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All posts tagged "macbook air"

Monday, February 28, 2011

MacBook Air, A Photographer's Friend

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 04:00 AM

"It's good to see that it's not only the geeks here at TUAW who are in love with the MacBook Air. Photographer and blogger Derrick Story at Macworld also has a great fondness for the lightweight Mac, although he's using it for more than just blogging."

There have been two posts from Derrick Story about his use of the MacBook Air as a part of his photography tool kit. The first one is here, and it goes into the aspect of "is it powerful enough?" and the second one posted here gives an insight into the workflow aspect of how Derrick uses his MacBook Air. Interesting reading, and it does help you decide if this amazing laptop will work for you. I've found in the month or so of using my MacBook Air 11-inch that it is indeed powerful enough for my everyday use.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Unique Option for Carrying Your MacBook Air and Your iPad

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 07:00 AM

"When I'm in transit I carry two Apple devices with me: my 11-inch MacBook Air and my iPad. Now there's no need to carry two different cases, as I put both devices into the US$99.99 Ful Brooklyn backpack."

The backpack called Brooklyn, made by Ful, retails for $99.00 USD and is rather unique since the iPad portion of the case actually detaches into it's own carry case. Handy if you don't want to carry the entire backpack, or don't need to but want the protection for your iPad. And vice versa I suppose if all you need is your MacBook Air.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The MacBook Air Wallet From WaterField Designs

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 07:39 AM

"The MacBook Air WalletTM is your compact MacBook Air travel case for the 11" MacBook Air and accessories. Three scratch free, lightly padded internal pockets keep your MacBook Air, SuperDrive, power adapter, and accessories separate and safe. A stretchy back pocket provides all the storage you need for your complete mobile office. Impact-resistant inserts further protect the MacBook Air and other accessories."

Looks like you can pack a lot of stuff into this new travel accessory from WaterField Designs, and you can bet it is a quality product. This particular product, called "The MacBook Air Wallet" is for the 11 inch MacBook Air and keeps all your needed accessories in one convenient carry case. It comes in six different colors and will retail for $89.00 USD, availability scheduled for the end of February this year.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

MacBook SuperDrive Case from WaterField Designs

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 11:00 AM

"WaterField Designs today is pleased to announce a new protective case custom fitted for Apple's MacBook Air SuperDrive. Mobile MacBook Air users may now carry a SuperDrive in the light and protective SuperDrive Sleeve that safeguards the device with ballistic nylon and shock-absorbing neoprene padding."

There are several images on the product page at WaterField Designs, and from them you can tell it's another well made product. My SuperDrive sits on a shelf at home when I am not using it so this is something that will work perfect to protect it. It is form fitted and also has a zipper pocket you can stuff the end of the chord into, as well as use it to store small items. The case is available for $25.00 USD.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Will My New MacBook Air Make Me a Real Fiction Writer?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple Talk" @ 07:30 PM

"One quality I think is endemic amongst all would-be (but probably won't-be) anythings is a passionate belief in gadgets being able to transcend their own lack of talent, intelligence or discipline. At least, that's certainly been true for me... which is probably why I'm a professional writer more by luck than by resolve.

It's strange, then, that after fifteen years I've finally found the perfect writer's machine in the new 11.6-inch MacBook Air. It fuses together both the best software and hardware of which a writer could ever dream, while boasting all of the slender and effortless portability of a composition journal. It is a writer's terminal in the purest sense: with its excellent battery life, ephemeral weight, satisfying keyboard and instant-on capabilities, the new MacBook Air is perfectly suited to be the nexus into the inner chaos of my own thoughts, feelings, hang-ups, pretensions and emotions as a blank page."

