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

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  • Reply 41 of 142
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    "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.



    It is truth in advertising.



    As Apple, and I defy anybody to find a reference to another manufacturer's site that explains it better, states in its 'legal' declaration, that "Battery life depends on configuration and use.(1)" And goes on to explain what that may mean.



    One important consideration to understand is, "Apple batteries share the characteristics common to lithium-based technology found in other devices." In other words, they are all in the same boat. The difference is the hogability of the OS, utilities and programs being run, as well as the settings that are available to optimize the consumption. Even how you store your laptop is a major factor (2).



    Unfortunately, most of us will not even open the pages to see how we should treat our laptop, and for sure, never comply with the directions if we had. Never mind that Apple has set a link, i.e., "Remind me to charge and discharge my notebook battery" to your iCal, to remind you to "Exercise Your Machine."



    One thing for sure, Apple does not do or hides, is the fact that most of those who claim 8-10+ hours battery life was achieved using your computer to play MP3 files.



    (1) http://www.apple.com/ca/batteries/

    (2) http://www.apple.com/ca/batteries/notebooks.html

    (3) webcal://www.apple.com/images/notebook_icalreminder.ics
  • Reply 41 of 142
    To me, the most important feature of the MacBook Air is OS X. If I could run OS X on my Sony TX, I might not even consider the MBA. Ok, the deathly slow performance of the TX (on certain functions) and the iffy keyboard that doesn't always register when I hit a key, make it less than a joy to use. But it's certainly a joy to carry.



    I've owned a variety of subnotebooks over the years, and never been very satisfied with any of them. There was the HP with the non-backlit screen and PC Card storage -- and the goofy pop-out mouse. I never did any real computing with that one. Then there was the almost-pocket-sized Toshiba, which came with Windows 95, but I upgraded to NT. It was quirky and darn close to useless. I think I reached the zenith of my insanity when I paid $2000 for that one. I currently have the first Toshiba Portege tablet, which was always flaky as a tablet, but works find as small (but heavy) notebook. And finally there's the Sony Vaio TX that's remarkably small and full-featured. I do use it a lot, but it's often worth the extra weight to haul my MacBook Pro.



    The specs on the MBA really aren't what I wanted, but I think I could learn to love it. I will probably wait until the first "bump" update before I buy one. I really want the SSD, but don't want to pay the huge premium since the prices will probably fall pretty quickly.



    BTW, another light subnotebook that wasn't listed in the table is the current Toshiba Portege (500?), which is very thin and light, and is a decent performer. Still, no OS X, and lightly built. There's always compromise in this corner of the market.
  • Reply 43 of 142
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,953member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    It is truth in advertising.



    I'll call it truth in weaseltising. Notebook runtimes are useless numbers as given because tests from all makers do not reflect actual use, it might not even reflect actual batteries. It's possible that Apple pulled the best battery and mated it with the lowest consuming CPU of the lot to get those numbers. I've set my notebook to Apple's recommended settings, left the thing idle (not even playing music) and it still does not get close to Apple's numbers. The battery got cycled more often than Apple recommends as well.



    Quote:

    As Apple, and I defy anybody to find a reference to another manufacturer's site that explains it better, states in its 'legal' declaration, that "Battery life depends on configuration and use.(1)" And goes on to explain what that may mean.



    I didn't say anyone else is better at it. I don't think it's acceptable to excuse Apple Just because other makers do the same thing.
  • Reply 44 of 142
    [QUOTE=JeffDM;1203746][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.



    Yeah, as I noted, that would stink and be fear. If that was quoted at say 5 hours it means that all other setups would be worse powerwise.
  • Reply 45 of 142
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    Too large and too heavy all of them. We need a true full handheld and true pocket computer like these (5 inches screen or so), but with FireWire and with full Mac OS X 10.5.1 inside:



    OQO e2

    http://www.oqo.com/intl



    Samsung Ultra Mobile PC Q1

    http://www.samsung.com/us/consumer/t...=ultramobilepc



    Now it is possible with the new Intel Silverthorne chip. Will Apple deliver or should our University switch to Windows-Linux?
  • Reply 46 of 142
    How can the 13" 1280x800 screen of the MBA beat out the 11" 1366x768 of the Asus U1F, resolution is what matters, that's what decides how much you can fit on the scree, not the size, plus smaller is better, so the Asus is better now matter how you look at it.



