When Apple called and asked me to take a look at the latest iteration of their ultra-thin MacBook Air laptop (the one introduced in October 2010), my initial thought was "Um, we're a magazine about serious music production tools. Wouldn't you rather we looked at the new MacBook Pro with the Core i7 chip?"

Of course, I didn't say that out loud. And to answer my own question--no, because as I found out, the new Air has more than enough power to meet the needs of the majority of musicians who want to either (A) host soft synths for live performance, or (B) do multitrack recording and mixdown of their own compositions.

A full review appears in our July 2011 issue, but I'll give you the short version: Whatever you thought you knew (perhaps from previous versions) about the MacBook Air being a lightweight or a fashion accessory, fuhgeddaboutit. Find out more in the videos below. Can't see 'em? CLICK HERE.

(By the way, that's really my kitchen. It's way neater than the office is at the moment. -SF)


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8 comment(s) so far...


First Look: Apple MacBook Air

Hi Stephen, Thanks for the helpful review -- I had been wondering about one of these. I gather from an SSD site (sorry, forget the brand) that there may be an issue with performance degradation over time with most SSDs but it doesn' worry me. I've been waiting for SSDs for years. I wonder what the latency is like when playing MIDI in directly? No Firewire is a bummer for me as I am Tascam FW based, but I believe there may be a faster protocol now anyway.

By Paul Nash on   6/9/2011 12:18 PM

First Look: Apple MacBook Air

I admire the technology in Apple products. I wish they weren't a Chinese manufacturer so I could by them with out violating the boycott. (Yes, I know my Malaysian laptop no doubt has Chinese components, but I can't not have a computer.)

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First Look: Apple MacBook Air

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