Very amusing read! "I want to write fiction, but the tools keep holding me back," is I what I took out of this, where the author bemoans the fact that with the sublime MacBook Air, the excuse has vanished, after many years of trying different computers. What seems to be implied here is that the real perfect tool would be the computer that manages to extract thoughts directly from the brain, and capture them in read-to-go story format. This hits pretty close to home, as I've tried writing science fiction stories over the years, and have always managed to find excuses to try to explain away why nothing ever made it past a couple pages. I too have a MacBook Air, and great Scrivener software, so I guess that this pokes giant holes in my remaining excuses as well. So, readers, look for excellent new works of fiction coming from a variety of new sources, and many apparently coming from MacBook Air computers.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Contest Time: WaterField Designs MacBook Air Suede Sleeve

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 04:23 PM

WaterField Designs is a company based in San Francisco, that makes high quality covers, sleeves, bags and pouches to carry and protect a number of electronic devices. All you have to do is visit their site at and you will soon see what I mean. I've been impressed in the build quality of their products in the past, and this time is no exception. The product above is the new sleeve for the latest versions of the MacBook Air, available in sized to protect your 11-inch or 13-inch MacBook Air, priced at $25.00 USD and $29.00 USD respectively. The sleeve is actually called the Suede Jacket Sleeve, and is made of a material they call "Ultrasuede®."


Friday, December 17, 2010

Maybe it Isn't Just a Toy

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 10:00 AM

"This MacBook Air is running four screens simultaneously. Its own, a 20-inch Apple Cinema Display, a 7-inch Mimo 720-S USB display and an Apple IIc running a terminal session through a serial cable. For an underpowered notebook, that's quite a feat."

I guess it isn't all that impressive really, since he is just sharing the display among several monitors, but I do like the workspace set up as a conversation piece. However, he hasn't really reached fanboy status though, since I don't see an iPad or iPhone anywhere in the picture, do you?

Tags: display, , macbook air

Monday, December 13, 2010

Apple's Macbook Air 13 (2010 Model) Unboxing & First Impressions

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Apple Laptops" @ 07:00 AM

This is an unboxing and first impressions video of the Macbook Air 13. This is the maxed-out model has a 2.16 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, 4 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce 320M GPU, Bluetooth, 802.11b/g/n WiFi. It has no CD/DVD drive, two USB ports, no Ethernet port, a built-in microphone and Webcam, and a headphone jack. The slender (0.11-0.68 inch) profile weighs in at 2.9 pounds. The full specs can be found on the Apple site. Read more...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

MacBook Air and the PowerBook 145B Head-to-Head

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Classic Apple" @ 11:30 PM

"The oldsters at TUAW (yeah, I'm one of 'em) just love it when someone does a comparison of some nice new shiny Apple technology with Michael Spindler-era Apple products."

I'm not quite sure what the intent is with this video, other than to show that an ancient PowerBook can still boot, and that it is indeed slower than a new MacBook Air, but not significantly. It is fun to see exactly what was state-of-the-art years ago in comparison with what is (arguably) today's state-of-the-art. From its release in mid-1993, at a cost of about $1649, seventeen and a half years later we have the MacBook Air for less money, memory has gone from 4MB to 4GB, storage from 40MB to at least 64GB (at least three orders of magnitude) and the processor has also gotten a wee bit more powerful. Would anyone care to guess what the state-of-the-art might be seventeen years from now?

Monday, November 29, 2010

iPad and MacBook Air are the Winners

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple News" @ 09:44 AM

"Apple saw a healthy demand for all of its products across the board on Black Friday, but the iPad and new MacBook Air were particularly strong sellers over the weekend, according to financial experts."

Gene Munster and his band of analysts spent some time in Apple stores on Black Friday, and noticed that the iPads and MacBook Airs were the most popular items, which goes along with recent polls. The 11-inch MBA was really moving, but overall Macs were selling about 8 per hour, roughly the same rate as last year at the same time. Typically, according to the analysts, Black Friday accounts for 10% of holiday sales. So, did you venture out on Black Friday or did you wait until today's Cyber Monday sales to make purchases?

Monday, November 22, 2010

MacBook Air Better Than Similar Windows 7 Laptops

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 03:00 AM

"We already know the 2010 MacBook Air models significantly improve on the previous generation in overall performance, but how do they stack up against Windows 7 laptops of similar size? Judged solely on performance, they dominate. With Windows 7 running on Apple's featherweight machines, our test results indicate that the new Airs ran faster than all but one recent netbook or ultraportable from Windows PC vendors."

