What made you choose macbook air over a macbook?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by sk8mash, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. sk8mash macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2007
    Im thinking of buying an Apple laptop for school, and next year uni. I already have the iMac in my sig which is plenty powerful enough for me, just wondering why you would choose the air over the macbook when the macbook is cheaper and has more to it (cd drive etc...)

    My choice is really between the 1.6ghz refurbed macbook air, or a 2.0ghz macbook alu.

    Thanks :)
  2. ukmacpro macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2008
    I replaced my old 1.6 WhiteBook with an air for portability alone. I only use it for the basics... The net, writing, music, occasionally photoshop... And it runs great. It's pretty effortless to carry it around with you...

    You might want to go with a MacBook if you need to do higher powered tasks... Although you already have the iMac so unless you need the power on the move I'd stick with the air... I have a MacBook pro to run Logic, which mainly site on my desk, but it's nice to have the option to take it on the road with me.

    The only other difference is if you ever think you'll need to use a SuperDrive on the move... So far I never have...
  3. tom1971 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2007
    Weight and nicer screen

    I compared the new Macbook screen and the MBA screen side by side, and I noticed a huge difference in terms of crispness of the colours, possible viewing angles, negative black effect etc. Also I found the glossy bezel of the MB very annoying.
    The second aspect was the lighter weight. I have an 24 inch iMac, so if I really want to to iMovie stuff, I use it.

    And by the way - I have a perfect MBA Rev. B without horizontal lines :D.
    There is some flickering when trying out the patterns, but it never really affected me.
  4. dlblarg macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2008
    I've been blogging about the MBA Rev b and it hasn't stopped me from doing any tasks -- it has nearly the same specs as my first MBP with a brilliant screen. What does happen is the fans blow, with anything processor intensive. You can't watch 5 seconds of a flash movie without the fans blowing.
  5. sk8mash thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2007
    Thanks for all the replies. Im still not quite sure if I can get over the thought of paying more for less in terms of spec. Although the macbook air is very attractive due to its size I guess. That is probably what I would want and need. A light portable laptop...
  6. Hey Jude macrumors 6502a

    Hey Jude

    May 9, 2008
    I am a current MacBook owner, and have opted for the Air because of its portability. I wanted a lighter notebook, and having held both the Air and the Glassbook in my hands, I could not believe how heavy the MacBook felt, compared to the Air.

    I have probably watched five movies on my MacBook, and have never had a need for more than one USB port since I owned it. I write, surf, play music, sync my iPhone and store photos, all of those tasks the Air is sufficiently capable of performing.

    I must also admit that lust had a little to do with it as well:D

  7. ercanbas macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2008
    I went from a 128/ssd Air to a 2.4 Macbook and I think the Macbook is light as well IMHO. I was kind of upset over occasional stuttering for such a premium laptop. Also, what killed me was the horizontal lines, I for one love the Macbook screen. Oh and better iSight camera resolution and it works better with the ACD. The main reason I switched however was to receive the full benefits of what Snow Leopard has to offer. I wanted a computer that was long term and maybe it's just me, but I don't think the Air will last with the new innovations that are coming out, so I went with a Macbook. I do miss the Air at times however, mainly when I am out and there is always someone asking about it which sparks interesting conversations.
  8. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2008
    Given your choice the benefits of the MBA are transportability, better screen, and backlit keyboard.

    While the footprint of a MB vs MBA are about the same, its weight and thinness allow you to use a smaller/lighter bag. Each of its accessories are likewise smaller and lighter. It really adds up if you travel with it a lot. If you work on your laptop 8-12 hours a day you'll appreciate the much better screen on the MBA although the MB screen is ok. The backit keyboard is not to be underestimated especially in dark lecture halls.

