Linked by Smith Johnson on Wed 16th Jan 2008 01:24 UTC, submitted by Dan Warne
Apple Like an anorexic fashion model, Apple's new super-thin MacBook Air has made too many compromises for the sake of being skinny. With such emaciated specs, many are asking: who would buy it?
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Its not too bad but...
by TaterSalad on Wed 16th Jan 2008 01:38 UTC
TaterSalad
Member since:
2005-07-06

This is a slick looking laptop but it just isn't worth the $1799 Apple wants for it. A thin light portable laptop is great but with the stripped out features most people find essential I just can't see the price for the performance. The article does point out some of the drawbacks to this laptop.

Reply Score: 11

RE: Its not too bad but...
by bsharitt on Wed 16th Jan 2008 02:44 UTC in reply to "Its not too bad but..."
bsharitt Member since:
2005-07-07

I have to agree. It's a really slick looking laptop, but I wouldn't pay that price for it. If it was priced more along the lines of the regular MacBook, I would likely be buying on in the next year, even with some of the things removed, but not for $1799.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Its not too bad but...
by FellowConspirator on Wed 16th Jan 2008 13:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Its not too bad but..."
FellowConspirator Member since:
2007-12-13

The price is still notably less than the competition (namely Sony). Sony's super-slim notebook is $2500 with 60% of the battery life and half the RAM. Also, Apple offers the SSD option at ~30% less ($999 versus $1300 on NewEgg, and the $1300 drive is physically more than twice the size).

I'm not saying that I'm likely to be satisfied with a MacBook Air (I wouldn't), but, as far as features and price go -- it's actually very competitive in its market segment.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Its not too bad but...
by jaylaa on Wed 16th Jan 2008 14:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Its not too bad but..."
jaylaa Member since:
2006-01-17

The price is still notably less than the competition (namely Sony). Sony's super-slim notebook is $2500 with 60% of the battery life and half the RAM. Also, Apple offers the SSD option at ~30% less ($999 versus $1300 on NewEgg, and the $1300 drive is physically more than twice the size).

I'm not saying that I'm likely to be satisfied with a MacBook Air (I wouldn't), but, as far as features and price go -- it's actually very competitive in its market segment.

People keep comparing this to Sony's very expensive 11.1" notebook. Why? The better comparison is their 13.3", 3.8 pound Vaio SZ. Whose base model has better features than this Air and is $1400.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Its not too bad but...
by polaris20 on Wed 16th Jan 2008 14:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Its not too bad but..."
polaris20 Member since:
2005-07-06

The SZ isn't in the same category. It's not as thin, not as light.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Its not too bad but...
by jaylaa on Wed 16th Jan 2008 15:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Its not too bad but..."
jaylaa Member since:
2006-01-17

The SZ isn't in the same category. It's not as thin, not as light.

I love it. To show that the Air isn't really that expensive people compare it to the price of a lighter, more expensive 11.1" Vaio TX. But when one points out that the 13.3" Vaio SZ is cheaper than the Air it's "not in the same category". If the SZ isn't in the same category as the Air, then neither is the TX, and it is disingenuous to make the Air's price seem less by comparing the two.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Its not too bad but...
by Moochman on Wed 16th Jan 2008 17:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Its not too bad but..."
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

My gf has one of the 11-inch Sonys. It has a built-in optical drive, fits in a lot smaller spaces than the Air can (partially because the screen's bevel doesn't extend much beyond the screen, and partially because it's 11 inches), has 2 USB ports, microphone and Firewire ports, and both the RAM and HD are upgradeable. If Sony could fit everything into such a small package and still have it be upgradeable (did I mention it has a built-in optical drive?), there's no reason Apple shouldn't be able to (aside from the fact that they want to make you buy a new machine when you realize how tiny and slow the 4200rpm 80GB hard drive is).

P.S. The Sony cost exactly the same as the entry-level Air--it was the slightly older model with Core2Duo 1.6GHz instead of 1.8, and was completely brand-new, including a 2-year warranty.

Edited 2008-01-16 17:58 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Its not too bad but...
by andrewg on Wed 16th Jan 2008 20:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Its not too bad but..."
andrewg Member since:
2005-07-06

Also, Apple offers the SSD option at ~30% less ($999 versus $1300 on NewEgg, and the $1300 drive is physically more than twice the size).


Newegg must be a ripoff or have old expensive stock. Go to Dell and configure yourself and XPS M1330. I started with the expensive $1499 model. The SSD drive is a $750 upgrade over a 160Gig 7200RPM drive. So the Apple upgrade is actually expensive

Reply Score: 3

Comment by zizban
by zizban on Wed 16th Jan 2008 01:49 UTC
zizban
Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, let me correct what I said. I will say I was taken aback by the lack of wifi.

Edited 2008-01-16 01:52 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by zizban
by Devilotx on Wed 16th Jan 2008 02:18 UTC in reply to "Comment by zizban"
Devilotx Member since:
2005-07-06

No wifi? by Wifi what do you mean? I'm pretty sure it has Wireless N built in.

or do you mean something else?

I'm confused...

O_o

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by zizban
by Armeck on Wed 16th Jan 2008 03:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by zizban"
Armeck Member since:
2005-12-17

According to Apple's site, it does have built in wifi and bluetooth.

http://www.apple.com/macbookair/wireless.html

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by zizban
by MordEth on Wed 16th Jan 2008 02:54 UTC in reply to "Comment by zizban"
MordEth Member since:
2006-07-16

You may want to correct yourself again, as the specs state this:

"Built-in AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi wireless networking (based on IEEE 802.11n draft specification); IEEE 802.11a/b/g compatible"

(http://www.apple.com/macbookair/specs.html)

Where I come from, that's Wi-Fi. Perhaps you mean "wired ethernet"?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by zizban
by dtravis7 on Wed 16th Jan 2008 19:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by zizban"
dtravis7 Member since:
2005-07-14

It also has an optional USB to RJ45 NIC for $29. Sure $29 but hey, at least if you do need a wired connection you can do it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by zizban
by Dasher42 on Wed 16th Jan 2008 08:48 UTC in reply to "Comment by zizban"
Dasher42 Member since:
2007-04-05

EDIT: You mean lack of wireless broadband, not wifi which it has. You had me confused. Not everyone needs it, and I'd rather keep the feature optional when you're trying to get the laptop as small as possible.

Edited 2008-01-16 08:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by zizban
by FellowConspirator on Wed 16th Jan 2008 13:15 UTC in reply to "Comment by zizban"
FellowConspirator Member since:
2007-12-13

802.11n is still Wi-Fi, and it supports 802.11b and 802.11g as well.

Reply Score: 2

Good points; Ridiculous conclusion
by Devon on Wed 16th Jan 2008 01:50 UTC
Devon
Member since:
2005-06-30

The articles ten points are certainly spot on, they are all notable compromises that any prospective purchaser should be aware of, and in some cases might be tough to justify.

The conclusion however is absurd to the point of being delusional. A sales dud? REALLY? You do realize that this is A) an Apple product, B) drop-dead sexy, and C) a drop-dead sexy Apple product?

Mark my words, these compromises aren't even near enough to prevent this thing from selling like gang-busters and sweeping the tech word. Heard of the Jesus-phone? Meet the Jesus-notebook.

Reply Score: 8

Wintermute Member since:
2005-07-30

Don't take the success of Apple products for granted. The reason that Apple products are successfully is that they provide a computing experience that is desirable (no messing with BS, just do stuff) to large portion of the public. Just the Apple brand alone isn't good enough to make a successfully product, just look at the Apple TV. Don't forget that most people in the USA (let alone the rest of the world) are not blind Apple fanboys. They will not be paying $1800 for a 'sexy' brick.

Reply Score: 5

Devon Member since:
2005-06-30

Don't take the success of Apple products for granted...Just the Apple brand alone isn't good enough to make a successfully product, just look at the Apple TV.


Certainly true, however the Apple TV had massive, eventually crippling, artificial restrictions on its functionality. The point I was making is that the Air's compromises, even if not completely justifiable, are no where near the same level. Im not saying they will buy it because its Apple(TM) and pretty regardless of too much compromise, Im saying they will buy it because its that, and manages to do it without too much compromise.

The author is simply blowing the compromises way out of proportion.

Reply Score: 1

CharAznable Member since:
2005-07-06


Certainly true, however the Apple TV had massive, eventually crippling, artificial restrictions on its functionality.


I'd call non-removable battery, 1 USB port, non-upgradeable RAM and a max storage capacity of 80gb massive, eventually crippling restrictions to its functionality.

Reply Score: 4

who'd buy it
by FunkyELF on Wed 16th Jan 2008 02:04 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

who would buy it

The same people who pay too much for their macbook's, macbook pro's, and iMacs.
They same people who pay for DRM'd music in a lossy format that can't transfer it to other devices.
The same people who pay for movies on iTunes.
The same people who don't care the the iMac doesn't have a connector for it to work like a regular monitor for hooking up a laptop or a new computer after it is obsolete in 3 years.
I have come to the realization that this world is full of stupid people who don't know any better.

