Have a PC and want a MacBook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by erialvzz805, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. erialvzz805 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #1
    I have an HP laptop and I'm debating on selling it and getting a MacBook. Still not sure about doing it, and even less sure about buying the MBA or MBP. The money is not an issue, it is more about getting around the fact that I will be spending 3 times as much money for a computer with less everything, considering my laptop only cost $500.

    Any help in deciding?
     
  2. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

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    Jun 2, 2011
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    Salt Lake City, UT
    #2
    You want more mobility or more power? Thats what it comes down to. Also the MBA are due for a refresh soon, so if you decide on that then I would wait for the new model.
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #3
    MBA is an ultraportable and such laptops can be considered as a bit luxury. If you look at equivalent PCs, you will be paying the same, or even more. Your $500 PC is probably one of those cheap Walmart ones so comparing it to MBA isn't exactly fair. You don't get stuff like SSD or hi-res screen.

    It all boils down to what you need and what you are ready to spend. If you think $1500 for MBA is ridiculous, then you are probably better off with another $500 PC.
     
  4. erialvzz805 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 15, 2011
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    #4
    I'm aware of the refresh, and I like the mobility of the MBA its just that I'm kind of old school and worry that i will miss not having the CD drive all the time or if I need it a certain time and don't have it that it will bite me in the butt
     
  5. Cicatrix macrumors 6502

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    Feb 9, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #5
    This is my experience. I used to be all PC. Never even gave Macs much attention. I'm not even sure how I came to be interested in Mac in the first place since I used to always put Macs so far out of my mind, but somewhere along the line I came to the desicion to purchase a Macbook Pro. I am sooooo glad I did. It really is an excellent computer. I absolutely love the OS to death compared to Windows. It took me a while before I really started to get the whole scope of OSX but I am glad I had patience. Keep in mind when you hear people saying OSX is easy as pie etc... It is very intuitive. Extremely more so than pc but you still have to learn it. I'm still finding things out every day and I have owned my first Mac since March of this year. There is still that muscle memory you gain only from using a device for an extended period. As for the hardware, it's top notch. No computer I have ever owned even comes close to the quality of these machines.
    My advice to you is that you test it out as much as you can before you buy, and if by then you think it will suit you, buy it!
     
  6. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

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    Jun 2, 2011
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    Salt Lake City, UT
    #6
    Buy an external optical/
     
  7. halledise macrumors 65816

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    May 7, 2009
    Location:
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    #7
    http://goo.gl/WTzB3

    (Lightscribe too)

    seriously, how often do you use the optical drive these days.
    you'll find it'll be even less with a Mac with iTunes Store and the App Store …
     
  8. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    #8
    If the optical drive is an issue, get the 13" MBP. It's still a fantastic machine. Even the 13" Pro is lighter and thinner than a lot of 13" PCs.

    As for why switch, well, it's really a personal decision. If think about it in it's most basic form, a computer, any computer, is just a tool. Both will let you surf, chat and write equally well.

    The benefits of both platforms are well known. With a PC, you get more spec for less money. The computing experience is passable for most, although there are some design flaws in both hardware and software. PC hardware is quite often made of plastic that feels cheaply constructed. It feels that way when you use it too. Various parts of the machine creak, squeak and flex during use. In all honesty, it feels cheap because it is cheap (both in quality and cost). This doesn't even count the aesthetics (which are definitely subjective) of the machine with vents, ports, lights and stickers all over the machine. On the software side, Microsoft writes Windows for the broadest common spec, leaving the OEM's (who are hardware people, not software people) to fill in some of the gaps with their own. However, with so many manufacturers, you are almost guaranteed to be able to configure your machine in any configuration if you don't care who the manufacturer is.

    With a Mac, you get a much more unified experience at the expense of options, technology and specifications. There are no Macs shipping with Blu-Ray drives or USB 3.0. If you want a 14 or 16" screen, you're out of luck. If you want a mid-size tower, you're out of luck, much to the chagrin of thousands of users. Apple provides you with their set of options and if you want something different, you'd better be willing to make some compromises or find a different vendor. Even the limited options come with a higher price tag than a similar upgrade would cost from a PC vendor. What you do get from Apple is a solidly built machine where the hardware and software truly are made for each other. None of the machines, including the polycarbonate MacBook or the MacBook Air feel cheap in the hands. Try applying a little pressure to the super thin screen of the Air and you'll see that there's actually very little flex. While Apple computers might not be as high spec, or be updated as regularly, they sweat the details (such as the depth of the thumb scoop on the portables). With Apple, you pay for the detail and the deep integration of hardware and software. For some, it's worth every penny; for others it's not.
     
  9. patashnik Guest

    #9
    I ended up buying a handful of USB drives (2-8GB) for those times when a CD/DVD-drive might come in handy. In two years I have used one.

    Also, with the speed of the internet connections I have at home/work, I'm fast approaching the time where it is faster for me to FTP the disc image than it is to burn one of those discs.
     
  10. Henry Spencer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    Montreal
    #10
    Don't forget the ability of the MBA to "borrow" a cd drive from another computer. I don't know the details (I have never used it and i'm not sure it can link up with PC drives) but for the few times you want to use CD you could juste ask a friend or use the cd driver from an old computer.
     