    And why isn't any of the powerfull ultra portables in the comparison, like the Acer Ferrari and the Asus Lambo, they both are more powerfull than the MBA in most ways. And I realise this is an Apple fan site, but listing MacOS as superior to Vista is a little fanboyish.
  • Reply 47 of 142
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,953member
    [QUOTE=NYCMacFan;1203789][QUOTE=JeffDM;1203746]
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NYCMacFan View Post


    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





    Yeah, as I noted, that would stink and be fear. If that was quoted at say 5 hours it means that all other setups would be worse powerwise.



    OK, I missed the last line, so I can see your point. All I can say is we'll have to wait until the MacWorld test.
  • Reply 48 of 142
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I'll call it truth in weaseltising. Notebook runtimes are useless numbers as given because tests from all makers do not reflect actual use.



    Virtually impossible. As one once involved in pharmaceutical industry, setting up a protocol to reflect actual use is one thing. To ensure that all the configurations reflect actual usage is another.



    If anything, Apple would be able to comply with the second condition better because their products and its components are so tightly standardized and regulated. As a result, Try to find two identical PCs that satisfy the majority would be impossible.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I didn't say anyone else is better at it. I don't think it's acceptable to excuse Apple Just because other makers do the same thing.



    I didn't say that you did. However, I can find it acceptable why manufacturers can't explain beyond the fact that battery life depends on configuration and use. Afterall, they rely on other third-party manufactures for their batteries and everybody uses their computers differently. Besides the affects that one OS has over another, applications, e.g., Microsoft Word consumes power differently on different PCs and different Macs.
  • Reply 49 of 142
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hansii View Post


    And why isn't any of the powerfull ultra portables in the comparison, like the Acer Ferrari and the Asus Lambo, they both are more powerfull than the MBA in most ways. And I realise this is an Apple fan site, but listing MacOS as superior to Vista is a little fanboyish.



    Please supply link. Aren't these machines like 6 and a half pounds?
  • Reply 50 of 142
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    "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.



    Its true. The other thing that would be nice is if you had some agreed upon specification or test that all manufacturers can meet. Unlikely to happen, but it would give you a comparative sense of how a laptop performs. The torture tests they use are nice as they give you a good worst case scenario for the battery life.



    Assuming you had the SSD and then had bluetooth and airport off, I'd expect the MBA would have to be closer to the advertised specs. The only variable/excess drain on the battery would be if the processor is working hard. All other parts of the computer are a constant (no HDD or optical drive that drain it faster).
  • Reply 51 of 142
    eckingecking Posts: 1,588member
    I'm surprised everyone finds the 13.3" screen to be a good thing. I'd prefer an 11" screen like that asus, if I'm trying to get as portable as possible it's screen size should be considered to be part of it's overall footprint.
  • Reply 52 of 142
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ecking View Post


    I'm surprised everyone finds the 13.3" screen to be a good thing. I'd prefer an 11" screen like that asus, if I'm trying to get as portable as possible it's screen size should be considered to be part of it's overall footprint.



    Hard on the eyes. Also bear in mind that 13.3 widescreen = 12 inch in 4:3 and similarly 12 widescreen is like 11 inch in 4:3 aspect ratio.
  • Reply 53 of 142
    Quote:

    •\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”)...



    I was wondering when someone would make that observation. The Air is a spectacular design exercise aimed at reducing the appearance of size and weight. Surfaces taper underneath until they're out of sight at the point where they meet the resting platform or base, coming as close to optical illusion as is possible in industrial design. But the computer is not 0.16" thick at its leading edge, any more than the original apple portable (see below) would be if it had been designed with a 0.16" lip projecting around its perimeter. Someone needs to place a metal ruler across the top front of the Air and measure the distance from the surface the computer is sitting on: THAT is the thickness. Ditto for the rear. This exercise won't change the light weight of the computer, and won't diminish the gorgeous, successful design. But it'll have us dealing with reality and I'm all for that.



    Disclaimer: I'm all "for" the Air, too: My brother's bought one. I might. But let's keep the discussions rational.



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:M...h_portable.jpg
  • Reply 54 of 142
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,361member
    The Air looks great to me. I'm considering it.

    Personally I'll miss out a FireWire port since most of my disks and audio card is FW. The USB protocol seems to draw more power and CPU and generate more heat in previous Mac notebooks, compared to the FireWire ports.
  • Reply 55 of 142
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,953member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    Please supply link. Aren't these machines like 6 and a half pounds?



