A Writer’s Review of the 2013 MacBook Air

I’ve blogged before about the different devices and computers I use to write and read with. From Nooks, to Netbooks, Ipads, Ipods, laptops and desktops, I’ve owned and used a lot. My recent purchase of the MacBook Air 2013 seems to be the wisest technology investment I’ve made to date.

My history of using laptop computers dates back to the mid nineties when I inherited an old brick of a laptop that I used to write my college papers on. The screen was small and it only displayed characters in clunky gray scale, making it feel like little more than an over sized calculator. No picture files, no music files, no real internet—just documents in the earliest version of MS Word. There was no mouse and all commands had to be executed with the control and function keys (a much bigger learning curb for use than modern versions of Word). I actually really liked that old computer. It was reliable, and I typed a lot of schoolwork on it, printed papers off on dot matrix printers and was able to save to a floppy disk with the diskette drive (the smaller version of the floppy disk). Wow! Suddenly, I feeling kinda old. I’m guessing there are a whole lot of people in the world today who don’t know what a floppy disk is.


After that antique beast, I moved on to various desktops and laptops, eventually writing my first novel on a Sony VAIO laptop many years ago (a $2000 laptop that I won in a raffle). In earlier blogs, I talked about my love of Netbooks for their portability and how they helped increase my productivity because I could easily carry them everywhere.

My point—I have a long history with PCs. During all those years of use, I watched the rise of viruses and of new software to fight them. Then I saw how some of the Antivirus software began to act like a virus on new PCs until you agreed to pay money for the ‘protective’ software.  I learned how to erase such malicious programs from my PC (Norton, Mcafee, to name two) and download free software that kept them running more smoothly, but my PCs were never great. Although each new computer I bought was supposed to be faster, i.e. it had a larger processor, RAM, etc., they always seemed to run at about the same (sluggish) speed. I never really loved any of the newer laptops as much as that old reliable IBM I started with, and I never gave much thought about buying a Mac because of the problems with compatibility in the PC dominated world.

About two years ago, I purchased my first Apple product, an Ipad. I was immediately amazed at how reliable and easy to use it was and still is. It surpassed all my expectations and a year later, I bought a 5th Generation Ipod, which I carry every where. This little version of the IPad is always ready with a novel to read in the Kindle, B&N, or Ibooks ap, with a song or audio book to listen too while I do house chores, with my email from seven different accounts at my fingertips in one mailbox, with blogging aps, with a great camera and video camera that post directly to You Tube, with aps that access all my bank accounts and help pay my bills, a game for the kids when they are bored at a restaurant—you get the picture, I use the heck out of these to Apple devices.

So when my last Netbook started acting up (both hardware and software) as all PCs seem to do after about eighteen months of hard use, I started lusting for a Macbook Air. I researched and found that MS Word for Mac would do everything it did on my PCs, even saving the files as .doc so they could be seamlessly viewed and modified on a PC, and I felt confident I could use the MacBook Air for writing without too much trouble. Deciding that a MacBook Air was in my future a few months ago, I discovered a new version of the slim (and downright sexy) laptop would be coming out sometime in the summer of 2013. The newer version would have a longer battery life because of a new processor, an important enough advance to me to keep me waiting. So I endured my flailing netbook to the point that I would almost have an anxiety attack every time I sat down to use it. Finally, on June 10, I called my local Mac Store and found out they had them in stock. I had to buy MS Office for Mac as well so the MacBook Air (11”) was over a thousand dollars—much more expensive than my previous two $300 netbooks.


After using the Macbook Air 2013 for a month, I can honestly say it is the best computer by leaps and bounds that I’ve ever owned or used. I could go on and on about what I love about this slender, futuristic machine, but I don’t want to keep you so let me just say everything about it is awesome; from the keyboard, to the power cord, to the way it works smoothly, powers up quickly, battery life . . . everything.


Though it is nearly perfect and kills any PC I’ve ever seen or touched, it has had a couple of very minor problems to report: Safari (the web browser) has frozen up once and I had to restart it. And around the same time, I was using a website to create some bookmarks for my new book, Joshua’s Tree, which came out on June 28, 2013 (see the previous blog), on a website called Uprinting.com, and I couldn’t upload a photo to their site. This was clearly due to Uprinting not being completely Mac friendly, and I was able to email the photo to them and they uploaded the file for me, resolving the issue. Otherwise, that is all the bad I can say about the new MacBook Air at this point. I take it everywhere and it is so fun and reliable to use that my productivity is on the rise once again. I know these Macs are a bit more expensive than their PC counterparts, but I expect to get enough life out of mine to eventually make that a moot point. If you are thinking of buying a new laptop, do yourself a huge and life changing favor, check out the Macs. I also purchased a plastic shell to protect my new investment and a nice slim carrying case. I’m done with PC, never to look back!


If you have any questions about my experience with the MacBook Air, ask them in my comments and I’ll be glad to give you the good, bad and ugly as I see it.