I equate those people to the ones who pay $30,000 for a Harley Davidson that breaks down on them all the time.

And guess what!...the world is full of them.

All of that being said...I am thinking about buying some Apple stock. I watched the keynote....genius.

Charge $20 to early iPod adopters for software that comes free on new ones. If I was sitting at the keynote as a consumer I would boo. If I was sitting there as a stock owner I would cheer.

Come out with a new laptop missing a bunch of features but charge a price like it has all of them....genius.
The best part is that they can sell you all the stuff that it is missing afterwards as peripherals. They'll probably even sell you a bag to carry all of that stuff in.
Just one USB port?....genius! Sell more USB hubs.

I thought apple is just as Evil as Microsoft. Then the iPhone came out and I realized they were more evil, but they're better at it. While I don't use any of their products (my iPod runs rockbox and I won it at a holiday party) I'm pretty sure their stuff works great.

Reply Score: 14

RE: who'd buy it
by senornoodle on Wed 16th Jan 2008 03:24 UTC in reply to "who'd buy it"
senornoodle Member since:
2005-07-12

Yeah, after 3 years, iMacs are totally just paperweights, I mean they can't do ANYTHING, and would better be used as monitors.
Come on, you got some valid complaints there, but a lot of people genuinely never even encounter any of the DRM limits on music bought from iTunes. I haven't.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: who'd buy it
by bryanv on Wed 16th Jan 2008 16:03 UTC in reply to "RE: who'd buy it"
bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

They do exactly what they did the day you bought them, and funny thing -- that was 'good enough' at one point.

The only thing that changes is your perception.

Reply Score: 1

RE: who'd buy it
by VManOfMana on Wed 16th Jan 2008 03:40 UTC in reply to "who'd buy it"
VManOfMana Member since:
2006-11-01

I'm pretty sure their stuff works great.


... and this is why I pay the "premium" Apple charges for their products. My MacBook Pro is twice as expensive as my previous Toshiba laptop, but its worth every penny. Value comes from just hardware components.

Reply Score: 2

RE: who'd buy it
by Clinton on Wed 16th Jan 2008 04:53 UTC in reply to "who'd buy it"
Clinton Member since:
2005-07-05

who would buy it

The same people who pay too much for their macbook's, macbook pro's, and iMacs.


I bought a MacBook Pro precisely because it was cheaper (and better) than both of the Dell and HP machines I was also looking at at the time. Some of Apple's prices are high, but not all of them.

They same people who pay for DRM'd music in a lossy format that can't transfer it to other devices.


I can transfer all my iTunes purchases to other devices. Just because you don't know how to do it doesn't mean it can't be done.

The same people who don't care the the iMac doesn't have a connector for it to work like a regular monitor for hooking up a laptop or a new computer after it is obsolete in 3 years.


That doesn't even make sense. Who would do that, really?

Just one USB port?....genius! Sell more USB hubs.


The point of the laptop is to be ultra light and ultra portable. Other laptops focusing on the same market are just as sparse; they have to be.

If you want more USB ports, get a MacBook Pro.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: who'd buy it
by getaceres on Wed 16th Jan 2008 10:29 UTC in reply to "RE: who'd buy it"
getaceres Member since:
2005-07-06


"The same people who don't care the the iMac doesn't have a connector for it to work like a regular monitor for hooking up a laptop or a new computer after it is obsolete in 3 years.


That doesn't even make sense. Who would do that, really?
"

I would LIKE to do that. If I have a 22" screen on my room I'd like to connect it to something else once the hardware it has is obsolete. Apple is free to not let me use it in that way but for me it would be a plus point if I were looking for a compact PC.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: who'd buy it
by Lokken on Wed 16th Jan 2008 13:12 UTC in reply to "RE: who'd buy it"
Lokken Member since:
2006-06-27

I can transfer all my iTunes purchases to other devices. Just because you don't know how to do it doesn't mean it can't be done.


Without bypassing the DRM (via QTFairUse or something similar), you can't transfer the music to another portable music player (see: non-iPods) while maintaing the same quality as the original. You'd have to burn it to CD, and re-rip as MP3/AAC/etc. In doing this, you're basically transcoding from one lossy codec to another, in effect, losing more and more information along the way.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: who'd buy it
by Clinton on Wed 16th Jan 2008 18:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: who'd buy it"
Clinton Member since:
2005-07-05

I like how you say it can't be done without taking certain steps. Well, would it make sense to take those steps then?

I agree that re-ripping something is dumb, but there are several options that don't require re-ripping the song and leave you with the ability you are looking for.

Edited 2008-01-16 18:34 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: who'd buy it
by Lokken on Wed 16th Jan 2008 19:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: who'd buy it"
Lokken Member since:
2006-06-27

Depending on the country, there are no legal steps that you can take, aside from burning and re-ripping (which, if you read in the fine print, probably isn't allowed either).

QT FairUse is nice, and I've recommended it to some friends who bought songs from iTunes, and then wanted to use a different player (such as foobar2000).

Reply Score: 1

RE: who'd buy it
by alcibiades on Wed 16th Jan 2008 07:28 UTC in reply to "who'd buy it"
alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

FunkyELF says only idiots would buy it. Its not the best way to look at it. Its more about how Apple is positioning itself. This device reminds one rather of the Cube or the Mini. You have a set of features which other manufacturers have not combined because they would not accept the tradeoffs - in this case, low power and lack of ports etc.

This is really Bang and Olafson or Louis Vuitton in computing. You want hard nosed and practical and very portable, you go for the Lenovo X series or similar. What you get with this is a certain consumer image at the price of practicality and performance. Same exact thing happens with the Mini: its not about carrying it around in a coat pocket, its about making compromises on power for the sake of form factor, when the form factor achieved has no real utility other than image.

Its not clear that the people who buy this stuff are silly, its rather that their priorities are different, and Apple is marketing to them, as Louis Vuitton does to its chosen segment, with great success.

In the end, its not really about computing any more than (for instance) a mobile phone with a solid silver case is really about mobiles. Its about the luxury goods market. Apple's great genius has been to find and exploit the luxury goods segment of the personal computing market. No, its not what FunkyELF or I want from our computers, but it is what some people want.

As to whether its going to be good for shareholders, one has some doubts going forward. It might just turn into another Cube. Wait and see how warm it runs!

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: who'd buy it
by eggs on Wed 16th Jan 2008 16:01 UTC in reply to "RE: who'd buy it"
eggs Member since:
2006-01-23

"You have a set of features which other manufacturers have not combined"

You obviously did not read the article as it cites an example of a computer that combines all the features, plus many more...

"9. Thin but not that thin: Steve Jobs says the MacBook Air is thinner at its thickest point than competing notebooks. But the Fujitsu Q2010 is only 19.9mm thick at its thickest point, and that's 0.5mm -- yes half a millimetre -- thicker. However, in the Lifebook, you get integrated HSDPA/3G/GPRS, an ExpressCard slot (34/54), SD card slot, two USB ports, inbuilt VGA out, Ethernet, Firewire, fingerprint sensor. I'd say that functionality is worth an extra half millimetre."

I have seen ultraportable laptops like this long before Apple got involved.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: who'd buy it
by dagw on Wed 16th Jan 2008 23:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: who'd buy it"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

However, at least here in Sweden, the MacBook Air is an absolute bargain compared to the Q2010. Even with the SSD and optical drive the Air is $500 cheaper than the entry level Q2010.

The extra functionality may be worth an extra half milimeter, but is it worth a much slower hard drive and $500?

Reply Score: 2

RE: who'd buy it
by evangs on Wed 16th Jan 2008 07:53 UTC in reply to "who'd buy it"
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

The same people who pay too much for their macbook's


When I was shopping for a Macbook about a year and a half ago, I did a lot of searching. I was already working on Linux quite a bit so what I needed was a Linux laptop. Nothing on the market came close to the Macbook in terms of price/specs. The closest at the time was some Dell system which cost exactly the same as the Macbook. Given those options, the Macbook was a no brainer.

Apple may overcharge for their Power Macs and iMacs, but their laptop line is very very competitive.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: who'd buy it
by rayiner on Thu 17th Jan 2008 00:10 UTC in reply to "RE: who'd buy it"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

At least the last time I checked, the PowerMacs were ridiculously competitive too. Apple seems to have a pretty high margin on the MacBook Pros, but then again, a lot of manufacturers have a "high margin" laptop product like that. A corresponding Sony probably costs you just as much as an MBP.

Reply Score: 3

RE: who'd buy it
by Odisej on Wed 16th Jan 2008 08:09 UTC in reply to "who'd buy it"
Odisej Member since:
2006-05-11

I wouldn't go as far as calling people stupid for buying apple products. But they are suckers for propaganda. ;) Otherwise I agree with your post. The success of this new product mostly depends on how much money will apple put into advertising which translates into people paying way too much for a thing such as this. As per its performance: nothing special. Except the price.:)

How Apple product function can be seen on the case of iPhone. being a great success in USA it totally flopped in Europe. Why? Well, there are several reasons. But one of the most important ones was that they were not able to build such a hype around it. It just shows that the phone itself is nothing special. And the same goes for this new gizmo.

