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Is Macbook Air the Netbook Attorneys Have Been Waiting For?

By Jason Beahm | Last updated on

The new Apple MacBook Air is out and many are wondering whether it could be the perfect notebook for attorneys. You could call it a netbook, but then you would draw the ire of Mr. Steve Jobs who said, netbooks are ''just cheap laptops." The MacBook Air is certainly not cheap, but for many attorneys it could be well worth the investment. It is light enough to carry around a courthouse, client meeting, jail house, train, anywhere.

Some attorneys might wonder whether they would be better off with an iPad instead. In truth, they are both great devices, but they are two different tools that could be used in different situations.

An iPad is great for surfing the net, reading and typing brief emails, playing games and reading books and magazines. However, it is not a replacement for an input device, especially for attorneys.

The MacBook Air is a full work machine. In fact, a recent PC World test found that it outperforms most Windows netbooks and ultraportables, even when the Mac Air is running Windows. That's because the new Air significantly improves upon the previous generation of MacBook Airs, which tended to be a bit laggy, despite also being fantastic machines.

Just over $1000 now lands you an 11" MacBook Air with 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor, with 2GB of RAM. For a bit more, you can get a 13" model with a 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo processor and 2GB of RAM. Either model is going to have more than enough power to handle your word processing, client management software, email, music and much more. About the only applications that might overextend the new Air would be heavy video or music editing. If you need that sort of capability in a Mac, you should still stick with the MacBook Pro, which is similarly priced though larger and heavier.

All in all, the Mac Air makes a great computer for an attorney. However, it is important to be aware that with the miniature size comes some drawbacks: You're not going to get an optical drive, the hard drives are small, there are only two USB ports and the only internet connection available is Wi-Fi.

So if you're in the market for a new, super lightweight computer that still has style and power, you should definitely give the MacBook Air a look.

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