Before me is eleven inches of trim functionality. Last Saturday, in an effort to write once more, I plonked down a few hundred clams for a used 2015 MacBook Air. Since then I’ve been able to make steady progress on the outline for Distance, today I’m well into the second act.
That’s some really good news, my word count more or less stopped at the end of August and I spent most of the summer struggling to wring words onto the page. This post is a review of the “new” machine.
Relative to my MacBook Pro the screen size is tiny. The keyboard is a little more cramped. And the screen tends to dim when left of automatic adjustment at exactly the wrong moment. But none of that matters much when I balance that on the scales of functionality, I’ve been working on the Air for three days without charging it once.
Yeah size matters, smaller means I’ve got a lot more mobility. It means that I can use the device all over the place and not have to worry where I’m going to plug in next.
Relative to my old iPad 2 and keyboard, which in its heyday had similar battery endurance, I didn’t gain much screen space or key-room. However, there’s absolutely no delay between the moment my finger taps a key and the point at which the corresponding icon is rendered on the screen. Bluetook keyboards are, in my experience, a nest of frustration.
I’m not sure I’m going to be able to use the Air to complete editing or layout work, there just isn’t that much screen real estate. But at least now I’ll have something to edit and/or layout as the case may be.
Weighing in at 120 GB this system has nearly nothing in the way of storage. Set up as my primary writing utility, I’m using about 16% of my total storage. I haven’t loaded Vellum and a couple of other utilities I know I’ll eventually need, but I have taken steps to streamline the OS and app footprint. No games, two browsers (Chrome, which I use, and Safari which is an OS-native), and a couple of plugins and utilities. The biggest app is Scrivener with MindNode Pro coming in a close second.
For a guy who, twenty-five years ago, rejoiced at the acquisition of a 2 MB external hard drive for my then moldering Macintosh Plus the tiny storage footprint of this device seems spacious. Add that relativistic view to the availability to cloud storage and easy networking and I’ve arrived in mobile heaven.
I’ve opened a couple of text files and started planning. Right now I’m working primarily on Distance, which is the first in a generation-ship trilogy. Add to this, I’m planning on writing a many more blog posts too. Some about writing, some about my life in general, and a few about my van. Notice that nowhere in there am I including “angry posts about politics.”
On the whole, this device is representative of the quality and mobility I’ve come to expect from Apple. I’m going to make some good use of it.