back to article 15in MacBook Air will go HEAD TO HEAD with MacBook Pro in April

Apple has a 15 inch MacBook Air in the works and it's coming out in April, a Mac accessories manufacturer has told Electric Pig. The unnamed accessories maker dropped the tip at CU Exposed, a trade fair for MacBook accessories on 13 March. Currently only available in the 11 inch and 13 inch form factors, the debut of 15 inch …

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Anonymous Coward

Or

Buy a Windows laptop and spend half the price for more power/storage.

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Meh

Re: Or

True enough, if running Windows is a viable choice in the particular circumstance. However it might be nice if we had at least one thread that didn't turn into the usual 'Mac vs Windows' tediumfest,

If they wanted to stick to the Mac OS world, they could buy a cheaper Air, use the SSD as a pure boot drive and buy one of the various Thunderbolt mobile drives that seem to be finally popping up. Another thing to carry around (although probably still less weight than a Pro overall) and certainly faster than the Pro's built in drive.

There are always options. And there is certainly not One True Way, whether it comes from Cupertino or Redmond.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Or

Threads will always turn into a Windows vs. Mac tediumfest - apologies that I bought it on so early though.

If you do have to use OS X, it would be nice if Apple didn't charge a ridiculous premium on all of their components though... A 512GB Crucial M4 SSD is approx. £500 - Apple want to charge £880.

In terms of maximising storage and performance whilst minimising cost, an SSD boot disk and an external HDD (whether it be USB, Thunderbolt) is the way to go.

I'd still be inclined to stick with a normal HDD though personally - OS X is fairly fast on them anyway.

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Mushroom

Re: Or

Go to Dell and price a comparable laptop meaning a Precision laptop and spec them out the same and see the prices then. All the laptops at $499+ all look good on paper.

Look at the ultrabooks coming out now to compete with the Macbook Air......they are having a hard time getting the price under $1000 because of quality components and not junk.

And as always with Apple they usually only update once a year, maybe twice with the laptops, but its usually best to wait for the next update to get the latest and greatest. Sometimes Dell/others get the products out quicker that have been updated over the year, but usually Apple will update pretty quick on a new release of hardware like the upcoming ivy bridge.

Plus with a Mac you have less problems with hardware in my experience over 11 years, plus you can run OS X, Windows, Linux, etc. I only run OS X, its nice not having to worry about spyware, etc and things always just work usually.

Every time I turn my Windows 7 PC on I am troubleshooting or updating or wasting time in one way or another.

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Pint

Re: Or

Funny thing about that -- people keep telling me the Apple gear is pricey compared to "PC" gear, but whenever I research the prices, it turns out that when choosing non-Apple gear that has the same oomph, the Mac turns out to be the more affordable choice. Happened to me several times. And, of course, you can install Windows on it if you really, really want to (I prefer to run my machines on Linux).

Go figure. Maybe because Apple does not offer anything cheap people are misled to think they are overpriced. But at the same performance and equipment levels, the last notebook I bought was a MacBook Pro which cost me approx. 200 quid less than anything comparable on the market at the time. *shrug* Sure, you can get a notebook at half the price. But it won't compare favourably in performance and, more likely than not, have a battery uptime that is less than half. If you can live with that, go and buy it. I need lots of compute power and lots of uptime, so... I'm off to the pub to have a pint or two while working.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Or

Except you won't get a laptop with a similar / better spec from a manufacturer that doesn't specialise in disposable laptops. Closest you'll get from a proper manufacturer will be 100 / 150 quid less, which at that point you may as well buy a laptop that is using OS X rather than one, which is soon to be shipping with the joy of Windows 8 and it's glorious apps such as Cut the Rope, Angry Birds and all the twatter / facebollocks you can shake a stick at...

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Silver badge
Linux

...or get something slightly else.

The beauty of going to Dell is that I am offered a different set of tradeoffs.

I am not limited to the one or two options that Apple presents. Dell has more than that by itself. Never mind the rest of the market.

Dell and friends will allow me to get EXACTLY what I want without paying an arm and a leg for it. I won't need to spend $2400 just to get a drive bay or expansion port.

As far as "Apple quality" goes: In my own experience they are the worst "brand name" I have ever dealt with.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ...or get something slightly else.

"As far as "Apple quality" goes: In my own experience they are the worst "brand name" I have ever dealt with."

You're using it wrong

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Re: Or

"Funny thing about that -- people keep telling me the Apple gear is pricey compared to "PC" gear, but whenever I research the prices, it turns out that when choosing non-Apple gear that has the same oomph, the Mac turns out to be the more affordable choice."

Dunno where you get your prices from!!!

- show me an Apple notebook that costs U$700 and has 8gb of ram, quad core i7, 10hr battery and a 750gb HD (I just bought an Asus with those exact specs)

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Re: Or

"I'd still be inclined to stick with a normal HDD though personally - OS X is fairly fast on them anyway."

