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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Macbook Air Overpriced

Macbook Air Overpriced
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stugots
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Mar 3, 2008, 11:47 AM
 
Sunday my dad and I went to the local (2 hours away) Apple store to buy a Macbook Air. Once there my dad went stright to the MBA's and was in aw of the design and weight. My dad travels a lot and hates carrying his 8lb HP brick around. My dad's new to Mac and started looking at the Macbooks. After looking at both Macs and talking to the sales staff he looked at me and said "What do i get with the MBA that I can't get more of with the MB?" I couldn't answer the question. I told him the MB will have a faster processor, faster and bigger HD, the same RAM, more ports, and Optical drive all for $500.00 less. Granted the MBA is 2 lbs lighter and looks cool as s###. But the bottom line was he could get a much better Mac for less.

We went to the Apple store to buy a MBA but walked out with a MB 2.4 C2D, 160GB HD, 2GB RAM, w/ super drive and with the $500 he saved, my dad picked up an Apple TV and still saved $272.00.

If the MBA was around $1500.00 we would have picked one up but $500.00 is hard to justify for design and weight.

PS: My Dad loves his new Mac!!!
 Macbook CD 2GHz/2GB RAM/500GB HD/10.6.2
 Mac Mini C2D 2.26Ghz/2GB RAM/160 HD/10.6.2
iPhone 3g 8GB / Apple TV 40GB
     
skacoreimplore
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Mar 3, 2008, 11:50 AM
 
I prefer the MB over the MBA to, but I got a MBP instead of those just a few weeks ago =D
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ctt1wbw
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Mar 3, 2008, 03:11 PM
 
The Macbook Air is overpriced? I haven't seen a thread like that in about a hot minute.

I think BMW's suck because they're overpriced.
     
mduell
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Mar 3, 2008, 03:39 PM
 
IMO, the MBA isn't an alternative to the MB, it's an alternative to the MBP. If you're willing to accept the size/weight of the Macbook, you may as well pick up the extra screen space and graphics performance of the Pro. If you're in the price range for the MB, neither the MBA nor the MBP are in your market.
     
MacosNerd
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Mar 3, 2008, 03:51 PM
 
I guess is that if the MBA does not fit your needs, or your budget then don't buy it. But blindly complaining that its too expensive is perhaps a little myopic given how and to who apple is marketing the computer too. I'm not about to beat a dead horse, enough has been said for and against the MBA and its price point.

All I can say now is, if people think it is too expensive, they'll not buy it and the market will dictate whether its a success and its priced properly or not. Give what I've read, and heard the MBA is selling briskly so many people do not seem to share the OP's sentiment. as they're voting with their checkbooks (or credit cards for that matter).
     
@pplejaxkz
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Mar 3, 2008, 04:36 PM
 
I am another who thinks the MBA is a little overpriced. But like others have said it doesn't really suit my needs. I am a proud Macbook owner. But I do have a question. What would the MBA be best suited for? It looks like it wouldn't be able to be upgraded without it being too expensive, or at all even. And I don't see the point of having no optical drive. Who would be the perfect candidate for the MBA? By the way, I don't mean to hijack this thread or beat it into the ground.
     
P
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Mar 3, 2008, 04:55 PM
 
According to all reports, Apple is selling all the MBAs they can produce at the moment. When demand slacks off, they might drop in price.

MBAs are perfect if all you do is office software. I'd be fine doing my current job with one. It's probably assumed that you have a desktop around as well.
     
mduell
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Mar 3, 2008, 08:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by @pplejaxkz View Post
I am another who thinks the MBA is a little overpriced. But like others have said it doesn't really suit my needs. I am a proud Macbook owner. But I do have a question. What would the MBA be best suited for? It looks like it wouldn't be able to be upgraded without it being too expensive, or at all even. And I don't see the point of having no optical drive. Who would be the perfect candidate for the MBA? By the way, I don't mean to hijack this thread or beat it into the ground.
Me. I live in iChat/Mail/Firefox/iCal/iWork/MS Office/Terminal and work all over the place (office desk, office conference room, coworkers offices, couch at home, desk at home, on a plane, at a customer site, etc). I use an optical drive perhaps once a month (so the external rides in my bag) and I have little use for ethernet (when away from my desk) or Firewire.
     
jjahshik32
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Mar 3, 2008, 09:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by ctt1wbw View Post
The Macbook Air is overpriced? I haven't seen a thread like that in about a hot minute.

I think BMW's suck because they're overpriced.
ah but BMW's out perform lower priced cars in speed, reliability and quality. In this case mba only gives you better quality body (BMW's body) with a honda civic's engine.

I agree, unless the mba is priced at $1599 or $1999 (ssd model) or the company you work for pays for it (for the ssd drive, only think the ssd model is worth buying) then get one.

