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

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  • Reply 81 of 142
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OccamsAftershave View Post


    Ask and you shall recieve.

    Since the Fujitsu at 4 lbs was included in this category for comparison, here's a configuration for the just-under 4 lb.

    Dell XPS M1330:



    So... 1.5x the price for these feeble-in-comparison components buys over a lb. lighter, slimmer, superduper trackpad, camera w/ more MP... and [drumroll] tapered for illusion of even more slimness. Whoopi.

    And Leopard (+ iLife). Whew. OK. Not a RDF ripoff.

    ?



    For a Windows user that would be a nice portable machine. That is also the cheapest price for 64GB SSD that I've seen. Does that not include the rebate from the HDD?



    PS: Great username!
  • Reply 82 of 142
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    As you stated, "?in the interests of accuracy?" it was with the, "?spinning hard drive>"



    I am very curious on this difference. I presume that an SSD with a 1.6htz processor may be say 20% longer lived than an HDD with a 1.8htz processor. Could be like 40 minutes to 1hr, though perhaps I am making too much of this.



    But the screen is LED and so already more efficient irrespective of brightness right? What else is sucking up energy other than screen, processor, graphics card?
  • Reply 83 of 142
    Yes, Dell's $750 is the 64GB SSD swap price for the 160GB 7200RPM.

    Ala, Apple swapping it's 80GB 4200RPM HD for the SSD for $999. Heh.



    Now, Dell and HP are the BigBoys. Can someone explain how AI can ignore the major competion's products with some babble about "consumer market"?
  • Reply 84 of 142
    wircwirc Posts: 302member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OccamsAftershave View Post


    Now, Dell and HP are the BigBoys. Can someone explain how AI can ignore the major competion's products with some babble about "consumer market"?



    Perhaps you failed to notice that the M1330's price was a "limited time offer"? I don't expect that that will last; it's likely they're selling this machine at a loss, probably to let this kind of chat happen.
  • Reply 85 of 142
    Spec correction!



    The Lenovo ThinkPad X61 (in both tablet and non-tablet form) has an X3100 GPU. I have one.



    The older X60 (is that even still available?) has the 950. My brother has one.
  • Reply 86 of 142
    In this article, and in other reviews the MBA is described as a "light" machine - not a power house - not a real replacement for a desktop - not meant as a main computer - not meant for pro-users.

    I understand that there are computers with faster specs, but could someone with knowledge in CPU/RAM/etc. explain why this seems to be the general take?



    What is meant by a pro-user in this context? Someone who edits movies and renders complex 3D animations all day long?

    What is considered light or "unpro" use? Some emailing, browsing and the occasional excell-sheet?



    I am a webdesigner and webprogrammer have been satisfied with my 12" g4 pb as my main computer, although I realize that there are faster computers.

    I mainly use Apple's own apps (Safari, iPhoto, iTunes) + texteditors (Coda, BBEdit) + FTP (Transmit) + Photoshop CS3.

    The MBA would serve my needs in terms of size, design, etc. but how would you expect the MBA 1.6 to suit this type of use in terms of speed and performance?



    How would the 12" g4 pb and the MBA compare?



    Thanks!
  • Reply 87 of 142
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wirc View Post


    Perhaps you failed to notice...



    I haven't failed to notice that Dell's "limited time offers" are like rain in Seattle. Dell is constantly handing out coupons, having discounts, etc. A quick trip to e-bay shows several hundred M1330's, many identical to the above, new-in-the-box machines with BuyItNow prices ~$1650, auction price to be lower. What do you think these speculators paid Dell?
  • Reply 88 of 142
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:

    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:



    Ultra mobile PC's don't sell very well. They are too small to actually be useful with software designed for desktop. That is the reason for the iPhone Apple designed a new version of OS X and new application interface.



    Quote:

    How would the 12" g4 pb and the MBA compare?



    Assuming you mean to compare performance. With software optimized to run at least on Tiger with Intel processors. The MBA would blow any PB G4 out of the water.
  • Reply 89 of 142
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    Quote:

    Of course, planes also have power sockets, too.



    Isn't power only available for business class and higher?



    Quote:

    Until Apple did it, who could imagine a notebook shipping without an Ethernet port?



    When Steve Jobs first introduced the Powerbook G4, he made fun of other "thin" laptops for not having a built in optical drive. So Apple makes fun of other manufacturers for lacking features, only to drop those features themselves.
  • Reply 90 of 142
    thgdthgd Posts: 6member
    Quote:

    "....The (SSD) drive might be faster, but I don't think the speed and power improvements are going to be anywhere worth the extra money."



    Those speeds may very well be worth the extra money....



