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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

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MacBook Air - Is the MacBook Air fast enough for the average user?


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ninjaboy

 
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Do you guys think the MBA is fast enough to be used as a primary computer for most people?
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I don't think it's designed to be a main computer which is why it lacks so many features. It's like these new $500 laptops coming out now and this summer. It's designed with lower specs so manufacturers can make it smaller and even more portable.


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kgeier82

 
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i voted yes. Simply put, the average user doesnt use VM's all day. Most of them dont even know what photoshop is.

Id venture a guess and say that 75% of mac-forums is comprised of us "Non-Average Users"

the average user checks email, surfs the internet, and plays music/videos. Cant forget about those demanding yahoo games too!

If the MBA had a much bigger HD in it, i wouldve given it some thought before my late march08 MBP purchase. But i cant handle 80gb. take 30 off for windows, and your looking at nothing already.

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D3v1L80Y

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryphotoguy View Post
I don't think it's designed to be a main computer
Bingo. The computer isn't designed for the 'average' user. Period.
It isn't meant for 'most people', but rather a niche market.
And it certainly isn't meant as any sort of full system replacement/primary machine.

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kgeier82

 
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what specs do you guys all think the average user really needs?

I know tons of these average users that are still using stuff thats 3-4 years old, and suits them fine...

im sure the 1.6 C2d in the MBA is more than they have. along with the 2GB of ram.

i disagree with anyone that says the MBA isnt specced for the average user. the only thing about it that is not for the average user is the high price, which makes it a niche product to begin with.

not trying to start an argument just to be clear

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bryphotoguy

 
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DB's post below is a trillion times better.



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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgeier82 View Post
what specs do you guys all think the average user really needs?
An optical drive for one.
The average user isn't going to want to purchase an external device or do a network install from another machine when they want to add new software... or rip CD's, or watch movies... etc.

On board Stereo sound would be a plus.
Sure, you could use headphones, but the average user usually likes a decent sound from the internal speakers. Notebooks are lousy enough as they are for audio, making the speaker mono really comes as a loss to many.

More than one peripheral connection
Yes, it's a notebook. Yes, it is meant to be portable. Still, the average user would probably like to attach more than just a mouse... or an iPod... or a camera... or anything besides one thing at a time.
Could you use a mini-hub? Yeah, but why should you when most notebooks have at least 2-3 peripheral connections on board.


Specs are more than processor, HD and RAM.


Is is "fast enough"? Sure. A 1 GHz G4 with 512 MB of RAM is "fast enough" for most 'average' users.

Should the MacBook Air be seen as a primary computer for an average user as the OP suggests?
The answer would be a resounding, "NO".

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DB, that I will agree with. It's more than fast enough for many people including me for a laptop, but some of the missing ports would cause me issues.

So to the OP, yes it's fast enough as long as you do not need what DB mentioned in his post. Still it's not meant to be a Main machine.
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I'm looking into taking a job soon that would require me to travel 75% of the time. Because I'll already have to carry a company computer with me, I have thought about getting the MBA as a computer to take with me for personal use. I think it would suit my basic computing needs just fine. The only issue I would have is the small HD, which I hope will be upgraded in the near future.

That said, it still wouldn't become my primary computer. Even with a mild HD upgrade it's still not enough capacity and processor speed. I would likely get an iMac for my primary home computer. Or maybe a Mini since I already have all the peripherals.

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kgeier82

 
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i was just answering the OPers original question and poll.

I understand ports have nothing to do with speed specs, but he didnt ask about anything besides speed, unless i missed that in the OP.

slap a usb hub on the air, and youve got what the average person needs. plenty of laptops have only one speaker these days, that doesnt deter people.

the air has a mic inside it, so no real use for the average user for a 'mic in' port.

the main thing that kills the air for the average user, no optical drive.

i stand by my original statement, the AIR is plenty fast for the average user

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It's certainly fast enough. Our primary home computer is still a Pentium 3 from 2000, and it suits us just fine. However, the complete lack of certain essential features makes the MacBook Air unusable as a primary computer. The optical drive is more important than Apple's marketing for the Air would like to convince people.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discerptor View Post
It's certainly fast enough. Our primary home computer is still a Pentium 3 from 2000, and it suits us just fine. However, the complete lack of certain essential features makes the MacBook Air unusable as a primary computer. The optical drive is more important than Apple's marketing for the Air would like to convince people.
Exactly. But looking at the literal question asked, which was is it FAST enough to be used as primary computer. The answer is yes. And as several people above stated, the lack of USB ports, CD Drive, etc makes it unreasonable to be used as a primary computer. I don't think it would even be a good idea to have JUST the Air, as you will have no way of even sharing a CD drive. But if you already have a computer, and are planning on getting the Air to use in your house it will work. But I'd suggest getting a MB with better specs for less money.

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MacBoy1995

 
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When I played on one in the Apple Store I found it fast enough, even though I had one or two apps open sometimes it was faster than my MacBook.
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You youngsters amuse me sometimes. I remember using as my primary computer a Toshiba Libretto, which was a 75Mhz Pentium with 32 megs of RAM and a 4 gig hard drive. It was a little bit bigger than a VHS cassette but not much bigger. It had a keyboard with sub-chiclet (that's a type of chewing gum) sized keys, and about a five inch screen. It ran Windows '95.

It did NOT have an optical drive of any kind, nor USB ports. You could get access to an optical drive via a PCMCIA card, also networking via the same mechanism. I'd still be using it had I not dropped it and cracked the screen.

I think users of today seem to be getting a little spec-happy what with all the advances in portable computing, and don't remember what it was like back in the day. Also gamers get on my nerves a bit since their games require obscenely high specs to run the WoW or Counter-whatever. My Macbook plays UT2004 quite nicely, thank you, and that's all I need for that kind of thing.

I know someone who sold her Macbook to buy an Air, and uses it for her primary job which is coding for a rather popular news aggregate website which I won't mention here, but it serves her quite well. She likes the ability it affords her to do her work wherever she happens to be, and by that I mean she likes to be comfortable where she's working.

So put me firmly in the YES category as to whether a MBA can be used as a primary computer. We all want more more more more but in reality we can certainly get by with much less.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walkerj View Post
You youngsters amuse me sometimes. I remember using as my primary computer a Toshiba Libretto, which was a 75Mhz Pentium with 32 megs of RAM and a 4 gig hard drive. It was a little bit bigger than a VHS cassette but not much bigger. It had a keyboard with sub-chiclet (that's a type of chewing gum) sized keys, and about a five inch screen. It ran Windows '95.

It did NOT have an optical drive of any kind, nor USB ports. You could get access to an optical drive via a PCMCIA card, also networking via the same mechanism. I'd still be using it had I not dropped it and cracked the screen.

I think users of today seem to be getting a little spec-happy what with all the advances in portable computing, and don't remember what it was like back in the day. Also gamers get on my nerves a bit since their games require obscenely high specs to run the WoW or Counter-whatever. My Macbook plays UT2004 quite nicely, thank you, and that's all I need for that kind of thing.



...
So put me firmly in the YES category as to whether a MBA can be used as a primary computer. We all want more more more more but in reality we can certainly get by with much less.
yea i remember when 16mb of RAM was well, A LOT! never imagined GB!

ive said it before, and ill say it again... we have reached a point in time where specs are really just too much. 85% of users never even need 2GB of ram, let alone that C2D. Yes we all on here have to have this stuff, but 75% of the world is still running 3-4 yr old tech, with no issues and no need to upgrade. IN the USA, im willing to bet that we are the majority of the "MUST have the new tech" people in the world. We can get it , so we want it. We dont ask if we can justify it, we just do it

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