When it comes to making large purchases in the gadget-world (I consider anything over $500 to be “large”), I like to lay out the specs for myself. Sort of like a “Pros and Cons” chart of why this item should or should not be added to my technology arsenal. I enjoy making “smart” buys, after all — the sort of investments that satisfy my needs without leaving me disappointed.
In fact, I spend a lot of time researching, comparing, and fishing information from the internet before I settle on any one thing. And in that same fortunately convenient vein, I also have a blog where I can do just that and receive feedback from an entire slew of awesome readers who are always willing to gab with me about whatever it is that I happen to throw up on my website (thank goodness for you guys).
With that said …
Should I pick up a MacBook Air?
First, let me tell you why I’m even considering it:
Living in San Francisco, I spend a lot of my time toting things uphill, then downhill, through public transportation, and then up even more hills all just to be able to visit my friends at their apartments, or even simply to sip a cup of coffee at a nearby cafe while also being able to get my work done on the go. And in case you’ve never been in a situation like mine before, that can get pretty tiring fairly quickly.
I currently own a 15″ MacBook Pro (which I love), and it completely suits all of my needs! Blogging, photo editing, internet browsing, art and illustration, email-checking, light gaming — I’m pretty much set when it comes to my at-home computer. The 15″ MacBook Pro is large enough to handle my personal projects, but also light enough to tote around with me short distances (like, say, from my bedroom to the living room, ha!).
However, long distances studiously clutching the MacBook Pro to my chest (or even shouldering it in some sort of carrying case) are not ideal for me. And yes, I realize that this thing only weighs, like, 5 or 6 pounds a the most! But dude — I’m a 5’1 Asian girl who weighs in at 93lbs, and this shit is HEH. VEE (heavy)! Call me a pussy, whatever. But you’d understand if you knew the miles I’ve trekked just lugging this monster around with me. I even have calluses on my hips where I’ve had to rest it against my side just to take the weight off of my arms (seriously).
When you have girly and bony little hands the size of a small apple when clenched, you start to realize that something a grown man considers “light” is actually pretty gargantuan in comparison.
I also own a 64 Gig iPad with 3G, but come on — that thing can’t handle all of the crap I need it to do. It’s basically just a virtual portfolio that I bring around with me in the event that I need to show off my artwork or scroll through a few RSS feeds. It’s definitely not powerful enough (or even capable of) serving my current needs in terms of laptop portability.
So taking into consideration how small I am, how often I need to tote my hardware with me, the amount of crap I need to take along (my purse with all my girly bullshit, my laptop, my Wacom Tablet, my sketchbook, and whatever other nonsense I might need that day), and the distances at which I need to travel? It becomes obvious why I have my eye on the MacBook Air.
For one, the MacBook Air weighs in at 2.9 pounds at the most (for the 13″ model, anyway), while the 11″ MacBook Air weighs in at only 2.3 pounds — wow! And if you’ve ever been in the Apple Store or are fortunate enough to have a friend who owns one of these conveniently sized wonder machines, you’ll know just how thin and easy they are to lift, carry, transport, store, and work with in general!
And I won’t lie.
I’m an Apple fan for sure.
I own everything from iPod Shuffles and Nanos to iPhones, iPads, iPods, and obviously own a MacBook Pro as well. There’s just something so gorgeous about the machines themselves (they have a very modern look that I love), as well as how quick they are, how they’re so easy to use, how they almost never get viruses, how streamlined they appear across the board, etc! They’re just incredibly reliable pieces of equipment, and I am a seriously biased shopper because I already know to expect awesomeness when buying something Apple made.
That being said, yes. I’ve definitely considered something like a netbook to tide me over on these long-distance treks.
This little Toshiba Netbook, for example, is 10.1 inches, weighs in at 2.9 pounds, and only costs around $300! Totally a steal, right? Plus it has more space than the stock MacBook Airs, and from owning my own 15″ Toshiba Laptop, I already know to expect quality!
… But can it run Photoshop for my heavy editing and illustrations while I check my email, surf the internet, chat on Skype, run multiple applications and broadcast live video & audio streams?
My own awesome mom owns her own Netbook, and from toying with hers for a bit, I appreciate that it’s so light and easy to use. However, it’s definitely a lot slower than the MacBook Airs I’ve tested, and definitely does not compare to the speed or power of an Apple product. Maybe it’s the model she has? Maybe Macs are just magical pieces of equipment? Who knows.
But from being able to test and play with the different toys out there, the MacBook Air has impressed me the most.
A few friends of mine who already own MacBook Airs swear by them and definitely recommend that I pick one up. For example, Mark Julio (Product Manager at Mad Catz) tweeted me the following:
This immediately intrigued me, as he seems to be in the same situation as me! Also, he’s in the gaming industry and works with physical products for a living, so I naturally assume that he knows more than the average twitter-going replier (though this is just me having a regular tendency to credit people with wisdom and respect).
I hit him up on AIM in order to dive into a deeper conversation:
Sounds about perfect, right? A machine capable of handling everything from video editing to live streaming, and is light enough to pack away in a travel-bag without having to pull it out at airport security; How convenient!
And actually, the Twitterverse has reacted fairly unanimously when it comes to the MacBook Air:
I even took it to Facebook where the reaction from one particular Joseph M Crespo was very similar:
And with reactions like this across the board, it’s easy to see why I’m learning towards an 11″ MacBook Air, right?
But of course, and I repeat, I am horrible with making decisions when it comes to large purchases. So I’m here to ask for your help as well via my blog!
What I’ll be using the MacBook Air for:
Live streaming (on such programs like TinyChat, BlogTV, etc), photo editing or digital illustration with the use of a Wacom Intuos 4 tablet, blogging or freelance writing, checking emails, surfing the internet (like Facebook, Twitter, my RSS feeds), chatting on various messenger programs, and possibly listening to a little iTunes or Pandora Radio.
Where I’ll be using the MacBook Air:
Anywhere not at home. Meaning, I’ll be taking it with me to friend’s houses, during travel, to coffee shops, and anywhere I’ll be needing it on the go.
Why I want a MacBook Air:
It’s incredibly light and easy to store away with my other tech while not weighing down my bags. I’ve tested it out already and know from experience that it works just as quickly as a MacBook Pro for the minor needs I’ll need it for. And I just trust and know Apple products at this point.
So with everything I’ve said in mind … Should I pick up a MacBook Air? What size should I grab? Should I opt for the largest amount of Hard Drive space? And if you don’t think I should get a MacBook Air, what other light netbooks or small laptops can you recommend that would be great for someone on-the-go like I am? Something powerful enough to do what I need it to do, while not performing at frustratingly slow speeds (like my mom’s netbook)?
And as usual, thanks for reading.
XOXO Cheri XOXO