Lots of questions for rev B owners

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Prenvo, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. Prenvo macrumors regular

    Prenvo

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    Warning: 'tis long

    Hi all,

    I had wanted a Mac for a few years - specifically an iMac thanks to its huge screen (I'm a web - and now iPhone - developer so love screen space) - but couldn't afford an iMac: I bought a Mac mini with an Apple wireless keyboard and mouse last October and then bought a third-party 20" screen; it worked out a lot cheaper.

    Although I love my Mac (yada yada), I really miss the portability of my old Windows notebook I'd used for years and so I've been looking into getting a MacBook: I actually like having no optical drive and generally no ports but the really-needed ones (call me crazy...) - plus I launched a reasonably successful iPhone app - so neither the relative price nor "lack" of features affect me :)

    Long-winded intro over; I have a load of questions which I can't seem to answer myself and it'd be great if some rev B Air owners (either 1.6GHz or 1.86GHz+SSD - let me know which you're caring for) could help me out: (rev A seems incomparable from what others have said in this forum)

    1. I play "high-action" 1080 HD movie trailers from the Apple website on the MacBooks when I'm at my local Apple Store (Regent Street, London in case you'd like to know) and, although the MacBook Air plays them fine (as far as I could tell: dropped frames anyone?), I couldn't help noticing that the top left of the bottom panel got burning hot while playing the videos: does your MBA get "burning" hot when playing 1080 videos in QuickTime (fullscreen: maybe that affects CPU use when scaling video?) or do you think it was already super hot thanks to being on all day for Facebook and YouTube users?
    2. The bottom of the MBAs in the Apple Store had pretty huge gaps between the bottom aluminium "slice" and the edges of the keyboard top "slice" along the left and right edges: is the aluminium plating on your MBA flush or not? (even my friend agreed that it looked pretty unacceptable for the cost)
    3. Random question: do you find that the area around your MagSafe port gets scratched when plugging-in the power cable (just thinking because it's hard to see where you're putting it) or do you really take care when plugging it in... or am I just over-thinking something which poses no issue?
    4. If you've used the glass trackpads: do you a) use the physical button and don't mind pressing ctrl for secondary click or b) tap the trackpad and don't mind the lack of tactile feedback/find it frustrating?
    5. Do you find dragging and dropping perfectly fine or awkward using the double-tap gestures? (if you don't use the physical button)
    6. iPhone developers: do you find simulator-based development awkward on the "low" resolution?
    7. 24" ACD owners: I do plan on using the MBA as my main machine (gasp! am I crazy?): I'm hoping to get a 24" ACD - my Mac mini doesn't have the mini DisplayPort (just DVI), so I can't use it anymore really - and use it for basic stuff around the house and then dock with the ACD for iPhone development, etc: can the MBA handle the secondary, high resolution video fine?
    8. I noticed the dreaded grey lines you all speak of on the display models I used (they're really, really thin? I expected huge blocks of grey): got lines?
    9. Wow, you're still reading: thanks :eek:

    Apologies for the crazy length: I'm pretty indecisive and I haven't been able to hog an MBA for much time (or an ACD at all) in the Apple Store for "proper" tests thanks to the hundreds of lovely internet-cafe users :D

    Michael

    P.S. I've been keeping tabs on the MBA forum here for a couple of weeks and so a lot of my questions have already been answered: thanks!
     
  2. Eyedn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    #2
    The MBA is a gorgeous machine and more than capable for what you will be using it for, Especially the Rev B. As summed up by scottsdale quite a lot in this forums there are many advantages to getting this machine now.
     
  3. Prenvo thread starter macrumors regular

    Prenvo

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #3
    Heh, I was starting to think the opposite when people described the MBA for "email, web-browsing and some occasional iPhoto work" (poorly quoted I know) - glad to hear I'm not expecting too much :D
     
  4. Airforcekid macrumors 65816

    Airforcekid

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    United States of America
    #4
    To some it up it's a great machine wouldn't worry about scratchs from normal use hd video is fine as long as you dont have many background processes open. I peter the old trackpad better than the new. Sounds like a good laptop to meet your needs!
     
