Laptops

11-inch MacBook Air review: This is what a netbook should look like

The 11-inch Apple MacBook Air has broken new ground for netbooks. See why and learn its one major flaw.

The 11-inch Apple MacBook Air has broken new ground for netbooks. See why and learn its one major flaw.

Rather than a long narrative, TechRepublic product reviews give IT and business professionals exactly the information they need to evaluate a product in a concise formula. You can find more reviews like this one on our Product Spotlight page.

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MacBook Air 11-inch: The Mercedes Benz of netbooks

Specifications

  • OS: Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
  • Processor: 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (1.6GHz in $1199 model)
  • RAM: 2GB SDRAM
  • Storage: 64GB (128GB in $1199 model) of flash memory integrated into the motherboard
  • Display: 11.6-inch LCD with LED backlight; 1366x768 resolution
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 320M GPU with 256MB of shared SDRAM
  • Battery: 35-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery
  • Ports: 2 USB ports, Mini DisplayPort, headphone jack
  • Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Dimensions: 0.11-0.68(h) x 11.6(w) x 7.56(d) inches
  • Camera: FaceTime-compatible webcam
  • Keyboard: 78-key full-size keyboard with 12 function keys
  • Mouse: Multi-touch trackpad
  • Wireless: 802.11 a/b/g/n; Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Price: $999 (64GB hard drive) and $1199 (128GB)

Who is it for?

The MacBook Air 11-inch is a good fit for road warriors who want a top quality laptop in a small, light, and super-thin package. Users interested in the Mac Book Air will need to be able to access all of their business apps from Mac OS X and be able to justify the premium price for the superior build quality and portability.

What problems does it solve?

Netbooks typically have had one good feature: small form factor. Meanwhile, the screens and keyboards were too small to be useful and the underpowered processors made them sluggish and frustrating to use. The 11-inch MacBook Air is first real exception to the rule. Its 11-inch LCD screen has a 1366x768 resolution that is usable (even if it's not super-roomy). It has a full-sized keyboard that's almost identical to the standard Mac chicklet keyboards. And, the performance of the MacBook Air is surprisingly strong -- faster than many full-sized laptops -- due primarily to the fact that it uses flash storage integrated directly into the motherboard.

Standout features

  • Form factor - Apple has certainly stretched the boundaries of what's possible with the 11-inch MacBook Air. It is amazingly thin and light while maintaining a high build-quality and feeling as sturdy of its industrial-strength MacBook Pro line. We can only hope that this form factor gets emulated by other computer makers as well.
  • Performance - The most surprising aspect of the 11-inch MacBook Air is how fast it open programs and web pages. It performed respectably in Macworld's benchmarks comparing it to other Macs, but in real world tests it felt faster than most of the computers I use on a regular basis (PCs, Macs, desktops, laptops, etc.). That can mostly be attributed to the Air having flash-based storage that is integrated into the system at a deeper level than the standard flash-based hard disks.
  • Portability - At 2.3 pounds and less than an inch thick, the 11-inch MacBook Air is a minimalist machine that you can slip into your padfolio, purse, or briefcase and you'll barely notice it. In fact, if you're not careful, you could lose it between a magazine and a piece of paper.

What's wrong?

  • Price - The biggest problem with the 11-inch MacBook Air is its price. The base model will cost you a thousand dollars. The one with the bigger hard drive and the faster processor is $1200. I don't know too many people (or IT departments) that spend more than $1000 on a laptop any more.
  • Software compatibility - Mac OS X is a respectable operating system and known for being easy to approach for non-technical users. However, business users have to make sure that all of the software they use for their everyday tasks will work from a Mac (and, let's face it, a lot of business software still runs on Windows). Otherwise, they'll end up having to run an instance of Windows using virtualization software or Bootcamp, and that would add at least another $300 or so in software licenses to the cost of an already expensive laptop.

Bottom line for business

The MacBook Air 11-inch is the ultimate small form-factor laptop and it will naturally appeal to a lot of executives and road warriors in business. IT departments could certainly use a high-quality system that they could deploy to some of their most mobile professionals that need a mix of durability, portability, and performance.

