Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]
I have to admit, during yesterday’s introduction of the new MacBook Air by Steve Jobs I was positive that I simply had to get one. If you were watching your own Twitter feed, you probably saw many of your friends saying the same thing. The device is just so sexy.
Fast forward 24 hours to now, and at least for this humble blogger the tide has changed its course. I am now nearly positive that I am not going to buy one, and judging by what I am reading on Twitter and hearing from my friends I am not the only one to change their mind. Being away from the distortion web has its benefits.
My mental shift stems from the fact that the new MacBook Air is a wonderful engineering solution to a non-existent problem. It seems to have no killer use-case. We’ll get to that over the full five points, but just keep one thing in mind: the MacBook Air is a feat of detail oriented engineering and deserves praise. Whether you should shell out the cash for it is the only question.
Not An Impulse Purchase
Before you buy something, you have to contemplate the scale of the economic damage that it will inflict on your bank accounts. If it costs more than $100 it is not an impulse purchase. As a non-impulse purchase, the gadget you so want to add to your collection requires serious thought and requires a distinct need, otherwise you are just tossing money around.
The MacBook Air starts at $999 for cheapest 11.6″ version, which is not the one what you probably want. If you do want the larger 13.3″ inch version, be ready to cough up at least $1,299. I may want one, but I think I want $1,299 more.
My iPad Would Get Jealous
To be completely honest, I am somewhat sad that my iPad is no longer the coolest kid on the block. In fact, even my non-iPad owning friends are no longer wowed by it. It now lives on its merits alone. How long would the MacBook Air be a cool show piece before it became just another computer?
That and I don’t feel like I have really wrung my iPad for all its juice yet, and if I buy another gizmo it will get dropped like the proverbial hot rock. The iPad needs love, and it’s already paid for.
The Lion Problem
There is a new version of OS X coming out in Summer 2011, and as a 99% of the time PC using man I don’t want to buy a Mac, learn the wrong version of OS X, just to pay to upgrade around the corner. It seems much smarter to wait until the operating system updates, and you can grab a used MacBook Air on the cheap.
Fills No Gap
To be dead honest I don’t need a MacBook Air. There is no hole in my computer line up. At my desk (battle-station) I have a 24″ screen, a 22″, a desktop, a laptop, the iPad on a stand, and my iPhone all going at the same time. I only have two eyes. I don’t need another screen, I just don’t, especially another little one to induce painful eye strain.
My current laptop is an ultraportable with no optical drive, an 11″ (or so) screen, and it has killer battery life to boot. Oh, and it’s touchscreen. Point is, I don’t need another computer, especially one as expensive as the new MacBook Air.
Weight Just Doesn’t Matter
Bluntly, weight is not a big factor for me. My current laptop weighs around 4 pounds (best guess), the difference between that and 2.x pounds from a new MacBook Air is meaningless. I lift weights (not big ones, but I try) and so the adding or removing of a single pound is not a compelling enough item for me to pay for.
That said, weight is a big deal for many, many people. However, think of it like this: the iPad is still lighter than than the new MacBook Air, as are many cheaper netbooks. Is weight a real selling point?
A final and much lesser thought, having the newest Apple device is almost making yourself a target for petty theft. I don’t want to deal with that after 2 months of iPad hoarding in public.
The new MacBook Air is the sexiest computer ever made, but it is a low power ultra-portable. Ask yourself this: how often are you on the go and need to sit away from your desk and produce text for hours? Often? Then it might be the computer for you. If not, it’s just eye candy, regardless of how excellent the engineering is.
Our own Chad Catacchio weighed in yesterday with some interesting insights on the iPad vs. MacBook Air discussion, be sure and check out his post.
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