MacBook Air 13-inch Real User Review (2013 Version)

MacBook Air is Not “the best laptop for everyone” – but the best and best selling single model in the $1099-1850 price range – that’s entry level to fully optioned out. I infer “best selling model” from a) Apple’s small number of SKU’s and length of time between models and b) from the fact that Apple has 90% market share in the $1000 and up price category.

MacBook Air 13-inch

Battery life is a bigger deal to me than “retina resolution” – I’m perfectly happy with the 1600×1200 monitor on my desktop and can deal with 1440×900 (though I think that that or even1080p might have been achievable with say, 10.5 hours of battery life and I would have gone all “yaay.”)

But the track pad – i.e., how you get around and get things done – is as big a deal as either – and more so than res.

I’m a mouse user on my Win desktop and have a very old Mac laptop. And I’ve tried like 40 friend’s Win laptops – and have had 40 fiddly, jumpy and/or laggy trackpad experiences.

And every time I read a review of the next “MBA killer” – which starts off with “X has finally released a real response to the MacBooks” – which may have some bleeding spec feature like retina (or higher res) – the review starts to fall apart when it hits BOTH the trackpad and usually, battery life (or chassis integrity or etc.)

Meaning since 1) I’m in dire need of a modern notebook and 2) I’m the sort who keeps ‘em for 4-6 years I’ll likely take the upgraded battery life and 811ac as sufficient “future proofing” and make this my buy-in point. Especially since I can also effectively run Win 7 virtualized and drive 2560×1600 when I’m home (negating, say, the Kirabook’s res advantage for 80% of my use).

Still, I’ll likely wait ‘til I get a gander at Win Blue’s release – since the notion of part-time touch screen use also appeals. It always takes MS about three iterations to get its next OS “right.” (And OS X wasn’t really “right” until 10.4 Tiger – which is still serviceable – much like XP on Win.)

The only real question is whether Win Blue will get 8.0’s toddler stage of their transition right and leave me wishing I had touchscreen capability for years if I go for a new MBA now. And I’ll believe Apple WILL have touch as well by 2014 or ’15 at the outside.

So I can get by with Windows on the road/Mac OS at home better than vice-versa. Meaning that if Blue really “fixes” a lot of what leaves people grousing – and MS delivers a full metroized version of Office that doesn’t suck – validating that in fact 8 is really a full-function OS for the future, I might buy a middling Blue touch screen (making the crap Win trackpads somewhat of a moot point) and a used Mac to tide me over for two years

When I can re-survey the landscape.

I’m also agnostic about phones – and don’t think that hearts and market battle is over. I don’t care for the fragmented world of Android and I really don’t like the lack of real all-in-one file management and lock-in to Apple ecosystem services.

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