My MBA - super success on 2-week European trip

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Deanster, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. Deanster macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    #1
    Just a quick report from the front lines of MBA ownership, in case anyone cares.

    I lecture a couple times a year for a major cruise line, which means that I haul my laptop on a 2-week multi-national trip, use it on airplanes, aboard the ship, in internet cafes, etc. It also has to work correctly with the A/V system aboard ship, support a remote presentation 'clicker', and handle whatever networks show up.

    I've made this trip with several different laptops in the past - My beloved 12" G4 Powerbook, and my rev. A Macbook have both done a good job on previous trips. I was excited to have a MUCH lighter laptop in the MBA, but also pretty worried - would not having a CD/DVD drive onboard be a problem? Could I really live with only one USB port? What happens if I try to have the video adapter, wireless mouse USB transmitter and a headphone jack all in at once? Will the video output work well with the ship video?

    Long story short, the MBA was a super trooper - everything worked great, my external DVD drive never left my checked luggage, and I never ran into a conflict with ports. I do note that if I'd needed to use wired Ethernet at the same time as the USB transmitter, I might have had a problem - I have a small IOgear 4-port USB microhub, and really ought to check what happens if I try to hook both ethernet and other USB dongles through it all at once.

    The only thing that didn't work well was when I tried to charge the MBA through a hotel's 'shaver' plug in the bathroom. I'd forgotten a plug adapter for the power brick, and tried just using the US-style plug in the bathroom, which I've done successfully with other laptops many times. In this case, it would charge for about 10 minutes, and then the LED on the Magsafe connector would start blinking green, and charging would stop. Very frustrating.

    All in all, I feel like giving up the DVD drive and extra ports for a thin and light laptop worked out very well for me. I LOVED how small and light the MBA was to carry, and that the screen and keyboard were full-size when opened. Didn't miss the DVD drive or spare ports at all. I do wish they'd managed to fit in Firewire, Ethernet and a second USB port - I think they could have found a way.... :D
     
  2. Piarco macrumors 68030

    Piarco

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Location:
    Londinium
    #2
    I'm merely days into MBA ownership, and its nice to hear a postive report from "the field" :D
    I've already used the MBA at work for presentations, and your quibbles about having an ethernet, firewire and a second USB are the only things I'd like to see on my MBA too. Still, I've got a Moshi Cardette hub/card reader on the way, and will be picking up an ethernet adapter over the weekend.
     
  3. texasdoc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    #3
    great report

    You know, if you're concerned when your next trip rolls around you could get a bluetooth mouse and free up the USB port.
     
  4. Mhaddy macrumors 6502

    Mhaddy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    Glad to hear your MBA experience was a pleasant one :). Now if I could just get my wireless to play nicely with other networks than my home, I'd be a happy camper too!
     
  5. Sijmen macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    #5
    Good to hear it's served you well.

    I've been using my Macs in Europe for some years too—awesome machines!
     
  6. TheMadBrewer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    Location:
    Marina del Rey, CA
    #6
    I've used my MBA on European trip just after I got it and am about to take it on another two week trip at the end of the month. I left the DVD drive at home and didn't miss it.

    The only problem I ran into was the B&B in Antwerpen where I stayed had wired internet. No problem, I brought the dongle but it didn't work thru my hub, so when I wanted to upload pictures from my camera and I had to swap cables. Their internet connection was one of those power line setups and it always took awhile to get internet connectivity back (couple of minutes) after doing a swap. Other than that, no problems at all.

    I think I will spring for the apple plug adapters before the next trip...
     
  7. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    The good side of the grass.
    #7
    I've had mine on many trips since I first got mine Feb. 1st and as the OP wrote and my Air too has performed admirably. Stopped carrying the SD and have a few flashdrives which have done the trick when needed.

    Not sure why Mhaddy's Air won't work well on other networks but mine has worked exactly like my MB, PB & MBPs have. Find an open network, click on join and connect away. I connect to at least three different wireless networks a day and sometimes more with no issue.
     
  8. Mhaddy macrumors 6502

    Mhaddy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    I only noticed an issue after the EFI update, so I'm debating whether to do a fresh OS re-install and nix the EFI update, as I wasn't experiencing any issues that is supposedly addressed. Thoughts?
     
  9. dzhiurgis macrumors member

    dzhiurgis

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #9
    Apple remote uses good enough as a presenter remote.
    For a mouse use bluetooth.

    Ethernet is old, but still is a kind of lack :(
     
  10. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #10
    I wouldt call Ethernet "old".

    I still miss my 40 MB/sec transfer speeds after moving to Wi-Fi (g, then n) which only gives me 6-9 MB/sec.
     
  11. dzhiurgis macrumors member

    dzhiurgis

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #11
    Yes it is old, but not slow.
     
  12. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #12
    So what is the reason to call it old when its still much much faster?
     
  13. GenFranco macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2008
    #13
    european trip

    I also recently went on a two week euro trip. One additional thing I would like to point out is that the MBA fit in the hotel room safe about 1/2 the time. Some safes where slightly too narrow to accommodate the wide, but thin, MBA. At the same time, the MBA is an easy notebook to stash hidden in your other belongings..
     
