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Apple's new MacBook Air and iPad Pro: First Impressions Review

"The Quck Brosn Fox"

It's gibberish I ended up writing on Tuesday when I tried Apple's brand new MacBook Air. I was going to produce the usual writing test phrase "The fast brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs." But, as a rather poor mechanic, I had some problems with Air's new keyboard.

The update to one of the most popular laptops of all time made its long delayed debut at an Apple event minutes earlier. And on stage before an audience of a few thousand (mostly) Apple employees and guests, saw the new laptop brilliant.

"Our customers … especially love a Mac especially one that they bring with them wherever they go, and use for all they do – and it's MacBook Air," said Apple CEO Tim Cook to the public. "It's on time for a new MacBook Air. "

Last updated way back in 201

5, the new MacBook Air starts at almost $ 1200, adding faster Intel processors and more memory as expected. It's also finally got a 13-inch high-grade retina screen, a pair of modern USB-C ports, and now comes in two additional colors (gold and "roma gray)." Meanwhile, Apple removed the SD card slot, USB 3 ports, and the wonderful MagSafe charging port , which loosens the cord if anyone stumbles over it to avoid tearing the laptop from a desk. All of the changes were in line with what Apple has done in recent years with its MacBook Pro laptops, the more expensive line that has been updated more often.

Thinner keyboard

After the keynote and a couple of lovely songs f Rachel Lana Del Rey, I was waiting for a long line to get into Apple's hand-on area. And that was where a big disappointment became quickly evident. The previous version of MacBook Air, which I use for work, has one of the best keyboards available. Fast and accurate with a solid feeling that every key noticeably puts down by being hit, it's always a pleasure to write. I've had many, many laptops since the start of a device called NEC Ultralight in the 1990s, from some cute little Sony Vaio models to most of Apple's offerings over the last decade or two. And the old Air keyboard was among the very best.

As I approached the new air, sat on a beautiful white display table in the beautiful six-story atrium that once was a big lobby in Williamsburgh Bank, my fingers reached me for the keyboard. And instead of the great version of the old Air was a new thinner keyboard, the third generation of which Apple first introduced three years ago on its MacBook laptop and has since migrated to the MacBook Pro as well. So it's not a surprise, but surely a disappointment, perhaps the most important feature of the laptop after the screen is now so decomposed (Outside Apple, the design has been widely used from the beginning).

Yet, Apple kept the air's iconic wedge shape, even though it lightened the laptop by about 7% -this now 2.75 lb.- and the new screen is gorgeous and bright as advertised. And … the drum roll, please … Apple kept the headphone jack (as it was taken out of iPhone and new iPads).

  The new MacBook Air still has a escape key.

The new MacBook Air still has a escape key.

Typing for a bit, I found the smoother wider keys a bit easier to hit accurately, but I did not always write a letter when I thought I had hit the correct key, and sometimes I got my fingers wrongly adjusted. The new keyboard design has also been more prone to keys that do not come from crumbs or other detritus, even though the third generation update may have solved this problem.

Unhappy with the overall feeling, I found myself that Apple's auto-correction capability, like Fixing Types, automatically typing while writing was even better than it is, grabbing more often when the fingers went away. Then I wanted some crazy hacker like Scotty Allen, who again added a headphone jack to his iPhone 7 after Apple's debut the phone without one in 2016, could somehow adjust the new Air to add the keyboard from the older model .

Combined with the amazing new features like the retina and light weight, it would make one of the bold notebooks all the time.

New iPads

Later, when I tried Apple's updated iPad Pro models and the new snap on the keyboard deck, called Smart Keyboard Folio, I was even more disappointed. The new iPad Pro starts at almost $ 800, and the cover costs a further $ 180 to $ 200, depending on size. For the record, the old Smart Keyboard like Apple made for previous iPads was not very good. But the new one seemed to have even less driving distance in the keys, as well as a little too much resistance like the pressure back every time I hit a key. It made it even more difficult for me to write quickly and accurately.

However, the new iPads are a pleasure to keep and watch. The new 12.9 inch model is noticeably lighter and smaller than its predecessor, although the screen became the same overall size. The screen seemed, if anything, even brighter and sharper than on older models. And even though Apple eliminated the headphone jack, the switch from Apple's proprietary lightning port to an industry-standard USB C port means that it's easier to connect any device to iPad without using a bunch of dongles and adapters, including cameras and large

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

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

While an Apple iPad expert demonstrated the enhanced feature for connecting to a desktop display enabled by the USB-C port, there was another error in the device's design. Although Microsoft (msft) and Google (googl) create software for tablets that can include controls from a trackpad, in addition to just fingerprints, Apple only keeps the contact.

It means, first and foremost, that there is no way for Users to directly manipulate what's on the other display connected to the iPad. My demo expert showed how Adobe Lightroom could display an image on the big external screen while editing controls were displayed on iPad's own screen.

But there was no way to touch or zoom in or out or manipulate the image as you can if it appeared on the iPad screen. And forget to use the external display to show another app, say by putting your email program on one screen and one browser on the other for reference, as you might when you connect a laptop to another screen. Currently, the feature allows you to use both screens only to display different parts of the same app, as video editing is edited on a screen and editing controls on the other.

And the restrictions for writing and moving the cursor without a trace pad to iPad, add a bit of a question about Apple's marketing height. There is no touch screen on their laptops because Apple says people will not interfere with their workflow and have to get up from the keyboard and touchpad to touch the screen (I agree). And there is no interface for iPad because it does not match the all-touch standard of Apple's software for iPad. So then how can Apple throw iPad as a real replacement for a laptop if it's not good for writing and other programs where you want to move the cursor around?

As a laptop from far back, I have the latest tried other modern designs, like HP's Chromebook x2 and Samsung Galaxy Book, without being completely satisfied either. So I guess I'm still waiting for the perfection of the form.

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