I think the reason why apple didnt incorporate an led screen on the new macbooks is that that would take ALOT of sales away from the mba. I dont see why not they cant put the current led screen of the mba on the MB. If the MB gets led I would be all over it.
( Last edited by jjahshik32; Mar 3, 2008 at 09:17 PM. )
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EndlessMac
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Mar 4, 2008, 02:38 PM
 
I'm surprised that anyone is really surprised at the pricing. Basically ever since electronics were invented it almost always cost more to make things either smaller, lighter, or more portable. It's the reason why notebooks cost more than a desktop with similar specs. To make prices more reasonable manufacturers have to reduce the performance of the product but you get a lighter more portable product in return. People buy things like notebooks because they think the price is worth the trade off. Not everyone thinks so which is why desktops are stilling selling.

The MBA is a niche product made for people who really want the lighter and thinner notebook. It's not made for everyone. If your priority lies in better performance than an MBA is not for you. It's just one of the reasons why I like a 15 MBP since a 17 MBP is too big and heavy for my liking and the extra performance and screen size is not worth the trade off in weight and size while the MBA doesn't perform well enough for my needs.

People who buy an MBA because of the "cool" factor or because it's new and different will be disappointed by the price and functionality since they don't really need an MBA. It's similar to people who rushed out to get an iPhone without actually realizing the limitations it has. People who need the benefits of a product will pay for it. Like I mentioned earlier why would someone buy any notebook when they can get a faster desktop for the same price? Wouldn't a notebook seem overpriced in comparison to a desktop, but it would seem that many people find a notebook worth the trade off. I don't see too many people outraged by the price difference.
     
Simon
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Mar 5, 2008, 04:57 AM
 
The OP says he (or his dad) wanted a portable Mac. Then they discover that ultra-portability comes at a high price and reduced feature set. They further discover that Apple's budget notebook offers a lot of features at a low price. Now, which part of this story is supposed to comes as a surprise?

Quite obviously the MBA doesn't just target people who like its looks or the fact that it's a bit thin. It's a far too expensive device for those folks. The people it's targeted at require it's form factor and are willing to pay for it. Those people put size before feature set or performance. And those people love it. For everybody else nothing has changed: the MB is an inexpensive allrounder and the MBP is powerful pro notebook.

IMHO the overpriced thing is only expressed by people who really aren't in the market for such a device. The problem with the MBA is that with its awesome looks everybody thinks they want/need a MBA but actually not everybody really does.
     
EndlessMac
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Mar 5, 2008, 08:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
The OP says he (or his dad) wanted a portable Mac. Then they discover that ultra-portability comes at a high price and reduced feature set. They further discover that Apple's budget notebook offers a lot of features at a low price. Now, which part of this story is supposed to comes as a surprise?
I was speaking in general about people who seem to complain about the price since for me it was something I expected based on how past electronics were priced. I was stating that it shouldn't have been a shock to just about anyone. I wasn't necessarily responding to the OP. I was addressing everyone who's been complaining about the price since there's probably going to be another thread eventually about MBA's pricing...

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
IMHO the overpriced thing is only expressed by people who really aren't in the market for such a device. The problem with the MBA is that with its awesome looks everybody thinks they want/need a MBA but actually not everybody really does.
Exactly and basically what I was trying to say in my last post.
     
sogbrightlight
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Mar 5, 2008, 09:17 PM
 
i think the extra price for the SSD is a bit of a stretch but I understand the price of the MBA. It takes a lot to design something so sleek. But $999 for a SSD? I mean come on.
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chabig
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Mar 5, 2008, 09:42 PM
 
Actually, $999 for the SSD is a bargain. They cost about $1200 at retail.
     
d4nth3m4n
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Mar 9, 2008, 09:10 PM
 
if people will buy it, i don't see how it's overpriced.
     
kalex
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Mar 9, 2008, 09:24 PM
 
Its perfect for me
I work for a big bank and our internet usage is highly restricted and highly tracked, you basically can't fart without being logged. I had 2 macbooks and ended selling them, since lugging around 5 pounds to work everyday is not that pretty. I'm picking up Air tommorow used for 2 weeks and with superdrive for $1500, which i think is a very good deal. for me its going to be perfect as i can connect my palm centro to it and i have freedom on the net while working

if the price is too high and you don't mind getting it used, look around and you will find good deals for it

I have a mac pro at home fully loaded and I do all my heavy lifting on it. I don't need my laptop to do any heavy stuff, i can do it on my mac pro. you have to realize that MBA is not for people who will use it as their only computer. I had Dell X1 before and it was perfect for what i did with it and MBA beats it in every aspect of it. X1 was a slowest laptop i have used in a long time, but it was 3 pounds and i could carry it with me everywhere. since i don't have it anymore and switched to macs, MBA is perfect for me.

Alex
     
BoingoBongo
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Mar 9, 2008, 10:04 PM
 
I think the MBA is an awesome computer, but it is insanely overpriced and limited. I understand it's not meant to be a desktop replacement and that's why it has so many fewer features, but it should also be much cheaper. The base model is overpriced, and the SSD version is so ridiculous I can't even describe it.

