Macbook Air or Netbook

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by msregister, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. msregister macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2008
    i work at the office on an new imac 24' and manage to travel with my iphone as long as it is a short trip of 1-2 days, however when i travel for more time then i miss having a laptop, as i need to start answering longer emails, browse for longer time on the web, occasionally write letters etc. which is not always practical with the iphone.

    i was thinking of getting the new macbook air as a second computer to travel with. however the emergence of the netbooks at a price of 500 usd vs a macbook air at 2000 usd makes me wonder what the more sensible choice would be.

    what do you recommend? thanks. ms.
  2. Y2JDMBFAN macrumors regular

    Sep 18, 2007
    I was facing this same dilemma after I sold my first gen Air. I tried to get by with a work provided (free) EeePC I've had since last November, but it is too tiny IMO. Take a look at the MSI Wind if you're not prepared to spend the $2600 with tax for the second gen 1.86/128SSD Air. You can actually get OS X running on it pretty easily at this point and Best Buy has them for $350 right now. Tough choice, but I ended up opening up the new Air I got to replace my 1st gen.

  3. teknikal90 macrumors 68030


    Jan 28, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    is the second gen a signif. improvement over the first?
    do you notice anything different?
    urely you still cant play games on it right?..
  4. munckee macrumors 65816

    Oct 27, 2005
    A used or refurb Air might make the decision a little easier at $1000-1500 vs. the $1800 or so for the new one (though the new gen is supposed to be significantly faster, so for $1500 I might just bite the bullet and step up...).
  5. Ironic macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2008
    In my MBA!
    Netbook all the way! Ofice depot has a a great netbook for 299.00 Acer one
  6. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Feb 28, 2008
    HP Mini 1000 + OS X + holiday gifts for the family
  7. mdgolom macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2006
    I ended up going the MSI Wind option for $350 from BB and love it. It takes some getting used to the keyboard. Now, one thing to point out. If you want to install OS/X and get Wifi to work, you'll need to swap out the Wifi card ($30.00 no eBay) since the Realtek card isn't supported. From what I've read, it's easily done. I figured if it didn't work, I'll go back and look at the Air.
  8. rittchard macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2007
    You haven't been keeping up with the forums, have you? ;) While I could play plenty of games on the first gen, second gen has taken it to the next level. I've installed and ran the latest releases like Warhammer Online without issue on the new Air.

    - - -

    Back to the OP, I also commented a bit on that in my impressions/blog post above, but I would say it all really depends on your actual usage desires. The price differential is staggering, even if you consider a new first gen MBA for $1300 vs. a more expensive netbook at $500. More realistically you are comparing a new gen MBA at $1800 vs. a netbook at $400, 4.5 times the price!!!

    So if you are ONLY looking for a lightweight unit to travel with and check email or browse the web, I'd probably recommend the Acer Aspire One or some other netbook equivalent ($400 at Amazon). The Air only makes more sense if you absolutely want/need the definitive portable (thinnest and most lightweight) Mac to travel with, and/or if you want to enhance your gaming and graphics/video capabilities (particularly with the new MBA), as noted above.
  9. buccsmf1 macrumors 6502

    Mar 18, 2008
    i was under the same dilemma when i got my air about 6 months ago. The reason i went with the air had a lot to do with the keyboard. I type a ton, mostly taking notes in my classes, and when my teacher is speaking 100 words a second i need to be able to type fast, i simply wouldnt be able to keep up on a cramped keyboard.

    The air also has enough power for most tasks. i use it for iphoto, watching movies (off itunes, not using a browser). i love mine do death and im really glad i didnt go cheap and get an eee pc
  10. O. Frabjous-Dey macrumors regular

    Dec 6, 2006
    Have you ever used a netbook? You need to try one out before you spring for it. Personally, I found the keyboard to be incredibly annoying to use, as a touch typist with large hands. I also missed having access to the full power of OS X and its applications.
  11. Scottological macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2008
    Denver, CO
    Have they made a Hackintosh out of the Mini 1000? I think that's an excellent machine and I'd love to see the deets on any successful OSX install.

    To the OP: there's a lot to be said for the idea that netbooks shrink all the wrong dimensions. Typing on a tiny keyboard and viewing it on a tiny screen is no fun - especially if the form factor is dumpy and cheap. The Air, esp. rev b, is by all accounts a solid performer. It's slimness and light weight make it eminently portable. For me, at least, it's a cost issue.
  12. Cynicalone macrumors 68040


    Jul 9, 2008
    Okie land
    I just bought my second Air, so of I course vote for the Macbook Air. If you can afford it is worth it. If you want an Apple laptop without the near three grand price tag you could look at the Macbook. It would do most of what you want to do, email, surfing, iWork/Office. It would be more expensive than a true Netbook but would be a better all around buy.
  13. Hawkeye411 macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2007
    Canada EH!!!
    Geez .. that's a tough comparison. It's like comparing a $40,000 BMW to a $2500 Tata Nano!!
  14. shokunin macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2005
    It's not an easy comparison, netbooks vs. air. As used 1.6/80 rev A airs fall to under $1K the price differential makes it almost 2.5x or possibly 2x once you start upgrading ram, wifi, hard drives, etc.

    Form factor wise netbooks are smaller a little lighter, but they have cramped keyboards, and for me, crappy trackpads. Multitouch gestures makes surfing so much nicer than using the small trackpads on the netbooks. Especially since a lot of scrolling (left, right, up and down) is needed with the smaller display and limited 600 pixel vertical resolution. Two finger horizontal and vertical scrolling on large spreadsheets is so darn nice on the air.

    The LCD on the Air is tough to beat and not likely to be matched on a $400 netbook.

