I took the MacBook Air with me to Ohio when I spent a few days with the ShareThis team this week. I actually almost brought my MacBook Pro1 because I thought there was a chance I’d be needing to do some Photoshop work while I was there, but I’m glad I brought the Air instead. The Air did everything I needed, and worked fine for me as a development machine while on the road.
Advantages (over the MacBook Pro):
- Smaller and lighter, of course.
- The battery life is much better.
- It fits a lot better on the plane, especially when the person in front of you decides to recline into your space.
- It doesn’t get as hot during use.
- Smaller/lighter power cord.
- The battery takes a long time to charge. I was a little more paranoid about this than I needed to be as it turns out. With wireless off on the plane, and the screen not too bright, I was getting reports of 5+ hours available.
- The screen is smaller/shorter, which resulted in me hunching over more while using the machine. Bad for my back/shoulders.
The overall impression is that for me it’s an incremental improvement while traveling on more than a day trip. I generally pack the following gear in my backpack:
- Power cord
- Mini surge protector
- Targus lap desk (I have the old while model)
- Bag of goodies including my EVDO modem, wireless router, and various cables and adapters
- Noise reduction headphones in their big ‘ol case
- One or two magazines
At the end of the day, the couple pounds and space in the bag that the Air affords me over the Pro is nice, but can get a little lost in the shuffle.
On the flip side, I absolutely love the size and weight of the Air in day to day use. I’ve gone to a smaller bag and don’t carry as much around with me when I’m local, so I really notice the difference.
- I plan to be sell the MacBook Pro soon and replacing it with a Mac Pro at the office. I don’t need two laptops. [back]