WSJ calls MBA "Best Laptop Ever"

Boyd01

Moderator
Original poster
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,200
1,876
New Jersey Pine Barrens
http://online.wsj.com/articles/buyers-guide-the-best-laptops-for-every-budget-macbook-air-is-tops-1407277203

I can rely on a few things in life. The sun rising in the east, my overpriced morning Starbucks latte, and people asking me, "What laptop should I buy?" as summer winds down. I can also rely on my usual four-word answer: Get a MacBook Air.

No other laptop in its price range has yet to beat Apple's masterful mixture of speed, endurance and design. In fact, a few months ago when Apple lowered the starting price to $900, I declared it the best laptop ever made.
 

CoMoMacUser

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2012
671
3
Yeah, it's a great machine. My June 2012 MBA is still fast, and the battery life isn't far below where it was new.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
45,554
30,759
The Far Horizon
They are a superb machine; I have had one since 2010, - my current model was bought in 2013 - and it travels everywhere with me. In fact, I cannot imagine not having a MBA, irrespective of my other needs.
 

pedromcm.pm

macrumors 6502
Mar 23, 2014
483
0
Porto, Portugal
But...

It is by far the best laptop ever made, but in 2014 we can easily see how it could get better.

For starters, an IPS screen. And maybe it's time for a redesign. It is more or less the same since 08, and despite beautiful, it is STARTING to show the age, especially when you have a rMBP by its side, with that glorious screen.

I have an ultimate from 2011, and I'm afraid that Apple will leave 3 generations of Air owners badly served when they release the retina-optimized mavericks.

I will be honest: The screen was the "weak" spot of this computer. In 2011.
 

kelon111

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2013
303
4
Three things I would like to see from the MBA:

1. Made in USA or Japan
2. Better screen (8 bit IPS or PLS panel) with higher res ("retina" so to speak)
3. Consumer replaceable battery


Of course I know that the MacBook Pro Retina exists but the Air is a thinner machine.
 

SusanK

macrumors 68000
Oct 9, 2012
1,673
2,636
Love at first sight

I fell crazy in love with MBA the day Steve introduced it. Still crazy about MBA :)
 

SusanK

macrumors 68000
Oct 9, 2012
1,673
2,636
Hells yes, when he pulled it out of that envelope. Ironically I still have my 2007 blackbook even though I wanted an Air sooo bad.
Yes, the envelope! I knew I would eventually have one. They were a little pricy then but I just knew it would be mine one day. Actually, my instant attraction to MBA was slightly stronger than first sight of my husband. He teased me that if Steve did the intros . . .
 

gmanist1000

macrumors 68030
Sep 22, 2009
2,648
184
Three things I would like to see from the MBA:

1. Made in USA or Japan
2. Better screen (8 bit IPS or PLS panel) with higher res ("retina" so to speak)
3. Consumer replaceable battery


Of course I know that the MacBook Pro Retina exists but the Air is a thinner machine.
That will never happen.
 

jimboutilier

macrumors 6502a
Nov 10, 2008
647
42
Denver
It is by far the best laptop ever made, but in 2014 we can easily see how it could get better.

For starters, an IPS screen. And maybe it's time for a redesign. It is more or less the same since 08, and despite beautiful, it is STARTING to show the age, especially when you have a rMBP by its side, with that glorious screen.

I have an ultimate from 2011, and I'm afraid that Apple will leave 3 generations of Air owners badly served when they release the retina-optimized mavericks.

I will be honest: The screen was the "weak" spot of this computer. In 2011.
As someone who has owned and closely followed Airs since 2008 I'd have to disagree that today's models are more or less the same. Every year but this one has seen significant enhancements to the line. And today's models have very little in common with the original other than a superficial resemblance.

IPS displays are nice but use more energy, and retina displays look great but use more energy and take a lot more horsepower to drive. It's always a balancing act and while there are a lot of ultra books out there that beat the Air in a few aspects, nothing comes close to the balance that makes the Air so popular - which is why the Air still leaves them in the dust.

There's always room for improvement and hopefully Apple will continue with that. But the Airs continued popularity tends to cast doubt on opinions regarding how dated it is and how much better other new products are.
 

happyslayer

macrumors 6502a
Feb 3, 2008
910
411
Glendale, AZ
I've had one since the $3100.00 :eek: 2008 MBA with 64GB SSD. I'm on my 4th now, a late 2013 11". Love it! I am a computer consultant and always recommend the MBA to anyone--Windows or Mac--that wants a well made, light and fast laptop. It really is the best laptop on the market.

I think the physical design is pretty timeless and can't imagine how they would change it too much... maybe a smaller bezel around the screen would be nice. Oh, and I would love an anodized black option. :)

I would like a retina display though. I believe the Yosemite beta does look nicer when on one and was, in fact, probably designed for retina.
 

