Go For A MacBook Air or a Black MacBook for $500?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by SkippyThorson, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. SkippyThorson, Nov 5, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2010

    SkippyThorson macrumors 65816


    Jul 22, 2007
    Utica, NY
    So for a while I've been weighing every single choice to getting a new laptop. My iBook has served me well, but with the PPC computers becoming less relevant, I find myself missing out on more and more things. My laptop is DEFINITELY my main computer. I'm rarely one to sit down in front of a desktop for long periods. My iBook gets about 80% of the use, compared to my iMac, so perhaps it's time to upgrade.

    As it stands, my laptop and desktop (both G4s in my signature) serve specific purposes. My iBook is my on-the-go simple and nothing special laptop, and my iMac is my iPhone's home buddy, photo center, guitar companion, and my hub for all my files I don't want to take on-the-go, or that I have no immediate need to have with me. Seeing as both Hard Drives are rather limited (40gb iBook / 80gb iMac) my entire main iTunes library is on yet another computer; a Windows desktop, that's basically the family computer. All that music is kept on my 30gb iPod.

    Well, if you've read all that, thanks for sticking with me, but here's where the debate comes in. I've complied a list of what I have versus what I'd like...

    My iBook works great for what I do.
    • Attending college. It's a great little portable college laptop, and every now and then, someone wants to chat about my little retro Mac. It's a great size.
    • Using Office. I've had Office '04, and recently got '08. I have to say, it's pretty great in that department. I haven't had any problems.
    • Address Book and iCal are 2 tools that let me organize my life. Every name, number, event, time, and birthday I know is there, and there's a lot.
    • iTunes is something I use a good bit, even considering my limited space to work with.
    • I use iChat daily, again, without issue.
    • Internet browsing, sometimes light, sometimes heavy, is ok... I use ClickToFlash though. The Web is really taxing on my little 1.33ghz iBook.
    • Widgets are fun little toys to have and play with, and I recently cut down my collection, again, due to space.

    What I would like in either the MacBook Air or Black MacBook.
    • I would gain a nicer screen with each, but the weight of the Air would be a huge plus.
    • Space. The BlackBook would have a much bigger hard drive, and I would love never having to worry about space again. Especially handy with music and movies.
    • I'd likely start syncing my iPhone to a newer laptop instead of the iMac. Now, I have my calendars pushed to my laptop, manually manage contacts, have no pictures, limited music, etc. I'd like to have everything just right there on my laptop. BlackBook wins there.
    • VIDEO!!! Holy crap, the only thing I don't like is how limited I am in video viewing. It works, but I have to work around it. Like YouTube has to load entirely before I play it, full screen Hulu stutters, etc. You know. Intel in either would be welcome.
    • A webcam in iChat would be nice, especially when someone wants to show me something, which happens fairly often. My iBook's mic recently went, so I can't talk anymore, and I miss the hands-free chatting. Again, either would work, but I've heard iChat on the Air is taxing. BlackBook wins again.
    • I would love a backlit keyboard. It would be a great little something to just have. When others want the lights off, or I'm up late working, it'd come in handy. I have still not mastered sightless typing.
    • Gaming. I don't game a lot at all, but every now and then I like having fun. Widget games, Enigmo, games on websites... Anything graphic intensive is starting to lag. Sometimes its flawless, but when it hangs, it's irritating.
    • Windows. I hate to say it, but there are select times that Windows would come in handy. The space on a BlackBook, again, would be very handy for that.

    From this list, it looks like I really shouldn't sacrifice for portability. For the area of $500, I'm looking at a 1.6ghz MacBook Air, the Rev. A, because I believe that's the only time that 1.6 was offered on the original version. OR... $500 could get me a Black MacBook. I'm just waiting for the right one to come along, without abuse, and especially, that cracking issue. It would irritate me to no end. The corners of my iBook's screen bezel have cracks, but that's because it's 5 years old. A 2008 MacBook should be better than that.

    Additionally, the best of both worlds seems to be the unibody MacBook, and if any of those come along around that price, I'll snag it up in a heartbeat. For a little bit more $$, I think the one upgrade I've done since I got my G4s should be done well, so I could justify it I suppose.

    I'm both grateful and sorry for all of those who stuck it out to read so much, but this is an important decision for me, and I want to do the right thing. My gut says to go with the BlackBook, but what are your thoughts? Should I get a cheap Air? Go for the standard BlackBook? Suck it up and go Aluminum?
  2. brucem91 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2009
    i've heard nothing but bad things about the revision A MBA's, and I imagine it would also be out of warranty, meaning quite expensive to repair.

    Between a Rev A MBA and a Blackbook, I would get a blackbook

    on the other-hand, if you can, try and get a unibody(either white or aluminum, doesn't matter), as it will not disappoint.
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    Between the two, Blackbook all the way. Far better computer in every way, not to mention more reliable.
  4. LouieSamman macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2008
    Orlando, Florida
    Get the MacBook Air. it has so many good qualities that overpast the Black MacBook

    Such as Flash Solid State Drive.
    HIGH resolution.
    Thing form factor.
    Much easier to carry

    Basically. If you have the money to spend on the MacBook Air then just go for it.
  5. SkippyThorson, Nov 5, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010

    SkippyThorson thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 22, 2007
    Utica, NY
    BlackBook 2 / Air 1

    Exactly what I've herd about the Rev A's. There is one I'm watching now that has a warranty that goes until this February, and there are some that would still be covered, but I don't want to deal with repairs and fixes.

    I want a dependable Mac, and the first Air doesn't perfectly fit that bill. Sure, portability, size, and features are all great, but the fact of the matter is, they need to be dependable to be useful to me.

    The regular MacBooks, though, are dependable little machines, that do more than what I would need them to. The aluminum unibody's bells and whistles are just the icing on the cake, too.

    I think you just read the choices and overlooked my explanation - for $500, I'd only be looking at a 1.6ghz rev A, and more than likely, with the 80gb hard drive. Coupled with your signature, I can only assume you're basing your post off of your current brand new Air. I'd love it, but key features I'd like are stripped out. Backlit keyboard / infrared remote for instance.

    An SSD would blow the money-saving budget I'm looking at. I'm not well off by any means, but I am comfortably settled. I'm just cheap. :) The SSD's benefits versus the price blow apart my spending logic. I would just never do it. Additionally, isn't the first Air's screen resolution in 2008 the same as the BlackBooks of that year?
  6. SidBala macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2010
    HIGH resolution? Where did you get that from? The Blackbook and the MBA A have the same resolution.
  7. SidBala macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2010
    OP, I would strongly recommend that you get an UB AL MB or UB MBP even.

    The UB is just a lot tougher in construction and will last much longer than the Blackbook.

    I used to have a Blackbook before. It wasn't too great. And it weighs a lot too. And the plastic chips and cracks very easily - I had to replace the case on mine twice over 4 years, even though I was very gentle with it.
  8. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    Out of the two options I would definatly go for the blackbook. However I would advise you to save a little more and go for an unibody MacBook whether plastic or aluminium.
  9. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...neither, save up more to get a more modern laptop...
  10. SkippyThorson thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 22, 2007
    Utica, NY
    BlackBook 4 Air 1

    Really appreciate the input so far. Sort of weirdly happy that people are backing up my gut feeling. Sure, I lust the Air, but I don't think it'd be a smart choice considering my other options. A BlackBook would be a much better alternative, and as said a few times, unibody would best bet, and seems to be the only machine that fills everything I'm looking for.

    I figured as such. Both machines I'm looking at would be at the 2008 target.

Share This Page