Why mobile staff need to embrace Apple's new MacBook Air

Erik Eckel explains why he thinks the MacBook Air is the perfect computer for mobile workers. Share your thoughts on the Air and its most able competitors.

Mobile staff, true road warriors, understand the importance of carrying highly dependable, highly reliable computers. Battling slow-booting systems, malfunctioning hardware or potentially virus-infected computers is no place to find oneself when on the road, short on time, and needing to efficiently complete pressure-intensive tasks.

Frequently organizations turn to lower cost consumer-grade 64-bit laptops (64-bit chosen by the manufacturer in order to tout excessive RAM even though few applications leverage the architecture) featuring substandard chassis possessing a lifespan of 12-24 months in the field. These systems don't get the job done. I've seen far too many clients, having picked up other major-name brand laptops on their own, experience optical drive, display and disk issues, as well as software problems within just months of purchase.

There's no room for such failures when traveling. Mobile users would be well served, however, to consider embracing Apple's new MacBook Air. For starters, Apple's customer service and satisfaction ratings persistently rank exponentially higher than any other manufacturers'. Such empirical measures attest to Apple's lower incidence of failures, as well as the company's ability to correct issues when they do occur.

The newly designed MacBook Airs offer other advantages, too. Because the machines run Mac OS X, they provide impressive performance using a platform that's virtually immune to the ever-growing list of malware plaguing Windows users. New models leverage flash storage, too, which eliminates the need for slower, less energy efficient hard disks. As any seasoned road warrior will attest, battery life is critical. The new MacBook Airs, used in real-world wireless environments, last anywhere from five to seven hours depending upon model.

Despite weighing just 2.3 pounds, a critical factor when incessantly bouncing out of taxis or rental cars, setting up shop in hotel or meeting rooms, climbing onboard aircraft, and waiting to clear security lines, users don't sacrifice performance. The new laptops boast powerful but efficient Intel Core 2 Duo CPUs, integrated 802.11 b/g/n wireless and Bluetooth, VGA, DVI, Dual-Link DVI, and even HDMI output using available adapters and impressive video performance thanks to NVIDIA GeForce chipsets. Systems can also remain in standby mode, enabling very fast startup cycles, for up to 30 days.

In short, Apple MacBook Air computers provide traveling staff with fast, secure, lightweight and reliable laptops that excel in the field. Considering the systems can even be configured to boot Windows (either natively or within a virtual machine), I'm hard pressed to see why any traveling staffer should leave home without one.