Almost 30 years have passed since I first owned a Mac. I bought one of the very first 128K Macs in London in the winter of 1984. It cost more than a new car. I know because we bought a Citron 2CV at around the same time.
Macs were my first choice until around 15 or so years ago when we decided to spend less money on computer and pay school fees for our children instead. Since then I mainly worked with Windows PCs.
On Friday I picked up a 13 inch MacBook Air from the YooBee store in Britomart.
Apple’s MacBook Air is a beautiful piece of engineering. And it is a delight to use after years of Windows and the odd diversion into desktop Linux.
Physically it is spot on, although I still find the keyboard and trackpad a little unfamiliar. There are moments when I’m not certain about the Mac way of doing things: simple things like moving the cursor to the end of a line of text. No doubt command-right arrow will become natural with time. And I guess I learn to stop hitting the Caps Lock key.
One reason I chose the new MacBook Air is its signature feature: battery life.
Apple claims you’ll get 12 hours from a single charge. While I suspect you couldn’t watch video non-stop for 12 hours, the claim is not ridiculous. I charged the MacBook on Friday after I got home, did a ton of work over the weekend and didn’t need to plug it in again until Monday lunch time.
At a guess I’d say that was close 16 hours of work in total. Or slightly better than I get from my iPad.
The key is the new Haswell processor. Apple slowed the processor down to help it maximise battery life. The chip is smart at closing down when the computer is not in use.
In practice this liberates you from power worries. If I take this computer out to work, I won’t need to carry a power cable. There’s no need to schedule things around places with power outlets.