You'll note that they used the low end MacBook Air in the above test, so imagine how much faster the top of the line MacBook Air is in comparison. They also worked it through some gaming tests, and the low end MacBook Air scored an impressive 24 frames per second when playing Call of Duty, something they note that most netbooks and ultraportables are unable to achieve, let alone run 3D games such as this. That being said, the downer was with regards to battery life, with the MacBook Air scoring roughly 4 hours versus the over 6 hours the netbooks and ultraportables averaged. Oh and there is that cost difference. The article goes into great detail in the comparisons so it is interesting if you are the least bit curious about how the MacBook Airs stack up.

Monday, November 15, 2010

MacBook Air: Best Laptop Ever!?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Laptops & Netbooks" @ 04:30 PM

"I picked up a new MacBook Air a few days after it was first introduced and have been using it as my primary mobile computer since then. If you want to skip reading a long block of text, I'll get to the point. The new MacBook Air is the best laptop I've ever purchased or used."

Can't really say that I disagree here. My experiences with my smaller (11.6-inch, 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD) MacBook Air are pretty similar. Astoundingly easy to carry around, although I don't think I'd get as extreme as the author - I don't want to carry it in a jacket pocket. Powerful? I've done some admittedly non-scientific performance tests against my new MacBook Pro with a Core i7 processor: simultaneously installing MS Office 2011 for the Mac, the MBA finished far ahead of the MUCH faster processor-equipped (but standard hard drive equipped) MBP. Of course, your mileage may vary. I expect that it'll be a great travel companion as well, but I haven't had a chance yet to test it out on an airplane tray table. Despite all the gnashing of teeth when the (only) 64GB SSD is mentioned, after installing everything that I need for (business) travel, I still have 40GB free. Even throwing on a movie or two and some music will not tax storage capacity. Coming from the days of floppy-only laptops, I find it a (fun) challenge to manage storage. This may not be everyone's best laptop ever, but it is for me! So far ...

What is Your Laptop Choice?

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 09:00 AM

"OK readers, here's the deal: I'm on the hunt for a new laptop, and I have certain specs that I want the laptop to have. Shockingly, the new 13.3" Macbook Air seems to come closest to the mark...but, given a choice, I'd prefer to not give Apple more of my money. I have no plans to run OS X regularly on it, so something that's built specifically for Windows 7 is more to my liking (rather than using Boot Camp on the Air)."

Interesting discussion over at our sister site, Digital Home Thoughts, regarding the question of which laptop the readers are suggesting for Jason. I'm kind of in the same boat, although my choices are limited to two, a MacBook Air or a MacBook Pro 15 inch, so I started reading through the thread and the MacBook Air was suggested by several readers as their choice for Jason. I'm leaning to this as the improvements have really piqued my interest and fills some of my need for speed in a laptop. Coincidentally, this article from Macworld came out about that very topic.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Consumer Reports Rates MacBook Air Tops

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 09:00 AM

"Consumer Reports may not like the iPhone 4 much, but it loves loves loves the MacBook Air."

It was pretty much across the board though, as not only did they give top ratings to the 11 and 13-inch MacBook Airs, but they also bestowed top honors on the 13, 15 and 17-inch MacBook Pros. The Consumer Reports blog link is here, but you have to either be a subscriber to go further, or just go with what Macworld is reporting. I doubt Macworld would lie about something like this though.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Flash Drains the Battery, Costs You Two Hours of Your Battery Life

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 11:00 AM

"Steve Jobs has repeatedly insisted that Flash is a resource-hog. A review of the 11-inch MacBook Air conducted by Ars Technica shows he's quite right. The new Air shows a drop in battery life with Flash installed, at a cost of around two hours of use."

Losing about a third of your battery life to Flash is annoying, but you can just install ClickToFlash and solve that problem. Or you can use this fix from Daring Fireball to avoid Flash issues. It appears a bit is needed to initially set it up but it does solve the problem of having Flash running in the background. How do you work around Flash, or do you?

Friday, October 29, 2010

What Does Mossberg Think of the MacBook Airs?

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 04:00 AM

"Technology journalist Walt Mossberg has reviewed Apple's new MacBook Air notebooks, and has given both the 11-inch and 13-inch models high praise for offering the long battery life and instant-on capabilities found in the iPad."

