Originally Posted by addabox
Yeah, exactly that-- I think we're to the point with excess computing capacity that for the vast majority of people there is no compromise whatseover
in terms of power. And as the benchmarks have shown, the SSD goes a long way towards making up for whatever the CPU lacks.
So really it's all about storage space-- and even for those with a need for more room, keeping stuff on a dirt cheap external drive and OS, apps and working files on the machine is a perfectly functional solution. Not to mention a pretty good practice just in general.
What makes the most sense is combining the Air with a desktop that allows for lots of storage and horsepower at reasonable prices.
As you long as you can live with a desktop for heavy lifting, in terms of cost, rather than max out an Air, I would look at a basic Air combined with a Mac mini, especially if one already has a decent monitor. The Canadian pricing for a fully optioned 13" Air is $1,928 for a 2.13 Ghz processor, 4GB of RAM, 256GB of flash memory and an external hard drive. In comparison, the basic Air which is fine for a lot of less demanding activities lists for $1,049. Add in a Mac Mini and you are adding a cost of $859 for the configuration with 320GB of memory, 4GB of RAM, and a 2.4Ghz processor. Add in a keyboard and magic trackpad to up that to $997. So not factoring in the monitor, that's a total MSRP of $2,046. We're talking $118 more for more power while still having a portable unit that is easy to use. Yes the cost goes up once you factor in a monitor but a good monitor lasts much longer than any computer attached to it. A typical LCD is apparently good for about 14 years.
I realize this doesn't work for everybody. For me, though, it makes sense, especially since I already have a Mini and a Cinema display and assorted peripherals. I have my desktop and next revision, I intend to invest in a portable companion device, be it a second-gen iPad or the next Air revision (so I can have 128GB and a little more horsepower for the entry-level price).
One cautionary note, however. As an Apple investor I anticipate some excess in terms of stock price, though I also think Apple is a fine long-term investment. The company is well positioned with room for still more growth. Jobs has helped transform Apple into a multi-faceted behemoth managing to make a profit out of just about everything it touches. We're talking real earnings and a brand that is highly regarded by an important young demographic. It would take years, even if Jobs stepped down, for Apple to lose momentum.
I have lost count of how often I have been advised to get out of Apple since climbing on board in 2003. The sell-Apple advice has been a constant. Maybe I'll stay in too long but my gut is telling me it's not time to bail yet. Maybe I'll hedge my bets and move some of it (not that I have a lot of shares). Maybe I'll just sit tight and continue to enjoy the ride. It's hard to turn away from such a successful company with a ground-breaking product in its infancy. If Apple collapsed it would be a very bleak day for me and, I suspect, countless others. At this time, though, who among us could have said we saw it coming.