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Apple now offers basic 13-in. $999 MacBook Air to education buyers

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Apple has begun selling a less powerful version of its 13.3-inch MacBook Air to educational institutions buying in bulk for $999, filling the void left by the recently discontinued white MacBook.

The new model, only available to education buyers ordering in bulk sizes of five or more, features the same internal components as the 11.6-inch MacBook Air available to general consumers for $999. But the new, discounted hardware sports a larger 13.3-inch display. They are advertised to ship within three to five days.

The 13.3-inch education model and the entry-level 11.6-inch MacBook Air both feature a 1.6GHz dual-core Core i5 Intel processor, along with two gigabytes of RAM and a 64-gigabyte solid-state drive. They are also powered by the Intel HD Graphics 3000 chipset included on the Core i5 CPU.

The standard 13-inch consumer-level MacBook Air remains priced at $1,299. The speedier machine has a 1.7GHz dual-core Core i5 Intel CPU, 4 gigabytes of RAM, and a 128-gigabyte solid-state drive.

Last July, Apple discontinued its white MacBook, which previously served as the entry-level notebook in Apple's lineup. Its price point was filled by the 11.6-inch MacBook Air, which carries the same $999 cost.

Apple continued offering the white MacBook to education buyers for months, but this week the company finally ceased sales of the legacy notebook. Resellers have since been notified that the white MacBook is now classified as "end of life."

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 27
Extremely difficult to identify what is the most amazing aspect of Apple's strength : Their Engineers, their lawyers, their marketing people, their supply chain people ? They are all brilliant, really ...
post #3 of 27
Great buy! 13 seems too big to me now that Im spoiled by an 11, but extra real estate has its uses.

And the current Airs are durable. I know someonelets call him Bagromme who dropped his air corner-first onto hardwood. The only damage was a deep dent... to the hardwood. Whereas Ive seen plastic laptops crack under far less abuse. If I were a school, Id want metal!

Quote:
Originally Posted by umrk_lab View Post

Extremely difficult to identify what is the most amazing aspect of Apple's strength : Their Engineers, their lawyers, their marketing people, their supply chain people ? They are all brilliant, really ...

Its their oft-overlooked buildings & grounds people. Outstanding, efficient work.
post #4 of 27
As a school, we were previously able to get any quantity at the price of $899 with our education pricing. Now, the cheapest individual option is the 11-inch Air for $950 (unless we buy those 13-inch ones in a multipack as originally posted).

That $50 to $100 per machine can add up quick, though. Our school only has 375 MacBooks in our 1 to 1 program, but I know of a lot of bigger schools with more. It is quite a bit more expensive overall.

Also, though it is a faster SSD drive, we go from the 250 GB drive to 64 GB. We also lose the optical drive.

I don't know if they are just trying to push more schools to the less expensive iPad (to make a bunch of money off the App Store) or the more expensive Airs or Pros to get close to the same features as before.
post #5 of 27
2GB of non-upgradeable RAM in a $1000 machine in 2012, for academic institutions that typically have upgrade cycles of 5+years? This is just beyond stingy. Lion is a frustrating experience on anything less than 4GB, and it's sad that Apple decided to handicap these machines from the get go, which will br used for a very long time after they're bought, simply to save a couple bucks on the RAM. Even I wouldn't purchase a 13' Air at a $300 discount that runs 2GB ram.. it would make all the difference for having a decent experience with it. Sad, as this otherwise would have been an amazing offer had they not so severely crippled it needlessly.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by z_rand View Post

Also, though it is a faster SSD drive, we go from the 250 GB drive to 64 GB. We also lose the optical drive.

Dude, the 13 inch mentioned starts at 128 GB and its $300 less than list price. I'd be happy about that myself...
post #7 of 27
I was half expecting an AMD Fusion one this year but Samsung has beaten them to it.

Apple have this thing about being the first to certain features.
Not so with copying stuff from those awful non upgradeable 'throw away netbooks'.
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

2GB of non-upgradeable RAM in a $1000 machine in 2012, for academic institutions that typically have upgrade cycles of 5+years? This is just beyond stingy. Lion is a frustrating experience on anything less than 4GB, and it's sad that Apple decided to handicap these machines from the get go, which will br used for a very long time after they're bought, simply to save a couple bucks on the RAM. Even I wouldn't purchase a 13' Air at a $300 discount that runs 2GB ram.. it would make all the difference for having a decent experience with it. Sad, as this otherwise would have been an amazing offer had they not so severely crippled it needlessly.

