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Month 4 verdict for MacBook Air: OK, but not great

The ultrathin laptop from Apple makes a great date, but I am not sure that there is long-term relationship potential, given a few major setbacks.

My consumption and inevitable destruction of technology products provides a great deal of entertainment for my friends.

My first-month check-in with the MacBook Air was overwhelmingly positive. Several months later, not so much. Here is an update on life with my MacBook Air, with 2GB of RAM.

The positive:

  • The size is great, and the keyboard remains a pleasure to type on.
  • I have become dependent on the track pad, which is a total shocker, as I have never liked any of them in the past.
  • The function keys are extremely useful, and I miss them on any other machine.

The negative:

  • It's slow. When I open up a file window--let's say my Applications folder--it takes 10 to 30 seconds before the file list appears. It's painful when you are in a rush, being much slower than the regular MacBook, let alone the MacBook Pro.
  • Battery life is generally bad. I have yet to get more than 2 hours and 15 minutes since I have owned the notebook.
  • The need to lug around a bunch of accessories (including Apple's always-burdensome power adapter) defeat much of the purpose. My whole point with the MBA was to have a machine with which I could easily travel.
  • I have been screwed by the lack of Ethernet connectivity at least three times. Many hotels don't offer Wi-Fi in room. Last week in New York, I had to go to the 24-hour Apple store to buy another USB adapter.
  • It runs hot, and the memory tends to max out at least once a daywhile running very basic applications (Mac Mail, Mac Calendar, Safari, Firefox, and Excel are what I normally run). It's odd to me that the Apple applications are the items that push the memory over the top, whereas Firefox has gotten much better with it.