208 of 217 people found the following review helpful
This review is for the 256gb SSD 13.3inch Macbook Air w/ 2gb of ram.
(Check the comments after reading the review if you're still on the fence, I'm going over some more uses and offering more tips and advice, and if I have problems I'll note them below, I'll try and add a video review in a week or two showcasing everything after some more use, stay tuned!)
Here's a short overview of the benefits of the 13.3 inch macbook air, and things you should know prior to pulling the trigger, final recommendation is at the bottom :)
When I heard about the air I had the follow questions / concerns. Hopefully I can ease your mind...
2gb of ram only (you can custom order 4gb but you can't install this any time later on).
I was paranoid this computer would be unusable. I feel like I need 8 gigs of ram and a quad core machine just to run firefox (it gets so slow), not to mention the other tasks I enjoy doing. 2 GB is going to be far too much of a bottle neck... or so I thought!
2gb is ample ram. If you run out of ram, OSX writes to the hard disk (virutal ram, the stuff you've been told your entire life is bad and to avoid it at all costs... but with SSD, this becomes a non issue).
13.3 inch screen... Is it going to be enough to use as my main computer? Will it be too heavy to travel?
The 13.3 inch is perfect. I had a 13 inch macbook pro, I loved it, but I got rid of it because I needed a bit more screen real estate and the machine seemed a bit too slow (likely the hd was the major bottleneck).
The 13.3 inch macbook air has the resolution of a 15 inch, in the form factor of a 13 inch. It's truly the perfect combination.
Gloss (on the air) is a non issue, unlike the macbook pro 13 inch on up (where it is a issue). I thought the gloss on here would annoy me... not a bit! It's different.
The next concern I had was the processor. Honestly, I thought 1.86 core 2 duo was going to be a bit sluggish. Especially with 2gigs of ram... However, (I'm pleased to report), there's been no such problem on my end (a friend of mine bought the 11inch and the speed difference is noticeable, but compared to a 15inch macbook pro (running i5) it feels about the same, only more speedy on launching.
That's to say, with this base configuration (1.86ghz core 2 duo) you can do everything you need (including playing games like Crysis, Call of Duty, Battlefield, Starcraft) all on this little machine.
I've edited HD video on the unit (no problems), (though exporting is obviously much slower than on my imac, as to be expected, but editing and working on the footage was pretty much the same, it's only in exporting where you realize the machine is slower).
All in all the processor is fine.
So let me recap.
I was afraid the processor might be a bit too slow to use as my only every day machine (turns out it's not, granted if you edit HD video daily as your job, you might be better off with a i7... in fact you would... but if you edit video a few times a week, not a big deal).
I was hoping I might be able to play a game every now and then and was afraid the 2gb of ram and 1.86 core 2 duo would be the death of me... not even a problem. I can play call of duty modern warfare 2 (I'll come back and let you know how Black Ops is when It comes out), and Dirt 2 with no problems (granted, I'm using low to medium settings). So the processor is not an issue.
I was afraid 2 gigs of ram was far to unacceptable (almost didn't buy this because of it), but again, that's not a problem. The SSD is more than zippy enough to handle any paging if required.
(I'm typing this on firefox with over 40+ tabs open, listening to music with itunes, downloading photos from my amazon s3 account, and uploading a video via FTP to a web host)
No slow down at all. I usually experience slow down on my imac with a quad core, where here I do not.
Everything is just instant.
I was worried about the screen. I'm one of those who likes taking his computer outside on the beach, at a conference, or to a local coffee shop to get work done. The macbook pro glare was unbearable. The 13 inch screen was limiting...
The Macbook Air? No such problems, glare is pretty much a nonissue, and the extra resolution is a god send (especially if you want to do any programming or editing (video or photo).
This is the perfect computer for me right now (and I do a lot of things).
I've edited video, worked on photo's, wrote, and opened obscene amounts of tabs, all with no slow downs (again, applying filters in photoshop on 12+ mp files will slow down some, obviously, and exporting your HD video will be slower, but the actual working is a non issue).
The main benefit of this machine to me (and the reason I bought it) was so that I could use this at my desk when needed, I could take with me on the road, and when traveling.
