Monday, October 25, 2010
The Macbook Air ExperimentI wasn't paying too much attention to the October apple keynote about OS X 10.7 but at the end of it, as everyone probably knows by now, Jobs announced the new Macbook Airs. I've always loved the macbook air, but with a 13" screen it's always just seemed like a crippled macbook pro. Despite rumors predicting it, I was honestly surprised when the 11.6" mini-air was announced. Anyone who knows me and my apple addiction knows how much of a fan I am of ultra-portable laptops and the 12" powerbook. I think this laptop combines the 12" portability with the form factor of the bigger air and that's what appeals to me. Now, you'll probably ask: didn't you just get an ipad? and yes....I probably don't need the air. And yes, it's not exactly a cheap netbook like the acer aspire (waiting to be sold atm). Yes the ipad is more portable to work since it can stay in the suitcase when I go through security. Yes, unlike the acer, I'm afraid the Air will get damaged or stolen if I take it to work too much. But in our short lives, sometimes logic needs to take a backstep to emotion. Do I prefer the Air to the acer? x1000!! Do I prefer it to the ipad? well....that's the test...
First impressions of the laptop are VERY good! Despite low system specs like a 1.4GHz processor and 2gb of ram, the laptop feels very speedy. Finally, the airs have high res screens! At 1366x768 resolution, the screen space still feels like a bigger macbook. It plays back 1080p youtube video in full screen when the atomized acer choked on fullscreen 480p. It plays quakelive at about 50-70 fps. I don't plan to install bootcamp or take it to lans as my primary computer, so that's the most intense use I have planned for it. The keyboard is the same as the new macbooks and BT keyboards, it's a pleasure to type on. The 64gb SSD hard drive is small, but it fits what I want it for, and it combined with the Geforce 320m make this laptop scream. This is no netbook for sure.
As for OS X 10.7, for a first look it's not terrible. I'm very happy with Snow Leopard, so I don't want too much to change. I like that the OS finally has a unified application look (besides iTunes 10 ugh), so I don't want any theme changes. My hopes for it would be resolution independence and zfs support. The app store is not a bad idea, but I'm not too interested in a push towards fullscreen apps. Everything else is stuff I won't use. When the G3 iMacs first came out without floppy drives, everybody cringed and predicted failure, but the gamble was that the internet would be taking over for file distribution. The macbook air and the OS X 10.7 app store reinforce this concept, especially with Steve Jobs' comment "All notebooks will be like [the macbook air] someday". That's not a bad thing. So far I really like the Air.
Bring on the pics!