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  #1  
Old 07-20-2011, 04:49 PM
Jeff Campbell
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Default The New MacBook Airs Have Arrived

<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.tipb.com/2011/07/20/apple-introduces-macbook-airs-stuff/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+TheIphoneBlog+(TiPb:+iPhone,+iPad,+iPod)' target='_blank'>http://www.tipb.com/2011/07/20/appl...ne,+iPad,+iPod)</a><br /><br /></div><p><em>"To coincide with the release of Mac OS X Lion, Apple has also released a new generation of MacBook Airs, Mac Minis, and LED displays (now dubbed Thunderbolt displays). The most interesting to us, of course, is the MacBook Air, particularly the 11-inch version which is a real - if more expensive - rival to the iPad."</em></p><p><img height="363" src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/at/auto/1311173207.usr105634.jpg" width="560" /></p><p>The big news of the day, new MacBook Airs. And with some nice additions, namely:</p><ul><li>Intel Cor i5 or i7</li><li>Thunderbolt I/O Port</li><li>Backlit Keyboard (thank you Apple).</li></ul><p>OS X Lion was also released today [<a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=VoxLcfp5Si4&amp;subid=&amp;offerid=146261.1&amp;type=10&amp;tmpid=3909&amp;RD_PARM1=http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/os-x-lion/id444303913?mt=12" target="_blank">affiliate link</a>] and will work very nicely with these new versions of the MacBook Air, especially with the new gesture controls via trackpad. But I'm still impressed by my 11-inch MacBook Air, so I don't think I will be upgrading just yet (hardware wise, I am going to upgrade to Lion). How about you, are you going to pony up and get one of the new versions?</p>
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:56 PM
Jason Dunn
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There's a lot to like about the new Air, but I'm disappointed to see that Apple isn't offering more than 4 GB of RAM. For anyone running virtual machines, 4 GB isn't going to cut it. Otherwise though, these are very impressive machines.
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:59 PM
Dyvim
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Agree with Jason about the RAM. Why not offer 8 GB as BTO option?
I could probably get by with the top-end 11" Air as a dev machine if it had 8 GB. 4 GB is not a lot for the max on a brand new machine with a brand new OS.

In other news, I was glad to see the return of the $599 mini. Those can be configured to 8 GB and even a quad core processor in the server model plus there are SSD options. Would love to upgrade my 2 y.o. mini.
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:02 PM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyvim View Post
In other news, I was glad to see the return of the $599 mini. Those can be configured to 8 GB and even a quad core processor in the server model plus there are SSD options. Would love to upgrade my 2 y.o. mini.
Yeah, it seems like Apple finally took the leash off the Mini and is allowing it to become a more serious computer. Anyone using it as an HTPC with DVDs though will be irked to see them remove the optical drive. It wasn't a shocking move though, Apple likes doing that sort of thing.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:52 PM
humayunl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Dunn View Post
For anyone running virtual machines, 4 GB isn't going to cut it. Otherwise though, these are very impressive machines.
That would be me. I was looking to get the new 13" with a 256GB SSD and install parallels on it to use Win7 on it alongside OSX. I know 8 GB would be ideal but is 4GB really a bad idea? My uses are simple just outlook and office mostly.

With the 4GB RAM limitation, should I just drop the idea of an MBA and look for either a MBP with 8GB or a windows laptop or will it still be usable with 4gb and 8GB is just a 'nice to have'?

I'm glad you brought this up because now I can ask and make a more informed decision. I need to run both OSs.
 
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:57 PM
Jason Dunn
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Originally Posted by humayunl View Post
That would be me. I was looking to get the new 13" with a 256GB SSD and install parallels on it to use Win7 on it alongside OSX. I know 8 GB would be ideal but is 4GB really a bad idea? My uses are simple just outlook and office mostly.
I've never run Parallels - does it dynamically use RAM, or do you have to allocate it to the VM 100% when it's running? When I use Microsoft's Virtual PC software and I allocate 2 GB of RAM to the VM, I shave 2 GB off the main system's use when the VM is running. I'm comfortable with that because I have 8 GB of RAM in the system. It might be workable with 4 GB, but only if I gave the VM 1 GB.

Ultimately, it will work, but the performance might not be great...unless Parallels does something smart with RAM allocation (and maybe it does).
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:09 PM
humayunl
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Originally Posted by Jason Dunn View Post
I've never run Parallels - does it dynamically use RAM, or do you have to allocate it to the VM 100% when it's running?

Ultimately, it will work, but the performance might not be great...unless Parallels does something smart with RAM allocation (and maybe it does).
I've never used it either so I don't know... maybe other readers who've done this can shed light on this. I think Parallels give you both options (dynamic allocation of RAM or static) but I am not sure.
 
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:31 PM
Dyvim
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There's also the Bootcamp option: just boot straight in to Windows instead of using a VM. With Parallels you can actually do both- run your Bootcamp partition as a VM from within OS X, or skip Parallels and boot directly into that partition.

I own Parallels but rarely use it- I just boot into Windows instead, so I can't answer your question about whether it can use dynamic RAM. I know that by default it wants to allocate a fixed amount (e.g. 1 or 2 GB) to the VM.

If it's just Outlook and Office you're after, you could just get those for Mac (it's an option anyway).
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:41 PM
humayunl
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There's also the Bootcamp option: just boot straight in to Windows instead of using a VM.

If it's just Outlook and Office you're after, you could just get those for Mac (it's an option anyway).
Yes I will prefer not having to use the dual OS approach if I can avoid it but with Zune (I am not giving up WP7) and maybe other sutff I haven't thought of yet, I think I will need to keep windows alive somewhere.

But I don't want to use bootcamp and boot exclusively into windows because then I know I will get lazy and never spend the time to boot into OSX and start to learn my way around it.

So the question is, will the 4GB do or is the performance going to be a noticeable restriction? or is the only way to reasonably do this is to do it mutually exclusively i.e. use bootcamp and boot into either os ?
 
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:49 PM
Dyvim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humayunl View Post
So the question is, will the 4GB do or is the performance going to be a noticeable restriction? or is the only way to reasonably do this is to do it mutually exclusively i.e. use bootcamp and boot into either os ?
For sure Parallels will work under 4 GB. That's what I have on my MacBook Pro and I know it worked even back when I had just a Core 2 Duo on my previous MBP (the new Air out-performs that handily).

But will it be fast enough for you? That's a more personal question, which I can't answer. One person's painfully slow is ok for another. It might be a good idea to wait a few weeks and see if you can find reports of folks running Parallels on the new MBA's and what they think about it.

Certainly Parallels would run faster on a comparably equipped 8 GB machine. But then you'd lose out on the light weight and small footprint (if you were considering the 11") of the Air.
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