I’ll admit it, I’m stubborn. Very stubborn.
Because of my stubbornness I’ve made do with a painfully slow Samsung laptop for the past 3 years. About six months ago the cheap hinges broke and the screen had to be propped up to be functional.
My husband and I are frugal and try to use things until they can’t be used anymore. Neither of us buy things just to be part of a trend. We’ve also been trying to save since we both just quit our jobs to travel full-time. Finally, I didn’t want to take a brand new laptop with a completely different operating system on our first trip overseas.
I was still determined to take this computer to Mexico next month, but it was getting to the point where I was waiting minutes for an app to open.
So what’s travel blogger to do?
Ok so let’s get to the down and dirty. Why would I willingly subject myself to the figuring out a completely new operating system when I’ve used Microsoft Windows for nearly twenty years? I definitely did NOT want to spend the money, but my husband Joe encouraged me to get what I needed to comfortably work on the road. We’re going to be figuring out a lot of things and we don’t need the additional headache of a useless computer.
Here’s why I chose the MacBook Air 13in 128 GB for my new Travel Blogger Computer:
The MacBook Air’s aluminum case is hardcore heavy-duty. I’ve spent a lot of time researching the ultimate computer for travel, and the MacBook series comes up again and again. It’s the most durable for the price and able to withstand the bumps and drops that inevitably come with long-term travel. The biggest annoyance of my old Samsung was the cheapness of the plastic screen, it started coming apart long before the computer became useless. The hinge on the MacBook Air stretches the width of the screen and is solid lightweight aluminum.
The 13 inch 126GB MacBook Air comes in at an amazing 2.38lbs, one of the lightest laptops I’ve ever owned. It really feels like nothing in my hands. Especially compared to the 6-pounder I lugged to Iraq in 2009. There are definitely lighter and thinner laptops on the market, but again, you won’t find the solidly constructed lightweight aluminum body.
One of the things that annoyed me the most about the Samsung was the slowness when opening apps or photos. How long can you watch the cursor spin before completely going insane? Okay the computer was 3 years old but it should have retained some functionality. The first thing that I noticed when powering up the MacBook Air was that I didn’t have to wait for anything to open! Not my SD card, not an app, and not the internet. I can see that I’m going to get a lot more work done with this new tool. My MacBook Air with a 13 inch screen has a 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-5250U processor with integrated Intel HD Graphics 6000, more than adequate for travel writing and photo editing.
I was pleasantly surprised the first time I held the MacBook Air in my hand. While other computers can certainly beat the MacBook Air in weight, I have yet to find one I like with comparable thinness. Here are the specs:
- Height: 0.11-0.68 inch (0.3-1.7 cm)
- Width: 11.8 inches (30 cm)
- Depth: 7.56 inches (19.2 cm)
- Weight: 2.38 pounds (1.08 kg)3
A Port for Everything
While the MacBook is the ultimate in portability, it was lacking all the ports necessary for a travel blogger lifestyle. This is certainly not the case with the MacBook Air. As you can see in the graphic above (The MacBook Air 11in is on the left, the MacBook Air 13 inch is on the right, you get 2 USB 3 ports, a Thunderbolt 2 port, SDXC card slot, 3.5mm headphone jack, and a Mag Safe power port. I’m not sure how much use I will get out of the 3.5mm headphone jack since the MacBook Air comes equipped with Bluetooth and I just purchased an amazing waterproof Bluetooth speaker.
I can’t tell you enough how much I like this feature. It is a real pain to try to type in low light, squinting to make out the letters on the keyboard. The MacBook Air has a smart lighted keyboard and the keys have an excellent “feel” to them. This solves one problem of not being able to write in low-light or not writing because my eyes are tired.
Not having to carry another plug for my speaker is definitely a plus. My husband and I both like music, especially the relaxing jazzy kind, and we found the most amazing speaker to go with the new MacBook Air. Saying it sounds like a theater is probably an exaggeration, but watching Game of Thrones with the waterproof, shockproof, Altec Lansing in the background certainly enhances the experience. I used to listen to movies directly out of the computer. I didn’t know what I was missing! We’ve been testing out tons of speakers to take with us to Mexico, and this one is definitely the best. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to this little everything proof, mountable, Altec Lansing Bluetooth Speaker with 10 hours of battery life, I definitely recommend you give it a listen.
Syncs With All of Your Apple Devices
I’ve used the iPhone since 2009 and my husband bought me an iPad mini 4 for Valentine’s Day and I absolutely love it. While some may say that an iPad or iPad mini is not necessary with a MacBook, I would have to disagree. I absolutely love my iPad mini with the crystal-clear Retina display. I read a lot, and I mean A LOT. I used to do most of my reading on my phone or my Kindle, both of which aren’t very good on the eyes.
My eyes need all the help they can get since my optic nerve was permanently damaged from the effects of living with Multiple Sclerosis. I noticed the immediate effect of reduced eye strain and fatigue once I started reading from the iPad Mini 4, and using the MacBook Air.
I paired my husband’s generous gift with a Finite Keyboard Case in a unique “map of the world” design. The best thing about this case is that is comes with a mini Bluetooth keyboard. The case actually looks like a journal or book. Although I love bright colors and mosaics, I try to avoid anything that screams “look at my iPad!”
In addition to the amazing Altec Lansing Bluetooth speaker we described above, we also picked up a 1TB WD (Western Digital) Hard Drive for Mac. A snazzy wireless mouse from Logitech in my favorite color (vivid violet), and an even more portable 128GB flash drive from Sandisk. The flash drives in this size have come in handy the past few years, especially as a teacher. Instead of lugging my school-issued laptop home each night, I simply worked off of the flash drive and took that home at the end of the day. If do decide to work from a flash drive make sure you have a secondary more stable back up so you don’t lose all of your beautiful travel photos.
Long Battery Life
According to Apple, the 13 inch MacBook Air can last 12 hours on a single batter charge, and up to 10 hours streaming movies through iTunes. The long battery life is definitely a plus for a travel blogger or any traveler. Of course I will always carry an outlet extender so I can share the love at crowded airport charging terminals, but not having to worry about charging the laptop every few hours is definitely a plus.
The true test of the MacBook Air is going to come in a few weeks when we hit the road full-time. We know we love the Bluetooth speaker already and I feel like I can’t live without my iPad mini 4. Look for more reports on our new travel gear once we hit the road next month. We would love to hear what you think? What do you travel with? Please leave us a comment below or send us am email.