Travels with the MacBook Air

Friday, 5th June, 2009 – 22:44 by Susan

Hi, I thought people might be interested in how the MacBook Air (MBA) fares as a sole computer for a WAMUG member.

We bought it just a few weeks before setting off to China for three months. I wanted a Mac laptop, and we both wanted something that would be light to carry, plus useful for Stephen (who is a Windows user by necessity as he teaches computing at TAFE), and myself.

The first part of our journey is spending two months at the Chongqing Electric Power College, where Stephen is doing some teaching of Cert IV computing to Chinese TAFE students, and I am learning to use a Nikon D80, and busy posting photos and video to my MobileMe web gallery. Of course, we hadn’t bargained on being so close to a major earthquake 10 days after our arrival. In many ways, although we have good coverage of what is happening in Sichuan on the English language channel, and actually felt the first earthquake, and many of the aftershocks, it is still like being in another country as our city seems to be quite safe, yet millions of people are being affected.

We have a very nice apartment, with broadband, and a Windows computer. The computer died after a few days, killed by virus attacks, and for a couple of weeks, Stephen and I had to share the MBA as our only computer. Despite the one USB port, we are able to do everything that is needed – including processing AVCHD video and burning DVD’s, watching DVDs, doing post processing of photos using Aperture and Photoshop. The screen is particularly crisp and clear.

The Windows computer has been restored, and I downloaded and installed effective virus protection (just in case anyone was wondering) We have an 80 gig HD on the MBA, which is shared between the Mac OS and a Windows XP professional partition – I’m backing up to a portable hard drive. So, far, I only carry the laptop around the campus, so weight is not too much of an issue – but even so, I can carry it, plus the D80 and a Sony video camera (and girl stuff like makeup) without strain, despite the steps and stairs that make even a short walk around the campus quite an effort. We do about 450 steps a day.

I like having an iMac at home, as well as a laptop – but this experience suggests that even if I could only afford one computer, the MBA is a definite candidate. We are going to be travelling around for the last 3 – 4 weeks here in China, so will post again when I have more experience of actually travelling with the MBA.

  1. One Response to “Travels with the MacBook Air”

  2. I have had a Macbook Air for about two years and travel with it in Australia and overseas. It was my only Mac until Jan 2009 when I got an iPod Touch . The Air started to be erratic in September 2009 in HK and eventually I could not send or receive email. On my return I bought a new iMac because I must stay in touch on email . Had I not had email problems in HK I would have stuck with the Air and the iPod touch. I am nearly 80 and wear glasses but I tend to use the iTouch most and carry it everywhere. I think the future iPad could be the one to replace all.

    By Keith Brian-Boys on Apr 17, 2010

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