Of course, the MacBook Air is expensive and it runs Mac OS X, which isn't compatible with Windows-based business applications unless you add virtualization software and a license of Microsoft Windows.

However, keep in mind that a breakthrough product like the 11-inch MacBook Air is also likely to spawn a variety of copycat PCs that will run Windows and will have a much lower price tag.

Competitive products

Where to get more info

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

62 comments
jkiernan
jkiernan

Under What Problem does it solve?, you say: Netbooks typically have had one good feature: small form factor. Meanwhile, the screens and keyboards were too small to be useful and the underpowered processors made them sluggish and frustrating to use. The 11-inch MacBook Air is first real exception to the rule. No it's not. Check out the Acer Aspire TimelineX series. It's thicker (1.1" vs. .68"), but just as powerful if not more so, and less expensive too.

AleMartin
AleMartin

Apple is becoming a cult, and marketing plays a great role here - well done Apple. In reality this is a overpriced, sexy piece of hardware than runs a software that can be considered better only as a matter of personal taste. Sony has been doing this kind of laptops for long... with an even insaner price.

treerod1
treerod1

Ahhhh ... 1) I don't know of any $300 netbook running on a dual core processor, so I don't think of the Air as a netbook, it does just about everything my old Powerbook did, and does it faster 2) I just installed my new MS Office 2011 on my Air and so far I haven't had any significant problems, and "no" it does not seem to run any slower. 3) Only a Sadist would suggest, or a Masochist would use, a virtualization software on any Mac. With the 128GB Air, you can boot and run Windows 7 on the Air, and 4) The price - a quality product such as my Air is worth about my two days pay.

lelandhendrix
lelandhendrix

I'm sorry Jaeon but there is a technical error running through your story... The flash memory based storage isn't integrated with the main logic board (motherboard) of the Air, and is in fact removable and upgradable with a third party offering. What IS different about it is that the chips that make up this drive, like any other flash drive, are typically mounted inside a box to look like a small form factor hard drive, and inside the MacBook Air they don't get this treatment and thereby save space and weight. The Flash drive inside the Air connects to a SATA port on the logic board.

iFX.64
iFX.64

AS 1810TZ - I'm not normally an Acer fan, but I have to say I love my 11.6 inch *sub*notebook ;) very similar specs - though the GeForce GPU would crap all over the Intel GPU I'm sure ;) But I've had this for nearly a year - and it's got a card reader, hdmi + vga, an extra usb port, mic jack... lasts between 8 - 10 hours battery life (depending on if I'm using wifi), only about 300 grams heavier and not really that much bigger - for half the price - just wish everything wasn't so glossy - what's the deal?? why can't they offer matte screens anymore? sure, glossy looks nice when there's no glare, but take it outside and you have a mirror ;)

Zwort
Zwort

Didn't Mercedes-Benz have a lot of problems with their auto electrics recently? ISTR a nasty ignition problem. ;-)

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

"The 11-inch Apple MacBook Air has broken new ground for netbooks" - Hmmmm. The MacBook Air was never considered to be a netbook. A netbook [to get the cheapo licensing from Microsoft] had limitations in screen size, video card, CPU, memory and disk size. MacBook Air has none. The MacBook Air is thin but probably 3 to 4 times pricier than the typical netbook. It has a stronger CPU [but a 3 year old CPU - Apple seems to be buying cheap old CPUs from Intel!]. Netbooks can use but probably never included a SSD driver because it would jack up the price. The MacBook Pro uses a mini displayport. Good luck on attaching it to a "normal" screen unless you take along an adapter. Unsure about duarability. AS it's so thin, drop it on a concrete [or any] floor and see if it survives. Probably last maybe a couple of years [I'll assume since like anything from Apple, you can't change the battery]. There is no real reason to call it a "breakthrough product" - unless you are a brainwashed fanboi or fangurl.

