Macbook Air ?'s - First Time Buyer

fivepoint

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Original poster
Sep 28, 2007
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Ok, I'm in the market for a Macbook Air, but have a few questions I was hoping you'd be able to help me with... any assistance would be most appreciated!

1. The two models I've been looking at are: 1.86 GHz MB940LL/A ($1349) vs. 2.13 Ghz MC234LL/A ($1699). Both come with a flash style storage. I know the 1.86 one is an earlier model... so my main concern with that one is that it doesn't include some of the same technologies as the 2.13 model. Can anyone shed some light on the differences between the two (other than the processor speed, which I don't think matters to me) Is the video output connector the same? Is the screen the same? Is the body the same, etc. Do they have the same video card?

2. This Macbook Air will be used almost 90% for internet access, iWork tasks, Microsoft Office tasks, watching movies on the road, and possibly some occasional HD video editing. I won't do this often, but was hoping to find out if the machine had what it takes to get the job done in iMovie. Are there any differences between these two models that would affect my usage of any of these tasks?

3. How does the Macbook Air compare to the 13" Macbook Pro as far as strict performance goes? If I'm only doing the tasks listed above, will I notice a difference in speed between the Air and the Pro?

4. When do people generally think the next Macbook Air will be announced? Just wanted to make sure it isn't in December or January! :)



Thanks so much for your help! Any insight you can provide would be great!!!!
 

MrCheeto

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Nov 2, 2008
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The only difference between the models is speed (as you said) and battery life, adding 30 minutes -.-'

At any rate, when using iMovie on my 2.56ghz 13" MacBook Pro it usually tops out at about 20% CPU when editing but can go to about 70+% when importing and exporting HD and use up over 800mb of my memory, which wouldn't leave a lot of room on a MacBook Air with only 2gb of total memory.

I wouldn't be surprised if it performed almost as well as my MacBook Pro when editing iMovie and iWork or using the internet, but doing it all at the same time? There's where you'll likely meet your limit. The MacBook Air has had some heat concerns, sometimes over heating and forcing a shutdown so you'll have to speak with somebody who has actually exported an HD movie on one of these to know how well it does.

Other than that your only concern really would be the durability and ports. The hinge has had issue and it only has an audio jack, a mini display out and 1 usb port =\

Oh, and both models have the same display out ;)
 

fivepoint

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Sep 28, 2007
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Thank you for your quick response!

The only difference between the models is speed (as you said) and battery life, adding 30 minutes -.-'
So, the only difference between the two would be a small boost in processor speed, and a small boost in battery life? That's good. I was most concerned with the video out, screen, and video card being different. Sounds like all of that stayed the same.



At any rate, when using iMovie on my 2.56ghz 13" MacBook Pro it usually tops out at about 20% CPU when editing but can go to about 70+% when importing and exporting HD and use up over 800mb of my memory, which wouldn't leave a lot of room on a MacBook Air with only 2gb of total memory.

I wouldn't be surprised if it performed almost as well as my MacBook Pro when editing iMovie and iWork or using the internet, but doing it all at the same time? There's where you'll likely meet your limit. The MacBook Air has had some heat concerns, sometimes over heating and forcing a shutdown so you'll have to speak with somebody who has actually exported an HD movie on one of these to know how well it does.
I see. It seems like the memory would be the biggest potential concern here, and not the processor. Agreed? It all depends how much memory is being used with normal computer tasks at the same time... Hmmm... if anybody has edited any HD videon on a Macbook Air, I'd love to hear from you.



Other than that your only concern really would be the durability and ports. The hinge has had issue and it only has an audio jack, a mini display out and 1 usb port =\

Oh, and both models have the same display out ;)
I'm planning on having a USB splitter in my bag for any situations where I'll need more. As for the durability... I guess I'll just have to be careful! Thank you very much for the advice.

ALSO... a big question.... How high res of a screen can this laptop video-out to? Will high-res projectors be a problem? HDTV's?
 

MrCheeto

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Nov 2, 2008
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It can support an external resolution of maximum 2560x1600.

For some reason I believe I heard an issue with using MiniDisplay and a projector, I can't quite remember but it's worth looking into.

