TECHNOLOGY NOTES

Find Me

Search

MacBook Air 13" - 5 months of use

I bought my MacBook Air back in September 2011. It it still the best piece of technology I’ve ever owned. Powerful, light, flexible, simply awesome.

I am no longer in the business of recommending Apple computers to friends or family. It seems, when I do that, I am first-tier tech support line for the life of the machine and, if anything goes wrong, it is obviously all my fault. It got incredibly frustrating and I’m glad I no longer have to deal with it. Nowadays, I tell people what I would buy and leave it at that.

People are still somewhat surprised when I mention that I’m using a MacBook Air. I guess the perception is that I’m a “power user” and I should be using a MacBook Pro. Concerns are targeted at the inability to use an optical drive and the “tight space” on the 128gb solid state drive. For some, these are insurmountable non-starters.

In the five months that I’ve been using the computer, I’ve never gone below 60gb free, and that’s because I was trying out a large application which I subsequently deleted. Space Gremlin currently reports my 128gb drive has 88.9gb free. I have every application I use on a daily basis installed so there’s nothing I am holding off on because of disk space. Disk space isn’t an issue at all.

With the prevalence of good network connections and machines with optical drives in spots where such a need would arise, there has never been a time when I’ve wondered “Gee, I wish this thing has a disk drive.” Ever. Optical disks are a dying format and I’m glad I am not carrying around a drive for an edge case that has yet to rear its head.

Another nice part about the Air is how it rarely gets warm. The MacBook Pro had a well-documented “warm lap” syndrome when you were using it for pretty much any need. My Air only gets warm when you use Flash. Huge surprise, huh? To help with that, I’ve added a Flash blocker in Safari and it has largely eliminated the issue.

Every once in a while, I’ll hear a fan go on and it’s generally easy to find the culprit. A quick

"top -oCPU"

in Terminal usually reveals some rogue Safari/Flash process (in Reeder or ReadNow) and killing the process is enough to make the temperature go down and cause the fan to shut off.

There are a ton of great reasons to get a MacBook Air and I suspect others would share my enthusiasm for them if they could get over the optical disk/drive space fears. While I won’t go as far as telling you to buy one, if I had to do it all over again, I’d definitely buy another MacBook Air.