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]
I took the AIR with me down to SXSW, and it was awesome. I could do everything I needed to do, and it wasnt a beast to carry around the conference, or whip out in the Blog Haus.
Put it on your bag, and you wont hunch quite as much. I also pushed it further away from me than I do the air.
Exactly – it’s perfect for “moving around with”. The amount of gear I travel with made the delta between the Air and the Pro negligible for air travel, etc., but I really appreciate it when I need to have it along when walking around.
I can totally understand where your coming from. I made the choice to go with the MacBook Pro… and love it.. until I have to put it in my bag and carry it around. I work in New York City so every block seems like unnecessary torture. But with no desktop at home, this was the best option!
Ideally i’d love a big-ol Mac Pro at home and Air in my backpack 🙂
I am surprised that some people find little difference when traveling with the Air. When I pulled my MBP, its larger charger and a spare battery from my bag I figure I saved my shoulder from three plus pounds. My bag went from weighing almost 12 pound to just over 8. Running across the airport that makes a noticeable difference to me.
The MBA requires a re-evaluation of your needs. I find it is smiliar to the one bag philosophy: only take one carry-on bag while travelling, regardless of the lenght of your stay. I carry an MBA and an Aeronaut from Tom Bihn.
I find that it is almost always is sufficient. And when not, the workarounds are not to difficult or time consuming.