MacBook Vs. MacBook Air

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by amnichols10, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. amnichols10 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    #1
    Looking into purchasing a new computer. Right now I'm on the fence as to which computer to get between the MacBook and MacBook Air. I'm not trying to compare them because they are two different computers. I wanted to hear others opinions on which one they would get if they were in my position.

    I play basketball overseas so I travel a lot. So I can see how the MacBook Air will be good for my situation. Ultra portable and Ultra lightweight. Handles all the basic needs that I would need it for (photos, email, internet, music & movies). But is it enough as far as speed and powers are concerned. For those who have the MacBook Air how do you like it?

    The MacBook is good for all the basic computing needs. Good price too for the things that you get with the computer. Isn't as portable as the air still a good computer.

    Then there are the update rumors. I seen the buyers guide, but is it really worth the wait. I've heard the rumors about the MacBook redesign coming and I was wondering if they planned on expanding the Hard Drive space and speed. I can wait to the end of year, but was wondering if it was worth the wait or should I consider getting one now.

    Just looking for opinions and advice. Looking forward to the what people think. Thanks a lot.
     
  2. muldul macrumors 6502

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    #2
    I would get the air as it will fit all of your computing needs and be very light. you just don't need the macbook for your needs and if you can afford it, the air is the way to go. hope this helps
     
  3. jonswan macrumors regular

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    Jul 26, 2007
    #3
    Ditto on the MB Air, it's brilliantly portable so fits your needs. Providing you don't overdo it it'll be fine for you. Having said that, why not wait for July/Aug when the new MacBooks are supposed to be coming out - you might be impressed...
     
  4. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

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    Apr 2, 2005
    #4
    If it will be your only computer, the MacBook is a better choice. On the other hand, for a frequent traveler, the form factor (thickness + weight, specifically) of the MacBook Air are way better.

    If you're a pro basketball player, why not just buy both, lol!
     
  5. heatmiser macrumors 68020

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    Dec 6, 2007
    #5
    My opinion here has always been that if you need to question whether to get the Air or a different Macbook, you don't need the Air. From there, it's just a question of which you want more.
     
  6. iSpoody 1243 macrumors 6502

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    Australia
    #6
    Iphone Bitch!!!!!!

    why not get both
    then you will definitely be happy with your choice
     
  7. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    May 27, 2006
    #7
    MacBook Air is stupendously useless at what it tries to do. It's trying to be ultraportable, but with a 13 inch screen and a full size keyboard it really isn't. In terms of width and depth, the MacBook and MacBook Air are virtually identical. At the thickest point of the Air it is really marginally thinner than the regular MacBook too.
     
  8. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    London
    #8
    I love it when people who don't have an MBA are experts on them. It is actually very good at what it attempts to do, and I have owned both an MBA and a MacBook (and a MBP for that matter). It is MUCH thinner, MUCH lighter and has a better screen. The MBA does what it is meant to do very very well. If it suits one's needs, it is a great and speedy machine. It should have plenty of power for you. If you can afford it, the SSD is really nice.
     
  9. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    May 27, 2006
    #9
    People say that as if MacBook is heavy or bulky. It really isn't. You're paying more money for a much lesser machine and if the OP is the traveller he makes himself out to be then I would imagine the money saved by buying a MacBook could be better spent on airline tickets or something.
     
  10. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

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    #10
    Agreed! I own a MacBook Air. Used to have a SR 15.4" MacBook Pro and I've also spent quite a bit of time using a MacBook 13.3". The screen on the MacBook Air is definitely not the same screen used on the MacBook. I've used many MacBooks and the viewing angle/sharpness can't even be compared to the one on the Air. You need to see this in person to realize it.

    The MacBook Air really is much smaller than the other Apple portables. Even though the MB/MBP are very portable for their size, the Air is just in a completely different category. It's so light it's incredible.

    Agreed, they're pretty thin/light themselves. The MacBook Air is just in a different category, though. You need to compare in person to truly appreciate the difference.

    Sometimes, less is more. Less weight. Less thickness. How do you get "less weight" and "less thickness"? Less features. No optical drive isn't a problem if you don't use it to begin with! For browsing the web, a 250 gb HD won't help. For writing a Word document, you don't need 4 USB ports. Many people don't even need one.

    People can't expect Apple to make "the world's thinnest notebook" (at 3 lbs) that includes the same ports/options as its bigger brothers which are almost twice the weight and thickness! It's just not physically possible. And besides, if Apple released a MacBook Air at the same price as the MacBook with all the same ports and just thinner and lighter...you have...that's right...a MACBOOK! lol. The product lines need to be differentiated.
     
  11. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    #11
    Just chiming in for the Macbook Air. And a recommendation: Get the SSD if you can. It makes for a silent, cool notebook that's incredibly fast for its specification - I regularly switch between the MBA and the MBP without noticing any difference in general browsing/office performance.

    On paper the benefits aren't worth the extra cash, but IRL I'd say they are. Love the MBA - Apple's best Mac by far, if it does what you need.
     
  12. feelthefire macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 13, 2006
    #12


    Why not? VooDoo did it with the Envy 133. Personally, I'd rather have an extra 4oz of weight and get HDMI, ExpressCard, eSATA, 2 usb ports, and a USER REPLACEABLE battery. Not having an expresscard slot on a computer designed for travel (so that one can use mobile broadband cards) is really an oversight.
     
  13. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    #13
    Oh come on - no they didn't. Despite their claims, the tapered design of the MPA makes it much thinner and, IMHO, in a different class to the VooDoo stuff. That said, I'm probably the only person on the planet that thinks the VooDoo looks like a cheap and tacky laptop.
     
