Is the 11.6 MBA a good replacement for the 12"PB

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by teaneedz, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. teaneedz macrumors member

    teaneedz

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #1
    I'd love to hear from those fond of the 12" PB. If any have ordered the 11.6 MBA I'd appreciate your impressions.

    I'm thinking of the 11.6, 4GB RAM, 128GB. I know there is probably a bit more bang for the buck on the 13" but still, I'm loving the size of 11.6.

    I wish there was another solution other than C2D but I'm not so sure I want to keep waiting. I won't leave OS X. Although the terminal is more important to me, I still need some power for Photoshop and multiple running apps.

    So any thoughts from former 12" PB users would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. justin216 macrumors 6502

    justin216

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #2
    My 12" Powerbook has passed on at this point, but the 11.6" machine really does feel like it's spiritual successor. I do not think you would be let down by picking up the 11.6" machine.

    For Photoshop (and other heavy apps), I think your listed specs would be spot-on.
     
  3. tim916 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    #3
    I used to own the 12" PB and it is one of the best laptops ever made, IMO. However, I can't see how the new MBA would not be far better other than the lack of a FW port.
     
  4. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #4
    There are other reason why the new 11 inch MBA is significantly better than the old 12 inch Powerbook. Even the last generation of that computer with a G4 chip was discontinued well over 4 years ago. The mew MBA has a faster chip, more memory and a SSD, which make it significantly faster and more capable than the old 12 inch PB G4.
     
  5. bouncer1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    #5
    Well i 've been using it for these past four years with absolutely no problem.

    The issue here is not if the air has been updated with better specs, it's obvious it would have been updated, the issue is whether it is the spiritual successor of the G4 in that it has the immediacy, the ease of use, and the flair of the original.

    Because most of us here, and to that I am 100% sure, would rather have almost identical looking G4 (of course unibody and slimmer) with updated components, rather than pretty much anything else.

    That's why I am asking too, because the new air might or might not fill that role; it might be great overall but very dissimilar to the g4 12", in which case it will not be a good replacement for the original.

    That's my fear, that the g4 lies somewhere between the two airs and that ultimately while the small air might have the looks and size that fit the bill, the larger one would be more suited to be a successor to the g4, although of course none of them -if this is the case- do the job as they should have.

    For me a if apple had stuck a 13" on the small one, I would then consider it as a true successor to the original item.

    But I 've not used the new airs, that's why I want to know other people's impressions, obviously from people who 've spent a lot of time using the original pbook.
     
  6. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #6
    I have a 17 inch Powerbook G4 that is nearly 8 years old and is now in my kitchen. I have made side by side comparisons between it and a 3 year old 2.4 Ghz Santa Rosa MBP. The MBP is dramatically faster than the old PB G4, not just a little bit, a lot. And thats when I run programs from Office X, which are native to the G4 but have to be run under Rosetta emulation on the MBP. I, too, have fond memories of my old G4. In its day it was the state of the art but that day has long since passed. Like my 3 year old Santa Rosa MBP, the new MBAs will be dramatically better performers than the G4.
     
  7. teaneedz thread starter macrumors member

    teaneedz

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #7
    Thinking and Thanking

    I appreciate all of the input. The 12"PB was my sweet spot. When I think about the features that I do use, I'm now looking at the 11.6 as perhaps what I've been waiting for.

    I understand that any mac will run circles around the 12" PB now, but I do want something that will stand up to the test of time. If it wasn't for the C2D technology I would be hands down an advocate.

    Is anyone else concerned about where C2D will be down the road and whether a purchase now is at greater risk for obsolescence in the near future.
     
  8. powerbook911 macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #8
    I still have a 12-inch Powerbook. It runs fine, except the batteries they sell for them are awful. They don't last even one year.

    I don't use it much.


    Honestly, the new Airs will blow it away, I also agree it's a bit of the successor to it finally.

    However, if this was going to be my *only* Mac, I would *never* consider the Air. It's just not up to speed!

    A MacBook Pro is a fantastic machine.

    In conclusion, if you want an Air to complement a larger MacBook Pro or iMac, for when you travel, great option. However, in my strong opinion, an Air should not be a primary computer.
     
  9. Gonky macrumors regular

    Gonky

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    Oct 8, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    People keep saying this and I keep wondering why, I use my Rev C Air for work (6+ hours a day, 5 days a week) and as my only home computer and it's fine. No problems whatsoever.
     
  10. C64 macrumors 65816

    C64

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    #10
    Not at all. CPUs haven't been the bottleneck for the majority of computer users for many years. All the current C2D CPUs can handle most tasks perfectly fine, and will be able to for years to come. Sure, some applications depend on pure CPU power, but those are always the limitations of laptops. If you need more power you'll need a desktop or a MacBook Pro that's a lot bigger and heavier.

    The real bottlenecks are RAM and hard drive speed. Since the new Airs have flash storage which is way faster than traditional hard drives, you'll see a huge speed improvements. 2GB RAM is still enough for many people, although the 4GB option is a lot safer since applications in the future will always need/use more RAM, but not necessarily need a faster CPU.

    Bottom line, it's all about synergy: how well do each of the components work together. The CPU is just one part of the whole, and certainly not the most important one.
     
  11. C64 macrumors 65816

    C64

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    #11
    I agree. Of course it always comes down to how you're using your machine. But the "need" for a (more) powerful desktop machine is for many nothing more than something they're accustomed to. It's something they want, but don't necessarily need. It's very tempting to assume you need the latest and greatest. Now that quadcores are becoming more main stream everyone assumed they need it. In some cases they do, but the majority is browsing the web on their 27" i7 iMac, never using more than 5% of one of their CPUs' power. All these people can easily do with an Air and an external monitor.
     
  12. Techman224 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    #12
    The new 11.6" MBA would most definitely be faster than the Powerbook because of it's Intel Core 2 Processor compared to the much slower G4 processor. If you don't need the ports (since the MBA only has a few ports, including two USB and no ethernet), it would be a significant speed enhancement (plus it support new software, like Snow Leopard and the upcoming Lion).
     
  13. bouncer1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    #13
    Guys let me just say this:

    I think it will be more useful for users who 've owned both machines to chime instead of us hypothesizing on how it might be. We all know its a mean little machine they new area, we know it runs circles in terms of speed around the old pbooks but there might be a few elements in the mix that are amiss and would favour the 13" instead as a pbook replacement. So I would suggest that we let those with hands on experience speak instead.
     
  14. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #14
    I'll let you know next week when I get the 11"er. I used my 12" PB G4 as my primary computer for three years before upgrading to the first generation MacBook Pro. I then used the MBP as my primary computer up until about a year ago when I got a high-powered desktop; and have been using a Linux netbook as my travel machine since I got the high-powered desktop. (I gave my MBP to my wife, as her MacBook died at about the same time.)


    The latest model has two USB ports now.
     
  15. Techman224 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    #15
    I just saw that, thanks for noticing. :)
     
  16. ProstheticHead macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #16
    Take a look over here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1034925&page=2

    I posted comparison photos.

    I've owned the 12" PB (currently do) and spent the past few hours playing with the Air that just arrived in my work.

    I'll say that it is insanely faster than the PB.

    I loaded Starcraft II on it and it ran like a champ. All settings low (native resolution) it never dropped below 30fps even in a smallish onslaught (6 void rays demolishing a base). On Medium settings it worked around 30fps in my base, dropped to 10fps in the same fight.

    It navigates through the OS smoothly, scrolls smoothly, surfs the internet great.

    For the basic on-the-go computer, the entry level Air is perfect. I'm considering finally retiring my 12" PB.
     

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