About nwharrisbooks

Born and raised in a small town in north Georgia, my imagination evolved under the swaying pines surrounding my family's log home. On summer days that were too hot, winter days that were too cold, and every night into the wee hours I read books. My face was rarely seen, always hidden behind a binding. I was nurtured on fiction. Now it is my turn to create some of my own. I live in sunny southern California with my beautiful wife and two perfect children (I may be biased). I write like I read, constantly. I studied anthropology at UCSB and medicine at SUNY Buffallo.
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14 Responses to A Writer’s Review of the 2013 MacBook Air

  1. Good to read your review. I, too, use an iPad and iPhone and love the ease and reliability. I’m getting ready to purchase a new laptop and was considering Apple. I love the idea that everything works together.

  2. Jade Reyner says:

    Wow! So you finally got your hands on the MacBook then – good for you! Envious….not! I have a new laptop now running Windows 8 which is pretty cool but I am still lusting after the MacBook – one of these days. And for the record, I remember floppy discs! 🙂

  3. barbtaub says:

    I’ve had a MacAir for a few years and agree — it’s the best! When I’m in New York, I write in the lobby of the Ace (http://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g60763-d1201072-i67978613-Ace_Hotel_NYC-New_York_City_New_York.html#67978580). Last time I was there, I noticed that little apple icon’s cheerful glow from every one of the 20+ screens at my long table.
    Congrats and good luck with your new book.

    • Yeah, before I got it I knew the MacAir was going to be better than what I was used to. And now it’s exceeding my expectations at the moment for its performance, speed, physical design and above all reliability. Still skeptical that it is going to keep working this great, where’s the catch. I’m starting to see why Mac computers have such dedicated following.

  4. bgbowers says:

    I suffered through year’s of HP computers and laptops. About a year ago, the HP died, and I plunged into the world of Mac. I have never looked back. 5 Stars, for sure!

    • Pagadan says:

      Thanks for the review and the background. I don’t plan to go that route at the moment, but I appreciate learning from other people’s research. Oh, yes. Floppy disks. Hmm. I may have some…

  5. morgenbailey says:

    Hi NW, everyone. I’ve been a Mac user for about five years, following many years’ recommendation from my brother. I started with a MacBook Pro, which I still use as my main machine, but then bought an Air about three years ago when I was doing in-person author interviews, (since changed to email/blog-only) and it was (is) SO much lighter to carry around. I am still in love with it, despite my Kindle Fire HD being smaller and lighter, but you can’t beat a proper screen and keyboard. Not surprised, NW, that you call it your wisest investment. 🙂

  6. Yvonne says:

    Even when I read the title of this post, I KNEW that it was going to be a positive review.:-) Our household is an Apple one, and my main comp is a MacBook Pro w/ a battery life of practically nil (but you will never hear me complain). (Fortunately, Apple remedied the issue in the later MacBook Pros and Airs.) A MacBook is an investment you will never regret, and the $$ spent will stretch years beyond the life of a PC. One of these days, I’m going to upgrade, but by then, the MacBook Air 2030 will be released.lol

  7. Deb Trotter says:

    I switched from a PC over 5 years ago because I was sick to death of paying techies to remove viruses, not to mention buying and trying loads of anti virus software. Finally, I bought a 23″ iMac that still runs like a dream. It handled tons of huge files when I was designing artwork in Photoshop. I finally moved about 12,000 photos and 3000 photoshop files to an external hard drive since the Mac had began to run a little sluggishly by then — it was only 4 GB and was a sweetheart … still is. Three years ago I also purchased a MacBook Pro to use while traveling. It ran like a dream until, like an idiot, I spilled coffee on the keyboard and destroyed it. Never once did I have a virus. The only problems I’ve experienced with my macs were a few software compatibility issues, which were easily fixed — thanks to Apple’s capable and friendly techs. Their customer service is top notch. No waiting, getting pulled on hold for 20 minutes. One of the techs gave me her personal cell phone number and urged me to call her anytime. I have decided to go with the Air, 8GB, for writing a memoir … I predict that you will never ever go back to a PC. And I will never ever drink coffee while next to my new Mac Air.

    • morgenbailey says:

      I’ve just ‘upgraded’ to the new Mavericks on my MacBook Pro and it’s horrible. I’ve hung fire on my Air. There are so many cons against few pros that I won’t until they replace it (apparently it’s a beta test version) or I find there are things I can’t do.

      I can no longer drag programmes off screen to another dashboard, so everything’s either bunched on my two screens or I have to go to Mission Control and find the application I want. Alt/Tab doesn’t work like as well as it used to.

      I also go to save a Word document and it switches to another doc so I have to click the original and hit save. Keeps flicking to another open programme when I click something different. This is supposed to only be a beta version so hoping Apple get their act together and replace asap.

      One good thing is I now have the top toolbar on both screens but the non-active one is so dark it’s almost illegible!

      It’s also made my computer a lot slower. Grrr….

      • Deb Trotter says:

        Holy Mackeral, Morgan. I am truly sorry to hear about your Mavericks nightmare. I feel for you. If it were me, I’d be totally frustrated , especially if MS Word is going weird. Have you by chance spoken with anyone at Apple?

      • morgenbailey says:

        I’ve tweeted them (for the world to see) but I’m sure if I’m not the only person to have trouble, they’ll soon replace it.

        Morgen (with an e :))

  8. Thank you for the follow. I’m looking forward to getting to know you. Blessings, Natalie 🙂

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