P.S. Writing this from a wonderful asus eee. Price 299 euros. ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: who'd buy it
by netpython on Wed 16th Jan 2008 11:22 UTC in reply to "RE: who'd buy it"
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

The problem is the i-phone didn't support faster protocols such as HSDPA.

Reply Score: 2

RE: who'd buy it
by Soulbender on Wed 16th Jan 2008 09:25 UTC in reply to "who'd buy it"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

While I don't use any of their products (my iPod runs rockbox and I won it at a holiday party) I'm pretty sure their stuff works great.


I don't want to shatter your illusion or anything but if you use an iPod you're using an Apple product. Running Rockbox just mean you're not using their software.

Reply Score: 7

RE: who'd buy it
by polaris20 on Wed 16th Jan 2008 14:24 UTC in reply to "who'd buy it"
polaris20 Member since:
2005-07-06

who would buy it

The same people who pay too much for their macbook's, macbook pro's, and iMacs.
They same people who pay for DRM'd music in a lossy format that can't transfer it to other devices.
The same people who pay for movies on iTunes.
The same people who don't care the the iMac doesn't have a connector for it to work like a regular monitor for hooking up a laptop or a new computer after it is obsolete in 3 years.
I have come to the realization that this world is full of stupid people who don't know any better.

I equate those people to the ones who pay $30,000 for a Harley Davidson that breaks down on them all the time.


People like you that make such broad sweeping generalizations about a set of users is just as bad as the people you describe.

It's quite possible to enjoy most Apple products while simultaneously thinking the Air is a bad idea.

Let's start making other broad generalizations.....all Linux users are geeks that live in their parents' basements. All Windows users are idiots with spyware-infested computers....shall I go on?

Reply Score: 4

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

That's the corner stone of marketing. Whatever your selling, there's someone out there dumb enough to buy. Sexy sells even if it's that kind of Kate Moss sexy; it'll sell.

The only point I'd question is your Apple is more expensive myth. Apple has never skimped on the quality hardware components even if they did skimp on the catagories of components in this machine. A machine from any other manufacturer build with comparible quality parts is going to be in the same price range as an Apple machine in general.

Now, if your getting your prices from the Apple Store then your getting gutted but reasonable prices from a third party reseller tend to be competitive. (300$ for a gig of ram from Apple, 80$ for the same stick of ram from a third party.. hm...) But then, the Sony store is the same way from what I've seen.

Granted, it's not like the people who just gotta have the latest Apple gadget or there not cool are going to shop around for pricing. I just question the basis of the pricing myth in general is it seems to have long since lost it's basis in reality.

Reply Score: 2

andrewg Member since:
2005-07-06

I think you are partially right. The SSD drive for the XPS M1330 is $750 and Apple's is $999. That's quite a premium and I really cannot see there being any quality difference - the market for these things is so small right now. Apple's RAM upgrades are also ridiculously expensive normally. Again its not a question of quality its just them ripping you off.

Apple is absolutely brilliant at positioning their products and they know the sticker price is the important one.

Reply Score: 2

I'm interested.
by NathanHill on Wed 16th Jan 2008 02:08 UTC
NathanHill
Member since:
2006-10-06

If I had the cash, the Macbook Air would definitely be mine. It is a "dead sexy machine" as a previous commenter pointed out.

Yeah, I was disappointed that the processor was a little low at 1.6 Ghz. The SSD drive is also super expensive. But, I haven't been enamored (for a while anyway) on any Windows laptops available. They tend to offer all these seemingly cool features (flash card readers? rs232 ports? ugly vga ports?) - that end up just being annoyances. I'd prefer a machine that just worked and looked good. Looks like the Macbook Air has those two things going for it - looks + Leopard.

Plus, the Macbook Air would be perfect to take advantage of the new Time Capsule and AppleTV - why store all that video and music on the MBA anyway?

This is the way computers are moving - less cables all around please.

Edited 2008-01-16 02:10 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: I'm interested.
by collywolly on Wed 16th Jan 2008 11:23 UTC in reply to "I'm interested."
collywolly Member since:
2006-06-19

Sorry, nothing that is comosed of a few chips, an LCD screen and pcb can be described as "sexy". Just as Politics is not "sexy". Doesn't matter how shiny a case you put it in.

For god sake everyone was saying that about the iPod nano when it first came out. Now the old form factor seems decidedly average. This thing will also be fairly average in a couple of years.

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Think of them as Laptops rather than Windows Laptops. Apple is a special case since they've always been a hardware company that happened to produce there own software too.

If you simply think of notebooks as hardware platforms independent of any brand of OS you may find something out there that better fits your needs. My personal order on the wishlist is Toughbook, Thinkpad, MacBook since they can all be free'd from the limitations of their OEM OS or, in the case of ThinkPad, ordered with a more robust and flexible OS preinstalled.

Reply Score: 2

netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

That toughbook executive is nice the rest is butt ugly.

I can imagine a toughbook is the better bet when you are a miner and still have to access some data in a very moist and hazardous environment.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

It's like getting your first cell phone; once you have one, generally, you can't figure out how you managed before having one.

Once I read my email on the patio in the rain (didn't need to do the duck, cover and run when it started) I was hooked. Folding my notebook and carrying it to class or work without having a bulky case was great. Touchscreen is also another spoiler after which a non-touchscreen notebook seems positively restrictive. Backlit keyboard beats the thinkpads integrated keyboard lamp (but that is a nice touch).

Granted, pretty; they're not. I like the rugged aesthetic of them myself but others prefer appearances over functions and that's perfectly fine too.

(can you imagine a nice cf28 or cf29 pentest box? oh baby.. one day my precious, one day.. first the certs, then the job.. then the budget)

Anyhow, that's why they are on the top of my wishlist even with the slower than bleeding edge cpu.

Reply Score: 1

Has its uses.
by theTSF on Wed 16th Jan 2008 02:12 UTC
theTSF
Member since:
2005-09-27

Being Thin and light has its plusses, and that alone may have its use. The CPU is not that slow it can run OS X and Vista quite nicely. Small and light have uses for people you need to walk and carry a laptop for a long time. I know my 17" MacBook Pro gets heavy after a while on my shoulder. But I am OK with that because the way I use my computer I use my MacBook Pro more like portable Desktop with a display then a Notebook. But other people actually use their systems wirelessly doctors, insurance adjusters, or almost anyone who works on the field would appreciate a small light system that runs at a good speed and has features to run what it needs to get the job done and well. No I won't be doing do much Movie Making or Heavy compiling or playing the latest and greatest game on it. But it will allow me to browse the Web, Use Office, and any other specialty app I need to run.

This comment reminds me of the Slashdot comment of the Gen 1 iPod.

Reply Score: 2

Typical Apple
by -APT- on Wed 16th Jan 2008 02:28 UTC
-APT-
Member since:
2007-03-20

It would've been nice to see a new sub-notebook similar to the Eee PC, however we all know that Apple is in the market to rake in as much revenue per possible from each customer instead of going for the lower end market.

Reply Score: 4

fujitsu
by broken_symlink on Wed 16th Jan 2008 02:31 UTC
broken_symlink
Member since:
2005-07-06

the fujitsu that the author compares the macbook air to only has a core solo and a 12in screen. plus it also uses a 4200 rpm hd. it also only seems to support 1 gb ram MAX. and although there is no price on the fujitsu site, because i guess fujitsu stopped selling notebooks directly i would be willing to bet that it is in the same price range as the macbook air.

Reply Score: 5

RE: fujitsu
by dagw on Wed 16th Jan 2008 09:38 UTC in reply to "fujitsu"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

Scarily enough the fujitsu mentioned costs even more than the Air, with the SSD. At least here in Sweden.

Fortunatly you have other options if you're looking for a laptop with a 12" screen that weighs a kilo. Toshiba, LG and Lenovo for example have laptops with equal or better specs for slightly lower prices. If not necessarily quite as sexy.

However non of them are much cheaper than the basic Air.

Reply Score: 3

beatyful article!
by hobgoblin on Wed 16th Jan 2008 02:34 UTC
hobgoblin
Member since:
2005-07-06

and what i love the most is that fujitsu comparison in point 9.

as for commandeering a optical drive over the network, been doing that for ages in windows and others. basically share the drive as a smb share, pop the disc in there, and be happy.

style over substance yet again. but people will still pick em up so that they can sit there at the local "indie" hangout and look stylishly "alternative".

