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Smaller Computers

My turn for hardware refresh at work came up a little while ago and I requested an 11” MacBook Air. My current personal laptop is a 13” MacBook Pro and I was curious if I could survive on something as small as the 11” Air.

As it turns out, I’m quite comfortable on it.

The 13” MBP has a 1280 by 800 display. The 11” Air has a 1366 by 768 display. The screens are roughly equivalent in number of pixels if not DPI. I also use a very small font - Menlo 9 - wherever I can, so I tend to get a lot of code on the screen at once.

My habits with Xcode have changed a bit. I’m now proficient with the command-key equivalents for hiding or showing almost any part of the Xcode chrome, so I can maximize on-screen data. I’m also using full-screen mode much more often in applications which support it. Mail and OmniFocus are the two which get the full-screen treatment most often.

I’m rather surprised to find I’m using Mission Control. I have a couple of desktops set up to separate work from the social stuff (Twitter, the web, etc.), and then the full-screen apps at the far end. I admit I never thought I’d use Mission Control when Lion came out but it’s working very well for me these days.

Despite my overall satisfaction with the 11” Air I suspect my next personal machine will be the 13” Air. I’m too much of a screen real estate junkie and the 13” Air gets better battery life.