Apple revamps MacBook Air, adds new 11.6" model

By Matthew
Oct 20, 2010
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  1. IamBD

    IamBD Newcomer, in training Posts: 31

    I just wonder why they are promoting this with a "Facetime Camera" instead of what its really is, a regular old webcam. I wonder how many people are going to fall for that marketing trick.
  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,012   +715

    Because....!

    Oh well, if that explanation doesn't satisfy you, you're not a prime candidate for the "Apple Corps". For shame.

    The technical explanation is this; it's "Aphole Speak".

    When you buy an Apple product, you begin to, "walk the walk". When you begin to conceptualilze an ordinary webcam as a supremely technologically advanced, "Facetime Camera", your indoctrination is complete, as you are now, "talking the talk", in a manner of speaking. (Sorry, I just couldn't resist slapping in one more bad pun).
  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,012   +715

    Just don't get the lid of yours all sticky "drooling" on it, that might void the warranty. Is this something else you have to send back to China to have the batteries replaced?

    Actually, I'm not a Windows fanboi, I just find the BS that comes out of Cupertino so repugnant, that Windows is where I am, and Windows is where I'm staying.

    Keep flogging the styling though, maybe you'll meet an Apple groupie-ette, and just the sight of the shiny white case will get you laid. Hey, could happen, and if it does, more power to you. :wave:
  4. IamBD

    IamBD Newcomer, in training Posts: 31

    Your're right. Its just like their "PC vs MAC" commercials. A Mac is still a personal computer (PC), but they have others thinking otherwise.

    To me Apples computers really arent anything different than Window machines other than OS, but I guess paying that premium price is all for that OS and a white or silver shell.

    One more thing. Have you ever held a notebook HDD? They weigh next to nothing.
  5. Seriously, why the hate?
    I'm no Apple lover, but if you compare the new 11" macbook air to the only laptop you can really compare it to, the 11" alienware m11x, this is what you get:

    macbook air 11":
    1.4GHz Core 2 Duo +
    2GB DDR3 RAM
    Geforce GT 320M (1366x768) -
    128GB FLASH storage +
    iLife included +
    ~5 Hours battery life +
    Bluetooth included
    Runs Windows and Mac natively +
    0,68" 2,3 pounds +
    PRICE: 1,199$

    alienware m11x:
    1.3GHz Core 2 Duo -
    2GB DDR3 RAM
    Geforce GT 335M (1366x768) +
    160GB SATA HDD -
    ~3 Hours battery life -
    Bluetooth not included (20$) -
    Windows 7 Home Premium -
    1,27" 4,39 pounds -
    PRICE: 819$
    If we want an SSD like macbook air, we need to subtract the 160GB HDD and add an 128GB SSD
    160GB HDD: ~40$ 128GB SSD: ~220$
    PRICE w/ SSD: 999$

    That's the only fair comparing you really can do, and as you can see the air outperforms the m11x in nearly all fields. It's 2x thinner, 2x lighter, better battery life, faster CPU, bluetooth, mac and windows and it isn't plastic.
    Pricing looks pretty fair to me, it isn't just the good ol' apple tax.

    Please, by all means, I am no Apple fan, I don't own any Apple products (well an old, nasty ipod, that's it) and all my computers are Windows/Linux based. But, really, the hate for Apple now is just ridiculous, I think the air is one of the most solid products they have put out in a loooong time.
  6. IamBD

    IamBD Newcomer, in training Posts: 31

    I'm hating on Apple, but I do think that they could be a little more reasonable price wise with what they have instead of giving certain parts a new name and "taxing" it.

    As for Alienware, since Dell bought them out they havent been that great. I had one of their desktops that didnt work properly for the year I had it, and they never fixed it. They're overpriced as well IMO.
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,012   +715

    Well, I would ask you to consider this, "Alienware" is also marketed as a high end product. Therefore, there's probably a fair amount of "status padding", in their pricing structure as well.

