I haven’t made a big secret of my attempts to abandon conventional laptops while traveling on business. My current work-issued ThinkPad is a perfectly OK computer, but it’s a much better boat anchor: it’s a beast. At times I’ve used an iPad for travel, boasting once or twice that I could do pretty much everything I need to do with it; then I had connectivity issues at Luxor in Vegas, and tried to cut and paste some random text into an email without a lot of success while on another trip, encountered some other issues, and as a result became a bit disenchanted.

The iPad is a marvelous entertainment device, but speaking only for myself, its limitations coupled with the lack of USB ports has soured me a bit in terms of its usefulness as a netbook or laptop replacement. I still love the thing and all the apps that are available for it, but it’s a bit of a lightweight when it comes to business travel.

I’ve always wanted something light and elegant, with the capacity for handling MS Office documents, a reasonable keyboard, and at least one or two USB ports for using external drives, connecting a digital camera, and so forth.

A week ago I bit the bullet and bought an 11.6″ MacBook Air. I won’t detail this machine’s specs here, but I did order it with a few upgrades, and an external “Super Drive.”  I’ve had it for a few days and have been sorting it out and setting it up since its arrival on Monday. What’s made this a bit more interesting is the fact that I’ve never used Macs in the past, and getting used to the different operating system has been a bit of an adjustment. Another “old dog/new trick” has been adjusting to the MacBook Air’s keyboard, which is full sized but features chicklet-style keys which don’t have a lot of throw. In any event, I’m typing this at my normal rate (which is to say, perhaps 60 or 70 words per minute – a guess), without a lot of errors. Even this old dog is semi-adaptable!

Here’s a shot of the 11″ MB Air alongside a 1st Gen iPad:

Today (writing this on Wednesday) I plugged a Verizon USB760 3G dongle into it, installed Verizon’s VZ Access software, and it worked like a charm. This will enable me to travel anywhere (well, anywhere where Verizon has coverage) and get on the internet, which is huge. We usually have a couple of extra 760’s in the office, so I ought to be able to borrow one when I travel. If necessary and I felt it was justified, I could buy one, but the basic plan is $50 per month.

Anyway, this is just a quick update. I won’t review the MB Air until I’ve spent a lot of time with it, and feel comfortable attempting a review; it’ll likely be a month or two at the least. Here’s a hint, though – it’s sweet!

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5 Comments on 1st post composed on my MacBook Air

  1. Michael W. says:

    drool….

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  2. Lyle says:

    I think you will enjoy the OS X experience. I switch over a number of years ago and have never looked back.

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  3. Scott says:

    Recent convert to apple when our home desktop died in dec. If I didn’t have to use windows at work, I never would again. I’m typing this on my ipad2. It’s sweet too.

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  4. K-eM says:

    Welcome to the other side. : )

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  5. K-eM says:

    I forgot to add: While I am proudly 100% Microsoft free on my personal Mac, my work Mac has to have it. And I will admit that Microsoft Entourage (the Outlook for Macs) does have some very nice, built in project management features that aren’t available in Outlook.

    I use the Entourage tools extensively to not only manage projects, but to easily archive project contents (email, notes, files, tasks, meetings…). Best part is how easy it is to retrieve an old project from the archive when needed.

    [Reply]

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