It’s a real luxury to have a laptop that does what you tell it to, quickly and obediently. Often times it’s a mystery as to what a laptop will do when you try to start it up or wake it from sleep. That’s simply not the case with the MacBook Air. Press the power button and you’ll have a fully usable desktop in about 10 seconds, with a life browser about four seconds after that.
I’ve already published the first three parts of my MaBook Air review, which you can find at the following links:
MacBook Air Review Part 1: The Best Laptop I’ve Ever Used
MacBook Air Review Part 2: It’s Like Driving a Mercedes Benz
MacBook Air Review Part 3: Keyboard and Trackpad
In this portion of my multi-part MacBook Air review I’m going to keep it simple and just show you what I’m talking about rather than write a whole lot. I think the videos below speak for themselves.
In order to demonstrate a real-world scenario, I set my MacBook Air to launch Safari at Startup and visit Apple.com. I removed a few other apps, including Yammer and Skype, from the startup items, but adding them back in only added a couple of seconds. As you can see in this video, less than 14 seconds elapse between hitting the power button, WiFi firing up and the Apple.com home page beginning to load. A second or two later and the page is fully loaded.
The average consumer doesn’t care what bits and pieces are stuffed in a laptop. Instead, they care about things like being able to get online as quickly as possible. The startup experience kicks the pants off of any laptop I’ve ever used, including much more expensive computers, such as the Core i7 MacBook Pro, even when equipped with an SSD.
Want to wake it from sleep? Just open the lid and the desktop will be usable before you can swing the display all the way open. So far, the MacBook Air has started up, shut down, gone to sleep and revived itself exactly as instructed. No spinning beach balls, no mysteries.
I have had several applications freeze and the system does get bogged down from time to time, just like any other Mac or PC. I usually get flustered when this happens with any of my other systems as I know i’ll have to twiddle my thumbs while all of the applications quit, the system restarts and I can get back online.
As I mentioned in part one of my review, the fast wakeup/sleep times are great when traveling.
Stay tuned for more of this long-format review.
After writing the above portion of my review I remembered a demo from Intel Developers Forum 2009. Phoenix Technologies had seriously tweaked the BIOS and Windows 7 on a Lenovo X300 laptop that had a speedy SSD installed. It went from completely off to the Windows desktop in about 11 seconds. This was more of a proof of concept than anything and it didn’t actually load all the bits that you’d need to use the computer as an everyday machine. It’s pretty amazing that the MacBook Air actually achieves the same kind of startup performance, considering a year ago it was considered impossible for a production Windows machine.
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