    As to the thinness and whatnot of any product, that adds to a general lack of serviceability to any item. We've moved to modular electronics for many years, since bench work on most pieces of electronics is impractical. That said, dealing with a desktop is an easy prospect, pop out an old module, pop in a new one.

    The packing density of these new products is ridiculous. It forces the throw away nature of electronics forward to a whole new level. Given Apple's repair pricing structure, it's not overly critical to suggest that the, "point of no return", with respect to repair costs vs depreciation will be reached very rapidly. Thus rendering your new $1000.00 (or more) status toy into Chinese landfill.

    Aldous Huxley saw this coming in 1937, when he coined this little slogan, "ending is better than mending".
  8. IamBD

    IamBD Newcomer, in training Posts: 31

    I meant 'not' hating on Apple. My bad. I shouldnt be doing this from work. lol
  9. That's the case with practically all laptops anyway, repairs and service for them has always been tough because they're not modular. Saying that thinness goes hand in hand with general lack of serviceability is not a good mindset, should the development of laptops and electronics just stop as big, clunky hogs? If there's anything that's natural in electronics development it's that stuff shrinks more and more every year.

    I know Alienware isn't exactly a budget label, but it's the only fair comparing you can do. There's no budget company that can deliver an 11" with those specs, it's as simple as that.

    Apple computers aren't the most prone to fail on the market, their lifespan is pretty good compared to other companys and they strive to make their products environmentally friendly and "green" (even though I really don't care about stuff like that).

    Just saying, plastic brakes easier than aluminum.
  10. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 903   +71

    I think the price is wrong. For the money, if I really wanted an Apple based computer, why wouldn't I just get a MacBook Pro 13" with all the features?

    Putting them side-by-side:

    MackBook Air 13"
    * 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
    * 2GB memory
    * 128GB flash storage
    * Built-in battery (7 hours)
    * NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics
    * 802.11N with Bluetooth 2.1
    $1,299

    MacBook Pro 13"
    * 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    * 4GB Memory
    * 250GB hard drive
    * SD card slot
    * Built-in battery (10 hours)
    * NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics
    * 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet
    * One FireWire 800 port
    * 802.11N with Bluetooth 2.1
    * 8x slot-loading SuperDrive
    $1,199

    The one glaring omission is a $350 upgrade to swap the MacBook Pro's SATA with a SDD 128 GB drive. But all things considered, I'm getting a better computer for less money if I pick the Pro. Others could contest that HP, Asus, Dell or Toshiba can get me a similar computer for even less money, and they're probably right.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,012   +715

    And in the case of these new notebooks with an SSD in lieu of a HDD, that's even more true.

    With that being said, it really does seem to be in Apple's favor to NOT be the manufacturer with the highest failure rate. With their entry price point average being one of, if not the highest in the industry, along with their extravagant repair and or upgrade charges, it behooves then to not have s** that breaks. So then, this is sort of a chicken or the egg conundrum.

    And with THAT said, in certain product arenas, Apple does seem to be narrowing the gap with respect to hardware specs in relation to price. At the end of the day, perhaps they got tired of having their a**es handed to them by Windows based machines.

    This brouhaha about notebooks is at least partially misplaced at this site. Most of the active members are "enthusiasts", and as such, they are much more disposed to building their own desktops, with the choice of notebook or netbook being based on need, rather than a more "ethereal" or "status based" sensibility.
  12. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    Can't argue with that!

    Although perhaps I have oodles of money and can still get a drink with you...
  13. Technochicken

    Technochicken TechSpot Paladin Posts: 900

    I said this before, but here it is again: How much faster is this really than nVidia's ION 2? Just judging by their raw specs, it does not look like there is too much of a diifference.


    OR, you could get the 950$ mx11 with a corei5, and add your own SSD, and actually have a comparison at the same price. Note how now the MX11 has a significantly faster CPU than the air. I'd like to see some benchmarks on apple's SSD's as well. My guess is that they are not exactly top of the line.
     
