What Can't the MBA do? (Except Gaming)

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by tech324, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. tech324 macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2010
    I am waiting on my new MBA 2011 13inch from Amazon. From what I can tell, the MBA can do anything a regular desktop can do except maybe for gaming. I am looking to use the AIR has my primary machine. Is there anything the MBA can not do? Why would someone need a more powerful desktop?

    Also I am not talking about screen size either because you can hook up an AIR to a display just like a desktop.
  2. urkel, Aug 11, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2011

    urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    Store 249GB of data?

    based on your phrasing Im not sure if you're just trying to justify your purchase or what, but let's not pretend the Air is anything more than it is. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate how (I love this term) "impossibly thin" it is but it does have many restrictions that a desktop doesn't, and a desktop has many restrictions that an Air doesn't. Just like there are many classes of vehicles, there should also be many classes of computers. So what a computer can or can't do has more to do with the user than it does with the physical product.
  3. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    I've been using a Rev A MBA for years now, and I'm a heavy computer user for work. I'm on it for hours a day. No, there's nothing a new MBA wont do that a regular computer user might need, IMHO.

    Actually thinking of getting the new 13" MBA now it has the backlit keyboard. But this one refuses to die... it's amazing how fast a SSD makes a computer!
  4. Raptura Suspended


    Sep 6, 2008
    Toronto, Canada / London, UK
    Well, I think it's most important to look at what you're currently using and what you're doing with it. I know with my 3 year old MacBook Pro I'll get better performance in every way, except for graphics, when I get my MacBook Air. I don't care for gaming as I've got a PC desktop for that.

    I hate reading these forums. I can't get my MBA until I receive my school grant. :(
  5. Photics macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2011
    Well... with my Mac Mini... just installing more RAM dramatically improved performance. With more RAM, the Mac doesn't write to the hard drive as virtual memory, which speeds things up.

    So, that's something I'm concerned about with the Mac Book Air. The new base model simply does not have enough RAM. And it's not like I can easily upgrade it later... unless I figure out how to solder new RAM to the motherboard. :p

    Wow... that statement makes me think of two things...

    • What games couldn't it run?
    • The Mac has games?! :p

    About the Mac Game drought...

    About a week ago, I tried Virtualization on my Mac Mini. I was running Fusion, Windows XP and Halo. It wasn't the best... pretty choppy actually... but almost close to playable. If the game was native, or if I boot up in Boot Camp, I'm thinking that it probably would have been OK... and I thought that the new Mac Book Air is much faster than my 2009 Mac Mini.

    About existing Mac Games...

    Why do you think it won't run games? I haven't tried it, but a lot of the Mac games have low system requirements. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and World of Warcraft are popular Mac games, but the system requirements are low.

    I don't know... I have pokey Mac Mini, but it seems so much faster than my PC... the one with more RAM and a better GPU. I actually put my PC in storage because it felt so slow next to my Mac Mini.... A TWO YEAR OLD MAC MINI!

    I use my Mac for 3D rendering, app development, desktop publishing, web publishing and basic computer stuff - Internet, Email, music.

    My main issue with the new MacBook Air is that it's expensive. The base model seems fairly inexpensive, but 2 GB of RAM is ridiculously low. A big help is that I use Pixelmator. I thought about switching back to PC, but I think I would really miss that program if I did. (Version 2.0 is looking sweet!)

    Why would someone need something more powerful? If they're really impatient about progress bars, need lots of storage space, or they're playing high-end video games, they might want more power. Me, I'm actually starting to like the Mac Book Air. It's the 2 GB RAM limit that I see as one of the big issues, not processing power.
  6. eljanitor macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2011
     It cant connect to firewire 400 and firewire 800 devices/ drives.
     It cant connect to an Ethernet network uness you want to sacrifice a USB port.
     It cant house another internal harddrive.
     It cant play CD's, DVD's or Bluray discs internally.
  7. Stangs55 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2007
    The Lone Star State
    Run modern programs coded just a few years ago. (in PowerPC)
  8. misterneums macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2009
    No mac can at the moment.
  9. PurpleMarmalade macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2010
    Despite numerous requests, mine still can't make a good cup of Earl Grey. Fail.
  10. Yumunum macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2011
    Here's something most people don't notice, mainly because it's a limitation only the MacBook Airs have... The audio port on MacBook Airs are only audio-out.

    There's no audio-in. You'll have to buy something like a Griffin iMic for normal audio-in needs.
  11. jackrv macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2011
    http://holdan.eu/Sonnet/Accessories/Presto™ Gigabit Ethernet Thunderbolt™ Adapter#tab=description

    Coming hopefully soon are Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet and FW800 adapters. Doesn't look like they are daisy-chainable though :( Hopefully someone will come out with a Thunderbolt Hub with a physical Bus topology for simple daisy chaining.

    USB Dongle is limited to 100Mbit, be nice to have a Gig Adapter when at home or work.

    Or there is the Thunderbolt Cinema display for the low price of $999 :eek:
  12. reputationZed macrumors 65816

    Mar 9, 2011
    34°55′42″N 80°44′41″W (34.
    You could say this about any Mac running Lion. PowerPC's dead, time to move on.

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