MacBook Air Offers Highly Mobile Alternative to Tablets

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-11-05 Print this article Print


All in all, using the MacBook Air was a treat. Snow Leopard was responsive in most cases, and I didn't witness any slowdown when viewing HD video online. Its performance each step of the way was actually quite surprising, since computing power isn't supposed to be one of its strong suits. 

The Mobile Factor 

As nice as it was to use the MacBook Air on the couch, the real value of the device is its mobility. That is where it reigns supreme. 

Not only is the device is thin, but it's also extremely lightweight at 2.9 pounds. The result is an ideal computer for those who must lug one to work.  

That makes the MacBook Air a more viable mobile option for some than the iPad. Apple's tablet might have the App Store, but the MacBook Air is a full-fledged computer, complete with a beautiful display and full physical keyboard. Chances are one will be much more productive on the MacBook Air than the iPad. That alone might make it the better option for those who need to be productive while on the go. 

The Final Verdict 

At first glance, the MacBook Air might seem like another throwaway product that Apple is trying to sell based on pomp and circumstance rather than functionality. But after putting it through its paces, I quickly realized that it's a stellar device. It combines the mobility of the iPad with the functionality of the MacBook. And in the process, it will deliver an experience that few other products in the market can muster. 

However, the MacBook Air is expensive. The 11.6-inch entry-level model starts at $999, and the top-of-the-line 13-inch model, which boasts 256GB of storage, retails for $1,599. The model I reviewed retails for $1,299.  

For those on a budget, those prices are steep. But after using the MacBook Air for a while one may forget about the high price tag, as the device's value will make itself known to the user. 

The MacBook Air isn't for everyone; power users and video editors should stay far away. But for most others, it's a fine option. 

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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