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Is a MacBook Air worth it?

(18 Posts)
Lesbeadiva Thu 15-Nov-12 10:01:32

...mainly to be used for writing music, photos etc. I don't expect it to work miracles. I work from home but sometimes move around and my laptop is so huge it's a pain to humph it about. So was looking at the air for portability.

Can you get an external drive for extra mem for it?
Is it really that good?

DialMforMummy Thu 15-Nov-12 10:16:08

I just got one, yes it is very good indeed. It is fast and light. Bear in mind that you have no CD drive on it, just one USB socket. For extra memory, you could use a cloud style storage thing, so you can access it anywhere?
But it is expensive.

Snorbs Thu 15-Nov-12 10:17:43

I think it comes down to one main question: Do you currently have a Mac?

If you do then the Air is just a smaller, lighter and less powerful version of the Macbook Pro. The Air has a nice screen, mediocre keyboard, a touchpad that is all too easy to hit accidentally so your mouse pointer shoots all over the place, and it struggles to dump heat if you work it hard. Looks pretty though. You could easily get a USB external hard disk to plug into it.

If you don't already have a Mac then you may find that converting all your work from your existing PC to a Mac might be problematic. I believe that Mac has got some good audio tools though so that might be more of a draw.

Depending on what you wish to do with your music you might find the lack of a CD/DVD drive on the Air to be an inconvenience. You can get external ones that plug in.

Lesbeadiva Thu 15-Nov-12 10:53:00

I have an ipad and iPhone, no mac computer. I assume I could pass iTunes over? I have read that mac stores will help transfer old computer contents to new mac, but this may be an urban myth!...I plan on keeping my old laptop as a backup anyway, it's full of "stuff".

Snorbs Thu 15-Nov-12 11:05:06

What do you use for writing music?

Lesbeadiva Thu 15-Nov-12 11:14:13

Oh dear lord,...see I didn't preview my first post, that should be "writing, music, "blush I am a writer...of words, not music and A bit of a pillock too.

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 15-Nov-12 11:21:10

I have a Macbook Air. It's a year old. I loved it when I first got it, but elements of it got irritating, and I bought a Pro about 8 months in. That's much faster with a better keyboard and generally better to write on (the air is fast until you've got a lot of files on it, and then even the biggest SSD struggles).

I'm now using my desktop again. It's windows and I do miss OS when I use it, but when writing professionally it's just easier to have everything compatible and formatted correctly. Lack of a CD drive can be an issue although you can buy a USB controlled one - it's quite slow!

Mac stores will help you move files, but they won't provide software, just recommend it. So you'll need to buy Microsoft Office for Mac, and then they'll move over your documents, for example. Software wise, there is a lot of Windows software that doesn't work great on Macs, so you'll probably have to find alternatives. There is a Mac store on the Air that has some good apps, but they can be more expensive than the windows alternatives.

Writing wise, I found that most of the time things I created in pages and saved as word docs would mess up, but Office could send things to Windows users with them looking the same. The issue was getting files sent to me. Some would open perfectly, others would be badly formatted or missing parts. It depends on what the Windows users settings are.

Oh, and if you work with big companies/editors, you might find that they use Office 2013 which isn't supported on Macs. It's supposed to be coming, but nobody knows for sure when it will, or if it will.

I do love my Macs, and I wouldn't swap them for the world. I take at least one everywhere with me. I'm just aware that they lose their 'sparkle' quite quickly, and they are very expensive.

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 15-Nov-12 11:22:00

I'd test the new Windows laptop that's like an Air if you are on Windows at the moment. It works just as well, is cheaper, and lighter. I'd probably have gone for that had it been out when I got my Air - OH has got one for work and it's so fast and easy to use.

Lesbeadiva Thu 15-Nov-12 11:34:02

I think I am going to have to go have a "feel" of some. I have issues with window getting bugs and viruses, slow start up and dying after a year or so. I have had several brands over the years and never found a laptop I like or that fits me.
Thanks all for the replies so far it's appreciated.

ChunkyPickle Thu 15-Nov-12 11:51:03

I've had my air for a couple of years now, and don't plan to change to anything else.

The SSD means the boot time is unbelievably fast, I find the fact I can slip it into my bag very convenient, the battery life is great, and I have no complaints over power/memory.

I'm a computer programmer, so I normally have a couple of databases running in the background, the development environment I use going, plus a video to watch in the background, and I can still compile (it huffs and puffs a bit sometimes, but I have no complaints)

I'd previously had the IBM X series laptop, because it's small, but I prefer this, and have even grown to prefer the touchpad and the island keyboard to a real one and a mouse.

Lesbeadiva Thu 15-Nov-12 13:48:13

A chunky that is what I like about it. Fast boot up!

Snorbs Thu 15-Nov-12 13:55:24

Anything with a half-decent SSD rather than a hard disk will boot up very fast. I can choose between Windows and OSX on my Macbook Air; the start-up times for either are pretty much identical.

Lesbeadiva Thu 15-Nov-12 13:58:02

Is it true that mac are less likely to get a virus? My laptop is plagued a lot with them despite a lot of scans and various versions of security...

NetworkGuy Thu 15-Nov-12 14:05:49

If you have been plagued with them, it would help to review who else uses it, because invariably there are sites which some might visit that could infect it.

One of my clients has two sons and some of the sites they went to were the cause of his problems. For example, a Spanish site with games and ringtones for mobile phones also had (at the bottom of the screen) links to gay and straight porn, and my client (happily married and looking at villa prices in Spain) found that at one time, every click he made to look at more photos/info took him to hardcore images. He even rang in case their website was infected but it was his PC.

I run AVG on most of my Windows machines and rarely if ever find a virus, so when you say you're plagued by them it raises concerns about what sites are being visited...

NetworkGuy Thu 15-Nov-12 14:07:43

... or what add-ons (eg free emoticons or screensavers) have been downloaded... some of them install pop up advertising s/w as a semi-hidden 'extra' (it depends on the firm how open they are about the links they have and how they have arranged to handle installs etc)...

Lesbeadiva Thu 15-Nov-12 14:23:50

Plagued is a badly chosen word. Kids have access to CBeebies but they never use the laptop. Only me. I have avg installed. It runs a scan daily and there is always at least one infection found. I do a lot of research so look at a lot of sites that may be the cause. It is two years old and just bloody slow.

Snorbs Thu 15-Nov-12 16:24:49

It's odd. The last time I had a proper virus on a PC was Conficker in 2008. It had got on to our corporate network due to someone buying a dodgy CD in China and installing it on to their work PC hmm

I've found that Microsoft Security Essentials, keeping on top of Windows updates and using an ad-blocker has kept me safe ever since. And I've got four PCs at home, two of which are pretty much exclusively used by my DCs, plus another three on my desk at work.

Maybe it's because I'm careful about what kind of websites I go to and particularly careful about downloading stuff.

One thing to consider is that what AVG is finding every day may not be proper viruses but may, instead, be low-level stuff like ad-tracking cookies. They're a potential risk inasmuch as they could reveal some of the websites you visit, but not an actual virus.

Londonista1975 Thu 15-Nov-12 20:36:49

I'm in the same boat as the OP so wondering if anyone else had any thoughts?

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