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    I want to buy it for my gf this christmas, she has a laptop that's a few years old now and needs one for uni.

    I was thinking about a netbook as it's small and easy to carry around uni but she's a bit of an apple fan and her current laptop is apple so I thought I'd stick with it. The smallest one in the range is the 11" Macbook Air but I've never used it (or even know anybody that has it) so I'm not sure how good it is.

    She uses it for basic stuff, music, browsing the web and of course word processing for uni work. Would the Air be good to be used as a main laptop?

    Would appreciate some reviews and opinions on it because I really want to make sure I get her something that's useful...am I better off buying a macbook? The thing is, she would like something as small and light as possible to carry around so the Air is ideal in that regard but if it's no good performance wise then no point.

    Thanks
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    11" as your main laptop would be terrible.
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    Air:

    1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor - severely outdated, most laptops will come with at least a 2.0Ghz these days
    2GB memory - Ok for browsing/word processing/etc, probably not DDR3
    64GB flash storage1 - I don't know about your girlfriend, but I have 40gb+ of music alone...
    NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics - s'fine

    £850

    Macbook:

    2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo - 2GHz more processing power
    2GB DDR3 memory - same...ish
    250GB hard drive1 - won't be as superfast as flash storage, but has almost 200gb more space
    8x double-layer SuperDrive - actually HAS A DVD DRIVE
    NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics - same
    Decent battery life - around 6/7 hours

    Oh look... £850

    I'll tell you now, with the Air the only thing you're paying hundreds for is a super thin body and sexy design. My mum's laptop is ancient and spec for spec wouldn't do badly against the Air, but it looks like a brick and is more likely to die any second. The Macbook however, is far better value hardware wise - the only thing you lose is the ultra slim design and lightweight crap that is the major selling point of the Air. If she's already got a Macbook then it might be nice for an upgrade, but in all honesty if its only a few years old I personally wouldn't see the point in upgrading unless you went for the Macbook Pro - drawback of that of course is that it isn't as light... swings and roundabouts. If she wants something really light and portable, the Air isn't a bad choice in that sense, however you could get something identical if you looked at netbooks - only difference is they aren't as shiny and elegant.

    One last thing: Apple laptops are extremely expensive and don't offer much more to the standard user than a far cheaper windows equivalent would. Yeah, plenty of people have them simply because they have the money and just can fork out for them, but if there is anything else you can get her instead I'd go for that.
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    Depends on how old her current laptop is. Might be better to get her an ipad for everyday carry(I'm surprised by how useful it is for lectures and stuff, having gotten to test a friends-I didn't buy one), or replace her current laptop with a new macbook if it's old.
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    Only if your loaded, and a real life troll.
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    Also to note is that with apple you get a 15% student discount.
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    (Original post by Panda Vinnie)
    I want to buy it for my gf this christmas, she has a laptop that's a few years old now and needs one for uni.

    I was thinking about a netbook as it's small and easy to carry around uni but she's a bit of an apple fan and her current laptop is apple so I thought I'd stick with it. The smallest one in the range is the 11" Macbook Air but I've never used it (or even know anybody that has it) so I'm not sure how good it is.

    She uses it for basic stuff, music, browsing the web and of course word processing for uni work. Would the Air be good to be used as a main laptop?

    Would appreciate some reviews and opinions on it because I really want to make sure I get her something that's useful...am I better off buying a macbook? The thing is, she would like something as small and light as possible to carry around so the Air is ideal in that regard but if it's no good performance wise then no point.

    Thanks
    No don't get the MacBook Air. If what you want for her is a good performance small lightweight laptop, then i'd go with the regular MacBook. Its around the same price, more powerful, and slightly heavier than the Air, but overall its a better buy.
    Don't just go with what you see online. There is no substitute for actually going to an Apple Store and seeing and using one yourself.
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    I'd personally plump for a MacBook as a main laptop, but if her needs (not too much media storage, less screen space needed and/or access to an external monitor, not a gamer or graphics designer, very high portability) suit the product it might be worth it. I'm considering one as a gift to myself when I finish uni, but it still wouldn't be my main computer as I have an old-ish Windows laptop plus a Intel Core 2 Duo Mac Mini.
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    It's more useless gimmicky toss from apple.