Alan Rutan
Alan Rutan

"Users interested in the Mac Book Air will need to be able to access all of their business apps from Mac OS X ". This is a false statement. Using Fusion, Parallels or Apple's Boot Camp, you can run a complete Windows environment on the MacBook Air.

video2012
video2012

WTF, this is way out of range of my pocketbook, is the economy that robust? Or is it just the Apple drones who can put out products that are just a bit funky i.e. the pad and continue to up the ante with add ons like wifi, and now this? Plenty of netbooks out there with similiar specs for a decent dollar. Phew!

katscoyote
katscoyote

Is it me, or does the included link to the VAIO X Series kind of make the 11-inch MacBook Air not quite as "breakthrough" as, for instance, the iPad? Seems like this type of ultra-expensive netbook is already out there. I'm no particular fan of the Sony VAIO brand, but it's funny to me that in a lot of people's books, Sony will be considered an imitator from here out. My take on this would be more along the lines of, "Wow, Apple put out a laptop that competes with Sony's VAIO X line, and they actually did it cheaper!" And perhaps better? To be determined...

Stalemate
Stalemate

I'll repeat the "oh hum" impression others have already stated. There's nothing very innovative here. Here are the specs of the Lenovo X200 I have at home(built in 2008): - Intel Core 2 Duo 2.40 GHz (3MB L2 cache, 1066MHz FSB) - 2GB DDR2 667MHz (1x 2048MB) (upgraded to 4GB of DDR3 Memory @ 800/1067MHz) - 7200RPM 160GB SeaGate Momentus SATA - 12.1" widescreen 1280x800 LCD - No built-in Optical Drive, like Macbook Air (I have the X200 UltraBase for this capability, which also grants multiple USB and other connectors) - Intel X4500 Integrated Graphics - Network/Wireless: Intel Wi-Fi Link 5300 (802.11 a/b/g/n) 1Gb Ethernet Card, built-in Verizon WWAN and Bluetooth (56 Kbps modem optional. Later models in the 200 series have 3G access) - 95 Key Keyboard with Three Button Touchpoint - Dimensions: 0.8 - 1.4" (h), 11.61 inches (w), 9.2 inches with 9-cell battery / 8.3 with 4-cell battery (d) - Weight: -- 4-cell battery starting at 1.34 kg / 2.95 lbs -- 6-cell battery starting at 1.47 kg / 3.24 lbs -- 9-cell battery starting at 1.63 kg / 3.58 lbs - Windows Vista Business (Win7 is now installed on this machine for speed improvement) - Extra Options: Web-cam, fingerprint reader, 56Kbps modem, 5-in-1 card reader, ExpressCard slot. - Battery life (used battery now) is about 4 to 4.5 working hours out of the UltraBase. So what I'm seeing here is a difference brought on by an onboard, hard-to-service-and-smaller-in-size flashdrive, a mini DisplayPort, and a better graphics card where the older product I have sports a faster CPU / FSB, fingerprint reader, keyboard light and an extra USB port. "...a breakthrough product like the 11-inch MacBook Air is also likely to spawn a variety of copycat PCs that will run Windows and will have a much lower price tag" They're already here. Since 2 years ago. "Breakthrough"? Really? Because of... a SSD drive? FaceTime?

Mabrick
Mabrick

My M11x (yeah, I bought one, get over it) is faster (1.73Ghz over-clocked.) It has a 1GB discrete 335M AND an integrated Intel GPU, which provides 7 hours battery life when active. It has twice the SDRAM. It doesn't come with SSD but it does have a 7200 450 GB HDD which is plenty fast. I've had it for 7 months. It was almost $200 cheaper than the upgraded MAC you cite. Why is this story even happening? Because it's Apple? I wish I got that sort of publicity for being a half year late and over budget.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Why? Mac fans will seemingly pay any price, Apple wouldn't be the first company to capitalize on fandom, just charge more money.

brett.aubrey
brett.aubrey

Even on the 13", they no longer have lighting... in something this portable where use can literally be anywhere, that's a huge drawback, at least for the way I work.

