MacBook Air Thoughts: World of Wireless

The word on the digital street on the MacBook Air seems have a lot of complaining sandwiched into it. It lacks features; namely ports and drives and all those ways of getting stuff on and off the computer. And’s sloooow, they say.

I think they’re whiners. I want one. All those bugs are actually features, because the thing weighs THREE pounds. I bet it runs Scrivener just fine.

Not now, though. I never buy first gen because I always seem to have a Mac that’s doing just fine for now, but dear Apple always seems to have something wonderful in third gen or so right about the time I have to consider upgrading.

Heck, I AM the MacBook air market! Last year, I passed on getting a new MacBook and got a used 12" Powerbook instead; because it was smaller and lighter. And I love it. For the first time, I experienced wireless.

I can sit anywhere in our little apartment and get on the Internet. (Though I don’t pay bills or shop on wireless, due to security concerns.) Once on the Internet, I research, do my blog, download the blog articles into Scrivener for use in my book, and then backup my work with an online account that saves them encrypted and offsite.

The Air, more than any other laptop, needs a bigger computer around to get big bunches of stuff on or off it; and it can link into a Mac or PC hard drive in the neighborhood to do it. USB… or wirelessly.

It’s the ultimate wireless machine at this point in time. That’s how it can be so small, and yet have a big screen and uncompromised keyboard.

So I think Apple is on the right track. Small and wireless is The Future. And, of course, I want one. Eventually.

It’s for writers.

I’d happily agree with you in every respect, except…that price tag.

A starting price of $2500 (AUD), and only going upwards from there, really puts it out of the price range of most writers. In fact, you’re onto something with your older purchase - most of my starving writing friends have been squirrelling pennies away to get laptops, so I’ve aimed them squarely at used G4 iBooks. Bang for buck and portability: can’t be beat. They go for about $500 (AUD), and you can still buy new batteries for them.

You can even install Leopard if you’re so inclined :slight_smile:

I’m rather tempted by the Air myself, because it has the option of replacing its hard drive with a solid state drive, which should allow better battery life as there are no mechanical parts inside. However, the SSD upgrade is $1500 US, so I think I’ll stick with my MacBook for a while. After all, I’ve pimped it out with a new hard drive and upgraded the RAM from 512MB to 2GB, so I might as well get my money’s worth.

By the way, Werebear, you should be able to safely do financial transactions even over a wireless connection, as long as the sites you do business with use decent encryption. Most reputable sites use SSL and TLS, so you should be OK.

Personally, I was disappointed in the macbook air. I liked what they were going for, but I think they missed their mark and made some mistakes. I really did not see anything added feature wise, except the new touch pad, but then again, thats not new, all macbooks could do that if they would install the right software. Really, for me, the killer was the battery life, the macbook has more estimated battery life then the supposed “ultra portable” model, and add that it cannot have its battery replaced was a big mistake in my eyes. The only thing that it did that was impressive to me, was 3 pounds with a 13.3 screen. However, for the price tag… its not enough in my opinion. But then again, this was never made to target the majority of consumers, as Steve said himself. Its a niche laptop for specific people.

It’s also the first version of that product line. Give Apple a couple of years and they’ll probably refine it, as it’s pretty much their first crack at the subnotebook market.

I think what people miss on the MBA is it was designed with one thing in mind.

Compact and light.

For people who are “road warriors” and have to lug a laptop everywhere they go, commute, etc, the MBA is perfect for them because to them Weight>perfromance/features.

Those that want performance and features will either go with a MB or MBP.

THe NEW MacBook Pros should be released tuesday I think where they will probably get the new Peryn Chips, bump up slightly in speed, 6MB of cache instead of 4 and the new MBA trackpad.

So then the laptop lineup would look like this.

2.2 GHZ
Everyday user-student
Medium weight-medium performance.

Macbook Air
Road Warrior
Lightweight-light performance

Macbook Pro
2.6 GHZ
Power User
Heavy weight-Fastest performance.

when SSD come down this year I think you will start seeing SSD as an option for the MBA and MBP down the road.

i think the MBA is an excellent choice for those where Weight is the major factor over all other features.