I agree that it's too bad that they won't throw in an extra $10 worth of ram. But if you think an Air with 2gb is a poor experience, that just shows that you haven't used one. The ssd makes all the difference. I've set these up for a dozen clients and I've been SHOCKED at how well they run.
post #9 of 27
It looks like this new bundle part number is BH306LL/A with AppleCare, BH302LL/A without.

No ethernet port on this device is going to make imaging interesting. Wireless just doesn't have the bandwidth that ethernet does. Do we buy USB ethernet adapters for all of them just for imaging?
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

2GB of non-upgradeable RAM in a $1000 machine in 2012, for academic institutions that typically have upgrade cycles of 5+years? This is just beyond stingy. Lion is a frustrating experience on anything less than 4GB, and it's sad that Apple decided to handicap these machines from the get go, which will br used for a very long time after they're bought, simply to save a couple bucks on the RAM. Even I wouldn't purchase a 13' Air at a $300 discount that runs 2GB ram.. it would make all the difference for having a decent experience with it. Sad, as this otherwise would have been an amazing offer had they not so severely crippled it needlessly.

I've also been disappointed in Apple's unwillingness to make 4GB of RAM the baseline. But, this is how they are making money. Would have been nice to be less stingy towards education customers though.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldenclaw View Post

No ethernet port on this device is going to make imaging interesting. Wireless just doesn't have the bandwidth that ethernet does. Do we buy USB ethernet adapters for all of them just for imaging?

What's wrong with Thunderbolt?

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post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

I agree that it's too bad that they won't throw in an extra $10 worth of ram. But if you think an Air with 2gb is a poor experience, that just shows that you haven't used one. The ssd makes all the difference. I've set these up for a dozen clients and I've been SHOCKED at how well they run.

You're right, in that I haven't used an air with 2GB. The one I own has 4. I've used Lion with 2, and noticed issues with responsiveness. I doubt the Air is somehow immune from this, as the SSD can't solve everything if ram is lacking.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldenclaw View Post

It looks like this new bundle part number is BH306LL/A with AppleCare, BH302LL/A without.

No ethernet port on this device is going to make imaging interesting. Wireless just doesn't have the bandwidth that ethernet does. Do we buy USB ethernet adapters for all of them just for imaging?

All the current Airs come with Thunderbolt connectors, so I assume you would use that for imaging.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by z_rand View Post

As a school, we were previously able to get any quantity at the price of $899 with our education pricing. Now, the cheapest individual option is the 11-inch Air for $950 (unless we buy those 13-inch ones in a multipack as originally posted).

That $50 to $100 per machine can add up quick, though. Our school only has 375 MacBooks in our 1 to 1 program, but I know of a lot of bigger schools with more. It is quite a bit more expensive overall.

Also, though it is a faster SSD drive, we go from the 250 GB drive to 64 GB. We also lose the optical drive.

I don't know if they are just trying to push more schools to the less expensive iPad (to make a bunch of money off the App Store) or the more expensive Airs or Pros to get close to the same features as before.

Maybe Apple has something new in the wings and ran out of the white MacBooks quicker then they expected.

If the classroom uses the iCloud for storage of documents, it will make it easier for the instructors to push their documents to the students and retrieve the students' finished assignments as well. The need for such large hard disks and internal optical drives are also lessened. All-in-all, I'd say this move away from HDs and optical drives will extend the operational life and school computers. Not to mention that when you drop a MBA it just flutters gently to the floor.
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post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Great buy! 13 seems too big to me now that Im spoiled by an 11, but extra real estate has its uses.

But does it have "extra real estate" - or the same res as the 11.6 just blown up bigger?

PS: And why didn't AI mention something as basis as the screen res? They can afford the electrons.....

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post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

What's wrong with Thunderbolt?

You can buy a spool of Ethernet for $50. Set up the imaging to go over night, and you'd never know the advantage of thunderbolt for something like this.
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post

But does it have "extra real estate" - or the same res as the 11.6 just blown up bigger?

PS: And why didn't AI mention something as basis as the screen res? They can afford the electrons.....

