The MacBook Air is a line of portable Macintosh computers from Apple that runs the macOS operating system. First introduced by Steve Jobs during the 2008 Macworld Conference, the product has undergone several hardware upgrades while still maintaining the infamous slim and lightweight aluminum exterior.
It is also worth noting that this laptop remains one of the most popular ultraportable computers. It is iconic in terms of design and built quality. Decent hardware specifications have further made this laptop universal for both entry-level users and professionals.
However, like any other Apple product, the MacBook Air comes with a high price tag. The 13-inch base model retails at USD 999.00 while the 13-inch while the highest configuration retails at USD 2,049.00. Nevertheless, before heading to the store to buy a new one, it is better to pros and cons of owning a MacBook Air.
Advantages of MacBook Air: Reasons Why You Should Buy
1. Mobility from Thin and Lightweight Metal Body
Steve Jobs introduced the MacBook Air as the thinnest laptop in the world. While this is not completely true today, this device remains one of the lightest and most mobile laptops in the market and has remained a pioneer in the ultraportable category.
The 13-inch models have a thinness of between 0.16 to 0.63 inches or 0.41 to 1.61 cm and a weight of 2.8 pounds or 1.29 kg. One of the advantages of the MacBook Air undeniably centers on being an ultraportable laptop computer.
2. Powerful Hardware and Technical Specifications
Apple has introduced several iterations to this line of portable Macintosh devices. Each version features the latest hardware components and the most powerful configuration. The company has announced a new-generation MacBook Air featuring the Apple M1 SoC.
The base model has the M1 chip with 8‑core CPU, 7‑core GPU, and 16‑core Neural Engine; 8GB of unified memory; 256GB of solid-state drive storage; and a Retina display based on in-plane switching LCD with True Tone.
With the aforementioned hardware specifications, the MacBook Air can easily run day-to-day applications for word processing, web browsing, photo and video editing apps, and media consumption. Nonetheless, this device is perfect for office productivity use.
3. Internal Storage Based on Solid-State Hardware
An internal solid-state drive or SSD is one of the advantages of the MacBook Air over bulky laptops and cheaper netbook alternatives. The 13-inch base models come with 256GB SSD and this is configurable up to 2TB of storage.
An SSD-based internal storage improves the speed and lifespan of a device. Compared to a typical hard disk drive, an SSD is 25 to 100 times faster. This means faster boot times and quick file transfers. An SSD is more durable than an HDD because it has no moving parts. SSD makes the MacBook Air a true ultraportable computer.
4. All the Advantages and Benefits of macOS
There are several reasons to love macOS. The first is that it is less susceptible to viruses and malware than Windows. Then there is the software-hardware optimization. Apple is both a software developer and a hardware designer. The company has optimized the macOS to work seamlessly with all of its hardware components.
Another reason is that the system interface gives a simple yet powerful user experience. Those who are familiar with the interface of iOS found in iPhone and iPad will find macOS somewhat similar—especially when it comes to installing and using apps.
There is also a seamless integration between the macOS and iOS. This makes switching between devices hassle-free. A user can start a task using an iPhone or iPad and continue it using their MacBook Air without the need to synchronize the two devices using other cloud-based drives such as Google Drive or OneDrive.
5. Comes with a Number of Preinstalled Useful Apps
Every MacBook Air comes with powerful apps for work and play. These include office productivity apps such as Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Other productivity apps include Reminders, Notes, Calendar, and Maps.
The MacBook Air also comes with creativity apps such as the video editing app iMovie and the music production app GarageBand. Other useful apps include Safari for web browsing, Mail for email, and Message and Facetime for text and video messaging.
6. Impressive Battery Performance and Battery Life
Another noteworthy advantage of the MacBook Air and a reasonable point to own one is its long battery life in a single charge. Compared to other ultraportable laptops and netbooks in the market, this device has better battery performance.
The M1 model has a built-in 49.9‑watt-hour lithium‑polymer battery that can last up to 15 hours on wireless web browsing or up to 18 hours of online movie playback or video streaming. The M1 chip has made effectively made this device more energy efficient.
Disadvantages of MacBook Air: Reasons Why You Should Not Buy
1. Very Limited Options for Hardware Upgrade
One disadvantage of MacBook Air is limited hardware upgradeability. The memory and processor components of the device are integrated into a single circuit board. Most Windows laptops allow some degree of customization.
Remember that you can configure your MacBook Air before purchase. However, once you bought it, there is no room for processor, memory, and storage upgrades. You are essentially stuck with it unless you have enough money to buy another laptop with better hardware.
2. Geared More Toward Office Productivity Use Cases
The MacBook Air can easily handle everyday productivity use. It can also handle video projects and music production. However, unless you will configure your MacBook Air with advanced processor, memory, and storage specifications, this device has limited computing capabilities.
High-definition games would not readily run in the base models of MacBook Air. This is also true for resource-heavy tasks including 4K video editing and photo editing. Remember that this device is more suitable for entry-level users and business professionals.
Of course, it is also worth mentioning that macOS is not ideal for gaming. Windows remains the dominant operating system for high-end video gaming because of the availability of game titles and the diversity of Windows-based devices.
3. Windows Has More Applications and Software
While macOS is a capable and solid operating system, it is somewhat one of the major disadvantages of the MacBook Air and other Mac devices. Developers often consider building software for Windows first because of greater reach.
Of course, Mac computers have undeniably become more popular in recent years. However, there are still more Windows users around the world. Remember that there is a huge library of video games for Windows. Some enterprise software might be unavailable for MacBook Air as well. Windows computers are popular in business because they are cheaper.
4. Other MacBook Air Alternative in the Market
Users who want more power from their Mac device might be better of purchasing a 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 chip or the newer 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro devices that feature the latest Apple M1 Pro and Apple M1 Max chips.
For those who are on a budget or want a Windows-based device but still want to experience decent computing capabilities, there are alternatives such as the Acer Swift, Dell XPS, Microsoft Surface, Lenovo Yoga, and HP Spectre line of ultraportable laptops.
Conclusion: Advantages and Disadvantages of Owning a MacBook Air
The aforementioned advantages of the MacBook Air make it an all-around everyday laptop. With mobility from a compact build and design, this ultraportable laptop from Apple is ideal for on-the-go individuals such as students and business professionals.
With the addition of useful apps, the MacBook Air is ideal for office productivity. Coupled with a battery life that remains one of the best in the market, this laptop truly caters to mobile users.
However, in considering the disadvantages of the MacBook Air, it is easy to conclude that power users such as graphic designers and gamers are better off looking for another laptop. The MacBook Pro or a Windows laptop might be a suitable alternative.
There is the high price tag as well. The 13-inch base model retails at USD 999.00 while the top configuration retails at USD 2,049.00. Because of poor hardware upgradeability, you are stuck with the hardware limitations of your MacBook Air.