I want a macbook air.. but, argh!..... should I wait?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
I am really frustrate right now. I want a macbook air- it is all the computing power I nee for law school and it is easier to type on with its thin form factor. And it's awesomely light. But they need to give it the glass track pad and have an option for a 15" screen and the same thinker unibody construction as on the new macbookpros. And they need to fix that hinge as I heard they are still breaking even with the new revision. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Should I just bite the bullet or wait?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    winterwinter Posts: 1,238member
    I would just go with the low end 15" MBP, as the MBA is most likely going to remain as is. If you don't want a MBP, hold off.
  • Reply 2 of 11
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,912member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iansilv View Post


    I am really frustrate right now. I want a macbook air- it is all the computing power I nee for law school and it is easier to type on with its thin form factor.



    Right off the bat here you kinda lost me. There are several things about AIR that bother me about AIR for students in general. It is not rugged but you already know this. The battery life time, per charge, is not that great. Apple is also neglecting AIR which is a bad sign for four years of college.



    To a lesser extent it also suffers from the lack of storage. This has gotten better with larger SSDs but you are still limited to 1.8" devices. Ideally you will want enough room to keep all reference materials, papers and other documents through out your program.



    The other big issue in my mind is speed. This may be better with Snow Leopard and SSds but it is still a combo of slow and expensive.



    That is the bad and the good, what is ugly in my estimation is the lack of key ports. The design decisions made here are rather hideous.

    Quote:

    And it's awesomely light. But they need to give it the glass track pad and have an option for a 15" screen and the same thinker unibody construction as on the new macbookpros.



    obviously if you are lusting after Mac Books then AIR isn't your first love anyways. Take a look at the MBPs and you will see that everone of them is a better value for a student.

    [/quote]

    And they need to fix that hinge as I heard they are still breaking even with the new revision. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Should I just bite the bullet or wait?[/QUOTE]



    I would run away from AIR screaming, any of the MBs are better machines. Maybe you are thinking AIR is lawyer cool but under the surface it is a poor implementation. Your best bet is a middle of the road MBP. They perform well and the new models are very serviceable. I also believe they are rugged enough to last the length of your program and then some.



    The other option would be to buy an AIR and a IMac. The iMac being more substantial should work well in an apartment. The problem is I doubt you will be working there that much.



    No matter what you do budget for backup as skipping back up can lead to not finishing a quarter. It is likely more important than the Mac you choose.





    Dave
  • Reply 3 of 11
    My wife has the Air and I have the 13" MBP. Mine is far faster than hers is, has the built in SuperDrive and I wouldn't trade with her.



    On the Air side, she never uses a CD drive and prefers the lighter weight. She picked my MBP up the other day and commented on how heavy it is.



    My final impression of the 2 is that the Air is excellent for someone traveling on business, needing alight load AND will put a light load on the notebook. It's not the workhouse the MBA is. It's also a good notebook for the women in our lives as it's lighter and easier for them to move around.



    For law school a 13 or 15 " MBA presents far more vigor. Depending on your budget you might go for the 13" and add a 24" Apple display. That gives you the horsepower when you're not at your desk as well as giving you a huge work surface at the desk where you can have multiple references open and use at the same time.
  • Reply 4 of 11
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iansilv View Post


    I am really frustrate right now. I want a macbook air- it is all the computing power I nee for law school and it is easier to type on with its thin form factor. And it's awesomely light. But they need to give it the glass track pad and have an option for a 15" screen and the same thinker unibody construction as on the new macbookpros. And they need to fix that hinge as I heard they are still breaking even with the new revision. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Should I just bite the bullet or wait?



    Would you consider a 13" MacBook Pro? Carrying around a 15" for college can be a bit of a hassle.



    Best all rounder is the 13" MacBook Pro if you suspect you might need some robustness. Get a Speck case for it and you're set. A lot of taking in and out of bags, opening/closing etc. etc.



    You can get a MacBook Air when you get paid $10,000 or more just to get out of bed.



    Nah seriously if travelling for work then MacBook Air would be alright but the "dynamic" environment of college/university ... 13" MBP.



    MacBook Air is still a great product IMO but probably centered around corporate/leisure/air travel related usage.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    intenseintense Posts: 106member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iansilv View Post


    I am really frustrate right now. I want a macbook air- it is all the computing power I nee for law school and it is easier to type on with its thin form factor. And it's awesomely light. But they need to give it the glass track pad and have an option for a 15" screen and the same thinker unibody construction as on the new macbookpros. And they need to fix that hinge as I heard they are still breaking even with the new revision. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Should I just bite the bullet or wait?



    13" + 15" macbook pros are the way to go for you

    the air is sexier, lighter, etc ... yet, you'd get both MUCH better performance and usability out of the Macbook pros than the air ...



    good luck
  • Reply 6 of 11
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,912member
    Just to add a couple of things here.



    First, my opinion of AIR is based on the current model, Apple could certainly change my mind with a revision to the machine. I honestly don't think that will happen until Arrandale CPUs are released. While a faster CPU would certainly help, especially if it is lower power, it still doesn't address AIRs other short comings.



    Second, one has to wonder if AIR is already on life support as the improvements to the MBP ( track pad) haven't migrated there yet. You can't guess at what Apple is up to here as they could simply be waiting for the next generation CPU. It does make one wonder about commitment to the product.



    After all of the above I still don't like the port arraingement nor battery lifetime on this model. Depending on your usage you may be happy with the supplied ports but I see the whole design as cheap and a bit of a rip off. Especially the funky trap door.



