I’m writing this article on my new Macbook Air. I’ve had the computer for about two days now. The official specs are: 13″ Macbook Air 1.8 Ghz Core i5 processor with a 128 GB SSD and 8 GB of Ram.
My old computer was a 2007 2.2 Ghz Core 2 Duo Black Macbook. I truly loved that computer- even when I sold it it was still running incredibly fast. But there are some differences in my overall Mac experience. So here’s what I notice most about the upgrade.
1. Holy S**t! This thing is beautiful
I always thought my Black Macbook was a good looking computer. It was. But the Macbook Air is incredible. The build quality is the best I’ve ever seen and the design is luscious, you want to spend half your time using it and the other half admiring it.
2. It encourages portability
When I put this computer in my bag and go to work I have to check sometimes if it’s really there. It’s lightness and strength makes it very portable. You want to pick it up and move it. And the battery life for me so far has been superb- I’m easily getting 7+ hours out of it through above average use. Another plus I’ve found is that it recharges about twice as quickly as my old Macbook.
3. It stays cool under pressure
Literally. One of my big complaints with my old Macbook was that it got very hot. This, however, is very different. Even after running simultaneous HD video clips in Chrome and playing iTunes and Spotify while running Photo Booth for about an hour the Air was barely luke warm. I’m thoroughly impressed, and even more impressed that I haven’t been able to kick the fans on in any dramatic way. 95% of the time it stays silent in operation.
4. The screen is the best I’ve seen on an Apple laptop
I have not always been a huge fan of Mac screens. Other than the absurd retina display Macbook Pro, Mac screens have always had lower resolutions and been difficult to see in any lighted or sun-bathed room. The Air’s screen is dramatically different than something like the Macbook Pro in that it has a lot less glare and is much more adept when dealing with sunlight. While it isn’t matte it does make a difference.
The bumped resolution to 1440 x 900 over 1280 x 800 is a nice improvement I’ve noticed when lining up two PDF’s side by side or other pixel-intensive tasks. The screen like all Macs is absurdly bright and even when battery life is not an issue I keep it to 2/3 or less brightness.
5. The keyboard is not my favorite
I think the general Mac-style chiclet keyboard is great. I’m very used to it and it works well. But I have noticed especially after writing longer documents that the keyboard has less travel and is not as pleasant to type on as my old computer. My fingers hurt more since I have to apply more pressure. It isn’t dramatic, but I can feel a difference.
6. There are some practical problems with the design
I’ll get straight to the point. The edges of the laptop are too sharp. It’s annoying and sometimes slightly painful for your wrists/body. The power button being on the keyboard is worrying to me. Already I’ve hit it three times and with an accidental “Enter” or click my computer will be turning off without me wanting it to. It hasn’t happened yet but I know it will. In addition as with all aluminium Apple computers this has the likelihood to scratch, which will bother me immensely once it does happen.
Worst though is the upgradeability. Buy your Air with everything you want now and will want in the future- because once you’ve configured it that’s it. You can’t upgrade the SSD or even the ram because it’s game over. You’re stuck with what you got.
A few user sacrifices in design