The Apple Macbook Air turns heads. It is amazingly thin and amazingly sleek-looking. But is it amazingly practical as an ultraportable laptop? It won me over and had me using it over my iMac for more than a month now. But here are the reasons why I think the Macbook Air is impractical for many.
Battery Life Sucks
The battery life is the Achille's Heel of the Macbook Air. It is nowhere near the advertised 5 hours for the usage of 99% of us. I'm getting an average of 3.5 hours with Wi-Fi on and a dimmed down display. That is still more than your average laptop. But it's not the ultimate mobile blogging machine I thought it could be, as I need more than just 3.5 hours when I'm out blogging.
Furthering on point 1's problem is the non-swappable battery. So to get more juice outdoors, the AC adapter is required. Alternatively, you could fork out another couple of hundreds for an external power source. [QuickerTek
] [Battery Geek
] That makes the Macbook Air even more expensive than it already is.
Oh Lonely USB Port
You get only one USB port. Plug in a HSDPA USB modem and you can't attach a USB mouse. Attach a USB mouse and you can't connect your USB harddisk. You get the idea. This is going to be very frustrating for most users.
No Optical Drive
You may be like me, someone who don't use your laptop's DVD drive very often at all. But it will definitely come a day when a friend wants to hand you some files on a disc, and you look at him embarrassingly and say you don't have an optical drive. You could buy the external optical drive, but that means more weight, defeating the purpose of the Macbook Air. Or you could use Remote Disc
, but I suspect you might bump into networking and firewall issues at times.
No Ethernet Port
So far, the Wi-Fi has been serving me fine. But if you go to a place where there is no W-Fi and only Ethernet, you are screwed. But of course, you could get yourself a USB ethernet port, which takes up your only USB port. And if you have do not get this accessory, forget about Remote Disc since you can't get hooked to a network.
Pay More, Get Less
You get less of everything. No optical drive, no Ethernet port, no Firewire ports, one USB port, lesser processor speed than all other current Macbooks, slow 4,200RPM hard drive, and mono speakers. Perhaps thinness and weight are the only two things that they give you less and are actually good.
In conclusion, using a Macbook Air is akin to driving a Coupé. You get less for what you pay for. But it's the experience that can't be found in any other products, which draws a unique crowd to the Macbook Air.