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Discussion in 'Apple Products' started by Seros, Nov 14, 2010.
So I was wondering what [H]arders personal experiences have been with the new MacBook Air thus far
We've gotten a few of them in at work, they run smoothly enough and are good enough for basic stuff, but video editing is a no-no, they have no ethernet, only 2 usb ports, and are overpriced in my opinion. The SSDs are much nicer than the standard Seagate HDDs though.
Had mine for about 3 weeks now, replaced an early 2006 15" MBP. Got the base 13", since this one travels with my company laptop, it doesn't need to be a beast. Seven hours on battery is no exaggeration. Resolution is the same as the old MBP. Love the size and weight, instant on, and no heat issues. Loaded MS Ofiice using the old laptop shared dvd, a very cool feature.
I've always been a pc guy, did the case-modding-watercooling-overclocking thing for years. Made the switch to Mac a year ago, a great experience.
any wifi problems? drops? hicups?
For what I use it for (Mobile work) its fantastic. I have 2 others that just came in for a VP and his assistant and for what they use it for this will do just fine.
I have not yet owned an Apple product and so I cannot attest on any matter. However, if I do plan to get one, I think I would rather buy the Macbook Pro. It has more features than the Macbook Air. Who cares about the extra inch in size, as long as it is powerful.
Its main feature compared to the Air 13.3" is a faster processor. What other features does it have?
And the 13" Macbook Pro actually has a lower resolution screen than the same sized MB Air, interestingly enough.
My impressions (got the 11" the Saturday after it was announced, base spec):
-screen is gorgeous,the touchpad in incredible, battery life is great, keyboard is surprisingly really good (normally I would say "for a laptop," but no, it's just functional, non-awkward keyboard in general, better than some low end desktop keyboards I've had), the speed of startup/shutdown/standby is simply wonderful. The hardware, just in general, is terrific
-using it in bed, on my lap, I have to be careful with position, or the edge of the laptop will get REALLY painful, cutting into my wrists. Not a huge thing, or awkward, but annoying
-this is almost certainly just an issue with the other devices I've used, but one of the really surprising thing for me (and a few of my friends) is over just how large a distance my MBA can detect wifi. For instance, at my house, one of my friend's Latitudes can detect my neighbor's wifi if he's outside (big house, huge yards), but even right against our fenceline he can't get enough signal strength to load anything online. In my bedroom, upstairs (fully 100' further away, through brick walls), I can browse the 'net on that connection with no problems. n-standard for all concerned. it was just a big surprise.
-on the other hand, I don't think it likes certain wireless routers. sitting right next to my grandparents' wireless router (belkin n-standard, iirc), I can only load one webpage at a time, or it will refuse to load ANYTHING. not sure where the problem is.
-I still don't care for OSX (though for webbrowsing/media playback/minecraft/etc. it's tolerable enough), but that's just personal preference. still, the hardware is top notch
-speaking of Minecraft, it runs very smoothly, though I'm running one tick below the highest settings for visual quality and draw distance. take that as you will. kinda eats battery power, too
-flash definitely cuts battery life by a good portion
-I haven't actually tried it on Windows/Linux yet, because it doesn't have the horsepower to do more than basic tasks, so I haven't wanted to *do* more than basic tasks on it. Still, standard office/web/media stuff? I never have slowdowns, which is so much better than I could claim for anything close to this form factor which I've ever used. Anything heavier than that, I've got a monster desktop for - I wouldn't be trying that sort of thing (with the exception of some light gaming) on a laptop anyway, so this fits my mobile needs perfectly.
When comparing the two 13" offerings (Air vs MBP) I think the Air is the better choice for general usage. The Air has better screen resolution which for me is huge.
I have the 13" base model upgraded to 4GB of ram. I haven't heavily used it.
My impressions are the build quality is very good (typical of the unibody aluminum casing apple is using in their other laptops). The screen is as good as it gets for a TN panel, and thankfully it's not as glossy as the other MBPs. It runs very cool and it's very quiet.
It'll handle basic stuff quite well. It can easily multi-task between web browser, have an email client open all the time, word preprocessing/office programs. It can handle photoshop just fine.
Point is it's a pretty capable laptop on the go, but it's not going to replace your i7 rig or your i7 laptops. But it'll handle certain stuff just fine on the go while being very light and mobile at the same time.
Upgraded from a 2007 15" Macbook Pro. I have a maxxed out 13" MBA and I must say it is frickin' awesome.
The main point is that I only use my laptop for everyday things and the occasional photo editing. So it doesn't need to be incredibly powerful. However, the biggest plus for the Air is the battery life!!!
I am averaging about 9-10 hours of battery life with normal use (1-2 clicks brightness, bluetooth off, WiFi on, listening to music, web browsing and the occasional youtube video). Not using flash. I have flashblock and click to flash installed. You would be amazed at how much battery life flash takes away since it is everywhere on the internet.
Another nice aspect is the screen and the high resolution. I was a little skeptical going from a 15" screen to a 13" screen. I will say that the resolution is what made the change no problem at all.
It is unfortunate that the SSD's apple opted to use are not sandforce, but the toshiba drives are actually quite fast.
I got The fully upgraded 13 inch model to replace the last generation of macbook pro before the unibody. early 2008 maybe? anyway I love it. It does every thing I want it to. I actually like OS x though. I guess I could put windows or linux on it if I wanted but I have no real need or desire.
