Back in my freshman year of college my laptop broke on a US Airways flight (actually, it was crushed in the overhead bin, but that’s a different story) and I had a project due the same week. As a result I headed to Circuit City the following morning and bought the cheapest laptop they had, since I needed something to work with. While the Toshiba I bought was no “dream machine,” it served me remarkably well. It was something like $400 at the time, and I never really had any problems with it. Earlier in the year the battery totally died though, so it was more of a portable desktop than a laptop, since I could only use it while plugged in.
I’ve always heard people raving about Macs. While I never really considered them, a friend forced me to go to the Apple Store, where I played around with a Macbook Pro and a Macbook Air. I was going to go with the Macbook Pro, but the new version was about to be released, and I really needed a new computer. So after a bit of thinking I decided on the 13” Macbook Air. I bought it through macmall.com and paid something like $1,800 for the totally pimped out version. The icing on the cake was the three bonus mile per dollar I would be earning through the AAdvantage eShopping Mall.
Now that I’ve had the computer for about two months, I’ve gotta say it has changed my life. No, it’s not any of the “cool” Mac features I like, but rather the battery life and portability.
I’m not playing World of Warcraft or anything like that, but for internet, word processing, and photos, this computer is perfect.
I literally went from a six or seven pound brick to a computer that’s 2/3 of an inch thick and weighs 2.9 pounds.
The battery life is amazing. Surfing the web intensively (with several windows open) it has lasted me about four or five hours on a full battery, while it has lasted me about seven hours if I’m just doing word processing. I can’t even begin to say how much more productive I’ve been on mileage runs now that I can spend my trips working as opposed to watching the same episode of “30 Rock” over and over and over on the overhead monitor. So if you’re wondering about the increase in posts on the blog lately, it’s partly the Macbook Air to thank (or blame).
Another awesome feature is iPhoto and the photo editing software it comes with. Y’all know how many photos I post in my trip reports, and sad as it is, I resized each picture individually using shrinkpictures.com. Yes, I understand that makes me a total moron since there’s software out there that can do that, but for whatever reason I never got around to it. The photo editing software that comes with the computer allows me to resize all my pictures at once, which saves me probably five hours per trip report.
The speed with which the computer starts up is also mind boggling. It literally takes a few seconds. My previous Toshiba probably took about three or four minutes towards the end of its life, and because the battery was totally dead I probably had to boot it up 10-15 times a day.
As far as the differences between a PC and a Mac go, I couldn’t really care less. It’s a new system to learn, but once you get it it’s no different than a PC. But I don’t necessarily find it to be easier.
But it’s the battery life combined with compact size and light weight, without compromising quality, that make this a great computer. I can honestly say it has made me so much more productive, and has probably already paid for itself in added productivity.