Originally Posted by matt_s
Exactly. I've been waiting for years for a low profile, small form factor laptop from Apple that I can travel with. I'm on the road 3-4 weeks of every month, logging well over a hundred flights annually. I've grown tired of lugging my 13" Al MacBook along, it's just slightly too large screen-wise & base-wise for the aircraft seat back tray, and the weight starts becoming very annoying along about April.
It depends upon the carrier of course but I understand your issue with MBP and using them on a plane. The weight isn't an issue for me but the size means you might as well leave the machine in your bag.
The 11.6" looks almost perfect, save for the lack of Gig Ethernet and very tiny storage.
The lack of GigE is very significant. I know a lot of people will say but you have WiFi to which I have to say so! WiFi is often not available or so slow as to not be usable, but at the same time the hotel may have a high speed ethernet connection. Even if both is available the wired connection can be extremely fast.
I'M also with you on the storage issue. My installation is a little thinner at around 80 to 90 GB so a 128 GB SSD is too small. Especially when I carry my iTunes library on a second harddrive. Due to large transient files a 200GB drive barelly covers my needs.
In the case of the 11" AIR the problem is truly artificial as the 13" machine uses the same card format from what I can see. Apple is really missing the boat here with respect to storage.
I'm looking at my MacBook now and I've already got 111GB used out of the 300GB HDD I installed immediately after I bought the machine. No way 128GB SSD is going to work. I'm wondering how the heck I'm going to be able to put my whole life and business on this gorgeous travel companion.
Especially with a SSD where extra capacity helps prevent nasty slowdowns. If your average usage is that close to 128 GB then you might as well not bother. The only possible solution would be compression but that only works if your data compresses well. It is also a pain in the a$$.
What isn't clear yet is if this SSD module is based on open standards that would allow for upgrades. If you could get a reasonably priced replacement SSD with greater than 256GB of storage the 11" AIR suddenly becomes a much more interesting machine. Hopefully we will know the details shortly but if we are limited to Apple solutions for storage then these new machines are a little bit more disappointing.
So, then I think: hey, I can possibly pair this with a desktop iMac 27", and move a bunch of Applications and photos and music and movies, etc., over to that machine & use Apple Remote Desktop and tunnel into the office via SSH while on the road.
The problem here is that you now have to count on some sort of internet access. That is the last thing you want to do wben contacting a client. There is less risk in carrying a external disk or a large capacity compact flash card, and that is risky.
But then I remember, drat, there's no Gig Ethernet on the new MBA11.6, the connection to the remote machine's going to be slow as molasses. Plus, without GigE, I won't be able to really take advantage of the office's amazingly fast internet connection (we do not have a wireless network at work). I am pleased that Apple at least put an extra USB port on the machine. But I did notice on the original MBA, running Ethernet over USB just slows things down anyway.
Even if you have GigE you still can't rely upon having a connection when you need it. Especially for people working with clients in the field.
I love the iPad - bought one for my wife and she just adores the machine - but it can't run Excel (Numbers won't cut it) or PPT or Word or Photoshop, it's not the machine for me. So I waited for the company that invented the small footprint laptop market to get back into the game. I wanted a small footprint OS X unit built for road warriors. But road warriors need to haul a lot a crap with them... when you're sitting in front of a customer after traveling 18 hours to get there, you better have all the specs and installation presentations with you.
This is where AIR comes up short that is having the room storage wise to make sure everything is there.
So, I'm really torn at this point. And I'm pissed that there always has to be some sort of compromise, that Apple is constantly asking us to settle for this or that. I guess that's how they get $51B in the bank. Apple does not have an application or system that allows a user to clone a partial replica or sub-set of their User ƒ from a desktop machine to a portable, and since the new MBA11.6 does not have a fast Ethernet connection, making remote connections painfully slow, this has become a difficult decision.
At I time when I feel I should be rejoicing, I'm also feeling frustrated, dammit. Almost exactly what I want but yet, unusable. Grrrr.........
I understand, it is frustrating no doubt. At best you can hope for third party support for more storage. If that doesn't happen the little AIR is useless. More frustrating is that this seems like an artificial limitation on Apples part. In any event there is always the 13" machine which is a lot less gimped than the 11" machine.
Also feedback to Apple might help.