Friday, September 13, 2013

The 2013 macbook air is a win

I mentioned recently that I am secretly relieved when I do not have to pay attention to the intricate detail of specifications, but still know that I am getting what I need and pay for.

The 2013 Macbook Air fits squarely into this area of value.  I have an old Macbook Air and I will upgrade soon.  Why?  Battery life.

When I am out and about, I do not always have a place to plug in even when I have my power supply.  This is more and more of a problem for my work style.  With the new Macbook Air, I will not even bother to bring a power supply except for overnight charging.

In a test, I ran a windows virtual in VMWare Fusion on a new Macbook Air, unplugged from power, for more than 10 hours, using Caffeine to keep the computer from going to sleep.  Wow.  When I run a windows virtual machine on my current laptop, one core stays 100% busy at all times.  On a new Macbook Air?  If the virtual machine is not busy, the CPU usage could be 2-3%.  What a huge change.

On other fronts, it is great:

  • PCIe based flash storage is speedier than ever
  • 1600Mhz RAM - the fastest available - along with a max 8GB of RAM.
  • USB3 ports along side Thunderbolt helping easy expansion when needed.
  • The Intel Haswell CPU keeps things working while sipping power.
Some people have said they will wait for a retina-based macbook air.  I am not yet convinced that the tradeoff between longer battery life and a higher resolution screen is worth it.

More people I work with are switching from other computers, including Macbook Pro computers, to the Macbook Air.


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