ShockMe
ShockMe

The pretty much covered the cost issue when stating the disadvantages. What Jason seems to be saying is that the MacBook Air addresses some performance deficiences of the netbook by providing a quicker more powerful device with a full-size keyboard built-in that remains light and has great battery life. Whether the convenience and power in such a small package is worth the added expense is up to the customer. My personal preference for a Mac OX device would be for the 13" MacBook Pro. It has a better balance of features I use with only a small weight and cost penalty when compared with the MacBook Air. The MacBook Pro replaced both my Windows and Mac desktops at home. When combined with the iPad, iPhone, and AppleTV I have no need for the Air. But I can see the attraction. I could probably get by with a dumbphone and a netbook with HDMI out. But, well, I don't have too. I don't have to travel much for current tasks. So, at work, I get by with a Multi-monitor desktop workstation and my trusty iPad for manuals, meetings, and testing our proprietary apps. We could probably use a pool of them for employees conducting remote site focus groups but the current Windows solution works well enough in that conference room environment. In any case, cheaper solutions may be available but they may not be worth the compromises.

Harvey Lubin
Harvey Lubin

"However, keep in mind that a breakthrough product like the 11-inch MacBook Air is also likely to spawn a variety of copycat PCs that will run Windows and will have a much lower price tag." A comparative example is the iPad. The iPad has been out for quite a while, and so far there have been no viable "copycats". By the time a useable competitor arises, the iPad 2 will be released (early 2011) and competitors will be behind in copying that too. The MacBook Air is a different breed of portable computer that has been in development at Apple for years before it was released. it will take quite a while for other computer manufacturers to catch up to the technological advances made in this new product. In other words, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for someone else to come out with a similar product.

bnordberg
bnordberg

I think you missed the Toshiba Portege and the Sony Vaio's both of these have been available for over 10 years and the toshiba's are cheaper than the air.

czarembo
czarembo

How much more does the Acer weigh? The review I read suggested that hopefully you get an Aspier that has sufficient quality.

ShockMe
ShockMe

On the negative side, the TimelineX uses a 5400 rpm hard disc and Intel integrated graphics, is thicker, less battery life, and weighs a bit more. On the plus side, it is also $300-$400 cheaper, sports a newer generation i5 or i3 processor and also has a couple more ports than the 11-inch version of the Air. My personal choice would be for the faster bootup and access times of the Air. But, the Timeline has a cardreader and is cheaper. Guess it depends on what ya need.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Fusion and Parallel requires extra horespower, memory and a Windows license. Boot Camp is basically booting into a Windows OS [which again requires a license]. So does this mean you are at work and you need to use an app. So you reboot into Windows, do what you need to do and boot back into OS X? Nope.

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

All of the above options are hugely time consuming. Either you are creating a virtual machine that robs your main computer of memory (and we know how much you have to give Windows to make it run just halfway decently) or you have to reboot the damn computer each time you want to get into your Windows app. In the office environments where I work, when you want to do something you want it to take *less* time than scratching on a piece of slate with a sharp stick, not more.

mnordberg
mnordberg

I use a Dell Mini 10 running Ubuntu to link up with my desktop machine via web based VPN and a remote desktop client. I really don't understand the premium that people are willing to pay for Apple products. It's like a cult where everyone has lost their minds.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

I also purchased an Alienware M11x over the summer - excellent PC and highly recommended. The M11x is small in size but not in weight. The Air is very light and I like the form factor - it is just too expensive for what you get. And this is coming from a man willing to pay $1200 for a powerful notebook.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Like the rest of us, I can touch type with my toes in the dark no problem, you could at least learn to do it with your hands.

ShockMe
ShockMe

...for home and travel use. It is heavier though.

Stalemate
Stalemate

Comparable products have been available (minus the SSD) for years now. See my post later on re: a 2008 ultraportable I gave to my son recently. The iPad can be considered as innovating (despite it being more of a presentation tool than a computer). Not so with MacBook Air when all it brings to the table is SSD tacked onto 2-year old technology with an unrealistic price point for corporate clients. Looks (being thin) are not innovating.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

What did the first Air do that no other notebook did? What is it's big advancement beyond a weight resulting from unhealthy diet? What does the Air2 ("second gust?") do that other notebook/netbooks do for the same or lesser price tag? What makes this more than a luxury product that does exactly the same as every other clamshell?