    Acer Ferrari: 3.7lb

    http://shopping.yahoo.com/p:Acer%20F...NlYwNiZ3NpYg--



    Lamborghini VX1: 5.3lb

    http://shopping.yahoo.com/p:ASUS%20L...NlYwNiZ3NpYg--
  • Reply 56 of 142
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hansii View Post


    How can the 13" 1280x800 screen of the MBA beat out the 11" 1366x768 of the Asus U1F, resolution is what matters, that's what decides how much you can fit on the scree, not the size, plus smaller is better, so the Asus is better now matter how you look at it.



    So ppi is the only thing to look at when choosing a computer? it wasn't long ago that 1024x768 was the limit for 15" displays, and people were happy with that.



    Quote:

    And why isn't any of the powerfull ultra portables in the comparison, like the Acer Ferrari and the Asus Lambo, they both are more powerfull than the MBA in most ways. And I realise this is an Apple fan site, but listing MacOS as superior to Vista is a little fanboyish.



    The functionality and usability of the operating system is a major consideration. First time Mac users may be drawn to the aesthetics, but it's the operating system that wins them over. I can't imagine there are many people buying macs just to install Windows on them.



    Listing computers whose selling point is that they are painted to match an Italian car doesn't make any sense to me.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ecking View Post


    I'm surprised everyone finds the 13.3" screen to be a good thing. I'd prefer an 11" screen like that asus, if I'm trying to get as portable as possible it's screen size should be considered to be part of it's overall footprint.



    As NYCMacFan said, it's not just about the size, it's about a size size and reduced performance WHILE still being a useful machine. There is no one machine to fit everyone here. Some people would rather have a UMPC with a 5" screen while others would prefer their 17" notebook with multiple batteries. To each their own.
  • Reply 57 of 142
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RonHurley View Post


    ?\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



    I've used my 17" MBP on economy flights. The width is of little issue even though my laptop extends over the edges. The depth and height are the primary gotchas as both are related. When the person in front of you is fully upright I don't have significant problems even with my MBP. When the seat is reclined at all there is a problem with the top of the screen getting crunched by the seat.



    An economy tray is about 16.5" x 9". The MBA should have no problems with use on an airplane.



    Does anyone have problems with using a MB in an airline seat?



    Does anyone seriously use a X61s with a mouse on an airline tray? That's still a tight fit even with 2 extra inches.



    Quote:

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



    With the slimline battery.



    Quote:

    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)



    Yeah. Like how my Keynote presentations look a heck of lot better than your Powerpoint presentations on the X61s...otherwise the Thinkpads are great. I've owned several and I considered the tablet version recently but decided nah.



    Thinness isn't the only promotion focus of the Air. Its also that it runs OSX Leopard...arguably the best desktop OS on the market. And that it looks damn good doing so.



    If you don't think looks matter, try giving your next presentation in ratty jeans and a t-shirt.
  • Reply 58 of 142
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


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



    You rock. I've never seen these before. With a toddler at home, I don't get to travel much these days, but I do frequent coffee shops, and often run into the same problem there. I'm so buying one!
  • Reply 59 of 142
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    The functionality and usability of the operating system is a major consideration. First time Mac users may be drawn to the aesthetics, but it's the operating system that wins them over. I can't imagine there are many people buying macs just to install Windows on them.



    This thread is not about operating systems, but I do think that Mac OS is objectively better (and that is the general reaction of people like Mossberg at WSJ or CNET types). I use both windows and mac daily. I find that the mac OS is:

    -faster in booting up

    -seems less sluggish when using same processor and ram

    -more stable

    -easier to use, more intuitive

    -possesses more handy features I appreciate

    -naturally less prone to spyware and ads



    This is not trivial as it is a major reason why I am looking to the MBA. I also favor Apple's elegant design and what I consider to be higher build quality. So I am a little ticked off on the MBA execution, but leaning toward buying as the jump from 3 to 5lbs just seems like a lot of additional weight to me.
  • Reply 60 of 142
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by djames42 View Post


    You rock. I've never seen these before. With a toddler at home, I don't get to travel much these days, but I do frequent coffee shops, and often run into the same problem there. I'm so buying one!



    I feel like an idiot...I've never even looked for a mini powerstrip even when I've thought to myself "gee, I wish I had a powerstrip...". Thanks. That's a nice tip.
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