  11. trims macrumors regular

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    May 11, 2011
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #11
    I have gradually moved the family over to Macs as I was getting fed up of spending weekends as the family 'network manager', restoring their virus / malware infested PCs. I was once wasting several hours a month on this activity, but have not had to deal with a single problem since I switched them to Macs.

    I've persevered with my Tecra, mainly for business integration issues, but after a couple of catastrophic infestations, I'm contemplating the MBA too. I use the family iMac and love the browsing / iPhoto experience, but I still struggle a bit with the MS Office apps, and the Mac filing system. The PC still feels more intuitive in this regard, but I guess I'm just used to it?

    Time to take the plunge . . . .
     
  12. erialvzz805 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #12
    Does anyone know how this works and if it works all the time?


    I've persevered with my Tecra, mainly for business integration issues, but after a couple of catastrophic infestations, I'm contemplating the MBA too. I use the family iMac and love the browsing / iPhoto experience, but I still struggle a bit with the MS Office apps, and the Mac filing system. The PC still feels more intuitive in this regard, but I guess I'm just used to it?

    Time to take the plunge . . . .[/QUOTE]

    Are there any programs that you know don't work with Macs and only work with PC's?
     
  13. erialvzz805 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 15, 2011
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #13
    Maybe an obvious question but how did having USB drives help when you needed a CD drive? I'm thinking more along the lines of installing a certain program or needing to insert a disk for any reason
     
  14. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    #14
    Quicken for Mac is pretty bad.

    I've never used CD sharing so I can't comment on how well it works. But there are limitations: like you can't rip a shared CD or watch a shared DVD.

    If you have software installs that you need to perform, you can either just download them or make an ISO from the image and store it on an external hard drive. I've done that with a lot of software and it's easier and faster to install than from the CD. Plus, the Mac App Store is going to make things a lot easier too.
     
  15. erialvzz805 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 15, 2011
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    #15
    Does anyone with a MBA wish they would have bought a MBP instead?
     
  16. Apple Expert macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    #16
    A buddy of mine did. He say my MBP and wish he bought that. He did like the SSD in the MBA and the light weight. But the backlight keyboard and faster processor and more memory he liked. To each is own. The price of a base MBP and aftermarket ssd will be nearly same price as ultimate MBA. Of course the MBP will be alot faster, but not thinner.
     
  17. erialvzz805 thread starter macrumors member

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    #17
    What about installing Windows on the MBA with only 4 gig of ram. Would that slow it down?
     
  18. Apple Expert macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    #18
    Possibly. I'm not 100% sure since I have a MBP with 8gb of ram. I know with 8gb I can dedicate more to the windows side via Parallels. If you plan on doing that, then might want to reconsider a MBA.
     
  19. kapolani macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #19
    Briefly... Until I sit on the couch, beer in hand, and start banging out code. I can barely tell this thing is on my lap.

    I must confess, however, that I haven't played with a lot of MBP's.

    What are you looking for the machine to do?

    You can run Parallel's if there is some piece of software that you really need windows to run. I run MS Visual Studio 2010 on a virtual Win 7 development environment. Does the job for me.

    I would advise that you wait for the MBA refresh if you are really serious about an MBA. I have 4GBs of ram, but if they up that to 8GBs I would definitely spring for that.

    This is my first Mac. I used to make fun of Mac users thinking that they all were granola eating, tree hugging, kumbay yah singing hippies. I've since then become enlightened.

    I develop in the UNIX/Linux/Windblows environment so the file system isn't a problem for me. It will take a person some ramp up time to get used to it, if they aren't familiar with Unix etc. but the experience is so much more pleasant than Win machines.

    Figure out what you need the machine to do then go from there.
     
  20. erialvzz805 thread starter macrumors member

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #20
    I mainly use my comp for schoolwork and web browsing, email, pictures etc. nothing hardcore on my end. I would however want to have enough ram to be able to install windows if i had to. Do you have an optical drive?
     
  21. kapolani macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #21
    Sorry. I meant to cover that in my post.

    I don't have an optical drive. I do, however, have a Windows machine that I used to use to game on plus develop. It has a drive.

    With things like dropbox, Google Docs, etc I rarely need to use CD's DVD's. On the rare occasion I do I create an image of the disc using [insert software of choice here] then transfer via shared folder/ftp/SD card etc.

    Never really miss not having one.

    Do you see yourself using a lot of discs?
     
  22. kapolani macrumors regular

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    Feb 24, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #22
    I always recommend more ram than faster CPU for most users. I have 4GB's MBA 13" 1.86 CPU. Didn't really need the faster CPU, plus I bought refurbished. This stage of my life with a family and mortgage I no longer need the latest and greatest.

    :)
     
  23. erialvzz805 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 15, 2011
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #23
    Not many discs but just in case you know... you insert the discs onto the Win machine then transfer over from there you mean? I was looking at the 11" mba. Mainly for portability(?)
     
  24. kapolani macrumors regular

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    Feb 24, 2011
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    USA
    #24
    Yes. Transfer. Do you know what an .iso file is and how to create one?

    I then ftp/shared folder/SD card the image over. I do believe there is some built in OS X mechanism to share an optical drive but haven't researched it. That may be an option as well.

    The MBA is the definition of portability...
     
  25. erialvzz805 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 15, 2011
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #25
    I just read about it. Didn't know that. By knowing that, I'm really leaning to the MBA now. I dont need all the power the MBP has
     

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