CAH
CAH

There simply is no business case for a device that costs 3 to 4 times what the rest of the market charges without offering some substantial benefits as well. Other than devotees of the Cult of Mac or those whose egos require them to have whatever trendy gadget they can lay hands on, who is going to drop $1200 on this?

panda
panda

Toshibas and Sonys are fine, but the MacBook Air is the reference now. That is why, all other ultra portable laptops will be compared to this new reference. Whether you like it or not...

jkiernan
jkiernan

Weight: 2.3 lbs (Mac Air) vs. 3.1 lbs (Acer TimelineX) This does not dispute my point that a workable and powerful small form factor was around before the Air made it fashionable. While I don't own a Timeline, every Acer I've had has worked well and been dependable.

hartiq
hartiq

You don't need a full install of Windows, nor the cost of a licence, to run Windows applications and programs. WWW.codeweavers.com , look for Crossover. It works for many, many Windowsa thingies, even Office. True, you might need to pay for the Office install, but you need to do that even on a WIntel box. Crossover is a sort of WINE. It costs about fifty dollars or so. You don't need to reboot as Crossover runs like a regular Maccy Program. The Windows game, Office or other application runs inside Crossover, in a sort of wrapper they call a bottle. Sorry if I sound like an advert for the company, but I thought it might save ome of you from multiple reboots and the expense in dollars and time of a full Windows install. And no, CW do *NOT* pay me. Nor do Apple, Microsoft or anyone else whose registered trademarks I've used above. :> H

Asiafish
Asiafish

Just got my 11" Air a few days ago, and it is superb. I really could care less if you Wintel machine has a faster processor or larger hard drive as I didn't buy this for gaming or video editing. What I bought it for was travel and use in the courtroom, where light weight is worth far more than speed. Funny how everyone only talks about "value", as if computers are based on features for price and nothing else. Personally, I care as much or more about look, feel, size and weight than I do about how many USB ports or any other bullet-point feature comparison. Just as I paid more for my analog watch than digitals cost, I consider it money well spent.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Even knowing how to touchtype, I love my backlit G15 and the LED lamp lighting is required in bad lighting with the less than standard key layout. I can't say I haven't been tempted to get a Das Keyboard just to mess with people though. :D http://www.daskeyboard.com/model-s-ultimate/

gunga55
gunga55

As stated above some where its a MAC and its the latest and greatest for Apple freaks The SSD is nice but the fact you can not remove it sucks. It has a slow processor and small hard drive. Sure you can put it in your coat pocket but gee the Acer notebook for a couple hundred dollars can do that.

Asiafish
Asiafish

I just DROPPED my $1200 for the 128GB version of the 11" Air. No business case? Are you joking? I run around all day from courtroom to courtroom, constantly sleeping and waking my portable. The Air is by far the best machine available for that usage pattern with its instant-on functionality, full-size keyboard and 2.3 lb weight. There simply are no competitive machines. Windows netbooks? Get real. Windows has never offered reliable sleep modes and underpowered and under-sized netbooks are still heavier and bulkier than the MacBook Air. Yes, it is definitely a luxury product, but just as I consider my Mercedes Benz an excellent value as I drive 45,000 miles per year, I also consider the MacBook Air an excellent value for the 15 or 20 times I sleep and wake my laptop every day. What did I use before the 11" MacBook Air was introduced? Easy, a late 2008 MacBook Air.

ShockMe
ShockMe

...convenience and comfort factor might be enough to sway some. Normally we can dimiss such factors until they are connected to OSHA concerns or repetitive stress injuries. This is why the iPad has seen a greater uptake at my company than the Air is likely to see. If the issue comes up it seems likely we will end up purchasing lighter weight Windows laptops with full-size keyboards.

rcivil
rcivil

I love my 12" HP TouchSmart tm2. It is a little bigger than a netbook but has so much more with not that much more $$$. I spent a little over $500 a year and a half ago (it was the last one in the store). It has 8gb of RAM, 500 gb Hard Drive, a 1.3 Core 2 Duo, and converts between laptop and tablet with touch screen. Love it!

