A few weeks ago, I got a new MacBook Air. I got the 13″ model with the base 1.3GHz processor, 128GB internal solid-state drive, and an upgrade to 8GB of RAM. I went with this configuration because I only used about 75GB of hard drive space on my previous computer (mostly documents, very few graphics-heavy files), and the additional RAM provides a noticeable improvement in performance when running multiple applications. (I often switch quickly between Mail, Safari, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Evernote, Dropbox, and Calendar.)
My impressions so far? First, the positives:
- It’s light. My new MBA weighs in at less than 3 lbs., which is 1.7 lbs. lighter than my MacBook Pro.
- It’s thin. At its thickest point, the Air is .68 inches thick. At the thinnest, it’s .11 inches. A tenth of an inch! I feel like I am carrying around little more than a standard file folder.
- It runs forever. I routinely get more than 12 hours of battery life — up to 14 hours — without a charge. That’s even more battery life than an iPad.
- It’s fast. Thanks to the solid-state memory, my computer cold boots in less than 15 seconds. And while my mid-2010 MacBook Pro was still a pretty fast horse, the Air provides a slight but noticeable bump in performance.
- It’s sexy. Thanks to #1 and #2, the now-standard aluminum case, and the backlit black keyboard, the MacBook Air is one great-looking machine.
- It was easy to switch. I backed up my MacBook Pro using my standard Time Machine system, then started up the new Air from the backup. Total transfer time for all data was about 45 minutes.
- It’s a Mac. Yes, I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid. We are an all-Mac family, with about a dozen Apple computers and devices in our family at last count. They’re familiar, they’re user-friendly, and they work.
The first three features are why I wanted the Air (although #7 was also non-negotiable). I can’t wait to take it with me on my next work trip in a few days.
Now, a few (and very few) drawbacks:
- I think the display on my Pro was better. The resolution is the same, but the built-in color profile on my Air made the display look very washed out. It took me awhile to find and download a good replacement color profile, but I still don’t like the results as much as what I had on the Pro.
- Obviously something gets sacrificed for the light weight, so the Air does not have a CD/DVD drive. That’s generally not a limitation for my everyday use, but if I want to show a DVD during one of my classes, I need to pack an external SuperDrive.
Overall, I love my new computer and look forward to many years of use.