  5. Airforcekid macrumors 65816

    Airforcekid

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    United States of America
    #5
    what's the name of the iPhone app you released if you don't mind telling.
     
  6. fridgeymonster3 macrumors 6502

    fridgeymonster3

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #6
    I have owned the MBA Rev. B 1.86 SSD for about 3 weeks+

    1. Yes, I've noticed the left side gets very hot. Only when I'm watching video or doing intensive Photoshop stuff. Under light use it just seems to get warm like any other notebook I've owned.
    2. My MBA is flush.
    3. I'm very careful charging mine, I hope it isn't scratched underneath.
    4. I've always tapped the trackpad, never liked the click. Glass trackpad was too noisy for me. Not sure what you mean by using ctrl for secondary click...do you mean "right click"? You can just tap with two fingers for "right click"....using ctrl is annoying.
    5. Not sure.
    6. Am not a developer.
    7. Have a MP and havent hooked my MBA to my 24" screen. Sorry.
    8. Mine has 0 lines that I can tell. And I've look. Hard.

    I love my MBA. My MP hates it cause I don't use her as much anymore
     
  7. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #7
    I have a rev B MBA with 1.86 GHz and SSD. I also own the 24" LED backlit Apple Cinema Display.

    The two work together amazingly. The 24" ACD is like a perfect docking station. I work at my desk in the mornings, and I have all of my peripherals hooked into the USB hub of the ACD. I leave those there permanently. I also leave my power charger in my laptop bag as I use the ACD's power. Also, the built in speakers are a nice feature that sound pretty good. The built in camera is nice too. With the 24" ACD, your MBA will feel like an instant desktop.

    I strongly advise the SSD, as it will make your MBA feel really fast for normal tasks. Startup is really fast, apps open instantly, and large files are no problem. Some have said the 1.86 helps with HD video, but I have no clue there. I do know that mine plays video really well.

    Couple of additional things...

    I bought another charger and left it at the couch. I actually ran the cable up through the bottom and leave it there. That allows me to leave my extra charger in my laptop tote which I never really ever use.

    I have an AirPort Extreme Wireless Base Station. I have a 4-port powered USB hub plugged into it. I also have a printer and an external hard drive plugged into it. Since the MBA has limited space, I use the remote hard drive as my entertainment storage place. The wireless setup works so nice with the MacBook Air.

    Also, I use a battery backup UPS and plug the cable modem, AirPort Base Station, powered USB hub, and 24" ACD to it.

    I use it at the desk four hours in the morning. I use it for maybe 90 minutes at client offices in the afternoon. Then, I use it at the couch in the evening when I get home. It is really with me all day for both business and personal use. I could not enjoy the rev B MBA more.

    Hope you enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine. The rev B MBA with SSD is really a great way to go if you want portability yet speed at the same time.
     
  8. Carl Abudephane, Apr 8, 2009
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  9. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #9
    I know of nine rev B MBAs in the wild without lines. I have seen the lines, so I know what to look for. Would say there are many MBAs without the infamous lines. Be positive when you buy, and you will be rewarded with a perfect Air.
     
  10. wetrix macrumors 6502

    wetrix

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #10
    I use a 1.86/SSD Rev B air with a 24" LED ACD as my main computer and have zero complaints.

    Go SSD no matter what you decide to do.
     
  11. drjsway macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #11
    1080 for movie trailers for fine as they are 24fps. With 1080/60fps, you will get a few dropped frames. On my 1.86ghz/SSD, I get 50-55fps.

    That's fine though since there is hardly any 1080p/60 content anyway.
     
  12. Prenvo thread starter macrumors regular

    Prenvo

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #12
    @Airforcekid: my Mac mini requires pretty much no other apps running for flawless 1080 video too, so that's not too bad. Mobile allowance is the app, but it's only available in the UK :)

    @fridgeymonster3: yeah I do mean right click - I thought Apple referred to it as "secondary click" so I wanted to use the right term :p Yay for no lines!

