Meet my new toy, one of the new 13-inch Macbook Airs. I bought it because I needed a fully-functional laptop, and the two that I have aren’t cutting it for me anymore. The netbook, while really handy, is ultimately just too small to do anything other than answer e-mail on; the CR-48, with the Chrome OS, is underpowered (video of any sort is choppy) and doesn’t work when there’s no Internet connection. Neither had a lighted keyboard, either, which is something I’ve been kind of lusting after for a while now. The new MacAirs have been rapturously reviewed, are now powerful enough as computers not to be merely an affectation, and have brought back the lighted keyboards. Good enough for me. I now own one.
For those Macheads among you who might crow about how I’ve now joined the dark side, two things for you to consider: one, I’ve owned Macs before (the very first computer I ever owned was a Mac SE; and I bought an iMac back in ’05 and wrote The Ghost Brigades on it) and we have both iPods and iPads around the house; two, I’ll presently be putting Windows 7 on this baby in a dual boot sort of situation. I didn’t buy this because I want to wallow in the Apple ecosystem; I bought it because it gives me the hardware specs I want at a price I can live with. Call it the practical side of me.
That said, the Lion OS seems fairly decent at this point, and it’s been long enough since I’ve worked on the Mac that all the changes in Lion that might frustrate me if I was a longtime user don’t bother me in the slightest. Even the backwards scrolling doesn’t faze me because I’ve been using the iPad. I can tell I’ll have a little bit of learning curve involved with it, but, eh, there’s a learning curve every time you get something new.
I was considering getting the 11-inch Air rather than the 13-inch, but now that I have the thing, I’m glad I went for the extra couple of inches. One of the things I very much liked about the CR-48 was the size of the screen (12 inches), which was big enough to have a decent amount of screen space and small enough not to be heavy and unwieldily. The 13-inch Air stays in that sweet spot of size/weight, and has enough computing power under the hood for me to do what I got it for (writing, some video, causal gaming).
In all, I’m pretty happy with the purchase. And I accept that between this and the Mini, the only thing standing between me and full-blown hipster bastardhood is the lack of a man bag. I can pretty much guarantee I won’t be getting one of those.