Laptops

What's in the air on Apple's MacBook Air?

At the Macworld Keynote address, Steve Jobs held the world in awe as he unveiled the world's thinnest notebook. But it turns out that opinion on the ultra-thin MacBook Air is mixed.

At the Macworld Keynote address, Steve Jobs held the world in awe as he unveiled the world's thinnest notebook. But it turns out that opinion on the ultra-thin MacBook Air is mixed.

Images of the MacBook Air are available from Crave.

The notebook measures a mere 0.16 inches at its thinnest end and maxes out at 0.76 inches.

Ars Technica features a comparison of the MacBook Air spec with other notebooks in the category. Great features on the machine (as with other Apple products) include the multi-touch pad, 13.3 inch wide-screen, and comfortable keyboard.

However, there were also disappointments due to the absence of Ethernet and Firewire ports, a fixed battery, and only one USB slot. The MacBook Air is also missing optical drives.

Apple's stocks went for a slight tumble in what was perceived as a disappointing keynote, compared to the previous iPod and iPhone keynote announcements.

Do you find the MacBook Air a compelling buy?

12 comments
CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I haven't seen one, but based on Arun's description I don't need to. This reminds me of the Compaq Aero M300, a misbegotten piece of technology purchased when our senior executives insisted system weight was their primary criteria in a laptop. It didn't weigh much and was relatively thin for 1997, but it lacked many hardware features I consider key at that time - floppy (still relevant in '97) and optical drives, Ethernet ports, and wireless and dial-up ('97, remember?) modems. It made up for this by offering those accessories on PCMCIA and dongles. If you have to lug drives and dongles in the carrying case, you really haven't reduce the carrying weight, now have you? Plus you get the added convenience of having to keep up with the dongles. Since the docking station had all the necessary drives and ports, many of my users purchases a second dock and left it in the case. Yeah, that really reduced total weight too. We eventually referred to that model as a "Solitaire", because that's about all it was good for. This isn't a knock at Apple so much as the design. I wouldn't consider this type of machine no matter who cranked it out.

Jetnitro
Jetnitro

I actually plan to get one and the reason is obvious, for business. I don't ever plan to do extensive work on this machine, but when I visit clients being able to show visuals on a calibrated screen, etc would be an asset. Plus it's light!

eboshart
eboshart

I don't believe it's on my hurry up and buy list! You can't even run it in target mode... what ashame!

JCitizen
JCitizen

one USB port; fixed battery could be a problem. Not that I'm an Apple fan particularly but would like to try one some day, this one looks as good as a starter as anything else.

woftbo
woftbo

I do not sell or support Mac's, but if this was a M$ computer it would be a very difficult sale. I would not sell a computer without an ethernet option. I suggest anyone buying a new laptop verifys a minimum of 4 usb ports. Otherwise I viewed the video and the Macbook Air looked terrific! (proving once again looks can be deceiving?).

pr.arun
pr.arun

Would you consider the Apple MacBook a compelling buy?

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

At nearly 3 grand for the higher performing one...I'll take an IBM tablet for business or a tricked out ASUS G series and outperform it. The Macbook pro rocks, but this thing could only be useful if you're writing a book sitting under a tree...or wanting to be uber l33t at Starbucks. It takes up little space in a laptop bag...but now you need a bigger bag so you can fit all those usb hubs and accessories in it. I'd also like to see the temps on that C2D after4-5 hours of use. I don't see how it could have adequate ventilation...it would almost have to be passively cooled which is a very bad idea.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

In two months they'll knock off 33% like they did the iPhone, remember?

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

before I buy this overpriced, under spec'd piece of coffee shop revelry. :)

jm.saucedo
jm.saucedo

Its really cool how they fit a mac in there, but its not a really good buy, we all know how 1st gen products from Apple always suck. Best choice would be to wait until Sony comes up with their resolve, and microsoft to try to copy it.

wesley.chin
wesley.chin

There are a lot of things that are absent from it. A really long list.

jwoo
jwoo

"The notebook measures a mere 0.16 inches at its thinnest" It seems every article about the Air keeps mentioning this. If we're to use the same logic you could literally say almost every laptop at its thinnest point is .16" tall. In fact I have a laptop that is at its thinnest point .01" tall.

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