My Windows MBA 11 Initial Comments

volvik

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 30, 2010
19
0
After using two netbooks over 4 years for portable computing including 40K miles on a motorcycle I had decided to look at an MBA 11.

Hours of reading forums, googling and several visits to a local shop I decided to grab a Windows machine. While in the store I timed the boot to desktop, time for browser to get to a specific page and some video streaming.

Bear in mind that my power requirements are not huge but if the machine falters or takes too long doing the basic stuff it really frustrates me.

The boot up with the MBA was around 22 seconds compared to the Windows OS at about 60 seconds. They were both pretty much the same for the remaining tests.

The windows laptop I had identified to compare was the Acer V5-171-6679. It's 11.6", 8 GB RAM, i-5 Ivy Bridge, USB 2 & 3, SD card slot, HD4000 with a 500GB HDD....and

I ended up getting the Acer from Amazon with free shipping. The Windows 8 had a small learning curve but it's not too bad at all and who knows maybe the upcoming tweak of this OS, called Blue? which will supposedly be free to current owners, may even be better. All in all I'm not disappointed.

Cost of the MBA 11 in the same config was going to be about 1499 and I got the Acer for 560. The Acer will also accept an SSD.

Part of my decision was that I needed a replacement sooner than later and if the MBA was my choice I really wanted to wait for the 2013 release for the improved video.

Did I compare 'apples' to apples? Absolutely not...there is no comparison in build quality, the Acer is plastic, the seams are not smooth, those who need longer battery time would not like it, display not 'as' good, no back lit KB and several other small issues.

Yes at some point I do want the MBA but when you think this machine cost slightly more than one third the cost of the MBA it won't be a tough decision.

I also picked up the Incase Nylon Sleeve Sling made for the MBA 11 and the Acer slides in just like the Airbook.

Just my .02
 

Mrbobb

macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
4,989
192
If this was available last year when I switched, it may had given me pause. Now a 512 gig SSD Air is most expensive because 512 gig chips are relatively new. If u have the need for such storage I can see ur .02.

My 11" *only* cost me $829. so my spread wasn't that great and having tasted the smoothness of the Apple's trackpad, it would kinda hard for me to switch back now plus am not all sold on Win8.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,216
1,882
New Jersey Pine Barrens
The windows laptop I had identified to compare was the Acer V5-171-6679. It's 11.6", 8 GB RAM, i-5 Ivy Bridge, USB 2 & 3, SD card slot, HD4000 with a 500GB HDD.
So the Windows machine had a spinning hard disk (HDD)? It's hard to believe this performs as well as the solid state disk (SSD) in the MBA. I find "basic stuff" like opening programs to be dramatically faster on my MBA as opposed to my old MBP.
 
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TC25

macrumors 68020
Mar 28, 2011
2,201
0
This thread will win the Most Deceptive and Incorrect Title Award for 2013.

A 'Windows MBA' is a Macbook Air that uses Boot Camp, Parallels or VMWare to run Windows.
 

Rossatron

macrumors 6502a
This thread will win the Most Deceptive and Incorrect Title Award for 2013.

A 'Windows MBA' is a Macbook Air that uses Boot Camp, Parallels or VMWare to run Windows.
That.

+ 60 sec sounds quite a lot of time, even for an HDD. Guess its 5400.
Anyway, start up time on SSD is very short. Even on my 2 years old dell it takes around 15sec from power on to log in.


Yes at some point I do want the MBA but when you think this machine cost slightly more than one third the cost of the MBA it won't be a tough decision.
This is like saying that its not a "tough decision" buying a bicycle instead of a car, because the bikes are 1/3 of the price :|
 
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volvik

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 30, 2010
19
0
This is like saying that its not a "tough decision" buying a bicycle instead of a car, because the bikes are 1/3 of the price :|
I guess I didn't make myself clear enough....my point was that having only invested <600 for this interim solution it won't be a bitter pill to swallow to unload it at a later date.

The thrust of my post was that the Acer is not an MBA 11 however it did pretty darn well for a 1/3 of the cost. I think your comparison would be more accurate if you used two cars....the MBA being perhaps a Lexus or Maybach.
 

2IS

macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2011
2,937
427
I was confused when reading the title. But after reading the thread, it still doesn't make sense...

TL;DR version: I wanted a MBA but decided on something cheaper.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
47,324
31,616
The Far Horizon
Yes, I am also of the opinion that the thread title is a bit misleading. I ventured to visit under the impression that I was about to read an interesting 'initial review' written by a new owner of the 11" MBA (a computer I am mulling over for myself). However, that is not what the thread appears to be about.
 

ssmed

macrumors 6502
Sep 28, 2009
487
90
UK
Yes, I am also of the opinion that the thread title is a bit misleading. I ventured to visit under the impression that I was about to read an interesting 'initial review' written by a new owner of the 11" MBA (a computer I am mulling over for myself). However, that is not what the thread appears to be about.
For what it is worth:
Running Windows 7 on a 11 inch 2011 MBA in boot camp (4GB RAM / 256GB), I have had a good experience running MS Office, Framemaker and a pile of windows only utilities for thermometer recorders and mapping. May not be cheap, but works well.
 

zipdog

macrumors newbie
May 11, 2013
7
1
Amarillo, Texas
This thread will win the Most Deceptive and Incorrect Title Award for 2013.

A 'Windows MBA' is a Macbook Air that uses Boot Camp, Parallels or VMWare to run Windows.
I could not care less about your BS politics; and, I do not need your signature "dictionary."
 

Redbull916

macrumors member
Mar 27, 2012
76
0
Brighton, UK
So to summarise this thread,

You can buy a slower taiwanese plastic laptop with a spinning drive, inferior screen, lower battery life, high depreciation and poor support for less than an Air.

or,
Once you upgrade the Acer's drive to the same as an Air, You can buy an Air with much higher build quality, better battery life, better screen, better residual depreciation, Apples legendary customer service, backlit keyboard..... for a few hundred more than a Acer.

So the Air is a bargain. ;)
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
47,324
31,616
The Far Horizon
For what it is worth:
Running Windows 7 on a 11 inch 2011 MBA in boot camp (4GB RAM / 256GB), I have had a good experience running MS Office, Framemaker and a pile of windows only utilities for thermometer recorders and mapping. May not be cheap, but works well.
Thank you for this; very interesting, and I would certainly consider at the very least 4GB RAM and 256SSD when I next buy a MBA.

How long have you had yours, and is it easy to read from the screen? I love the form factor, the weight and the style of the 11"; however, I do wonder whether my ageing eyes (and I wear glasses and my eyesight could be a lot better) will find it hard to deal with the small screen.

Actually, I have had a 13" MBA for nearly three years and it is easily the best computer I have ever had; however, I must admit that I have been thinking about an 11" as I travel quite a lot.
 

ssmed

macrumors 6502
Sep 28, 2009
487
90
UK
Thank you for this; very interesting, and I would certainly consider at the very least 4GB RAM and 256SSD when I next buy a MBA.

How long have you had yours, and is it easy to read from the screen? I love the form factor, the weight and the style of the 11"; however, I do wonder whether my ageing eyes (and I wear glasses and my eyesight could be a lot better) will find it hard to deal with the small screen.
Its not my main computer, and the screens on our database are a bit small, but I find it OK as long as not for long periods. I wear glasses, but my biggest no-no is a glossy screen which this does not have.