Nice post... this helps me to buy a good laptop but little bit confused which model i have to choose 11" or 13" ? .
Published by Antonio Tajuelo
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Very long since my desk received its last update, but year 2014 is starting with news regarding the devices I often have on my desk ^^.
A box with a 11-inches MacBook Air has arrived!
I chose to add a MacBook Air to the device array I use in order to dispose of a light laptop that allowed me to do most of the task I already do on the iMac:
- Checking information on the internet: e-mail, Google Maps, Wikipedia, YouTube, etc.
- Updating my blog.
- Processing photo sets with Adobe Lightroom.
- Doing web development for the applications I use.
MacBook Air is one of the thinnest and lightest laptops on the market. It is just 1.7 cm thin and weights about 1 kg. I decided to get the lightest option available. My goal is to be able to carry it anywhere whenever I need and that it doesn't add too much weight to my bag or suitcase.
My latest laptop computer -a Sony Vario netbook from mid-2010- is already unable to fulfill its mission, as its specs are not enough for the tasks I usually do these days, specially regarding photo editing, and it isn't even a very light computer.
The specs of the MacBook Air I have chosen are below. It has some upgrades over the basic model:
- 1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 (basic model is 1.3GHz Core i5)
- 8GB of RAM memory (basic model is 4GB)
- 256GB SSD storage (basic model is 128GB)
Packaging and protecting case that allowed a smooth shipping and arrival of MacBook Air to its final destination ^^.
I am amazed of the way Apple designs its product boxes, in an extremely simplified style.
Ryoko was willing to help unboxing the MacBook Air ^^.
Taking out the plastic cover from the MacBook Air box.
Once I opened the box, the first thing i found was the actual laptop ^^.
The box has a padded inside, so the computer is well protected against possible box bumps during its transportation.
After taking out the computer, you can find some docs and accessories inside the box.
Lets check the first of the docs that comes with MacBook Air ^^.
Quick guide for using the computer.
Power wires for MacBook Air. There are two kind of wires, one longer and one shorter that I think its more practical for traveling.
Empty box, after taking out all the accessories ^^U...
Detail of the long power wire for MacBook Air.
The laptop is protected by a very thick plastic wrap.
Almost done unwrapping MacBook Air ^^.
Here we have it! Once taken out from the box and unwrapped, MacBook Air seems to be a very light and thin computer.
Notice how thin is this laptop. It is even thinner than the keyboard I use with the iMac computer.
Side detail of MacBook Air. This computer has very few ports:
- 2 USB 3 ports (first computer I have that uses this technology)
- 1 Thunderbolt port, up to 10GB/s
- Electric power connector
- Audio exit for headphones
As shipped from the factory, the keyboard is also protected by a small plastic.
Keyboard touch and quality are excellent. It's really comfortable to do computer writing using this laptop.
Detail of MacBook Air keyboard. As you can see, it has a Spanish keyboard because of the Ñ key ^^.
Detail of MacBook Air electric connector.
Mac OS X start screen, after turning on the laptop for the first time.
The computer welcomes you in several languages. How many languages in this photo can you recognize?
Setting up the keyboard. My keyboard layout is "Spanish - ISO".
Setting up home Wi-Fi connection ^^.
It is possible to transfer all the data from another Mac computer or from a system backup into a new computer. Because all the data and system setup I use are very simple, my choice was not to transfer any data from the iMac computer.
Setting up the Apple ID. This allows for iTunes, iCloud and App Store sync.
One setting I recommend to use in all Apple devices is "Find my device". This will help you to find it in case you lose it and it even allows you to remotely delete all the data inside if you are unable to get your computer back.
Agreeing the computer terms and conditions. I wonder how many legal terms are accepted each day without previously being read ^w^.
Time to create a root account for this computer. I took a picture of myself at the same time ^^.
iCloud keyring is a utility for keeping your web passwords into your computer. Using the same password for many web services (e-mail, online shopping, forums, etc) is not safe, but it is not practical either. Using a different password for each service is much safer, but it is impossible for humans to remember all of them and that's why we don't do it.
I choose not to register my Mac :)
Anyway, if I need to use the computer guarantee in the future, I think I should register it in some way...
MacBook Air fully functional for the first time!
Setting the trackpad options before doing anything else! I like to be able to do right click from the trackpad and mouse without needing to press any key and I also prefer to use a faster than default cursor speed.
Dock from OS X operating system is an application bar that appears in the lower screen area. If you use Windows, it is something like the start bar. As I won't use many of these apps, my first step is to remove them from the Dock.
Deleting applications from OS X Dock.
After deleting many shortcuts from the Docks there are few icons left ^^. The only remaining icons are: Finder (you can't remove it indeed), calendar, iTunes, download folder and Trash Bin.
One thing I don't like about OS X Mavericks (the last version of Mac's operating system) is its green and blue default wallpaper. For me it is much better to go back to OS X Mountain Lion wallpaper, the blue tone galaxy photography is more beautiful!
OS X Mavericks with OS X Mountain Lion wallpaper.