I need to be able to edit photos (screen shots, comps, whatever) and edit video (as well as export).
I need to be able to write (using this mac it is instant, just a click of a button, no more waiting on the spinning beachball of doom for word to load up... ON MY IMAC QUAD CORE!)
I want something with a decent battery life (I got over 10 hours of use, I have the brightness set low (around 50%) bluetooth off, wireless on, browsing the web (no flash), itunes running, and typing away (checking wikipedia and google constantly, all with no slow downs at all, this thing is better than my imac!)
(To be fair, I did watch some netflix videos and hulu on my laptop as well and the battery lasted around 4 hours).
And I need to be able to carry this machine around and do all my work. This machine is just perfect.
I love it, and I love it more with each day.
Right now I have a somewhat unique setup. I have a laptop stand for the laptop (sets it off beautifully) that I use with an external keyboard and mouse (logitech wave combo, which I prefer due to ease of typing, when I need the track pad for gestures it's right there (along with my fellows gel pad).
I have a lap desk for my laptop, and the air works on it perfectly. So I can get work done on my laptop in perfect comfort while laying down, or lounging on a chair or couch at home (I don't take it with me).
I have a nice laptop sleeve that fits perfect (be.ez 13 inch macbook pro sleeve, fits the air like a glove), that I fit inside my vertical messenger bag (which houses this laptop + + a wacom tablet and my kindle will fit in there too).
So when I'm on the go I have the laptop secure and protected (I also bought a slip on pad that gives your wrists relief when typing on the laptop).
In the end, I feel this is the perfect computer. 128 SSD is enough for most people, if you install windows, you can live with 128, but 256 gives you room for your music library and editing videos.
I use an external Western Digital Passport 1tb with this laptop (requires no power cord) and I'm 100% perfect. I love this setup and I doubt I ever go back to the way things where.
No more desktop work (except to batch encode or use as a render farm), and no more bulky laptops (this thing is everything I want and need).
5 out of 5 stars.
If you do a lot of video work, or you render out animations a lot. You can use this machine to do your work, and your desktop to handle the heavy processing. Just store your files on a usb flash drive and xfer to your desktop to handle the render.
If you do 3d animation / modeling. Modeling will be fine, rendering may be a bit slow, when ready, save your file to usb drive, xfer to desktop and your done. (Or use your favorite batch rendering program).
I LOVE IT!
Here's links to all the accessories I use, and at the top under the product description you can view images of how it all looks together.
I'll come back and update this review through time, feel free to post any questions and I'll come back and respond.
Have fun, and buy one!
My Media Drive (House Movies, Photos, Music)
Western Digital My Passport Essential SE 1 TB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive WDBABM0010BSL-NESN (Silver)
(Note they have a newer version that supports USB 3.0, however the macbook air does not support 3.0 so I see no need in spending the extra cash, There is a black version that supports 3.0 and is the same price. I just already have a 500gig black one that I use so I went with silver).
My Case (Macbook air fits perfect)
Be.ez 100691 LA robe Allure Sleeve for Macbook 13.3 (Black)
My Lap Desk (use it on the couch, in the bed, lounging around, non slip and very steady)
Logitech Comfort Lapdesk
I really use it the most when researching, browsing the web and consuming media. When I'm creating content at home (other than writing) I'll sit at my desk and use this...
Logitech N110 (seems that it's not being sold right now by amazon so I can't use the insert a product link, just type it in and you'll find it, check my images at the top for more).
I use this keyboard at the desk:
Logitech Wireless Wave Combo Mk550 With Keyboard and Laser Mouse (920-002555)
I like this for the ergonomics, it feels good even while typing for extended periods.
I hope you enjoyed this review and feel free to leave a comment or question below :)
73 of 84 people found the following review helpful
I do have fairly recent Mac desktops, but my own personal Mac notebook had become aged. It was a Powerbook.
With the release of iPad last Spring, I had considered not going back to owning a new notebook, with a desktop and iPad at my disposal.
However, I decided I simply need a keyboard for some on the go work, and my machine was simply too old now.