Turd Furgeson
Turd Furgeson

unless i missed something. The iPhone had groundbreaking features when it came out so it became a benchmark of sorts. This just does the same old same old with little improvements.

HallD
HallD

The Dell Latitude d420 had nearly all of the features that this macbook has (Full size keyboard dual core, 12inch screen etc.) + removable harddrive. I hate the idea that the flash is embedded in the motherboard preventing me from being able to recover my clients data in the event of a hardware failure. This is something Steve Jobs would describe as a "feature". It's not as skinny, but I got a bunch of these for refurbed 3 years ago at $250 each.

iFX.64
iFX.64

I bought my 11in laptop about a year ago... What I find funny, is that everyone I talked to at the time thought I was crazy wanting a laptop that was 10 - 11in (but didn't want the limitations of the current netbooks). My main requirements were portability, battery life and at least 1366x768 screen resolution - OS for this machine wasn't that big a deal - but all the Apple folk I spoke to thought anything smaller than a 13in air was a waste of time... funny how things change when they finally get around to offering one ;)

lelandhendrix
lelandhendrix

you CAN remove the SSD. It connects to a SATA port on the main board. There are upgrade kits available already, now, that offer larger storage capacities at lower prices.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

If "sexy pretty" was my only criteria, I'd be all over it to. It's good hardware, it's just not competitive with that is available or at least no one has been able to point out what new "magic" and "revolutionary" thing it does that no other notebook has done previously or currently does at a lesser price point.

iFX.64
iFX.64

Mate, it's more than just me that find Windows sleep & hibernate functions *very* reliable. So much so, that I have been hibernating ALL of my PCs ever since XP has been around - rebooting and shutting down has been a very rare thing for me ever since XP was released in 2001. And that's on about 10 or more different desktops and laptops, none of which had any problems. Windows 2000? how far back are we going here? ;) I've owned well over 40 computers since the mid/late 80s, used almost every OS that's been out since then (MacOS, Amiga, Solaris, Irix, many flavours of Linux, Xenix, DOS, Amiga, BeOS, OS/2 from 1.3 - 4.0, Windows etc)... I actually didn't like Windows until XP came out (I still prefer it over 7)... though my first copy of Windows was actually a "runtime" version of 1.0 that came with a scanner back in the late 80s - runtime version in that it only ran the scanner software (since hardly anyone had Windows at the time - pretty funny actually ;) ) My first real use of Windows with a proper Windows application (eg. Coreldraw 1.0) was on Windows 2.0 (don't remember whether it was 286 or 386) - man! I'm going back now ;) Yeah Windows was pretty crappy back then - even 3.0/3.1 just had nothing on OS/2 but that's another story ;) However, I can't say I really spent much time with sleep modes before XP, at the time - sleep still required some power and I liked to unplug after use (I don't think there was a hibernate yet, was there?)... So yeah, if we're talking over 10 years ago with Windows 2000, then maybe that wasn't so reliable with sleep?? But that would come down to hardware/drivers not supporting it - and if MS waited for all hardware manufacturers to support it before offering the feature, then the manufacturers would never support it. If Toshiba can't write a decent driver or put together a reliable combo of hardware to be compatible, I'd say that's Toshiba's fault rather than Microsoft's - though back in the old days I probably would have blamed MS ;) I'd MUCH prefer to have more 3rd-party hardware options available to me - at the minor pain of just checking some hardware reviews before buying, or just taking it back if it's not compatible. I couldn't stand it if hardware options were as limited as it is on the Apple platform - specially when it comes to graphics/video cards. I nearly went completely over to Apple a couple times back in early 2000's, but each time I hesitated due to compatibility issues with hardware/software I needed at the time. I have had a couple friends/clients in the past 8 years or so that had some issues where their pc wouldn't sleep - but they were all cheap-arse PCs with even cheaper-arsed graphics cards with crappy drivers - OR they were using some unusual video capture card that didn't support suspend mode (This shouldn't happen on a stock standard laptop though! that's very dodgy of Toshiba to release something like that). But I have to say, not one of my laptops have ever had a problem - at least not since XP was released in 2001. Also, none of my own desktops have either - but I've always tried to use good parts as I'd always wanted my hardware to work in any OS, not just Windows. Whoah! sorry for the novel and going so OT :S

