Cracking Open the MacBook Air
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. He was most recently Managing Editor for TechRepublic Pro. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.
I am interested in the 13" Air but since Intel has released such over whelmingly more powerful cpus that have a much less per unit cost, not to mention per 1K unit cost, will apple retool quickly and release a performance beast air for cheap? imagine a 13" Air3 with a intel quad core i7-2600 oops I just saw the macbook pro announcements about these intel chips being recalled. seems they will be in next macbooks but releases will be after march or april according to Intel chip delivery announcements. unless the macbooks only use SATA ports 0 and 1 then the recall chips will work just fine. It is SATA ports 2-5 that fail.
let's take a look at the brand new $1300 macbook air released this week!: I bet it has that spiffy magnetic power adapter! YES I bet it has one of those cool new Core i3 i5 or i7 processors, right? probably an i7 at that price right? ummm NO, just an old timey Core 2 Duo well surely I can upgrade the CPU later to a faster Core 2 Duo? ummm NOPE - soldered in ok fine, I see it comes with 2GB RAM, I can upgrade that to 4GB or 8GB, right? ummmm NOPE - soldered in & no expansion slots how about 3 or 4 USB ports? NOPE 2 (like a year 2004 laptop computer) ok, how about a backlit keyboard, an ambient light sensor, or even Adobe Flash? NOPE, NOPE, and NOPE can I at least have an internal DVD drive at this price? NOPE, and if you want an external DVD, you are now down to 1 USB port! geez, did you say this thing was $1300 or $300?
I found a ~50-piece (don't remember exactly how many) "security" bit set at Harbor Freight for under ten bucks, which makes easy work of handling 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 corner screws with and without center pegs. That or something similar could do wonders for these breakdowns.
If you were in the market for one of the new MacBook Air notebooks, would you opt for the ultra-portable 11-inch model or the slightly larger 13-inch machine?
You really said that...? Well I don't have any of the fancy IT titles you do but I do still remember selling the old GRID laptops with a few hundred K of bubble memory running Grid OS for a few thousand bucks each and some sort of morphodite Epson laptop thingamabob that had Wordstar on a plug in ROM chip back in the mid to late 80's. I also remember pecking away on an otherwise forgettable Toshiba laptop from a'rd the 1999-2001 days. Said all that to say what you see as shortcomings and grounds for ridicule in your post still look pretty good to me. Now if I only had one of them fancy titles after my handle to make my opinion worth something... Oh yeah... in answer to the thread question... I'd take the 13".
I actually have a Craftsman 32-piece set of security bits from Sears (http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00947486000P). Unfortunately, it didn't have bits for dealing with the rounded corners used on the MacBook Air screws. Also, the bits in this set are often too large for the small screws used in many of the notebooks, tablets, and smartphones I crack open. I'll check the Harbor Freight site and see what they have.
Neither. Old processor. Not a fan of mini-display ports either [try and find a monitor that has one when you are on the road - such as presentations].
I'm of the belief that the 11" is too under-specced - the 13" comes with more additions like the SD card reader, plus other items, it makes a LOT more sense. Personally though, I'm going for a 13" Macbook rather than the Air - they're slightly heavier, but contain more power, more flexibility and more "bang for the buck" - roughly 2/3 the price for slightly more weight sounds like a better deal to me