MacBook Air: Fast internet for a fast little computer

Posted on by Mike Evans

This afternoon my new 11in MacBook Air (2.0GHz/8GB/256GB) has come into its own and is really flying. The speed comparison with my previous late-2010 model is dramatic. As you know, since I brought it home last week I have been without broadband, so I deliberately throttled back uploads to conserve my 3G sanity. And this lack of broadband contributed to the impression that the speed increase was not that dramatic.

Now the gloves are off. I loaded a stack of 18MB RAW files into Aperture this afternoon and it was fast. This was one of my major gripes with the 2010 Air. Processing RAW files was like watching paint dry. 

So far I am absolutely delighted and glad that circumstances conspired to make me get the Air. 

I still have the retina MacBook Pro on order for late July delivery but the arrival of the 11in Air has made me think afresh. I’ve taken advice from several techie friends and all have suggested I should cancel the order and await developments. One friend pointed out that for the cost of the retina MacBook Air I could afford two 27in Cinema Displays and still have enough left over for a new iPad.

All this is going through my mind at the moment and I must make a decision in a few days, certainly before there is any chance of delivery. 

Over the past two years I have been one of the 11in Air’s biggest fans and have defended it against those who argued that a bigger screen is necessary. What shouldn’t be overlooked in this respect is that the little 11.8in (diagonal) screen had the highest pixel density of any Mac until last week’s arrival on the retina MacBook Pro. The screen still looks pretty good, sharp and clear.

As a portable package,the Air continues to make good sense. It is hardly bigger, nor heavier than a combined iPad and bluetooth keyboard (which is really necessary if you are to be productive on the tablet). As a travelling companion the Air11 is unrivalled. If the small screen bugs you that much, an external display for home desk or work desk solves any quibbles.

I will communicate my decision in due course.

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