Less than a week after buying the iPad, I knew it wasn't for me. I carried the iPad with me to meetings, and once everyone quit ooohing and aaaaweing over the iPad, I would take out my laptop and do some work. I was frustrated with lack of a keyboard, hassle of printing, lack of a camera, lack of flash, lack of clamshell to protect the screen, connectivity / compatibility issues, constantly messy screen, etc. I decided I could live without this first Generation iPad and hopefully Apple would come out with a new solution that addressed most of my issues. They did…. The MacBook Air 11.6"
The Air is amazing for my Commercial Real Estate business. It has a great battery life (5+ hours with the screen dim). I unplugged it last night after a full charge, you used it this morning in Drumheller, and left the lid open, I used it at the Calgary airport, I've had it on my lap for the 5.5 hour flight and it still has 2.12 hours of battery left. I'm not used to trusting the battery life claims that computer manufactures make, but I get more time out of this laptop than I do my bulky 2009 13 inch MacBook Pro that this computer is replacing.
Five years ago, I used to look for the biggest laptop available, because you could get more option, a longer battery life, etc. Then when the first MacBook Air came out, I fell in love, but I had far too much data for the little computer. Now, with these new MacBook Airs the prices are lower, the specs are better, and there’s a new model with an 11.6″ display. It weighs 2.3 pounds and is .11″ at its thinnest point, making Apple’s smallest Mac portable ever.
The old air used to constantly be dead. I would leave the office, drive to a listing appointment in Brooks, AB go meet a client in Stettler, AB, and drive to Drumheller and the computer would be dead from all of the Standby time. This air, shuts down when you stop and talk to the person you are with... so it isn't continually draining the battery life.
It is a great size for an airplane, and has a full sized keyboard. I considered netbooks in the past but decided I couldn't have a mini keyboard to slow down my typing. It also fits neatly with my stack of 8.5 x 11 papers I carry in a folder. Most of my clients are stunned when I pull out the computer, as they had no idea that I had one with me.
I've bashed both netbooks and the iPad for their ability to only perform 70 percent of the functions that a regular computer can. I already have to make sacrifices with my iphone (which unlike the iPad and netbooks, fits in my pocket when I'm not using it) and I want to have a fully functioning computing device for computing that my mobile device can't do.
I maxed out the Ram and HD on the 11.6" model and I haven't yet found the machine underpowered. It wakes almost instantly just as effortlessly as the iPad and iphone.
I hardly notice the smaller screen size at all. The screen has amazing resolution (similar to the iPad). I have good eyes, and I usually only need to look at two windows on the screen at a time.
Although it is small, the screen certainly allows me to have two letter sized documents side by side at 75%.
For the mobile real estate professional I recommend they take a strong look at the 11.6" MacBook air.
and p.s. I actually did give the iPad away in a contest. I think they are great little devices for someone to play around with and I'm envious of the 3G connection inside the device. My decision was quick. If I couldn't do all of the same work on an iPad that I can do on my laptop, it wouldn't actually be a "laptop replacement".