The MBAir design philosophy has merit: Carry it when you need it

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mashoutposse, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. mashoutposse macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2003
    I'm talking of course about all of the features/extras that Apple boldly decided to leave out.

    After thinking more about the actual day-to-day with the Air, the apparent shift in philosophy makes sense.

    Personally, my usage patterns are such that, for the majority of the time, all of my MBP's extra hardware features (over the MBA) are not being utilized. Say, 80% of the time. Away from my desk, I would put it at very close to 100%. Anecdotally, it appears that many (most?) are similar to myself in this regard.

    Currently, as an MBP owner I am forced to carry all of this 'useless' equipment with me everywhere. Why should I?

    With the exception of Firewire, all of these features can be added to the MBA through the single USB port. So, I can carry the USB-powered Superdrive with me for the relatively few times I need it (or just leave it on my desk), and enjoy the slim form factor and friendly weight of the stock MBA for the other 80-95% of the time. Same could be said for ethernet, USB hubs, and all the other "missing" features. For a portable device, this is really what makes the most sense!

    Of course, all of this is compelling only if your usage patterns are similar to that described above. Still, I feel that Apple isn't getting enough credit for pushing things in this direction.

    After waffling for the past couple of days, I've decided to buy one (going with the base as a hedge against rapidly falling SSD prices/iPhone-like price break).
  2. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    That's exactly my thinking. I carried my four-and-a-half pound iBook so much more than I would have carried a seven or eight pound notebook, when I wasn't sure if I'd use it. I carry my Eee, which weighs two pounds, far more than I carried my iBook, because it has nearly no cost to me -- it fits in any bag I carry around, briefcase, backpack, messenger bag, and it's there if I need it.

    Like you imply, you have to balance what you can do with it at times you might not otherwise have had a computer with you, vs. what you could do with it at times when you'd have a heavier laptop with you anyway, and might be able to do a little more.
  4. mashoutposse thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2003
    @KingYaba: Good thing they didn't discontinue the MBPs ;)

    I already leave my MBP home too much of the time. If there were some way to strip off the optical drive and a few ports before stepping out...
  5. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    Mashout, exactly.

    And it's worth noting that Apple's decision to do this comes into the game somewhat late. I still have a Sony notebook from 2001 (the PCG-R505TSK) which does not have a built-in optical drive... if you wanted the optical drive, you could either buy an outboard drive (FireWire or USB), or you could buy a "slimdock" which attached to the bottom of the notebook (making it considerably thicker) and which added an optical drive, floppy drive, and extra ports.

    That's the secret: Make it optional. Optional lets you save weight and volume, and it also lets you save money by not forcing you to buy things you don't want or need.
  6. mashoutposse thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2003

    This concept makes perfect sense in today's world of Thumbdrives, super-small USB hubs, WiFi, et cetera. The powered $99 slim Superdrive alone is a strong hint that it's time (Sony used to charge ~$500 for a similar option around the release of your R505).
  7. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    Agreed. You have to realize that most of the MBA bashers are the same sick people who complain all day long about when is Apple going to give me this or that and update this etc., ad nauseum. And they want it at half the price. Their sense of entitlement screams of the teenage and twentysomething wasteland that fills this country (and other parts of the world) today with that spoiled don't want to work for give me this and that for free attitude.

    The real problem with switchers is that so many of them are PC users comes over from building/upgrading/or just plain buying their own systems for gaming and they expect Apple to produce Mac Pros and MBPs as well as even MBs for that purpose with the latest state of the art blah blah blah, and then they whine about the pricing and why isn't it here already etc. etc. etc.

    /end rant.
  8. SheriffParker macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2006
    The land of love
  9. mashoutposse thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2003
    The concept will be clearer to the detractors when the Macbook Air can be seen and touched in person. People who have seen it in person seem to have a much more positive opinion of it.
  10. JasonBourne9 macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2008
    I'll repost what I wrote a few days ago about the actual use of all these useful ports, expansion options, features, etc... that the MBA doesn't have by someone in the target market (in this case, me).

    I do think people seeing/feeling them in person might help turn the tide away from juvenile, self-obsessed bashing. I guess we'll see.

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