Scared to buy Macbook Air

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by TatsuTerror, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. TatsuTerror macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2008
    I'm looking into the Macbook Air, and wanted to run this by all of you. I don't want to purchase something that won't fit my computer lifestyle.

    What I want:

    -Something that will run the usual programs (Word, Safari, iChat) fast and without a hiccup.

    -Something that will run Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Bridge at a decent speed, obviously not all at once (I use a 2Ghz 2GB RAM Mac Pro for those sometimes, so not too much slower than that).

    -Alu, Lighter (hence no MB)

    What I will buy:

    -1.8 Ghz SSD Model

    The cost is not my issue here...will the MBA provide for my computer needs?
  2. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    Can't compare the Mac Pro's performance on processor and card-intensive apps to the MBA's. If you expect somewhat similar performance, you need a Macbook Pro.
  3. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    sounds like you need a primary computer, not a secondary, which MBA is
  4. TimJim macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2007
  5. diabolic macrumors 68000

    Jun 13, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    If it's going to be your primary system, or if you are really worried about speed go with a MacBook Pro. I'm sure the MBA will run Photoshop just fine, but I'm not expecting it to blow me away.
  6. TatsuTerror thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2008
    I plan to hook up a monitor to my computer, so the reduced weight is the main reason I jumped for this and not the Macbook Pro. I know the footprint isn't too different, but the weight really jumped out at me, and since I will have an external monitor, 13" is a perfect screen size. Though I'm still considering both this and the MBP, if this can do what I need it to decently that's fine with me.

    Another question -- how do you think the SSD drive of the MBA will compare to the SATA of the Mac Mini? I've used a 1.66 Ghz Mac Mini with a 20" minitor and the speed was fine..
  7. TatsuTerror thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2008
    ...maybe the Macbook Pro is for me after all...I just wish they'd make one with a 13" screen.
  8. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

    May 14, 2006
    Roskilde, DK
    The SSD will most likely blow you away. :)
  9. macjay macrumors 6502

    Oct 3, 2003

    WHERE'S THE 13" MBP??
  10. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    Well if the mac mini was fine wouldn't the Air be fine? It's no pro, but it'll get the job done. the SSD drive would be significantly faster than the mini, but the SATA will be muuuuch slower.
  11. -Noodles macrumors regular


    Oct 18, 2007
    I don't think you'll get the performance you want on a mba for adobe applications. At least if your document sizes are decently large.

    15" mbp will do the business.

    Really the mba seems better suited for travelers that just need office, safari, or any other basic apps. I imagine every businessman, journalist, or writer would be falling out of their chair for one, but designers, photographers, etc will probably still be better off with a mbp I think.
  12. mavherzog macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2005
    Columbus, WI
    I'm curious as to why you are totally disregarding the MacBook.
  13. maestrokev macrumors 6502a


    Apr 23, 2007
    You mention a number of Adobe apps. I use my Macs for semi-pro photography.

    What has not been reviewed is the screen quality of the MBA. Will it be as good as the MBP or more like the MB. Remember the fiasco over the screen quality of the new iMac 24" vs 20"?
  14. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Throw out the SSD drive. With a fraction of that money, buy an external USB drive (and decide: If it will always stay at home, get 3.5", 500 GB. Otherwise get 2.5", 250 GB), Time Capsule, maximum size monitor, wireless keyboard and mouse. Then have a place set up at home where you just plug in monitor and hard disk.

    Even 1.6 GHz is reasonably fast. Core 2 Duo is about as fast as a Pentium 4 at 70-80 percent higher clock speed, and you have two cores, so you are about at the speed of two P4 2.8 GHz.
  15. Catonow macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2007
    Everything I've read says that the SSD drive will be blazing. Sounds to me like the OP is not a power user (not heavily into graphics, editing hours of HD video, etc.) and the MBA will be just fine.

    And if, as you wrote, cost is not an issue, then you can add any or all of these suggestions as well. I think Time Capsule for one would be a must, to back up the fairly limited HD space when at home, and if you have the SSD + Time Capsule I don't see the need for another external USB drive.

    I suspect you find the lighter weight an attractive feature, am I right? I know I do. Too many MR members don't seem the understand the appeal, especially if you travel a lot, have a bad back, etc.
  16. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    yeah, blazing to the graveyard. faster than necessity, at the same time, whats the lifespan? probably not that long since OSX is writing on it like crazy.

    There should be more details out about MBA's SSD so we can make decent judgment.....
  17. TatsuTerror thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2008
    They're slated to last a lot longer than regular HD's.

    As for my disregard of the Macbook, I'm no fan of the plastic, and I've a few friends who have had problems with that. However, everyone I know with a MBP has a grand time with it, and it's alu.
  18. Angrist macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2005
    MI or NJ
    Integrated Graphics and a Plastic Case.

    It's really the same comparison that was made between the 12" iBook and the 12" PowerBook. The PBook didn't have quite the same grunt as the 15" or 17", but it was still more of a "Pro" machine in terms of specs and looks.

    If there was a 12" or 13" Pro laptop with an Intel processor, I'd have upgraded already. (and so would many others)
  19. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    problem is, SSD has limited lifespan, not about how long it will go bad in storage, rather, due to the fact you can only write on it for limited times before it wears out.

    How long this SSD in MBA can last? well, you guys will be the one to find out.
  20. nomad01 macrumors 68000


    Aug 1, 2005
    Birmingham, England
    I sold my Macbook Pro to get a Black Macbook. The case is more resillient to denting and bending and it still runs the pro apps I use.

    The Macbook is head and shoulders above the old iBook I 'm glad to say.
  21. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    Get an SSD when 128 or 256GB drives become reasonably priced. Any Apple service center should be able to swap it for you
  22. steve_hill4 macrumors 68000


    May 15, 2005
    NG9, England
    I agree, the MacBook is a great machine for general use. I mostly use my MBP for Internet, word processing, watching video etc. This is only because it is my only Mac at the moment, (ignoring my 15 year old LCIII).

    My suggestion to a lot looking at a MacBook Pro is unless they really need that much power on the move, get a cheap MacBook and iMac. £1299 for the base MBP compared to £799 and £699 for base iMac and MacBook. That's only £200 more and you have essentially a MacBook Pro at the desk, (don't point out the obvious differences between a MBP and iMac), and a MacBook on the go.

    Next up for me, iMac followed by MBA or similar. If they had a 12" MBP by then of course, I'd have that over the MBA any day, but we'll see.
  23. jnc macrumors 68020


    Jan 7, 2007
    Nunya, Business TX
    You and the rest of the planet. I've been waiting in vain since the Intel announcement - 2 years. Last year I bought a MacBook to tide me over to what I thought would be an inevitable MWSF 08 but.. nope. Air instead. Bah. Now I'm just waiting for the next 15" update and I'll have to just deal with it...

    My mid 2007 2GHz 1GB GMA950 MacBook can handle all of that, so I'm confident the 1.8GHz, 2GB ram, x3100-equipped Air with SSD can more than handle it.
  24. edwardcheah macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2004
    excuse my computer unsavyness but help a fellow maclover out and explain to me whats the difference between the 80GB and the SSD hardrive, what is SSD anyway?
  25. jnc macrumors 68020


    Jan 7, 2007
    Nunya, Business TX
    No moving parts in the hard drive, like the iPod Nano. Less potential for damage when/if dropped, much faster access speed. Unfortunately incredibly expensive, too.

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