Will the MacBook air work for me?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Murl, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. Murl macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2010
    Right now I am currently in dental school, my wife and I are recent apple converts started with iphones then the iPad and now I'm thinking I may get the air. Most of the stuff I do is pretty light as far as the processor is concerned, Internet, email, taking notes in class etc. I have a 4 year old Dell that is one of the cheapest and I am getting by with it now. I do have quite a music collection and I would like to start ripping some DVDs and store them on some type of network storage possibly. I was looking at the 13" 256gb air and upgrading the processor to 2.13ghz and the ram to 4gb. I am not a big gamer, most of the games I play are just to pass time and they are on the iPhone. I do like the portability factor with the air because I take my laptop with me everyday. What do you guys think will this be a good primary computer? I just want to be sure I'm not missing some important considerations before I drop a lot of money.
  2. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    If a 4 year old Dell is what you are replacing, the Air should be just fine. Since you are in school, consider the 1.86GHz model to save $100. The processor speed difference will be fairly small. I would recommend 4GB for the future, though 2GB would be fine for current use based on what you describe.

    If money is an issue, also consider going with the 128GB version and using an external hard drive for archive/storage purposes.
  3. super tomtendo macrumors 6502a

    super tomtendo

    Aug 29, 2009
    I'm not sure why you think you need the 256gb. From what you stated 128 should be fine. Save the money.
  4. acemics macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2008
    I love my new air. I have the 11.6 64GB 4GB. I also have a large music collection, but I keep it all archived on a mirrored network drive http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?pid=11471 along with all my photos and essential documents. I have installed a few programs and I still have 45GB free. It is really a personal decision, but I think everyone would agree that the upgrade to 4GB on the memory for $100 is a good investment. As far as the hard drive storage goes, my system of keeping most things on my network storage works for me. Good luck!
  5. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    I work closely with a dentist on tech, my mother is the practise manager. The only thing he needs power for regarding his work is dentrix and the invisalign presentations.

    I'd think you will be fine as a student with the air, but I'd suggest the 13/4 combo, storage is up to you based on whether you will buy a nas (I run an hp495 with about 4.5 tb) But storage on a device like that makes things easy. It feeds video and music to my xboxes, and my idevices running airplay. Redundancy off board beats a bit more storage on. I also don't think it would be essential to go 2.13.
  6. iMacThere4Iam macrumors regular

    Dec 28, 2009
    Are you sure you want the Air over the 13" MacBook Pro?

    MBP: 250 GB Hard Drive
    4 GB Memory
    10 Hours Battery Life

    MBA: 256 GB Flash Drive
    2 GB Memory
    7 Hours Battery Life
    add 2 GB Memory $100

    If getting the thinness and a Flash drive aren't all THAT important to you, $500 is a huge savings, and the 13" MBP is a very light and portable machine. If your needs aren't for ultra portability, the MBP would serve you well.

    But hey, if you want the iPad - like Flash experience, and you gotta have the thinness, then go for the Air.

    Either way, hope you enjoy.
  7. Murl thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2010
    I am torn between the mbp and air. I really like the portability of the air. The only thing I may leave off is the processor upgrade. I generally buy the best specs because I don't buy upgrades often. I keep phones until they die. I will go with the largest Hard drive because I can always fill it up. My wife likes pictures and I love music. Money really isn't the issue because I have been saving for sometime, although the $500 savings on the mbp doesn't sound bad.

    Thanks for all of the insight these decisions are always tough for people like me who are so particular. I do hope I enjoy a Mac laptop as well as I enjoy their other products, I have always been a PC user.
  8. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    Are you responsible for providing a machine in which dentrix or similar is to run, or is it lab work / no practise?

    The Eason I ask is that you will have to boot windows if so, meaning more storage is better.
  9. Murl thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2010
    No I don't need any programs like that, this is mainly for taking notes, writing, reading notes etc and of course enjoyment.
  10. Bluemeanie1976 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 1, 2009
    Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
    If for this, I would recommend the air. I know when I was lugging laptops around college, it got old very quick. The air weighs less than a decent textbook, and takes up little room.
  11. johncozen macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2010
    you'll be fine

    I consider myself a power user because at any time I might, for example...
    • edit RAW photos or video in Lightroom/Aperture/Final Cut
    • Launch xcode, Photoshop and a sound editing program, with multiple browser tabs and iTunes running.
    ...and I 'm looking very hard at the 13" with 4GB of RAM knowing it will meet my needs well. I'm thinking the base 13" upgraded to 4GB of RAM would do me just fine so I'm pretty sure the base model of either size will be plenty of machine for your computing style.

    Remember: the hard drives in these are solid state as opposed to the traditional spinning disk drives like your old Dell had. End result: the operating system and apps are very responsive.

    Enjoy your new mac!
  12. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    For what you're describing, the 13" MBA will be great. My wife is using the maxed out 11" MBA as her primary computer. I got her the 11" MBA because she travels quite a bit and the machine has a great form factor. While at home she sometimes docks it to an ACD and then uses it with the bluetooth keyboard and a trackpad. It works great this way. The 13" MBA would be even better due to its bigger screen and better specs. I wouldn't hesitate picking one up. These machines perform better than what the specs would suggest.
  13. Murl thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2010
    Cool I think I'm convinced, now I need to find the best place to buy it. I thought about seeing if our local apple store will match the price of macmall. Although macmall does have some good promos and I need a new printer.
  14. Murl thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2010
    One more question

    If I choose to rip DVD's, assuming I purchase an optical drive and an external hdd, will this machine be capable of doing this fairly comfortably?
  15. bossxii macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    Kansas City

    I would recommend reading the thread here on MR about MacMall, so "not so good" reports. I haven't purchased from them in a few years and will never again after the fiasco I went thru. The "free" stuff isn't always a good deal with them.

    One other thought, if you have any issues, or want to swap out/return it. You have to deal with MacMall, not directly to Apple. BIG difference in how resellers sometimes treat you. Apple's customer service (regarding returns/swaps) and willingness to make the customer happy has won me over to buy everything direct from Apple.

    Yes, just realize it may be a bit slower via USB port than a normal drive, but still very doable.

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