Road-testing my MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by wordmunger, May 27, 2008.

  1. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    I took my MBA to a conference in Chicago this weekend. Just a few quick notes:

    1. The MBA is awesome in airplane seats. I sat in economy class and could easily work on the computer, even with the chair in front of me fully reclined. This was impossible on my 14-inch iBook G4 and difficult even on a MacBook.

    2. Charging time wasn't a problem for me, but I didn't really put the computer to the test. I was at a convention and used the computer whenever I wanted, but I never had it on for the entire day. On my longest day, I had about six hours of intermittent use, and still had about an hour and a half charge left at the end of the day. Then I recharged overnight and was ready for the next day. I also appreciated the computer's very small power supply -- much smaller than a MacBook and *way* smaller than a MacBook Pro.

    3. The computer's definitely attractive. I had several appreciative looks and some people walk up to me and ask to hold it.

    4. One annoying thing about Leopard: why does it have to ask if you want to join a network *every* time you wake it from sleep? I wish there was some way to tell it I *never* want to join a particular network.

    5. This may be more of a problem with my conference hotel than the MBA, but I wasn't able to connect to the Internet in my hotel room. The hotel didn't offer in-room wi-fi, only ethernet connection. Since I didn't buy the adapter, I couldn't connect. That's a little annoying. Sometimes I even stay places where I need dial-up access. If I wanted to be ready for both of those options, I'd have to buy (and carry) two separate adapters.

    6. I *really* appreciated the light weight of the computer, as well as its small size. In most of the rooms I was in, there wasn't a lot of space between rows, and there were lots of attendees, so often there were people sitting right next to me. With a larger computer, I would have felt cramped trying to work in those conditions. Also, I could carry a smaller bag than I would have previously, so I didn't clog up the aisle with all my gear.

    7. The computer did get a little warm as I worked, but it wasn't as bad as some other computers I've used. It was probably about equal to my old iBook G4 in warmth, but it's much more comfortable on my lap because of its small size. At one point in a poorly-air-conditioned room I put the computer on the conference program to give my warm legs a chance to cool down.

    In some of the more frigid rooms the warmth of the computer was actually quite welcome!
  2. buccsmf1 macrumors 6502

    Mar 18, 2008
    Just spent 3 weeks traveling around europe with the air and i've loved this little thing to death. battery life is great, extremely light, good screen size for viewing and editing my photos.

    but yes, the usb-ethernet adapter is a must. i've been in at least 2 hotels that either didnt have wireless, or the wireless was terrible so i've been forced to hard-line it.
  3. krye macrumors 68000


    Aug 21, 2007
    You can disable that in System Preferences > Network > Choose Airport > Uncheck "Ask to join new networks".

    Also, press "Advanced" and make sure that the "Remember...." and "Disconnect..." options are selected to your liking.
  4. pilotError macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2006
    Long Island
    One of the things some folks are doing is buying the Airport Express and plugging it in to the hotel ethernet. This way you can have in-room wifi.
  5. wordmunger thread starter macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    Good point. I have three of 'em, so I could always bring one along when I travelled. Of course the ethernet adapter is smaller...
  6. brudy macrumors member

    May 23, 2008
    I thought I'd pass on the usb-ethernet adapter and the superdrive, but I think I'm going to pony up for them for a travel kit. And probably one of those WD portable drives that are usb-powered if I'm taking a ton of pictures (I shoot RAW only). I like the airport express idea though.
  7. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    This is the second trip I've been on with my MBA, and the first one in which I'll be doing an extensive amount of work with external drives and the USB hub, etc., for uploading a lot of images from my CF cards. I'm at a get-together of fellow Nikon photographers and it will be a busy weekend of shooting almost non-stop! The hotel where I'm staying has wireless internet access, and that is a plus, although I do have the ethernet adapter in case I need it in some hotel situation where there's no wireless available in guest rooms. I also have an Airport Express but haven't tried using that in the hotel room scenario.....

    Although I own the Superdrive, too, I did not bring it with me on this trip as I knew I wouldn't need it. One thing which really pleases me is that I was able to consolidate gear and bags -- the MBA slips neatly into a bag in which I also carry some camera gear, and that's a real plus, not having to carry a separate laptop bag. I just love this thing -- it's so lightweight and so readily portable in a way that my MBP simply is not.....

    I was showing a couple of my buddies the MBA today and I have the feeling that it won't be long before one of them, who travels fairly frequently, will be buying himself an MBA! :)
  8. HotAir macrumors member

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hollywood CA USA

Share This Page