This October 2010 MacBook Air redesign is the answer for me. Furthermore, my father chose the 11.6-inch model for extreme portability traveling. I do not travel for work, so preferred the higher performance offered by the 13.3-inch model.
I will first address the 11 Versus 13 inch as I have examined both side by side:
*11-inch is shocking to see. Not only thin, but a smaller footprint. Gorgeous computer. You can notice a slight performance hit compared to a recent MacBook Pro.
*13-inch Impressive from the side profile, footprint close to a 13-inch MacBook Pro. Performance feels at or near MacBook Pro level.
In brief, the 11-inch offers a portability never seen before in a Mac notebook. The 13-inch offers "good," portability, light weight, and you sacrifice much less performance. It seems obvious on paper that that describes the two models, and I must say, it is obvious in real world use too.
Physically, the footprint is not much different than a 13-inch MacBook or MacBook Pro that other members of my household own. However, it's the thinness and light weight of this design that brings out the "wow," for those who see it. If you want to use it on your lap in a large chair or sofa, it is simply comfortable.
The reason one would choose this updated 13-inch MacBook Air is simple. This particular model gives you the thinness and light "wow," factors that defined the MacBook Air since its introduction nearly four years ago. However, this model gives you something that was not offered at this price point previously. A nearly fully functional and performing notebook computer. The included 1.86 GHZ Core 2 Duo processor is not a slouch. 2GB of memory is not bad in efficient OS X, and the 256 GB of solid state memory is not only competitive storage capacity to similar notebooks, but yet it is INCREDIBLY fast. The slight hit in processor and memory compared to a MacBook Pro is at least partly made up for by the speed of solid state memory. Just check out the boot up time on this device. It boots up fast. Plus, when it sleeps, open it back up, for instant on. It's a new way of experiencing a computer.
This 13-inch model has a higher resolution display than the 13-inch MacBook Pro, so you will fit more of your windows, pictures, etc. on the display. Indeed, it matches the resolution of the stock 15-inch models. The display looks gorgeous too. It is a glossy display, but if you compare it to a Mac Book Pro, you will find it's a bit less reflective since it does not have the glass over the display. I like this!
What don't you get on this model and do I miss it? Obviously, once again, Superdrive is missing. I do not miss this. I have Superdrive on my desktop computer, and you can always buy the USB Superdrive for less than one hundred dollars, if you want that capability when at your desk. This Air loses the backlit keyboard, one suspects due to the even slimmer and lighter design. However, I type efficiently, so I only lose the cool factor of illuminated keys, not function.
Truly, with the add on of the USB superdrive for pinch situations, this particular model is a Mac that could actually be one's main computer. Decent processing speed, decent memory, and most of all plenty of solid state storage and the speed benefits of that storage. The graphics processor in this release is much improved over the previous generation too enabling watching of high definition videos. Two USB ports allow for connecting your iPod, external USB hard drive, USB Superdrive, printer, or whatever other USB device you might have. SD Card slot is included on this 13-inch Air model for the first time too.
Note - The brand new iLife '11 is loaded on this machine too. It's fun to try out the new features of iLife on a brand new computer! iPhoto 11 enhanced full screen mode is fun to use with this high resolution display!
Why four stars? I simply have hard time giving any computer a perfect rating. I think highly of it, but the Air did already exist. It's a big improvement on it. I also believe Air will see a lot of future development in the line as Apple has hinted it is the direction of all future MacBooks.
A graphic designer, developer, or engineer might need more horse power or a larger display. However, a 2.9 pound Mac that is fully capable of being a great second Mac, or primary Mac, for many users is an incredible achievement. Do not let the significance of this creation not take us back a bit. It is an impressive feat. Recommend unit.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2010
I bought the Mac Air 256 GB version from Apple for my wife-to-be who does very computer intensive work with image editing of the cellular level pictures she takes for her research. For those truly interested in this machine ignore the rabid frothing that the Mac hatters spout about the Core 2 Duo processor. Computer speed is not solely dependent upon increasing processor speed. The speed slowdown in today's computers is occurring because of memory and simply increasing processor speed does not make up for all of this. Fortunately, Apple has realized this in the design of the Mac Air. If you do a little digging for objective information you will find that Apple did not go with the i-series processors because of size and the inferior graphics that is integrated with the i-series processors. I have been waiting to get her a new computer and when the upgrade to the Mac air came out it was an easy decision. My wife-to-be has been a PC user her whole life and absolutely loves the Mac Air. This machine is truly a work of art designed for computer intensive work.
