screen, loud fan, hot, poor battery life, poor trackpad, didn't like the keyboard.

    Lenovo - again, horrible hazy screen, poor viewing angles, poor contrast, loud fan, horrible trackpad.

    We buy a lot of computers and I agree, comparatively there are NO good $2000 options out there other than Apple, they have a knack for putting together the best all around package ... in my experience and opinion.
     
  17. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

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    Jul 7, 2007
    #17
    Not again.:(

    Of coarse it will have limitations. It is essentially a 'beta' model. It will get better as the Air got better. But for a early adopter, it's better than the original Air was at the same stage.

    I don't like the non-upgradeable HD, Ram, etc. But that is the price to pay for the design. Some like it some don't. If you don't the legacy MBP's are still very, very good.

    I bought one and took it back, I will be buying one again just because it is that good. Can't stay away. What turned me off, the Non-upgradable ram, HD, but they do give you ample space at a decent price point. 8GB is fine for 90 percent of users, and a 256 SSD that is fast and reliable.

    That screen is simply amazing, even though it is not ready for prime time on most third party apps. But that will be rectified in time.

    Buy what you need, or buy what you don't need and only get what you want. That is what people are doing with the RMBP, and there is a good reason why. It is that good. ;)
     
  18. Trey M macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

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    USA
    #18
    I'll agree that Apple's package is the most put together, but come on- I used a series 9 and it was pretty damn good. The screen was really good, not retina good, but still really good. It has one of the best keyboards/trackpad that any Windows laptop offers. You can't just say that every single Windows option sucks or you're being close minded.
     
  19. jcpb macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 5, 2012
    #19
    I'll need the PCI Express-enabled SATA revision before I'll need 1TB worth of SSD, because these things are already bandwidth-limited by SATA3. All 550MByte/s of it.
     
  20. entatlrg macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

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    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #20
    No no, not closed minded, quite the opposite, I actually try the machines I talk about hoping to proven wrong by a notebook running Windows.

    But for my tastes it's not happening, yet anyway. No, I don't like the Series 9's at all.

    The one laptop to watch for is the new X1 by Lenovo coming out in August. We have high hopes for that one, some of my staff work a lot in Windows because of the software they use.
     
  21. surjavarman macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 24, 2007
    #21
    I had a thinkpad x200 before I switched to apple. The thinkpad lineup is actually what I would recommend most of my friends. Because of price, build quality and functionality. They are in my opinion up there with macbooks (except for the RMBP).

    A few years ago you could get a thinkpad x220 with IPS screen for like half the price of a similar MBA13. And even though the build quality is great, you can not drop the thing on the floor or you will get a dent. You can not throw it in front of a car, you can not spill fluids on your keyboard, you can not leave it in a burning house. And the MBA doesn't run as cool and quiet as the thinkpad. The keyboard is also not as functional and as satisfying as that from the thinkpad. From an engineering standpoint the thinkpad is the better build machine. It is indestructable, runs quiet and cool, has a great keyboard, great battery life, a great selection of ports and an ips screen. It is functional and you can get usually get it at a greater price than Macbooks.

    Personally I would still chose a Macbook over the thinkpad because I am consumer and I am pretentious. So I like the unibody. But also because the magsafe just gives me a lot of freedom when using the macbook. Something PC laptops don't have.
     
  22. LachlanH macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    #22
    To those suggesting the Lenovo X series laptops, can you tell me if the trackpads on those are as HORRIBLE as the trackpads on the L series? Because my god, they are some nasty ass trackpads. They are tiny and feel like sandpaper.

    Honestly the trackpad thing isn't mentioned enough. Apple does the best trackpads period. And given that a trackpad is the main source of input for laptops, I consider it to be a major selling point. For me a crap trackpad is a deal breaker, and sadly I have found that after using Apple laptops, I find every other laptop to have crap trackpads.



    Having said all that, OP I am curious to know why you chose a rMPB over a 15" classic Macbook Pro? If you miss the optical drive, seems like the classic would have been a better option. As to missing ports, the rMPB drops Ehternet but gains a second thunderbolt port. Are there any other ports it is missing that you feel it needs? No firewire sure but you do gain HDMI out.
     
  23. FastEddiebags macrumors 6502

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    NJ
    #23
    I'd have to agree that the trackpad on the MacBooks are the gold standard and no other trackpad is as smooth and accurate. Personal opinion of course.
     
  24. elchorizo macrumors member

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    Beaverton, OR
    #24

    In my post above I mentioned this. While the Thinkpads (at least the ones I have) are very nice in every other area, the trackpads suck. If that is a dealbreaker for you, you'll definitely be unsatisfied. The thing is, for Windows users, who aren't used to all the gestures and whatnot anyway, its worth saving a few bucks and getting a laptop that is still very high quality but with a substandard Trackpad (which they probably don't even realize is substandard). As an computer enthusiast, I dig both, but I do get annoyed with my x220's trackpad!
     
  25. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    #25
    Its got one of the best screens out there, its the best in a 13'' format. Got the Z2 model for awhile and returned it because the build quality wasnt that inspiring. The dock was one of the main things that attracted me. Still poor implementation.

    You havent used the x220/x230 and the T520/T530 or the W520/W530, Those have excellent screens. And given that you are comparing with the price the W series is the one you are aiming at.

    You also have forgot the elitebooks W and the precisions. Those have a much better screen, comparing it to the RMBP.

    Basically your post means that you aint that aware of whats happening outside apple.

    If you were to say that given the form factor and features there is no RMBP competitor, I would wholeheartedly agree with you. There simply isnt, the xps 15 and the envy 15 are competing against the MBP, not the RMBP.
     

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