Edited 2008-01-16 02:35 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: beatyful article!
by xophere on Wed 16th Jan 2008 05:42 UTC in reply to "beatyful article!"
xophere Member since:
2006-07-19

Before boot? I mean it is no big deal but there aren't any PC's that I know of unless you count other EFI boxes that can't load os files from fireware/bios. It is about time. Better still would be a way to load it right from the net. dchp and load directly from apple. not even that much harder then....

but a useful tool that no one else has. It is just like bootable backup files? I mean why don't other os'es have features AIX has had since 93. I mean bootable tape, dvd, network backups.... it is just how it should be done.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: beatyful article!
by hobgoblin on Wed 16th Jan 2008 14:39 UTC in reply to "RE: beatyful article!"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

ah, that makes it something else.

its the first time i read about the before boot part so ;)

Reply Score: 2

not "the world's thinnest notebook"
by broken_symlink on Wed 16th Jan 2008 02:39 UTC
broken_symlink
Member since:
2005-07-06

that title goes to the sony x505 which wins by .01" according to cnet, "the VAIO X505 runs a remarkable 0.75 inch thick at its widest point and 0.3 inch at its thinnest--smaller than the tiny Toshiba Portege R100 and Sharp Actius MM20. Tipping the scales at a twiggy 1.85 pounds, the VAIO X505 is also one of the lightest (if not the lightest) laptops available; the chocolate bar-size AC adapter bumps up its travel weight to a negligible 2.4 pounds."

http://reviews.cnet.com/laptops/sony-vaio-x505-series/4505-3121_7-3...

Reply Score: 3

I like it !!
by Cass on Wed 16th Jan 2008 02:40 UTC
Cass
Member since:
2006-03-17

I think its a cracking laptop .. sure its not got ethernet, more than 1 usb port or a large hard drive but who cares, ill only plug my ipod in when im not charging my phone, 1 port needed .. The lack of ethernet is not a big deal for the ultra mobile ... why would it be on the road they have no switches .. The lack of built in wimax/edge/3g does not matter to those with a 3g (etc) phone and data plan, bluetooth is all that is needed for those internet moments.. The ultramobile people this is who this bad boy is aimed at ... I would have liked it more if it was 12" tbh .. My 13" macbook is a great laptop, i want it to be smaller thinner lighter, the multitouch pad is a bonus, id like to see it in action outide my touch .. A larger hard drive wold have been better obviously but again for the ultramobile this will not be a big deal .. Id probably buy one if i needed another laptop thats for sure .. No im not an Apple fanboy, i like Linux too :-)

Cass

EDIT : forgot to mention the battery, yeah thats a give n .. Id say a bit of a mistake there .. My macbook had issues in the beginning with batterys, hope this does not suffer the same ..

Edited 2008-01-16 02:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I think the article complaint was no WiMAX radio rather than no 802.11n radio. Your 3G connection may be stinking fast (sort of) but the bluetooth connection between phone and notebook is a huge bottleneck. Your network connection is only as fast as your slowest step in the chain.

You also may not want to be doing your web banking and connecting to your companies systems with that wide open bluetooth bridge in between. Anyone within range of the bluetooth radio (30'ish feet) can read those packets with little trouble.

That's not to be disparaging, just something to keep in mind before you pop it out at your local hipster hangout should you decide to buy one.

(sidenote): I took "I think its a cracking laptop" a completely different way at first.. hehe.. made me laugh too realize it.

Reply Score: 2

Early adopters
by kaelodest on Wed 16th Jan 2008 02:50 UTC
kaelodest
Member since:
2006-02-12

As an AAPL stockholder and Powerbook \ MacBook Pro owner since 1998 I will tell you who will buy them. It is early adopters. It is a 'nice' machine but given the specs I would get a black MacBook.
This model, is if Apple works the same way that it always has OLD news. It is the ROKR or Sawtooth G4 or whatever. It is Waaay to many compromises.
I do not expect it to be anyone's first or their last Mac. It isn't bad, but not terribly efficient. If you need to be productive at the drop of a hat, 100% of the time and spend a lot of time in Airports and on Trains \commuting then there are no compromises and it is very light and fast enough
Yannow, If I had to look at this on a sublime level I would think that this is the rumoured tablet or Newton type piece. It is a niche market for the ones who can afford it.
If I was a still a trainer then I would be all over it

Reply Score: 2

Seems cool
by Vlad on Wed 16th Jan 2008 02:53 UTC
Vlad
Member since:
2006-03-23

I purchased a Dell Inspiron 700m a couple of years ago while I was in school due to it's small size and relatively long battery life. I still use it today when I have to hit our server farm to do sysadmin stuff. The Air is appealing to me for those reasons; decent scree, full size keyboard, and long battery life.

The article reviews it as if it's a replacement for a MBP or Desktop, which is silly. If you want to do HPC or have mass storage, get a desktop or a NAS drive. This obviously wasn't designed for graphics design and multimedia in mind so don't critique it as if it were (pointing out 1 USB port, no ethernet, and no wireless broadband are fair game, however).

Personally I wish it had a 16 or 32 GB flash drive instead of the 80GB microdrive. Less power, less heat, less damage from drops/bumps/etc.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Seems cool
by abraxas on Thu 17th Jan 2008 22:30 UTC in reply to "Seems cool"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

Personally I wish it had a 16 or 32 GB flash drive instead of the 80GB microdrive. Less power, less heat, less damage from drops/bumps/etc.

For an additional 1000 dollars you can get a 64 GB flash drive instead of the 80 GB hard drive.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Macrat
by Macrat on Wed 16th Jan 2008 03:02 UTC
Macrat
Member since:
2006-03-27

You guys are weird. The Sony Viao had all of those same "drawbacks"

Didn't stop people from buying them and packing around the optional accessories.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Macrat
by linumax on Wed 16th Jan 2008 03:47 UTC in reply to "Comment by Macrat"
linumax Member since:
2007-02-07

If you mean VAIO X505 then, well, not all of the drawbacks,

It came with
-stereo speakers
-Ethernet
-5 in 1 Card reader
-FireWire * 1
-USB * 2

It also weighed less than MBA and CNet says it was a tiny bit thinner.

Of course, smaller screen contributed to less weight but then again, it came 4 years earlier than MBA, for computer tech that's a long time.

And regarding success, I guess Sony eventually pulled that model mainly because of poor battery performance, but I may be wrong.

I'm sure there will be people who will buy this new toy and I might as well get one (next gen, if I had the money).

PS: Since the rumors of ultraportable MBP I was worried that my new MBP would become obsolete, but today I was relieved that it still is the king of Macbooks.

Edited 2008-01-16 03:49 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Comment by jaylaa
by jaylaa on Wed 16th Jan 2008 03:08 UTC
jaylaa
Member since:
2006-01-17

I can appreciate that people like their thin and light laptops, and this is a nice looking machine.

But this time the argument between Apple haters and fans doesn't even have to degenerate into comparing it to Vaios or Dells. Just compare it to other Macbooks. It's the same footprint, a bit thinner and a bit lighter but I doubt there are many places you could take this thing where you couldn't also take the standard Macbook. On the negative side, in comparison with the Macbook, it's severely underspeced and costs $500 more. Just not worth it.

If anyone is planning on getting this I'd like to know your thoughts as to why this seems like a better choice than a Macbook.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Comment by jaylaa
by aesiamun on Wed 16th Jan 2008 03:53 UTC in reply to "Comment by jaylaa"
aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

Well let me take a shot at this:

This has a led backlit LCD
Longer battery life
multi touch touchpad
weighs almost half of what the macbook does

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by jaylaa
by jaylaa on Wed 16th Jan 2008 04:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by jaylaa"
jaylaa Member since:
2006-01-17

Well let me take a shot at this:

This has a led backlit LCD
Longer battery life
multi touch touchpad
weighs almost half of what the macbook does

Fair enough. I guess I just don't think those features justify the things that it lacks compared to the regular Macbook (even if they were the same price). But, to each his own.

Edited 2008-01-16 04:25 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by jaylaa
by VManOfMana on Wed 16th Jan 2008 05:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by jaylaa"
VManOfMana Member since:
2006-11-01

I think the reason for that is that it is not supposed to be a Macbook.

Recently when I was in a trip one of the persons I met had two computers:
* a Macbook
* an Asus EePC

The iBook was his 'workstation'. Being a fighting game gathering, it was used to run BootCamp with different of the games we were playing during the event (Melty Blood, Immaterial and Missing Power, etc). However, once we were not playing, his Macbook would stay in the hotel room, and he would have the EePC in his bag. The EePC would go everywhere else, loaded with music, videos, or would just browse the web or check videos on Youtube in the hotel's wifi.

This is the kind of market the Macbook Air is looking for: not your real computer, but an extension of your computer, where you load whatever you are going to use while on the go, and stay connected with wifi whenever it is available. The internet access in a lot of places is wifi only afterall. Apple goes and makes this mobility more viable with RemoteDisc (allowing maintenance without using an external optical drive), wireless iTunes store (again for on-the-go), and the like.

