10 Reasons Why the New Macbook Air is the Best Laptop for a (Professional) Blogger

It has been nearly a week and a half since I first booted up my new Macbook Air and I have run this system to the limits, both in terms of processing power as well as my rigorous use and unique time-tested workflow.

And the results are definitely in: I believe the new Macbook Air to be the best portable blogging laptop and system that’s ever been created.

Here are my 10 reasons why:

  1. It’s fast and handles applications like Adobe Photoshop with ease. This was one of the more surprising results and it passed with flying colors. Most of the real design work for a blogger isn’t managing huge files with thousands of layers anyway. Also handles my software development needs too. I can run my business just fine.
  2. Upgrading the memory to 4GB is a must, and with this extra boost of memory I’ve been able to manage my workflow with ease. Multiple apps open? Not a problem, and don’t see that I’ll ever have one with my workflow.
  3. Screen size was fine and I had plenty of real estate to manage apps, drafting, and whatever else I needed. 1440 x 900 is plenty.
  4. Super light. I still am surprised when I pick it up. Portable? Yes. Ultra portable? Yes.
  5. Full QWERTY keyboard is amazing the response and touch is perfect. The glass touchpad makes me smile.
  6. Battery life is just as advertised, maybe even more so. I love heading to Starbucks feeling great that I can spend my day there on one charge without taking my power cord. Total win. I’ve got a few apps that help manage my power consumption as well so that’s extended the life even more.
  7. I’ve been experiencing SSD Hard drive technology for a while and this seems just as responsive and quick as my Macbook Pro. Once you go SSD you can’t go back.
  8. Handles video capture via Facetime camera just great and Skype calls/interviews are crisp and without jumpiness. The NVIDIA 320M Graphics card is flying.
  9. The display is pretty and very clear. I haven’t had any issues with varying sunlight or glare as I travel and blog in different locations. Love this.
  10. It just makes “sense.” This, of course, is the most superficial justification of the bunch but when I talk to people about my profession and what I do and when they ask what I use and I tell them the MBAir they just nod and agree – they even might say plainly “Yeah, that makes sense.” The machine is powerful enough to handle all of a Professional Blogger’s core needs, lightweight enough to carry anywhere to any conference or environment, and it just looks “Pro.”

***Update***

I do have the newer version with an i7 processor. Check it out here.

For full disclosure and a bit of context, here are my specs:

  • 13″ Macbook Air
  • 2.13GHz
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 256GB Flash Storage

Now, the thing is definitely not perfect! For example, I have found this to be categorically impossible to do:

It is impossible to hold the system just like the picture without breaking your hand. I’ve tried. I have had other people try. It can’t be done I tell you!

Marketing, it works!

Finally, I use these two essential apps to help my power and CPU usage as well. Take a look here.

  • Derek Jensen

    I can’t wait to get one! I do wonder too how the 11 inch would be. (Seems it would be too small)

    • John Saddington

      no, i don’t think so! i think it’s going to be awesome.

  • http://jdbentley.com J. D. Bentley

    As if I needed another reason to want one. Sounds amazing.

    • John Saddington

      it is!

  • http://twitter.com/#!/creativeblogger @creativeblogger

    Nice coverage! Have you tried with the 11″ … I might just take a trip over to the Apple store to give it a try, haha!

    • John Saddington

      yes. thinking about getting the 11″ as well.

  • http://analteredreality.com Kevin

    I bet I could hold it that way! Meet me at Panera! LoL…I’ve been debating getting a mac for a while…I think I want the Macbook Pro though…I’m power hungry, and those things definitely have a little bit more!

    • John Saddington

      … maybe you have stronger fingers.

      • http://analteredreality.com Kevin

        I blame the piano.

        • John Saddington

          parents made me play. i wasn’t a fan.

  • http://www.ScholarTechOnline.com Michelle Rogers

    I must not be seeing something. I don’t see anything in the list that would be brand specific. All of the things that are listed, I see with other brands, and even more so. So, what makes this brand of computer better?

    • John Saddington

      i suppose its the internals that have been so elegantly combined to produce such a lightweight chassis is the real killer here.

  • http://takethiscity.com Christina

    I think a ninja could hold it like that.

    • John Saddington

      fine. fine. fine.

    • Blake

      Aren’t ninjas more of a “super human” class?

      • John Saddington

        i thought so…….

  • Adam

    Cannot wait to get one!

    • John Saddington

      seriously… :)

  • http://www.davidgoodwin.com David

    Um…I can hold my 2009 15″ MBP like that. Not easily, or for longer than 15 seconds, but definitely can be done – without extended thumb/fingers for leverage.

    I don’t have the Air, but next time I’m in the Apple Store I’ll take a pic for you. Maybe even one in each hand :)

    • John Saddington

      love to see it! maybe it was my small asian hands…

  • http://trevorbuehler.com Trevor

    I’m pretty sure the picture you’ve noted is an 11″, not the 13″ you have. …just saying. : )

    • John Saddington

      … … ok. fine.