Asiafish
Asiafish

With sleep and resume on Windows there are just too many variables, and the end user lacks control over them. Some devices will cause resume failures, while other work perfectly. My old Toshiba Portege 3490CT had perfectly reliable sleep and resume in Wndows 2000 and XP, but the Portege 4010 I replaced it with did not. THe point is, sleep reliability on a Windows laptop is hit and miss, while Apple, which has full control over the hardware and software tends to do a much better job in that regard.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Lose 20 minutes a day in productivity.

iFX.64
iFX.64

Really? I've never had a problem on my pc's with either sleep or hibernate in Windows XP or 7... My 11in laptop also goes to sleep at least 10 times a day... literally takes a only few seconds to turn back on. I don't actually reboot or shutdown any of my PCs for months - they either sleep or hibernate, until an update or new program requires a reboot. Not that that should make you want to try a Windows based PC - everyone should just use what they're most comfortable with - but I just wanted to make sure the misinformation that Windows sleep/hibernate isn't reliable was set straight - as it works perfectly for me ;) I don't know what I'd do without hibernate ;)

gechurch
gechurch

Having embedded flash will be a concern to many IT departments, so if data recovery is possible that would alleviate one of the issues with this machine. Do you link to the third-party? Looking at the official Apple site (http://www.apple.com/macbookair/design.html) the wording alludes to these things being soldered on, and the photo certainly doesn't show a SATA connector. Update: I found a couple of companies doing this (http://www.cultofmac.com/apple-squashes-photofasts-macbook-air-ssd-upgrade-kit-business/71609 and http://www.cultofmac.com/owc-releases-macbook-air-ssd-upgrade-kits/76936). Apple have already shut down the first company that did it. I think it's fair to assume they will try to do the same to the other one. As much as the Mac elitists annoy me with their fanboy goggles, this sort of thing is the main reason I dislike Apple. They are just so draconian. Want to sell an app for the iPhone? Hold on there - we've got to authorise it. If Microsoft tried half the stunts Apple do they'd be lynched!

lelandhendrix
lelandhendrix

Yes, you can remove the flash-based storage. This article is erroneous. In fact, there is already a third-party vendor selling drive upgrades. You open the case, remove the installed flash storage from the SATA connector (yes, that's right), and then install the new one. The upgrade kits even comes with a usb case for the original equipement drive so you can use it as external storage with the Air after you've upgraded.

lelandhendrix
lelandhendrix

The flash-based storage drive is not embedded, it is removable and connects to a SATA port on the main board. There is already a third-party vendor supplying an upgrade to this, and provides a usb-case for the original drive you remove, for free.

Stalemate
Stalemate

Some people have the resources to overpay a Toyota as well, from another supplier, simply because it's shinier. Doesn't mean they're making the best decision or the wisest investment of their money, or their clients, or their employers as the case may be. In this current example, the only thing standing out in this product is "teh shiny". Remove the SSD drive and you get a laptop that is almost identical to what was on the market 2 years ago. Implying that the Macbook Air is the new standard in ultraportables is downright misleading, IMO. NB - Post corrected to reflect the fact lelandhendrix pointed out that SSD drive can, in fact, be removed / serviced. With this point corrected, does that change the validity of the rest of the statement?

panda
panda

Some people have the resources to buy an Acura instead of a Toyota... and they are really happy. Others have a Toyota and they can be happy too...

bnordberg
bnordberg

I have a Sony Vaio from 2005 that is still kicking - I just put windows 7 on it and it runs like a champ!