Air time

Well now the MacBook Air, 2018 edition, has landed in my lap. Not a minute too soon, either, as I have been using the MacBook Pro Escape, so called, for the last year or more. And the remarkable thing is? The Air is basically the same machine, but lighter and with the addition of TouchID.

This works on many levels:

* First rule of laptops: when all else is equal, lighter is better. I think the new-look MacBook Pro was closer to the old Air than the old Pro in weight, but if you can shave off a few ounces free of charge, that’s that much kinder to your back or shoulder.

* The Air has only two Thunderbolt ports…but so did the Escape. That was the price of not having to work around that ghastly TouchBar. And now you can have real function keys…and a TouchID piece that interoperates with Apple Pay and with LastPass for password management integration.

* There have been keyboard improvements. We all know the butterfly keys aren’t going anywhere, no matter how much you wish Apple could somehow get the PowerBook 1400 keyboard into modern hardware, but at least now you’re less likely to be laid low by a single crumb? Maybe?

* This is a deliberate move. This machine only has the i5 processor, not the i7, and I’m hoping it is more conservative of battery life because I’ve reached a point where everything I do now is either through a browser or in a text window. When Apple Remote Desktop is no longer critical to your job, wild horsepower is largely beside the point (and since I eschew the use of any Google product, let alone the black hole of resources known as Chrome, I ought to be fine there too).

In another recurring theme, there was no migration. I just set up an account and went. No documents moving over (though that may come tomorrow), just download the right half-dozen or so applications and log into Slack and Evernote and Feedbin and LastPass and away we go.

At a minimum, it’ll keep me from being tempted into thinking I need to buy one of my own. Which is the major reason to get equipment through my employer these days, because the last laptop I paid for out of pocket was…the iBook Special Edition in Graphite in 2000. But on early evidence, if I had to do it now, this is the one to pick up.

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