This is why movie rentals can be genius. You are in a hotel. You are bored. You want to watch a movie. Many hotels have crappy TV and rental games. Option 1: look for a blockbuster or the like (assuming you have membership). Option 2: video on demand if the hotel allows it. Option 3: pull out your laptop. You feel like watching a movie you don't have in your library? Rent it, and with HD available. Sure, there are other 'questionable' ways to obtain your movies, but the Apple way is still very appealing with their straightforward way of doing things.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by jaylaa
by jaylaa on Wed 16th Jan 2008 13:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by jaylaa"
jaylaa Member since:
2006-01-17

This is the kind of market the Macbook Air is looking for: not your real computer, but an extension of your computer, where you load whatever you are going to use while on the go, and stay connected with wifi whenever it is available.

Ok, well if it's not meant to be a "real computer" it shouldn't cost real computer dollars. Now, I'm not saying that the tech in there is overpriced since I'm sure it was hard work cramming it in that package, just that it's a lot of money for a 2nd for-play laptop.

I had the silly idea that a 2nd on-the-side, weaker-speced computer would be cheaper than your main computer. So, sure, if my main computer were a several thousand dollar Mac Pro, then this Air would fit right in. And I guess it's probably people like that who will buy it. Fine.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by jaylaa
by Moochman on Wed 16th Jan 2008 18:23 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by jaylaa"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Spot-on. If we're going to look at this laptop as "just a companion", even the Foleo was a better deal. Don't charge real-laptop dollars if it's not a real laptop.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by jaylaa
by aesiamun on Wed 16th Jan 2008 23:23 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by jaylaa"
aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

I've seen mention of the Macbook Air as a subnotebook.

This may or may not be the case, because the screen is larger. But aren't subnotebooks more expensive then comparable laptops themselves?

Reply Score: 2

Meh
by optimusg4 on Wed 16th Jan 2008 03:22 UTC
optimusg4
Member since:
2005-07-06

A 4200 RPM PARALLEL hard drive? Really? And $700 more than the base MacBook? Yawn.

Reply Score: 0

It's a great notebook!
by cmost on Wed 16th Jan 2008 03:46 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

Personally, I think Apple has hit a home run with this notebook. So what if it's not the most powerful on the market?!? Who actually utilizes the full power of their workstations anyway? Power users maybe, Joe Blow who uses his PC for basic web surfing, light office tasks and e-mail - definitely NOT. Some people bitch if you hang them with a new rope! Six months from now, when the majority of big name notebook vendors are copying Apple's design, everyone will be falling all over themselves to praise the marvel of innovation these copy-cat machines are. Give me a break!!

Reply Score: 1

RE: It's a great notebook!
by Soulbender on Wed 16th Jan 2008 09:31 UTC in reply to "It's a great notebook!"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Power users maybe, Joe Blow who uses his PC for basic web surfing, light office tasks and e-mail - definitely NOT.


Joe Blow can buy an eeePc for $1200 less.

Reply Score: 8

RE: It's a great notebook!
by jabbotts on Wed 16th Jan 2008 15:38 UTC in reply to "It's a great notebook!"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"
Who actually utilizes the full power of their workstations anyway?
"

I do

Reply Score: 3

protagonist
Member since:
2005-07-06

I love it when people who are obviously not part of the group a piece of gear is aimed at come up with all kinds of reasons it will fail. This same guy probably said the iPod would flop and the Zune would be an iPod killer.

Would I buy one? No. But just because it does not meet my needs I am not going to predict it will fail miserably. Only time will tell if he is right, but I suspect it will sell more units than the author thinks.

Reply Score: 4

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, it's always rather convenient to use the "target market" argument to play down a product's limitations, isn't it? The fact is, I WOULD be in the target market, if it had one or two more USB ports and let me upgrade the hard drive.

It's rather funny when I reflect on it: I'm in the target market for just about every other laptop ever made, EXCEPT for this one....

Reply Score: 3

dont care if it will fail but...
by TechGeek on Wed 16th Jan 2008 04:55 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

The dell xps 1330 kicks this laptops ass. Yes the 1330 is a little bit thicker and weighs 3.9 lbs. But for the price of the MBA, you get the same led backlit screen, removeable battery, built in optical, ethernet, card slot, 2 usb ports, firewire, vga and hdmi, the ability to get 7200 rpm drives and the ability to get an geforce video card. I was hoping the new apple would be decent, but considering I run Linux, why would I bother with this offering. I was hoping for something more like the older 13 inch mac laptops.

Reply Score: 3

RE: dont care if it will fail but...
by croco on Wed 16th Jan 2008 12:59 UTC in reply to "dont care if it will fail but..."
croco Member since:
2005-09-16

Thanks man to bringung it to my attention! Just compared those two in configuration I would consider to buy. Prices are for Germany:

Macbook Air:
Core 2 Duo 1,8GHz
64GB SSD
2GB RAM
1 USB
No ethernet
No card reader
Price: 2.868,00€

Dell XPS M1330
Core 2 Duo 2,00GHz
64GB SSD
2GB RAM
2 USB
Ethernet
Card reader: 8 in 1
Price: 1.749,00€

Dell is a little bit heavier (4 lbs). So for me I see no single reason to buy relatively underpowered Macbook Air for more than thousand euro more.

Reply Score: 3

netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't know where you saw the prize of the Dell XPS M1330 with SSD but a SSD means +1200 extra here in Europe

http://tinyurl.com/26v8fl

The prize of the Dell with SDD will be around 2400 euro.

I think people who can shell out 2400 euro most likely are able to pay 2800 euro as well.

Personally i like the design of the AIR better. And thereis of course OSX instead of Vista.

Reply Score: 2

croco Member since:
2005-09-16

I took the price from dell.de online shop. The price is still 1.749,00 € (checked right now).

More Dell advantages: you can expand RAM to 4GB for 310€ and upgrade Videocard to nVidia® GeForce 8400M GS (128 MB) for 89€. Not sure if this long link will work, but here is it:

http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/xpsn...

If not - just go to dell.de ;-)

Reply Score: 2

croco Member since:
2005-09-16

P.S. You took the 2,2GHz processor (costs 110€ more on German dell) and nVidia card (+89€) already. However I can't see how you can change it in Nederland dell shop.

Here once again Dell XPS M1330 2GHz with 64GB SSD and so on for 1.749,00€:

http://tinyurl.com/2xhu5t

Reply Score: 2

There is indeed a market for this
by Clinton on Wed 16th Jan 2008 05:01 UTC
Clinton
Member since:
2005-07-05

Perhaps most detractors here are the kinds of people who generally stay home to work on their computers. Apple has made the Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, and iMac for those people.

Some of us have to travel the world on consulting trips. Believe me, I would much rather carry around a MacBook Air (especially the one with the solid state drive since I've had drives go bad due to bouncing around in planes, trains, and automobiles) on airplanes than any other laptop. Light is everything.

For the work I do, I would definitely buy one of these. I'm sure others are in the same boat.

Also, Apple has solved one of the greatest problems with ultra-portable laptops. Installing stuff. I hate carrying around the external DVD player for my dinky Sony laptop. The ability to wirelessly connect to another machines DVD/CD drive is outstanding. That feature looks like it works well too.

It seems a lot of people are complaining about the specs of the machine, but I think Apple has not only put together a decent ultra-portable laptop, but they have worked to solve many of the problems inherent with such products as well.

Reply Score: 3

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I think you're right. Even if this thing has a shorter than average shelf life, the type of person who would be interested in this machine can probably afford to buy a new one in 2-3 years anyway.

That being said, even if I were a world traveler with enough money to wipe my arse with, the lack of an ethernet port would really bother me. Lot of places and hotels still don't have wireless Internet access.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"
Also, Apple has solved one of the greatest problems with ultra-portable laptops. Installing stuff. I hate carrying around the external DVD player for my dinky Sony laptop. The ability to wirelessly connect to another machines DVD/CD drive is outstanding. That feature looks like it works well too.
"

I believe they call those Samba (or Windows or CIFS) shares and they've been around since the dawn of NFS. Apple didn't solve anything, they just decided to finally implement an old idea.

- Attack notebook to wifi network
- Share desktop reader drive
- Map shared reader drive to letter on notebook
- Insert disk (autostart will pop up even; if you go for that kind of thing)

I can't see the Apple process being any different though it may have a slicker GUI button for you too press.

Anyway, just a trick to keep in mind next time you don't want to lug your external reader around. Unless you can expense an Air before then.

osX can also connect to Samba/CIFS shares should you find yourself in need of a reader without another osX machine handy.

Reply Score: 2

Clinton Member since:
2005-07-05

Riiight. Just go compare the effort of setting up a Samba share over the mechanism Apple has implemented on this laptop and then get back with me.

I know all about CIFS and Samba. I worked on Novell's CIFS code for Netware, and I've been a Linux user since the first release of Slackware.

Apple isn't targeting me per se, but rather people who travel all over the place and don't want to carry a heavy machine. Just tell the average Keynote presenter to install and configure Samba (or even Windows Sharing for that matter). Believe me, Apple DID solve a problem here.

