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Apple Macbood Air 13" on the way


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The old simple and inexpensive Acer Aspire ONE is going down for the count. I use it for most of my surfing and it was a good bang for the buck. We still have the main Lenovo Laptop for our power usage.


On top of the Aspire ONE needing replacement, I have leveraged my expenditure on my Apple iPad (yep, just 'iPad' - no 2, or 3, or Air, etc. - the 1st generation iPad..) as far as I care too. Can no longer upgrade, and many times now I can't go to a site or open a content due to the old software. Battery is now lasting 3 or so hours. This is beside the bed, where I use it between sleeping cycles:)!


So, I just spent a few months trying to decide what way to go again.


> One new pad and one new laptop


> One all-in-one notebook/pad combo


> Used route for a one or two generation old unit of each (large savings here)


It came down to a final choice between


> Ipad Air2

> MS Surface Pro 3

> A good spec'd dell small laptop


I really was impressed with the build quality of the Surface Pro 3. But for night time in bed surfing, it was just a bit too large, and a bit slippery to grip (yes, could add a case to it to handle the slippery factor). And the 'in recliner position' usage as a laptop (with keyboard attached) would have required a laptop table or pillow hard top, to set the Surface Pro 3 on. Which I did not want to do.


As my main focus was replacing the failing Aspire ONE, I decided to go with a conventional laptop.


I probably tried 30 different laptops, between Costco, Fry's, Best Buy and the Apple Store. I kept coming back to the MacBook Air 13". I liked the feel, the weight, the screen, the SSD. Was going to get an Apple Refurbished Unit to cut down on the costs. But I just had my Get my SS at 62 Birthday, and my wife mentioned to other family members that I was getting close to buying an Apple - and they all chipped in with some great funds towards the purchase. (Of course, I do miss my normal Birthday bottle of Silver Oak from my daughter!!).


So with my DW insisting to 'just get it done', we ordered a new unit. This unit will still be mostly for casual surfing type usage, so went with the 1.4 8GB Ram with 128GB SSD, and the USB attached SuperDrive.


Suspect it will be just a tad faster then the Aspire ONE (The little unit did the best it could with 4GB of ram, but would choke down from time to time.)


I'm going to watch the Craigslist sales for a Samsung or Apple Air pad. No rush on this unit.


Along the way, I've been reading up on the upcoming Windows 10 as it evolves. And if the Aspire ONE was not so sick, I would have waited to see how this shakes out. Not a fan of 8.1, but hoping it the MS gets this one right. I feel competition is good for all of us. And IMO, MS has not been bringing software to consumers to make them say 'this is what I want!'. Hope for the sake of competition, that the Apple vs Window 10 will become more of a talking point in the future.


Best to all, and thanks for those of you that share your PC knowledge here - I did lots of reading in this area of the forum!




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I bought an old Mac iBook 13" from one of my clients about ten years ago and I still use it now and then; mostly as a convenient (small) device that gives me both Unix as an OS and a decent GUI. Unlike every single PC-style laptop I have ever bought, it is still working. The keyboard is not broken, the screen hinge has not disintegrated and the browser (Safari) works to do what I need it to do (which not surfing so I really don't know if it surfs to any modern web sites).


Just the fact that it still works at over a decade old is amazing for a laptop; at least in my experience. I have piles of them upstairs in my storage room that I use for spare parts.


The battery is practically dead but I just plug it in.


Apple can be a real PITA sometimes, but they build good hardware. We'll be looking for something ourselves in two years and I suspect any Apple laptop we buy then will still be working long after the kids inherit it. :P



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Looks like you found what will work well for you.


For others looking in this "space" take a look (also) at the new Dell XPS 13. It has a lot to offer. Not quite as nice a case as the Mac, but it does have some very nice features.

With their added Venue 8 Pro 32GB with 8.1 bundled in, it would have still been less then the Mac Air 13 :)! It's a great value.


I had this on my short list. One other reason the Mac Air was given the nod, is that I have a heavily modified Mac Mini as our video/music server. The Thunderbolt will come in handy for working between the two.



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Thanks Jack.

I was going to navigate to it myself, but got sidetracked and just checked it out. Yesterday a young lady with a Surface 3 for sale, 2 months old came by and looked at some possible trades. She liked an offer I made and I'll hear back from her later today. I'm actually hoping she declines because I was going to wait for the new Broadwell chipsets but it looks like those 5th gen chipsets are used in that Dell system already. Sweet for the price! Sixth gen chips due in the second half 2015!


However, Intel's already announced plans along with MS' already announced "free" upgrade to Windows 10, both in second half of 2015, says to me that the rumors I've heard all along just might be true. See, they already played with loading Windows 8.1 lite on a Raspberry Pi, proving the full Windows versions can run well on more limited devices.


Jack you'll be interested in these I think:




And this:




"Intel’s roadmap continues to reflect a company in transition. While it may be on much firmer footing than its erstwhile competitor, AMD, it has to make fundamental changes to its cost structure if it wants to compete with ARM products and still make money. The SoFIA project is a short-term plan to change that. Meanwhile, making Broadwell potentially compatible with already existing motherboards could win Intel some small kudos from the enthusiast community, while it looks to Skylake to deliver the performance gains the HPC and workstation markets still require.


Most of Intel’s key challenges will be in the mobile and tablet markets throughout the next two years. The desktop refresh cycles remain interesting, but the lack of serious competition through at least 2016 means that this space should be fairly quiet. Intel needs to continue to deliver on its promises of decreased mobile power consumption — and if early reviews are anything to go by, it may need to have some conversations with OEMs about proper positioning for Core M products.


If you’re on the fence about upgrading to Devil’s Canyon now or waiting for Skylake in 2015, I don’t necessarily expect it to make much difference. Waiting may buy you a chip that’s 5-10% faster in specific metrics, but the days of meteoric gains from shipping code in conventional software are long gone. There’s no 14nm magic on the horizon that’s expected to deliver the kind of clock speed gains Intel would need to pull off a 15-25% year-on-year scaling, and absent stronger competition, the company is under relatively little pressure to push the performance envelope in its core markets.




It looks like the economies of scale will be in full force for the newest tablets and ultrabooks/laptops as well as the hybrids next Black Friday/Cyber Monday! Skylake looks to be a rapid move forward. I may have to move to 5th Gen Broadwell full scope hardware for a tablet just before the Skylake takes over and all the manufacturers are dumping the "old" just released models.



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