Back to the my perfect Mac


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I’ve ordered the new 11-inch MacBook Air Apple announced at their recent “Back to the Mac” media event. I haven’t seen it in person, played with it, or read any detailed reviews, but I ordered it anyway. You know why? Because it’s the laptop I’ve always wanted.

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A few years back I side-graded to a 12-inch PowerBook G4 (pictured above) from the 14-inch MacBook for reasons of small-enising. I loved the look and the feel of a 12-inch computer — it felt high-end, purposeful, designed. I loved it. It was a joy to use.

Then Moore’s law waltzed in, bringing the web and desktop technology with it. My 12-inch PowerBook started to age. I desperately researched ways of keeping it up to speed: hacking in a high-resolution display, hacking in more RAM, hacking in some backlit keys, but it was either expensive or impossible. Eventually I had to sell it and upgrade. That was a sad day. I moved up (in size and specs) to the first 13-inch Aluminium MacBook (which was later nudged into Apple’s Pro line with the new title MacBook Pro). This is the computer I’m writing on right now. It has more power than I need in a laptop, as well as more ports than I need, and an optical drive I rarely (but sometimes[1. I’ve also ordered the separate optical drive to make installing software easier. I figure I can use the optical drive on any mac.] use.

All that’s about to change with the 11-inch MacBook Air. I know it’s the laptop for me, because:

  • It’s smaller and lighter than my 12-inch PowerBook. So it’s perfect for taking it places and using it ’round the house, especially on the couch.
  • It’s higher powered than my 12-inch PowerBook. More than enough for doing what I do now on my MacBook[2. In saying that, I’ve ordered the spec’d up one with 128GB storage, and 4GB RAM as these are not upgradeable later on.]. No heavy-lifting (that’s what my Mac Pro’s for), plenty of web-surfing and email, writing to this blog, and occasional light, non-serious image editing.
  • It has more storage than my 12-inch PowerBook. Even in the terabyte era, it’s enough to get me through. I was nervous about moving from my current MacBook’s 250GB storage to 128GB, but when I think about it for a few seconds, I realise I don’t have any music on it (Mac Pro and Mac Mini hooked up to stereo and TV have it all), I don’t store any photos on it (Mac Pro) and I don’t store videos on it (Mac Mini + TV)[3. I usually download movies, documentaries, and TV shows onto my MacBook initially, until they’re watched, usually in bed. After that I either delete them completely if they’re crap, or transfer them to the Mac Mini for keeps.].
  • And lastly:

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Ex-12-inch PowerBook nostalgia aside, I expect the MacBook Air has been engineered to the highest standard, and I appreciate such things. I’ve often said I’m willing to pay more for quality, especially in a design sense, and I know this computer will not disappoint. I expect after a few weeks I’ll gleefully add it to my Things series because it already has all the hallmarks to belong there. I’m 99% sure I’ll love it with all my tech-nerdy heart, but because I’ve not yet seen it, the last 1% is reserved for hope.

Oh yeah, I’ll likely have my current machine for sale in a couple weeks if anyone’s interested…