  • http://www.jasonmlarsen.com Jason Larsen

    Will this be faster than my Powerbook G4? I’ve been wanting to update my mac so badly, but I don’t know what to get!!! It seems there’s so many options, yet there’s so few…

    Thanks for your review! This version of the ‘air’ seems so much better than the last. Glad you’re enjoying it.

    • John Saddington

      seriously better than the last version.

  • Philip

    I have the 11″, that is in the picture. It is indeed possible to hold it like in the picture.
    And I think, it’s an awesome computer, though it seems, they wasted too much space around the screen (approx 1″ on each side) and 1366×768 seems a _little_ too small.

    • John Saddington

      again, might be my small asian hands…

  • Darius

    Great post!

    Did your Macbook Air come with any way to reload the software? I’m kind of curious as to how they handle that, since it doesn’t have an internal optical drive.

    • John Saddington

      yup. a small USB key with everything I need!

      • Darius

        Thanks!

  • http://geekrev.com herbhalstead

    John, I just posted a 22second vid of me holding my bride’s Air that way :-) on my site. http://geekrev.com/2010/11/25/macbook-air-awesome/

    • John Saddington

      for some reason your site won’t come up… been trying for days.

      • http://geekrev.com herbhalstead

        we changes servers and Nameservers, some folks had to clear cache to get to the site, but here is the direct YouTube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtNmyXivMDQ

        • John Saddington

          herb,

          not to discredit you, but you’re not holding it right and you’re cheating. take a look at the images again and they aren’t using their fingers as props.

          • http://geekrev.com herbhalstead

            I see what you’re saying – If you look at the still shot they have, it’s clear it has to be some photo-magic. But when you stop the video at the point that matches the pose, you can see the strain in the hand, the slight repositioning and angle of the hand, and palm compression with the hand rested on the surface. I could match that, but not for long.

            • John Saddington

              haha! not that it’s a big deal or anything… but it’s really hard on the cover and my wrist!

              marketing….. got me again!

              • http://geekrev.com herbhalstead

                :-D question – I’ve heard that the 13″ screen flexes – is this right? I guess I could go to BestBuy and look myself.

                • John Saddington

                  hmm. i don’t know about that!

  • Brad

    Hey, John! Is the Macbook Air a good computer for everyday, heavy usage?

    • John Saddington

      YES. i use it as my primary system now!

  • http://michaelnozbe.com/finally-macbook-air-done-right-the-2010-model Michael

    Great review! I demoed my Air to Michael Hyatt the other day and he finally bought it. To make the decision easy for him I wrote this review:

    http://michaelnozbe.com/finally-macbook-air-done-right-the-2010-model

    People still don’t believe it can be your only laptop and your only computer to do great work. My previous Airs were like this… but with compromises. This one is no-compromise plenty-powerful machine that makes you smile.

    And because of the battery life I hardly take the power cord with me anyway.

    Merry Christmas Tentblogger!

    • John Saddington

      sweet! thank bro! merry christmas to you!

  • chen

    It is the 11″ in the picture, it is absolutely possible to hold it that way !

    • John Saddington

      hmm. i might have small asian hands.

  • Justin Winter

    When is saw the new Airs come out at the press release event, I said to myself. I think I may have just finally been converted to MAC.

    That is the straw that broke my back.

    Now to just get some more work so I can justify the cost!

    • John Saddington

      dude. TOTALLY worth it!

  • http://gpstracklog.com Rich Owings

    John, I’m a problogger, making heavy use of my laptop 10 hours a day. Uses: I’m a tab hog (50 on a good day, more when its worse), Twitter client always running. Often have a blog editor going too. I do some photo editing (crop and resize mainly) and less video editing (trim and caption). I’m ordering a 13″ 4GB, 2.13 GHz Air later today. Can it keep up with my needs?

    • John Saddington

      yes, but not without some help from App Tamer, especially with those 50+ tabs. … that’s a lot of tabs!

      • http://gpstracklog.com Rich Owings

        Thanks John. Interesting app. I wonder if it can shut down processes (flash, etc.) on a web browser but still allow them to run on the one tab I’m currently on.

        Also, do you see slow down if you run a lot of open tabs?

        • John Saddington

          hmm. haven’t looked into that. that’s a good question.

          the tabs question is tricky. if you have only one browser with many tabs and all the rest of the apps paused then you’re in good shape.

          • Matthew Cook

            In your opinion, would the Macbook Air 11” be good for an undergrad majoring in English? Why or why not?

            • http://john.do John Saddington

              dude. that would be awesome. if i were to do college again i’d get one!

              • http://analteredreality.com Kevin

                I just got a MacBook Pro…and I’m an undergrad studying CIS (Computer Info Systems)…no regrets! Not as thin, but still awesome!

                • http://john.do John Saddington

                  WHOOOOOOOT!!!!

                  • http://gpstracklog.com Rich Owings

                    I went ahead and got the 4GB, 2.1GHz Air. So far, so good, though I am trying to work on my tabaholic ways. YetI have a feeling it could handle a hundred tabs in Chrome. Anyway, all is fine doing image editing, FTPing, blog client, etc. simultaneously. I’m a very happy camper.

