[04/07/2017] MacBook Air 13″, 2015- i5, 8GB/128GB arrived. Unboxing experience was typical Apple- pretty special.
I am officially “one of those” Mac people now.
Migrated the ~5GB of data from my previous machine to a Google Drive. Starting afresh with the Mac.
A few system updates later, its good to go.
Screen doesn’t have the greatest viewing angles, but it’s really not as bad as the media would have you believe. Color accurate, bright, and anti-reflective 👌
The Trackpad is 💯 – smooth & accurate as they get. Plus, the system gestures take it to the next level. “Magic” trackpad indeed.
Keyboard- really good and sturdy. Though, not as good as my older HP. It feels more spread out, but more importantly, it lacks the “click”. The keys feel mushy as they bottom out. Also, key wobble (nitpicking, I know) is real.
[06/07/2017] Full screen apps are 😍 Really “FULL screen”, like, they take up the entire viewport without gimping the usability. Plus, the three-finger-swipe makes navigation really intuitive and quick.
Feeling the benefits of that PCI-e SSD. App launch, resume from sleep and general load times are really short.
Keyboard shortcuts are confusing at first. There seems to be a (keyboard / mouse gesture) shortcut for everything though.
[07/07/2017] Feeling the benefits of the great battery life. Walked into a meetup with 45% battery and came out with about 35!
[13/07/2017] Starting to love this machine. Not just the hardware, but the software. The quirks like the weird ⌘ + <insert finger-bending combo here> still annoy me, but the overall software package is great.
Access to a native terminal is particularly handy as I look to get better at my job. It came in particularly useful at an event that I was speaking at today.
[24/07/2017] Spent 4 days in Bangalore. Took the Mac along. Used it on and off through the trip. Battery went from late 70’s to around 50. BEAST battery + stand-by times! Case in point: 95+ hours of stand-by starting at a 100%, and the battery dropped only 2%:
[06/08/2017] Bought an Amazon Basics laptop sleeve (10/10 would recommend) and a micro-fibre cloth that I shove in the sleeve alongside the laptop (screen has a habit of picking attaching dust)
[16/09/2017] I occasionally find the light-up Apple logo too flashy, so I covered it up. Then I succumbed and added more. Each of the stickers appeals to me though, so I’m not being hipster just for the sake of being hipster.
[06/03/2018] Comments like the one below annoy me to no end:
Please, please find me another laptop is a better overall package than the 2015 13″ MBA. I dare you, I double dare you. All things considered– software, hardware & support– nothing comes close to doing the job that the Air was designed to do at this price range (I bought mine for INR 58,500, though I regularly see it go for 1.5–3.5k cheaper)
[04/06/2018] I quit my job. Had a bunch of work-specific apps and services that I wanted to clear, so I just formatted the data partition and re-installed MacOS. This did a lot of good to the battery life (expected) and snappiness (unexpected). I think I had a bunch of services running in the background, zapping battery, plus I was forced to use known battery hogs like Chrome and Slack. No more!
[30/07/2018] Ok I go again with another “it’s not as expensive as in the long run” argument – the bundled apps viz. Pages, Keynote, Numbers and iMovie. These are basically direct replacements for Word, PowerPoint, Excel and…Windows Movie Maker??🤔. Aaaaanyway, they do introduce some interoperability headaches when the rest of the world mostly uses the MS Office suite, but I have learnt to work around that. Here’s the thing though – these are all really capable applications. Of the four, only Numbers falls behind its MS counterpart, while the others more than make up for it. They are superb applications, first class citizens of the platform, and come completely free (lifetime licenses) with every Mac. Considering that a competing (licensed) version of the most basic MS suite is at least $100 a year, these apps go a long way in lowering the effective prices of Macs.
[18/08/2018] My Android phone got stolen. On the bus, that too. Rookie mistake by me, really. Anyway. Got lent an old iPhone 5S.
To be honest, I kinda expected it to be all rainbows and sunshine because of the fabled Mac <> iOS interoperability, but after a few weeks, I realised that the only cross platform applications I was using were Notes and AirDrop.
Cross-platform access to Notes is AMAZING. Google Keep is a decent app, but Notes works so much better for taking longer…..notes. Admittedly, I didn’t find myself composing too many notes on the tiny iPhone, but the fact that all my notes are in one place, categorised, and easily searchable anywhere I go is SO important to me. No doubt in my mind that Notes is a major step up from Google Keep (not great for long notes), Simplenote (kinda basic) and OneNote (so bloated, unintuitive filing system)
AirDrop is magical when large files are to be transferred, or in a room with other Apple users. In all other cases, Bluetooth has been just fine for me.
At the end of the day, the Mac <> iOS marriage didn’t give me the quality of life improvements that I’d hoped for, even if on their own merit, they are both amazing devices. I think I should write about my iPhone experience.
[6/12/2018] The speakers are not the loudest, but they are reasonably loud enough for a laptop this size. What makes them great is the sound quality—not the bass (there is none)—but the quality of mid and high tones. They are more than sufficient for voice chats, casual YouTube videos and even movies (the dialogue is very clear, the sound effects are not). Something unique to this Mac is the placement of the speakers, seemingly under the keyboard. There are no visible speaker grilles, so the sound just seems to come out of the laptop.
[11/04/2020] I have been getting increasingly annoyed with the declining state of the stickers I have on the outside shell. The lower quality stickers have started to peel at the edges, fade or get quite visibly brown with accumulate dirt. With a bunch of time on my hands, I decided to strip the back and return to factory state – at least in theory. In reality, the back of my MBA now has a bunch of goopy residue, which isn’t really sticky, but quite noticeable and quite hard to get off. I could probably use some kind of solvent and elbow grease to clear it, but I’m not willing to invest more than an afternoon. Moral of the story – avoid stickers in the first place.