Pondering a Macbook Air

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Cruise, Feb 7, 2012.

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  1. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    My son accidentally knocked my 3-year old 14" Toshiba notebook off a table and it didn't survive the impact onto the tile floor, so now I'm considering getting a Macbook Air (13") netbook and I'd appreciate your thoughts before 'pulling the trigger'.

    Here's a brief background with my specific needs:

    I'm a writer and when I'm at home I do most of my work on my desktop PC. However, I frequently travel and need a relatively small and light notebook/netbook for those times when I'm on the road. I've been using MS Word for my word-processing on both my desktop and laptop. Other than word-processing, I would just use the notebook/netbook for email and surfing the web. I am not a gamer.

    As a writer, keyboard quality is very important to me. Furthermore, as I frequently work in the evening hours when I'm on the road, a backlit keyboard would be a big plus.

    I've read a lot of very positive reviews of the Macbook Air and although I know I can get MS Office (Word) for the Mac, the issue that concerns me is that I've never used a Mac before!

    What do you guys think?

    Cruise
     
  2. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    My exgf has an air and I've spent a lot of time using it. Very light, great screens, great trackpad, great battery life. I'm not a fan of OSX but the machine itself is excellent.

    The keyboard is backlit and top notch.

    There will be some "getting to know" time for the OS but you could always run Windows or Linux.
     
  3. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    HM, thanks for that feedback (which is consistent with what most others say about the Macbook Air).

    Yeah, I know I could run Windows on the Mac - if only one of those new PC ultrabooks had those features I'd prefer staying with a PC, but I haven't come across one that can match the Macbook Air's build-quality.

    Cruise
     
  4. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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  5. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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  6. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    Good luck. Be sure to check out the trackpad since that's usually where the "Macbook killers" are most lacking.
     
  7. AlexC

    AlexC Registered Member

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    Be careful to keep your cup of coffee or other liquid far from the laptop: there's nothing between the keyboard and the motherboard... no room for accidents like those.
     
  8. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    Are you referring to the Macbook Air or the Sammy Series 9?
     
  9. AlexC

    AlexC Registered Member

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    To the Macbook Air.
     
  10. Wendi

    Wendi Registered Member

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    Hi Cruise,

    I'm currently struggling with a 3-year old underpowered netbook so I have been looking to replace it with one of the new ultrabooks. While I'm not a writer (as you are), I nevertheless do a lot of typing on my netbook every day, so I too place high value on a quality keyboard with a decent touchpad.

    I recently saw the HP Folio 13 at Best Buy and its keyboard (which is backlit) had a very good feel as I typed on it. As long as you are going to BB do check it out. From my perspective the HP Folio 13 seems to possess equivalent features to the MacBook Air 13 (and then some) at a price that's $400 less! ...and since it comes with Windows 7 (64-bit) you won't have to learn the 'ins and outs' of the Mac OS.

    Please post back with your impression...
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  11. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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  12. Wendi

    Wendi Registered Member

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    I haven't noticed much of that yet, but it's a good reason to wait another month or so (if you can)! ;)
     
  13. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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  14. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    Well, today I had a 'hands-on' opportunity with the Macbook Air 13, Sammy Series 9, and HP Foiio 13.

    Insofar as build-quality I was very impressed with the Macbook Air 13. Other than no USB 3.0 or HDMI ports the Air 13 excelled in every feature comparison with the others I checked-out. The Air's downside is it's relatively high price and my concern about moving to a totally unfamiliar OS. I am aware that I can run Windows on a Macbook, but that would add an additional expense (for a Windows 7 license).

    The Folio 13 is a well-designed ultrabook at a decent price, with a surprisingly good keyboard (although not quite as good as the Air's). I would have bought it on the spot if it were not for a dim display (even at maximum brightness setting)! :(

    The Sammy 9's keyboard had too soft of a feel for my liking and that was enough to keep me from exploring it any further.

    Since I don't have any travel plans for another 45 days, I'll just keep looking for a little while longer...

    Cruise
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  15. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    Hi Cruise,

    While I won't argue that MacBooks exhibit superb build-quaility I would advise against buying one with intent to run Windows as your primary OS. From what I've seen, Bootcamp's drivers are not up to par and as a result Windows does not perform as well as it should on that platform. Cost aside, unless you are willing to become a Mac OS X convert, I would not go there!

    Scott
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  16. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    Today I received an email about another elegant and expensive laptop. The name is long too: HP Envy 14 Spectre Premium Ultrabook.
     
  17. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    Funny, I saw it yesterday. Gorilla glass (all over) makes it heavy and a finger-palm-print magnet (what were they thinking?)!
     
  18. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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  19. pandorax

    pandorax Registered Member

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    You are not a gamer so buy a Mac. And i think fonts are great on Mac.
     
  20. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    I (respectfully) disagree with that advice. Cruise is comfortable with Windows. Moving to OS X would involve a learning curve not to mention having to purchase new software (Windows or Apps), new peripheral devices (likely), and dealing with different keyboard layouts on his Windows desktop and a MacBook Air!

    @Cruise: Dell's new ultrabook, the XPS 13, should be available in 2-weeks and since you said you won't be travelling for another 45 days, the XPS 13 may be very worth the wait. If it isn't to your liking I would go with the HP Folio 13 (as Wendi suggested).

    Scott
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  21. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    I've heard very different things - even that Windows runs better on a Mac due to drivers being designed for the specific hardware.
     
  22. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    That sure has not been my experience - but as they say "different strokes for different folks".
     
  23. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    I'm too lazy to find the article. It was essentially "Windows runs better on a Mac" or some such thing and a few benchmarks. This was probably about a year ago.
     
  24. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    Hey Scott,

    You raise some good points, but exactly what do you mean about different keyboard layouts (what are the differences)?

    Re the new Dell XPS 13, I don't have a problem waiting a couple of weeks to check it out, but I can't wait too much longer than that as I will need some time to install my apps onto my new laptop, update them, copy my files over from my desktop, etc.

    Cruise
     
  25. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    Hi Cruise,

    I find bouncing back and forth between a Windows keyboard and a Mac keyboard frustrating because the Mac's keyboard doesn't include a dedicated DEL key (you have to hit "FN" and Backspace). There's also a like disparity with Windows' Page Up and Page Down keys. Then you have to cope with the position of the Mac's command key (the equivalent of the WIN key), which is next to the space bar where the ALT key is on his Windows keyboard. I find this annoying, but maybe that's just me.

    Please understand that I don't really have any 'inside' knowledge of the Dell XPS 13 - only that it may be worth considering. You see, I'm also interested in an ultrabook, trying out most that I see in the stores, and at this time I believe the HP Folio 13 is a clear winner. While a more vivid display would have been nice, it's acceptable and I like the rest of the 'package'. So (as I suggested to you) when the XPS 13 arrives I'll compare the two and make a decision.

    Scott
     
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