How the MacBook Air stacks up against other ultra-light notebooks

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  • Reply 21 of 142
    jingojingo Posts: 117member
    The biggest omission for me is the lack of a built-in SD card slot. Why not incorporate one? They don't take up much space and it would be an ideal way to expand storage. With 16GB cards becoming available that 80GB limit ceases to be such an issue, and being able to easily transfer images from cameras etc onto MBA would be great. Also you could rip DVDs to SD cards and then carry a library of them around with you for flights etc. Sure you can use an external reader, but why have to carry it around with you and dangle it out the side of the MBA when it could be neatly integrated?
  • Reply 22 of 142
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fpsanders View Post


    My dear old iBook g4 (summer 2004) died last week when some eejit at the airport forced me to check in my carry-on bag. A whole month without a laptop!! I really don't know what to do with myself....



    Easy solution... find a Mac dealer with a 30 day return policy...
  • Reply 23 of 142
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jingo View Post


    The biggest omission for me is the lack of a built-in SD card slot. Why not incorporate one? They don't take up much space and it would be an ideal way to expand storage. With 16GB cards becoming available that 80GB limit ceases to be such an issue, and being able to easily transfer images from cameras etc onto MBA would be great. Also you could rip DVDs to SD cards and then carry a library of them around with you for flights etc. Sure you can use an external reader, but why have to carry it around with you and dangle it out the side of the MBA when it could be neatly integrated?



    I can transfer movies to my 64 gig usb thumb drive. Get one of them if it matters that much.
  • Reply 24 of 142
    As an owner of both an iMac 24? 2.8GHz and Macbook Pro 17?, I also find the Macbook Air to be an interesting product. One that I want to take a good look at when it?s actually released



    However, in the interests of accuracy (and at the risk of being flamed) I feel it?s important to post ACCURATE comparison data with other Subnotebooks. I feel that the total Focus on ?Thickness? to be disingenuous



    I use a Thinkpad X61s for Business Travel and the article above would be better served by comparing the Macbook Air against that. It would have thrown up a far more interesting comparison than the numbers quoted. For example



    ?\tThe X61s has a 31Whr battery compared to the 37Whr battery in the Air (16% less)

    ?\tThe X61s has a Thickness of 0.8 to 1.1 inches by comparison to the alleged 0.16 to 0.76 of the Air. (However, even a superficial inspection of the photographs shows that the advertised ?0.16in? thickness is only at the VERY front of the machine. It very quickly increases to approx 0.5? thickness and then tapers to its full thickness of 0.76?)

    ?\tThe X61 is 2.2? narrower (10.6? v 12.8?) and 0.6? (8.3?v 8.9?) shallower than the Air, resulting in a 30% smaller footprint overall. This smaller footprint is quite important when one uses a laptop on airplanes etc

    ?\tThe weight of the X61s is 2.75 lbs, i.e. lighter by a smidgen than the 3lbs Air

    ?\tThe Hard Drives available are 120Gb and 160Gb and spin at 7,200rpm, as opposed to the slower 4,200rpm of the 80Gb Hard Drive in the Air. This will have an impact on performance

    ?\tThe X61s comes with 1Gb Ram and this can easily and cheaply be upgraded to 2Gb and 4Gb

    ?\tThe 5 Hour Battery Life quoted for the Air is with the Solid State drive. It will be interesting to see what the battery life is under real world conditions with the spinning hard drive

    ?\tYou can also use a 73Whr battery ($130) with the X61s, adding 1? to the overall depth, but still only 0.5? (9.3? v 8.9?) deeper than the Air. The weight now becomes 3.2lbs, a smidgen heavier than the Air. This takes the battery life out to Eight hours and the machine will still have a smaller footprint than the Air

    ?\tThe screen on the X61s is 1.5? narrower (9.7? v 11.2?) than the Air, but 0.25? taller than the Air. Obviously, this is due to the 4:3 profile

    ?\tThe Air does have 30% more pixels than the X61s (1024 by 768 versus 1280 by 800 for the Air)

    ?\tBoth the Air and X61s have Full Size Keyboards and Full Size keys. The Key Travel on the X61s is the full 5mm that you get on a desktop keyboard



    While the Macbook Air is certainly an interesting product, it is more evolutionary than revolutionary. Anybody that travels with a Subnotebook will tell you that the Footprint (for use on Planes etc.) and Weight (for carrying purposes) are AS if not MORE important than Thickness, which appears to be the main ?Promotion? focus of the Air. Other factors are just as important (IMHO)



    Flame suit on!!!
  • Reply 25 of 142
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,953member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by His Dudeness View Post


    I can transfer movies to my 64 gig usb thumb drive. Get one of them if it matters that much.



