Med student interested in the MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Balthezor, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. Balthezor macrumors member

    Balthezor

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Location:
    PA
    #1
    I've been a little active about the MBAs lately, but I never ask if its perfect for me.

    So it's not going to be my only machine, I have a quad core PC for gaming, etc. But how is the performance of the 2.13 MBA with streaming video and streaming audio? I'm going to be using it primarily by watching streamed or downloaded lecture videos/audios, Office, and reading pdf files of medical articles and of course the occasional HD videos, hulu, itunes. And I will be bringing the laptop to lectures and labs.

    Is there any lag or stuttering when watching videos?

    How about opening and reading pdfs? Is there any lag?

    I'm just wondering because I am currently using a 3 year old Thinkpad R61i which has 2GB of RAM and Vista, and as I'm typing this now, it stutters a little bit, and watching a video also lags and stutters a bit. (My connection is pretty fast). And when I open a medium size pdf file, it lags and stutters and makes it frustrating. So even though I have a fast gaming PC, I would really prefer to only use it for gaming or video encoding. I want to use the MBA for everything else. I'm worried if the RAM is gonna be a bottleneck and cause stuttering or lag.

    Anyone with experiences with the new 2.13 MBA, please drop by. I want the very best laptop before I drop in the money.

    I appreciate the help.
     
  2. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #2
    I use a MBA for similar purposes...except I have a Rev A (1.6 GHz).

    The MBA flies for basic tasks like internet, taking notes, PDFs, etc. Works almost as well as my 2.0 GHz iMac.

    As long as you have a full fledged desktop at home I highly recommend the Air as a secondary computer.

    Fortunately I never experienced the "core shutdown issue" that plagued early Rev As. Battery life is excellent and the machine usually stays pretty cool.
     
  3. Airforcekid macrumors 65816

    Airforcekid

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    United States of America
    #3
    The 1.8GHZ will do all that fine if you get the SSD and 2.13Ghz it should run very well.
     
  4. spacecadet610 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    #4
    it would be perfect for you.

    I am in the medical field also, use a Rev A Macbook air.

    THe portability is great for bringing to lectures and taking notes.

    The Rev C would be even better for your usage.

    go for it.
     
  5. mac88 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA.
    #5
    As long as you won't be needing an optical drive for any course. Other than that, buy and enjoy! Good luck at school too!
     
  6. crunchymilk55 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    #6
    2nd year med student using a Rev A here.

    I recommend getting at least a RevB. This machine gets very hot and stutters while watching long lectures. HD videos are not even worth the effort. I would actually recommend a 13 or 15" Unibody, just me though. The MBA is perfect for internet browsing/music/pdf's etc. It's not (the Rev A at least) good at handling video.
     
  7. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #7
    As I said in my previous post - my Rev A is fine. Either way the OP would probably be getting a Rev C anyway. I haven't tried HD video, but I watch 300 MB lecture videos on mine just fine. Gets warm when it does it, but so does any other laptop.

    Even though the portability of the Air is second to none, The new macbook pro's are very tempting with their crazy long battery life.
     
  8. unagimiyagi macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #8
    I did not find the battery life on my new mbp 15" to be crazy long. Partly, I will say, b/c I had to increase the brightness to overcome the ridiculous glare. Those two findings led me to sell it on Craigslist already. Only lost about $100, so I will take it as a lesson learned.

    I also felt like the speaker on the mba comes out of one side so it's not even balanced. Don't know if anyone else noticed that.
     
  9. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #9
    Practicing doc here - get the new 13" MacBook Pro - faster, cheaper, more independent, only slightly bigger, and only 1.5 pounds heavier.
     
  10. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #10
    Whatever you do, do NOT buy the HDD version as some others may suggest. I have the 2.13 GHz SSD, and it's amazing. I owned the 1.86 GHz SSD before which was also incredible. When my rev B was stolen, I was waiting for the new MBA to be released and thought maybe I would save some money and buy an HDD. However, it was very very slow in comparison in nearly all common tasks. The SSD really makes up for any other limitations with the hardware/components. The SSD makes the little MBA feel like a Mac Pro!

    So, if you decide to go with a less expensive MBA, you can buy the 1.86 GHz SSD refurbished for $1449... I would do that long before a new 1.86 with HDD for $50 more.