I also use a Dell Latitude laptop at work sometimes. It is new and slow as molasses, which is not a big deal because I only use it for presentations. I assumed it had an older processor in it, but I found out it has an i5 processor and was a little surprised because, in terms of speed, it feels like I'm using a laptop made five years ago. It doesn't even come close to the speed of my girlfriends Macbook Air. I also recently started using a Mac i3 desktop under Windows OS at work that "seems" just as fast as my Dell i7 desktop. And this is by no means a knock on Dell computers as I could care less what I use. I just think this speaks volumes to the factors that affect computer speed other than the processor. And I am not a huge Mac fan and find their OS annoying, so I work on Windows for my research. I haven't used a Mac since their prominence in the 80s, but I'm slowing being won back over by the quality product they make and that I can now use Windows under bootcamp. One final point, my girlfriend has found the battery life of her Macbook Air to be much better under Apples OS versus Windows.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
I'm a nature photographer, and I need a computer I can take into the field to download and evaluate the photos I shoot. It's simply not possible to critically evaluate a photograph in the viewing screen on the back of a camera. For years I have lugged a 15 inch MacBook Pro around in the computer pocket of my Lowepro CompuTrekker AW Camera Backpack (Black) backpack. But with accessories, that was another 9 pounds in an already camera-heavy pack.
The MacBook Air (MBA) has allowed me to lighten my pack by 7 pounds, without any compromising on functionality or power. With 4GB of RAM and a 256GB flashdrive, I can even do serious photo editing with Photoshop. Battery life is very good, 5.5 hours on average while running Aperture 3 to import photos from my camera, evaluate and rate them. The flashdrive is very, very fast, and the video card is quite responsive even drawing big photos.
For all of its almost unbelievably thin form factor, the MBA has a solid feel to it and has held up well on a couple of trips already. I'll give it a real test in Antarctic conditions next, but I expect it will work just fine there, too.
What sells this machine for me is the very light weight. 2.9 pounds and still a full-feature computer, capable of meeting all my needs. Sure, there's an undeniable appeal to the form factor, but the real sizzle is the extremely light weight. I suspect this is the future of laptop computing.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
I purchased the 13" MBA a few weeks ago. It's my first Mac.
There are lots of cool things about the new Macbook Airs. But what stands out most to me is the performance gain from an SSD instead of a spinning magnetic hard drive. It boots up from cold to ready in under 10 seconds. Seriously. It shuts down in about 4-5 seconds. Of course, you don't need to shut it down and boot it up from cold every time - just shut the lid and it goes to sleep in 1 second. Open it later and it wakes up just as you left it - in about 1 second. Really. Windows laptops have this same feature, but in my experience it doesn't wake up about 1/4 of the time, so I stopped using it. But it works perfectly on the Mac.
Reading from and writing to the SSD is very fast, whether you're installing programs or loading files. The difference is striking compared to my Dell XPS laptop, which has a 7200rpm hard drive and Core 2 duo processor with a higher rated speed.
Now that I have a laptop with an SSD as the main drive, I will never go back to one using a spinning hard drive - it's yesterday's technology and just doesn't perform well, compared to this. Of course, part of the performance gain could well be due to the Mac OS X. OS X seems more stable and refined than Windows 7 (and I like Windows 7, though I'd like anything after the disaster that was Windows Vista).
The Air's integrated NVIDIA 320 graphics handles all my needs very well, though I am not a graphics-intensive gamer or video editor, just an average user.
Battery life is really exceptional. At this moment, I've been running my MBA 5 or 6 hours since the last charge, and the battery meter still shows 44% remaining. Since I bought it, I have gotten at least the rated 7 hours of battery life every time. This, too, is due at least in part to the SSD. Regular hard drives use a lot of juice - they have motors that physically spin a magnetic platter 5400 or 7200 revolutions per minute. With SSD, there's no spinning disk and no motor, hence longer battery life.
