MacBook Air: Your dream writing machine

If you’re thinking about buying a new laptop with your writing life in mind, then consider MacBook Air.

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 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.

Best Features

  1. 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.
  2. 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G4 (2005) for writing, and a Dell desktop PC for my photography, graphic art, and when I get frustrated with the Mac’s out-of-date processor.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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?


8 thoughts on “MacBook Air: Your dream writing machine

  1. I have used a pc for 40 years. but i am considering a mac due to repeated problems with a pc that is less than two years old.
    I write books and purchasing a macbook air 13.1 inches means no desk top. need to know what it’s like to spend 8 hours on the macbook air on a daily basis? Still not sure about the key board. welcome all comments!


    1. Hi, Linda — I still don’t own a MacBook Air (had to put another purchase before it), but my author friend pounds away on it for most of the day and she loves it. I use both a desktop PC and a Mac laptop, I’ve been typing for over 40 years, and when I tested the Air’s keyboard, I found it to be even more typist-friendly than the Mac I use now. You’ll definitely feel a difference between a PC keyboard and a Mac’s, but I think you’ll be pleased with Mac’s touch after you get used to it. Do an internet search and see what other full-time writers say about using it. I’m looking forward to the day when I bring one home. Thanks for stopping by!


  2. I have a Dell Inspiron running Windows 7 (64-bit) with 8GB of RAM, I used it all the time for my creative design works (Adobe CS6 Design Standard). It’s a nice machine for heavy work but not so pleasant when I just want to bring it along for a short trip away, a trip that I will write more than tickling with graphic vectors. Portability and a effective writing tool are my primary concerns.

    I’m accessing a MacBook Air 11″ right now, though the 13″ gives more room but I guess, it’s size will still intrude if I prefer to stuff it in a small sling messenger bag.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.



    1. Hi, Felix — I took the Air for another test drive last weekend at our Apple store and tried both screen sizes. I don’t think I could go down to an 11″ from the 14″ screen I’m using now with my old iBook G4. I can see, though, how you might want the smaller size if you travel a lot. It’s also good to hear that Adobe CS6 runs well on the Air. I’ll be using that software, too. Thanks for stopping by!


  3. This is good information to file away. I work on a PC, which I love, but it’s helpful to read recommendations from other writers about different devices–I trust your info over the sales guy at Best Buy!


    1. Have you ever been in an Apple store? It’s like a candy store, really. I didn’t think I’d ever buy an Apple product until I walked into a room full of them. I was hooked. (Hypnotized?) Seven years later I’m still pounding away on my iBook G4. They are good products.


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