    I'm skeptical that you have that kind of drive.



    But it doesn't address the statement on transferring from cameras. There are SD cards that open up to become USB drives.
  • Reply 26 of 142
    One thing I learned from this forum at least is Apple's claim that I can get 6 hours from my 15" MBP. When I'm working at a coffee shop with a fresh charge, Bluetooth off, Airport off and screen brightness set to 1, I can maybe, *maybe*, get 2h45. And that's if I'm having a slow day where I'm spending most of my time just thinking. When I'm even moderately productive I'm lucky to get 2h30. The battery is 6 months old. I've never, *ever*, made to 3 hours.
  • Reply 27 of 142
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ncbill View Post


    E.g. Macworld reviewers were getting 3-3.5 hours on the MBP when Apple was claiming 5.5 hours.



    I've never understood how anyone got close to 5 hours. My average battery life is about two hours, and this is on a new battery, not using the optical drive, and not doing anything particularly CPU-intensive.
  • Reply 28 of 142
    Odd that Appleinsider don't do a comparison to the Toshiba R500 as this is the most obvious comparison. They also mention, but don't do the specs in that table of the Toughbook Y or W series (ideally they should show both).
  • Reply 29 of 142
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I'm skeptical that you have that kind of drive.



    But it doesn't address the statement on transferring from cameras. There are SD cards that open up to become USB drives.



    I have a 64 gig usb thumb drive. Bought it about 4 months ago brand new off of eBay for 145.00.



    And I have a Canon Powershot G7 that is usb transfer. I have never had a digital video camera so I can't comment on them.
  • Reply 30 of 142
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RonHurley View Post


    ?\tThe 5 Hour Battery Life quoted for the Air is with the Solid State drive. It will be interesting to see what the battery life is under real world conditions with the spinning hard drive



    Not sure on this. Doesn't an SSD with an 1.8hertz processor consume the same power as a HDD with 1.6hertz. I was thinking it was comparable, but not sure. Would stink if 5 hours was a quote for SSD with 1.6hertz though



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RonHurley View Post


    Anybody that travels with a Subnotebook will tell you that the Footprint (for use on Planes etc.) and Weight (for carrying purposes) are AS if not MORE important than Thickness, which appears to be the main ?Promotion? focus of the Air. Other factors are just as important (IMHO)



    Flame suit on!!!



    I agree on footprint and this is why 4:3 is a nicer screen. Bad for movies, but better for most uses (browsing, word pricessor, powerpoint) and allows an easier footprint. Think Apple had to go with 13.3 inch as a 12 inchwidescreen is really like an 11inch 4:3 (really tiny, trust me - I have a 12inch widescreen from Dell). But widescreen is the future and I accept that.
  • Reply 31 of 142
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by djames42 View Post


    I've never understood how anyone got close to 5 hours. My average battery life is about two hours, and this is on a new battery, not using the optical drive, and not doing anything particularly CPU-intensive.



    This is a real fear if you are taking this on an airplane/road as you can't change the battery.



    Is this powerable with that shaver power thing in the bathroom of the plane? Its only like 45 watts right?
  • Reply 32 of 142
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brendon9x View Post


    One thing I learned from this forum at least is Apple's claim that I can get 6 hours from my 15" MBP. When I'm working at a coffee shop with a fresh charge, Bluetooth off, Airport off and screen brightness set to 1, I can maybe, *maybe*, get 2h45. And that's if I'm having a slow day where I'm spending most of my time just thinking. When I'm even moderately productive I'm lucky to get 2h30. The battery is 6 months old. I've never, *ever*, made to 3 hours.



    Never learn anything from this forum!

    Apple's claim for the MacBook Pro is, and I quote, "?up to 6 hours". Totally two different meanings.
  • Reply 33 of 142
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,953member
    [QUOTE=NYCMacFan;1203741]Not sure on this. Doesn't an SSD with an 1.8hertz processor consume the same power as a HDD with 1.6hertz. I was thinking it was comparable, but not sure. Would stink if 5 hours was a quote for SSD with 1.6hertz though

    [quote]



    You can buy the SSD with the 1.6GHz version too.
  • Reply 34 of 142
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,953member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by His Dudeness View Post


    I have a 64 gig usb thumb drive. Bought it about 4 months ago brand new off of eBay for 145.00.