    The one thing to think seriously about is the battery. With the MBA you can't be away from power more than a few hours at a time and its recharge time is REALLY slow. With a MB you can carry spare battery(s) and get whatever life you need. Its charge rate is also much quicker so even its one battery with similar battery life to the MBA the MB allows for more portable use during a day provided you can recharge from time to time.
  9. hodgeheg macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2008
    Portability and, oh, dentability

    I went from a 2.1GHz White MacBook to a 1.6Ghz Air Rev B. It's lovely - I went for portability and superior screen (the macbook had very obvious dithering, and I dislike the alumacbook mirror screen).

    Unfortunately I today discovered that aluminium is far more easily *lightly* damaged than plastic. I dropped my laptop 1.5 feet onto carpet, in its case, and the bill is £342.70. I strongly suspect the plastic macbook (not that I ever dropped one - I don't make a habit of dropping laptops) would have survived that, but the aluminium bent, and they won't replace the metal case without replacing the screen.

    I currently have a perfect bright non-dithery screen with no lines and no dead pixels. It also runs cool, fast and doesn't bring the fans on audibly unless doing a lot (I can watch 2 hours + flash video without hearing them).

    Here's hoping the new screen is just as good :(
  10. Kan-O-Z macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2007
    The Macbook Air in my opinion is ahead of it's time...sort of like the iMac when they first came out. They have removed any and every space sapping, not often used feature and traded it for the slimmest, lightest, sexiest laptop with a lot of power and one of the best screens on the market. I think Apple probably had analysts that studied how a typical user uses their laptop.

    -A typical user probably never uses their optical drive other than to install software...so Apple dropped space sapping optical drive to really make the laptop thinner, while offering a wireless solution to install software from another computer.
    -A typical user probably never buys 2 batteries and hot swaps them on the go for extended range...so Apple made the battery internal allowing the Air to be even slimmer than if it had a removable battery.
    -A typical user does not connect 5 things to USB ports...so Apple only provides ports that are necessary...USB, Display, Headphone

    What you get in return is a laptop that is very focused in what it is. For many people size, weight, power, screen quality, and sexiness are the most important features. From this perspective, the Air just can't be beat.

    By the way I own the 1.86 SSD and it is faster(or at least feels faster) than my 1 year old MBP :) It might just be the fastest computer I have ever owned. I showed it off to my co-worker, he couldn't believe how good it was.

  11. That70sGAdawg macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2008
    Athens, GA USA
    Ditto. I found it hard to live with the 80GB on my rev. 1 Air (and slow graphics- but loved the size), bought a new MacBook Alum (took it back because of the terrible screen black levels, and extra weight), Bought a rev. 2 Air with 120GB (that I can live with) and I have a perfect screen - No lines or flickering! Streams both Hulu and netflix perfect.
  12. henk.honk macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2008
    How do your mba don't run fans when watching flash video? Is there a trick?
  13. leishan macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2005
    Quite true! :p
  14. hodgeheg macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2008
    Sorry, no, it just doesn't seem to get hot! I use it on a desk, so it's got reasonable air flow.

    I wonder if it relates to the particular version of flash video or the resolution etc? Or possibly ambient temperature?

    They occasionally come on, but maybe only twice that I've noticed. They are very noticeable at full speed, though still quieter than my MacBook.

    I assume there's variation in it, as there clearly is with other Apple notebooks. Lots of people are happy with their early 2008 MacBook Pros. When I bought one and measured the top case temperature at 89C during light usage it went back, but I was still told it was "in spec". No way that can be normal though! I think there's a luck element. Perhaps thermal paste issues? who knows. I'm just lucky for once. Same with the screen, though now that's going to be replaced due to dropping it :( :(

    I did notice Flash video seems to perform better in Safari than Firefox.

    ACTUALLY - scratch all of that - another possibility is the flash version - I upgraded to the lastest version of flash at http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/

    This buggered up timing in Flash chuckie egg, but perhaps it enables some GPU acceleration or something that takes load of the CPU. I'm just guessing, but it's a possibility!
  15. mazurka macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2004
    One more thing...

