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Impression : MacBook Air

Review : MacBook Air.

I have had my MacBook Air for 20 days. I'm using it everywhere with great pleasure and satisfaction. I was planning to use it as my main computer, but I'm not quiet there. The reason being: I have not yet bought an external monitor. Remember, I choose the MacBook Air with the 1.8GHz dual-core processor and the 80GB 1.8-inch 4200RPM hard drive. Read it in French


I did not buy a new monitor because I’d like to get an Apple Cinema Displays and I’m hesitating to downsize from a 24-inch to a 23-inch. I thought about getting a Dell screen which is cheaper. The look of it would oblige me to turn my desk facing the wall which is not what I want to do. I’ll take that decision soon. Apple must come out with new display in the future. For the moment I keep the iMac when I have to work on multiple files. I want to speak about how the MacBook Air because of his smaller size is changing the way I do things.


Chargers : Air - MacBook - Titanium

My first great impression is that finally I can go back using a computer the way I was using it on the past. The MacBook Air is a laptop and a laptop is meant to be use everywhere. Its size and weight allows me to do it in a better and easier way than before. I am able to take it with me during meeting and take notes “on the go”.


Speaking about the "Limitations"€ 

•No optical drive: I rarely really use it. I got the Apple MacBook Air SuperDrive and have used it once... No real need to buy it because there is the Remote Disc that can use another computer‘s optical drive. 

• No ethernet: Not true there is the USB Ethernet adapter. I use it when I need to transfer massive amounts of data. I notice that it may slow down the machine. I read that it is because the USB Ethernet adapter may be drive with a software instead of a dedicated chip. 

• Slower processor: It is the slowest mac that you can buy right now, but I find it not that slow. I can do everything that I do on my iMac without feeling any slow down. I usually run many applications at the same time and do not feel I am wasting time waiting for something. 

• Slower hard drive: The hard drive, the same size used in an iPod - 1.8-inch 4200RPM disk- is not rapid. I do not trust it because I a€™m concern that the OS is soliciting it too much. I hope Apple knows that and is aware that they would need to change it if it fails. I took the Apple Care to be sure that in the next three years I don’t have to worry. One advice : Backup! I bought a LaCie Little Disk 320GB HD design by Sam Hecht (Hi-Speed USB 2.0) for my backup and my music. 

• Having "only"€ 2GB of Ram does not affect much either. I keep the MacBook Air turn on for days without using the full 2GB. I'€™m a little more carefull to close application I don'€™t use. That'€™s all. For the moment it has not affected my work flow. •A single USB port: At my desk I use a hub for the moment but as soon as I get the external display I'€™ll be using its built-in USB ports. On the go, I don'€™t need more that one on a time.


New Features: • The multitouch trackpad is great. • Three fingers swipes to forward and backup on safari is very useful. • Rotating two fingers in iPhoto or Previews allowed you to rotate images. • The same zoom than on the iPhone. • The A2DP bluetooth allowed you to use a stereo bluetooth headsets to listen to your music wireless (the MacBook Air only have a mono speaker). 

No Real Problem so Fare. I read on different forum that some people have noticed that the keyboard on the Air comes in contact with the screen and shows imprints of the keys on it. I try to always put a sheet of paper on the keyboard before closing the screen. I began this practice with my PowerBook Titanium. The Air has great built quality. It is strong and solid. The internal battery last between 4 and 5 hours depend of what I do. The first charge of the Air from empty to full took 9 hours for the first 3 or 4 charges. Now, it shows 3,5 hours which is correct.


Showing the two Charge Time with an empty battery

Many users speak about the core shutdown. When the MacBook Air is getting to hot one of the two core will shutdown as a safety feature. It is always better to sacrifice performance to prevent the laptop to get too hot and be destroyed. So far mine has never gotten too hot. I have never notice a core shutdown. Maybe because I do not play movies and I don’t have a external monitor which can solicit more the core duo. The cooling system is adequate. 

Difficulties The ports (USB-Headphone-External Monitor) are all tucked away in a fold down compartment. The USB port is not easy to get to. I always need to lift the Air to see how to plug something in. If a thick USB Memory stick won’t fit into the USB port, I use the USB extension cable that was sold with the Apple Keyboard of my iMac. The iSight of the Air does no€™t seem to have the same quality as other MacBooks. Pictures seem a bit "€œfuzzy"€ and seem to lack detail at times. I don'€™t know the reason because apple says it is the same iSight than on the other laptop. The lens setup used in the Air must be different because of its thinness.

 Happy? YES. The Air is small enough to be brought everywhere and has enough power to meet my demand and work-load. I have the same feeling I had when I got my PowerBook Titanium. By the way, the black keyboard is perhaps an homage to the Titanium notebook.


My favorite thing about the Air, beside the sturdy construction is how light it is, which makes it so easy to use wherever I want. 

What do you think? Don'€™t you want one too?

Inspired by PaulStamatiou.com