    More than anything, the MBA is really really fun with SSD! It just amazes me how fast this little Mac is!

    Congrats on your decision for the MBA... you will love it!
     
  11. ducatidoc macrumors regular

    ducatidoc

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    #11
    i am an M2 and had terrible issues streaming lectures on my mba revB. it has nothing to do with my machine, but instead the .asx format that my U insists on using for streaming our lectures. flip4mac and vlc make these quicktime-compatible, however if you are like me and prefer watching lectures at 1.5-2x playback speed, you will have problems streaming such windows video files in the mac os x environment.

    on the other hand, if your university streams another format i believe you will be set.

    as for which mba, the ssd really cant be beat, especially after the price drop. and stay away from the revA; the new nvidia graphics controller is vastly superior on the revB and revC.
     
  12. Balthezor thread starter macrumors member

    Balthezor

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Location:
    PA
    #12
    Thank you all for the input. I appreciate it.

    I'm actually not sure what file they use, I'll check, but if they do use .asx I will use the PC for that then. And I do like watching it 2x speed, lol.
     
  13. Capt Crunch macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2001
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    #13
    My wife is a med student, and something you may want to consider is there is no 2xAV on the mac to watch your lectures more quickly.

    EDIT: I see this has already been covered :eek:
     
  14. Balthezor thread starter macrumors member

    Balthezor

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Location:
    PA
    #14
    Thanks for all the help guys. I ended up buying a 2.13 Air.

    It's awesome. There are faint lines when you look at it at 4 inches away, but I can't even see it looking this far.
     
  15. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #15
    Firstly, you can watch lectures on faster speeds with quicktime pro. There's an adjustable speed meter, so you can make it faster/slower (usually faster!) depending on the lecturer.

    Also, the lines don't seem normal - post a picture? If you're not satisfied, get a replacement.
     
  16. ducatidoc macrumors regular

    ducatidoc

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    #16
    in my experience i have tremendous problems viewing lectures at 2x using quicktime with the flip4mac windows media player patch. it buffers out and crashes frequently. but again, my schools streams lectures as .asx files. this would not be the case if they streamed .mov files instead.
     
  17. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #17
    Mine are MP4 videos, and my quicktime has never crashed before. I think it depends on the video format (i.e. which ones are more Mac friendly?). I think the OP will be OK with his/her choice, though.

    My next laptop might be an Air upgraded down the line, but the new MacBook Pros are very attractive, as I said before, due to the new battery.
     
  18. entatlrg macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #18
    It's working well for all your video streaming/viewing as well?

    Sounds like it is, that's great!

    Enjoy!
     
  19. PimpIntInxs macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #19
    Hey i go to med school and you can open up lectures in quicktime and listen at faster speed buddies. click on Window and then show AV Controls.
     
  20. scottkifnw macrumors regular

    scottkifnw

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Trophy Club, TX
    #20
    This should be fine

    I have the first MBA and it works fine for what you are describing. Also, it is so small and light, it is excellent for travel. It should be great for videos and lectures.
    sek
     
  21. crunchymilk55 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    #21
    While were on the subject my school uses Tegrity to stream their lectures and I can't get it to work right. It used to play decent at 1x (got real hot though), but now I can't get it to do that, let alone 1.5x or 2x, so if anyone happens to have any advice, I would appreciate it.
     
  22. PittAir macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    #22
    I am a senior attending and you guys get your lectures streamed? Do med students even go to class anymore?

    Boy, back when I was a med student (you'll here a lot of that soon on the wards)....:)
     
  23. manhattanboy macrumors 6502a

    manhattanboy

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Location:
    In ur GF's bed, Oh no he didn't!
    #23
    All those things will work fine expect the reading of pdf medical articles...
    I mean what the heck is the point of what kind of student you are?
    Are you going to take it to the bedside?
     
  24. PimpIntInxs macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #24
    in studying for boards... and i can count how many total classes ive been too on both of my hands in the 1st 2 years of school... im not a big class person. definitely reflecting on how much more i need to study for step 1 though :(
     
  25. Disavowed macrumors regular

    Disavowed

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest
    #25

    because? They are just docs, what the big deal? (asking NOT challenging)

    Thanks..
     

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