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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.

Brian
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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.

doug k
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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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