Sunday, February 27, 2011

Apple MacBook Air (late 2010) review

This blog post will be about the MBA. Not the clever MBA, no, this is about the MacBook Air, specifically the 13" version. So if you are looking to do the business degree, you will have to look elsewhere! This blog doesn't do any sort of overtly geeky things like business degrees. :)

Apple, apple, apple, the forbidden fruit in the Adam and Eve 'tale', the sweet fruit that can be in the colour of green or red. But we are not talking about fruit here, we are talking about Apple Inc. that Steve Jobs co-founded in 1976.

If you are looking for a 'I love Apple forever' post and about how amazing and god awesome they are, unfortunately this would not be it. There are tons of fan sites out there that will suit you better.

Am I a Mac or a PC?

My purchase of the MacBook Air began when my previous notebook gave up recently. It's the second Apple product I've ever owned (the first was a fourth generation iPod Touch). It was a toss up between the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

There was a rumour that MacBook Pro was due to be upgraded at that time whilst the current MacBook Air was recently updated in late 2010. I didn't want to wait for a couple of weeks for Apple to release the new Pro, hence I decided to opt for the Air. The next dilemma was whether to get the 13 or 11inch. I decided to go for the 13" because the portability of the 11" version wasn't a priority. I also need a decent size screen to work with Autocad etc, and after a couple of upgrades are taken into account, I found the 13" Air to be more value for money than the 11" version.

The first thing that impressed me was Apple Store's efficiency. I placed the order on a Sunday and they called to confirm my details the very next day. There's this one freaky thing - they called my office despite the fact that I've never given them the number! Not too sure whether I should feel impressed or worried in regard of this...

Even more impressive however was the fact that the Air was delivered the following morning. I was greeted with a brown box on my office desk. From ordering it on Sunday evening and getting it on Tuesday morning - that's what I called efficiency!

After carefully unboxing, I settled to get to know my new love. Unfortunately, my happiness didn't last long... As a twitter addict, looking at the keyboard, my first thought was: "Where the hell is the hashtag symbol???"

And yes, thanks to twitter, I got the answer. It was 'Alt+3'!

But this irks me, why isn't there a hashtag symbol on the keyboard, whereas there is € sign on the number 2, despite also having to use 'Alt+2'. It also seems to be missing a 'delete' button. Another downside is that there is no backlight on the keyboard like the old MacBook Air. Even a light similar to Jon's ThinkPad would be enough.

Okay, perhaps I am rather fussy, but the most painful thing I encountered was transferring my music from my iPod Touch to the Air. In fact, there are no straight forward way to transfer my music to the Mac! iTunes would not allow me to do it. The only way is to install a third party app for this purpose.

Right, enough of the cons, the MacBook Air has plenty of pros as well. I must admit that I primarily chose the MacBook Air because of the design. It is sleek, light, has a brilliant display and is well built! Mac OS X boots quickly and despite the now outdated Core 2 Duo architecture, the thing is far quicker and thus more productive than cheaper netbook alternatives. I also found the VAIO-like chiclet keyboard to be very comfortable to use.

I was also told that Mac laptops tend to hold their values better than PC laptops, but perhaps it's because of Apple's tendency to update their line ups far less than PC manufacturers. It is a sleek, light, gorgeous designed laptop but you shouldn't expect it to be a powerful workstation like a high end MacBook Pro or other powerful ultra portable notebooks. All in all, I do like it and despite my issues with Mac OS X, it is a keeper.

This review of Apple's MacBook Air 13" (late 2010) is by guest reviewer Jennifer.


Anonymous said...

I believe it is because the Air is so thin why they could not fit the backlight in as I do have backlight in my MacBook Pro which is also 13".

c0y0t3 said...

Heya! that's what I thought too originally... but the previous version do have a backlight though.. I guess because it's slightly thicker than the current one?


Bennycrime said...


Been trying to justify getting one of these myself, as Jude just bought the 11' and I have to say I'm impressed with the performance. But between my mac pro / 5. Year old MacBook pro which is still going strong and my iPad, it wouldn't be replacing anything just be another extra.. Maybe when my MacBook pro goes BANG ;)

c0y0t3 said...

Heya dude!!

Lots of Mac users mentioned to me before too that their Mac lifespan is pretty good going! It's one of the reason why it doesn't de-value fast, it seems! ;)

Haha, you can always nick Jude's MBA! *evil grin*