Over the last few years, tablet PCs and smartphones have become increasingly popular, but there are many tasks that can only be completed on a device with a large screen, a keyboard and a fully-fledged operating system.
The iPad is a useful device for people who do most of their work in the cloud. You can buy Bluetooth keyboards that give you a netbook-like experience, so you can edit documents and create small presentations on your iPad. However, if you want to do more detailed work, such as image editing, programming, or sophisticated editing of large documents, you may be better off with a fully-fledged laptop.
The downside of carrying a laptop is that they are far heavier than tablets. However, a good middle ground is a device like the MacBook Air. This portable, slim-line device has a good battery life and plenty of computing power.
More than a Netbook
Traditionally, the MacBook Air has been thought of as an under-powered machine in comparison to its MacBook Pro brother, but this perception is starting to change. The latest version of the MacBook Air is actually a fairly powerful device and far better than a standard netbook. It boasts a Haswell Dual Core i5 Processor, Intel HD integrated graphics, 4GB RAM and 128GB of high-speed SSD storage. This should be more than enough processing power and memory for the majority of tasks. You can, optionally, purchase extra memory, or even opt for a Core i7 processor if you need the extra power for things like movie editing or graphic design.
The MacBook Air costs significantly more than a normal netbook, but if you find that you need the extra features that it offers then it is well worth paying the extra money.
Of course, for the same price, you could get a significantly more powerful laptop with an NVidia or ATI graphics processing unit, instead of the standard Intel graphics card, however, the laptop would be heavier and have a much shorter battery life than the MacBook Air. Of course, if you are looking at how to get a discount on laptops with these specifications, the best way is to choose a second hand machine which has been refurbished to full working order. Really, it all depends on your requirements.
Mac vs. Windows
One common concern is the choice between Mac OS and Windows. If you currently use Windows PC’s then the thought of moving to Mac OS might seem intimidating. However, once you get used to the new platform you should find that it is easy to use and lets you do almost everything you are used to doing with Windows plus even more. It’s true that Mac OS has fewer games and software applications available for it than Windows does, but popular software such as BootCamp and Parallels will allow you to use Windows applications if you are not able to find a suitable Mac OS alternative.
No portable device is a true desktop replacement, but the MacBook Air comes close by offering high performance and great ergonomics in a lightweight and miniature format. This makes it suitable for almost all of the work you are likely to want to do on the move.