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

open filefinder
go -> connect to server
smb://machinename/
enter username and password if setup on samba share

?? not a whole lot of difficulty. I think I did mention that Apple probably has a much prettier button to push for there driveshare thing but I'm not seeing a real difference beyond that. My wife has no issue connecting to the house NAS box and she makes a point of being the uninterested black sheep daughter of an IT family.

Apple may make the process more pretty but it's still inventing something it's own OS already does.

Reply Score: 1

Two biggies
by nzMM on Wed 16th Jan 2008 05:45 UTC
nzMM
Member since:
2006-06-22

No replacable batteries and no ethernet... otherwise i would have been interested.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Two biggies
by xophere on Wed 16th Jan 2008 05:48 UTC in reply to "Two biggies"
xophere Member since:
2006-07-19

Yeah I agree no Ethernet I hadn't noticed and with the limited lifetime of batteries you know you are going to be performing battery surgery in a year. Hopefully it is just a few screws and not some bazaar disassembly like some of there harddrive replacements are. I once had to pull like 40 screws just to swap a drive in a ibook.

Reply Score: 1

.
by 6c1452 on Wed 16th Jan 2008 05:57 UTC
6c1452
Member since:
2007-08-29

Ooh, I want one. But not enough to actually buy it.

That is one beautiful machine, but I can't help but feel that the featurefulness is a little out of whack. Just a little more and it could be a normal notebook, or quite a bit less and it could be a nearly affordable UMPC.

If Apple came out with an upscale eee - faster, a bit more more storage, better screen resolution, lots more sex appeal - for $999 then I (and I'll bet a few million other people) would definitely be an early adopter. The Air is pricy enough that, unless they're buying based on its' form factor and obscene amounts sexiness alone, users might be inclined to compare it with other products in their lineup -- and the Macbook compares very favorably when it comes to price vs power.

Guess I'll just sit back and hope they introduce a nano version.

Reply Score: 3

MacGod
Member since:
2006-03-24

I think, once again, that Steve Jobs has set this incredible mark for which he will undoubtably expect others to follow. I think the laptop has some great technological features and does break all barriers in style - but at what cost?

- Anemic Processor
- Anemic memory upgrades (compared to current MacBook)
- small/slow hard drive
- no Ethernet (not just a drop to 10/100, but totally gone)
- no hard drive

I do like the:
- The style and look
- the LED screen
- the large touch pad
- the metal case and backlit keyboard

But let's be honest here - I am writing this on a MacBook from last Spring - 2.0 GHz system, 2 GB of RAM, Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n and Superdrive. hmmmm.

Now - I think what he [Steve Jobs] has done will raise the bar for other makers, but I suspect their entries will address what a lot of us think are the deficiencies in this laptop.

Maybe a MacBook Pro 17" at 3/4 inch thick and 4 lbs...

My disclaimer about this - I have not seen it in person and will be making my way to S.F. tomorrow to view it in person and get an idea of what it is about - who knows - seeing it in person might be pretty cool.

Reply Score: 2

slight of hand
by orfanum on Wed 16th Jan 2008 07:23 UTC
orfanum
Member since:
2006-06-02

No typo in the title, but a bit of a pun.

Hmm. MBA=ENC (Emperor's New Clothes).

Enjoy wearing it while you may. You may shiver when the wind starts to blow though. Even the Leopardskin won't prevent that.

Reply Score: 2

Wowza...
by Tuishimi on Wed 16th Jan 2008 07:30 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

The Apple bashing didn't take long! (Alright, maybe bashing is too strong).

Reply Score: 2

re
by netpython on Wed 16th Jan 2008 07:37 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

Who would buy it?

I think that isn't an issue. Not everybody outweighs the pros and cons of hard and software. For most people the laptop is just a device. They hardly doubt wether the CPU clock cycle is too low. Let's face it, potential customers want to buy a laptop and fall for the design, and just buy it.

I can think of plenty of people who prefer to have a slim and sexy laptop on their buisiness desk in the office instead of a clunky brick. Personally i like the design of ferraris, audi TT and the R8 (The R8 interior design was used more or less in the car Will Smith drove in the movie I-Robot btw,).

http://autotelegraaf.nl/vanonzeredactie/?newsid=3017761

Amazing interior design.

I personally can't think of any Apple design i didn't like.

I would probably buy a Macbook Pro but i don't think it's a punishment to work and live with the Macbook AIR either.

Edited 2008-01-16 07:51 UTC

Reply Score: 2

burnttoy
Member since:
2006-07-28

Firewire is very, very popular amongst the music and graphics crowd. In fact (being one of them) I'd say the FW is absolutely essential. However, maybe that's not the market Apple are heading for with this. What that market is I'm still not yet sure.

TBH I think the machine is too big. Yes, it's slim but a 13.3" screen (plus bevel) does not make a nice small machine that would fit into a handbag or manbag. For now I'll stick with my (modded) Vaio T1XP.

Only 1 USB socket? This probably will get a bit annoying TBH especially trying to copy data from one external drive to another.

Reply Score: 2

The Air and the EeePC have it right
by Dasher42 on Wed 16th Jan 2008 08:44 UTC
Dasher42
Member since:
2007-04-05

Why do so many people expect a laptop like this to be the whole shebang? The criticisms of an 80GB HDD or a reasonable $1000 for the 64GB SSD don't sound right to me. You don't buy a laptop this size to hold all your movies to share out, you buy it to take it places. Keep your work and on-the-go material on the laptop, and buy a cheap hard drive enclosure - the Time Capsule or whatever else - and use that when you get home.

I don't buy a laptop to play games or rip DVDs, I buy it to be able to get things done and stay in contact on the internet. I have a MacBook Pro. It's been my best laptop yet, and I spend about ten hours a day on it as it is both my work and personal machine and it gets used hard. But you know what? I almost never use the DVD drive! I've been wondering when they would make a model that left it out, because what I really want is less weight, and more battery life.

Speaking of which, the other laptops did not all vanish in a puff of smoke. Those that don't want the MacBook Air can suit themselves, while people like me think that between the Air and the EeePC, we're finally getting the perfect companion to our home desktops and networks and NASes.

Reply Score: 6

your "pro" is not my "pro"
by jziegler on Wed 16th Jan 2008 09:08 UTC
jziegler
Member since:
2005-07-14

It seems, that people forget that not everyone has the same needs.

Since I already have a MBP, 6 months old, I'm not considering MBA right now. I definitely will, in the future (year, year and a half). Hopefully, SSD will become cheaper by then.

As a sysadmin with some management roles:
* glossy screen - no my favourite, but not really a problem
* no dvd drive - only really needed it for installing, can be solved by I cheap external one, wihich I already do have

* no fw - don't need it
* no HSDPA/3G - why would I want it? my phone has it and it speaks Bluetooth. So does MBA. Problem solved.

* one USB port - never actually needed more than one. What I use it for on the go is : usb keys, usb-to-serial. With the external dvd, I would need the USB for this as well, but that would sit on my desk. It can sit there with a USB hub as well

* non-replaceable battery - yes, sucks a bit. However by the time it's dead, it would be time for a new notebook anyway. I guess it was a compromise to keep the size small. Also less latches, screws and connectors - less things to break/fall off.

* no microphone input - no need for that

So in my opinion, it's a very good product.

Reply Score: 3

I'm getting tired already...
by nathbeadle on Wed 16th Jan 2008 09:20 UTC
nathbeadle
Member since:
2006-08-08

I know, it's not even been full day but already articles (such as this one) are popping up everywhere thinking they have a smart opinion when really they are missing the point and target audience of this laptop.

This article points to it having more ports, bigger hard drive, and so on. Do they really think Apple didn't think this through. People are still more than welcome to buy a MacBook for a cheaper price.

This laptop isn't designed to compete with something already in its product line and is not a laptop for everyone or even most. It's for the few that want something like this to tote around that basically need something bigger than an iPod Touch.

I think it's great to round out their product line, but PLEASE... stop the articles comparing it to regular laptops and picking it to pieces because it's not like one!!!

Reply Score: 2

RE: I'm getting tired already...
by Moochman on Wed 16th Jan 2008 18:33 UTC in reply to "I'm getting tired already..."
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

The "target audience" argument hardly explains why there's only one USB port... why didn't they make use of the other side of the machine? There's simply no explanation.

Reply Score: 3

nathbeadle Member since:
2006-08-08

Yes there is.... go to Starbucks, hit the library, spend an hour at an airport and look at those getting work done on the go with a laptop. You'll see someone working, generally with headphones on. You'll probably see a USB flash drive sticking out from the side on occasion.

That right there sums up the "target audience". Everyone starts talking about all these peripherals and having to carry a hub. Once you start talking about that, then this probably isn't your laptop. If this wasn't so expensive I'd want one for all my travels where I just want enough to check my mail in hotels and on the go, keep some documents and music with me, but also get some work done (hence the nice sized screen and keyboard) Alas I'll end up with an EeePC or something in a lower price range

Reply Score: 2

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually, I see a lot of people with a USB mouse AND a thumb-drive. And when they're at home, they might even want to use the USB mouse to drive the laptop to print a document from their USB stick to their USB printer! If Bluetooth versions of all of these devices were already the norm rather than the exception, and they all cost a normal price, then I wouldn't call one USB port insane. But that's not the world we live in.