    And I have a Canon Powershot G7 that is usb transfer. I have never had a digital video camera so I can't comment on them.



    New digital video cameras generally connect over USB. I think they're read like a hard drive, so you can potentially get faster than real time transfer.
  • Reply 35 of 142
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ncbill View Post


    Reviews of the other Intel-based portables like the MBP and MB have shown you need to chop 2 hours off Apple's estimate of battery life in real world use.



    E.g. Macworld reviewers were getting 3-3.5 hours on the MBP when Apple was claiming 5.5 hours.



    A 3 hour battery life for the MBA will make it fairly unappealing to travellers - after all, you're not going to be able to swap batteries while travelling (try messing with a battery pack in an airport and see what happens)



    Hmmmm - think AirPlane power adapter and many Airports have electrical wall outlets. Don't see this to be any issue IMO.
  • Reply 36 of 142
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,953member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    Never learn anything from this forum!

    Apple's claim for the MacBook Pro is, and I quote, "?up to 6 hours". Totally two different meanings.



    "up to" should mean that it should be possible to achieve that. That's why I'd like stronger truth in advertising laws. If no one can get more than 3 hours in the most battery optimized settings, then claiming "up to 6 hours" is unethical.
  • Reply 37 of 142
    flounderflounder Posts: 2,674member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brendon9x View Post


    One thing I learned from this forum at least is Apple's claim that I can get 6 hours from my 15" MBP. When I'm working at a coffee shop with a fresh charge, Bluetooth off, Airport off and screen brightness set to 1, I can maybe, *maybe*, get 2h45. And that's if I'm having a slow day where I'm spending most of my time just thinking. When I'm even moderately productive I'm lucky to get 2h30. The battery is 6 months old. I've never, *ever*, made to 3 hours.



    Maybe your battery was bad in the first place?



    With brightness about halfway, bluetooth and airport both on, doing light typing and a little internet, I can get 3.5 hours.
  • Reply 38 of 142
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,953member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bxs6408 View Post


    Hmmmm - think AirPlane power adapter and many Airports have electrical wall outlets. Don't see this to be any issue IMO.



    Actually it is, because that assumes you can get to a working outlet, on the airplane or at the airport. I've never been on an airplane that had a working power jack. One airport lobby I was at had four accessible jacks for about every 100 seats.
  • Reply 39 of 142
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RonHurley View Post


    As an owner of both an iMac 24? 2.8GHz and Macbook Pro 17?, I also find the Macbook Air to be an interesting product. One that I want to take a good look at when it?s actually released



    However, in the interests of accuracy (and at the risk of being flamed) I feel it?s important to post ACCURATE comparison data with other Subnotebooks. I feel that the total Focus on ?Thickness? to be disingenuous.



    No one is going to flame you for a researched comparison. Flaming occurs when one makes comments without backing them up.



    Welcome to AI.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NYCMacFan View Post


    Odd that Appleinsider don't do a comparison to the Toshiba R500 as this is the most obvious comparison. They also mention, but don't do the specs in that table of the Toughbook Y or W series (ideally they should show both).



    I don't know the R500, but the Toughbooks don't make for a good comparison. They all use older tech and cost considerably more for it do to their semi-rugged design.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NYCMacFan View Post


    I agree on footprint and this is why 4:3 is a nicer screen. Bad for movies, but better for most uses (browsing, word pricessor, powerpoint) and allows an easier footprint. Think Apple had to go with 13.3 inch as a 12 inchwidescreen is really like an 11inch 4:3 (really tiny, trust me - I have a 12inch widescreen from Dell). But widescreen is the future and I accept that.



    That is my feeling on it, too. With widescreen displays 13" is the ideal size for viewing and fitting on your seat-back tray.
  • Reply 40 of 142
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Actually it is, because that assumes you can get to a working outlet, on the airplane or at the airport. I've never been on an airplane that had a working power jack. One airport lobby I was at had four accessible jacks for about every 100 seats.



    That is why i always take THIS with me. They usually only have 2 or 4 outlets and they are usually maxed out.
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