New 2010 Mac Air – a quick review

Well, I have to say I’m pretty impressed with the new baby. An eleven inch baby Mac Air arrived yesterday and the initial thoughts are, well, feck me it’s small, light and ultra-sexy (is that allowed?). In fact it’s a good deal smaller than I thought it would be and it actually fits (end-on) into my iPad carry case! Everything else is as you would expect from a Mac. I use Mobile Me for the selection of Apple products I use (Mac Mini, iMac, iPad, iPhone) so setting up the new Mac Air took a matter of minutes. Apple really are trying to change the game a lot recently, this new Mac Air is a snip under £850 making it quite a bit cheaper than the outgoing version (my old Mac Air cost over £1300 for the SSD version) yet still retains the feeling of quality.

“Instant on” is great but not the huge step forward I think as the old Mac Air did exactly the same although the standby time is supposed to be 30 days rather than a couple days as it was previously. It’s also nice to see the arrival of Apple’s first proper widescreen laptop. Gripes? I’ve got a few; the absence of an illuminated keyboard is one and the only other one relates to the screen size vs resolution which means that 40-somethings with failing reading vision (aka me) could well need to wear reading glasses when using it.

Despite is having a lower spec chip than it’s predecessor it doesn’t seem slow, in fact it actually “feels” faster and combined with my Huawei MiFi router it really rockets along when sitting in the pub – as I was doing last night.

Where then does it leave my iPad? Well I’m starting to see the purpose of the iPad as an application device and reader (have you tried Flipboard yet?) with a little light typing thrown in for good measure. More serious typing, spreadsheeting, blogging and other such stuff when on the move or in the office is where the Mac Air sits.

Summary: So far so good, it’s an ace piece of kit but not sure if I really should have got the 13″ version.

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