Mom is getting a MBA; which model is right for her needs?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Tazzydnc, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. Tazzydnc macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    #1
    My mom currently has a 14" white ibook and really wants to upgrade to the new macbook Air. She travels a lot around the country and to Europe, so she needs something very portable and light hence her interest in the air.

    Though the Air would be her main computer, most of what she uses her laptop for isn't very hardware intensive. She uses itunes and iphoto for music, slideshows, and to touch up photos. She uses Word and Excel a lot for typing documents and keeping track of finances. Other than that she uses it for email , web browsing, and to hook up to Apple TV to play photo slideshows with music.

    Between the two processors I still think she should go with the 1.8ghz one because processors aren't really upgradable and because its only 300 dollars more.

    The real issue is the HD. While my mom can afford the SSD the fact is shes paying 1000 dollars more for something that provides less storage. For her needs, and her coming from an 80gb HD in her current computer, I think it would make more sense to get the 80gb HD and upgrade to a 120gb SSD when they come out and drop in price.

    What do you all think? Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Michael
     
  2. Bambeezer macrumors regular

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    Sep 13, 2007
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    Dallas, TX
    #2
    I think you're giving her some good advice. Go for the upgraded processor and skip the SSD.
     
  3. macdoobie macrumors member

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    Feb 12, 2008
    #3
    Not sure why a regular MB wouldn't do the same thing as the Air --- considering they are the same footprint.

    You are paying $1000 more for 1/4'' skinnier and 2 pounds less.

    (and significant storage loss)
     
  4. basesloaded190 macrumors 68030

    basesloaded190

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    Wisconsin
    #4
    i agree, she not going to notice the speed difference anyways. she will be much happier with a little bit faster processor and a larger hdd. btw i would be super jealous if my mom had a mba!
     
  5. Tazzydnc thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 30, 2007
    #5
    my mom really wants a light laptop during travel. She's only 5 feet tall, and getting older now, doesn't have the strength she used to. I have a regular MacBook to which she insists is too heavy for her carry-on :/
     
  6. Pronoun macrumors newbie

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    Feb 18, 2008
    #6
    If she is traveling a lot, remember that you can't use a second battery to swap. Third party power solution maybe on the way, but adds weight to your bag. May not be an issue for her, but I thought it might be worth mentioning.
     
  7. Tazzydnc thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 30, 2007
    #7
    grrrr

    OK I just called the local Apple Store and they say if I want the faster processor I have to get the SSD. Is this true? I know several online testers got the 1.8ghz with the 80gb HD...

    The processor difference might not matter that much but seeing as my 2ghz is already obsolete I think she'd benefit from having a little room to grow especially since it can't be changed.
     
  8. Bambeezer macrumors regular

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    #8
    The Apple store doesn't stock every configuration. They'll have the 1.6 with 80GB and 1.8 with SSD. You can order what you want online from Apple.
     
  9. View macrumors regular

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    Apr 18, 2007
    #9
    2 lbs can be a lot while you travel though.

    I'd suggest the faster processor and 80GB hd instead of 64SSDHD
     
  10. Tazzydnc thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 30, 2007
    #10
    hmm true. Would the SSD save a signifigant portion of battery life? From what I've read the Air's life is pretty comparable to the regular macbooks. She'd never bring a second battery and swap though - she's not that tech savy.
     
  11. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

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    #11
    I'm really not sure if the extra 200MHz CPU speed is worth $300. The difference in speed running the tasks you've described will be very small. The $300 would probably be better spent getting the MBA superdrive and an USB/Ethernet dongle. I have c2d 2G MB and a cd MBP and really, the 1.6 Air seems faster and it'll totally fly compared to the iBook. The 80G HD is probably the way to go since you only get a useable 55G w. the SSD option. I think both options are a bit overpriced for what you get.
     
  12. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

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    #12
    She should probably get an USB external drive too for time machine backup. The 80G iPod type HD's haven't been used enough in notebooks to judge their reliability.
     
  13. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #13
    Have you had the MBA at home to use? The weight is quite significant on a day-to-day basis. It's lovely and I've already used my notebook more and in more places because that extra weight-loss truly makes it that much more portable. I can only imagine how much more lovely it'd be to a frequent traveler.

    As for storage loss, the MB I sold for the MBA also had an 80GB HDD, so I don't feel any terrible setbacks because of it.

    Why not just order from Amazon if you're in the States? I saw the 1.8GHz model with 80GB HDD. :) You may or may not have to wait for more stock, though.

    I whole-heartedly agree! A very well-written post. OP, I think the base, entry-level model would suit your mother very well. And as a frequent traveler, the ethernet dongle would prove useful because contrary to what most folks seem to think/ post, not every single hotel or area has wifi so readily available and ethernet is still a helluva lot faster to transfer data between machines (whenever she might need to do so).
     

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