Is the New MacBook Air Right For You?

Is the New MacBook Air Right For You?

Range Govindan
Oct 28, 2010

Apple just released their new version of the MacBook Air last week, and slowly but surely the reviews have started trickling in. The MacBook Air makes a few compromises to achieve its extreme low weight of 2.3 lbs for the 11.6-inch model and 2.9 lbs for the 13.3-inch model. But is it the right MacBook or laptop for you? Read on to find out more.

The MacBook Air is perfectly designed as a secondary or tertiary computer, meaning that if you've already got a desktop replacement laptop or a desktop computer, then the MacBook Air might do the trick for you. It all depends if you intend to carry your laptop around with you wherever you go. As most people have quickly discovered, lugging around a 4.5 to 6 lbs laptop, including the charger, can get heavy. The new Air is not a great computer if this will be your only one. However, it will still be perfect for some users. Check out if it applies to you.

I'm a PC user but this looks like a great way to try Mac
It all depends on what you'll end doing with it. For mobile uses, emailing, web surfing, etc, the MacBook Air will perform great. If you start doing tasks that will tax the processor, then you'll have problems. If you've already got a PC at home, then this could be a good secondary or tertiary computer.

I'm a student and this will be my main computer
While some students can get away with using this laptop as their main computer, it's not the case for everyone. If you really want to buy a Mac, then the MacBook, the MacBook Pro 13 and the MacBook Pro 15 are in the same price range as the two new MacBook Air models.

I'm a mom that wants her own computer
Once again, it depends on what you'll end up doing with the MacBook Air. Your family probably already has a desktop computer as well as a few laptops in the household. This means that the MacBook Air might work well for you, especially since it's so light, meaning that you can carry it around everywhere.

I will use it to play video games
While you can play some games on this laptop, it isn't suited to play many in good enough screen resolutions. Other laptops like the ones from Alienware are better suited for this.

I surf the web and do some light photo editing
The MacBook Air will do these tasks easily enough, as long as you don't start creating 4 GB HDR images in Photoshop. All in all, this is the type of user that the MacBook Air was made for.

I'm a serious photographer and will edit my photos in Photoshop
Even with the souped-up 13.3-inch MacBook Pro, you'll encounter problems using the MacBook Air. Since this version of the MacBook Air (13.3-inch, 4GB of RAM, 256 GB hard drive) costs as much as a MacBook Pro 15, the MacBook Pro 13 or 15 are much better choices for this.

I do some video editing
The processors on both MacBook Air models are slow when compared to the ones available on the MacBook Pro and other laptops. If you do quite a bit of video editing, then you should opt for another laptop.

I do light emailing, web browsing, Skyping, and social networking
The MacBook Air can do all of these pretty well, and this seems to be one of the best uses for such a light machine. You can easily carry it everywhere and you'll barely notice the weight. It's barely heavier than an iPad and will allow you to get more work done.

I'll use it in a business setting, at the office and on the go
The MacBook Air will work well for you, as you'll undoubtedly have a computer at work, as well as one as home. In essence, the MacBook Air will be your third or fourth computer, and as such, it will be easy to lug around meetings and flying around doing business type things. If your company runs on Windows, then you should consider installing Windows 7 with BootCamp.

[via Ubergizmo, photos via Cult of Mac]

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