Macbook Air – The Bad and The Ugly

August 28, 2012 — Leave a comment

Okay, it’s not fair that I am not going to write about the good.  But, only because that list is too long.  I absolutely love my Macbook Air and I wouldn’t trade it for anything… for the most part.  But I would never trade it for any Windows machine, ever.  Trading thoughts cross my mind only when I think about the Macbook Pro. I’m a recent Mac convert and was highly suspicious that the hype might be overrated, before I bought one. But, it is worth all the hype and more.  Like any other Mac user, I will never go back! It is a pleasure to use, a productivity enhancer and more.  I am no longer afraid of closing the lid (I was terrified of closing my Windows machine, given how long it took to regain wireless connectivity when I opened it again!).

So, what’s bad about it? I wish this wonderful keyboard had 2 more keys – ‘Home’ and ‘End’! Those are the two keys I miss from my Windows machines. All other missing keys are well compensated for – for e.g., I never once miss the Page Up/Down keys, given the fantastic, smooth gesture support on the trackpad. I don’t really miss the ‘Delete’ key (the ‘delete’ on the Mac is the Backspace equivalent), given how easy it is to precisely place the cursor using the trackpad again. But the ‘Home’ and ‘End’ keys are handy.

Okay, so, that was somewhat small, maybe even bordering on silly (how many times do you use the ‘Home’ or the ‘End’ buttons – the inconvenience is in the noise when you consider the net gain in productivity overall arising from platform stability). So, then, how come there is an Ugly side, you ask. Well, this becomes specific to the Air. It falls a little short as a primary engineering work machine. Simultaneous multiple instances of Chrome, video playback, SSH and code compilation seems to be a bit too much to handle. It’s not that it gets noticeably sluggish – far before the machine slows down to any extent, it gets uncomfortably hot and the fans are blowing at a disconcerting volume! You see, if you used a Windows machine, you would be so used to the CPU grumbling loudly all the time that you will hardly notice it.  But, a couple of days of Mac usage can spoil you. Now you start hearing the fan (which is 10x softer than the fan on any hardware running Windows).  This alone might make me swap my Macbook Air for a Pro.

All told, I love my Macbook Air – I have no idea how I functioned without it for so long 🙂


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