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,012   +715

    Ya know, this Mac Book thingy doesn't actually have an SSD. The "drive" is integrated directly onto the motherboard. Good Lord, I hope this thing has TRIM support.
  15. Technochicken

    Technochicken TechSpot Paladin Posts: 900

  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,012   +715

    I stand corrected. Although, it is an Apple part, at what I'm sure would be Apple pricing, should the need arise.
  17. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,266   +218

    I don't know the answer to this question, and neither does this article ( http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/apple/2010/07/01/mac-ssd-performance-trim-in-osx/7 ) but it asks "Does OS X need TRIM?"

    I didn't look into it very far, but either the Mac OS or the file system itself doesn't suffer from all the problems NTFS does without TRIM support.
  18. Well what we have here, a group of apple haters. To apple haters, Go back to your mama and tell them why they raised such close-minded people. You should make a company that make retard comments to new innovations so that your brains will not go to waste.

    anyway, this laptop is magnificent, so thin. wish it has the option for windows 7. and replace the the mac keys to winkeys and this is a best seller. $999 is a good price. no competition since adamo is dead.
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,012   +715

    Oh look, what have we here, another Apple groupie, in a drive by exhibition of what it's like to suffer paranoid delusions of grandeur.
  20. Finally, someone points out the obvious....
  21. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +97

    The MSI X340.

    Its tiny, even with the optional 8 cell battery pack, and its running W7 and Ubuntu 10.10 wonderfully. I've actually had most OS' installed on it now, and its handled them very well - Far better than my expectations actually.

    The keyboard is taking some getting used to though, the underneath of it is far too soft and flimsy, but all in all it's a very good package. Typing with it seems OK though, my biggest problem has been re-adjusting between the US keyboard layout, when compared with the UK keyboard I'm used to.

    The performance is pretty good in both Windows and Linux as well. It's not the fastest by any means, but it does absolutely everything needed for studying, and everything else in between.

    Only two things have got my attention with it so far:

    1. You have to remove the entire lower housing in order to gain access to the memory and HDD, removing a void if removed label in the process. Kind of annoying since I wanted to fit a 4GB stick, and a SSD to it.
    2. The keyboard flexes quite a bit - Again the warranty issue is preventing me from removing the cover and putting something like carbon fibre (purely for super lightweight strength) on the bottom of the keyboard in order to strengthen it!

    Those "issues" aside, I absolutely love this laptop. I especially like the MSI logo that lights up on the lid when its turned on as well, its a nice little touch. I'm also plesently surprised by the 1.4GHz penryn Intel SU3500 CPU, for its speed, and only being a single core, single thread CPU its doing a good job of handling software being thrown at it in both Windows and Linux.
  22. god damn why cant we customize. I want the lowest possible hd and the best processor and graphics. I dont want to spend a crapload of money for better graphics just to have 90% of the increase go to HD...
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,012   +715

    I'm not sure where you're going with this. This thread is about a laptop(s), an ultra-thin laptop at that. One would expect the "optional at extra charge", add-ons to be rather limited.
    You get what's behind door number 1, 2, or 3, door 4 is at the Dell website.
  24. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +97

    I get the guest's point..

    Sometimes your not bothered about HDD size, but want high performance graphics and RAM instead. I've noticed with Apple you tend to be stuck with having to pay the premium increase for the GPU, and the HDD etc that comes with that.

    Not knocking Apple, just saying it how it is.
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,012   +715

    Then Leeky, I'll tell you the same thing as I just told the guest. This is an ultrathin laptop, which by its very nature,wouldn't withstand the addition of a higher performance CPU, or graphics. It's been designed to the specs it has, partly because of heat and space issues. If you slap a Blu-ray drive, an Nvidia 460, and an extra storage HDD it, what's the likely hood it would remain about a 1/2 inch thick.

    If you're looking for "clip and paste" hardware options in an Apple computer, then you need to look at their pro desktop line.


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