A Week with the MacBook Air – What I like and don’t like

By Brian Patterson

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I purchased a MacBook air about a week ago and have been using it as my primary laptop from day 1.  After trying to do all sorts of crazy things with it, my verdict is…. The MacBook Air is great, I love it. I was showing it off to my visiting Dad last night, and rattled off a bunch of things I liked about it. In order, they are:

macbook-air-laptop

What I like about the MacBook Air

  1. Its so light. I used to use a Dell Vostro 1520 as my ‘work’ laptop, but I’ve now switched everything over to the MBA.  Instead of lugging a huge, heavy bag around, I now carry it in this sleek verticle bag/sleeve with a handy shoulder strap.  I went from hating my unnecessarily big bag, to loving this understated sleeve/bag.
  2. Its ridiculously fast. The MacBook Air startup speed is incredibly fast.  I’m so used to setting my old laptop down, pressing the power-on button, and walking away to do some time-killing task.  The first few times I started this laptop up, I did that same ritual, and was caught off guard each time as I noticed out of the corner of my eye that it was waiting for me seconds after pressing Power.
  3. It runs cool. I do a lot of work on the couch and in bed.  The Dell used to make me feel very uncomfortable (in that way) and has probably affected how many children I’ll be able to spawn.  This MBA, however, is always “cooler than the other side of the pillow”…. unless you are doing a lot of with Flash.
  4. I haven’t run into as many compatibility issues as I would have thought. One of my first steps was to install Parallels and setup  a Windows VM.  I didn’t really want to use it that much, but I needed to be able to have it as a backup, just in case.  My goal was really to get everything I needed working natively on OS X. I downloaded Wine and was able to get IE6, IE7, and IE8 installed, so I’m able to test browser compatibility in IE without a problem.  The only program I haven’t found a native Mac solution for is Visio.  I hate Visio, so I don’t hold it against OS X…
  5. A bunch of other things, like…. How it makes me feel cooler than everyone else, how convenient the charging cord is, the great built in software it has, etc…

But, with all of the positives, I still feel very handcuffed.  Not by the small amount of RAM (I didn’t upgrade, I just went with the 2GB) – I don’t have a problem with the RAM because I do 95% of my work in the browser, and most of my tasks are not resource intensive.  What I feel handcuffed by is the hard drive.  I have a 120GB Hard Drive, and I’m deathly afraid of running out of space.

The MacBook Air Has a Problem with Hard Drive Size

macbook-air-small-hard-driveI don’t like maintaining multiple computers.  I generally only work on 1 computer during any given period during my life.  I’m used to working with really big hard drives and never worrying about running out of space.  But, with this MacBook Air, I’m really afraid that I’m going to run out.   The reason is… iPhoto, iTunes, and iMovie are so good, I want to store all of my media on the laptop so that I can mess with it natively (when needed).  I’ve been exploring some options, including iDisk and Jungle Disk, and I hope to have a post up on my final solution soon.  In short, I think keeping your iTunes library on Jungle Disk could be a really effective and affordable way to free up a lot of space and yet always have access to it.

The MacBook Air is a Recommended Buy

Are you looking to get a new Laptop?  Does someone owe you a really big Christmas gift?  If so, I’d highly recommend you pickup a new MacBook air.  Its pretty snappy, light, portable, yada yada ya.  Just get it – you’ll be glad you did.

About Brian Patterson
Brian is a new Apple Cult convert, having just bought the MacBook Air in November of 2010. An IT consultant by trade, he focuses on Search Engine Optimization, Reputation Management, and other cool stuff on the interwebs. G+

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