    @Scottsdale: I'm not even considering getting a HDD MBA after playing in the Apple Store with both HDD and SSD models and reading all the feedback everybody has here.

    I already have a Wi-Fi printer (with a scanner: I don't think AirPort Extreme can do multi-function), but really want to have a centralised media drive: I might get a Time Capsule - am I right in thinking that a Time Capsule is an AirPort Extreme with a hard drive? (same modem and Wi-Fi "hosting" features). I guess the only real advantage to a Time Capsule over just an AirPort Extreme would be the fact it's all-in-one?

    If you have an external SuperDrive: does it work via the ACD's hub? ("I have all of my peripherals hooked into the USB hub of the ACD") - after some research it seems it only works when connected directly to the one USB on the MBA.

    @Carl Abudephane: I'll definitely send my MBA back to Apple if it has the lines- good to know :) I wonder whether it's simply a case of one screen model having the issue and another not (with the production line having a mix of the two), or whether it's an issue Apple resolved in the later rev B builds..

    @drjsway: a maximum of ~10 frames dropped on a 60 fps video seems totally acceptable (did you notice the difference or did you have to look in a playback info panel somewhere?)

    Thanks again everyone: my mind is made up- definitely a rev B 1.86GHz SSD :D (with no lines :p)

    P.S. I'm a student and - for some strange reason - when I ordered my Mac mini over the phone (further education discount only available via phone :confused:) I was offered AppleCare for £30 (~$45), rather than the >£100 quoted on the higher-education Online Apple Store: obviously I grabbed it with the order. I'll certainly bundle it again if they offer the same massive discount for the MBA this time: any objections to MBA AppleCare? :p

    EDIT: does anybody know why a "1080p" trailer on Apple Trailers has a vertical height of 816px? (am I missing something?) - it looks like all the videos are scaled to 1920px horizontally...
     
  13. aleksandra. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Warsaw, Poland
    #13
    Mine is 1.86/SSD.

    1. It gets very hot playing some videos and not at all playing others. CPU temperatures for mine (everything Celsius): ~50 most of the time, ~60 when watching youtube (fan doesn't spin up at this point, so no additional noise), and 80+ (!) when using video in Skype... It must be software-related.
    What is really good about Air is that when it doesn't get burning hot (which is 99% of time for me), enclosure temperature is just around 30, so it feels barely warm on the lap. I've never used a laptop that didn't feel hot at all before, so I was really impressed by it.
    2. Define huge. Mine seems to fit snugly.
    3. No, but you really need to lift it slightly from the desk to plug it in.
    5. I use tap and double tap for clicks, but physical button for dragging. By the way MultiClutch is a great app ;).
    8. I do, although I had to look really hard to see them. I'd rather have a perfect screen, obviously, but they don't bother me. I can only see them on very light, plain surface - I can't see them on photos even when I try to. Mine is from week 6 of 2009, if that helps.
    10. Get SSD. Really.

    Edit: I didn't notice you've decided already when posting this :) I'm a student as well, I think Air is great for taking it to university. I didn't have a laptop before because I hate carrying a heavy bag all the time, and I don't even notice Air's weight.
     
  14. Airforcekid macrumors 65816

    Airforcekid

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    United States of America
    #14
    Good choice cant say lines are a choice though!:apple:
     
  15. Prenvo thread starter macrumors regular

    Prenvo

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #15
    I wanted to take photo but my iPhone had died and their docks seem to have almost no power (some had none).

    The gap was almost 2mm wide in places: it was only flush near the touch-pad end of the panel- the rest had huge gaps. I was kinda shocked as it looked like the sort of finishing quality I could "achieve" in a design class :p
     
  16. drjsway macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #16
    No, I opened "Show Movie Inspector" for the frame rate. Didn't notice it without.

    BTW, some movies are in a wider aspect ratio so that is why the vertical height varies.
     

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