i must say i have been excited about finally getting a worthy laptop upgrade. i’ve been using macbooks for about 4 years now. started with white macbook (intel leopard) for wife – liked it. then had my job order an 08 15′ macbook pro customed: 4gb of mem & 7200 rpm hard drive. which was the best laptop i’ve ever “owned” to date. then had to downgrade to 13′ aluminum macbook “pro” (MBP) 2gb SD slot 4ish hour battery life … then made the biggest mistake of my short apple life … and “upgraded” to shit (aka snow) leopard. 2gb used to be enough on the old white macbook, but after snow … nothing but rainbow wheel of death.
the new Macbook Air 4gb / 128 flash SDD real user review
i’ve had this MBA – new baby for a day now … in one word – it’s a screamer
the good: as Dvorak & others have been trying to tell us for years “it’s the hard drive dummy” (not the CPU that’s responsible for the speed of the computre). it doesn’t really matter if you have 1.8 Ghz or 2.3 Ghz (1.4 probably would be fine as well), but the flash hard drive and 4gb of memory amounts to an amazing speed increase:
- it starts up in 12 sec / 2 sec from sleep. overall flash SSD makes this baby scream, everything is “now”
- RWOD (rainbow wheel of death) is mostly gone. it takes about 30 seconds to open 4 firefox windows with 4-6 tabs on each on the new Air vs 60 seconds on the old one (it only appeared while upgrading mac os)
- battery – i’ve gotten about 5 hours on the 2nd charge … should be close to 6h on few charge-drain cycles
- no CD/DVD – haven’t used it much lately and losing 2lb in the process is certainly worth it
- 2nd USB port … definitely welcome (in comparison to older Air)
- no more fan noise (well known annoyance of the older Air). this baby runs very quietly. while transferring from macbook pro to Air I got a panic attack – fans were humming intensely about 2 hours into the transfer.
silly me … about 1 min after i moved the Air to the side to listen to the concerning noise closer … i’ve realized the true reason for this heat … was the fact that the new Air was placed directly over the fans of old Macbook – therefore causing high temperature. as soon as i’ve placed Air away from the other Macbook’s heat … fans & noise stopped immediately (it does go on sometimes when watching lots of youtube videos or crunching photoshop rendering).
on the fence:
- LCD – similar to aluminum macbook one. old Air was too “matte” – as in you really had to look at the screen at a direct 90 deg angle, otherwise you stopped seeing portions of the screen. new one seems very crisp, but haven’t used it in the sun yet … big problem for the glass-covered macbook pro. [cont. under "screen resolution"]
- no illuminated keyboard … apple giveth, apple taketh away – but why? why taking away good features? it fit just fine on the old air …
- no infrared – no remote … again, old Air had it. appleTV solves this problem at home, but what if i want to give a presentation … now i need to buy another dongle remote?
- screen resolution – WTF you say? but … i really don’t see an advantage of 1440×900 resolution on a 13′ screen. it makes everything smaller. 1280×800 was a perfect balance for the 13′ screen. now i have to squint or get ridiculously close to the screen to see anything (yes you can zoom in the text/pix on z browser, but bookmarks are tiny now). solution? crappy one, emulate 1280×800, but then you’ll feel like you’ve moved back in time to CRT. (at least it’s bright enough, so you can “illuminate” your keyboard … by tilting the screen onto the keys). [update: possible solution to this problem]
- design – WTF you say again? … i admit it’s sexiest laptop out there. full size keyboard, 13′ screen. not even an inch at its thickest … or is it? due to the optical illusion apple wants you to believe it’s … thin, but honestly just because bottom is curved doesn’t mean it’s not there.
functionality over sexy. i’d be much happier with square all-around design, which would give a little extra space … wishfully that would fit infrared & illuminated keyboard.
the joke: eject button … what exactly is it for? no spinning mechanism on this baby what’s-so-ever. and thus resulting in a movement of volume buttons … one to the left. i tried to eject memory stick to no avail. WTF? i gotten used to this keyboard layout for the past 4 years …
this could have been a perfect laptop … best macbook every made. it’s sexy, functional and the fastest macbook i have ever had in my hands. but … small-god-complex Steve Jobs believes in “apple giveth, apple must taketh away”
… but why take away good features Steve?
- $1,500 certainly ain’t cheap in today’s world of $400 decent 13-15′ laptops
- is apple really going to lose so much money that they have to take away features?
- has the increase in the battery size prohibited in fitting those old features?
from a faithful mac user (so far) – you actually need more memory and faster solid drive in order to run crappy snow leopard / flash combo at a decent speed, without looking at a rainbow wheel of death all the time (new apple gay propaganda? :).
so Steve; please bring illuminated keyboard and infrared back to Air, fix the 1280×800 resolution display on 13′ & drop the price by couple hundred. you’ll have the best, sexiest laptop ever made … and made by apple of course. your profits won’t suffer that much, but the end users will reward you with happy praises