An article on TUAW about the history of the MacBook Air prompted me to think back in early 2010, when I was comparison shopping for a lightweight laptop. My search had come down to four choices:
- the Toshiba Portégé M800,
- the Panasonic Y5,
- the Lenovo ThinkPad X301, and
- the MacBook Air.
At the time, these light-weight machines were premium-priced products that were selling between $2000 and $3000. So only after painfully extended deliberation did I order the Lenovo X301 because of its inclusion of the DVD drive. However, Lenovo cancelled my order in the spring of 2010. And that has made all the difference.
I have always despised that convention unique to PCs of appending a bunch of numbers to the name. Fittingly enough, I would have been fine just choosing the MacBook Air on that criteria alone. But practically, I wanted a very light machine with as minimal a power brick as possible. And I could not make that personal compromise about my DVD drive very easily. The funny thing is that I ended up buying a SuperDrive, trying not to make that compromise at all. I used it once since I purchased it. Smart compromise, Apple.
To round out the experience, the support for my MacBook Air has been fantastic, with only one battery issue between the two machines I owned (side note: I was a bit impetuous when the late 2010 MacBook Air refresh came out with the 4GB of RAM that I really wanted in order to run VMWare smoothly).
I have been asked about my favorite product before, and it is hands down my MacBook Air. I choose to remember that the past was filled with backache and heavy messenger bags loaded up with power adapters and extra batteries. I know that a better way exists, and that the right compromises were hard to accept but necessary for each of our sakes. Looking forward to 2012, I want to make products that solve people’s problems and to make the right compromises in the process. It will be a tough road, but definitely worth traveling.