  14. AlexanderTgreat macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    Winnipeg canada
    #14
    The macbook air is only built for yuppy who's want to show off off a different looking product in hopes that people will come up and ask questions about it and marvel at it. I guess that the consumer that apple is shooting for are those who have delusions of being up and coming businessmen with dreams of flying around the world on airplanes while working on their up coming presentations on their macbook air.


    -Roddy
     
  15. pilotError macrumors 68020

    pilotError

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    Long Island
    #15
    Wow... Comes off a little bit jealous... Some of us here actually do these things.
     
  16. DangerKitty macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2008
    #16
    Am I the only person who is sick of people like this who contribute nothing to a discussion. Makes you wonder what is wrong with their real life... :rolleyes:
     
  17. AlexanderTgreat macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    Winnipeg canada
    #17

    case and point
     
  18. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #18
    Although I dont like MBA and will never buy it, I do admit that for some people its a better fit than other Apple offerings.
     
  19. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #19
    I dont see what the big deal is with the complaints against the MBA. Even though I returned it, I just like the mbp better as it suits me better. I dont mind carrying around a 5 lbs laptop as to a 3 lbs but some people do.

    I really do have a soft spot for little portables (sony tz lover) but think about it.. this is apple's ultraportable, some may think its not a true ultraportable but I think it is. The thinnes itself makes this an ultraportable in my book especially when you close the mba and take it around with you feels the same as when I had my sony vaio tz just an apple product version of it.

    As for pricing I dont know why people complain.. even though I couldnt justify it myself because I was comparing it to getting a mbp + a bit more $$ spent, I still think that the pricing for $1799 is rather cheap compared to other ultraportables out there (excluding the eeepc which I think is a childs toy). A sony vaio tz costs $2299 as to the mba $1799.

    Sure you can configure your tz with a dvd drive but then if you do you have to settle for a 1.8" hdd like the mba or you can settle for no dvd drive and instead 2.5" hdd takes its place.

    So you can make the same comment about the sony vaio tz's or the panasonic CF-R7 models (which are priced the same as the mba or even up to $2900 (without ssd, yes no ssd)) as it is more expensive than the mba. Also keep in mind that the other ultraportables are even much slower than the mba since they use an ulv core 2 duo and a much lower clock speed.

    And it seems to me that most people that complain about the "no dvd drive," clearly had never owned an ultraportable by Sony, IBM or Panasonic in the past. For true ultraportable lovers... we dont like big clunky dvd drives built in. And I still dont see the point of a dvd drive really in a laptop unless its your main machine and dont tell me that the kids want to pop in a dvd... because if I had kids I would never EVER let them touch my favorite toy and rather just buy a cheap portable dvd player usually goes for something like $99.99 these days from walmart with a 5-7" screen for them to play with in the van. Heck better yet most van's usually have lcd monitors popping out from the top of the van with dvd players built in.

    final note.. anyone remember those sony picturebooks?? Now those were bad ass back then, I still find it pretty cool today.
     
  20. Olvenskol macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    #20
    Or we could actually *be* businessmen for whom portability is a big feature and storage/dvd-drives/ports-I-never-use are not. I think there might be rather a lot of us ;)

    I don't fly much, but I do put together presentations on it, and it's very well suited to me for it.
     
  21. Deanster thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    #21
    It may well be that Apple designed the MBA for no purpose other than to have people come over and ask about the machine, but somehow I actually manage to get a fair bit of paying work done on the thing as well.

    The ability to do useful work may be a bug, rather than a feature, but I'm willing to live with it.

    I'm actually very pleased by the trend that the MBA represents, along with the iPhone and aTV - Apple had for so long been locked into the four quadrants, with consumer laptop/desktop, pro laptop/desktop, that their products, while excellent, were by necessity and design built for very wide audiences. That meant that they were good for lots of people, but missed the mark for people with needs/desires for somewhat specialized/optimized products.

    In a process that began with the 12" and 17" PowerBooks, and continues with the MBA, Apple is offering more and more specialized variations on hardware that meet the needs of people who are willing to trade weight/size for screen real-estate in the case of the 17" MBPro, and ports/DVD/expandability for weight/size with the MBA. Similarly, Apple has the room to do some experimenting with iPhone, MBA, aTV, the iPod Nano (as a replacement for the mini - a super bold move).

    The MBA isn't for everyone. In fact, there's a whole lot of people for whom it's a terrible choice. And the beauty of the thing is that Apple finally has time, space, and money to make some products like that.

    I've got no use for aTV, but the MBA is just about perfect for my needs. Add a little faster recharge time, and I'd change that to 'perfect'.
     
  22. wolfie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2008
    #22

    hahaha, mate, im no businessman, i rarely travel for work, and i never done a power point presentation in my life.
    i bought it to surf on the couch at home, and store my holiday pictures/itunes music library on it.
    do i need the air? no.
    do i want the air? yes
    can i afford the air? yes
    are u jealous? yes
     
  23. BongoBanger macrumors 68000

    BongoBanger

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    #23
    Why is he jealous? I mean the other points, yes, but jealous?
     
  24. wolfie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2008
    #24
    if someone cant see how this machine is useful for some people and their lifestyle it suggests bitterness.
    jealosuy= bitterness.

    there are alot of ppl that wish the macair suited them, but it dosent, those kind of ppl at least have the balls to relaise just because its not for them, dosent make it a **** show off toy.
     
  25. eggersj macrumors 6502

    eggersj

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    #25
    LOL!!!!

    WORD!!!
     

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