    I'm hoping to get a Rev B air, but have been tempted b the HP Mini 1000 and the lenovo ideapad S10, which has an expresscard slot. For now, I'll just admire my wife's 1.8/64gb SSD Air, while I wait for a deal to come by...
  15. rittchard macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2007
    As I mentioned above, I still believe it comes down to ultimate/true usage.

    If, as the OP mentioned, it's only for email, browsing and an occasional letter (basically enhanced iPhone use), a solid netbook at $400 or less is a much more "sensible" answer. People swear by these things, you can take a look at reviews or on; they should be optimized to handle those most generic tasks.

    Coming to the Macbook Air forum, of course the majority of us who bought the Air are going to tell you the Air is the way to go. While I do love my MBA, I still need to be fair and say if it were only for the baseline usage stated above, I could not justify recommending it even at a used/refurb price over $1000. The MBA is an absolutely awesome machine, in a category all its own, but you are paying a huge premium for its (extended) capabilities.
  16. MacRoberto macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2009
    the point is the Cloud

    The point of having a NoteBook is Cloud computing as there is little storage - room for files or apps. Therefore net security is of the utmost importance. Why would you trust your files to the Net via any version Windows? :confused:
  17. GeekGirl* macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    I love the air but only you know which is for you.
  18. waywardsage macrumors 6502


    Dec 22, 2006
    You might want to look into the Dell Mini 9 as a possible hackintoche netbook. Theres a huge community of moders out there that have upgraded RAM, SSD hard drive, Network Cards..heck even the built in webcam!

    From all accounts, the Mini 9 is the easiest to convert into a mac because after OS X is installed, it behaves like a normal mac. It can be updated and everything! My understanding is that the MSI Wind and Lenovo are unable to be upgraded with software updates.

    I'm considering a Mini 9 for myself. They also have the Dell Vostro A90 which is the exact same computer just black. And it's now $250ish dollars!! is an excellent resource.

    And, not to bag on the air, but have you seen the video that compares startup times of an Air vs. a Dell mini 9 with a runcore SSD? The Mini 9 blows the Air away!!
  19. aaquib macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    Go with the 1.6 refurb MBA for $999. It'll still be much, much faster than any netbook you're looking at, plus have a full sized (backlit) keyboard, full sized display, iSight, multitouch trackpad(with a useable amount of space) and Mac OS X. T
  20. mac&cheesey macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2008
    my 2 cents

    I'm writing this post from a hackintoshed Dell Mini 9. It works great! Everything is functional (except 2 finger scroll on mine, although I believe that the community at has got that working now too) including Software Update.

    Admittedly, this thing is not like an Air. I have a unibody MB and my wife has a MBP and it's not like those either. But what it is, is great. This is a great little machine to bring with you wherever you need to take it. I take it with me far more places than my MB and the biggest reason is the value of it. If something happens to my Mini 9 I'll be a lot less upset than if something happened to my MB or the MBP.

    Having said all of that I must add that it depends upon your planned usage of the computer. For me... web browsing, email, light work reports, this thing is the cat's pajamas!

    The install of OSX is easy and fast. Updates work. I have upgraded the RAM to 2GB ($20 Canadian) and have ordered a 64GB RunCore SSD ($284 Canadian) which should be here in 2-3 weeks.

    Light, small and cheap. What is there to complain about (given the price)?

    Good luck with your decision.
  21. Balthezor macrumors member


    Sep 11, 2008
    I am planning on getting a Macbook Air when the new updates come out for med school. I didn't even think about the netbooks as a possible alternative. People are going crazy over it for its relatively low price. But what you pay for is what you get, a piece of crap computer.

    My one computer science friend was all over the netbooks before they were released. He got an Asus eepc as soon as they were released. He eventually sold that thing after 1 month and bought a Thinkpad.

    Like the one poster said above, go play with one before you buy one, especially with these netbooks. You might be surprised that you hate them. Don't let the low price trick you.
  22. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    I recently bought a samsung nc10 netbook for $425 (plus an additional $120 on 2gb of RAM + a new 320gb hdd+ a wireless N wifi card) for a total of $545 and it is awesome!

    I can play 720p and even 1080p content on this netbook with some tweaks with the windows media classic player.

    I originally bought the samsung nc10 to run hackint0sh but it didnt seem to go well since the backlighting couldnt be changed with other annoying minor issues. I tried out windows xp and it works like a charm. Of course I still prefer OSX but I just want something to carry around to webbrowse and occasionally watch a video or two with excellent battery life.

    With 1-2 notches from the led backlighting the samsung nc10 gives me around 6:30-7:00 hour battery life and it is an awesome little netbook.

    Dont worry guys I still love osx and my mac mini but netbooks have changed my life!

    One thing to note is that the display and viewing angles are excellent for a cheap netbook! Its even better than a macbook's screen quality, far better. :D

    As for the keyboard on this samsung nc10 it feels like a full sized keyboard. I believe its said to be 93% of an actual size keyboard. I'm very impressed and it reminds me of a thinkpad's keyboard.

    Also the samsung nc10's keyboard has a nano silver technology where it kills 99.99% bacteria.
  23. iann1982 macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2008
    Leicester, UK
    Having had a Dell Mini 9 and both Airs, I'd strongly recommend the air based on my experience.

    The problem with the mini 9 is that it's too small, I couldn't type easily on it and the battery life was awful when the machine was sleeping (running ubuntu) it'd drain a full battery whilst sleeping in under 18 hours.

    I had a Rev A air refurb, nice machine, kept hitting problems but I think it was just rough luck, I got a new rev B and also had issues, a case of third time lucky I think!

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