The consensus among all the reviews I've seen is that this machine is very fast with the flash system it uses, and some have even said this can be a replacement for your primary computer. Walt Mossberg on the other hand, while he notes that unlike the past MacBook Air you can run seven or eight programs at once with the new ones, still thinks they are only replacements for light-duty users. What to buy, what to buy.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

TSA and the MacBook Air

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 09:30 AM

"Really, TSA? Are you honestly so stoked to disappoint? If you'll recall, the American Transportation Security Administration got up close and personal with a first-generation MacBook Air after wrongly assuming it was an Apocalypse-bringer, and even after adjusting rules so that iPads, netbooks and other smaller electronics could fly through carry-on screening equipment without being unpacked, we've still heard of (and personally experienced) occasions where agents have demanded that tablet PCs be ran through naked."

Inconsistency is the one constant with TSA and their rules. I dealt with them several times last year when my daughter was going to pole vaulting competitions. All we wanted to know was how to pack her track spikes or if we could just carry them on board since they were pretty expensive and we didn't want them to get lost. Trying to figure out which of the 4 answers we were given on how to pack her track spikes was the correct answer was the challenge. So I take this stuff with a grain of salt because depending on which TSA agent is at the screening stations, you just might be forced to take it out. Yes, they can say it's ok but be prepared to take it out anyway. And DO NOT argue with them about it, it gets you nowhere but one of those rooms with no windows. Oh, regarding the spikes, we took them off the shoes and put them in a ziplock bag and put them in the carry on bag and no problem.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Macworld's Take on the MacBook Air

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 07:33 AM

"You can forgive Steve Jobs for a bit of hyperbole when he's on stage introducing new products to an audience of thousands of people following along via a live video stream and countless liveblogs. 'It's like nothing we've ever created before,' Jobs said when introducing the new MacBook Air. 'We think it's the future of notebooks.'"

And while Macworld likes what Apple presented, they were not too wowed by the 13.3 inch MBA, saying it was basically an improved version of the original. But when it comes to the 11.6 inch version they were impressed, calling it the "most novel new Mac released since the Intel Mac era began." The most interesting piece of the review for me was the benchmark section, in which you can see that the flash storage really make a difference when it comes to the speed of the new MacBook Airs. Granted, these tests were against the previous versions using the Core 2 Duo (the newer MB 15-inch and 17-inch use the i5 and i7 processors) but it does show you what a difference the flash storage makes. The review is thorough and if you are considering a new laptop like I am, or just plain curious, this is good information.

If you are really curious, you can also read what MSNBC has to say about them, or what the "most beloved Mac pundit" Andy Ihnatko thinks. Tech Crunch even has an opinion on the MacBook Air.

Ben Brooks Says Make the MacBook Air Your Primary Computer

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 06:30 AM

"Last night John Gruber posted on Daring Fireball that he feels the MacBook Airs place in the Mac lineup is as a second computer for the 13" and a sort of iPad Pro for the 11" model. It is an interesting perspective and I was glad to read it, but I completely disagree with him."

An interesting perspective, where Ben Brooks compares what Gruber said and what Brooks believes are counterpoints and arguments for making the new MacBook Air your primary computer. He breaks down Gruber's points and offers counterpoints (and good ones I might add) for making one of these new models of MacBook Air a choice if you are considering a new primary computer.

Laptop Magazine Reviews the MacBook Air, "Almost Perfect"

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 05:30 AM

"Apple's ultimate ultraportable combines a barely-there profile with a high-resolution display, instant-on functionality, and long battery life. It's as if the 13-inch MacBook Pro won The Biggest Loser."

You can really see why they say this too, since the MacBook Air is 1.5 pounds lighter, has enough processing power to supplant your primary computer, has a higher resolution than the 13-inch MacBook Pro and is FAST with it's flash storage. According to this review by Laptop Magazine, if you "want a mobile Mac this machine is almost perfect."

What isn't perfect for Laptop Magazine is that the MacBook Air 13-inch is too tall and deep for 13-inch laptop, the keyboard is not backlit and flash storage not designed to be upgraded. I really like my backlit keyboard and I think the ability to upgrade storage is definitely a hindrance for me. I've been thinking about getting a new laptop, leaning towards a MacBook Pro 15-inch, but after reading about this machine I'm back to pondering options again.

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