My school loves me. They replaced my aging white plastic MacBook with a sleek, shiny, light and screaming fast MacBook Air? Why?
Hopefully, because I’m a dedicated dependable school employee. Maybe because they noticed that lugging around a hefty MacBook was causing premature aging, an arched back, and muscle strain. The MacBook Air? It’s a 21st century love hate relationship.
Love The One You’re With
The song says, “If you can’t be with the one you love, then love the one you’re with.” I’d been married 10 years before I figured out the song was about cheating.
If your company gives you an old MacBook that weighs you down, it’s not cheating to lust after a newer, faster, sleeker model.
The divorce is final. My old MacBook is being used elsewhere by another totally deserving owner, while I honeymoon with Apple’s diminutive screamer, the 11-inch MacBook Air.
Small is beautiful. So is fast. And so is light. Here’s my ultimate list of love and hate features for my latest Mac love.
What I Like About You
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the MacBook Air models carry a certain panache not found in the older, bigger brothers, the MacBook and MacBook Pro models.
The Incredible Lightness of Being Small – Hello? This thing feels like strong, solid, nothingness. Drop into an Apple Store and lift up a MacBook, then lift up the MacBook Air.
Air is the right word. The beveled front end begs to be lifted by fingertips and only the wussiest Mac user can’t handle the finger grip and lift. It’s aching to be mobile.
My iPad Competitor – If you truly need a keyboard and true Mac apps, the iPad has met its match.
MacBook Air is very fast. Fast to turn on. Fast to open apps. The only negative comparison is the iPad’s screen, which does that whole portrait and landscape thing with ease.
At home I use my iPad less, which my husband appreciates.
Keyboard Lust – Apple has keyboards nailed. Name a better notebook keyboard. What you get in the MacBook Pro line is about what you get in the MacBook Air.
It needs to be backlit, but that would drop the battery life and that’s where my first niggly negative arrives.
Battery Life A Go Go – Maybe my expectations were set by reading all the hype about the 13-inch MacBook Air’s battery life. The 11-inch model is less (less battery—duh!).
The MacBook Air is not an iPad when it comes to battery life.
Where’d The Heat Go? – My old MacBook could help keep some body parts warm on those ultra cold Chicago days (and nights). Sorry. The MacBook Air won’t warm your air.
If I fire up Netflix and plunk the MacBook Air on my lap, I can tell the temperature has changed, but it’s not to the level of giving me a non-sun sunburn in the shape of a Mac.
Small Is Not So Beautifully Small – The 11-inc MacBook Air’s screen is bright, crisp, colorful, super high resolution, and almost (but not quite) competitive with the iPhone’s Retina display.
But I wouldn’t use an iPhone for computer work, and the 11-inch screen is a little small to be using it all day. I wouldn’t trade it back for the larger MacBook screen, though.
Goodbye Power, Hello Fast – If you’re used to the screaming quad core iMac and MacBook Pro models, you’ll be disappointed in the MacBook Air. It’s fast. It’s not powerful.
Mine has 4 gigabytes of RAM and runs every app quite well, but gets sluggish on iMovie and a few other horsepower intensive apps. Otherwise, power is overrated.
Verizon or AT&T 3G, Where Art Thou? – Our home iPad has 3G which means it gets used when we travel; even on short trips. I know, I know. Apple will give Macs 3G when it becomes 4G. But it would be nice now.
What’s A DVD? – One of the early lessons of iPhone and iPad usage is that external media is overrated, a relic from the 20th century.
The MacBook Air comes with nothing but wireless, and, well, that’s about all you need. I don’t recall ever worrying about not having a CD/DVD player.
The Price Tag Frontier – Apple didn’t break much ground with the MacBook Air price. Add anything to it and you’re back over the $1,000 threshold, where Apple (and profits) reign supreme in the computer world.
However, add plenty of memory and the 3G option to an iPad, and you’re flirting with $1,000, so there’s not much to not like about the Air. Except battery life. And the tiny screen. But that’s a nit for those of us on the keyboard all day. The Air’s size and speed make it attractive, but it’s not a MacBook Pro with a 27-inch external display.
Apple seems to know how to balance all the pieces that make up a device, and the MacBook Air, despite a few shortcomings, is just another in the evolutionary line of Macs we love.