    On top of all this there is the 'heft' of the MBA. Let me elaborate - I am a businessman and often would need to take my laptop into meetings. Previously, with the MBP, I would need to lug in the whole bag, unzip it, extract the laptop, put the bag away and so forth, which always looks a bit sloppy, to be honest.

    The MBA is designed to slip into the hand and be held at your hip, very much in the way you would carry a folder, or a thick magazine. So you go into meetings looking much more professional, with NO bag, and the MBA always draws the odd gasp of approval (or maybe envy, don't know) as you casually flip it onto the conference table.

    As to battery life, it's unlikely at a business meeting that you'll be running heavy processing apps, and anyway a meeting that lasts more than two hours is highly unusual these days.

    I've also used the MBA for presentations, using Keynote of course, and though you need to have a precautionary power source connected, it's more than capable of running something of this nature, as long as you have an appropriate connector for output.

    But it's the heft that is the killer part of the design. The balance is perfect when carried at your side, and, well, it just looks so much more as if you know what you're doing.
  16. justit macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2007
    Not sure I understand...
    Are you worried that you look unprofessional carrying a laptop bag instead of carrying a laptop at your side?
  17. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

    Aug 18, 2005
    I might be going out on a limb here, but I'm willing to bet nearly all Mac Air users are doing it because of the weight/portability. I meant, really, what else does it have going for it? For sure, the screen is nice, but that would not be the primary reason.
  18. mazurka macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2004
    One more thing PS

    It's not just the carrying of the bag, there's the unzipping of the bag, the pulling and adjusting to get the (usually heavy) laptop out, then the re-zipping of the bag, finding somewhere to store it, and then finally you get around to opening the laptop and starting it up and so on, and then when the meeting's finished you have to dork around finding the bag, unzipping it, hoping stuff won't fall out, angling the laptop back in, re-zipping, hefting it onto your shoulder.

    Believe me, a sleeping MBA at your side, flipped open on the table ready for work looks a lot neater, and never forget the importance of The Exit from a meeting. You flick it closed, stand up and walk out.

    The MBA without a bag just stops you looking like a fumbler.
  19. 1rottenapple macrumors 68000

    Apr 21, 2004
  20. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    I've owned the MB, BlackBook and a MBP; so the decision to choose the MBAir was one of transportability, connectivity, and a light 3 lbs. Everything beyond these three remains a gift...:p
  21. EnderTW macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2007
    To be honest, the primary reason was 1) because of the difference in screen quality. I don't know about you guys but the screen on the macbook is atrocious, maybe I just hate that it "washes out" so easily.

    I would have paid 400 dollars for the macbook screen on the 2.0 ghz macbook.

    Too bad, apple :(
  22. DJY macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2003
    Canberra AUST
    I had a MBP but wanted something a lot more portable.
    I travel a lot so wanted a much lighter option.

    Oh yeah the WOW factor did have a bit to do with the decision as well.
    Love it!
    Screen looked heaps better than either the MB or MBP in the store as well.
  23. andreab35 macrumors 6502a


    May 29, 2008
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5G77 Safari/525.20)

    I have the Rev. B 1.6 MBA and I absolutly love it.
    The MBA is my first Mac, and is working out wonderfully for me.
    When I was deciding for a laptop, I didn't much care for the MBP because it was just too big and heavy for me. Plus, I'm not a huge power user, so I didn't need any intensive specs.
    So it came down to the MB and the MBA. I did not like the looks of the MB. And for comparison, I liked the MBA screen better than the MB screen. I also loved the beautiful backlit keyboard, which the MB lacked. For me, 1 USB port is all I need- and that's it. I have no need for an optical drive- and if I need it I can have my desktop take care of that. Additionally, the sleek looks, thinness, and weight played a big factor in my purchase.
    I am very satisfied with the MBA. It does everything in an orderly and quick manner, despite it's low end specs compared to Apple's rest of the laptop line. I couldn't be happier, and I'm thrilled to have made the right purchasing choice for myself. :)

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