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Apple's New MacBook Air and iPad Pro: First Impressions



"The Quckbrosn Fox …"

That's the hustle and bustle I typed on Tuesday when I tried Apple's brand-new MacBook Air. I had the usual writing sample "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs." Intended. But as an admittedly poor typist I had problems with the Air's new keyboard.

Popular notebooks of all time had an overdue debut a few minutes earlier at an Apple event. And in front of a few thousand (mostly) Apple employees and guests, the new laptop looked brilliant.

"Our customers … especially love a Mac they take everywhere, and for everything they do – and that's the MacBook Air," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "It's time for a new MacBook Air."

Last update in 201

5: The new MacBook Air starts at just under $ 1,200 and is expected to add faster Intel processors and more memory. It also received a high-resolution 13-inch retina screen and some modern USB-C connectors. Now there are two additional colors (Gold and "Space Gray"). In the meantime, Apple has eliminated the SD card slot, the USB 3 ports, and the adorable MagSafe charging port, which tears off the cable when someone stumbles over it to keep the laptop from being pulled off the desk. All changes were in line with what Apple has done in recent years with its MacBook Pro laptops, the more expensive product line that has been updated more frequently.

Thinner Keyboard

After the keynote and some adorable songs by Lana Del Rey, I waited a long time to get into Apple's hand. And here was quickly a big disappointment. The earlier version of the MacBook Air I use for work has one of the best available keyboards. Fast and accurate, with a firm feel, as each key is noticeably depressed when hit. It's always a pleasure to type. I've had many, many laptops since I started in the 1990's with a unit called NEC Ultralight, ranging from cute violet Sony Vaio models to most of Apple's offerings in the last decade or two. And the keyboard of the old Air was one of the best.

As I approached the new Air and sat on a beautiful white exhibition table in the beautiful six-story atrium that was once a large lobby of the Williamsburgh Bank, I grabbed the keyboard with my fingers. And instead of the great version of the old Air, a new, thinner keyboard was used, the third generation of the ones that Apple introduced on his MacBook laptop three years ago and since then also switched to the MacBook Pro. So it's no surprise, but certainly a disappointment that perhaps the most important feature of the laptop after the screen is now so badly affected (outside of Apple, the design was capitalized from the beginning).

Nonetheless, Apple maintained The Air's legendary wedge shape made the laptop lighter by about 7% – that's 2.75 lbs now – and the new screen is, as advertised, beautiful and bright. And … drum roll please … Apple retained the headphone jack (which he took from the iPhone and the new iPads).

  The new MacBook Air still has an escape key.

The new MacBook Air still has an escape key.

I typed a bit and found the flatter, wider keys a bit easier to hit, but I did not always register a letter when I thought I had pressed the right key, and sometimes my fingers were misaligned. The new keyboard design was also more prone to key failure due to crumbs or other damage, though the third-generation update may have resolved this problem.

Dissatisfied with the overall impression, I wished that Apple wanted Apple's automatic correction feature to fix common typos automatically while typing was even better than it was and intervened more often when my fingers went astray. Then I wished that some crazy hacker, like Scotty Allen, who had added a headphone jack to his iPhone 7 after Apple debuted the phone in 2016 without a phone, could somehow alter the new Air to add the keyboard to the older model.

Together with the fantastic new features like Retina Screen and lower weight, this would be one of the killer laptops of all time.

New iPads

Later, when I looked at Apple's updated iPad Pro models and the new Snap-On keyboard-tested cover called the Smart Keyboard Folio, I was even more disappointed. The new iPad Pro starts at just under $ 800 and the coverage costs another $ 180 to $ 200, depending on the size. The old Smart Keyboard that Apple designed for earlier iPads was not that great. The new one, however, seemed to have even less way in the keys, in addition to a little too much resistance, which pushed back every time I hit a key. That made it even harder for me to type quickly and accurately.

The new iPads, however, are a pleasure to capture and watch. The new 12.9-inch model is significantly lighter and smaller than its predecessor, even if the screen maintained the same overall size. The screen looked even brighter, if any, than previous models. And although Apple has eliminated the headphone jack, switching from Apple's proprietary Lightning connector to an industry-standard USB-C port means it's easier to connect all sorts of different devices to the iPad without a crazy array of dongles and adapters including cameras and large external displays.

  An Apple expert demonstrates the features of the new iPad Pro.

An Apple expert demonstrates the features of the new iPad Pro.

An Apple expert (aapl) demonstrated the improved connectivity feature With a desktop display made possible by the USB-C port, another flaw in the device's design became apparent. While Microsoft (msft) and Google (googl) create software for tablets that can contain input from a trackpad in addition to the touch of a finger, Apple only touches it.

This means, first of all, that this is not possible users can edit directly, which is located on the second screen, which is connected to the iPad. My demo expert showed how Adobe Lightroom could display an image on the large, external screen while the editing controls were displayed on the iPad's own screen.

However, there was no way to touch, zoom, or manipulate the image as you see it on the screen of the iPad. Do not forget to use the external screen to display another app, for example by displaying your email program on one screen and a web browser on the other as a reference, as you would when connecting a laptop to a second one Do screen. For the moment, this feature allows you to use only both ads to display different parts of the same app. For example, video that is edited on one screen and edit controls on the other.

Restrictions on typing and moving the cursor without trackpad for the iPad create a certain dilemma for Apple's marketing field. There is no touchscreen on his laptops, because users do not want to interrupt their workflow, but have to reach up from the keyboard and trackpad to touch the screen (I agree). And there is no trackpad for the iPad, as it does not fit the all-touch attitude of Apple's software for the iPad. Then how can Apple put up the iPad as a real replacement for a laptop, if it is not particularly well suited for writing and other apps where you want to move your mouse pointer?

As a laptop lover lately I've tried out some other modern designs, like the Chromebook x2 from HP and Samsung's Samsung Galaxy Book, but without being completely satisfied. So I'm still waiting for the perfection of form.


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