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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > What's the point of the Air?

What's the point of the Air?
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BoingoBongo
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Oct 21, 2008, 01:25 AM
 
I understand that it's meant to be a simple, basic, and very compact computer for people who want/need exactly that, but I just don't get it. If it were under $1000, then I would understand, but I understand it even less now that the new MacBooks are out. They're hardly any thicker and much more powerful. Even if you don't need that much power, it's cheaper, and it's always nice to know you have it.

I know the Air is a fantastic computer, but I just don't understand it. It seems like Apple just wanted to show how thin they could make something. The way things are going, it seems like the MacBooks will just become "Airs" in the not-so-distant future.

What am I missing?

(I'm trying to "diss" the Air, and I know lots of people love it, but like Will Smith's parents, I just don't understand).
     
kylef
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Oct 21, 2008, 02:23 AM
 
lol at the last bit

I have a new MacBook and my brother has an old Air. They are noticeably different in height - there really is quite a difference. It's, well, thinnovation.
     
BoingoBongo  (op)
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Oct 21, 2008, 02:35 AM
 
Hmm, that's true. I also didn't mention weight. I guess that probably does make a difference (it is a few pounds if I'm not mistaken right?).
     
B Gallagher
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Oct 21, 2008, 02:36 AM
 
To me, given the current price points of the Air, it has always felt something like a proof of concept to me.
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hadocon
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Oct 21, 2008, 03:41 AM
 
I have been using an Air for about a month (borrowed) and now I'm on a brand new Aluminum MacBook. The MacBook is a tank compared to the Air (weight, not strength as both are plenty strong). The Air has spoiled me. Next Mac I'm getting will be an Air class model.

P.S. I did everything that I needed to get done for work and play on the Air.
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Gee4orce
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Oct 21, 2008, 06:12 AM
 
I've just bought an Air, because in the 2 years of having my Macbook, I can count the number of times I've used the ports or the optical drive on the fingers of one hand.

It's my secondary machine - and I guess that's exactly what the Air is aimed at.

I bought a refurb though: that made the price actually cheaper than the Macbook by about £100-£200. SSD too. Even then, I thought long and hard about the trade-off between it and the new Macbook. Had I been paying full retail price, I would not have considered the Air for a minute - too expensive.

So, I think the Air is a totally valid product. It just needs to be priced at the same price as the Macbook, or slightly less, for the value equation to balance out.

(as I typed this VERY post, the delivery man came to the door. Time to see if I'm correct in my assertions ! )
     
Andy8
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Oct 21, 2008, 06:38 AM
 
The Air has its niche market, I for one love how light and sturdy it is.

It may not suit everyone, but as a second or travel Mac, it is perfect.
     
OreoCookie
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Oct 21, 2008, 06:57 AM
 
The AirBook is a lot lighter and it's much easier to travel with it. I went from a 12" iBook to a PowerBook G4 to a ProBook and the 12" iBook was a lot more handy than the big boys. It took a lot less space in my backpack and you can fell the difference in weight.

Judging from the little time I've spent with it, going from a MacBook to an AirBook seems as much a step as from a ProBook to a MacBook in terms of size. Unlike Netbooks, it's a full-fledged computer (with some compromises, yes, but it has a normal-sized keyboard, a nice screen and a cpu which can compete with current-generation cpus).
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webb3201
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Oct 21, 2008, 10:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by BoingoBongo View Post
I understand that it's meant to be a simple, basic, and very compact computer for people who want/need exactly that, but I just don't get it. If it were under $1000, then I would understand, but I understand it even less now that the new MacBooks are out. They're hardly any thicker and much more powerful. Even if you don't need that much power, it's cheaper, and it's always nice to know you have it.

I know the Air is a fantastic computer, but I just don't understand it. It seems like Apple just wanted to show how thin they could make something. The way things are going, it seems like the MacBooks will just become "Airs" in the not-so-distant future.

What am I missing?

(I'm trying to "diss" the Air, and I know lots of people love it, but like Will Smith's parents, I just don't understand).

I travel about 2 days a week and having the compact size is a huge benefit. I carried a 15 inch MBP and long flights, I had trouble getting anything done. My main is a desktop mac, and my laptop is a portable subset. I dont need optical drive and dont need to carry 100s of gigs of media. Its perfect for me. I actually see a large number of MBA owners in airport terminals.

I would love for them to find a way to make the pricing closer to the Mac Book. I bought mine used here on Macnn for a great price. I dont think I would have purchased one retail as it does have compromises. If they would release these new in the 1200 range, I think they would see a larger adoption rate. Not sure how much more the costs are in manufacturing with so many vendors building small laptops.
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BoingoBongo  (op)
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Oct 21, 2008, 01:00 PM
 
Interesting. I guess it was just the price that has been throwing me off. But I guess buying used/refurb like you guys did makes it a lot more sensible.
     
Gee4orce
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Oct 21, 2008, 02:02 PM
 
Well, so far I'm totally stoked with this Air !

I guess, the biggest thing - and this is kind of a silly thing to say - is that it's definitely a REAL computer. It's not some compromised sub-notebook - it's FAST (relatively). It's also virtually silent (at least, when the fan isn't running).

...I think this is already becoming my favourite Mac ever. At the price I picked it up at, it's a total steal.
     
anthology123
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Oct 21, 2008, 02:12 PM
 
For Bill Cosby fans - This thread should have been titled "Why is there MacBook Air?"
     
iChris
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Oct 21, 2008, 10:54 PM
 
Just curious... do any of you Air owners have the solid state drive variety? And is it really worth the extra $$$?
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Gee4orce
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Oct 22, 2008, 04:03 AM
 
I do. It was definitely worth the extra $$$ for me - because it was only an extra £50 ! (~$80). That's the beauty of the refurb store !

Apps launch almost instantly. Spotlight is instant. I think it's a large part of what makes the machine feel fast (even though it's technically the SLOWEST Mac you can buy).

Not sure it's worth the $$$ that Apple was originally asking for it, but now that the prices are falling I'd say it's worth considering.
     
cSurfr
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Oct 23, 2008, 11:14 PM
 
Can one buy the SSD now, and place it in my Air? someplace like New Egg, etc?
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