That much I will acknowledge, but this is the best Mac that money can buy– from a value perspective. Maybe the title should be “The Best Mac Less Money Can Buy.” If you need tried and true computing power in a small, portable package, this is the one.
To Air Is Human
Without trying to cover every possible usage scenario, let me state categorically that the MacBook Air is the best computing value available on planet earth.
Ounce for ounce, click for click, this is the Mac to have if you could only have a single personal computer.
Even The Wall Street Journal agrees with me (mostly) and calls the MacBook Air the best laptop to buy now.
Why? From my perspective it’s the true value machine. Most computers sold these days are portable; notebooks, smartphones, tablets.
The MacBook Air, and for the sake of argument, let’s go with the entry-level version at $899; merely $100 more than the high end iPad, is a powerful package that shames all comers from yesteryear or today.
For example, a MacBook Air can run Windows at native speeds using Boot Camp (or, various flavors of Linux), so already it can run more applications than any Windows PC.
The screen is sharp and crisp, base storage sufficient for most computer users, and it’s SSD-based starting at 128GB, so it’s fast. Apple doesn’t scrimp on Intel CPUs, either, loading up the base model with a Core i5 (and 4GB of RAM). The battery can run a shockingly long nine hours.
That’s the hardware side of the equation.
Free Software Bonanza
The included software is nothing short of a miraculous turn away from the past and toward the future. OS X is free. Applications are free. From iTunes to iPhoto, from Garageband to iMovie, topped off with Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, the MacBook Air is as powerful– basic application wise– as Macs that cost three times as much.
Add a decent USB microphone and an inexpensive video camera and the Mac easily becomes a powerhouse mobile video and audio production system that’s actually superior to professional level equipment from just a few years ago. Think about that. 1080p video editing on a Mac that weighs barely two pounds.
And that’s in a backpack comfy package that almost feels fragile, it’s so light. Add a keyboard to the high end 128GB iPad Air and the price and weight are about the same, but the MacBook Air is a far more powerful computing device.
Even for the base model MacBook Air Apple does not scrimp on what constitutes quality. Yes, the keyboard is worthy and usable, even over long periods. With OS X Yosemite, the Mac becomes an extension of your iPhone’s telephony and messaging capability.
Finally, let me compare the $899 MacBook Air package with the original Mac from back in 1984. I bought one in the spring, shortly after the Mac was launched. It had a nine-inch display, a single floppy disk drive, 128k of RAM, MacPaint and MacWrite.
For $2,499; nearly three times the price tag on the entry-level MacBook Air, which is many more times powerful and useful. Alright, let me compare in the other direction. A MacBook Air vs. an iPhone.
The top of the line iPhone costs almost as much as a MacBook Air, runs more applications than a Mac, but falls short on RAM, CPU, and SSD storage. Yet, small screen aside, is vastly more powerful than some notebooks and desktop PCs of a few years ago. It fits in your pocket and improves on the famous Mac OS X security.
What is there not to like about Apple’s product line these days?