When it came out a few years ago, I had my doubts. It seemed fragile, not worth the hefty price tag, and low on productivity power. I needed something that could be my office away from home and handled my email, Web browsing, and writing. So, I dismissed the Air as fluff and held on to my iBook.
But ever since I interviewed author Katie Cushman and she mentioned MacBook Air as her primary writing tool, I’ve spent time at Apple.com as well as speaking with others about the notebook.
After reading through the very persuasive site and taking a test drive, I’m now a believer. Here’s a summary of the features that convinced me to make MacBook Air my next computer purchase.
- Thin yet durable. Apple promises that it’s “durable enough to handle the rigors of everyday use.” MacBook Air is .68 inches high, weighs less than three pounds, and my first reaction while holding it was to shake my head: This will not make it through a month of my use. My friend’s explanation of its design, though, helped me to understand Apple’s claim. There are fewer and smaller parts to get in the way of high-powered work. I walked with it across the building, and it felt like I was carrying a file folder. It was then that I fell in love with Air.
- Speed. One of my concerns was whether the computer would be useful to someone like me. I use an old Mac iBook G4 (2005) for writing, and a Dell desktop PC for my photography, graphic art, and when I get frustrated with the Mac’s out-of-date processor. Would Air allow me to have both portability and power in one machine? Yes! Its processor is a generous 1.7 GHz. No more changing over to the big desktop for projects my iBook can’t handle.
- Flash storage. This technology was designed to help keep the notebook light-weight but still give it a fast and quiet start-up. “Instant-on gratification” is how Apple describes it. I love that about the iPad, so having this on a laptop is beyond wonderful.
- Full-sized keyboard. If you’re a fast typist (and for me that’s close to 100 words per minute), you will appreciate the keyboard’s touch. I was surprised by how comfortable the keys felt and how fast I still could type. And the cherry on top is that the keyboard is backlit. You’ll never be without light to write.
- Battery life. The battery is the largest component in the notebook’s inner works. Depending on the model you buy, the charge lasts for five to seven hours. Write on. And on and on.
- Attractive design. MacBook Air is lovely, like everything Apple makes these days. It’s a sleek design that cries out for you to pick it up and be creative.
And there’s more!
MacBook Air comes with at least 64G of storage, a large trackpad with multi-touch features (like the iPad), Apple’s incomparable screen resolution, a camera, and full stereo sound (it comes through the keyboard). There’s much more to this notebook. Go to the Apple site and get the full tour.
So, move over MacBook Pro. I’ve changed my mind. MacBook Air will become my office on the road — or in the backyard or at the coffee shop or wherever the writing life takes me. It’s the way to go for today’s computer-using, on-the-go writer.
[UPDATE, May 2014: It took a while, but I finally had room in the budget to buy one. It’s faster and less expensive, and I love it.]
Note: I’m not an affiliate for Apple. I just think MacBook Air is a great product and want to spread the news. Please see my Disclosure Policy for more information about payments for writing.
If you have a MacBook Air, how is it working for you in your writing life?