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14 November 2010


I just saw this posted at a local PC buy and sell forum which is quite reputable here in the Philippines. At last the new MacBook Airs are beginning to get mainstream; meaning we now get to have other price options than the standard Php 51,9990 tag price endorsed by Apple premium sellers. And who won't be happy to see that the base config 11" MacBook Air can be had at Php 45,700 which though exorbitant compared to PC ultraportable contemporaries, is still more consumer-friendly than the aforementioned Apple suggested retail price.

But then, look at 13" MacBook Pro's price tag: Php 56,000 instead of the normal Php 61,990. It has 4GB RAM and well, it's a MacBook Pro.

And since the MacBook Air has its RAM soldered onto its logic board, I couldn't very well get the base unit at Php 45,700 and then just upgrade to 4GB afterward. No, I'll have to get that additional RAM at Apple premium prices instead of sourcing an Apple compatible part at a far less taxing price. Now that Php 45,700 can easily jack up to Php 50,000 +.

And that would only be a couple or so thousand pesos shy from Php 56,000 which is already the equivalent of a decent 13" MacBook Pro.

Not that I do already have the money and I'm still in the coveting stage - I haven't decided whether I'll spend my 13th month pay on such a luxury - but this has gotten me thinking. Really thinking.

Aside from its stunning looks and extreme portability, I don't feel completely confident that the 11" MacBook Air is a better investment than the 13" MacBook Pro. I feel like the 11" MBA is way too much of a luxury item and it fulfills my "wants" instead of "needs". I do need a better laptop for some light video editing. And then I fear that once that flash-based storage it has in lieu of a spinning disk hard drive, I'd be forced to shell out more money to have the unit serviced by Apple (this is at a time where the machine's Apple Care wil have expired) because maybe replacement SSD for it will not have been mainstream as yet.

And then there's that worry about the soldered RAM, it's more or less the case - soldering and unsoldering (or should it be "desoldering") is not easy feat. And then perhaps, should the RAM conk out, the whole logic board might need replacing. Or maybe I'm worrying too much? My current HP Mini 311 has 1 GB of its RAM soldered on to the mobo.

But then I could always just revert to using the RAM installed on to its DIMM slot, I fancy. I could just remove the stick when it goes bad, and then get a new one and voilĂ , problem solved.

I wish it were as simple as editing the smbios.plist like with the HP Mini 311 and have it camouflage as a MacBook6,1, MacBookPro5,1, MacBookAir2,1 - I haven't tried MacBookAir3,1 for fear of DSDT incompatibility and risk not being able to boot it up - I'm rather busy now to have my main machine subjected to tests when I need to be able to use it now the most.

Oh well, at least I've got lots of time ahead of me to think hard and come up with a decision.

At any rate, I still have my hackintoshed HP Mini 311 which is a great 11" MacBook Air substitute in the meanwhile. Not in terms of more CPU intensive tasks of course - I'm at a point where those spinning beachballs, no matter how cute and colorful they are, already begin to annoy me. The new iLife '11 suite is revealing this Ion netbook's inadequacies much to my regret to admit so.

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