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Old 11-17-2012, 12:08 PM   #1
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Macbook Air -ideal boondocking computer

I bought this laptop based on reports of very low power consumption. I bought the 13" model with standard processor, hard drive, and memory-the base model. It has solid state hard drive and LED screen backlight. In operation the computer runs very cool.

Once the computer had completed initial OS updating and charged the internal battery, power consumption settled on 7 watts with screen up displaying desktop. When computer was pushed by heavy scrolling, loading new web pages, switching between windows, the consumption rose to 10-17 watts. Displaying a full screen high resolution flash video took about 18 watts. I have the screen brightness at a higher setting in manual configuration (I need bright screen).

Using the computer with a 12 volt DC to DC converter (Amazon purchase), my solar display settled into a half amp power consumption increase when laptop was on and displaying desktop.

The computer has no optical drive. The solid state hard drive boots very quickly and the computer works well. If anyone is looking for a nice laptop with very low power consumption characteristics, check this one out.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:34 PM   #2
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Thanks for the in-depth evaluation. We are currently using 10" notebooks for the small footprint, but are always considering the latest and greatest out there. As we run an on-line business from the road, we really appreciate hearing about the new computer hardware.

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Old 11-17-2012, 01:39 PM   #3
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I recently switched to the same Macbook Air 13inch and couldn't agree with you more. We use a Verizon Mifi 4g router and it works great for both of us to catch up on some email or download a movie to watch. I'm on my Airbook now at the carwash. Love it.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:42 PM   #4
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iPad is a frugal power-eater. My wife ditched her Air for an iPad... mostly for the games...
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:41 PM   #5
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Agree. I switched to this new 13" McBook Air and never use the iMac anymore. Goes on all our trips, along with the wife's iPad.

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Old 11-17-2012, 11:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Friday
iPad is a frugal power-eater. My wife ditched her Air for an iPad... mostly for the games...
Yep, we have been amazed at how long the battery on the iPad lasts.

We have a MacBook 13" I think at home---love it, too.



Maggie
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:29 AM   #7
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Jeeze.... With such a great review, I am forced to go get one!

I love the Ipda and take it everywhere, but also need a laptop for work. The PC is nice but a rather large foot print in a relatively small trailer.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:51 AM   #8
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Apple computers are wonderful! I use a 13" MacBook Pro and find it is perfect for my use. If you must have a pc then just purchase a copy of Windows and run it in Bootcamp mode for those times when you must live on the dark side....
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:23 AM   #9
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The PC is nice but a rather large foot print in a relatively small trailer.
You can get a Mac Mini, and use the television in the trailer as a monitor. It's 8"x8", and 1.5" tall. I have bluetooth mouse and keyboard, the keyboard is 11"x5". So, no wires going anywhere. If you don't want the mouse, they have a bluetooth trackpad for it, so you don't even need a surface for the mouse.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:22 PM   #10
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A company called Mac-Case (mac-case.com) makes a leather case called the flight jacket that will hold both the 13" MBA and the iPad. There is also an accessory "PlugBug" by twelvesouth (twelvesouth.com/products/plugbug/) that intercepts the plug on the MBA power adapter so that there is both the MBA power cord and a USB 2.1 Amp at 5 Volts socket to charge the iPad. Thus only half a wall outlet is in use for charging.

I use both of these items for all my Mac laptops (17" size flight jacket for the 15" MBPro Retina in which I have carried the 11" MBA, 15 MacBook Pro, and iPad and power bricks when on a road trip with my wife).