    " Not only does Samsung's new offering increase the capacity available in solid state drives, it increases the performance as well. Samsung claims the respective read and write performance on the drive have been increased by 20 and 60 percent:*

    - the 64 GB SSD unit can read 64 MB/s, write 45 MB/s, and consumes just half a Watt when operating (one tenth of a Watt when idle).*

    In comparison,*

    - an 80 GB 1.8-inch hard drive reads at 15 MB/s, writes at 7 MB/s, and eats 1.5 Watts either operating or when idle."



    http://news.digitaltrends.com/news/s...id_state_drive
  • Reply 91 of 142
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post


    Isn't power only available for business class and higher?





    When Steve Jobs first introduced the Powerbook G4, he made fun of other "thin" laptops for not having a built in optical drive. So Apple makes fun of other manufacturers for lacking features, only to drop those features themselves.



    On one hand that example sounds pretty old, but on the other, it does seem odd to say that dropping the ethernet port as a feature. The way the article says it, it sounds like how the proles acted in the book 1984.
  • Reply 92 of 142
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    I just had to fix a few things on my Dad's ancient Titanium PowerBook G4.

    That thing was amazingly thin too, especially the screen, considering it was not LED backlit.

    Does anyone remember the exact thickness of these things?
  • Reply 93 of 142
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OccamsAftershave View Post


    Yes, Dell's $750 is the 64GB SSD swap price for the 160GB 7200RPM.

    Ala, Apple swapping it's 80GB 4200RPM HD for the SSD for $999. Heh.



    But $900 swap price for a 120 GB 5400 drive.
  • Reply 94 of 142
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thgd View Post


    Those speeds may very well be worth the extra money....



    " Not only does Samsung's new offering increase the capacity available in solid state drives, it increases the performance as well. Samsung claims the respective read and write performance on the drive have been increased by 20 and 60 percent:*

    - the 64 GB SSD unit can read 64 MB/s, write 45 MB/s, and consumes just half a Watt when operating (one tenth of a Watt when idle).*

    In comparison,*

    - an 80 GB 1.8-inch hard drive reads at 15 MB/s, writes at 7 MB/s, and eats 1.5 Watts either operating or when idle."



    http://news.digitaltrends.com/news/s...id_state_drive



    First, that assumes that it's Samsung's drive being used.



    I really doubt that the 1.8" hard drive consumes 1.5W at idle. That would kill the iPod. I don't know who is in current iPods (they were in older iPods), but here's Toshiba's specs for their 80GB single platter drive:



    http://toshibastorage.com/main.aspx?...Specifications



    0.8W reading & writing, idles at 0.3W.



    So the difference at max is 0.3W. But even a 1W savings doesn't mean much. The CPU takes 20W at max, I haven't seen a number for idle. Then there's the screen's power consumption, even if it's LED, it's not going to eliminate power consumption. Even if the SSD takes no power at all, I don't know if the power savings would be noticed. The screen, chipset and CPU takes a lot more power than that.



    So really, we should see what Macworld says, hopefully they'll do a good test.
  • Reply 95 of 142
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by G-News View Post


    I just had to fix a few things on my Dad's ancient Titanium PowerBook G4.

    That thing was amazingly thin too, especially the screen, considering it was not LED backlit.

    Does anyone remember the exact thickness of these things?



    One inch, courtesy of MacTracker (free download)
  • Reply 96 of 142
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OccamsAftershave View Post


    Ask and you shall recieve.

    Since the Fujitsu at 4 lbs was included in this category for comparison, here's a configuration for the just-under 4 lb.

    Dell XPS M1330:

    3GB (to 4GB) vs. Air's 2GB

    nvidia 8400MGS 128MB DDR3 vs. Air's integrated Intel x3100

    160GB 7200RPM (320GB 5400RPM +$75, 64GB SSD +$750) vs. Air's 80MB 4200RPM

    9-cell 85WHr battery vs. Air's 37Whr

    smaller LxW dimensions vs. Air

    Same new LED display&resolution, video- audio-out, 1 USB, .11n/BT

    Plus: 2nd USB, FW, Enet, HDMI, internal broadband option, slotload DVD burner, ExpressCard, 8-in-1 card reader, audio-in, dual array mics, fingerprint reader



    2.2GHz T7500 vs. Air LV Merom Whatever 1.8GHz

    $1404 (with SSD: $2154) vs. $2099



    So... 1.5x the price for these feeble-in-comparison components buys over a lb. lighter, slimmer, superduper trackpad, camera w/ more MP... and [drumroll] tapered for illusion of even more slimness. Whoopi.

    And Leopard (+ iLife). Whew. OK. Not a RDF ripoff.

    What does that mean?



    Whenever someone pulls something off the Dell website, I can't help but smell BS.



    First of all, the 160 GB HD option is a 5400 RPM drive, not 7200 (same with the 250 GB option).



