My first MacBook - regular or Air?

So I’m toying with making a MacBook purchase - something to carry around the apartment, on road trips, or wherever I happen to be. I have a full sized PC at home, so I don’t need a powerhouse rig.

Is it worth the $700 or so to go ultra thin and light with the Air? I fondled one at the Apple store last night and was astounded at how small it really is - it seems like it’s too small to actually be a real laptop.

The big drawback for me is the lack of built-in optical drive. I’d like to slap in a DVD from time to time, and I’d prefer not to have to pay for an iTunes rental since I already have Netflix.

Anyone else own an Air and want to try to convince me to go for it?

Is size the single most important thing in a laptop for you? If so, you want the Air. If not, you don’t.

The Air is slower than any other Apple laptop, has less disk space, doesn’t have an optical drive, has fewer ports, and has an unreplaceable battery with a low lifetime. But it’s small. Really small. If small is what you want, then you might not care about all those other things. Otherwise, pay less money and get a normal MacBook.

hell no, get a baseline normal macbook, toss in a 250gb wd passport sata and upgrade the ram to 2-4gb yourself.

How are we in the lifecycle of the Macbook? Any rumors of impending changes?

I’ve heard of many complaints of the Air’s keyboard.

Everyone expects an updated version of the MacBook Pro to be announced any day now and to come out in mid-March-ish.

If you want to run XP efficiently, is the standard MacBook ok for this or is the Pro required?

Standard MacBook runs XP and even Vista just great.

MacBook Pro’s are amazing. I love mine. They expect an update out any day as others have stated.

From what I’ve seen, the Airbook has a horrendously slow hard drive. I would avoid it.

I would recommend a Macbook Pro. Best laptop I’ve ever owned.

I don’t want to spend that much, and I don’t want a laptop that big. A MacBook is probably my speed, I just don’t want to buy one and then see a shiny new, thinner, multi-touch capable MacBook in less than six months.

Macbooks are really small and portable. I think maybe even moreso than the Air, since they have a smaller footprint because of the 13 inch screen. It’s a little thicker, but I assume a little sturdier because of it, if you plan on just throwing it in a backpack or whatever.

The only guarantee with Apple is that you WILL see a shiny, new better version of their laptops just as soon as you’ve bought one.

I’d stay far away from the Air. Sounds incredibly pokey, even with the $olid $tate drive. So-so battery life, and the inability to remove the battery, and no optical drive? No thanks.

Dell XPS 1330

I would probably have staunchly agreed with you a year or two ago, but frankly these days Macs are unbeatable in the laptop arena - not only do they make better laptops than any PC manufacturer, they run both OSX and XP, and because you’re basically stuffed even in a PC laptop when it comes to upgrading and replacing components I reckon you need to go with quality!

The only PC laptops I’ve ever rated in terms of reliability are IBM Thinkpads, but they’re a bit like Saab cars - built like brick shithouses, with a design to suit.

However, I will stick with my desktop PC thankyouverymuch.

Dell XPS 1330 has gotten rave reviews, check it out.

Also, Leopard installs natively on PCs without a hack.

I’m in love with my bottom-of-the-line MacBook.
I used to be a Mac hater, had not really tried one since those little 12" monochrome boxy things from the 80s, but my complete frustration with the ethernal “almost there” state of the Linux desktop and the laughability of Windows (does ok as a game launcher, sucks for anything else) drove me to get one.
Looks great, I like the screen, reasonable weight, long lasting battery, can actually use it on my lap, and I feel I get more done with it.
While there’s a lot of hype about things like Quicksilver or Textmate, there’s actually some basis to the whole hoopla.
Quicksilver is actually amazing, being a couple of keystrokes away from pretty much aything you can do in the system is awesome in many ways.

If it is your first MacBook, I would urge some caution. My wife’s still adapting to her MacBook Pro, and she’s had it since November. She’s been a Windows user for so long, it is difficult to figure out the Mac way to do stuff, it all seems so counter-intuitive. I think of it like Esperanto vs. English. Technically it might be a better structure, but it isn’t how people have grown up working, so it drives them crazy.

She also got it to do a lot of photo processing. But, she’s been using Photoshop Elements for quite some time, and PE still is not up to date for Macs, so it was a step backwards for her. Aperture is mostly just Apple’s version of Lightroom, so that doesn’t help her any, either. She was expecting photo processing nirvana, and it has fallen short.

This is all magnified by Leopard’s wireless problems. It continues to be the only machine in the house that can’t hold onto its wireless connection, and all we can do is wait for the update.

Knowing what we know now, I would have stuck with a Dell or something. She’s so unhappy with the OS and applications, the hardware isn’t so unique or sexy it can overcome that.

You know you can install Windows on the Mac and run it natively just as if it were a standard PC, right? My MacBook runs Windows far more often than MacOS.

Also, Leopard installs natively on PCs without a hack.

I’m sorry, what?