  14. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #14
    I really like my MacBook Air -- it's great for travel. I wrote a review with my travel experiences on this thread. The only serious issues are lack of ethernet and modem, which might leave you without internet in some hotels. But even if you had to get the dongles, you'd still have a lighter computer that's better for travel than the MacBook.
     
  15. Pixellated macrumors 65816

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    #15
    +1 - It looks like some LeapFrog Toy, all plasticky...
     
  16. klb028 macrumors 6502

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    Texas
    #16
    I haven't used or owned a MBA, but I would go with a MacBook. It's still very portable and light and does everything you need it to. You get more for your money. I got mine for college and made quite a few trips back home and around the state with the laptop in tow. No complaints. :)
     
  17. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

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    #17
    The extra USB slot is about the only thing I think the Air is missing - I use mobile broadband every day with my MBA via a USB card (I don't actually know of any providers in the UK that use ExpressCard over USB)
     
  18. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    #18
    MacBook has two speakers, whereas MacBook Air has just one, meaning you can only get mono sound from this £1199 laptop. You get Firewire on MacBook but none on Air and you get a DVD drive on MacBook and none on Air.
     
  19. Tosser macrumors 68030

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    #19
    Even if i do think the MBA is the single worst computer apple have made since 1999 (98?), I don't think the single speaker (mono-sound) is a problem. In fact, I wished they tossed out two of the three speakers on my MBP.
    Why?
    Well, computer speakers suck. Laptop speakers even more. And the only reason I can imagine using the speaker is for a youtube video and that sort and for OS-warnings (personally, I don't use any sounds as warnings at all).

    When I want to have fidelity, I either use headphones direct, or use a USB (or firewire) preamp/audio interface.
     
  20. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

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    #20
    So what? you hardly get Hi Fi sound from any notebook: all I want the speaker for is to give me alerts, etc - if I'm listening to music / watching a video etc I generally have headphones in. I don't need Firewire and I've got an external DVD for the very rare occasions I need one (twice I think) - I'm very pleased I don't have the bulk of a DVD drive to carry around when it's unnecessary.

    The extras the MBA does have (light weight, superb LED screen, fantastic backlit keyboard and awesome build quality) are things I can use every day and that make a real difference to my computing experience. Put simply, the MBA is a superb notebook and fits my needs absolutely perfectly.

    I'm very aware that it isn't for everyone but what I don't understand is why people who don't like it try and persuade people who do that they don't really because of spurious spec differences.

    And, FWIW, my MBA actually cost nearer £2K, and I still think it's fantastic value for money :D
     
  21. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

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    #21
    The MBA has a tapered design and is definitely thinner than the voodoo. The "feature creep" has really taken over that machine.

    All you're doing is listing features, not benefits.

    All the MacBook Air is designed for is browsing the web, e-mail, word processing, and other "light" tasks. Although the MacBook Air can play 1080 p videos on quicktime, nobody would want to because the screen is only 1200x800 (and not 1920x1200). For most MacBook Air users, being able to output to an HDTV probably isn't very useful (note that I didn't say ALL...).

    Express card? Like I'm really going to get a card that lets me have internet anywhere...with Rogers...could you imagine how much that would cost, lol. I'm sure these are popular in the US, but again, in my case, it really wouldn't be useful.

    eSata? Still hasn't even caught on yet. In fact, no other Macs have e-sata. Why do you need an e-sata connection for backing up...documents, notes, contacts, some music, etc? These are small files and they transfer over fine to my iMac over my airport network for easy backup. Don't even need time machine.

    2 USB ports? I don't need a USB key because as I said, I use an airport network to transfer everything over to my iMac. External mouse? Not needed - the MBA has a huge, comfortable trackpad that I'm comfortable with. The keyboard is great too. In the event that I do need to plug in a USB port (of a friend, for example), or perhaps a printer, I have that one USB port. But both items at the same time? Hasn't happened yet. The only time I've actually used the Air's USB port was to test it.

    User-replaceable battery? Most consumers have never even removed their battery, let alone the fact that most consumers have never even purchased an extra battery. Although there are a lot of people out there who carry spare batteries and who use them, the reality is that this is not a common trend these days. Laptop batteries in general last long enough that most of the time you can get to a plug within a reasonable amount of time.
     
  22. amnichols10 thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 19, 2008
    #22
    Yeah I would only use the computer for email, internet, music & watching movies. I guess that counts for basic or light computing. I won't be running any "heavy" programs. Maybe editing on iPhoto but that's about it. I notice that the processor speeds vary between the two but does that make a real difference when you are doing "light" computing?
     
  23. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    #23
    MacBook Air is a first revision product and it has a famous problem called the "Core Shutdown" issue. When the processor does intensive things it will shut down one core to prevent the whole processor from overheating.

    Remember, intensive doesn't necessarily mean complex. One example of a processor intensive task on a Mac is watching video using Flash (YouTube, BBC iPlayer etc) because Adobe's implementation of Flash for OS X is poor.
     
  24. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

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    Apr 2, 2005
    #24
    See my thread here. In short, the processing upgrade isn't worth it for you.

    Even editing on iPhoto isn't considered "heavy" really. If you're doing the things you described, the Air will feel pretty well just as fast as a MacBook, except the initial boot will be slower (and the initial boot of the programs will be a bit slower too).

    Lots of people indeed have been affected by the core shutdown. I've been through 2 Airs (the first one didn't charge in under 10 hours!) - second one is pretty good. Neither suffered from this problem. If you buy a machine and it suffers from this, you can just return it - simple!
     
  25. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

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    Portland, OR
    #25
    What?

    What part of Macbook versus Macbook Air did you apparently miss?
     

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