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Old 12-12-2012, 09:27 PM   #11
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On the Apple front, is anyone using an Apple TV in their Airstream? Just purchased one for at home and love the integration with the computer, iPad, etc. along with watching Netflix.
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:31 PM   #12
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Have had all three versions of the MacBook Air...but went to the 15" MacBook Pro with the retina display. NOW I hear that next year they'll be putting retina display's in the MacBook Air! Which means, I'll go back to the Air. The Pro is awesome, all solid state like the Air....but the display makes the Air look like a 60's tv. And, yes, I also have the iPad 4 and the iPhone 5. Not sure I'd put the TV in the trailer as there just isn't enough bandwidth in most parks to download movies in a reasonable period of time.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:22 PM   #13
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Not sure I'd put the TV in the trailer as there just isn't enough bandwidth in most parks to download movies in a reasonable period of time.
I try to plan ahead, and download several movies I am planning to watch during my camping time before I leave home. I have the adapter for my MBP to go to the HDMI input on the tv in out trailer.
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:14 AM   #14
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We have both - and note that the newer PC consumes as little power as does our Macbook Air ... but the PC doesn't have the nifty silver housing ...
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:46 AM   #15
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On the Apple front, is anyone using an Apple TV in their Airstream? Just purchased one for at home and love the integration with the computer, iPad, etc. along with watching Netflix.
I use a 720p Apple TV in my 2012 23' International CCD. I love it. A Blu-ray Disc player came with it but I've never even used it. In fact, I'd rather reclaim the storage area in the front locker for other stuff. Like others have mentioned, I try to plan ahead and have all of the content on my iPad or MacBook Air to deliver to the Apple TV.

At home I use a Mac mini with an EyeTV doohickey attached to it and a HD cable box from my cable provider. With this setup I can record HD TV shows to my computer, quickly convert them to iPad format, and sync them via iTunes to the iPad. My job requires regular overnight travel during the week and this is a great way for me to take TV content with me. It's like a DVR with the added portability that the iPad offers. There's even an iPad/iPhone app for the EyeTV that lets you set up recordings remotely if you forget and you're away from home.

Apple was ahead of the game on this stuff versus Microsoft. Now that Microsoft has their Surface tablet, it's likely a similar setup could be accomplished with the Surface, Windows 7 or 8 PC, Hauppauge (sp?) HD recording device, cable or satellite box, and finally, some kind of PC compatible box like the Apple TV that would stream Windows native file formats without the lengthy file conversion to support Apple TV from a PC.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:23 PM   #16
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Have had all three versions of the MacBook Air...but went to the 15" MacBook Pro with the retina display. NOW I hear that next year they'll be putting retina display's in the MacBook Air! Which means, I'll go back to the Air. The Pro is awesome, all solid state like the Air....but the display makes the Air look like a 60's tv. And, yes, I also have the iPad 4 and the iPhone 5. Not sure I'd put the TV in the trailer as there just isn't enough bandwidth in most parks to download movies in a reasonable period of time.
Good point with the bandwidth available at most campgrounds. Probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense other then using it as an Airplay monitor for an iPad or computer (looking at photos, etc).
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:36 PM   #17
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Have had all three versions of the MacBook Air...but went to the 15" MacBook Pro with the retina display. NOW I hear that next year they'll be putting retina display's in the MacBook Air! Which means, I'll go back to the Air. The Pro is awesome, all solid state like the Air....but the display makes the Air look like a 60's tv. And, yes, I also have the iPad 4 and the iPhone 5. Not sure I'd put the TV in the trailer as there just isn't enough bandwidth in most parks to download movies in a reasonable period of time.
If they do go w/ a retina in the MBA, the battery life will probably go down. I made the switch from being a lifelong PC only guy 3 yrs ago, haven't looked back. Because I'm a programer I required a little more power from my unit, so my wife and I went with 13' MBP retina's, the great thing is we can charge them pretty well off portable solar.
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Old 06-08-2014, 05:26 PM   #18
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Have a 2012 11" MBA for travel (modified with an OWC 480GB SSD) along with the 13" and 15" MBPro retina models. The MBA is more airline friendly in the cramped tourist seats, but the 13" will work in economy plus. Battery life is much shorter on the Pro models, but on United International flights there is a power outlet to keep the unit energized.

The Pro models do spoil one's eyes with the better displays.
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:43 PM   #19
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Apple all the way...

See door; see rear:

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MacBook Air. iPad too. Indispensable.
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Old 10-08-2014, 09:56 AM   #20
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I have a 2011 MacBook Air running 10.9.5. I use Handbrake to rip DVDs I rent and put the files on my MacBook air or our iPad. I use HDMI/Thunderbolt connector on the MacBook Air and VLC to run the movie on the TV's HDMI port. The iPad has the 30pin to HDMI adapter. Works great on both. After we watch the movie I delete the files. We typically only watch the movies once. My 2007 iMac 20" 2.4ghz runs great on 10.9. I just upgraded it's internal hard drive to a Seagate 2 gig 7200rpm Hybrid hard drive. I'm good for another 7 years.

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