The web browser I always use is Google Chrome. I think that these days is the fastest and easiest to use web browser. The only browser that comes with OS X is Safari, so I have to use it to download and install Google Chrome ^^.
Installing programs and apps is extremely simple in OS X, easier and faster than Windows where you have to go through different steps always clicking "Next, Next, Next...". In order to install an app in OS X, in most cases you only need to drag and drop the app icon into the "Applications" folder... and done! ^^
MacBook Air screen quality is excellent. Screen resolution for the 11.6 inches screen model is 1366 x 768 pixels. Photos look quite sharp and colors bright is great.
Another thing I noticed at first was that web pages load faster even than in the iMac. It is very pleasant to enjoy such a fluid web navigation.
Checking the sound quality of MacBook Air, that I also think is ok for a laptop computer.
If you wish, you can also check the sound quality of your computer by listening to the song I AM THE BEST, from the Korean group 2NE1 ^^.
Time to install all the apps I need in this laptop ^^. The first one is Sublime Text, my favorite text editor. It is actually a code editor, but I also use it for notes. Sublime Text as many benefits: it is extremely fast, it offers color syntax highlighting, it has multiple keyboard shortcuts and you can easy customize it using plugins that are developed in Python. At the moment, version 3 of Sublime Text is still beta, but I am already using it at home and at work. If you prefer not to live in the edge and you think that a stable version would be safer, you can download version 2.
Package Manager is an incredibly good Sublime Text extension. It is a package manager that allows you to install any plugin available on its catalog in a quick and easy way. Package Manager can be installed from Sublime Text console.
Once you have installed Package Manager into Sublime Text, you will be able to use its options menu by pressing a keyboard shortcut.
Package Manager also allows you to install many Sublime Text plugins. The best of all is how quick the plugins are installed and that you don't need to go away from the app. Straight from a keyboard shortcut you can navigate the full available plugin catalog and install any of them in seconds. I think that Package Manager should be bundled into Sublime Text so everybody can use it without needing to manually install it.
Github is another app that I use on a daily basis. It is a version control application that allows me to have an historic of all the source code changes I do into the applications I work with. Github also is something like "Facebook for programmers" with a very active member community.
Moom is a small utility that I always use when I use OS X. In my opinion, one of the disadvantages of OS X against Windows is that is not really easy to maximize a window. In fact, the "window maximization" concept is very different in OS X, where the window only expands until it is wide and tall enough to fit its inner content, but almost never filling the whole screen. After installing Moom, when you mouse hover the maximize button, some useful options will trigger so you can set the window to fill the whole screen, the left half, the right half, the upper half or the lower half.
Teleport is a very practical utility when you use more than one Mac computer. It allows you to use many computers using just one mouse and one keyboard. It also allows you to drag and drop files from one computer into another as well as doing copy-paste between different computers. This app is free.
Notice that this is different from using a computer with an additional screen, which is the most common case. The difference is that Teleport allows you to use two or more computers from a single mouse and keyboard set. It is very useful when you have an iMac and a MacBook because you can use the iMac mouse and keyboard with the MacBook.
In order to use Teleport, the only requirement is to install it and set it in all the computers you want to control together and that all these computers share the same network connection (wire or Wi-Fi).
In order to use Teleport, you need to select where the other computer screen is located. It is on the right side, on the left side or below?
Another of the applications I use for web development is Sequel Pro, an application for MySQL database management in a visual way. In my opinion is the best application of this kind that exists, even considering all the Windows available applications. And the best of all, it is free ^^.
MySQL databases are very key for web development. They allow to store information that later will be shown into the web pages. For example, in this photo you can see the last posts from this blog in the MySQL database where they are stored.
Transmit is the program I use for connecting into different servers using FTP, SFTP or similar, for copying/moving files from one computer to another. It is also compatible with cloud file storage services like Amazon S3, so this app works perfect for me ^^.
In this photo you can see some of the template files of my blog ^^.
The best way to see the content of the files I access with Transmit is Sublime Text. I talked earlier in this post about that app ^^.
Alfred is another utility that fastens my use of OS X. Its mission is to let me work in a speedy way. OS X uses Spotlight by default, a search box for apps and files. Alfred is something like an upgraded version of Spotlight: it works faster and you can customize it a lot. Less time wasted using the operating system = more productivity, which is important when you want to be efficient.
For playing videos I use VLC. Quick Time, the default app, seems to miss many required codecs for playing certain files, but VLC doesn't fail with that.
In addition from software settings, I did a small customization of the desktop that can be found outside of the MacBook Air. It is a smartphone stand of Brown, a little bear drom Line, the messaging app.
You can use this stand in two ways =)
You can face the screen to you, so you can get all the calls and notifications, or you can face it away from you, so you don't let those notifications to interrupt you while you are concentrated doing another thing.
MacBook Air setup is done! Dock icons that I am going to keep are those you can see in the photo.
Notice how the keys bright in the darkness. This feature is very useful and allows you to use the computer in dark places, like in an airplane when lights are off.
After installing and setting most of the software I am going to use in the MacBook Air, my desk looks like this ^^.
I hope that you have found interesting apps in this post if you also are a Mac user.