Strikes me that if you're spending on top hardware in the rest of a Mac seems a bit retrograde to settle for an electro-mechanical hdd.

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Re: Or

Precisions are not comparable to Macbook Pro (except in price) as the Dell have certified graphics cards for use with CAD etc, dual hard drives and had better CPUs. As far as updates are concerned I haven't updated the graphic drivers since I bought it nearly 2 years ago. The other hardware is stable (like the Pro) so really only Windows updates.

Nothing against the Macbook Pro as it was also in the running, but decided the Dell fitted my needs better despite the bulk and the power hunger.

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Gimp

Re: Or

You also get twice the weight / size and at least threes times the security issues all with reduce battery life and yet it still manages to be cheaper.

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Thumb Down

Re: Or

They're not the same. When I bought my Macbook I had originally meant to get a Dell or something else reasonably priced.

But once you add in all the features to make it equivalent to a macbook and factor in having to buy a 3rd party SSD just so you can throw your HD away and put that in, you end up with something that's nearly the same price as a Macbook, twice as ugly and half the battery life.

Dell was even charging £30 for bluetooth. Something that should be standard in a laptop and certainly shouldn't cost more than a bluetooth usb dongle.

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Trollface

Re: ...or get something slightly else.

If you mean Dell will give you nothing and charge you for the smallest things and in the end it's still going to be an ugly bulky plastic laptop then you're right.

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Re: Or

What's the battery life and all the other features it comes with? How much does it weight and what's its build quality?

A lot of people focus on very small set of features because that's all their laptops can win at and the reason they can manage to have much more ram for less the price is because it's in a cheap ass case with a flimsily attached LCD screen that will be in a questionable state 6 months later.

Having all that power in a rubbish case and no other real features reminds me of kids that rice up their little hatchback cars. They thinks it's bad ass but no one else does.

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Graphics power a differentiator?

One thing to remember is that the Air is basically the new MacBook, and while the 13-inch Pro doesn't have discrete graphics the 15-inch does. So that'll be another way to distinguish the two.

(Personally I still have 2 big bugbears with the Air - no security lockslot and no onboard ethernet. If those two problems were eliminated it'd be a fantastic machine I could recommend to all my users without reservations, but as is I usually suggest a 13-inch pro instead if they're Apple-oriented...)

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Anonymous Coward

15"

At 15 inches it isn't exactly an ultraportable - but it'll be thin and light(er), so that is a plus.

Anyway it is good to have a choice, but I hope they won't kill off the 15" pro, some people still need that ethernet jack and discrete graphics.

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Bronze badge

Re: 15"

Ethernet? Hell yes. Wireless will always dip in and out and is what, 10% of the speed of Gb ethernet if you're lucky? A computer without ethernet is a toy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ethernet

It's offered as an extra - £25 though!

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Unhappy

Re: ethernet

It's not really ethernet if it's an external USB dongle though, is it? It's certainly not gigabit ethernet if it's over USB 2.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ethernet

Yes you're right. It's not real ethernet.

just like those USB to video adaptors don't do real video.

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Facepalm

Re: ethernet

Well, no, it's not - not compared to on-board gig-e. Or are you trying to suggest that you can get gig-e performance over a USB2 ethernet adapter? (I know, I know, not relevant for home users. But hey, very relevant in an academic environment where you've got a gigabit-ethernet network and users accessing clusters for operations whose input files are of the order of 10s of GBs...)

It also completely buggers any notion you might have of using MAC addresses to identify machines connecting to a wired network, an idea whose helpfulness is of such magnitude I can't find adequate words to describe it.

Don't let that stop you from being a colossal bellend, though. You might just win Bellend Of The Day with that kind of performance.

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Is this going to be a case of Apple continuing their 'convergence' plans with the iPad and removing any form of laptop that can do useful work?

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Anonymous Coward

Plenty of people being productive on an iPad, iWork suite, Garage band, Office ALTERNATIVES - the big one that's putting the shits up MS.

Paired with a bluetooth keyboard you can even bash out some code

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Cannibalising markets? Really

Are you sure they didn't grow the market for all iOS devices?

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Windows

I think therefore I can remember

Does 16GB of RAM float your boat? The MacBook Pros offer a <b>lot</b> more memory that is user-configurable than the soldered in 4GB of the Airs. Not to mention quad-core I-7 processors (soon to be upgraded).

They're quite different machines. The Air would work well for a PHB who wants to look kool. The Pro will be for people who do work.

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Re: I think therefore I can remember

"Does 16GB of RAM float your boat?"

Macbook Pro's can handle 8Gb ram max. If you want 16Gb ram you need to move to an iMac or a Mac Pro box.

