I have not personally seen, touched nor experienced the new MacBook Air, but I want one. Not because it’s an Apple product (ok maybe a bit) and not because it’s the fancy new machine but I want it for the portability. A powerful machine in a slim case.
Currently, when I go to and from work I carry a large Targus bag that houses, on a light day:
- an iPhone,
- an iPod Touch,
- a Nexus One
- a Droid 2
- a Blackberry,
- an iPad
- a Flip MinoHD
- a Magic Mouse
- a 1 TB external drive
- and a 17” MacBook Pro (early 2008)
- along with a tangled mess of associated cords and adapters.
(Hey, I do specialize in mobile development you know!)
The thing is a monstrosity and a huge weight to carry around—mostly because it has to fit a 17” MacBook in there.
I originally selected the 17” MacBook Pro for its power, longevity (a few years old and still a great machine) but mostly its screen size. I thought if I had a large screen there wouldn’t be a need for an external display. I could just drop the machine anywhere and get right to work. I was right and that was my problem. Think about it. Who really wants to carry a display around with them wherever they go?
In most cases, when I’m hard at work I’m sitting at a desk. This desk has a mouse, keyboard and an even lager external display to which I attach the MacBook. I still use the MacBook screen as a second display but I rarely take full advantage of its size.
When I’m using the MacBook away from my desk, at work or at home, I’m usually doing one of two things:
- working on a project while crammed into a position most ergonomists would have nightmares about, or
- fiddling with something that doesn’t require a large 17” screen.
In the former situation I should really be sitting at my desk, taking advantage of an external display, a comfortable chair and a healthy posture. Likewise, a smaller, lighter and more portable MacBook would be much better for the latter situation.
All around a smaller screen–and a smaller machine–makes way more sense. Had I thought of this then I never would have chosen a 17” model. The smaller 15” MacBooks would have suited me just as well but the new Air’s slim size and light weight have me yearning.
My only hesitations are the limit on the RAM and storage. Two gigabytes of RAM? I have four now and find that barely sufficient. Likewise the low end model with 64GB of internal storage isn’t going to cut it. I’m happy to keep most of my files on an external storage device but, as it stands, my Applications folder alone is sitting at 20GB.
If I could get a little more RAM the MacBook Air with a 27” display, external drive, wireless keyboard and mouse–on a nice desk–would be my ultimate workstation.
And to imagine carrying around a much nicer bag (If I’m imagining I may as well be in style, right?) makes me very happy. I only wish it were true.