    Although to a technologically clueless apple addict who cares more about the outside than the inside - it probably would be a good shot if you really have 800pound lying around to waste on gimmicky toss made by apple.
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    sheeet you must love her. she better swallow.
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    I've never been a fan of the Macbook Air, they seem far too overpriced for what you're getting and seem to be designed only for the real fanboys.

    I'd say just get the standard macbook, same price, much better specs, and still looks great. The Air may be really thin but it has little else going for it.
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    What a nice boyfriend.
    Go for a Macbook as opposed to the macbook air better quality and specs plus its the same price. She should have no problem fitting it in her handbag and carrying it around with her. Just get her to buy a sleeve for it, you may even find one in the pound shop. Don't forget that Microsoft office would be needed.
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    (Original post by WelshBluebird)
    Also to note is that with apple you get a 15% student discount.
    Still gonna be over £700 for a glorified netbook. For the same price (or less), you could probably build a desktop with an i5 rather than a 1.4 Duo...
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    (Original post by Wookie42)
    Still gonna be over £700 for a glorified netbook. For the same price (or less), you could probably build a desktop with an i5 rather than a 1.4 Duo...
    1 - its much more than a netbook. Its an awful lot more powerful. Try encoding video on a netbook with an Atom CPU, and then try doing it on the Macbook Air. Its such a huge difference its nuts.

    2 - But a desktop has a totally different purpose. You can't exactly carry a desktop around uni with you.

    edit - I may aswell give up giving advice if people are going to neg me for pointing out things. What I said above is true. The MB air is a lot more powerful than an atom powered netbook. Have a look at the benchmarks if you really want. Theres a world of difference. And again, its kind of silly suggesting a i5 desktop to someone who wants something to carry about campus with them. Sigh.
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    (Original post by WelshBluebird)
    1 - its much more than a netbook. Its an awful lot more powerful. Try encoding video on a netbook with an Atom CPU, and then try doing it on the Macbook Air. Its such a huge difference its nuts.

    2 - But a desktop has a totally different purpose. You can't exactly carry a desktop around uni with you.
    The Atom is more powerful than you would think. Yeah, its no Core Duo but for browsing the web, watching video and using iTunes there really is no comparison. In all honesty though, have you ever tried encoding video with a 1.4 Duo?

    Yeah I understand, just making the example. You could get an 11" netbook for around half the price though, or even a decent laptop for a couple of hundred less for that matter.

    There will always be the whole mac vs PC argument and I think it is banned around here because it goes in circles. However it is undeniable that in this case, the reason for wanting the macbook/air is only because of its looks and design which of course is a valid argument, just a total waste of money if you ask me
    Girls will be girls :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Wookie42)
    The Atom is more powerful than you would think. Yeah, its no Core Duo but for browsing the web, watching video and using iTunes there really is no comparison. In all honesty though, have you ever tried encoding video with a 1.4 Duo?
    No, but I have tried encoding video with a old AMD Athlon XP 3000 (from around 2003) and I'm pretty sure that was faster than my netbook which uses an atom.

    I agree for simple stuff like web browsing, watch video etc then the Atom is fine. But for anything more complex, or for use as a main machine, the atom won't cut it. And even for the stuff it can handle well, it may get a bit slow when watching flash based video (my netbook certainly does).
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    Not as a main laptop no, if she had say an iMac as well or something then fine, I'd go with either the Macbook or the Macbook Pro for a main laptop.
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    (Original post by Panda Vinnie)
    I want to buy it for my gf this christmas, she has a laptop that's a few years old now and needs one for uni.