The MBA runs cool most of the time. After I use it for a few hours at a time, the bottom gets SLIGHTLY warm. This is a huge improvement over EVERY OTHER LAPTOP I've ever owned or used, which get VERY WARM or even HOT.
I've only heard the fan come on ONCE - the first day, when I was installing MS Office using an external DVD/CD drive. Other than that, my MBA has been completely silent and cool.
Once I complete my transition from Windows to Mac, this MBA will be my main home computer. For average users like me, it's plenty powerful enough. At home, I have it plugged into an external monitor (which requires a $20 adapter), an external mouse, plus I have an external USB drive for backups and an Apple Super Drive (external DVD/CD). I slightly regret buying the Super Drive; Amazon sells Samsung drives that perform better and cost about $30 less.
The everyday experience of using the 13" MBA is like that of using a regular Macbook, Macbook Pro, or other "serious" laptop. What I mean is, when you're using it, it LOOKS and FEELS like using a "serious" laptop, not a laptop that makes compromises to achieve ultra portability. But when you take it with you somewhere, THAT'S when you notice how wafer-thin and feather-light it is.
And for something so remarkably thin, it feels very sturdy. Build quality is excellent.
I read a lot of other reviews by long-time MB users, many of whom are disappointed that the MBA doesn't have the backlit keyboard that Macbooks have. I've never had that feature on a laptop, so I don't miss it. But for people who do, you can get an LED lamp on an adjustable arm that plugs into the USB port - not a very elegant solution, but functional and inexpensive - Amazon has some good ones pretty cheap.
This is probably not a huge factor in your decision, but you might be interested in knowing the sound quality coming from the headphone jack is excellent. I did an A/B comparison between my MBA, my Dell XPS, and the Lenovo ThinkPad I use at work. I used high-end headphones to listen to a track encoded in iTunes at 320 bps on all 3 machines. The sound quality from the MBA's headphone jack was great, as good as my iPod touch, and way better than the Dell or Lenovo.
On the other hand, tiny speakers built into the MBA are no better than the average laptop speakers.
If you're thinking about buying this, I have a few suggestions.
First, go to a store and see one in person. Play around with it.
Second, make sure you know all the options available at time of order. The 11 and 13 inch MBAs can be ordered with upgrades (bigger SSD, faster processor, more RAM). But, once you buy a MBA, you may not be able to upgrade these components later. (Apple says you cannot. Some user forums say you can. I'd rather not take my chances.) So, you should probably opt for as many of the upgrades as you can afford at the time of initial purchase.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2011
I bought this (not from Amazon) a few days ago. 13 inch, with 4 gb of ram, 128 GB. i got the 4GB ram since I thought another $100 on a $1200 machine is well worth it, especially if I have a memory intensive program (office for Mac comes to mind). Since I've only had it a few days, I can't say anything about the 30 day standby time claim. But I will say I wouldn't be surprised. I don't bother shutting this off because I like the instant on feature here. It is just like turning on my iphone, no kidding. I only plan to use it mostly in different rooms of my house and take it on trips here and there. The light weight is awesome! It doesn't feel cheap with its all aluminum enclosure. I am not a heavy video editing guy. But it is powerful enough for me to play around with some video. I use it mostly for work and so I can take care of stuff without having to worry (so much) about viruses.
I bought it mostly for the instant on feature and of course its light weight. But I wouldn't have bothered if it was as weak as its predecessor. But since every review on earth said the 13 inch was powerful enough to use as a primary computer (some said almost), I thought it would be ideal for me. And I don't regret it one bit. I have an iMac also that I use for storage and if I need a DVD player (the MBA can remotely use the DVD drive on the iMac). If this is your primary computer and you are a power user, you are probably better off with a MBP. But if you are not a power user and you want it for light to medium duty (business work like powerpoint, some video editing) or if you have another computer, this is perfect.
