MacBook Air Report

        Art Gorski reports: I recently visited an Apple Store and got some hands-on time with the new MacBook Air. I thought that the smaller 11" model might be too small, but was pleasantly surprised by how usable it was. It has the same full-size keyboard of any Mac laptop, and the screen is high resolution and doesn't seem too small to read.
        "The real shocker was how good the performance is. The 11" model uses only a 1.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor, while my 4.5 year old MacBook uses a 1.83 GHz Core Duo processor, so I wasn't expecting much. However, the use of a Solid State Drive (SSD) instead of a conventional hard drive makes all the difference in the world. Launching iPhoto on my old MacBook takes about 7 Dock 'bounces' and about 15 seconds until the library of photos is finally loaded. Of course, the MacBook Air in the store did not have a large library of photos on it, but iPhoto launched with a single bounce and was ready to go in only a second or so!
        "I wouldn't recommend a MacBook Air as your only computer, unless your computing needs are light and you purchase the optional external DVD drive to load software. But in my case, where I have a Mac desktop computer and use a MacBook for travel and meetings away from the house, the MacBook Air is perfect and will be my first choice when it's time to replace my old MacBook."