Yes, the rest stayed the same.

Now that I think about it, my original MacBook had 2gb of memory and it exported HD video just FINE! However when it was exporting I'd usually have to quit Safari and any other apps besides iChat and Mail. So RAM is only an issue when it comes to multi-tasking, but that only occurred during in/exporting :p

The processor on my old MacBook never really topped out while in/exporting, but enough so that the fans would kick up so again that could cause heat issues, like you said, someone who's done it fill us in.
 

fivepoint

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 28, 2007
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Thanks for all of the info!
BTW, does everyone think the $1349 is a good price for the 1.86Ghz solid state model? THANKS!
 

macboy4

macrumors regular
Feb 17, 2009
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Thanks for all of the info!
BTW, does everyone think the $1349 is a good price for the 1.86Ghz solid state model? THANKS!
Yes, $1349 is a good price. If you're looking at the refurb on apple.com keep in mind that you can get a brand new one at macmall.com for the same price (after mail-in-rebate, but there's no tax). I've bought several things from macmall and I've never had any problems with rebates.
 

Thunder82

macrumors 6502
Jul 16, 2008
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Chicago, IL
Sounds like a good price to me. if it included Applecare, I'd jump all over it :)

Personally, I'm holding off for the next refresh in hopes of 4GB of memory.
 

coast1ja

macrumors 6502
Jul 13, 2009
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yep, as others have said, not much real-world difference between rev. B and C. Don't worry about external monitors... I use my Rev. A to show presentations and do Skype conferences on a 100" HD Interactive screen in a board room at work. I just use a DVI adapter and it works great! You will love the MBA!
 

fivepoint

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Sep 28, 2007
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I think I'm going to go ahead and pull the trigger in a few minutes! Your advice has been incredibly helpful, everyone... Excited to be part of the Macbook Air family! :)
 

MrCheeto

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Nov 2, 2008
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Wow, welcome! They sure are intriguing things and if I didn't need the great power of my MacBook Pro I'd buy a MacBook Air if the price was right :D Lucky. I wish I wasn't so addicted to pro apps and projects =\
 

GeekGirl*

macrumors 65816
Feb 26, 2009
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Buffalo, NY
Yes, $1349 is a good price. If you're looking at the refurb on apple.com keep in mind that you can get a brand new one at macmall.com for the same price (after mail-in-rebate, but there's no tax). I've bought several things from macmall and I've never had any problems with rebates.
Yes macmall is great however if you buy from Apple if something is wrong they will send you a replacment before sending yours back.

I think I'm going to go ahead and pull the trigger in a few minutes! Your advice has been incredibly helpful, everyone... Excited to be part of the Macbook Air family! :)
Good luck :)
 

fivepoint

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 28, 2007
1,175
4
IOWA
Yes, $1349 is a good price. If you're looking at the refurb on apple.com keep in mind that you can get a brand new one at macmall.com for the same price (after mail-in-rebate, but there's no tax). I've bought several things from macmall and I've never had any problems with rebates.
I got it from MacMall! For $1349, I got a 128GB Solid State and a free HP printer/scanner/copier. Very happy with the final price, and it should be here by the end of the week... or so they tell me!



Sounds like a good price to me. if it included Applecare, I'd jump all over it :)
I wish! I can't believe Applecare cost $245 for this machine! That's a lot of dough!



yep, as others have said, not much real-world difference between rev. B and C. Don't worry about external monitors... I use my Rev. A to show presentations and do Skype conferences on a 100" HD Interactive screen in a board room at work. I just use a DVI adapter and it works great! You will love the MBA!
Thanks, this was one of my biggest concerns. Rev A had a totally different system though, right? Not Mini Displayport?



Wow, welcome! They sure are intriguing things and if I didn't need the great power of my MacBook Pro I'd buy a MacBook Air if the price was right :D Lucky. I wish I wasn't so addicted to pro apps and projects =\
Well, I'll be doing lots of 'projects', but when it's mostly word processing, web, excel, and a little video editing here and there... I don't think I'll be sacrificing much speed. I'll be traveling a lot, so I think the size will really make a big difference. Plus, it will be a great talking-point at my meetings/presentations. :)
 

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