Header Ads

MacBook Air : Insight, Shortcomings and Switching to Mac

In this post, I will take a break from iPad applications for a change and will discuss the new Apple MacBook Air and the Lion OS powering it.

Most of you must be using personal laptops or planning to get one. Laptop users fall into the following categories.
  1. Looking for a replacement for your desktop, not planning to carry around while travelling: It should be running a very powerful processor, good storage and weight is not a major consideration.
  2. Looking for powerful multimedia machine or hard core gaming machine: ex: Alienware / Toshiba Qosimo (Windows)/ MacBook Pro (OSX)
  3. You are a frequent traveller and like to carry it around, not ready to compromise on power, need for seamless integration with your mobile devices, iPad, iPhone etc.. and to complement your desktop while at home.
  4. You want a jack of all Laptop which will replace your desktop and like to carry around while travelling. You need power, features, light weight, good amount of storage, good multimedia features and running your favorite OS. You are the most difficult one to get satisfied, since mostly you are chasing something which is nonexistent.
  5. You are a frequent traveller and looking for an ultra-light laptop mainly used for browsing and emailing, which need s to be ultra cheap too. A Netbook may satisfy you. If you are ready to compromise on cost for elegance, go for an iPad or wait for upcoming ultra-notebooks

MacBook Air is for the third category of users who are looking for a laptop which is ultra light, very powerful, integrates well with other mobile devices, elegant and can be an eye-turner too!:)

MacBook Air

MacBook Air is the thinnest Latop available currently and it is just 0.3cm thick in the front. It comes in both 11” and 13” screen and weighs 1.08Kg/1.35Kg. When you read its detailed features and specifications it may not impress you much unless you can experience it. It I sa totally different experience in holding it in your hand and feeling it yourself. Within 5 minutes of interaction with it you notice the following things which really amaze you.

  1. It is unbelievably thin, thinner than any other laptop you have seen or heard
  2. It is a beauty to look at
  3. It runs absolutely silent without any fan or moving parts (No HDD, Flash drive is used)
  4. It becomes just warm after hours of running. Compared to this, the usual high performance laptops produce enough heat to burn your thighs. But it is not as cool as an iPad.
  5. It boots very fast and shutdown instantly.
  6. It wakes up from hibernation instantly and with live wireless Internet something which is very rare in Windows laptops.
  7. It is much faster than what you expect with 4GB RAM and Flash drives as storage
  8. Its power cord is very thin and the power connector snaps in to place using magnets “Magsafe”. Unlike the laptops, you do not have to search for power connector or unknowingly plug into Ethernet port (generally placed adjacent to power socket!)
  9. It has a bright LED backlit LCD screen. So photos and videos look very lively.
  10. It can work from Battery for 7 hours (13”) without the need for recharging. So practically you need to charge once in a day only so it is truly portable
  11. It redefines touch control interface, one finger, two fingers, three fingers, palm, vertical or horizontal swipe etc, each has different meanings.
  12. It supports thunderbolt interface which can be interconnected with myriad of devices. Using single cable you can connect multiple displays and storage etc by daisy chaining. Thunderbolt is a high speed interface which can carry up two to channels of 10gbps.

What MacBook Air lacks?

In a quest to make it thin and light Apple has sacrificed some features which you may get used in a laptop of this price range, but soon you learn to live without it. Recently Apple has done away with optical drive in most of their products including Mac Mini where space is not a constraint. Apple wants us to use their iCloud, their cloud service for all kind of file transfer. Over a period of time we will soon realize the fact that Apple is in the driver’s seat showing us what we really want J. Looking at the popularity of MacBookAir we need to admit Steve vision is futuristic and but works fine with the available current options .
  1. No optical drive, so if you require to run a DVD you need to share it from the nearest networked Windows/ MAC machine. This works seamlessly. All the applications are available to download from MAC App stores including Lion OS and it are not distributed using CDs.
  2. Storage space is limited to 256GB since it does not use HDD
  3. Numbers of interconnecting ports are limited. No Ethernet port, and no HDMI port. It has Thunderbolt port which does have the capability to interface anything out there with suitable adaptors.

Touch Control

Most of the operations in MAC is done through touch control using the built in touch pad. Following figures gives the details

Are you new to Mac?

When you switch from Windows you will have lots of questions on learning curve, compatibility with existing software, availability of productivity tools, exchanging files with MS office. etc. Myfirstmac.com is a nice place to start your exploration.
Most of the essential software is available in both platform including MS office and your favorite browsers like Chrome. For any other task you have equivalent apps available to download from MAC app stores which are free or cheap.

Apart from Microsoft office 11 available for purchase, MAC App stores has Apple iWork suite which consists of productivity application like Numbers (spreadsheet), Keynote (Presentation too) and Pages (Word Processor) which is almost $20/- each and can seamlessly work with office documents and if needed can export of import to compatible file formats.

Everybody knows that MAC excels in multimedia applications. It comes with iLife 11, a suite of multimedia applications for editing photos, videos and music, iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand. Even though it is not a professional tool like other Aperture, Final Cut Pro or Logic found in MAC, it is more than sufficient for our needs. You can easily transfer and edit videos shot in your camcorder using iMovie to give it a professional look which is way above the latest Windows Movie maker Live.

If you really miss Windows, you can dual boot using Apple provided Bootcamp (http://www.apple.com/macosx/bootcamp/) or using Parallels (http://www.parallels.com/products/desktop/) you can run both Windows software and Mac Software side by side.


Pricing of a MacBook Air varies from Rs 56,900/- to Rs 89,900/- . 13” MacBook Air with 128GB Flash cost you Rs73,900/-