Should I buy a MBA now or wait?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by MGLXP, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. MGLXP macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    #1
    Hi all,

    I'm trying to decide whether to buy a Rev. B 1.86GHz 128GB SSD MacBook Air now or should I wait? I had a Rev. A 1.6GHz 80GB HD version and it was a piece of crap. It overheated all the time when playing videos and kernel_task kept using all the CPU power. Furthermore, it was slow and things like Expose were very jerky. I plan to use it as a second computer to my MBP. Are the problems of the Rev. A rectified now? Do you guys think it is worth getting one now?
     
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
  3. kernkraft macrumors 68020

    kernkraft

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    #3
    I'd buy. Or wait. No, buy! Yep, buy (probably)!

    I've had two rev A Airs, I purchased both as refurbished. I never before or since bought refurbished and I can tell you that with the second one I was very disappointed. The hinges were loose and there was a high pitch hissing noise coming from the left hand side of the grill. But for these incidents, the 14 day return policy might be useful. Overheating is usual with Apple portables, so either ones were an exception. Yet, typing on it was a joy, compared to my 2.4 GHz unibody MacBook. But video - as you said - is something that these laptops should not be mixed with.

    A friend of mine has got the follow-up and it is so much better. 1.8 GHz would be the minimum for these that I would take again. SSD is good, but not essential. Personally, I would recommend buying a refurbished rev B model. It is a good compromise between portability and usability. We can expect serious improvement only on the power side and usability. It just cannot get much lighter or smaller.

    If you think about what sort of changes Apple might introduce, it is not difficult to see that their options are limited. Probably the new Airs will have a glass trackpad. 13.3" is a very practical size, the screen will probably get an upgrade. Processor speed might jump up to 2.26 GHz. Memory will hopefully increase - and hopefully it will be upgradeable (at present it's not). New battery will come too. The shape itself is getting dated. I expect some minor cosmetic improvement. Mini DisplayPort might come and an SD card reader. The price will remain the same, I think. The dilemma will be that there are so many similar computers in Apple's line that the Air will have to be specialised. If it will come out with the Tablet, then a SIM card or some 3G compatibility might give it the edge it needs. But this speculation might be childish to some. We'll see in the spring, perhaps.

    So, it will be a nice little machine, IF(!!!) Apple puts the necessary development and testing into the project. First versions tend to have quality issues, so you might want to wait for the fourth rev, anyway. Let somebody else pay for the prototype testing.

    TO SUMMARISE IT:

    If you really need an Air and the 13.3" MB Pro is not light enough (although they are definitely faster), buy an Air now. I wasn't sure myself so I bought the cheaper, 2.26 GHz MB Pro and either I will get some cheap RAM and HDD upgrade or will sell it as it is when ones with matte screen come out. If you don't mind the screen, then get the 2.53 GHz version and you will keep it for several years, I promise. Don't wait for months with such little certainty about the new Air's specification! If you want the Air, the refurbished MB Airs maintain their value well, so computing will not be a major cost if you consider that you might want to keep it for at least 8-9 months if not longer. I mean, the Air is losing the reasons to buy it, but it would be stupid to downgrade it within the range; so this will be a tricky upgrade for that product. Almost anything can happen, so limited are the possibilities.

    I hope it helps, sorry for the wordcount, I'm a bit tired. I hope I haven't confused you more.
     
  4. DiamondGCoupe macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    #4
    I just bought mine the other day, I held off waiting for a few months to see if there was going to be any updates but I don't think there will be any until March/April so you might as well grab one now.
     
  5. MGLXP thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    #5
    Thanks for your helpful reply!
     
  6. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #6
    Buy NOW, unless you NEED more RAM.

    The MBA at its current price is certainly a value. Even compared to other ultraportables, the MBA is very reasonably priced. At $1799 it's a $700 discount over what it cost just back on June 1st. The discount is already here.

    If you need more than 2 GB of RAM, just wait for the updated MBA. About 80% of people who complain about the MBA list "lack of RAM" as main concern. Certainly Apple has read these problems and heard these complaints and knows what it has to include to increase sales. In addition, almost all the other ultraportables on the market offer a 4 GB RAM upgrade and a 256 GB SSD. An upgraded MBA is certainly coming at some point.

    It could be November/December or as late as March next year. Apple cited in its quarterly financial report conference call last week that its shipping costs would be much larger this holiday season to air ship products and not a tablet. I believe that COULD mean that Apple has acquired Arrandale CPUs ahead of schedule and might plan an MBA/MBP update just before the holidays. That would make a lot of sense... Apple has a history of getting Intel CPUs early. I would say it's a possibility and speculation but not probable.

    If you buy now, I highly recommend a v 2,1 1.86/2.13 GHz MBA with SSD. Get them refurbished for $1349 and $1549, like new. Or, buy an HDD and upgrade the SSD to a Runcore SSD. Good luck whether you buy now or wait.
     
  7. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #7
    I just wish the Air was HD replaceable and covered by warranty/Apple care. That and I wish Apple would use Intel SSDs rather than Samsung ones.

    Either of those conditions apply (preferably the former) and I would pick one up.
     
  8. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #8
    Wishes easily come true for one of the two. I just replaced my perfectly working stock SSD in my MBA to a Runcore SSD a few days ago. It's an amazing drive working at 2x to 3x the speed of the stock SSD.

    Second wish is hard to come by, Apple cannot fit an Intel drive in the MBA. Intel makes drives that are too big for the MBA's tiny thin frame. They just will not fit! MBA requires a 1.8" 5mm height drive.

    Actually the Runcore SSD is very fast probably comparable to an Intel in speed if the Intel met the other requirements. Remember the MBA doesn't allow for a full size SSD/drive.
     
  9. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #9
    Oh I see....yea I never knew about that because I just own a MBP and didn't stop to consider that the AIR's size would never accommodate a 2.5" HD. I'm also quite new to the MBA forums here as I've never seriously considered getting an Air until now :eek:

    I'll definitely check the Runcore. Is that the preferred SSD option for MBA users, like how Intel X-25Ms are the preferred 2.5" drives? And why hasn't Intel made a 1.8" SSD themselves?

    As for replacing the HD, thats exactly the problem I'm talking about. Doing it yourself would void Apple warranty, wouldn't it?
     
  10. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #10
    Intel does make 1.8" SSDs—X18-M.

    Their 80GB model is 5mm and 160GB model is 8mm. They just don't make this with a LIF connector.
     
  11. a.chufong macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    #11
    Replacing the hard drive would definitely void the warranty. That being said, if you're careful, one could theoretically replace the original drive into the MBA if the notebook needed repairs from Apple.
     

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