MacBook Air 2 Year Update…

23 12 2010

Supermodel Thin...

I bought one of the first generation Apple MacBook Air ultra-thin laptops. I was admittedly seduced by the sleek metal case and amazingly thin profile.   It’s hard to believe there is a full fledged computer inside that package. The cost given the performance of the internals is high, but as someone who uses a computer a ton I give a lot of points for ease of use and aesthetics.  After two years the initial crush has worn off so I thought I would post my impressions of this product.

  • so light and thin you’ll take it with you everywhere
  • beautiful case [very solid only one small dent so far after a lot of use and travel]
  • solid full size keyboard [back lit]
  • trackpad is excellent
  • gorgeous bright screen
  • not powerful enough for my only computer, but fine for long trips or in a pinch if my desktop is down
  • battery life is just acceptable…I’m looking for a plug in often
  • Mac OSX strangles the volume so some movies are hard to hear without speakers or earphones
  • I haven’t wanted a USB optical drive….I just slave another Mac’s the odd time I need it
  • a bit more finicky on sketchy wireless networks than my Dell XPS
  • OSX is pleasant to use and all my Apple products mesh intuitively [don’t need anti-virus software!]
  • bottom can get quite hot…if you block the vents the Air will overheat and CPU slow way down
  • it was expensive

Keep in mind Apple has come out with two newer generations of MacBook Air since mine so my comments may not fully apply to the newer beasts.  Sharon liked mine so much she bought a 2nd generation Air and my friend Deanna just got a 3rd generation Air.  Sharon uses it as her only computer and is fully satisfied with it.  Deanna is doing a graduate program and wanted something portable to take to school.   When I use Sharon’s I can tell it is noticeably faster than mine.  I imagine Deanna’s kicks some serious butt and I hear they’ve improved the battery life.

Because I use a computer for so much of my critical work tasks I wouldn’t be happy with an Air as my sole computer.  For that job I’ve got a 15″ MacBook Pro hooked up to a 32″ monitor.  But, for most everything else the Air is plenty powerful.  It’s also so easy to take along and use you’ll find you get a lot more opportunities to hit that power button than you would a bigger laptop.  Even though we have bigger screens at our disposal Sharon and I will often watch a movie on the Air.  The smaller screen is so bright and sharp it’s easy to forget that it’s kind of small.  Plus the Air happily sits on your lap without cutting off circulation to your legs.

Would I buy another?

Absolutely.  This is one of my favourite and most useful computers to use.  The cost is high so it definitely falls into the luxury item category, but as long as I can afford it I’ll be buying myself a new one when this one breaks or just gets too old.



2 responses

26 12 2010
Reed Kennedy

Try VLC for your video volume troubles. It allows you to amplify the audio before it is passed to the OS. Press Shift + UpArrow a bunch of times.

It’s made all the difference for me.

(Typed on a 11″ 3rd generation Air while traveling with my Bike Friday in Greece.)

28 12 2010

I use VLC when I can, but iTunes movies for example you have to watch in iTunes.

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