Maybe this laptop will successfully spur the manufacture of more Bluetooth devices. Maybe that's Steve's secret plan. Maybe it'll work, maybe not. But--from a technical perspective--and a user-convenience perspective--I can think of no possible reason why only 1 USB port is able to be provided.

Edited 2008-01-16 19:00 UTC

Reply Score: 3

nathbeadle Member since:
2006-08-08

Good point and I agree with your last bit there. I'm sure down the road this will be viewed in probably the same sense as the original iMac and only having USB and no ADB or other ports. At the time it drove people nuts but as life went on suddenly it was in the norm... maybe by the summer most bluetooth mice will be fairly cheep and most printers will have wifi built in and suddenly one USB port won't be so frustrating.

Time will tell

Reply Score: 1

sanctus Member since:
2005-08-31

That's a wonderful evolution to get maximum radiation pollution.

Reply Score: 1

How could they loose it so totally..? lol
by Googol on Wed 16th Jan 2008 10:05 UTC
Googol
Member since:
2006-11-24

This thing is not for working, so everybody arguing you'd be in need of more RAM for the Adobe suit !! shouldn't be writing articles. The INQ got it absolutely right: This is for people sitting in Starbucks, and defining their personality through stuff like this, I might ad.

Of course there is nothing wrong with a small and light gadget, but for surfing, an EEE for 300 USD is so much more intelligent.

Reply Score: 4

Non-user-replaceble battery
by Jon Dough on Wed 16th Jan 2008 10:56 UTC
Jon Dough
Member since:
2005-11-30

The non-user-replaceable battery -- which is common among certain Apple products -- makes this a no-go for me. I seriously doubt style considerations require a non-user-replaceable battery; many other very stylish products have easily replaceable batteries.

I strongly suspect the non-user-replaceable battery is intended to help folks decide to replace the entire product rather than replace the battery.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Non-user-replaceble battery
by Googol on Wed 16th Jan 2008 15:09 UTC in reply to "Non-user-replaceble battery"
Googol Member since:
2006-11-24

Also, someone should read out the WEEE Directive to Apple legal and tech department. Conveniently, there is an English version.

Reply Score: 1

Careful now
by moleskine on Wed 16th Jan 2008 10:57 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

Few or none of the Mac Air Book's limitations are going to matter to a typical purchaser, and certainly not its eye-watering price (more than 1000 sterling in the UK). They'll shell out chump change or put it on the corporate tab, then have some lowly Mr Mac or IT functioniary sort out the rest.

As for you or me, well surely this machine needs to be handled and tested, explored tactilely, before any hint of a purchase arises. Most of us know nothing more of it than a marketing presentation and a few pics. That's a crap basis on which to consider any purchase.

Jobs seems obsessed with having the computer disappear into the screen so that eventually the computer is the screen. Since others usually follow where Apple leads, it will be interesting to see whether the Air Book's features are picked up more generally and filter down to the likes of Acer, Dell and Toshiba.

One final thing that someone picked up on from the presentation yesterday. The audience was full of suits. Apple these days is as much or more the darling of professional investors and hedge-funders as it is of those in the market for consumer electronics. While these people may be the ideal market for the Mac Air Book, the atmosphere of uncritical cheerleading and greedy hallelujahs they foster is a great way to lose touch with the wider world out there and how the vast majority of folks lead their lives and use their computers, phones and TVs. And boy, do these same investors turn psycho when the stock goes sour. Apple needs to be careful. Too much success and hanging out with the wrong kind of people can be as dangerous as too little.

Edited 2008-01-16 10:57 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Nice Chocolate doughnuts with sprinkles
by kaiwai on Wed 16th Jan 2008 11:22 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

But far too expensive than what I can afford; the based price in NZ$'s is NZ$2999 incl. GST.

The number of people who use it? very small. People claim the 'movers and shakers who travel around the world' will buy it? bull. These people have an umbilical cord to Microsoft - they can't shake their Windows/Office substance dependency. It brings to question - what is the whole point?

I'm sorry to say, but this is going to become yet another Cube fiasco; over promising something and what it can deliver to shareholders in terms of profits, and under delivering when the tyres hit the ground.

What can it do that the current crop of even the consumer level MacBook can't? I use my laptop every day when I got to university, meet with clients when I moonshine on the side, and travel up to Wellington. To claim that the MacBook is 'oh so heavy' quite frankly speaks more to be about individuals who are unfit and need to visit the gym to build up some muscles than any sort of genuine concern over the weight. As for the battery life, I routinely get 4 1/2 hours on this laptop when I'm connected to the university wifi network, so again, it just doesn't stack up.

Again, the number of people who want an ultra portable occupy such a small location, they could all fit into a telephone booth with enough room left for a four burner BBQ and a disco ball. It really is that small in numbers, but of course, on forums like this, Arstechnica, and Macrumors, they always sound more than what they really are. Again, its another example (along with those who talk about the xMac - headless Mac) who represent a small minority of end users.

Reply Score: 6

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm sorry to say, but this is going to become yet another Cube fiasco; over promising something and what it can deliver to shareholders in terms of profits, and under delivering when the tyres hit the ground.


There is one big difference between then (Cube) and now (Air). Back then, Apple was not even nearly as successful and 'ubiquitous' as it is now. I'm fairly sure Apple could take a human turd, stuff a C2D in there, and sell it as the 2nd coming of Christ, and people would flock to the Apple Stores to buy it.

So, this machine has everything in it to become another Cube, except for one thing: Apple is on a winning streak at the moment. This thing is going to sell like tits.

Reply Score: 1

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree with everything you said except for the part about the number of people who want ultraportables. I want an ultraportable. I know a lot of people who want ultraportables. As laptops begin to take the place of desktops and Wi-Fi becomes more and more widespread, people are becoming more and more aware of wanting to take their laptops with them with minimal effort.

The reason that the market for this product is small is not that it is an ultraportable. It is that in comparison to other ultra-portables, it is under-featured and rather bulky. By virtue of its size it is also all too easy to compare it with normal MacBooks, at which point most people realize how much of a better deal a normal MacBook is, and opt to buy that instead.

Edited 2008-01-16 18:49 UTC

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

But it still doesn't cover the fact that it is far too expensive. If for NZ$2999 (incl. GST) it included a SSD as standard, it would be a bloody awesome deal. But for $2999 you get an ultra-portable with a crummy slow hard disk of anaemic size, its just now going to work. Then add to the fact that SSD has a horrible life length and slow write speeds, I really do question the logic behind it. I question who actually uses it.

Yes, you have said that you will buy it - but how many 'you's' are there out there who are willing to spend such an atrociously high number - I only need to look at the economic conditions within the US, being Apple's largest market - unless the US government can pull out a miracle, the first thing people are going to cut back are frivolous spending that cannot be justified.

As for companies purchasing it, it brings out a whole new chestnut which I cannot stand. Companies who waste money which spend money hand over fist on the latest and greatest gizmo's, and unable to quantifiably justify the money being spent. Money simply being spend 'because that is everyone else does' rather than 'what is wrong with a standard laptop that is $1000 cheaper".

Edited 2008-01-16 23:12 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Kokopelli Member since:
2005-07-06

Then add to the fact that SSD has a horrible life length and slow write speeds, I really do question the logic behind it. I question who actually uses it.


Have you looked into any recent SSD? MTBF on recent SSDs is in the range of 2,000,000 hours for the Samsung 64GB SATA II drive. I would not really classify that as a horrible life length. And while write speeds on an SSD will not compare to 7200 RPM 2.5" drives I suspect the speed would exceed that of the 4200 1.8" drive in MBPA by default.


Slash gear puts the write speed of the Samsung at 37 MB/s. If this holds up then that puts the SSD as faster than most 4200 RPM 2.5" drives and in the middle of the pack compared to 5.6K drives. Not nearly as bad as you imply. I guess time will tell what the performance of the SSD in the MBA is, but the gap between SSD and traditional HD performance is narrowing.

EDIT: interesting read on the subject http://www.storagesearch.com/ssdmyths-endurance.html

Edited 2008-01-17 01:19 UTC

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Thank you for the link - but it still doesn't address the issue regarding writing; especially when you consider how swap operates and the constant writes and re-writes. If it were just a matter of 'writes' then it wouldn't be so bad, but when you take into account swap, it goes sour.

I'm not saying that SSD is bad, I'm saying that the price demanded for these SSD are too expensive; if it were NZ$200 for a 64GB drive, I'd replace my MacBook drive tomorrow, but it terribly expensive right now.

