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By Don Reisinger

10 Reasons for CIOs to Like Apple's MacBook Air

MobilityMobility is the name of the game when it comes to the MacBook Air. The computer is just 0.11-inches thick at its slimmest point, and tops out at 0.68 inches. Even better, it weighs less than three pounds. If you're looking for the ultimate mobile device for your employees, the MacBook Air is a safe bet.

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It's A Better Option Than iPad 2As Apple has pointed out, many large companies are considering deploying the iPad 2 in their operations. If you're one of those firms, think seriously about the MacBook Air. It offers a full, desktop operating system in Mac OS X, and allows users to access Office. Plus, its Web browsing is superior to the iPad 2's.

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IT FeaturesOn the mobile front, IT features built into iOS are getting better with each new update. And on the Mac side, Apple's support is improving. Apple is becoming more corporate-friendly, even though it still has a long way to go.

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Power, Power, PowerNew processors are one of the key additions to the new MacBook Air. Now, you can choose between dual-core Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors ranging from 1.6GHz to 1.8GHz. According to Apple, those additions make the MacBook Air nearly twice as fast as the last version of the device.

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Battery Life Is SuperbIf your employees are mobile, keep in mind that the new MacBook Air does a fine job of holding a charge. In fact, Apple says that the 11-inch version can last for up to five hours of use, while the 13-inch model can hold up for seven hours. On standby, the computers last up to 30 days. If battery life is important to you, choosing the MacBook Air seems like a good idea.

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Pricing Before corporate discounts are taken into effect, the device will run you $999 for the 11-inch version and up to $1,599 for the top-of-the-line model. However, for that, you get a level of mobility and power that few other devices in the market can muster. And considering the top iPad 2 retails for $829, spending an additional $170 for a far more capable device doesn't appear to be such a bad deal.

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Mac App Store Is Business-FriendlyThe Mac App Store is available on the MacBook Air, thanks to the device's support for Mac OS X Lion. CIOs will find a slew of worthwhile corporate applications ranging from the simple to the complex. In fact, the marketplace is arguably the best channel around for getting content onto a device.

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Mac OS X Lion Mac OS X Lion is arguably the most user-friendly version ever released of Apple's operating system. The platform comes with a few enterprise-friendly features, including Resume, which allows users to pick up where they left off after restart or shutdown, as well as Versions, which automatically saves versions of a document for access later on.

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It's A Good First StepChances are, you're heavily invested in Windows. And for some companies, deploying Mac OS X doesn't make much sense. But if you're considering a switch from Windows and you want to try out Mac OS X, going with the MacBook Air might be your best bet. For one, it's the cheapest way to try out Mac OS X. And if you like what you see, you just might decide to go with Apple products.

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It's An Image ThingIf your company sends employees out to client offices, having them walk in with a sleek, hip computer helps your brand image. The notebook is well designed and delivers arguably the best look of any lightweight notebook in the business.

This article was originally published on 07-25-2011