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The personal site of Jamie Knight, an autistic web developer, speaker and mountain biker who is never seen far from his plush sidekick Lion. View the Archive

Topics: Autism Development

Macbook Air (2010)

Purchasing a Mac (or any computer) is never an easy decision. Comparing models and identifying needs is part of the process for most people. This is a the first post in a series about the 2010 MacBook Air, rather than simply review the unit and give my impressions. Im going to share my thoughts over the first week. If the Macbook Air has not impressed me after the first week then it will be returned.

When walking into the Apple store today purchasing a new computer was on my mind, though i was mostly looking at the Mac Mini. I have run a Mac Mini as a home media server now for many years, however the recent upgrade of TV (now with integrated HD freeview) has led to a huge reduction is how much we were using the Mac Mini to watch live TV. As iím rather obsessed with power usage, so this reduction has been greatly received. Around the house there are 3 main devices which get regular use.

In the house there are 3 MacBooks of various ages; my work machine, jimmyís (my flat mates) personal computer, and an older white MacBook which i use as my home machine (trying to separate work computing and home computing). There are also a couple of iPhones and an iPad.

The Mac Mini was the central hub, we collated our media libraries there, used it as a backup location for time machine and then had it for Live TV (using an elgato stick and their excellent software).

The future for the Mac Mini was to either replace it with something capable of recording live HDTV, or to to put the White Macbook in its place. The driving force behind reducing the number of computers in the house is 3 things, power usage, maintenance (i donít want to have to backup and look after so many machines!), and simplicity. With both the Mac Mini and the White Macbook spending 60%-90% of thier time idle they were simply not required. The white Macbook was to be taking over the media and TV recording duties of the mac mini and all was well.

So, i found myself in the Apple Store, getting the screen adaptor to plug the mac mini in the TV and pricing up a new Mac Mini when i got speaking to the Apple store staff.

To replace the Mac Mini was going to cost around £550, for a machine which would spend so much time idle this seems a little steep. While discussing the old mac mini with the Apple store staff, they suggested that the new Macbook Air (the 11 inch) would be faster.

So with this in mind i picked one up (an 11inch base model Macbook Air) and will spend the next week testing the system to see if it fulfils my needs. I will be blogging about the process here, with my thoughts as the week goes on.

The genius in the apple store confirmed, that i have 14 days to return the product for any reason, and it not being fast enough (while they contented it would be) would be a valid reason to return the MBA for a refund.

So, in summery my requirements of the machine are as follows:

I hope that this post is of interest to others, if the MacBook air proves to have the power i require, then the sale of the White MacBook and the Mac Mini will more than cover the cost of the Air.

If you have any questions about the macbook air, or would like to ask me to run a specific benchmark, then let me know in the comments.

Published: 11 December 2010 | Categories: , Permalink

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