Today I was sitting in the park and workingon my MacBook Air when a busload of kids around the age of 10 disembarked a few feet away from me. They spotted me working, hopped over, and hovered around me like bees to a newly pollinated Apple gadget. Which made me realise I hadn’t reviewed my first Apple laptop: the wondrous Apple MacBook Air.
What Apple Laptop do I have:
A MacBook Air, 13 inch, with 256GB storage, 8GB ram (1600 MHz DDR3), 2 Ghz Intel Core i7 Processor running OS X version 10.8.5 (need to update!) Bought in refurbished condition for around US $1400 including Apple Care (US $249) and taxes.
Why I chose an Apple Laptop?
I bought my MacBook Air n New York less than a year ago. I tried to incorporate as many hardcore specs as possible keeping the cost as low as possible. This is because I do a lot of design work and using processor & RAM heavy software like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Premier, etc. My previous Dell with 4GB Ram and an Intel Core processor lasted me almost 6 years so I knew I wasn’t going to upgrade to a new laptop anytime soon. Better to invest now than regret later (because you can’t open up a MacBook Air and add new things like RAM and storage whenever you feel like — unlike a Dell).
Apple laptop screen size: 13 inch vs 11 inch vs 15.4 inch?
I was previously working on a 15.4 inch Dell. As a designer, I knew I definitely did not want the 11 inch MacBook Air which left me with no option but to order the 13 inch Macbook Air. To be honest, while the space does feel a little smaller, you get used to it very easily. External monitors are the way to go.
4GB vs 8GB RAM?
If you do design work or movie editing or anything that is RAM intensive, go for 8GB! If you mainly browse and use word and watch movies, 4GB is good enough for you.
Firstly, the flash storage on the Mac is AWESOME! Soooo fast!! No whirring sounds; the laptop awakens in seconds! It’s astounding. Regarding size, I vote for 256GB storage because (1) you can’t upgrade it later (2) you need at least 256GB storage if you’re using this as your base computer. If you have another main computer you can go for 128GB. But if you are installing applications, downloading music and movies, you’ll need 256GB. (If you need 512GB storage, it means you’re too messy. Delete some stuff and put it on a hard drive!)
MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro
As a graphic/UI designer, I always felt that I needed a MacBook Pro to fulfil all my design needs. How could a MBA, being so light and frivolous, do hardcore design activities? But then I started wondering — what are other designers doing world over? I did some research and made the shocking discovery that most designers who have both MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros end up using the Air much more than the Pro!! It’s lighter, easier to work on, and a ****ing powerful machine!! Especially if you rev it up to an Intel Core i7 Processor with 8GB RAM.
What I like about my MacBook Air:
- It’s thin as… air! Oh yes, so light, so easy to carry around. Not like the pile of bricks my previous laptop was (Dell Inspiron). It feels great not to feel like a bodybuilder anymore.
- It’s does what it’s supposed to: I’ve been the types who has been very resistant of the thought of letting go of my Windows laptop (So many years spent together, so many keyboard shortcuts learnt, all to be forgotten for this new creature with a strange command button, a desktop that loads items the wrong way round and minimize-maximize buttons that work oh so strangely!) But after learning a few basic shortcuts and customizing the MacBook to my liking, my efficiency has gone up 3-fold! Easily! Apple just works! Beautifully, simply, efficiently.
- Batter life is awesome: With 8GB RAM, my batter is not the 10 hours as advertised, but gives me a good 4 to 5 hours per cycle. More than enough to keep me happy.
- Super powerful: I keep a 100 tabs open and at least 15 applications open at all times. (Have always done so!) The MBA can take everything I throw at it (unlike my previous Dell). It’s a powerfulllll beast!
- Super search: The spotlight feature of OSX is incredible. One search and you find exactly what you’re looking for almost instantly. Windows is leagues behind.
- Applications: I used to think that free /open applications were only available for Windows. I was quite surprised to learn that there are plenty free and affordable apps available for OSX. (Mac torrents also work great for other apps). It’s also quite hackable, in the sense, there are enough workarounds for things like getting two dropbox accounts working on one computer.
- AppleCare: Yes, I invested the extra $249 dollars in Apple Care. It extends customer service and hardware support for 3 years! I’ve heard enough horror stories about Macs burning out in the Indian heat to realise that this is a good investment!
What I don’t like about my Apple Laptop:
- It’s expensive: No way around this one, unfortunately 🙁 — until Xiaomi starts making MacBook replicas, I guess.
- Screen/Display colour: This one confuses me terribly and I know I am doing something wrong, but I don’t understand how to calibrate colours on a MacBook air so that it matches print and PC. Everything looks different! Much brighter on a MBA, which makes everything look duller on a PC. I need help! (Any tips appreciated).
- No HDMI ports: It only has 2 USB ports, 1 firewire port and 1 card reader. No CD player either.
- Somethings don’t work: I can’t connect my iPhone to my MacBook Air using airplay. Don’t know why! Time machine is also not working, don’t know why! Obviously, I need to do more research to figure things out.
- Certain bugs: If I press the power button of my MacBook Air to put it to sleep, it sometimes doesn’t turn wake up! However, if just close the lid on it, it goes to sleep happily and wakes up whenever I want it to.
Can’t think of anything else at the moment, will keep adding to this post when something strikes.