Reply Score: 2

Kokopelli Member since:
2005-07-06

Thank you for the link - but it still doesn't address the issue regarding writing; especially when you consider how swap operates and the constant writes and re-writes. If it were just a matter of 'writes' then it wouldn't be so bad, but when you take into account swap, it goes sour.


Again, yes it does.
1) Macs do not use a swap partition but a swap file, so the writes would get spread across the disk.
2) What do you plan to do on this kind of machine where you would be going to swap regularly with 2GB of RAM? My 12" PPC MBP with 1GB of RAM and 52 days of uptime has 927 page outs over 4-5 hours use a day. This includes ripping 2 movies to h.264 with handbrake. It would be even less often in Linux.

Open up activity monitor on your Mac and see what your page outs are at. If it is over 1000 a day you BADLY need more memory. If it is at 0 then you are not using swap at all. You are not going to do "constant writes and re-writes" to swap unless you are burning through all the RAM with regularity. This is not a desktop replacement where you would be doing heavy photo or movie editing, especially given the HD size.

I'm not saying that SSD is bad, I'm saying that the price demanded for these SSD are too expensive; if it were NZ$200 for a 64GB drive, I'd replace my MacBook drive tomorrow, but it terribly expensive right now.

There are arguments against SSD, price being foremost. But endurance and speed are not as much of a factor in modern SSD drives as you seem to think. SSDs are expensive but the price is dropping. The price Apple is asking for it right now is well within normal range for such a drive at this time. I realize you would like it to be cheaper, we all would. That does not make it overpriced for the market.

Reply Score: 2

broken_symlink Member since:
2005-07-06

it is probably possible to install windows on it you know. so i don't see any problem with a windows only person buying one.

Reply Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

If you're going to rip off Mac OS X and replace it with Windows - you might as well just go out and purchase a machine already with Windows on it.

Installing Windows on a Mac is like taking out the engine of a Maserati and replacing it with a engine from a Lada.

Reply Score: 2

Not quite yet
by Kokopelli on Wed 16th Jan 2008 11:26 UTC
Kokopelli
Member since:
2005-07-06

I was considering the MBA before I knew the specs but now I think I will wait. Not for the reasons listed though.

- Processor speed: 1.8 GHz is in line with the core2 LV processors. The L7700 is 1,8 GHz w/ 17W TDP, the MBA chip is 1.8 GHz w/ 20W but smaller size, So it is the fastest chip in its line.

- Hard Drive: This is targeting the ultraportable market. The 80GB hard drive is fine in that market, though a 1.8" drive does present a performance bottleneck. This is a compromise I disagree with, but I do not see it as unreasonable for an ultraportable. The only thing I can see there is the possible intent to go to SSD only in the future.

- No microphone - bluetooth
- No wireless broadband - bluetooth which by the way I prefer over having a built in adapter.
- 1 USB support - acceptable on an ultraportable though I would have preferred 2 or better yet a wireless usb hub built in.


Last year I would have considered it even though I prefer the 11-12" form factor. But with the Menlow platform due out this quarter and products using it due out q2 I am going to wait and see what Lenovo and others come up with.

Reply Score: 3

Girls Like it
by rramalho on Wed 16th Jan 2008 11:41 UTC
rramalho
Member since:
2007-07-11

I was at a dinner at a friends house yesterday. I went to look at the Apple website and looked at the specs. My girlfriend and her friends started to say "oooohhhh sooo sweeeeet" - they just didn't care if it was underpowered, weird or whatever.

It's not something to cry for, in my humble opinion, but it's a sexy device, made by Apple.

It may well be a piece of crap, but we will see a lot of them around.

Reply Score: 2

I'm usually first in line
by deathshadow on Wed 16th Jan 2008 11:43 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

to take potshots at apple for overpriced shit hardware... especially when people hold up their "art ***" form over function as good design...

But this article has to be some of the worst misinformation I've ever seen about a product. It HAS wireless, the CPU isn't slow compared to say... all those Celeron M ultraportables - which is the market this seems to be targeting... While I agree the fixed RAM is a bad idea, it's apple - not exactly a shocker that upgrading is called 'pitch it in the trash' in 3-5 years.

I do think we're getting a bit TOO obsessive on form factor and weight - Personally I'd probably find the keyboard on this thing cramped and uncomfortable, but I say that about full size laptops. I'd KILL for a full travel keyboard - I've been half tempted to kitbash my own laptop starting with a IBM Model M as by baseline.

But then, I used to lug around a TRS-80 Model 4P and before that a Kaypro II - these people bitching about todays 'full size' laptops being too big and heavy can kiss my...

Reply Score: 1

Hard drive
by Gorgak on Wed 16th Jan 2008 13:32 UTC
Gorgak
Member since:
2007-05-30

Is it just me who read the sentence "80GB iPod hard drive being used as a system drive" and thought that you were supposed to use an external iPod for storage?

In retrospect I feel kind of stupid - of /course/ they can't expect people to accept having to use and iPod together with the computer - but I suppose I was sufficiently startled by the small size of the thing that I was ready to believe pretty much anything. ;-)

Besides, "how can Apple really expect people to fit their iTunes library, digital videos and so on onto 80GB?" doesn't make a lot of sense - I'm perfectly happy with 80GB in my Macbook.

Edited 2008-01-16 13:34 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Crazy Talk
by fretinator on Wed 16th Jan 2008 14:41 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

A Core2Duo with 4MB cache (most low-end ones have 2MB), 2GB Ram, ultra-light, 5 hour battery life - it's sounds awesome. To waste time comparing it to some 100 pound "transportable" is foolish. Obviously there are tradeoffs making a device this small, but I think they made the right ones. As an older person, I'm glad they managed to squeeze in a 13.3 " screen. And I believe engineering counts - and this is Apple's strength. If I had the money, I'd get one. Until then I will have to gaze through the window longingly...

Reply Score: 2

I would, if I could...
by Gregory Isaacs on Wed 16th Jan 2008 16:09 UTC
Gregory Isaacs
Member since:
2006-06-30

...buy it, I mean ;)

Reply Score: 1

Windows Premium required
by sanctus on Wed 16th Jan 2008 18:36 UTC
sanctus
Member since:
2005-08-31

If I want all the functionality I have with OS X, I need Windows Premium witch is a 150$ extra on Dell or Sony.

So comparing Hardware side by side ins't enought.

Reply Score: 2

That's easy
by aliquis on Thu 17th Jan 2008 00:08 UTC
aliquis
Member since:
2005-07-23

The people who have asked for a 12" Macbook Pro the whole time.

Small but premium.

Reply Score: 1

air
by dizzey on Thu 17th Jan 2008 00:50 UTC
dizzey
Member since:
2005-10-15

i dont think that it is ultra portable. i own a macbook and when i have trouble to fit it with my packing it is not the thicknes that is the problem, it's the width 13.3" is pretty big. when i need a small laptop the screensize has to be smaller like 11". cant think at any moment where my mackbook would not fit and the air would.

and i would be really scared of packing such a thin laptop in a cramped bag i guess it would break easier.
a 12" macbookpro would be better for my needs.

but then i dont need to whine becus im guessing im not the traget audience for this product. my motto is if im going to be carefull hand handle stuff with silk gloves i migth as well buy somthing cheap, or i can just buy somthing expensive and dont need to think about how i handel it. in booth scenarios things have about the same life length

Reply Score: 1

Who needs slim anyway?
by Glynser on Sat 19th Jan 2008 17:42 UTC
Glynser
Member since:
2007-11-29

I just can't undestand why it might be such a great thing to have an ultra-slim notebook. Is it really more portable that way? I don't think so, I carry my notebook around in a bag together with a mouse and other stuff, so I don't care how thick it is.

And having it on a table, I actually believe it might be a little weird to have such a slim thing on your desk. I might fear that the monitor is heavier and pulls it off ;)
And I can't imagine that those keys are good to type on. There are already too many bad notebook keyboards around (and I already hate the Apple desktop keyboards), so I can't imagine they are comfortable.

I just don't get the attractiveness of that. Also with TVs, why do they have to be so slim? What's so cool about being able to put it 3 centimeters nearer to the wall?! It's so crazy, it's marketing, but what's the use of it?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Who needs slim anyway?
by sbergman27 on Sat 19th Jan 2008 18:18 UTC in reply to "Who needs slim anyway?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

As with much of Apple's mystique, it's an image thing. The young hip guy in the Mac commercials pretty well sums up what they're going for. Maybe the quality is good. But I'd as soon have 2 Compaqs as one of these. Maybe I'm just too old to be young and hip? ;-)

Agreed on the limited value of slim. By the time you pack it up well enough and with the rest of your gear, you'd likely never notice the difference.

Edited 2008-01-19 18:29 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Who needs slim anyway?
by Glynser on Sat 19th Jan 2008 18:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Who needs slim anyway?"
Glynser Member since:
2007-11-29

Well, Apple seams to do stuff only because they CAN. They always want to do the smallest stuff (like MacMini and so on), only to prove they CAN. But not because it's highly desirable ;)

Reply Score: 1