The MB is a far stronger computer. It's got the same footprint as the Air too, it's just a little thicker. I've never felt my MacBook was too big. I understand how someone who takes his or her computer everywhere could feel otherwise, but the MBA is way too expensive for me.
     
rogermugs
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Mar 9, 2008, 10:22 PM
 
given my student discount I would buy an MBA instantly if it had an optical drive... as it is... i just use one too frequently... i think i'm willing to accept all the other sacrifices for the purdy design... but optical drive is still too important to my life... a big part of that is where I live... we have CRAPPY slow internet here...

so it still cant make up for the need of a drive...

also... what about when you want to rent a dvd on a trip and watch a movie in between working? no drive?
     
mduell
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Mar 9, 2008, 10:36 PM
 
I carry the SuperDrive in my bag for that potential time when I need a DVD burner. Some people will say "what's the point if you're just going to carry the drive all over" but to me there's a big difference between a pound in my bag an a pound in my hand.
I rip all my movies at home and carry a few reencoded (Apple TV profile =~ 1GB/hr) with me.
     
Love Calm Quiet
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Mar 9, 2008, 11:49 PM
 
"Macbook Air Overpriced" == not meaningful

...because "overpriced" is a relative issue. Just like "underpowered".

MBA is "overpriced" for my budget. But for a *portable* it's not "underpowered" for *my* needs.

I'll grant that *for majority of frequenters of this forum* the MBA is probably BOTH overpriced and underpowered (compared, esp. to MBs).

But: for an amazingly (to me) large portion of Apple's public (and thus from Apple's sales standpoint) the MBA is an attractive price/performance opportunity. The evidence: the MBA has been the #1 best seller at store.apple.com, ever since its introduction in Jan. MBs are usually #2, and MBPs usually around #6.

As long as more buyers are choosing MBA than choose MB (or even iMac or Leopard), there is no way that Apple can conclude it's "overpriced". To them... they've really found a winner.

Personally, I'll be happy when it becomes *less* popular: the price might start to drop. But actually, I'm bettin that instead we'll (unfortunately) see them upgrade speed of CPU & SSD when that becomes possible rather than drop price. ::sigh::
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analogika
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Mar 10, 2008, 12:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by stugots View Post
"What do i get with the MBA that I can't get more of with the MB?"

[...]

Granted the MBA is 2 lbs lighter
That's your answer right there.
     
Eriamjh
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Mar 10, 2008, 08:29 PM
 
With the MBA, you get a lot more light.

Your dad will be happy with his MB. I prefer the MBP myself.

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hedmisten
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Mar 10, 2008, 11:33 PM
 
I think he will enjoy his macbook. It is very portable still and useful for business.
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redhot_nyc
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Mar 11, 2008, 04:14 AM
 
I get the feeling that the MBA will get a Penryn soon, since the regular MacBook has a Penryn - less heat and much better battery life!

I have yet to see a Wifi comparison between the MacBooks and MBA's, but the regular MacBook has amazing Wifi reception due to its plastic construction.
     
Simon
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Mar 11, 2008, 04:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by redhot_nyc View Post
I get the feeling that the MBA will get a Penryn soon, since the regular MacBook has a Penryn - less heat and much better battery life!
The currently available Penryns are 35 mm^2 package size. Their TDPs are all 25W and higher. The MBA is using a 22 mm^2 package Merom with a TDP of ~20W.

There will be 22 mm^2 package Penryns with lower TDPs that will fit the MBA. But Intel will not release them until June 3 at the earliest. That's when the Montevina refresh Penryns (the 1067 MHz FSB Penryns for the Cantiga chipset) will be launched. IOW there will certainly be no new MBA before June. The SL9400 (1.86 GHz / 6MB / 1067 MHz - TDP 17 W - $316) is a likely candidate for the MBA.

I have yet to see a Wifi comparison between the MacBooks and MBA's, but the regular MacBook has amazing Wifi reception due to its plastic construction.
The MBA's WiFi reception is not as good as the MB's; it comes closer to that of the MBP. This is no big surprise since the MBA has an aluminum case (which acts as an RF attenuator) just like the MBP. In this respect the plastic case of the MB has a clear advantage.
     
mduell
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Mar 11, 2008, 11:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
The currently available Penryns are 35 mm^2 package size. Their TDPs are all 25W and higher. The MBA is using a 22 mm^2 package Merom with a TDP of ~20W.
It's (22 mm)^2 or 484 mm^2; 22 mm^2 is tiny.
     
Simon
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Mar 12, 2008, 05:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
There will be 22 mm^2 package Penryns with lower TDPs that will fit the MBA. But Intel will not release them until June 3 at the earliest. That's when the Montevina refresh Penryns (the 1067 MHz FSB Penryns for the Cantiga chipset) will be launched. IOW there will certainly be no new MBA before June. The SL9400 (1.86 GHz / 6MB / 1067 MHz - TDP 17 W - $316) is a likely candidate for the MBA.
Most recent rumor has it that the 22 mm ^2 package Penryns have been pushed back to September. While two Atom (Silverthorne) models should still be released in June together with the 35 mm ^2 Penryns, the 22 mm ^2 Penryns suitable for the MBA will be delayed by 3 months.
     
   
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