MacBook Air Initial Impressions

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Apple’s MacBook Air is arguably the most elegant portable computer on the market. The device is lightweight and thin. But how does it stack up for practical use? Is the processor speed fast enough? Does the MacBook Air come with enough RAM to be practical? Is the machine really as light as people claim? Here are some first impressions of the 11.6-inch MacBook Air, along with the best and worst of what Apple’s smallest laptop has to offer.

This little baby comes with a 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. You can also choose the optional 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. You’ll find 2GB of RAM onboard with a 4GB maximum capacity. The 11.6-inch high-res screen has support for about a million colors. The device comes with a standard full-sized keyboard and a pretty sweet multi-touch trackpad. You can pinch, rotate, swipe, three and four-finger swipe, tap, double-tap and drag right from your trackpad.

You’ll be happy to find the built-in EyeSight camera, two USB ports, a microphone and of course a headphone jack. The NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor is enough to handle most of your graphics needs, and more than enough in a such a small portable device.

What’s interesting about this machine is that there’s no disk drive. Complaining that a computer such as this doesn’t have a tray for a disc is like complaining that YouTube doesn’t have a slot to stick things in. This machine doesn’t need any type of removable media (disc) options, honestly. The 13-inch model has an SD slot if you are really in need of one.

The MacBook Air is actually much faster than a new laptop that I recently won, likely due to the processor style inside of both machines. It’s also a better device than the MSI Wind netbook I happen to own. Can you not see the huge difference in profile between the Wind and the Air? The MacBook Air wins out when it comes to speed, thinness and even looks. I happen to prefer that gorgeous aluminum. That’s part is personal preference, of course.

I personally think that my Air was a bargain at a bit over $800 USD and free shipping. It has better specs at the base level than many “higher-end” netbooks and notebooks.

I happen to LOVE that this machine has “instant-on” features. I open the lid, and it is ready to go. There’s no waiting on an operating system to load. I don’t have to sit here and whistle Dixie while waiting for the device to wake itself up.

I am also adoring the layout itself. The keyboard is just perfect for my fingers. Even though I have small hands, the keyboards on most small-ish devices just don’t work for me. I end up making eighteen typos before the end of any given sentence. I don’t have this problem with my Air.

If you’re on the go and need something to carry with you, I think this device will suit your needs perfectly. I’m told that it runs Windows very well, even though I haven’t tried it yet myself. This machine is fast, it’s light and it works very VERY well.

Have you used the new MacBook Air? What are your initial impressions?