Received my Macbook Air today; Verdict: Not Bad

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by LinMac, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. LinMac macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #1
    The Macbook Air is definitely the most interesting portable I've ever owned and it is by far the thinnest of them.

    Pros:

    This thing is thin and if you've never owned one you just can't understand how thin. It makes the Macbook Pro line look quite.. chunky.

    The weight is very nice and it feels like you could carry it anywhere with you. It really does feel like an ultraportable.

    The construction feels very solid to me and the unit seems sturdy compared to some units I've used (I'm looking at you Lenovo X60/X61 series!) while still being very stylish.

    The screen and speaker seem to be high quality. I've been watching some videos using VLC and the screen looks excellent compared with my Macbook Pro (which also looks excellent). The unit could use stereo speakers, but it isn't that big of a problem.

    Cons:

    The unit feels sluggish and slow at times. It is supposed to be an ultraportable, but you simply can't help comparing it to the Macbook line. I've been putting it through its paces and it benchmarks respectably, but you can simply feel the difference in load speeds when using it beside a 2008 (white) Macbook or similar.

    The charger could have a better design. Think retractable cord or similar handy ultraportable friendly charger design.

    One USB port, non-removable battery, other standard complaints. Enough said.

    Special Mention:

    Expresscard slot. This would be very handy to avoid the bulky usb modems for 3G data services. I'm not sure if it is possible to work one of these in given the form factor, but it would be a nice to have.

    ---

    I'm happy with the machine and I'll be using it until Apple releases a tablet or something else appropriate to replace it with like a faster Macbook Air. iPhone 3G and a Macbook Air, now all I need is tethering via Bluetooth and I'm set until Apple releases something else that is made of shinyium. :apple:
     
  2. bc008 macrumors 68000

    bc008

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #2
    mini reviews like this really helped me decide which computer to get.

    i did get the macbook pro because with an edu discount, it was the same price as the air, and only .25 inches thicker on the thick end so it was really a moot point as to what one i was going to get.

    (i am not bashing the air at all, i think it is the second best laptop apple has ever made, only to the MBP of course ;) )
     
  3. LinMac thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #3
    I like the Macbook Pro line too and will be buying another when the Montevina update is out. The decision to get an Air in the interim was mostly a "ohh.. thin and shiny" combined with the need for a portable after I sold my Macbook Pro. I don't think anyone can claim that the Macbook Air is a 1:1 replacement for a Macbook Pro even if you buy the Superdrive accessory. They're just too different.

    I like it though and I won't be trading it in for anything besides a faster Air (or iTablet Pro) anytime soon.
     
  4. idyll macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    #4
    I agree with you 100% and felt the same exact way about the MBA
     
  5. LinMac thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #5
    Just to add:

    I set the Macbook Air up with all current updates and also configured it as I do all my machines before benchmarking it with Geekbench.

    It comes out at a nice round 2341. The mid 2007 Macbook Pro that I just sold had a figure of around 3400 with the same benchmark.

    Not too bad really. I think the laggy startup of some programs comes from the PATA disk in the Air vs. the disks in other computers. I'm not sure how much the SSD will help this considering (I believe) it uses the same interface as the PATA disk to reach the motherboard.
     
  6. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #6
    I've got the 1.8/SSD and, damn, it's remarkably fast. I don't notice (my own observations, I'm not going to benchmark it) any increase in startup time of applications over my MBP. In terms of booting, the SSD MBA is about as close to 'on/off' as laptops are likely to get any time soon!

    I can imagine the HDD version would have some inherent sluggishness about it. However, I can understand why people buy it over the SSD given how the SSD is a total stretch. Worth it, though, IMHO.
     
  7. LinMac thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #7
    A friend of mine owns the SSD version of the Macbook Air and the load times on my Macbook Air are comparable with it. I matched it against my Macbook Pro and the Macbook Pro seems to start programs noticeably faster.

    The system only feels sluggish when compared to far superior machines in terms of hard disk speed, ram, and processor speed. The Macbook Pro I'm mentioning here was upgraded to a third party 7200rpm model roughly 6 months after I bought it.

    SSD will be marginally faster, but when I compare the two machines I am glad I opted for the lower end machine. :)
     
  8. Alan Taylor macrumors 6502

    Alan Taylor

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Mississauga
    #8
    Ahhhh! Mine was shipped this morning, I can't wait!
     
  9. billyripkin macrumors 6502

    billyripkin

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #9
    I just switched from a macbook to a MBP to a Air and for me the Air is near perfection. Yes it is not a powerhouse but I don't need that for surfing the net which is what it is really for in my case. I love the weight and the size is perfect.
     
  10. mBurns macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    Your review brought up the pros and cons I've been weighing with deciding whether to purchase an Air or not. Did you buy your Air new, used, or refurb?
     
  11. LinMac thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #11
    New from Amazon.com. I like buying new from the Apple store to enhance the shiny factor, but being able to unbox it is good enough when I can't get to an Apple store.

    Amazon.com has a lower purchase price than Apple for new Macbook Air computers, offers a $50 mail in rebate (it was there when I ordered mine), free shipping, and no sales tax. I can't ask for better than that. :D
     
  12. w00tini macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
  13. jk1002 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    #13
    My Powerboook G4 lost it's "0" key and the battery is wasted, holds less then 40 minutes.

    Macbook Pro in 13.3" would be it, but since that is not there I am going back and forth between Blackbook and the Air. I think the Display of the Air is a bit better then the Blackbook. Processor seems fine though. I had 2 HD 1080P trailer running in paralel, plus itunes playing a movie plus several apps open.

    it did bring the MBA to a crawl, you would notice that the animations in the task bar slowed down but now core shut down. It kept up for 10 minutes or so, it got warm but did not get too hot to touch.

    The only thing that bother's me with the Air is the slow HD. I am a bit nervous that this will bug me down the line.

    On the other hand, for what I would do with it will be sufficient, I am just not sure that this won't change. my PB12 " 1.5 is definitely too slow for Iweb and Iphoto even though I maxed out the ram.

    Build Quality on the Blackbook seems OK, better then on the white Macbook that is for sure.

    Hmmmm. Not an easy call.

    JK
     
  14. LinMac thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #14
    The Blackbook's screen just doesn't compare well with the Macbook Pro in a side by side comparison. The Blackbook just looks washed out (black is too white or just doesn't look deep enough..) to me , but that is mostly subjective.

    I have never done a side by side comparison of a Blackbook and an Air, but the Air's screen looks a lot like the Macbook Pro's screen so I just assume they are of the same quality.

    The speed differences are obvious and you'll have to decide which is better. I made my decision on three factors:

    1) Size/weight. - The Macbook Air is very thin and very light.
    2) Quality of screen. - The washed out look of the Blackbook got to me after a couple of weeks. I don't know how noticeable it is for others, but I can be quite picky when it comes to screens.
    3) Use. - I don't do a lot of processor intensive programs and I barely push my Mac Mini to the limit so the limited speed wasn't a problem. I also use VLC instead of Quicktime when viewing media so that might help.

    You can't compare the two because they are so different, but you really can't help yourself because they seem so similar. :D
     

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