My main computer is currently a 13-inch MacBook Pro from early 2011, and the battery isn’t great. But with the 2013 edition of the 13-inch MacBook Air, concern over battery life is now just laughable. Contrary to the rumors that were floating around all spring, we’re not getting a Retina MacBook Air this summer. The price drop of the latest iteration of retina MacBook Pros means the MacBook Airs have new competitors abutting their top-tier models.
I come at this review as someone who has not upgraded her computer in almost exactly three and a half years. I ended up selecting the mid-range 13-inch retina MacBook Pro, as the top-tier option comes with an unavoidable $300 bump to a 512GB drive (and an improved processor). The only upgrade I took for my Pro was for the RAM—to 16GB from the stock 8GB, because a healthy portion of my job involves photo and video editing. The slightness of the MacBook Air’s design and uneven weight distribution may affect this perception a little.
Like its larger 15-inch brother, the retina MacBook Pro has a full-size HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, two Thunderbolt ports, a headphone jack, and a port for the power cable.
Most of the keyboards Apple now makes are near-identical in design, but I do notice that key travel on the MacBook Air is a little shallower than on the retina MacBook Pro. This isn't a point of comparison but something that seems worth noting: almost as soon as I brought the Air and Pro into the same house, they began a power struggle over the Wi-Fi connection. One of the reasons I originally made the jump from the original MacBook to the MacBook Pro line was the speakers.
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Conde Nast. Writing is a craft and as such, every writer needs his own set of instruments to begin the arduous task of putting to paper what only exists in his mind. I started out thinking that the only thing I would ever need to begin my career as a novelist is some paper, a few pens and my own creative imagination (and yes, my writing muse). It wasn’t too long before I realized that being an obsessive-compulsive, way too organized freak was going to get in the way of actually writing. Whether or not we like them, computers have become the most important tool in our writing arsenal. And if you’re running out of memory space, thanks to all the research materials (music, images, videos, documents) for your upcoming novel; it’s a simple matter to add on a memory card to your CPU (central processing unit). And if you feel like writing in a nearby cafe, you can’t exactly carry your desktop with you. You can easily spend a whole day in your favorite coffee shop or writing nook, typing away on your laptop. The memory capacity of netbooks is much lower than laptops (only 2 GB), so you can’t really store as much data in it, as you’d like. Another issue with netbooks, is that the keyboards aren’t as comfortable as regular sized or even laptop-sized ones. Tablets are even more portable than netbooks and many users have no problem carrying them everywhere.
When you’re doing research for a novel, you can access the internet quickly, and some apps allow you to make notes, and save files, images or links.
Editing your manuscript can also be a headache for tablet-users.  All that highlighting, cutting, copying and pasting will make you  miss your computer mouse.
Typing on a flat glass surface can be very uncomfortable,too, unless you buy a keyboard for your tablet. The main purpose of a PDA is to act as an electronic organizer for personal information such as your contacts, appointments, calendars, and  to do lists. SMARTPHONES in today’s world seem to have replaced PDA’s as the top electronic organizer, however. The lack of memory space and a proper keyboard to type on is the biggest drawback of these devices.
After figuring out the kind of computer you want, you’ll have to decide on the kind of specs you want it to have. While researching for our stories, we might need to save a lot of images, links, music, videos and other documents for reference. In the old days, writers had to go to libraries to do some valuable research for their novels or articles. Everything about your novel will be stored in your computer, so you need to have a good hard drive for backing up your work.
Desktops have the capacity to store as many as 5 hard drives, so you can have 6 backups in case one of your hard drives croaks.

