macbook_air

Just a little over a month ago I picked up one of the new Macbook Air’s from an Apple Store on a trip to Chicago. The newest addition to my family of computers, this is by far the best laptop I have ever owned and is close to winning the prize as my favorite computer. While it is not intended to provide me with video editing abilities or another gaming platform, it is well situated to do more than any of my previous notebooks combined. Now, come along with me as we dive into what makes this amazingly thin laptop so irresistable!

The first thing that anyone would notice would be how thin this laptop really is! Coupled with that, when you pick it up, it is a lot heftier than you might think. Some think that is a detriment, as a product so thin should be lighter as well, but I think that as a sign that Apple put enough material into the device that it won’t easily break or bend when you lift it from a corner. As a matter of fact, the aluminum uni-body design flexes very little and I can’t really notice any deflection as I can with all my other laptops.

The second thing someone might notice is that when you power up the laptop there is no sound other than what emanates from the speakers. There is no disc drive in this laptop, nor is there an optical drive. The only moving part that is within the body of this laptop is the small cooling fan that turns on automatically when the CPU is put under heavy enough load to cause it to start to heat up. In fact, there are only a few occasions that I have had this happen to me, one being when I tried the gaming service OnLive to see how it handled it. Playing the game Batman: Arkham Asylum, everything ran as smooth as it should, and I can honestly say I could do a little gaming with this computer without sacrificing much.

The inputs into the computer are exactly as you would expect from such a thin laptop, except for the Thunderbolt port on the back right of the laptop. While I have yet to purchase an adapter for it, I believe that this little port will become quite useful in the future, especially when connecting it to a monitor or even my HDTV. I am also expecting in the future more external hard drives that will utilize the thunderbolts blazing fast connection speeds, which will all but render those pesky external USB drives useless.

Opening up the Air now, we see a generously large touch-pad with a comfortably spaced back-lit  keyboard. The keyboard is very nice, the best I have ever used on any of my previous laptops. The touch-pad is another great feature of this computer, although it does have a small issue with the button underneath. The entire touch-pad is one big button, so when you depress it is acts as the mouse click. However, if you have your hand in the top center section, you cannot depress the button. It is a small design error that will effect a small number of people, only those who would depress the button with their finger at the top of the touch-pad. Please see the video review for a demonstration of this problem.

All in all, this laptop is quite amazing. Whisper quiet, fast, and a breeze to pack and carry with, I don’t have too many gripes to complain about. The only piece of the puzzle that is furred in any way is the touchpad. But then again, for how I use it I never have the problem that others tend to have. With that said, I can’t say that I see my self giving this laptop up in the near future, at least not until the future generations of this device give me something that I am missing now!

Pros Cons
Well Built Aluminum Unibody Design Trackpad button has a poor reception spot
Super quiet, especially when running cool Heavy for it’s size (I actually like it)
Keyboard is well sized and backlit feature is tough not to love
In case you haven’t noticed, it is amazingly thin!

-the gooch