Switching to the MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by bp1000, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. bp1000 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2011
    Hello all

    Due to purchase my first mac, the new MBA (when it comes out) and i'm excited. Very impressed when i watched the OS X Lion keynote speech.

    I just have a few questions

    First being, this will be my work laptop mainly. I run a business from my laptop so i'm on it sometimes 14 hours a day and i'm wondering if the 13" screen is big enough? Thinking about my eyes. (I've never had a smaller laptop than a 15").

    Also with such heavy use, i normally kill my battery within 2 years. Can the MBA battery be easily replaced by unscrewing the bottom cover or is it too integral?

    I'm also out of touch with the latest CPU. My work tasks are basic, tonnes of browsing, a lot of adwords, some minor coding and low level graphics and just docs/chat/skype. But for home use i do have a hd camcorder and need to play and sometimes do very very minor edits on AVCHD 1080i video. To put it into perspective my current laptop is a core2duo P8400 2.26ghz and it barely runs AVCHD video without maxing out the CPU. Bit annoying, also any edits i make generally take < 3minutes to process (each), so small edits. Also i burn straight to bluray so i'm comfortably will all of that.

    Will the lower clock speed of the sandybridge (1.7ghz - proposed MBA chip) be sufficient to run the 1080i video. I'm perhaps being a little naive basing this on clock speed v my old laptop but i just don't know these days, i'm sure sandybridge has a lot more tricks up it sleeve for 1080i video, right?

    Also what software should i buy. I dont need full office apps so i might just stick with Libre Office. Is there anything else, general, that is worth buying. I take it iMovie is standard and will deal with AVCHD video? I would ideally like a 1 touch burning solution but i could use the bundled software with the sony cam for that. Just need to buy a samsung external burner too.

  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I haven't had any issues using my 13" MBA for extended amounts of time. The size shouldn't really affect eyestrain.

    Removing the battery doesn't seem too hard, see this.

    Sandy Bridge CPUs are much more powerful than the one in your current laptop. My understanding is that AVCHD is poor codec for editing so it will be encoded to something else when imported to iMovie. Encoding will take a while but after that it should be smooth. If video editing is just occasional, then MBA should be fine but it's not the best machine for it. You can always consider a dedicated machine (e.g. iMac) for editing if you start to do more of it.
  3. seepel macrumors 6502


    Dec 22, 2009
    As far as the battery is concerned I would say you'll probably be pretty safe. I have a 2009 Macbook Pro that I have used pretty heavily and the battery is doing pretty well. The newer Apple batteries are specced at 80% health through 1000 cycles, you'd have to drain your battery almost every day over the three years to hit that cycle count. So if you have Apple Care and you don't hit 1000 cycles they'll just replace the battery for you when you burn through it.
  4. bp1000 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2011
    Thanks for the help guys

    Especially the notes on the battery and will be getting applecare too so good to know there might be some help from them within the 3 years on the battery.

    Perhaps have nothing to worry about with apple batteries but my current laptop battery is utter rubbish. 58% capacity after 2 years and last about 1hr 40!

    The video stuff is very occasional and the edits are even rarer. In most cases i just do 1 touch burn.

    I take it something like this is 100% compatible (i.e. no specific requirements for the superdrive to do certain things) : http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_r=0XE9VBAR30QPWTYCB65D

  5. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    The battery on the current MBA is very good (better than that of its predecessors), and the MBA can easily cope with being worked all day. Mine is. I had a MBP from 2008 and bought a MBA last September. Actually, since then I found myself using the MBA almost all of the time - I have since sold my MBP as I found I never used it and didn't need it.

    Getting Applecare is a very good idea; I always make a point of buying it for Apple computers, as it is well worth while and gives you peace of mind for three years.

  6. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    I have the mbp 13 and use it a lot. I Don't think it is the length of use, but what you do that might get tiring. It sounds like the MBA 13 would be fine for you, but since this is a business expense, and it doesn't sound like you need the portability, why not get a mbp 15? lots of screen real estate, super fast, reasonably priced, quad core, and has plenty of hdd space to hold business and personal records.
  7. bigp9998 macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2007
    Yeah, it sounds to me like the MBA might not be the best computer for you. Understand that while the MBA is ultrathin, the MBP is really quite thin too. If you go that route, you will have an onboard disk drive, faster computer, and if you so choose, a 15" screen.

    Of course, wait until the MBA refresh anyway to see exactly what Apple does before you buy anything.
  8. bp1000 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2011
    I must admit that i was always going to get a MBP 15" as it's not exactly a fatty but when i heard the MBA was getting sandybridge i thought i may as well get that as it's going to be fast enough and extremely small and light.

    I do travel about a bit and can be in different countries sometimes, I live in the UK and fly out to various European cities for a few days away sometimes. Normally once a month i'm away for a few days. Would be nice to have something so small and light to take with me to check things on hotel wifi whilst the mrs goes out.

    I must admit once the SB MBA's surfaced i thought about getting one for £1,100 and getting an imac for about the same if i needed it. I could get both for a little of £2,200 yet if i got a macbook pro i would have to spec up the 15" i7 2.2 with SSD and screen upgrade which takes me to £2,048. I thought the MBA and iMac would be better value. But i would hold off the iMac and see if i needed it.
  9. bigp9998 macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2007
    Depending on how and where you work, etc you could also consider iMac + iPad. If I was staring at a computer screen as long as you are, I would want it to be larger than 13".

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