I do have a few gripes though. I got used to the backlit keys on the macbook pro ( I can touch type but having them lit up makes pushing some of the obscure function keys a bit easier The camera built in camera for this thing looks like it was taken out of the macbook pro that I bought two years ago tho. The lid though is really thin so I guess there wasn't room for a better one ( both of the cameras on my iphone are better) Still they could have added a small bulge and then gradually decreased the thickness. Also I have notice that sometimes during flash video playback after extended periods of time it would start to skip the video track and repeat every ten seconds or so. I have since reset the "SMC" and everything is good. I don't understand the purpose of having to do it because i never did before but the whole process was simple. I do not know how much longer until i might need to do it again though.
Despite my gripes I do not regret purchasing it ( was almost $2k) biuld quality is superb and everytime i think I might have scratched it I wioe it down with one of those green scrubbing sponges and it looks brand new. My original intention was to just get this to hold my over until the new macbook pro comes out with sandy bridge and then id sell this and get that . I would take the hit because my previous computer was destroyed.
Come January or whenever the macbook Pros do come out I might just keep this. I barely ever used the cd drive in my old macbook pro so using this was not a big change for me.
I got the "ultimate" 11.6" model. It boots in 10 seconds. Amazing. I also can't believe how fast it runs. If I didn't know, I would have guessed something beefier than a Core 2 Duo was in there. Five hours of battery life is spot on. It plays WoW on medium settings just fine. I love this little machine.
My one complaint is that the bottom of it gets warmer than I would like.
Could you show us a screen shot of the specs? That's actually really cool!
I spent some time with one and I plan to sell my MBP in favor of the Air. Due to the flash storage, the overall user experience is vastly better. Sure, if I wanted to encode video then my MBP is still the better choice.. But honestly that's like being the better of two poor choices. In the grand scheme the MBP still sucks for anything seriously CPU intensive.
So yeah, flash storage.. form factor.. battery life. It's a great little machine.
A Firewire port. I just can't do without that little port.
Well I guess that makes sense for you. It's something I'm fine with not having, because just like S/PDIF ports on a PC, it's something I've never used on any computer, ever.
i Use SP/DIF ports to connect my computers to my reciever.Mac laptops have hybrid ports that actually have the red diodes needed for sp/dif in them. I never really saw the point with firewire, Usb while slower then fw 800 is fast enough for simple things and for everything else you have eSATA which is vastly superior to firewire.
Yes, that is what I said.
Bling, phide, that's kinda my point. I wasn't saying that those were bad things to have. I was saying that both of those were things that, while not selling points for me, are perfectly reasonable selling points for others.
Phide, that was my conceding the point that there was a legit reason for some people, including you, to favor the MBP over the MBA. The firewire port just hadn't occurred to me.
any pics of it? I'm just curious of seeing it's size in actual use
Actually, I'm thinking about getting one of these. After hearing about what people can do with them and the cost/performance/form factor, I'm actually getting kind of excited.
something bad, I have to reset the SMC daily if I dont want flash video to skip. I dont understand why. Im still pretty happy with it though. I would like to figure out why the SMC messes up my flash.
System Management Control. It controls power management and the fans. My theory behind the skipping is that the processors are throttled or one of them is shut down because of temperature. When that happens the video skips. But that does not happen when I reset my SMC. I do not understand why the SMC is able to adapt or something when the stock settings for it work just fine. I also note that the computer barely ever gets warm and the fan stays almost completely inaudible in almost every situation. I would not mind it if The fans came on full blast when I watched any flash video if that would prevent it from ever happening. I have tried to find some software that would let me prove that ramping up the fans would prevent it but nothing works for the air. it installs fine but I can click on it all day and it will not launch.Of course resetting SMC is very simple but i hate having to do it every time I notice flash video skiping.
You sure it's not just flash? I always have problems with flash on various machines.
Other way around. Flash is the problem.
I know that a processor doesn't shut down because when I play something in Flash, iStat Menu's shows me that both Cores are working damn hard. Flash is the only thing I do on it that makes the fan kick into high gear.
my macbook pro didn't have any problems with flash like this. Of course it would ramp up the fans to full blast ( jet engine mode) and burn the hell out of my lap. I tend to always have just a few small problems with mac computers that are so frustrating yet I do not regret buying any of the Apple products I own. I will probably be buying another macbook after this and there will probably be a few things on it that drive me just as crazy. Not a deal breaker though.
You just solved your own dilemma.
Flash is the problem.
Flash is notorious for causing problems on Apple systems, why do you think they no longer preinstall flash on any Apple systems? Adobe has yet to create a stable version of flash for the Mac platform.
but there is so much that requires flash
Yes, like advertisements.
Pretty much this.
Bling, the good news for you is that Adobe is working on a performance-oriented version of Flash specifically for the MacBook Air. The bad news for you is that Adobe had to actually go back and create a version of Flash that doesnt suck on the Air.
Regardless, I suggest you read this.
the youtube5 extension works great. if ony there was a firefox version
Just install click to flash or flashblocker (if you are using firefox). Flash is a pain.
the painful thing is the amount of sites that are useless without it. along with sites that depend on it but would do just as well without it.
I really want to know what sites people are visiting that are so Flash-dependant. I cant think of a single site worth visiting that relies on Flash to show content.
youtube 5 works for my youtube kick. there are random sites though that use flash =. for example today I tried to do aa speed test and I had trouble finding one that would work without flash. there are also various new sites that either use flash or link an embedded flash from somewhere other than youtube. Hulu also requires flash
I just use no script. When a site that needs flash or something to load i click temporary allow site.