Ode to MacbBook Air

MacBook Air

I sort of promised to myself that I wouldn't write this post. It's a bit nauseating to read about how someone else has a new gadget… and it doesn't really add anything to the body of knowledge.

But… I relented from self-censorship because the MacBook Air I've had for the last week is not just a little different or a little better. Owning a MacBook Air has radically changed the way I use and think about my computer.

My previous MacBook was a decent solid computer, incredible for everything it could do and how well it did these things. Powerful processor and so on. Yet I never used or hardly used the majority of that functionality such as disc burning or audio in. For some people those things are essentials but for a 'knowledge worker' like me as long as I can connect to the Internet then I'm ok.

The MacBook (a recent one at that) was great but just too chunky and heavy to not notice it in my bag. The result was feeling like I was lugging a brick around – absurd when I recall how heavy my laptop was ten years ago – but still once I added a few reports in the bag it did add up. So often I just wouldn't pack my MacBook so I could feel more mobile… hmmm.

The MacBook Air is just so thin and light it's crazy not to take it everywhere. I'm using it to get through email and documents in all sorts of moments where previously I would be twiddling my thumbs or reading something useless I had picked up.

The Air's not for everyone, but as 37Signal's David Heinemeier Hansson has written, it could be the only machine for many people. I still enjoy using my 24″ iMac and just need a little effort to keep it synced with the MacBook Air. The other night I popped a rental DVD into the iMac and watched it on the MacBook Air in bed upstairs using VLC (Apple's DVD player won't play discs remotely for some pathetic fig-leaf copy protection reasons). Being so light the Air is the perfect player to snuggle with for a movie and doesn't risk setting the duvet on fire.

Given Apple have come this far with the form factor can a tablet be far off? It must be in the works but I like my keyboard and for many the MacBook Air is the game-changer.

MacBook vs Air