A couple of months ago I was trying to figure out what to replace my 5.5 year old trusty 12 inch Powerbook laptop with, and I narrowed it down to three options:
- a 13 inch MacBook Pro,
- an 11 inch MacBook Air and
- a 13 inch MacBook Air.
A couple of people (in particular Andrew) were very generous in sending me their thoughts and I thought I’d do a quick run-down of what I based my final decision on and what I ended up with and how’s it’s panning out so far.
First up, a few posts other people have written on the MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro (MBA vs MBP from now onwards) that might be helpful to read:
- Marco Arment (yep, the guy who created the awesome Instapaper) writes about the Air and the Pro
- A fairly comprehensive lowdown on the 11inch and 13 inch Airs on Macworld
- The Brooks Review on the MBA vs MBP
- Techcrunch review of the new 11inch and 13inch Air
I narrowed down my criteria to these:
- portability: I wasn’t quite sure how I’d be using it (mostly at home? mostly carrying around?), but to keep my options open I wanted something which was light and easy to carry around, and not too big
- speed: I don’t run heavy applications and would be ok with an ‘average’ kitted out machine to do what I would need it to (e.g. internet, email, presentations
- keyboard: I wanted a full-size keyboard, for easy typing
- battery life: I needed to be able to use it for a few hours without having to hunt out a power outlet
- screen: no sparkle and glare please, I loved my old Powerbook matte screen.
And what did I end up with? *drumroll please*…. The 13 inch MacBook Air, normal spec! And so far, so lovely. I love the size and weight (which are both good enough to work on all day, and light enough to carry around), the keyboard is very responsive, and the screen is great, crisp and clear without the sparkle and reflection.
And as added bonuses: the SD port for our camera memory has come in handy a few times already and the super-fast start-up time once you life the lid.
Now all I need is a good sleeve and I’ll be all set!