Saturday, 30 November 2013

New Apple MacBook Air 13 to replace Apple MacBook

Is the Apple MacBook Air any good?

When I purchased my Apple MacBook Air from A-Z Computer Services in Sale, I did not really ask too many questions about it. The hard drive failed on my trusty MacBook, just 18 months after I had replaced it. That Apple laptop had lasted me over 6 years and put the enjoyment back into computing after enduring years of rubbish from Windows-based junk. So staying with the Apple brand was a given.

The MacBook Air looks fantastic. Outwardly it looks about one-third the thickness of a standard  MacBook and feels like it weighs one-third, too. It looks very simple and elegant, with nothing visually stunning about it. The first thing I noticed when I got it out of the box at home was that the 2 USB ports are now located one on each side of the laptop. This is better than having them next to each other on the same side. This was especially so for me because my USB mobile broadband modem is too wide to permit the other USB port being used at the same time. So now I can at least run the modem and a printer at the same time.

There is still an issue in that the USB port on the left hand side is too close to the recharging outlet, so if you are recharging and have a wide USB mobile broadband modem like me, you will need to plug the modem in on the right hand side port. Frustratingly there is still only two USB ports, but hopefully we will see more and more wireless technology making issues a thing of the past. The other complaint I have is that there is no DVD drive. Yes the MacBook Air is thinner and lighter, making it more portable than its predecessors. But I still like a DVD back-up: now I have nothing to read them at all!!!

The future is seeing more and more of us utilize online backup resources such as Dropbox and iCloud, but it is nice to have something sturdy like a DVD. USB memory sticks are fragile and can break easily. Personally, I think it is a bit too early to do away with the DVD writer yet. But, I have made the jump, so I will have to get used to it! Other gripes: the bluetooth. It still has trouble syncing in with the iPhone. Mine is the iPhone 4S, so while it is not the latest unit, it's not old enough that you would think there'd be issues.

There was also software compatibility issues between the MacBook Air and my mobile broadband modem. This prevented me accessing the internet at all and so I had to take the laptop back to the shop the next day and have them download and install a software patch, plus all my backup files from a DVD I had with me! It's an ongoing issue that when you update hardware, you have to update a lot of software and even some other hardware and or peripherals. It can be a major inconvenience and in my case, days of productivity lost.

But now I am up to date! At least for now. The new MacBook Air 13 is small, light, compact and very fast. It looks the goods and is supposed to have a new and more sturdy hard drive that cannot fail in the same way the old ones did. We will have to wait and see, I guess. In terms of software, I have not noticed anything new or special but I am still getting used to the new mouse pad, which does not have a separate push key. Mine is the standard 128GB unit with 13" screen which cost $1,249 new. The alternative was to buy the highest spec iPad, but I was forewarned that the iPads do not yet have the full functionality of a laptop to replace the MacBook. So for now I am sticking with my roots!

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