Friday, January 28, 2011

Review: 11" MacBook Air

I wrote the below post for TechDork, but figured what the hell. May as well post here too, for those of you who travel and might be interested.

I have to say that of the literally dozens of computers I have owned throughout the years, by far, the MacBook Air 11" is the best. I know I am a bit of a fanboy, but my proclivity towards Mac products aside, I just love this thing.

Why? Four simple reasons:

1. It is beyond light. I travel a ton and can't articulate how easy it is to carry. It's so light, I often times take it with me on weekends to places I wouldn't ordinarily carry a laptop.
2. I love how it doesn't require boot time. This is huge. You open it and it starts, in the spirit of an iPad. And even when in hibernation mode, it has a long lasting battery life. This is really critical for me when I'm stuck in places like airports. I turn it on and can get immediately to work.
3. Few compromises. It's light, and the SSD is a bit on the small size, but beyond that it's more than fast enough for me to do everything I require on a day-to-day basis. It is NOT a netbook. Not even close. I also notice no lag whatsoever in terms of processing speed (which was a big issue for me with the original Air). Another critical enhancement was the addition of a second USB hub.
4. I guess this point is a corollary to the one above, but despite its small size, it has a full fledged keyboard. Again, though it is small, it doesn't feel that way, except for the screen.


Really, only one that I have been able to thus far discover. As noted above, the screen is a bit small. After a full day's use, I definitely feel some eye fatigue. But this is somewhat manageable by increasing the font size.


One important caveat: I don't think the 11" would at all serve as a primary computer. It doesn't have the heft for most iTunes library (I keep zero music on it), to do video editing, etc. I wouldn't even consider it for a primary - I have a 13" MacBook Pro at home that serves this purpose. It's really constructed to be an agile, easy to carry, absolutely killer secondary travel computer, and it serves this purpose very, very well at a relatively reasonable price point.

If you are a serious business traveller, it gets an unequivocal two thumbs up.

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