    I was thinking about a netbook as it's small and easy to carry around uni but she's a bit of an apple fan and her current laptop is apple so I thought I'd stick with it. The smallest one in the range is the 11" Macbook Air but I've never used it (or even know anybody that has it) so I'm not sure how good it is.

    She uses it for basic stuff, music, browsing the web and of course word processing for uni work. Would the Air be good to be used as a main laptop?

    Would appreciate some reviews and opinions on it because I really want to make sure I get her something that's useful...am I better off buying a macbook? The thing is, she would like something as small and light as possible to carry around so the Air is ideal in that regard but if it's no good performance wise then no point.

    Thanks

    Hello there

    You have three choices here..

    If she is not going to be doing heavy word processing/work, I am going to recommend the iPad and a keyboard dock. Why? The iPad is without doubt a better choice in terms of value for money for media consumption and also is just as portable as a Macbook air. On top of that you get the touchscreen interface, things like the app store etc etc. She would need a home computer to transfer her files of course.

    From what you have put in the OP, the iPad seems to be the best choice, and if in store I would recommend that to her with the iWork pages app. Its also great for media consumption and is just a really nice all in one device. With full specs and the keyboard dock, it comes just under the 850£ price tag, so it is also cheaper. [And has 3g internet].


    If you are dead set on a laptop, then it is really up to personal preference. The Air lacks many features of the standard macbook, cd drive etc.
    On the whole we are advised in the store to only recommend the Apple macbook for people who are constantly on the go, you are more likely to get complaints about power or lack of USB ports if she spends more time using it. Its not a device for prolonged use and it is not a device to do anything heavy with. It fills many of the basic functions of the iPad, but unless she is in desperate need of Mac OSX, then she will find the iPad better suits her needs...

    Glad I could help.
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    I wish my bf would spend £850 on me

    If you must get a mac, then you can get a macbook with better specs for the same price. My friend has one and it's not too heavy/ awkward to carry round at uni. In fact most people I see in lectures with a laptop have macbooks. Never seen an air!
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    (Original post by Ocassus)
    Hello there

    You have three choices here..

    If she is not going to be doing heavy word processing/work, I am going to recommend the iPad and a keyboard dock. Why? The iPad is without doubt a better choice in terms of value for money for media consumption and also is just as portable as a Macbook air. On top of that you get the touchscreen interface, things like the app store etc etc. She would need a home computer to transfer her files of course.

    From what you have put in the OP, the iPad seems to be the best choice, and if in store I would recommend that to her with the iWork pages app. Its also great for media consumption and is just a really nice all in one device. With full specs and the keyboard dock, it comes just under the 850£ price tag, so it is also cheaper. [And has 3g internet].


    If you are dead set on a laptop, then it is really up to personal preference. The Air lacks many features of the standard macbook, cd drive etc.
    On the whole we are advised in the store to only recommend the Apple macbook for people who are constantly on the go, you are more likely to get complaints about power or lack of USB ports if she spends more time using it. Its not a device for prolonged use and it is not a device to do anything heavy with. It fills many of the basic functions of the iPad, but unless she is in desperate need of Mac OSX, then she will find the iPad better suits her needs...

    Glad I could help.
    Are you seriously suggesting that someone doing a degree should use an iPad as their main device? :rolleyes:

    Pretty basic problems with the iPad:

    1. Can't multitask - she wouldn't be able to listen to music while word processing for example. Massive problem?
    2. Doesn't support flash - tons of web related issues
    3. Needs an adapter for pretty much everything - can't just shove a USB drive in for example
    4. Can't install software - she would be limited to the apple app store

    Please stop trying to convince people to waste their money on iPads like this, it really annoys me when people claim the iPad can compete in this field. They're good for a secondary device (maybe), but suggesting someone should only have an iPad for degree level work is just insane. More insane than buying an Air anyway...
 
 
 
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