I actually save all my important documents and media on my WD Passport portable hard drive.
Shop around for online and store deals and compare models and prices before you buy anything. Buying the latest computer model with all the awesome new add-ons might sound like a dream, but if you’re not savvy with all the new tech, it might just end up being a burden to your writing career. Make a separate list for the things you want in a computer, and the things you really need. So can you pack your WD backup external hard drive back up and not worry about it turning upside down and getting ruined? If you are doing simple photo editing which includes adding or removing effects and cropping image, MacBook Air is more than suitable for handling such tasks.
The new Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (Mid 2012) is a simple upgrade of the class-leading line, with a $100 price drop.
The MacBook Air 13-inch (Mid 2012) ($1,199 direct) is thin, light, and has a decent battery capacity. Whenever I walk into my workspace for the day, I usually head straight for the seat closest to a power outlet.
Compared to the Ivy Bridge-wielding 2012 Air, CPU speeds are just mildly better, but Apple promises a 40 percent bump in graphics processing. The Air supports 802.11ac networking, a draft standard for the next generation of wireless connectivity. While my review unit came with the standard 4GB of memory, I recommend spending the extra $100 to bump it up to the maximum of 8GB, since there’s no way to retroactively add memory later on.
The 2013 model shares the same lithe, featherlight chassis as its predecessors, which is fine because honestly if it was any thinner, it would be a safety hazard.
Competing portables have already made the jump to ultra-hi-res displays — the Toshiba KIRABook and Asus Zenbook Prime ultrabooks are leading the march toward high-density displays (2560 x 1440 and 1920 x 1080, respectively). It’s a great option for almost anybody who needs a portable computer, especially students and professionals who travel or carry their machines on their commute. My laptop before this was a “mid-2010” 15-inch MacBook Pro that recently took as many as 10 precious seconds opening the System Preferences menu while having fainting spells over simple GIFs. For that amount of money, I decided it would be better to beef up my home storage situation and try to carry less material around on the computer itself. These tasks are already fiddly and moderately enraging enough without a beach ball cropping up for a few seconds after every action. I expected this weight difference to be barely noticeable when spread over the whole body of a computer, but the relative heft is easy to feel in the retina MacBook Pro. But stacked on top of each other and standing side by side, the Macbook Pro is actually more compact in length and width while sitting lower to the ground than the Air is. I will cop to being someone who is less affected by this feature, or at least, I don’t melt into a wailing puddle when I meet a 1366x768 screen.
Eventually the Air established dominance and blocked the Pro entirely, unless I put the Air to sleep. There's more power, and videos and music sounded less like they were taking place in an Altoids tin.
I needed to have the tools of my trade before I could even get my ideas down on paper.  More than that, once I actually started writing, I got distracted with other things–like looking for supplies and various objects which would help me write better.
So I’ve designated this November as my Setting Up Shop, where I’ll feature tools important to writers, and other gadgets which might be completely unnecessary, but which I think are cool.
As soon as we buy the latest version of any gadget, a newer version pops up five seconds later. Computers are valuable in all stages of our writing – from writing the first draft to editing it to querying to submitting our manuscripts. You can any writing software on your desktop, and you’ll have no trouble connecting to the Internet (especially if your computer is hooked up directly via the Ethernet cable, or near the wifi connection).
A big screen is comfortable to use and easy on the eyes (Especially when the words start blurring after 8 hours of straight writing). Your CPU, monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers might eat up so much of your desk, you’ll very little space to spread your notes, research materials and reference books.
You can run writing software, go online, print and attach your laptop to whatever other office peripherals you might need. If you have big, clumsy fingers, you might get frustrated when you mistype a word every other line. You can watch a whole variety of shows and movies, listen to music, play games, email and access the internet. The ipad and some android tablets have compatible keyboard add-ons, but other tablets might not have this capacity, so be sure to check before you buy one.

PDA’s also allow you access to the internet, with some even running GPS systems and other multimedia software. While PDA’s and Smartphones allow you to quickly record sudden story inspirations, they won’t allow you to write them. PDA’s and Smartphones don’t have available writing software, and trying to edit without a mouse or a keyboard is mental suicide.
While a 300 page manuscript doesn’t require an enormous amount of memory space, all the research needed to write it, might. But if you want to use writing software like yWriter or Scrivener, you’ll have to make sure your computer is compatible with them. Whether it’s so you can listen to music while you write, or so you can download pictures of actors who resemble the characters you have in mind, or so you can play games when you need a break from writing.
If you’ve chosen a laptop for your writing needs, it would be ideal to have external hard drives as backups.
Cloud Storage systems like Amazon, Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive and Microsoft Skydrive allow you to store from 5- 7GB worth of data for free.
Make sure you’re able to buy a computer that has all you need and is within your budget. If your computer ever gets into an accident, spare parts will be easier to find if your computer is newer. MacBook Air can even do impressive photo editing without any hiccups such as editing a RAW photo.
Although a new processor gives you a little extra performance and some tests, the real additions are things like the new (for Mac) USB 3.0 ports and free upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion.
A whole new category of laptops, the ultrabooks, have become popular based on Apple's pioneering efforts. It theoretically covers download speeds up to 1.3 Gigabits per second, and promises a more stable wireless connection that can support faster downloads, almost instantaneous peer-to-peer sharing, and silky-smooth media streaming. In this review, I’m holding the Pro up against a 2013 MacBook Air with an i7 processor at nearly the same price point. I never liked this march of key wells toward being almost nonexistent, and I don’t really like the flat tactile feel of the MacBook Air keyboard. The disparity in volume and quality between consumer and pro Apple laptops is less than it once was. On top of this, of course, smartphones have the awesome ability to connect you with people—just like a regular  phone!
Other important parts of the writing process such as querying agents, submitting manuscripts, interacting with blog followers, and other fans of your book will all require the use of the Internet. I bring this with me everywhere, and as long as I have access to a computer, I can also have access to all my novels, research material and even writing software. It also weighs less than 1.5kg which makes many people believe that MacBook Air is not a powerful machine. Where the mid-2012 model got a very respectable 7 hours of battery life, the 2013 model is spec’d at a full 12 hours. The only cosmetic difference between this Air and the last-gen model are two pinholes on the left side for its new dual microphones (two mics are better for built-in noise-canceling when you’re FaceTiming or recording video). During photo editing, it’s now extremely evident which of my pictures are really, really sharp and which are just slightly, maddeningly blurry. While the Air can get decently loud, it was slightly cracklier and tinnier at the highest volume levels. You can also bring your laptops with you to writing conferences, retreats and seminars—allowing you to work on your manuscripts during breaks, or free time. If you work a dayjob that requires you to travel a lot, or wait long hours, a netbook might be the perfect solution to your writing problems. There are other new features, like USB 3.0 ports and the potential upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion.
If you happen to be using my same Netgear router, this is an apparent incompatibility worth looking out for.
I have a laywer friend who writes on her netbook while waiting for her court cases to start.
The relatively low default clock speed of the CPU helps Air run 12 hours without requiring charge. The latter is great for hooking up a monitor and expanding the 13.3-inch screen into something really impressive.

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