The 13" air has the same res as the base-line 15" mbp, 1440x900. The 11" has a resolution that's nearly the same in pixel number as the 13" mbp, 1366x768 for the air and 1280x800 for the 13"mbp

Also, AI probably didn't mention the screen res because it hasn't changed the whole time we've had 11" and 13" MacBook airs.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

2GB of non-upgradeable RAM in a $1000 machine in 2012, for academic institutions that typically have upgrade cycles of 5+years? This is just beyond stingy. Lion is a frustrating experience on anything less than 4GB, and it's sad that Apple decided to handicap these machines from the get go, which will br used for a very long time after they're bought, simply to save a couple bucks on the RAM. Even I wouldn't purchase a 13' Air at a $300 discount that runs 2GB ram.. it would make all the difference for having a decent experience with it. Sad, as this otherwise would have been an amazing offer had they not so severely crippled it needlessly.

That same statement could have been just as accurate 5 years ago! my last purchase, and current Mac, a White MacBook of the late 2007 variant came with 1GB of ram, it seemed fine untill I tried to do anything more than reading Apple Insider in Safari - I upgraded that bad boy to 4GB within 48 hours of purchase, and today I cringe at the thought of replacing it with a Macbook Pro whos max ram is 8GB...if I needed 4GB 4.5 years ago...why would I be happy with only 8 in a few more years?
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post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leery View Post

You can buy a spool of Ethernet for $50. Set up the imaging to go over night, and you'd never know the advantage of thunderbolt for something like this.

<snarky sarcasm>
LOL This is Apple Land! Money is no object here, we are "creative"!
</snarky sarcasm>
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post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post

But does it have "extra real estate" - or the same res as the 11.6 just blown up bigger?

PS: And why didn't AI mention something as basis as the screen res? They can afford the electrons.....

It is the 1440x900 screen of the 13" MBA. It is the internals of the $999 MBA w/the externals of the $1300 MBA. My wife just bought that $1300 one last night. It has replaced her iPad as "My Precious!" (cue Gollum voice)
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leery View Post

You can buy a spool of Ethernet for $50. Set up the imaging to go over night, and you'd never know the advantage of thunderbolt for something like this.

But you would if you had to reimage quickly in the middle of the day to get the kid a working machine for his next class. \

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post #22 of 27
Whoops
post #23 of 27
I hope they will also do a educational low price iPad to go with there textbook program.
post #24 of 27
It's things like this that really makes Apple come across as a complete shitheads.

2 gigs of ram not upgradable is fckn joke. Period.

Apple KNOWS this is not usable at ALL!

But they pretend to be doing the consumer a favor. LOL



spare your flames lol
I'm a fanboy. Just pointing out the obvious.
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

You're right, in that I haven't used an air with 2GB. The one I own has 4. I've used Lion with 2, and noticed issues with responsiveness. I doubt the Air is somehow immune from this, as the SSD can't solve everything if ram is lacking.

Actually it kind of can-- the slowdown from low ram comes from page outs to the slow disc. Speed up that disc performance and the penalty for being starved for ram is noticeably reduced.

That's not to say more ram wouldn't make it snappier, but typically there's a point at which performance becomes good enough to not worry about. Faster than that you might go "Holy shit this is one fast machine", but at the sweet spot you're also not going "damn, this thing is a dog."

Given all that the decision to go with 2GB of ram seems pretty typically Apple-- despite appearing "stingy" and running contrary to the sensibilities of the computer savvy, Apple's just looking at all over user experience, specs be damned. If they get a decent experience out of 2GB, well, there you go.
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post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

If the classroom uses the iCloud for storage of documents, it will make it easier for the instructors to push their documents to the students and retrieve the students' finished assignments as well.

There are laws regarding children's use of the internet, especially if they're going to be creating any kind of material themselves. Parents of kids under 13 typically have to give their permission, and with many reputable companies that means sending a signed document by postal mail or fax, giving verified CC info, email with digital signature, etc. Not likely to happen in your average elementary/middle school. There are also other (lighter) restrictions for children aged 13-17.

Somehow it doesn't seem like this would fly in most schools, although I could see some private schools forcing parents to "comply, or else".
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post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by voodooru View Post

spare your flames lol
I'm a fanboy. Just pointing out the obvious.

I agree with you, Apple needs to be putting in 4G as standard these days across the range, otherwise Lion does a bit of a Vista.

(However, tech companies are famous for never giving an inch on Ram).
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