The biggest drawback of the design is the lack of expandability.

Apple has introduced a product that’s neither revolutionary nor breakthrough, and they’ve priced it so high that it’s reminiscent of the Cube.

Lame.

Reviews of the Macbook Air? Not exactly… The first was from a 1998 BusinessWeek review of the iMac, and the other were reviews of the original iPod back in 2001.

I think it’s been pretty interesting to read people’s reaction to the Macbook Air. Most of the people I know say that it’s a disappointing product and have the standard complaints:

  • How could they get rid of 1394 port?
  • They’re crazy to dump the optical drive.
  • No removable battery? No thanks! No user-replaceable HD or RAM? Bah!
  • Only one USB port! WTF! No slots! Waaaaah!
  • WHERE’S THE ETHERNET PORT?!?!?!
  • It’s underpowered and over-priced.

And you know what my reaction is? Big whoop. Don’t buy one then.

Desktops are dead (so it goes) and I’m personally tired of carrying a larger laptop. The last few years I’ve been toting around a 15″ Powerbook and then a 15″ Macbook Pro. Dropping a few pounds and moving to a smaller form factor is something that I’m welcoming with open arms. At 1.8ghz, I’m sure it’s going to be plenty of power for my computing needs: surfing the web, writing documents and email, coding, doing minor photo work and encoding the occasional movie.

And the missing ports? Good – less crap hanging out of the sides. Wireless is simple. Keep it simple.

Right now, my only real concern is the heat which no one has seemed to report on yet.

I liked Wil Shipley’s observation: “In two weeks I’ll be writing Delicious Library 2 on a MacBook Air, every day. Because it’s simple and beautiful, and I crave those things. And all you haters can… well, buy one in six months, when you realize how nice it is.

Chris Ullrich also notes that “Radical change sometimes requires an adjustment in thinking and the new MacBook Air is pretty radical.

Personally, I feel that this is going to be the start of a shift: next CES you’re going to see everyone with smaller, lighter machines. Mobility will be the core focus for computing. Now, only if the next few weeks would just hurry up and get here…

Update: Some other interesting takes on the Air:

LoneySandwich: “the Air is not just a lighter laptop, it is a conceptual shift in personal computing.

The Fishbowl via Daring Fireball: “Don’t think of the Air as a secondary machine, think of it as a primary machine, with headless appliances like Time Capsule and the Apple TV filling in the space around it.


7 Comments

    Jamie (January 20, 2008 @ 4:18 am)

    Excellent finds with those articles. Good stuff


    Ryan Kennedy (January 20, 2008 @ 8:30 am)

    One of my big concerns is that it’s possibly *too* small. Since it’s so lightweight, I worry if it will rock a lot when I type on it while it’s in my lap. My MacBook Pro is heavy and wide enough that it can absorb the inertia of my fingers typing. I wonder if the same can be said of the Air.

    That being said, it’s too expensive right now to try it out. Buying the cheap model seems like a poor idea since it’s thicker and still has a spinning drive inside. I could spend less money and get the MacBook and it won’t be too much larger (an extra quarter inch in height and 2lbs in weight). Where the Air becomes interesting is when you move to the SSD, where the height drops down to 0.16 inches (I think, I haven’t seen a single description on apple.com indicating which configuration gets you 0.16 inches). That’s where the prices jump to $3k+, though.


    smakofs (January 20, 2008 @ 1:39 pm)

    Ryan – there’s no difference in size between the HDD version and the SDD – they’re both 1.8″ drives. If you look at the internal pictures, the .16″ is at the thinnest part of the notebook (by the end of the keyboard), which is where the battery is.

    The 5hr battery time (per the folks at Macworld) is for the HDD version while surfing on Wifi – the only real benefit that the SDD has is slightly better battery, and almost instant on.


    Chris (January 29, 2008 @ 12:04 pm)

    I would buy a Mac in a heartbeat if they were priced reasonably. They are beautiful and elegant, but what’s up with the price? You can buy a similarly spec’ed out machine with Windows on it for half the price. I’m no Windows fan either, I run Ubuntu Linux at home. It’s the next best thing to MacOS.

    If Apple released their OS to run on any Intel machine, I’d run out and buy three copies that very day. Steve Jobs would make a ton of money if he didn’t act like he had to sell you hardware with the OS. Not thet he isn’t making a ton of money already selling insanely overpriced hardware already.

    –Chris


    Bjarni (February 3, 2008 @ 5:31 am)

    This is Apple at it’s best. There is a HUGE interest in smaller computers,greener computers.

    The paradigm has changed. We have enaugh horsepower for doing what we need to do. The rest is for gamers.

    Via has motherboards down to ca 10x10cm, eeepc, and that silly green one laptop. Everybody is doing it. Apple is just doing it in style.

    Everyone wants it small.


    JohnNullstream (February 20, 2008 @ 11:38 am)

    I think the Air is a very nice form factor for mobile warriors. I do think however that leaving off a card slot is a big mistake. They are missing out on a critical sector of the sub-compact market – the ‘always connected’. This is the upper tier mobile professional with an EVDO card. Now that I have regular access to EVDO revA (through work), I can say that I never want to be without it. I can also say that hanging a massive USB dongle off of an otherwise sleek Macbook Air would be ridiculous.


    smakofs (February 24, 2008 @ 2:13 pm)

    John, I’d be happy if I could just tether my phone via bluetooth, and use the phone’s internet connection…


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