I've been a Windows user all my life until I got my first iMac in 08. Once you go Mac, you never go back. I boot that computer in Windows if I have a Windows specific program. But let me talk more about the instant on feature. My iMac boots up in less than a minute, and that's with 2 years worth of junk and programs on it. My Windows laptop - I make coffee and come back. I was going to try to just use my windows laptop, but then I realize that 5 minute+ boot time was a productivity killer. Sometimes you just need to boot up to surf the net quickly and that didn't let you. If you put it into "standby" mode, the battery would die. So I always just went to my iMac, even if I was in the opposite side of my house. I even got impatient with the iMac's boot times so I just put that one into sleep mode. So instant on there, in a sense (still takes 5 seconds).
The MBA, on the other hand, really instant on. By the time I get the cover opened and into position, it's already good to go. When I cold boot, it's ready to go in less than 15 secs. That's just ridiculous! But it makes this computer well worth its price. I find myself constantly going to it over the last few days just to check the weather, check my email quickly, go quickly work on something. At first, I thought it was the novelty. Then I realized that it was always in my kitchen, ready to go, without a plug chaining it to a desk in another room. That makes it and me a lot more productive. I needed a change in scenery while working today so I just hooked up on wifi in the kitchen to get some work done.
Last thing: a note on the hardware and the windows/mac fight I always hear about. I've always seen Windows users talk about the Apple Tax when I was a Windows user. It deterred me bunch from even trying Apple. The argument was always why you were paying so much more for the same hardware? Then I tried the iMac and I noticed it was the software stupid. Mac OSX is so much better than windows. In addition to the boot up times, it is just more intuitive. I have Windows 7, and that still blows. There are quirks to OSX, but it is in my opinion far superior. Who knew that getting your password before a program can install itself would be such an effective idea? Now to the hardware part. What is clear to me is that the integration Apple controls makes their products far superior. But what is also apparent is that their hardware is itself far superior. The specs, while not always better, seemlessly integrate with the software to make a faster feeling machine (my almost 3 year old Mac works fine for everything). But trying this MBA made me realize the quality of the products they put in. My Windows laptop has the usual specs for its time (Gigabit ethernet ports, USB 2.0, Wireless n, etc.) But its hardware is not quality, something I didn't really realize until my MBA. For instance, my Windows laptop's wireless could not pick up the signal from my wireless router when I was on the other side of the room. And even when I was only in the next room. I had to set up a second wireless router I had so I could use my laptop when I was in the opposite side of my house. I thought this was normal...until I got my MBA (I never had a reason to turn on wireless on my iMac since it's hardwired). I tried the wireless in the opposite side of my house (about 80 feet away), which has several walls separating, just for kicks. And I noticed the wifi was at full strength. I thought there was something wrong with the meter. But I tested the speed, and it was at max. Plus, I could see other wireless networks with considerably less signal. So really, it is NOT true that Mac hardware is the same as Windows hardware. I would assume the top of the line like a Toshiba Portege ultraportable would have similar quality hardware. But then again, that means you're spending as much as an Apple product, and the "Apple tax" seems more like an "Apple discount." So those "Laptop hunters" commercials we all saw, not exactly a fair comparison from a true comparative perspective in my opinion.
Hope this helps.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2011
This review is for the MacBook Air 13.3, 4GB: 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM, 2.13 GHz.
I purchased this tricked out on line at the Apple Store, but they don't have reviews, so as a long-time, high-volume amazon.com consumer--I've decided to review it here.
The reviews to-date are spot on. I don't have much to add. I remain bothered by the Apple sub-culture;--so many mindless sheep who take gadgets way too far. But this thing is only going to perpetuate the fad. I turn heads everywhere I go with this thing. It never gets hot. Here's the subjective skinny:
The machine is fast. The visual and kinetic experience is spectacular. The fan comes on--very quiet--after intensive video editing or gaming (and handles both just fine). I regret buying the external disk drive, since I have an iMac, and just pop disks in there.
The machine is sturdy; it feels strong. I did way too much research before pulling the trigger on this purchase. It's pricey for a laptop, but then this is like no laptop you've used before.
P.S. I have had the MBA for just over three months now and use it everyday. Its utility and beauty continue to reinforce my confidence that this was the best purchase for me. One very minor suggestion: I purchased the Incipio, black leather sleeve, which complements it's slender design and offers all the protection from bumps and drops suffered to date.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2010
I hesitated to get the Air since its introduction because of the CPU power and small drive configurations.
