The 11-inch MacBook Air is the best laptop I've ever owned

The 11-inch MacBook Air is the best laptop I've ever owned

Summary: Not only can it last more than 5 hours on a single charge, but a simple hook to power for 30 minutes brings you from 10 minutes to 3 hours of computing fun again.

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I've been meaning to write this article for about a month now, but with today's announcement of new MacBook Air machines from Apple, it couldn't be more timely.

If you're not familiar with the announcement, Apple has killed off its white MacBook and has made its new entry level laptop the MacBook Air for $999. Granted, it's a solid notebook for the price, but I wouldn't call it entry level, especially since its closest PC competition can be had for less than $500.

As for why I think it's the best laptop ever, there are a number of reasons. First off, when I initially saw the 11-inch MacBook Air, I figured it was more of a toy than a real machine. That all changed when I saw my colleague, Jonathan Stark, not only developing on it, but also using it to make an international Skype call, while sitting in my passenger seat on a long drive. Second, it can do some serious crunching. I've composed songs in Garageband, edited videos in iMovie, and regularly hook it up to my 22-inch Dell monitor for some extreme computing.

The best thing about it, though, is its portability and battery life. Not only can it last more than 5 hours on a single charge, but in my tests, with only 10 minutes of charge remaining, a simple hook to power for 30 minutes brings you 3 hours of computing fun again.

I really can't say enough great things about this laptop. All of the negatives that I expected were quickly turned to positives either by usage or by finding some workarounds. For example, if the screen size seems too small, just enlarge the font or change the screen resolution. It seems pretty obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people don't realize it's just one or two clicks away.

If you're in the market for a new laptop, take a close look at the MacBook Air 11-inch. It combines portability, ease of use, great battery life and price, and delivers a solid machine for the money.

Also, the upgrade announced today brings a faster processor, more storage space, a backlit keyboard, and more, all in the same form factor--amazing, not to mention that worst case, if 11-inch is too small, the 13-inch is just one click away. I had even toyed with upgrading, but for now, my less than two month old MacBook Air is more than enough.

Are you sporting a MacBook Air or about to pick up the new one? Share your comments below.

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility

Joel Evans

About Joel Evans

With more than 15 years of mobile, Internet and wireless experience, Joel specializes in taking existing brands and technologies into the mobile and wireless space. Joel is currently the VP of Strategy Integration for Mobiquity, an enterprise-class mobile solutions provider.

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264 comments
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  • RE: The 11-inch MacBook Air is the best laptop I've ever owned

    5 hours? Your expectations must be real low. I can buy a year old convertible tablet with Win 7 that lasts 8-10 hours for around $400. While this MBA may be suitable for Mac users, it's still running last century's Unix and is really another example of conspicuous consumption.
    tonymcs1
    • Have you considered

      Not telling such wild tales of dubious foundation in the actual world?
      ego.sum.stig
      • RE: The 11-inch MacBook Air is the best laptop I've ever owned

        @ego.sum.stig@... I have an old solo 1450 from Gateway that lasts longer. It's at least more than ten years old.
        RobertMoore12
      • RE: The 11-inch MacBook Air is the best laptop I've ever owned

        @ego.sum.stig@...

        tonymcs might be stretching but there are year old tablet PCs that you could be used for $400 that get a solid 5+ hours like the HP tm2.
        Heatlesssun
      • 5 hours *does* seem pretty lame to me...

        @ego.sum.stig@...<br>If I'm buying a notebook and it only lasts 5 hours, I keep looking as that's the kind of time I'd be impressed with on a 5 - 10 year old machine - it's 2011 and things have changed A LOT since then.<br><br>Unless that 5 hours is non-stop video playback??<br><br>My 11in timeline notebook lasts 8 - 10 hours (8 with Wifi, 10 without). Naturally, that's not playing video the whole time, but just my general day to day work - coding, web design, webserver/database server running on start up, the odd youtube video etc.<br><br>I love this thing - never thought I'd like an acer product this much ;) - it even has both VGA and HDMI connectors and is extremely compact... my desktop hardly gets any use since buying this. Also works great with the HDMI port into my 24in monitor if I'm at my desk - or the TV in a hotel etc - bluetooth keyboard + mouse ;)<br><br>$650 with built-in 3G, 3x USB ports, SD card slot etc.
        iFX.64
        • ignore this

          sorry for repost - first it got marked as spam??? so tried again ;)
          iFX.64
      • RE: The 11-inch MacBook Air is the best laptop I've ever owned

