Why I believe an 11″ MacBook Air is the ideal laptop for me

I briefly posted on my Posterous blog that I hope to make the new 11″ MacBook Air my next laptop. After considering what I want out of my next laptop here is why I believe that the MacBook Air will be the ideal machine for me. Due to the quality of a number of web based apps and a handful of open source, light weight, desktop apps the 128GB (with 4GB RAM) 11″ MacBook Air offers more than enough power, speed and space for me. I thought I would share what I plan to use the laptop for and the apps that I would install. It offers some insight to the way I maintain my productivity, write and keep up with my day-to-day life. Here goes:

  • Surfing the web – Google Chrome (and here’s why)
  • Email – Gmail / Sparrow
  • Calendar – Google Calendar
  • RSS – Google Reader
  • Twitter – Twitter for Mac
  • Managing my iTunes library – Have added less than 300MB this year in comparison to 30GB over the previous four. 128GB is more than enough space for me to maintain my iTunes library.
  • Blogging – Notational Velocity (I run a forked version which can be found here at elastic threads)/ WordPress
  • Making Notes and Lists – Notational Velocity / Evernote
  • Writing papers for my MA – Notational Velocity / Evernote / WordPress
  • Presentations – Google docs / Preview

The footprint of the free and open source apps that I will be installing (Google Chrome, Sparrow, Twitter for Mac, Notational Velocity and Evernote) is very minimal – less than 300MB. This small footprint combined with the fact that the laptop is light weight (1.06kg), small and yet durable with a full size keyboard makes it the perfect laptop for a minimalist like myself. In addition to this, it is simply a beautifully designed machine. Now, I’ve just got to save up the cash.

Image: Dan Taylor

Published by

James Michie

Husband, Educator, Writer, Runner...

8 thoughts on “Why I believe an 11″ MacBook Air is the ideal laptop for me”

    1. I thought about the iPad but while checking email, browsing the web and reading would be a pleasurable experience, I am not convinced that I could use it as my primary writing machine. I need the tactility of a real keyboard.

  1. An informative article. I have opted for the 13″ Macbook Air with 4GB memory and 256GB storage. Although I use most of the apps you already mentioned I also need access to Windows and always run a Virtual Machine with windows on it. Although storage may have posed a problem in the future I have signed up for an Amazon S3 account and store any extra there. I am able to connect to the remote storage using Transmit. My Macbook Air should be arriving this week and will see how things go. Looking forward to it.

    1. I only need access to Windows at work so will not need to install Remote Desktop on this machine.

      As for 4GB RAM, I am undecided, I will not be installing any memory sucking apps such as Photoshop or Premiere Pro, not even Adobe Air to run the desktop version of TweetDeck. However, sometimes it is a good idea to future proof a purchase as I may need more power down the line.

      Decisions, decisions!

  2. I love my 11″ macbook air!! I only went for the 64GB and have had no real issue with space but I use spotify so don’t maintain my itunes library on it (that lives on the imac).

    The ipad/macbook air argument doesn’t really make sense as an either or as they are really very different machines. I use my macbook air for writing and more serious work around school. The ipad I use in meetings and for managing my todo lists!

    1. I just can’t do it Andy! Spotify does have some appeal but I need to know that I own the music. Even, if sometimes that is simply an MP3 file on the computer as apposed to a CD, I still know that it is there, it exists. Perhaps it is silly to hang on to such a 20th century idea of music ownership but it is something I can’t let go of.

      On the other hand I have completely let go of buying/reading physical books in favour of PDF or EPUB versions. So I know that I can change. With music, I think I simply don’t want to. Maybe it has got something to do with the geek-like pleasure I derive from editing my iTunes library to ensure that every track is in the correct order, every title spelled correctly, every piece of album art present and every file rendered at the same bit rate to ensure consistency.

      Did I really just write that? I think I’ve got some serious OCD issues to work out. 🙂

  3. Hi James, happy New Year. I was given a Mac Book Pro for Christmas, it was aslo a birthday present as well. I am in love with it, sad I know but it is great. Made even better by the fact that Apple have just released the Mac App store with some excellent apps at a considerably reduced price (for te moment at least). Which ever you decide to get I am sure that you will enjoy it.

    Like Andy I use Spotify, however I like photography and an 11″ screen and the reduced hard drive would soon be eaten up. Plus I like the weight, feel and general size of the mac book.

    As an aside Google docs is coming on great guns.

    Take care and good look with the MA

    PS: I would also like an IPad, however my wife would kill me

    1. The iPad is appealing but I am first and foremost a writer. I just can’t see me using it that much, like my iPod touch it will become another device that is nice to play with once-in-a-while but that more often than not sits on the table collecting dust.

      My work MBP is a dream machine but I just don’t need that kind of muscle at home; not to write, tweet and surf.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying Google docs. I am continuing to develop new ideas and uses. Some of which will be documented in my research for my MA.

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