Preliminary review of 2012 MBA from a PowerBook user

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by kylera, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. kylera macrumors 65816

    kylera

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Location:
    Seoul
    #1
    I bought a 13" Air high-end with additional RAM and it arrived just yesterday. Prior to the Air, I was using a PowerBook G4 12" as my main portable Mac for all my on-the-go needs, later supplemented with an iPad 2. As such, for me, this was a huge jump in many aspects.

    The good

    Ridiculously fast

    As I used a machine that was released some 8 years ago, there are times today where things might lag a bit. Even so, I kept using it as it suited my needs just fine. However, circumstances dictated that I had to upgrade, and that too to something lighter. As such, I got the Air..and was blown away by it (pun not intended). Startup is instantaneous, applications open and close quickly...I was definitely wowed.

    Ridiculously light and thin

    I always believed that the PowerBook was one of the lightest machines for everyday usage, and at least when it was released, it was definitely so. But after carrying the PowerBook around for quite some time, lifting the Air felt even lighter, despite the fact that it has a bigger screen. I can now carry some other things with the Air when I head out easily.

    Ridiculously long-lasting

    Like many reviews say, the Air has insane battery life compared to the PowerBook, and this is despite me using a relatively new battery on the latter (bought it late last year). I feel this is my first laptop where I don't have to worry about power usage when I'm out.

    Unfortunately, there are a couple points I like more about the PowerBook over the Air.

    The could-be-better

    One too many ports missing

    I knew of this as I bought the Air, given how long the Air has been out and the sheer number of reviews are out there, but I still was a bit peeved to see FireWire, Ethernet and display-out missing. I feel I can complain about this as I used all three on a regular basis. Also, I realize that they aren't gone for good, as there are dongles for all three, but I don't necessarily want to use more dongles. Bit hey, at least they aren't completely gone.

    One side for ports was better

    One thing I absolutely loved about the PowerBook was that all of the ports were on one side only. It was really convenient for me to have everything on one side so I could keep the other side uncluttered for other things. However, with USB ports on both sides, I will have to pay a bit more attention to what I keep next to the Air.

    Keyboard feels shallow

    The typing experience on the Air feels a little lacking compared to my PowerBook. Maybe it's the shorter key distance as it is so much thinner than the PowerBook, but I feel I'll need to type a few documents before I get used to it.

    However, having said all that, I don't regret buying the Air. The negatives are annoyances, not dealbreakers for me, and I hope to use the Air for just as long as I used the PowerBook.

    Thanks for reading.
     
  2. dyn macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #2
    Display out is still there: the thunderbolt port is also a mini-DisplayPort port. You can use any of the thunderbolt cables and adapters as well as mini-DisplayPort ones. You can compare it to the mini-DVI connector that was on iBooks, Powerbooks, etc. Only disadvantage would be that you only have 1 thunderbolt port and can hookup only one of the adapters. If you want a display, firewire and ethernet hooked up at the same time you need a dock like Belkin offers or the Apple Thunderbolt Display. Without it you have to choose one out of 3 to connect.

    But good heavens...from Powerbook G4 to a MacBook Air 2012...that is some time travel!
     
  3. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #3
    Nice. That 12" PowerBook sure lasted a long time. Was there any reason you went with the 13.3" over the 11.6" MacBook Air? Many consider the latter to the spiritual successor to the 12" PowerBook.
     
  4. kylera thread starter macrumors 65816

    kylera

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Location:
    Seoul
    #4
    That is true. However, I wanted the extra battery life more than anything else. I spend quite a bit of time on the move, so I didn't want to worry about battery life, and that worry is definitely out the window.

    And yes, it is definitely quite the time travel :D Best part, though, is that the PowerBook is still ticking. It looks battered, but it still works. I'm keeping it as a fax machine now.
     
  5. flyc14 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    #5
    Wow! Would you tell us the price you paid for the PowerBook g4?
     
  6. kylera thread starter macrumors 65816

    kylera

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Location:
    Seoul
    #6
    I paid full retail. I got it, passed it to a family relative for a couple of years due to having to serve in the military, and reclaimed it.
     
  7. Chic0, Jul 1, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012

    Chic0 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I've just decided to go for the 13" MBA. I'm coming from a 15" MBP late 2008, but my first mac was a 12" Powerbook. Really wish I hadnt sold it now. It's a classic
     
  8. pandaguy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    #8
    I enjoyed reading your thoughts! But damn, you had that PowerBook for a while!
     
  9. trondah macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    #9
    You can get rid of your Firewire disks now and get USB3 instead, faster and dongle-less :)
     
  10. kylera thread starter macrumors 65816

    kylera

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Location:
    Seoul
    #10
    True, but technical details aside, why get rid of something that's still ticking? I just hope that by the time my FW drives die, Thunderbolt will be much cheaper :p
     

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