        @ego.sum.stig@...
        why is everyone comparing laptops that are 4 to 5 times the volume of this machine and saying it lasts longer... sure a gateway solo 1450 battery might last longer, but its battery is almost as big as the entire Macbook Air.
        doh123
      • RE: The 11-inch MacBook Air is the best laptop I've ever owned

        @RobertMoore12@... Comparing the solo 1450 to the Air is absurd. Considering that the solo is 3 pounds heavier than the air and has Pentium III processor. This is like comparing the MPG of a new Corvette to a 20 year old Geo Metro.
        jonfleck
      • RE: The 11-inch MacBook Air is the best laptop I've ever owned

        @ego.sum.stig@...

        Huh?
        dprozzo
      • RE: The 11-inch MacBook Air is the best laptop I've ever owned

        @ego.sum.stig@... All laptops can do what you just stated with the exception of the ba<a href="http://www.tran33m.com/vb/">t</a>tery charging. You think its the best laptop given the price you paid and don't want to ad<a href="http://vb.maas1.com/">m</a>it you got overcharged.
        alasiri
    • RE: The 11-inch MacBook Air is the best laptop I've ever owned

      @tonymcs@...

      Win 7 that lasts 8-10 hours: nice joke. Windows and 8-10 hours of battery life, that ain't never gonna happen
      shellcodes_coder
      • RE: The 11-inch MacBook Air is the best laptop I've ever owned

        @shellcodes_coder
        Guess again!
        I have a two year old ASUS UL to which I added an 128gb SSD.
        I get 10+ hours of regular use from one charge.
        With an i3, 1gb switchable video, 4gb ram and 13" display, etc... All total for less than the entry-level MBA.
        rhonin
      • RE: The 11-inch MacBook Air is the best laptop I've ever owned

        @shellcodes_coder - I think you might be stuck in 2008!<br><br>Win 7 laptops that last all day are not uncommon.<br>For example, check out the Acer Aspire TimelineX 5820T at <a href="http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/laptops/362494/acer-aspire-timelinex-5820t" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/laptops/362494/acer-aspire-timelinex-5820t</a><br><br>Its got a 15.6" screen and the battery lasts 9.5hrs and that's without an SSD, and it costs half as much as a MacBook Air, which leaves plenty in the kitty for an SSD!
        boycottFUD
      • RE: The 11-inch MacBook Air is the best laptop I've ever owned

        @shellcodes_coder
        You are out of your mind. Lenovo T420S easily gets 6 hours and, if used gently (just office docs and email) can go 8+.
        x I'm tc
      • RE: The 11-inch MacBook Air is the best laptop I've ever owned

        @shellcodes_coder HP's DM1Z with an AMD Fusion processor scores 7+hours of use under a Wifi/heavy flash browsing test, and 5 hours playing back 720p video. 3GB ram, 320GB 7200rpm hd, gigabit ethernet port, HDMI, Bluetooth, etc. for $479.
        jgm2
      • RE: The 11-inch MacBook Air is the best laptop I've ever owned

        @shellcodes_coder One must remember the source, It is difficult for Apple users to justify the expense and lack usable software with something to believe makes Mac and Apple better. It does seem like a paid advertisement by Jobs.
        dottholliday
      • RE: The 11-inch MacBook Air is the best laptop I've ever owned

        @shellcodes_coder

        The joke's on you: http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=6056&review=lenovo+thinkpad+x220
        Heatlesssun
      • Better not let the computers know

        @shellcodes_coder
        they're running far longer then you said they should - they might get mad they're working longer then they had to! ;)
        William Pharaoh
      • RE: The 11-inch MacBook Air is the best laptop I've ever owned

        @shellcodes_coder So if the guy claimed that for his Apple contraption, regardless of what it was or who he was, you'd believe it. Another brainwashed apple zombie, obviously.
        garyleroy
      • Want to bet!

        @shellcodes_coder<br><br>The 11" MacBook Air, may be the best APPLE LAPTOP people have owned. But, if you truly wanted battery life on a laptop and for a good price, as others have said, get the Acer Aspire Timeline. I have the Aspire Timeline 5810 with Windows 7, and the thing gets up to 10 hours of battery life, and that's with a 15.6" screen!
        Crash2100