The MacBook Air is earning Apple $2.2bn per year as sales of the new thinner models continue strongly after “blistering sales” in the fourth quarter. J.P.Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz has dubbed the Air, particularly the 11in model, a “quasi tablet” and he’s not far wrong there. According to a report in AppleInsider today, Moskowitz credits features borrowed from the iPad, such as instant-on capability, thinness and ultra-portability, as the reason for success.
Subjectively, the 11in Air looks and feels little bigger than the iPad 2. Think of a 3in taller iPad and you have a MacBook Air. There’s not a lot in the depth or thickness, and the Air is almost as easy to carry around as the iPad. The extra few ounces make little difference.
As the owner of both an iPad 2 and an 11-in Air, I can make a direct comparison. The iPad is ideal for media consumption but not as good as the Air for productivity. The Air benefits from a full physical keyboard and the deeper capabilities of OS X. Try to prepare a complex document or even a blog post on the iPad and you are soon wishing for the windows, true multi-tasking and greater functionality of OS X.
There is a definitely direct comparison to be made between the two, and anyone considering either should look closely at the functionality of both platforms. If you can’t afford to own both an iPad and an Air, I suspect you will find the Air to be the better all-rounder for a wide range of tasks.
I’m fortunate to have the choice, but often this leads to indecision on which device to carry around during the day. If I could have only one of these very desirable computers it would have to be the MacBook Air.