I’ve been living with the 2012 11in MacBook Air for a couple of weeks and, since I am on the road, it has been fulfilling the rôle of main computer. I am pleasantly surprised by the performance hike over my old 2010 Air and I haven’t felt at all short-changed by not having the 27in iMac to play with.
The 2.0GHz i7 with 8GB memory and 256GB SSD is an ideal spec if you want maximum performance out of the thinnest, tiniest Mac. Hook up a 27in monitor and you have the best of all worlds. I was pleasantly surprised that this specification has been treated as a stock order in Apple Stores and I didn’t have to go through the built-to-order rigmarole and consequent delays.
All this time I have also had a retina MacBook Pro on order. I reasoned it could replace my desktop iMac and would give me a more powerful mobile platform for when I am abroad for extended periods, as happens later in the summer. Now, after experiencing the Air, the actual real-world advantage for my sort of computing is not that significant. Of course, the Pro offers more processing power and that gorgeous screen; but the trade off is the lunch-tray size and two extra pounds of weight, despite the commendably thin form.
I’ve had time to think here in Greece and today I pressed the cancel button on the MacBook Pro order (which hadn’t been due for delivery for another three weeks). I certainly haven’t ruled one out for the future. If nothing else, I see it as a sensible replacement for a desk-bound iMac. But I think it is wise to sit on the sidelines for the next few months to see what happens. There is talk about new iMacs being imminent, and I have no doubt that more retina-display MacBooks will appear soon. Time to take stock and, in in the meantime, enjoy the fastest, smallest computer Apple has ever made.