Now I think Apple finally has a serious entry into the market. I considered getting the 11 inch because I walk a few miles to work and appreciate every pound I don't have to carry. But the 64 / 128 GB configurations on the little Air just wouldn't do it for me. Also the screen on the big Air is far superior.
My biggest point of praise is the lack of moving parts. I use the laptop on a daily train commute and was in the habit of turning off (rather than sleep) my MPB's in the past so that they would not come awake in my bag, which could trash the hard drive. It's an unusual problem, but I have seen it happen.
This Air, with the SSD and instant on/off lets me save time and just open it when I want to use it. Then I just close the clamshell with impunity when I'm done. I never turn it off and I don't worry about drive head parking or motion sensors anymore.
Beyond that the form factor is stunning and I love carrying 3 pounds rather than 5 (for my 13 inch MPB).
I do miss the backlit keyboard. But since I touch type it's not a big concern for me. Some users are really annoyed by this. I also miss a security cable attachment. There is software which detects motion, photographs a thief, emails the event, and all the rest. But I'd rather have a cable.
Anyway I love the machine and all together am even happier with it than I have been with my 13 inch MPB. Another thing I note compared to my MBP 13 is battery life. I bought the 2009 MBP 13 and got 5-6 hours per charge. Then I bought the 2010 model which touted 10 hours. I could get 8-9 and even 10 if I wasn't doing much. This new Air does not advertise a >10 hour life but I often get 10, 11 or 12 hours out of it. So the battery life is phenomenal.
Finally I was worried about the speed with the lower speed processor. After reading reviews I convinced myself that the speed is adequate, and it is. The machine "feels" about as fast as my MPB. So I highly recommend this. I suspect this form factor will take over.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2010
I just purchased the 13" MacBook Air and I couldn't be more happy. You immediately sense the quality construction of this device. Despite it's light weight, it feels sturdy and refined. It's quick to start (almost as quick as the iPad) and the battery life is really amazing. The mag lock charging cable is brilliant. We have a few dogs and they have a tendency to get tangled and trip over cords, so the breakaway safety element is welcome.
Since making the switch to an iPhone in late 2009, I have been so thrilled with the Apple/Mac experience I've essentially rid myself of anything pc, and I have no regrets. This MacBook Air replaces the last pc item I have - a Gateway 2010 Tablet. For it's time, the Gateway was great, but I experienced so many issues with Windows it seemed to always get in the way of what I was trying to do.
Bringing it home from the Apple Store, I set it up with the migration assistant on the iMac, and let it do it's thing. (I probably should have used a cable for this - instead I used wi-fi). It took a few hours to copy all my files/settings (I had a lot to transfer), but when it was finished I basically had a duplicate of my desktop. Everything in it's place, same as the iMac.
I could care less about the debate between PC and Apple fans. All I know is the Mac experience has freed me to do what I want to do. And for those who think Apple products are too expensive, do your research and look at the total cost of ownership. You might be surprised...
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2010
I have not gotten a Apple for years and when I needed a netbook type of device, I decided to try the new 2nd generation macbook air. I have to say I am impressed with this product more than anything i have bought from Apple. The only issue I have with this computer is the space between the keys on the keyboard. Since all my PC and my other notebook has the keys much closer together, this keyboard is causing a lot of issues for me when I type. So I guess that is going to take some time to get used to.
Now here are the good parts:
7 hours of battery life
Super silent that you can hardly hear if the device is running
Bright screen and great screen resolution
Super fast load time where it loads in less than 10 sec and coming out of sleep it loads in about 2 sec
Super light weight
Multifunctional mouse pad
SSD hard drive makes this perfect - though the lower models don't have too much space...
To be honest, I have been using this for about 1 week now and I can't find a weakness for this laptop. I can also see this easily replacing the Macbook Pro even in Apple's more powerful laptops. This is the best product for anyone wanting to have a laptop that they can take anywhere and does not weight much and will last long in terms of battery life.
I am not a big fan of Mac OS but with this airbook, even that is something I am learning to love. Good work Apple, you have produced a product that is superior to any similar products out there in the market. I highly recommend this product as your netbook or travel laptop.