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Apple Advice on Macbook Air/Ultrabook

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by murraynt, 19 Jun 2012.

  1. murraynt

    murraynt Modder

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    Morning all.

    I'm looking for people thoughts on the macbook air, preferably owners.

    I'm home in ireland for over half the year and i'm in Birmingham for uni for the rest. I have my sig rig in Birmingham for the uni year and I bring it home during the summer. I'm looking for something light when I'm travelling back to Ireland on my reading weeks and breaks (Ever 4-5 weeks roughly)
    I'm looking at the air because it's light and i don't need much power since anything stressful will be done on my sig rig or I can use my brothers desktop at home.

    I have a few questions.


    • Does it have adequate processing power for normal usage?
    • Should I get 8gb of ram?
    • Should I think about an ultra book?

    Note: I will be buying it from the states if I do buy one.
     
    Last edited: 19 Jun 2012
  2. Williz

    Williz Minimodder

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    It's nicely designed but I'm not a fan of OSX
     
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  3. murraynt

    murraynt Modder

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    That's the reason I'm taking a fancy to one. I might dual boot it yet. I'm not sure.
     
  4. andrew8200m

    andrew8200m Modder

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    I have the i7 version of the air, 11.6" with 4GB ram and 356GB HDD.... Its exceptionally quick and is faster than a desktop in many situations featuring an AMD 4100 BD.

    Not bad for something that I can sip between the pages of a magazine...
     
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  5. Cei

    Cei pew pew pew

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    I'm selling my 2011 13" i7 model Air, but only due to an upgrade to the retina MacBook Pro. The Air is a fantastic computer, packing both power and long battery life in to a slim frame. You can certainly do most tasks on the machine with no problem - I took lecture notes, wrote papers, used Photoshop and other general task without any slow down. The SSD really helps, along with a good CPU.

    Personally, you don't need 8GB of RAM, it runs perfectly on 4.
     
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  6. murraynt

    murraynt Modder

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    Personally I think I'll go with the 13'
    would yourself and a Andrew say the i7 is worth it over the i5?
     
  7. Cei

    Cei pew pew pew

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    I personally would get the 13", simply due to the extra resolution. As for CPU choice it depends - if you're buying new, then a i5 IvyBridge is plenty. If you're entertaining second hand to keep costs down then an i7 SandyBridge.
     
  8. BentAnat

    BentAnat Software Dev

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    the 13" MBA has slightly longer battery life, and is upgradable to 8GB RAM (not sure of the 11" there).

    TO give you an idea: I am planning on replacing my 13" 2009 2.4GHz C2D MBP with a 13" MBA later this year, to run a bit of photoshop and web dev on it... it packs enough of a punch, and for day-to-day stuff, OSX is fine for my needs (hell, I actually prefer it on notebooks these days).
     
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  9. murraynt

    murraynt Modder

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    I'll probally go with a new one since I can buy it from the states. I think 128gb should be enough.

    I'm still deciding if I should go with 8gb. I'll have a think about it :p I'm still hesitant about the move to osx but hopefully will get used to it.
     
  10. longweight

    longweight Possibly Longbeard.

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    OSX on laptops is great, I love my MB.
     
  11. murraynt

    murraynt Modder

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    I think i'm sold :p Just have to wait about 7 weeks :)
     
  12. Cei

    Cei pew pew pew

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    You are aware that if you're at uni in the UK you can buy the laptop with significant education discount and a free 3 year warranty via the online store if accessed off the campus network? Better than going to the US to be honest, particularly the warranty as AppleCare isn't cheap!
     
  13. Jasio

    Jasio Made in Canada

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    I have the 13" MB Air with the i7 and 256GB SSD.

    Although not a fan of Apple in general, it is surprisingly (in North America at least) the cheapest ultrabook available on the market. A similarly spec'ed Sony VAIO Z is about 35% more (but has a nicer display) and the Samsung N9xx are also about 25% more but have poorer specifications. Looking at Lenovo, they have decent offerings but once you drop in more RAM and throw in a large SSD the prices jump.

    Taking into account the student discount, the MB Air with i7/256GB SSD ended up costing me about $450 less than the nearest competitor. As for Windows- I just have it running in VMWare as a secondary desktop if I really need to get into something Windows-only. But my entire purchase was based around: Small, thin, light, long-battery and it seems Apple has this down pat better than anyone else right now.

    I would take a look at the new Asus Zenbooks though- they came out after I purchased my MB Air and look quite decent.
     
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  14. murraynt

    murraynt Modder

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    I never knew that. Ive just checked the prices and the states still work out cheaper.
    Is the warranty worth it?
     
  15. murraynt

    murraynt Modder

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    I'm going for Small, thin, light, long-battery as well. everything is pointing towards the air :)
     
  16. Cei

    Cei pew pew pew

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    AppleCare costs £199 or $249, and I'd recommend it with any Mac purchase to be honest. Buying edu in the UK gets you the hardware side of the warranty for free for 3 years (which is the bit you use, I've never called Apple to ask about how to use OS X). As such, your discount is whatever it is on the hardware (not at uni so I can't check it exactly) plus £199.

    The US price has to have local sales tax added on, so taking the $1200 for the entry 13" model to anywhere between $1250 and $1300 depending on where you're going. Using 7% sales tax as an example, that comes to $1284, which is £817. Add on AppleCare at another $250 and you're now hitting £975.

    The UK model is £999 base, minus education discount which is typically 18-14%. This gives a price range of £819 - £859. Which ever way you shake it, the UK price is cheaper once AppleCare is taken in to account. Even if you ignore AppleCare on the US purchase, £817 isn't much cheaper than the UK education price, and you'd be getting a UK keyboard layout. and a 3-year hardware warranty for a few quid. As a further problem, US 1-year warranties aren't international.
     
  17. murraynt

    murraynt Modder

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    I didn't have a clue that I had to pay tax on top of that US price .
    I'm going over in 3 weeks to the u.k so i might be albe to get it then, depending on cash flow ofc.

    I think i would kick myself if some thing went wrong and i didn't get the extra warranty.

    I think I'll invest in a clear skin for it as well to keep it looking well.
     
  18. Cei

    Cei pew pew pew

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    Yeah, I always get caught out by US pricing. They always label everything, even groceries, at pre-tax prices. As such, you get a bit of a shock at the cash register!

    I'd add one thing, this is the online/phone store. Apple retail is different; they'll give you hardware discount, but you have to shell out about £60 for the warranty upgrade. I always just order online at university (they check you're coming from a university IP) or over the telephone.

    The warranty is always worth it, just in case of problems. I've never used it on an Apple laptop, but have had 3 desktops serviced outside the 1 year period, which if I'd been charged for would have probably cost me in excess of £1.5k (PSU failure, leaking G5 coolant and dodgy CPU).

    I've never bought a laptop skin as I feel they ruin the purpose of buying a nicely designed computer. However, I've always invested in good sleeves for protection in my bag, and am very careful in day-to-day use.
     
  19. murraynt

    murraynt Modder

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    I'll have to do it when i'm over in a few weeks so i will. I can't see any way of doing it from Ireland :sigh:

    I'm not very fond of the apple stores anyways :p

    I'm going to get a zagg shield like I have for my phone. it's clear so hopefully it won't ruin the look too much.

    guys you have all been a huge help, especially Cei. Thanks a bunch!
     
  20. chewbaccas_nan

    chewbaccas_nan Minimodder

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    Also if you've got for example a Natwest gold account, it entitles you to an extra years warranty for free if you register the electrical item with 90 days of purchase. Unfortuntely for me I found this out after the 90 days lol.
     

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