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Re: I think therefore I can remember

The 2011 MacBook Pro's can do 16GB...

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/Apple_MacBook_MacBook_Pro/Upgrade

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Thumb Down

Re: I think therefore I can remember!

Google is your friend. Think before you make yourself look a twat.

16Gb is available for MacBook Pro's, just not from Apple.

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Re: I think therefore I can remember!

I'm going by the Apple web site specs...

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Anonymous Coward

Dust gatherers available.

"Fans avoid iPad 3, the gorgeous iPad 2 dust gatherer works fine. "

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Anonymous Coward

I am so excited by this...

...that it would take a wide angle lens to show just how excited I am.

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Ending the argument

Resale price.

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Anonymous Coward

Yawn

Still not big enough to encompass an iWhiner's ego.

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Paris Hilton

Video Editors

We tend to need more ports as well to plug in our extra storage. I carry around 2x1gb Firewire drives with me. So a pro is really the only option.

+ packages such as After Effects are memory black holes. So the ability to add more yourself is useful. Prices for RAM from Apple make your eyes water and I'm not sure you can upgrade the air.

Paris because she an easily accessible upgrade bay.

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Anonymous Coward

"As far as "Apple quality" goes: In my own experience they are the worst "brand name" I have ever dealt with."

Bitter Let me guess - you dropped your iPod and they would not just give you a new one <sob>

People who have actually used a decent amount of Apple kit realise the quality is far higher than average and the support / ease of use it also far better. You buy a £1000 laptop then find a company that will provide hardware and software support for 3 years for about £100.

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Ti book - the water soluble paint used on the carbon fiber wrist surround wore away when i was using the machine in the summer, the exposed carbon fibre became a conductor for earth leakage from the un grounded psu = electric shock if i used the machine with sweaty wrists - the solution was to use stickytape to insulate the front of the laptop. the carbon fibre surround fractured where the hinges are attatched.

Powerbook G4 SD - 2 superdrives failed, eats a battery a year. charging board failed, touchpad failed.

Panasonic Toughbook - 3 years, battery still at 80%wear no broken bits.

Dell Lattitude - battery kaput in 2 years, but 3 years and no hardware issues or electrocution issues...

I like apple, but Of all the apple kit I have owned, the user experience is good, but the hardware is sub par for the cost.

this year alone I have deployed over 100 Dell laptops and had no hardware issues - other than water ingress after a client upeneded a drink into the machine.

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Silver badge
Linux

Pathetic fanboy excuxes.

If you are advocating buying the extended warranty then you've just admitted that the product is crap and the vendor doesn't stand behind their product.

The $1800 laptop from the "quality" brand should already have a 3 year warranty.

If their stuff is really all that it is cracked up to be then it won't be a burden.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

"Well, no, it's not - not compared to on-board gig-e. Or are you trying to suggest that you can get gig-e performance over a USB2 ethernet adapter? (I know, I know, not relevant for home users. But hey, very relevant in an academic environment where you've got a gigabit-ethernet network and users accessing clusters for operations whose input files are of the order of 10s of GBs...)"

Blah blah blah - but for 99% of people 300mbit/s wireless is more than sufficient when most are accessing local resources or the Internet at probably 5-20mbit/s. You will always find some excuse - what next - how about "I would reject any laptop without a 27 inch screen and 4Tb RAM".

If you have such high speed data 'god' why are you just running gig-e and not 10gig-e??

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Bronze badge

That's a daft question

I'm not running 10gig-e because it's incredibly expensive. However I am running at GbE at work because I don't want to share the already limited bandwidth with 6 people, and also at home so I can copy a 1GB movie from my NAS to my laptop in 40 seconds, not 7-8 minutes. It's not a difficult argument to back up really, GbE is cheap and a computer without it is completely hamstrung.

300Mb over wireless, you must be either a) joking or b) living in a bungalow in the country - the spectrum is pretty crowded where I live, I wouldn't even get close to that and that's with an 802.11g mesh network, one repeater per floor.

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Anonymous Coward

"We tend to need more ports as well to plug in our extra storage. I carry around 2x1gb Firewire drives with me. So a pro is really the only option."

Wow you really are a power user - or perhaps you means 2 x 1TB drives?

Surely Thunderbolt would suit you better (and does work on the Air).

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FAIL

Early morning

Yes, sorry I did mean 2x1TB. Doh!

My Macbook Pro doesn't have Thunderbolt. In fact as someone who's owned a whole host of laptops from Acer to premium Dells this is the longest I've had a single laptop by some distance (getting nearly 4 years ). With my heavy use and travelling usually something has gone chronically wrong by now or it's totally worn out. To give it its dues aside from some minor key wear and a scratch I inflicted on the underside it looks as good as the day I bought it.

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