My first Mac, 1 week review of MacBook Air 13″

I’m a loooooonnngg  time PC user.  I got back to the early DOS days with two floppy drives.  In fact I love DOS so much, that I’m a heavy into FreeBSD (UNIX like), there is just something about a stable OS with a command line.  Anyways, I had Windows 95 from the second it went on sale (at mid-night), a beta tester for Windows 98, loved Windows XP, hated Windows ME, liked Windows Vista and love Windows 7.

Just purchased my first Apple PC.  Well, a MacBook Air 13″.   I’ve got to say, I’m  pleasantly surprised with it’s performance (in fact with the SSD drive, it exceeded my expectations by a factor of 2).   I’m not a gamer, and don’t push most video cards to their max.  However; I do utilize high resolution displays and really like having a higher resolution notebook screen (The Air has a smaller screen, but higher resolution that my HP counterpart).   My first impression of using OS X is that it’s a good OS.  I like it, but there are things I like better in Windows 7.  So it’s really a wash at this point.  The apple Keyboard (with it’s “fn” (function), “control”, “alt/option”, and “command” keys) are confusion coming from a pc world.  It’s actually driving me nuts.  I’m always hitting the wrong button.  I knew this when I bought it though, it’s not windows, and that’s where the line stops.    Apple not only makes the OS, they specify the hardware it will run on.  That translates into reliability and stability between the OS and Hardware.  My favorite feature of the Air… The touch pad, it’s mutitouch and it’s pretty smart.

This machine (MacBook Air 13″ (late 2010 model), 4GB ram, 256 SSD and 2.13 GHz dual core processor) out performs my dying Windows 7 notebook from HP (that’s only 2 years old).  I don’t think the hardware is actually physicially failing, but something is incompatible between the OS and hardware (and it came that way factory!!!)   My HP notebook has a clunky power adapter that sticks out 2-3 inchs (1/4 of an inch on the Mac), weighs twice as much (6lbs vs. 3 lbs), only has a 2-3 hour batter life (5-7 hours on the Mac) and  runs much noisier and hotter than the MacBook Air (The Air runs silent 90-99% of the time).  Start up time on the Windows 7 factory was around 1.5 to 2 minutes, it’s running closer to 3-4 with Antivirus and a few utilities I use (17 seconds on the Air and oh yeah… Sleep actually works on the MacBook Air, and it works incredibly well).  My guess is that with the SSD (Solid State Drive, no moving parts) and the OS X software comes with the exact drivers that are 100% compatible, it doesn’t have to sit there and attempt sanity checks for hardware during boot up.

In summary, I paid more (about 2x the price of my HP Windows 7 computer for this mac), but after hearing nothing but good things about Apple products and owning an iPhone 3GS myself and by some miracle I walked into BestBuy the first day the iPad came out and got one of the last ones that day.   I’ve changed my option of Apple, I never understood what makes an Apple product an Apple product until I owned one and then another and now another.  I’m happy.

Everything I use my Windows 7 PC for is still there, Firefox, CrashPlan (backup software), iTunes, Remote Desktop, VPN, Picasa, Microsoft Office, Handbrake (free video conversion software), Eye-Fi software, Trillian (instant messaging), TrueCrypt, virtual box, FileZilla and even a native twitter application from the Mac App Store.  And if it comes to it, I can buy a boxed version of Windows 7, click a box in OS X and install Windows 7 along side of the OS X.  After checking out the reviews on YouTube, it’s looks pretty straight forward.

I also found the following website to be interesting reading to those of us who like to push performance of the Intel Based Macs:

Macintosh Performance Guide: Latest News.

Categories: Hardware.