What do you get when you combine an iPad with a MacBook? Pure heaven!
Ding dong. My doorbell rang at nine something in the morning. Fortunately, I had already awoken, and lay in bed collecting my thoughts for the day. As soon as I heard the doorbell, I immediately realized what it hopefully meant. I threw on my slippers and rushed downstairs to see the Fedex guy with a package. I signed and thanked him. “New computer?” he asked. “Yep! The new MacBook Air! Thanks!” “I’m just glad you were home.” he said as he left. I felt the same way.
I brought the box upstairs and opened it, revealing the most beautiful laptop I had ever put my hands on! At first, I wondered if they had sent me an iPad by mistake, since it has the same aluminum enclosure, but I quickly brushed that thought off as I found the front indentation to open the screen. I gently lifted it, and beheld the perfect keyboard and amazing glass trackpad. The keys feel great, not too rigid, but a little mushy, but not to that extreme either, a good balance. I find it very pleasant to type quickly on it. This text flows very naturally. The glass trackpad feels like a Magic Trackpad in the center of the bottom below the keyboard. It feels so liberating to finally own a laptop with a trackpad I can actually use! Thank you again Apple! It has two USB ports, one on either side across from each other. The whole thing feels so cool, with its one-piece enclosure. I can’t quite explain it, but it feels totally different than holding a laptop or netbook. It feels more sturdy, you feel more at one with the frame of the machine. The whole thing just feels very solid, like a firm home foundation always with you even when on the road. It has a special feel about it for sure. Perhaps it has to do with its environmental considerations. The speakers sound wonderful, as they reside below the keyboard. My Netbook’s speakers resided on the bottom, rather boneheaded when you think about it, as when you set it down especially on your lap, it muffles the sound. This impacts a blind user who must hear the speech on the computer, especially in a loud remote environment. The MacBook Air has a wonderful sound to match its design. Alex sounds rich and full, with plenty of bass. I feel very impressed. By the way, when they say,` Instant On, they mean Instant On! It turns on instantly! This happens because it does not have a hard drive, using flash memory for its storage.
How do I know all this? Because I managed to get the thing talking all by myself! After a little orientation and bumbling around, I figured out how to get VoiceOver going, and it went well. At first, hitting VO-FN-F8 said “English” and seemed to bring up this weirdo menu where up and down arrows made a screeching sound. I hit enter on that and said a quick prayer to Goddess. After the opening promotional video, somehow I got VoiceOver going. It took a few tries, but I got it. I felt amazed! Now why the hell would someone want a PAC Mate?
I quickly got things up to speed. The migration assistant helped, and I installed Xcode and got all my Unix goodness going. I can sit downstairs and ssh into my Linux machine upstairs and enjoy. It feels like having two computers in one. I feel so overwhelmed with love and beauty that I can hardly focus on a single topic.
I feel impressed by the suspend/resume. On most netbooks, if you shut the screen while the computer speaks text, the speaking stops, and it sometimes can cause errors. Once, I shut the screen while Alex spoke. When I opened the lid, it continued speaking from where it had stopped! Amazing!
Some criticize the processor, calling a dual core 1.2 or 1.4 ghz for the 11-inch model underpowered. I did upgrade the RAM, CPU, and Flash, so I did take that into consideration. However, let me put it in perspective. My first Apple computer didn’t have dual processors, but it did have dual floppy disc drives! So given that, I feel grateful for what I have right now. Some bemoan its short battery life. They advertise around five hours with the one I have. I will see how it stacks up running VoiceOver. Whatever the circumstance, I will just fall into a routine, charging it in the evening if necessary. My love will not diminish.
For the record, my MacBook as the following specs:
- 0.11-0.68 Inches</p>
: 11.8 Inches</p>
Depth</p> : 7.56 Inches</p> Weight</p> : 2.3 Pounds</p> Processor</p> : 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo</p> Memory</p> : 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM</p> Storage</p> : 128GB Flash Storage</p> Accessories</p> : USB Ethernet Adapter</p> Total cost</p> : $1428.00 </dl> I recorded opening the box and getting the MacBook Air up and running with VoiceOver, in case you want the full vicarious experience. It drags a little in parts as real life can, but I still consider it a fun recording. <div class="powerpress_player" id="powerpress_player_1053"> <audio class="wp-audio-shortcode" id="audio-773-7" preload="none" style="width: 100%;" controls="controls"><source type="audio/mpeg" src="http://22.214.171.124/curtain/meet_my_macbook_air.mp3?_=7" /><a href="http://126.96.36.199/curtain/meet_my_macbook_air.mp3">http://188.8.131.52/curtain/meet_my_macbook_air.mp3</a></audio> </div> <p class="powerpress_links powerpress_links_mp3"> Podcast: <a href="http://184.108.40.206/curtain/meet_my_macbook_air.mp3" class="powerpress_link_pinw" target="_blank" title="Play in new window" onclick="return powerpress_pinw('http://blog.austinseraphin.com/?powerpress_pinw=773-podcast');" rel="nofollow">Play in new window</a> | <a href="http://220.127.116.11/curtain/meet_my_macbook_air.mp3" class="powerpress_link_d" title="Download" rel="nofollow" download="meet_my_macbook_air.mp3">Download</a> </p> <!--powerpress_player-->