The age old MBA question: $999 or 1800?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by freelancier, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. freelancier macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2008
    I've hold out for so long it's killing me. it's been worth it i guess because from the time i first thought about buying an MBA at all till now, the price has dropped another $200 for the Rev A. But i still don't know which one to get:

    What I do with it:

    email/lots of movie watching while traveling - downloads, Hulu, House, etc. /photography (some picture editting)/blogging and basic graphic design( hoping to start using iWeb)

    Other related factors:
    1)ongoing back problems, so the weight is a big factor, which is why am not considering other heavier ones...

    2)wrist/hand problems, possible carbo tunel (don't know how to spell it) the swipe function seems very helpful.

    3)I get a bit of anxiety carrying around things I paid a lot of money for...which is why I don't have an iphone cos i know i will drop buying the more expensive one and bringing it to deveping countries where i go often for work makes me somewhat nervous...

    But the most important thing to consdier for me, is based on all of you who have used an MBA, if the cheaper one can do all the things i listed without hicup.


    $999 - Refurbished REV A

    or the new ones? is it really worth the $600 more based on my needs?
  2. shokunin macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2005
    i have the Rev B, previously also owned the Rev. A. Video was the achilles heel for the Rev A model. Then again, screen issues with Rev B is a different set of issues from Rev. A.

    If your video is mostly DVD related, I had no problems with Rev A. However tryings to decode high bitrate h.264 files caused the temps to skyrocket to 80c plus and the cores would throttle. I had the 1.8ghz Rev A and I doubt I would have noticed the performance difference with the 1.6 because it would rarely hold steady at 1.8ghz, it'd throttle back to 1.6ghz. Anyways, Coolbook can help by undervolting and other utilities to raise the standard fan rpms to a higher rate.

    If you plan on watching a lot of HD content on your air, I'd recommend going with Rev B, 9400M helps tremendously.
  3. justit macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2007
    Glad others are realizing that 1.6 or 1.8 difference is small because it likes to stay at 800mhz ;)
  4. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2004
    Why would you watch a lot of HD on a 1280x800 screen? 720p I could see, but not 1080 or anything. A Rev A Air with firmware updates/proper ventilation (not sitting on your lap - sitting on a flat surface) can handle regular Hulu and YouTube and can certainly handle DVD.
  5. children macrumors regular

    Dec 22, 2008
    to be honest, i don't think the new rev b's are worth it.
    If i was to buy a rev b, id rather buy the macbook alu AND a macbook air Rev A..
  6. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Absolutely, POSITIVELY, buy the revB MBA with HDD for $1799. The 1.6 isn't too much slower than 1.86 GHz. The HDD on the revB is faster than an SSD on revA. Most xBench comparison results show the revB with HDD as better/faster than a revA with SSD.

    The revB has a 45 NM Penryn CPU, an Nvidia GPU, and SATA. All much better than the revA model.

    For $1799, you get a nice fast super portable MBA that is like a MB... only in a lighter AIR form. The revA MBA was merely a netbook. The difference is night and day. The revB MBA is the coolest Mac ever in my opinion.

    Good luck whichever way you go.
  7. CalMin macrumors 6502a


    Nov 8, 2007
    I had a Rev. A. Loved it, but it felt underpowered some of the time, so I compromised on portability, sold it and got a Macbook. I haven't used a rev. B, but I hear that they are much better.

    If you have the resources and plan to keep it for a long time, then go for the B. As for prices, well they will always get cheaper. If you wait another year, then Rev. B's will be $999 and the new Rev C will be the one to get. Life is too short to keep waiting - get what you want now and start enjoying it!
  8. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020


    Aug 16, 2007
  9. HondaSUV4WD macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2009
    It depends if it was your primary or secondary computer...if it's your secondary, why should you pay DOUBLE for a couple of seconds in a bench mark ??? Plus you'll get a BEAUTIFUL RevA screen !!!
  10. EnderTW macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2007
    Aside from the lines, the RevB screen is actually better, in terms of contrast and absolutely no backlight bleed!

    I'd agree. If you ever watch 720p or higher, you're macbook air will struggle.

    I also agree with the other sentiment, that a few seconds doesn't amount to much, it really depends on what you use this macbook for.

    However let me say this, if you do decide to go for the rev a, do know that any netbook is comparable and sometimes better than the MBA rev a, in terms of price to performance.

    rev b, no netbook can match the performance.

    $999 is very attractive, I was even thinking of doing it but decided not to because it will be my primary computer, I have a nice desk set up, with some bose 3 series, everything is offloaded to my server (usenet stuff), beautiful screen.
  11. DeuceDeuce macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2007
    San Dimas, CA

    Any Netbook comparable to Rev A MBA? Please explain what you mean by that?

    Is it the screen size, RAM, processor, or Full Keyboard that are so comparable?

    Watching streamed HD video isn't the only thing a computer does people.
  12. mhnajjar macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2008
    DeuceDeuce, would you mind explaining why a $300 NETBOOK can handle videos that a fancy $1800/$2500 NETBOOK cannot?

    The only advantages revA has over the other NETBOOKS in the market are sexiness, screen and keyboard sizes.

    Size isn't everything about a netbook, a 17" machine can be called a NETBOOK if it performs as JUNK as the revA.

    I guess you should tell us ONE thing that the revA can do that the other NETBOOKS in the market cannot?!
  13. DeuceDeuce macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2007
    San Dimas, CA
    Apparently all you care about is watching streaming HD video and playing games... A C2D machine is much more of a machine then any Atom based machine.
  14. freelancier thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2008
    Nicely said!

    I plan to have only one computer, currently i own a powerbook 12", same as your signature. THAT'S ALL AND IT HAD BEEN FINE until online streaming videos became the norm.
    Now it stutters like crazy when i watch House, Lost or Dailyshow..really sucks!

    I need to be able to watch online streaming movies comfortably!

    The only thing i worry about paying the extra $600 for is the 1.6GHz, which looks pathetic compare to the Macbook'S 2.4 GHz of even lower price. With no possibility of upgrading an MBA, i am worry about it being obsolete in less than a year, in which case a Rev A would have been slightly more cost-effective...since i really want mobility.

    Plus I really don't like the Macbook mirror glass screen which reflects things and extremely distracting and the weight is another big factor....etc..

    BTW, what lines on the screen of new MBA are you all talking about???

  15. EnderTW macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2007
    DeuceDeuce, the fact that the Atom processor can, and the crippled Rev A processor can not.

    Rev A is good for anyone doing office/e-mails/chat, anything flash intensive, it doesn't perform well.

    If you're fine with that, then the Rev A is a great choice right now. Especially with OSX.
  16. drjsway macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2009
    Sounds like you had a faulty machine. My Rev A 1.6ghz handled ALL flash content and 720p perfectly. Also, Rev B has the EXACT same screen as Rev A. I have both.
  17. mhnajjar macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2008
    drjsway, I am sorry but there is NO way that your revA and revB have the same screen since Apple uses different models and you can check that yourself.

    If you do not mind, you can post some pictures for us here of the both profiles, models and screen quality so we can judge :)
  18. justit macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2007
    Agreed. I asked a genius to see if they could swap my rev B with lines for a Rev A. They said its a different screen and different manufacturer.

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