    Oh and somebody above commented about the size of the 15" MBP and the effort required to carry it around. It is big no denying that, just realize it requires a brief case or some other aid. The smaller 13" may be justifiable simple due to it's size. The problem is the larger screen is something you really become dependant on very quickly. Especially when it comes to viewing and creating documents, small screens do impact your productivity. There wil always be a trade off here but only you can determine what is best for you.



    One other thing to consider is AIRs ability to play back movies. Originally this was a problem but I believe it was corrected with the last upgrade that incorporated the 9400M processor. I woul verify that though. You may not think it is important to you, but I would disagree. Mostly because I didn't think it was important to me and then I got my MBP. You suddenly realize that watching movies on your PC is more cost effective than buying another portable device. Further getting work done in a car or plane just doesn't happen in most cases but a good flick can kill a lot of time on a plane.



    If you are wondering yes I'm trying to discourage you from buying an AIR. At least right now with the current model. Even a lowly 13" MBP has much more potential. Even here though I'd wait until the end of October to purchase. There are rumors of iMac and Mini updates in a couple of weeks. You will want to make sure that laptop updates don't get slipped in there too. If Laptop updates do happen they will likely be the high end models getting the new Clarksfield chip and the lower end models getting bumps. After October your best bet would be early in 2010.





    Dave
  • Reply 7 of 11
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    I expect the Rev D MBA will appear in calendar Q1 2010 when Intel ship the Arrandales.



    Eventually (in a year or two), I expect Apple will completely redesign the MBA with SSD on the motherboard to make it even thinner (as well as more reliable and less expensive). By that time, the new MBA might have 2 or 3 Light Peak ports and no other ports. Only with a new case design would the MBA get a glass trackpad as it reportedly won't fit in the current case.
  • Reply 8 of 11
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,912member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post


    I expect the Rev D MBA will appear in calendar Q1 2010 when Intel ship the Arrandales.



    Maybe March or April!

    Quote:



    Eventually (in a year or two), I expect Apple will completely redesign the MBA with SSD on the motherboard to make it even thinner (as well as more reliable and less expensive).



    Actually I think they could get there with Arrandale as that should cut down the PC board size somewhat. There is one bad ting about a built in drive, that is the inability to upgrade it. I'm not sure the world is ready for that yet, that unless the storage configuration is relatively large.

    Quote:

    By that time, the new MBA might have 2 or 3 Light Peak ports and no other ports.



    I don't know about that. Light Peak is nice an all but I don't see USB going away at all. At least not for another good ten years, there are just to many uses for USB that will never get translated to Light Peak. However Light Peak would make one excellent dock connector.

    Quote:

    Only with a new case design would the MBA get a glass trackpad as it reportedly won't fit in the current case.



    The track pad would be low on y list of concerns. I'd rather see a fatter battery myself.





    Dave
  • Reply 9 of 11
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Maybe March or April!



    Maybe. It depends on when Intel ship the 620LM and 640LM. I expect Apple to update the MBA as soon as they have enough chips from Intel.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Actually I think they could get there with Arrandale as that should cut down the PC board size somewhat.



    Cutting down the MBA's board size would be helpful, but not enough to justify a case redesign. Apple need to drop the HDD to make the MBA substantially thinner.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    There is one bad ting about a built in drive, that is the inability to upgrade it. I'm not sure the world is ready for that yet, that unless the storage configuration is relatively large.



    I believe the world has been ready for built-in drives since laptops started shipping. I don't think more than a small fraction of 1% of laptop drives get replaced.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Light Peak is nice an all but I don't see USB going away at all. At least not for another good ten years, there are just to many uses for USB that will never get translated to Light Peak. However Light Peak would make one excellent dock connector.



    I expect USB to be one of the first protocols to be supported over Light Peak. We should see USB hubs with one or more Light Peak connectors by the end of 2010.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iansilv View Post


    I am really frustrate right now. I want a macbook air- it is all the computing power I nee for law school and it is easier to type on with its thin form factor. And it's awesomely light. But they need to give it the glass track pad and have an option for a 15" screen and the same thinker unibody construction as on the new macbookpros. And they need to fix that hinge as I heard they are still breaking even with the new revision. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Should I just bite the bullet or wait?



    I don't understand why so many people are trying to dissuade you from a MBA. It is a perfectly adequate amount of computing power for all but the most demanding graphical or financial modelling. You're in Law School... not NASA. Word processing, note taking, spreadsheets, and web/chat apps just don't need that much horsepower. Honestly.



    I say get the MBA now. They likely won't see an update until next spring so you won't be obsolete for awhile and you can always sell it and throw some more money at the latest and greatest down the road if you want.



    My original MBA 1.6GHz is perfectly adequate for almost any task. I love it and I can see getting another couple of years out of it easily.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    irelandireland Posts: 17,686member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iansilv View Post


    I am really frustrate right now. I want a macbook air- it is all the computing power I nee for law school and it is easier to type on with its thin form factor. And it's awesomely light. But they need to give it the glass track pad and have an option for a 15" screen and the same thinker unibody construction as on the new macbookpros. And they need to fix that hinge as I heard they are still breaking even with the new revision. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Should I just bite the bullet or wait?



    The button is fine, so is the hinge. Get the SSD model. There's a noticeable difference with most tasks. Startup, using System Preferences etc. Well worth it. It won't extend the battery life though, at least not to a degree you might imagine. Still, I think the SSD model is awesome. It's a great little machine.
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