Best of all worlds?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by nitro, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. nitro


    I just got a Macbook Air. Quite an amazing little machine from a hardware standpoint. The only thing that is taking me a little bit of getting used to is the keyboard, but that is to be expected. The screen is mat, which is critical because I don't like glossy screens.

    I feel like I have the best of all worlds. I have a unix based operating system, so development work is terrific. I have installed Eclipse, with C++ and Java modules. I have also installed Mono for C#, and the Mac CUDA environment works with the nVidia 320M (although no developer CUDA nVidia drivers for Windows, which really sucks). Battery life is decent, I get about 3 hours on nearly max brightness, using it pretty continuously with the CPU often being taxed. With two cores I genuinely feel like I am on a desktop it is plenty fast.

    What about MSWindows you ask? Easy, I bought Parallels, and I can run windows inside it's own window while I am booted in the MacOS. Everything runs perfectly. All my Visual Studio native to windows works without a hitch. Even with only 2GB, I have several apps open with Parallels running Windows 7, and it all works completely smoothly as if I had two separate computers.

    The only thing it can't replace is a Kindle like device. It is not quite the same thing to be carrying around a device that is so easy on the eyes, and it is much easier to carry around a Kindle or iPad than even an Air. Still, I have bought/downloaded some kindle books for the mac, and while it is taking me some time to get used to not having a book in my hand, that is to be expected. The note taking feature, the embedded dictionary are cool. One thing I don't know if I can do is, say I want to link a text from one book that I own to another, can I do that in Kindle for mac? That would be very useful. Having Wolfram Alpha available inside a Kindle book also if I click on something (the way the dictionary works) would be out of this world useful. So if I have an equation like E=mc^2 in a Kindle book, if I clicked it what good would a dictionary do? Having it call Wolfram Alpha would be super cool. This is the future of education, and accessing linked knowledge in general.

    So 4.5 stars out of 5 for the Macbook Air. To get a 5 out of 5 from me, the thing would have to be perfect (longer battery life, be able to rotate screen and lay it flat so that it looks and acts like a big iPad with the screen being touch sensitive etc), and that is probably impossible because I am very demanding of computers. It comes as close as possible as a laptop can.
  2. MBA's have a glossy screen, not matte.

    Matte screens are only an option on higher end MacBook Pros, and they get expensive.
  3. nitro


    This is a glossy screen? This looks like a matte screen to me! If it is glossy, then this is the least glossy screen I have ever seen. I am sitting next to a window as I write this in sunlight and I see no reflection! Maybe there is some coating on it?
  4. isn't it too hot when doing some number crunching?
  5. nitro


    That's another reason I bought it. It is one of the coldest laptops I have ever owned, even with dual cores. Heat seems to be the number one killer of laptops, so I am crossing my fingers that this one lasts several years as a result.
  6. So, you pay more to have somebody "scratch your screen up"? Should be the other way around.
  7. Matte screens use a different filter to remove glare atop the LCD. The matte filter costs a bit more to use over the type of filter used in glossy screens, so they are often used by default now a days to save a few bucks. They're then sold to us as screens with better colour and deeper contrast, which is true, at the cost of glare and greater eye strain.
  8. No coating.. it's an LED backlit glossy screen. Check on Apple's website under the 'tech specs' of the MBAs..

    That's not saying it's a bad screen. Clearly you seem to be happy with it and when I had a chance to play with one for a few hours I wasn't too bothered by the screen myself.