Air Quandary: Why Would You Get the New MacBook Air

Air Quandary: Why Would You Get the New MacBook Air

Range Govindan
Sep 27, 2010

If you've checked out the most recent Mac rumors, it seems that the new MacBook Air will get a smaller 11.6-inch screen. To some people it might seem somewhat strange that Apple might actually reduce the screen size of the Air, but we got to hand it to them, it kind of makes a lot of sense. Why? Read on to find out more.

One of the main reasons why Apple is probably going to do this is that they need to differentiate their different products. If you've got a MacBook, a MacBook Pro, and a MacBook Air all available in 13.3-inch versions, it's hard to see why you'd pay more for a similar product.

The greatness of the MacBook Air has always been it's lightness and portability. At 3 pounds, it's about half of what usual laptops will weigh, making it very attractive to users who want something ultraportable, but can't stomach using an iPad for any length of time. The iPad is great for consuming media, but once you try to make it work in order to get things done, it gets more complicated. The small form factor of the iPad is usually eclipsed by the fact that you'll need some kind of a keyboard in order to use it fully.

The fact of the matter is that if you've got a larger laptop, 15-18-inch screen, you'll get tired of lugging them around after a while. They can get heavy in a pack filled with books and the other things that you'd find in your daily bag. This is why the MacBook Air is still relevant. It's a mix of both worlds. You get a decent-sized screen, a SSD hard drive (128GB and up), and a great keyboard. All of the other bits, like the optical disc drive, have been cut away to save weight. Makes a lot of sense if you use your laptop for work.

The elimination of the optical disc drive might have shocked people, but honestly, I rarely use my optical drives, even if I install drivers and programs. We're hoping that the new MacBook Air comes with a longer battery life, bigger SSD hard drive, and better-looking screen. If the Air fills some of these requirements, it might make a lot more sense to purchase than the iPad.

[images via Wikipedia, Tech Sassy, Maury McCown via CC License]

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