For about three weeks, I’ve carried around the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 as my “daily driver” laptop. I’ve written plenty of reviews about new machines, but what makes this “test” a little different is that I didn’t have a backup laptop. Under normal circumstances, anything I test is just a temporary thing. I may carry around a new device with me and use it as my primary computing platform for a week or so, but I always have the security blanket of my main machine. For the last couple of years, that primary machine has been a MacBook Air (well, really several MBAs). However, just after I got the Surface Pro 3 (SP3), I killed the LCD display driver (the physical component) during a meeting. I was in a rush so I grabbed the Surface Pro 3 which I had toyed with… and it became the aforementioned daily driver.
Last week I got my hands on a brand new, top of the line, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon “Ultrabook”. At 14″ it’s a little larger than most ultrabooks, but it does provide more screen real estate and a higher resolution. The X1 Carbon was released in late 2012 meaning that it isn’t the newest kid on the block, however the system specs look solid. While it is a solid overall machine, the downfall is (as is typical these days) the battery.
While it doesn’t take two weeks to review the hardware of a laptop, I wanted to give the Chromebook Pixel a chance to strut its stuff (plus I just didn’t get around to writing anything sooner). I’ll go right ahead and say that the Pixel is a nice computer; it’s a $1,300 machine and it feels worth the price point (more or less). From the screen to the touchpad to the overall build, it’s a solid machine.
Roughly a month ago I got my hands on the new(ish) Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook. It’s a fairly long name a device I lovingly nicknamed the “Dellbook Air”. Yes, it’s a Dell, but it is a MacBook Air clone, a fairly good one at that. My review is going to cover the usual features I do and don’t like, along with a fair number of comparisons to the 2011 MacBook Air model (Sorry, I don’t have a 2012 Air to compare with yet).
Well it’s 2012 (in case you haven’t been paying attention for the last several months), which means there is a new MacBook Air to review. The new version has been out for about a month now and I just got my hands on a couple to play with. This year’s review of the MacBook Air is going to be much shorter than last years. While I normally don’t summarize my findings in the first paragraph, I’ll break with tradition and say it now… The 2012 MacBook Air is a MINOR revision at best.
MacBook Airs and I have had a tenuous relationship for many years. I have had an original first generation Air (Early 2008) unit loaned to me for the last several years. Sometimes I’d use the machine a lot and sometimes not at all. My main issue (besides my lack of love for Apple) was that beyond the size/weight, it just wasn’t that amazing. Everything about the Air underwhelmed me. Sure it was light, but the screen was just okay, the battery was lackluster, the speaker sucked and it wasn’t powerful at all. Last week, I got my hands on the new 4th Generation MacBook Air (Mid 2011 model) and I’ll honestly say, my opinion (including my lack of love for Apple) has been changed.
This weekend I upgraded my MacBook Air (Original Generation 1) to OSX Lion (10.7). One of the features I was looking forward to testing was AirDrop. After all, it is a new tech that allows you to share files (over WiFi) with Macs in the area without any sort of previous network configuration. Heck, you don’t even need to be on the same WiFi network. Such a minor thing can be so AMAZINGLY useful. There was only one problem… no AirDrop to be seen.
So last week, I didn’t know a whole lot about IPv6 (backwater hick – slow and behind the times). After spending a long weekend delving into the world of it, I find out that I’m basically on the bleeding edge already… and that makes me sad. How can I go from not even having used IPv6 to the bleeding edge in a few days? As it turns out, there isn’t much of a distance to go.