One week on: Five criticisms of the new MacBook Air

Summary:After a week of owning and using my new MacBook Air, the experience has been vastly positive. That is, however, bar five minor (but significant) issues.

I have taken to my new MacBook like a Perlow to a restaurant, or a Kendrick to a... well, any gadget really.

But it does not go without caution. For though I have fallen head over heels with my new MacBook Air, it is not immune to some objective criticism. Granted, from the selection of five 'issues' I have with the updated line of Air products, you may view them as somewhat frivolous, pithy or too picky.

That is because, dear reader, and this is to be kept strictly between you and I, it was difficult finding flaws with it. I could literally only find five physical flaws.

On with the show.

(Image via Flickr)

1. My wrists dig into the front sharp edge of the device. Sat in the perfect typing position with the outward edges of each hand resting gently on the aluminium casing each side of the trackpad, the bottom edge of the device is near razor sharp.

Though only a few millimeters thick, after no more than five minutes of typing the above paragraph, it has left two slightly sore red patches and a thin indented groove from where the edge has imprinted itself into my wrist.

I wonder if the AppleCare Plan covers extensive self-inflicted typing injuries?

2. The fully clickable trackpad isn't very clickable. Though the Air is advertised as a MacBook with a fully clickable trackpad, it requires a stronger tap to press towards the top of the trackpad than the bottom. As this seems to be relatively inconsequential to aforementioned damage to my hands, I can probably overlook this one if push came to shove.

3. The screen is surprisingly tricky to clean. Every half hour or so, I have to wipe the semi-glossy screen of the collected crud and -- let's all be mature about this -- bits of spittle for when one shouts at his new MacBook because it doesn't do what one expects.

But other touch-based Apple products -- such as those running iOS -- are protected, or designed to be protected, against extreme smudges and fingerprint oils. Without specialised glass cleaner, getting all the smudges off the screen is surprisingly tricky.

4. The battery can't possibly last five hours; can it? After discussing this with further afield CBSi colleagues on Twitter, apparently it can. But to date, with a screen on medium brightness and Wi-Fi enabled internet, I have only been able to squeeze out about two and a half hours. Without Wi-Fi and with a dim screen and no backlit keyboard, I suppose it is possible but still nevertheless still a difficult feat to achieve.

5. There are only two USB ports. I know, it is a minor thing in the grand scheme of world troubles, revolutions and patent disputes. But, as someone with a bajillion thumb drives and other peripherals which could be plugged into the Air for reasons of data transfer or charging, I feel constricted by only two ports.

It's a good job that most of Apple's external devices -- like keyboards, mice and other fancy gadgetry -- are wireless. That is, unless you are an iOS device, where cannot escape the necessity to keep one port spare at all times in case you need to panic sync your iPhone.

Related content:

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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