                    And thanks to John for his help when I was trying to be brave enough to buy it. Glad I did.

                    • http://john.do John Saddington

                      sure thing rich!

                  • http://analteredreality.com Kevin

                    LOL. I blame you! You sold me on it more than Apple did…but seriously, best investment in a while. Thanks!

                    • http://john.do John Saddington

                      haha!

  • http://potters-army07.blogspot.com noah bitney

    I own a blog, and have been debating to either get this 13′ MacBook Air or the 15′ MacBook Pro??? What to get???

    • http://analteredreality.com Kevin

      It’s really a question of power and storage. Intel i5 or a Core 2 Duo? And storage…you can get more in the pro’s (up to 500GB vs. the Air’s 256GB), but you give up the ‘coolness’ of having a SSD. Other thing is battery life…my 15″ MBP will last a good 5 hours, but the Air can last considerably longer.

      Up to you…but John will tell you the Air ;)

      • http://john.do John Saddington

        ;) yup. if she’s just blogging.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      if you’re just blogging go with the 13″… or even the 11″.

  • David P

    I have the 11″ MBA and while the battery is good, its not “iPad good”. But with those two applications you recommended I am able to squeeze a little more time from my machine. Thanks for recommending them!

  • http://www.mikekey.com Mike Key

    I’ve been coveting a Macbook Air for awhile. Just haven’t pulled the trigger yet. I’m a web developer and a traveler. When I’m at home, my Macbook sits in it’s Henge Dock connected to my 30 inch Apple cinema display.

    I want to pull the trigger…. but I’m wondering if the new Macbook Pros will be thinner than their counter parts.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      … they might be… and the new sandybridge ( think that’s hwat it’s called) processing unit in the new macbook airs is going to be even better!

      • http://www.mikekey.com Mike Key

        I caved, I’m weak. This post was the final nail. I got out the notepad and started doing some math. Ordered two new 13inch Macbook Pro’s today. Then spent an hour putting my other two MacBook Pros on ebay. Should hopefully break even.

        Business write-off, totally justifiable I tell my wife. Now I can rock climb and blog at the same time if I get a hot spot, lol :)

        • http://www.mikekey.com Mike Key

          correction MacBook Air’s I order Air’s, not Pro’s, lol. Sorry for double post.

          • http://john.do John Saddington

            awesome! you’ll love them!!!!!!

  • http://www.jasonmlarsen.com Jason Larsen

    Just thought I’d let you know that yesterday I updated my 2004 Powerbook G4 to a 13″ Macbook Air – the exact specs that you’re using. This post inspired me to get it, and after a day of using it (along with the 2 power-saving apps) I. LOVE. IT!!!

    I bought it refurbished, which was definitely the way to go (Apple employees say the same thing, because they are put through the ringer in America, versus overseas for the new models).

    Thanks, John!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      AWESSOMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

      enjoy.. wow. i love mine!

      • http://www.jasonmlarsen.com Jason Larsen

        I’m enjoying it thoroughly!

        Both ‘Watts’ and ‘AppTamer’ are great. I especially love the calibration reminder and steps that Watts has.

        • http://john.do John Saddington

          for sure! killer apps.

    • Patrick

      … and I thought I was the only one with such an ‘old’ Powerbook!!! I’m still using a 15″ running Tiger :-) It has got to the point where I really need to replace it (credit card anyone?) as it becomes more and more difficult to run latest software on it.

      I’ve had good practice at having an Air without a built in CD player, as mine stopped about a year ago … my young son is fascinated and I think it just became too much for the poor old laptop to handle!

      I’m just waiting for the release of the new Airs and if I can get the credit card out, before I realise what I’m doing, I’ll get an 11″ – I just love the lightness and size for portability.

      Thanks for your great post on this John, it really swung it for me when I first read your post back last November, that the Air was up to the job.

      Patrick

      • http://john.do John Saddington

        awesome!

        the 11″ is a great choice as well… the new release (this wednesday perhaps?!?) is going to be sweet.

  • http://www.productivity-toolkit.com Christian Hofer

    Hi everyone,
    I have a Macbook Air as well – I was just wondering about the specs some of you were discussing.
    I have a 13inch 4 Gig i7 with 1.8GHz – some of you were talking about a 2.1 GHz – I looked but could not even find it on the Apple website http://www.apple.com/macbookair/specs.html
    I am in Europe so maybe that’s the difference?

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      ah, that must have been generation 1…! i have the second gen, so that’s right.

  • http://cartoondailynews.com Kendall Lyons

    I’ll be honest, I actually was making plans to get me an iMac for my home office, BUT, I am so thinking about the MacBook Air now after reading this article………or..both!!! I must ponder this decision before I go on an Apple spree!!!!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      head to the store and try it out…!

  • Rodolfo Guzman

    i have a 13 and 11 inch air i use my 11 inch air the most, why? because its more portable and still crazy fast, the screen size is fine and comfrtable to use. this machine is perfect for a student who need portability from going to class to class. this machine is perfect

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