As readers of TUAW are, of course, fully aware Apple announced several great new products at Macworld this year. One of those products -- a particular item I was vocally very eager to see come out -- was the MacBook Air. And, putting my money where my mouth is, I ordered one as soon as I could -- sans solid state drive. I am now awaiting delivery of my sleek new Mac in "two to three weeks" from Apple.
Sure, some people may question the machine, my decision or rush to point out the MacBook Air's flaws (TUAW's own Mat Lu chimes in with his thoughts on the MBA's strengths and weaknesses right here), but for me the MacBook Air represents a leap forward in the evolution of the notebook and will be the perfect tool for getting my work done. While it may not be for everyone, to me its positives far outweigh its negatives and upon arrival it will take its rightful place as my Apple notebook of choice.
First and foremost (and none would dispute) the MacBook Air is really thin and incredibly light. Most of you probably haven't picked one up but I can tell you from my personal fondlings it is even thinner and lighter than it looks. As a person who normally totes around a 15" MacBook Pro (plus more) I can tell you how much of a positive effect the loss of 2.4 pounds is going to have on my shoulders and back. But not only is the MacBook Air thinner and lighter, it also comes with a smaller and lighter power brick as well -- another welcome replacement for the rather large one I currently have in use.
Also, my work these days is primarily writing, working with photos and activities of that nature, so this notebook will be perfect for those types of uses. Although I will admit I was skeptical when I first saw the keyboard (I'm not a fan of the MacBook's and on first glance they looked similar) but once I had a chance to pound on the Air's keys a bit I realized that the keyboard is a vast improvement over the one featured on the MacBook and will work just fine for me.
The computer will also work well when dealing with photos -- especially if I continue to primarily use iPhoto as I have been lately. However, I'm sure the MacBook Air will also run Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, CS3 and even Aperture should I choose to use them. After all, my "ancient" 12" Powerbook G4 runs Lightroom and even CS3 pretty well considering its 1.5 Ghz G4 processor and 1.25 GB of RAM so I think the MacBook Air will be just fine.
In addition, the MacBook Air, although it's a fantastic machine and will be my notebook of choice, is not now nor will it ever be my only Mac. For the real heavy lifting that requires much more horsepower I will turn to my desktop Mac -- the 24" iMac. Keeping the two machines in sync won't be a problem either as I will be using .Mac to keep Address Book and iCal current as well as Mail (where all my email accounts are IMAP and will be the same on both machines). So, this scenario will, I feel, address and overcome many of the concerns expressed about the MacBook Air's design and use.
Finally, did I mention how thin and light the MacBook Air is? Sure, I might occasionally miss having an Ethernet port (although I got the dongle) or need an optical drive (got the external one of those too) but for the most part I think I will be okay without those things. I also have 802.11n wireless at home and usually can find wireless access in most places while on the road, so the lack of an Ethernet port won't have that much of an impact on me. But if I need it, I'll have it by using the dongle.
Radical change sometimes requires an adjustment in thinking and the new MacBook Air is pretty radical. I, for one, tend to fully embrace the new and look forward to putting the Air through its paces when it arrives -- providing a full report to the TUAW readership in the process as well. Until then, if you have any questions or just want to tell me what a huge mistake I've made, feel free to hit the comments.