Apple Tech - What I have learned in the last year...

The last 12 month's were big if you are an Apple fanatic like me.

First came the iPad

and then the new MacBook Air

and then the new MacBook Pro's

and finally word of a new iPad

and don't forget the iPhone 4 at Verizon.

iPhone 4 - I love my iPhone 4, I have the GSM model from AT&T and I don't plan on switching to Verizon, why?  Because the AT&T model operates on a GSM network I can use the phone outside of the USA in many of the places I travel.  The CDMA version that Verizon sells is much more limited.

iPad vs MacBook Pro vs MacBook Air - I have a late 2008 model 17" MacBook Pro, and while I love the performance of the computer, it's just too heavy for me to travel with as much as I'm getting on and off airplanes.  So I thought the iPad would be a great solution.  No heavy laptop to carry, full email and web functionality, and fun to use.

My 3g/WiFi 64GB iPad was delivered on the first day they were available.  And I have to say it's one the best pieces of technology I have ever owned.  Light enough to keep with me wherever I am, easy to connect via WiFi and 3G so I always have access to email and the web.  I though this was THE SOLUTION.

But my first "experiment" where I travelled to Europe without a laptop was a bit frustrating.  It was easy enough to connect to WiFi, and to pick up a 3G SIM for local data service.  But I did run into a few obstacles.  One time the iPad would not authenticate into my hotels WiFi service, I think this was an issue with 3.0 IOS system, so the upgrade to 4.0 should have fixed the issue.  The second problem was I couldn't access the configuration utility for an AirPort Express wireless router I travel with.  I hope Apple addresses this issue and releases an App for that.  And third was that I needed Windows and Internet Explorer to run a few work applications, so I had to hunt down a computer at my hotel to run those applications.

So while I was generally happy traveling with just the iPad it didn't quite meet all my needs.

And then along came the MacBook Air.  The moment I held it in my hands I was in love.  Light weight, yet still a fully powered laptop.  I bought the 13" "fully loaded" model, added Windows 7 in Boot Camp and Parallels so I could run the Windows applications I needed for work, and I had the perfect machine.

What I love about the MacBook Air:

Fully functioning Mac OS X operating system & Windows 7
Great battery life
Lighting fast start ups and shut down due to a SSD drive instead of a conventional hard drive
It runs very cool because of the SSD, no heat from a hard drive
Great design

So now I have my travel line-up:

iPhone 4.0 AT&T  - email, maps on the go, great camera, travel app's
iPad - games, email, movies on the plane, internet access, 3G data service
MacBook Air - fully functioning operating systems, Mac & Windows, light weight, very portable
AirPort Express - create my own secure network while traveling for all my devices to share

And it all fits nicely in this great travel bag from Tumi:

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