    Secondly, the Dell starts at 4 lbs (with a 4-cell battery). I doubt very much that M1330 as spec'd with a 9-cell battery and larger hard drive is even under 5 lbs.



    And lastly, as another poster pointed out, this is the discounted price. The M1330 as spec'd comes to $2198 (with a 250 GB 5400 HD). Yes, I know, Dell discounts, blah blah blah, but the fact of the matter is the regular price is $400 more than the MBA. Not to mention, every time I try to take advantage of one of Dell's so called ubiquitous discounts, they always manage to miraculously disappear on the day I feel like ordering.



    I'm sure the M1330 is an impressive notebook. I'm just not overly fond of slippery comparisons to anything that comes out of a Dell configuration widget.
  • Reply 97 of 142
    thttht Posts: 3,227member
    Gizmodo did an interesting size comparison between the MBA, the Sony TZ and the Asus Eee PC:



    How Slim Is the MacBook Air?











    The images should tell you that it all depends on your priorities, and what you use an ultra-portable for. It's obviously not designed as a primary computer, but a secondary, casual use or traveling computer. If Apple wants it to be a stand-alone primary computer, they really need to sell a docking station with optical, extra HDD, and more ports for it, but they don't have one, so it really isn't being sold as one's only computer. If it is, I think the MB is much better buy. It's bigger at 1.08" thick and heavier at 5 lbs, but it has more of everything and costs less. The MB is thinner than many Windows ultraportables!



    For me, my frustration with laptops have always been about packing and weight. I've never been bothered about the footprint of a laptop while using economy class. More important was cutting down the number of carry-ons and being able to fit it underneath the seat in front of me. The MBA makes the right set of choices for this. On top of that, I use my old G1 iBook G3 in the house nearly everywhere. The MBA is nearly perfect for this. So, Apple is designing for a specific market here.



    Looking at the sideview above, it just seems blatantly obvious that the MBA would be better in terms of packing, handling and such. It is something that would be easier to carry in backpacks, cases, rolling totes, and in the hands.
  • Reply 98 of 142
    AppleInsider-

    This is a classic example of cherry-picking your evaluation criteria and grading system to favor -- no surprise here -- the MacBook Air.

    I am not an Apple basher, my iMac is my fav (and I work with a number of folks who are switching from PC to Mac). It's just that I used to think of AppleInsider as doing good unbiased work, and now that seems no longer true.



    For people who know about computers and specs, the chart is transparently biased toward the MacBook Air.

    The chart does not list a category for: USB ports, FireWire ports, dedicated Ethernet, Portable locking slot, nor user swappable battery, express-card, nor dock-ability.

    For most of those categories, the MacBook Air would have to end up with a Yellow Trailing feature. (surprisingly, some of the PC models include Firewire 1394, besting Apple on its own highspeed external bus...)



    For device measurement criteria, you only list weight and thickness (the Apple preferred criteria), yet any true measurement of a device size would have to include the length and width - just so folks know... yes?



    Your chart lists the the MacBook Air winning the Networking because of the WiFi N and Ethernet via USB-stealing dongle - not an unbiased decision. To be honest, you would need to separate those into the two different categories they are: WiFi as one, Ethernet as the other. And then mark the Mac as leading the WiFi but majorly trailing the Ethernet, since it uses up the only USB port.



    Your chart shows the MacBook Air on par with all the others for Battery - yet most (all?) the others have a way to swap in a spare charged battery if you are away from power for a long time. Granted you point out that there seems a lot of variability in battery run lenght.



    It seems strange that there is no column to represent one of the Dell XPS or Toshiba Portege models, both of which are in the exact category you are charting.



    If you are going to do a comparison chart, please do it in a complete and unbiased manner. It's a great start -- I have seen no other publication attempt this yet -- just needs to be finished fairly.
  • Reply 99 of 142
    lantznlantzn Posts: 240member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Crackpot View Post


    Before MacWorld everyone was speculating that MBA would be flash based which would mean much longer battery life, less heat, and joy and peace for all in the world. Instead it was offered as an option (pricy at that).



    All of the battery/time comparisons so far have been using the 80 HD and indicating battery life to be 5 or so hours. What is the expected battery life if one shelled out for the 64 Gb flash drive.?



    I'm curious does anyone know the difference, hardware-wise, between the HD and Flash D based MBA? In other words, would it be possible to buy an HD base version now and upgrade it to a Flash based drive in the future when Flash Drives drop in price?
  • Reply 100 of 142
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lantzn View Post


    I'm curious does anyone know the difference, hardware-wise, between the HD and Flash D based MBA? In other words, would it be possible to buy an HD base version now and upgrade it to a Flash based drive in the future when Flash Drives drop in price?



    I think so, given that it's supposed to be easy to open it to replace the battery too. But we need to be patient, when these things are available in a week or so, someone will do a tear-down gallery to show what it's really like.
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