Ronnoco

macrumors 68030
Oct 16, 2007
2,568
521
United States of America
My 2013 MBA is the finest computer I've owned in 30 years of computer ownership (the last 20 of which includes Apple computers). There is simply no machine on the market right now that would make me want to change.
 

JoeG4

macrumors 68030
Jan 11, 2002
2,663
167
Bay Area, Ca.
It's funny saying this but I agree, the 13" Macbook Air is the best laptop I've ever owned. It's so good, that when there was a really good deal on the 2013 model I snapped one up, and.. still haven't managed to sell my 2011.

If they replaced the screen with an IPS screen (maybe with a smaller bezel) I'd be all for it!
 

mad3inch1na

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2013
662
6
I love the MBA and I have owned both the 2010/2014 models, but I really think the 13" rMBP is currently the most perfected computer in Apple's consumer laptop lineup. It barely weighs any more, has a significantly better display, has more ports, and the internals were really well put together. From a design perspective, I think the rMBP is much better. The 8GB/256GB model is also the same price as an equally specced MBA. On a budget, I would go with the MBA every time, but that hardly makes it the "best laptop ever". Just my opinion.

Matt
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
45,554
30,759
The Far Horizon
As someone who has owned and closely followed Airs since 2008 I'd have to disagree that today's models are more or less the same. Every year but this one has seen significant enhancements to the line. And today's models have very little in common with the original other than a superficial resemblance.

IPS displays are nice but use more energy, and retina displays look great but use more energy and take a lot more horsepower to drive. It's always a balancing act and while there are a lot of ultra books out there that beat the Air in a few aspects, nothing comes close to the balance that makes the Air so popular - which is why the Air still leaves them in the dust.

There's always room for improvement and hopefully Apple will continue with that. But the Airs continued popularity tends to cast doubt on opinions regarding how dated it is and how much better other new products are.
My 2013 MBA is the finest computer I've owned in 30 years of computer ownership (the last 20 of which includes Apple computers). There is simply no machine on the market right now that would make me want to change.
It's funny saying this but I agree, the 13" Macbook Air is the best laptop I've ever owned. It's so good, that when there was a really good deal on the 2013 model I snapped one up, and.. still haven't managed to sell my 2011.

If they replaced the screen with an IPS screen (maybe with a smaller bezel) I'd be all for it!
A number of posts which simply confirm the sheer contented pleasure many MBA owners take in their machine, and with which I find myself in complete agreement.

Again, all I can do is add to that - it is easily the best computer I have ever owned in 20 years of owning computers. The design is superb; and yes, I, too, was blown away by the late Mr Jobs removing one from an A4 envelope, so impressed, in fact, that my earliest - and, for quiet a while, my only - protection for my own original 2010 MBA was a padded, A4, envelope which sat perfectly happily, in my briefcase.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,853
30,369
Boston
Its a very popular laptop, though I prefer the rMBP mostly because of the screen and more importantly its 15" large :)

Nice to see the MBA get some accolades however :)
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
45,554
30,759
The Far Horizon
I guess I was ahead of the curve. I used to carry my PowerBook Duo around in a padded envelope back around 1995. :D
My curve, my friend, my curve. In general, as a historian by profession, and with an antiquarian's preference for the mildly antique, I doubt that anyone would regard any of my consumer choices as 'cutting edge'…….

But I liked the unpretentious, yet highly effective, protection afforded by the A4 padded envelope. It worked.

And I have to admit - that while normally quite immune to the onstage spectaculars of the 'rabbit-pulled-from-hat' variety regularly indulged in by the late Mr Jobs (although I did allow myself an occasional peek through my fingers just to check what exactly he was up to) - that display where the MBA was extracted from the A4 envelope did blow me away. Having examined the device a few weeks later, I was smitten, but didn't buy one for a few years as I had just invested in a perfectly good MBP.
 

Crazy Badger

macrumors 65816
Apr 1, 2008
1,147
472
Scotland
I'm on my third MBA (mid 2013) after replacing the original 2008 model and then that with a late 2010.

If they upgraded the screen to IPS without any hit to battery life then I believe they would have made the perfect laptop computer.

No redesign required :apple:
 

BenTrovato

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2012
2,849
1,871
Canada
It's definitely the best laptop I've owned so far - then again I expect every laptop I'll ever buy to be the best one ever :)

I really enjoy the MBA though, can't wait for a retina upgrade.
 

phuocsandiego

macrumors member
Jun 19, 2012
79
4
Mine's a mid-2012 13" MBA and I love it. Forget laptop; it's easily the best computer I've owned. My G4 MacBook is sitting in the closet gathering dust.
 

thadoggfather

macrumors G4
Oct 1, 2007
10,843
7,694
my 2011 is going strong as well. Just got a thunderbolt dock earlier this summer to breathe some new life into it and with USB 3.0 and desktop connectivity with one cable, it certainly feels fresh. I also prefer magsafe 1 :D

wont upgrade until it's cost prohibitively broken (AC until December) or maybe an rMBA