Let’s first say: I was a PC user all my life and can easily solve all approaching problems on a PC with ease. Why did I switch to a MacBook Air 11”? Basically, I’ve always wanted to have a lightweight computer to carry around throughout the day. I’ve played with the idea of an iPad, but I don’t like that I can’t do programming or more complex tasks on that thing. I also thought about buying a netbook, but those most of the time don’t have the power to play HD-videos to my TV or play the occasional game once or twice a year – and I really never again wanted to buy a device with a spinning hard drive.
Also, I wanted to program for iOS, and needed a Mac for that. The “cheaper” option of buying an older MacBook or Mac Mini and attaching that to my external monitor and buying a Netbook and hoping that the power will be enough just didn’t make the cut. I like it simple, and I like to keep as few things around me as possible.
Now for my feeling of this machine (Pro):
- I can use this little thing as my main machine now, and thats purely superb.
- The high build quality is amazing.
- The screen is small but very high resolution – wouldn’t recommend it to anyone with bad eyes, but for me it’s perfect.
- Having an SSD easily makes this thing a very responsive device. I never wait for my machine, my machine always waits for my input.
- The touchpad is so amazing, that I cannot describe it. Let’s just say if you haven’t used a modern multitouch trackpad on a Mac so far, go to a Mac Store and just try it. I cannot stress enough that this trackpad made me dismiss the idea of even using a mouse on this machine, because the multitouch gestures just make you execute everything better than a mouse could, and you don’t even need to take a hand away from the keyboard.
- Some of the interface choices in MacOSX just blow my mind – others like the Windows 7 snap to corners stuff that I really like can be easily installed via external programs.
- I still didn’t grow accustomed to the Mac – keyboard layout. Additionally, I really don’t like the “fn” function key in the bottom left corner of the keyboard. If there were some tool out there that would let me switch this function key with the CTRL key, I would be happy.
- High price. An older but equally powered MacBook would have done the trick for me too.
- The basic layout features 2GB RAM and 64GB disk space. I really wanted 4GB RAM as I don’t like swapping to disk when programming or using the iPhone simulator, and the only device they had with 4GB also came with the 128 GB hard disk. Didn’t think I really need the space as I was going to keep private stuff on this machine to a minimum and use Dropbox for the rest, but even after just installing all the software I wanted I already went over 64GB. That means Iwouldn’t advise anyone to go without the 128GB hard disk, and also not without the 4GB RAM if this should be your main machine or if you plan on doing more than just basic tasks with this thing (read: Photoshop and above). The 1.6GHz processor instead of the 1.4GHz is wasted money in my opinion.
UPDATE: after about three month:
- Overall, I’m happier than ever. I cannot believe that there’re people in the world who work with a computer most of their lifetime and don’t even try another alternative. The carpenter also won’t use the cheapest biggest hammer he can find, he’ll use the best tool for the job (that might also be a bit more expensive), and so should you.
- There’re apps for everything I did with Windows. This means, there’re no tasks I need to go back to windows to, as for everything there’s a solution on the Mac (and most of the time a better one).
- I totally grew accustomed to the keyboards scheme. The main thing you need to understand is that you’ll only need the CMD key most of the time in all apps you use. Therefore, both are put at prominent places that are easy to find even if you don’t look at the keyboard: next to the giant space bar. The idea to put it in the middle needs you to flip your brain when you come from Windows: don’t use the small pinky finger to hopefully find the CMD key somewhere in the corner of your keyboard, but instead use the left or right THUMB to just always correctly hit the CMD key besides the spacebar. After some weeks, you won’t want to get back to the Windows way (and yes, you’ll be able to copy-paste with no problems).
- The touchpad is so amazing (and with BetterTouchTool even configurable as hell) that I won’t ever consider using a mouse for the MBA.
- Talking about Better Touch Tool, that thing also gives you the Windows-spnapping that you love about Windows 7.
- I’m happy I took the 128 GB of harddisk. 64 are just not enough to get all your stuff on there.