Hello World

The Reality of The Macbook Air

By  , in , posted: 16-Jan-2008 15:39

Please, Please, Please, Step out of the reality distortion field.

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I'm going to break this down bit by bit.

The footprint: The footprint of this thing is exactly that of a Macbook. This to me is really what matters in an ulta-portable, and having the footprint so large really questions the point.

The ""Thinness"": It is being advertised as the 'worlds thinnest laptop'. but really, it's only as thin as it's thickest part. Which is .76" (19.3mm in real units). I don't actually see a reason for having a superthin laptop, you may be able to slide it into nice little gaps. But it's a mac, and alot of mac users are quite pedantic, they'll put this in a super padded laptop bag.

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Expandability: Seriously? You can't even upgrade the ram. This thing is sealed like an iPod. No user replaceable battery, no way to upgrade the hard drive.

The Hard Drive: 1.8" 80GB drive. If you're a fan of slow hard drives then this will be a feature, but for the rest of us...eh..?

The SSD Drive: 64GB, costs you an extra $2000. What's the point? The lifespan of SSD drives is appaling, and at the price...The Macbook Air would be costing you $5000 (w SSD). For that price you could buy yourself an iMac and Macbook pro.

The Screen: Probably the nicest part. LED backlit 13.3" 1280x800. I just hope that Apple hasn't used low quality panels again.

The Speaker: Yes, speaker. It only does mono audio, which is emitted from the keyboard.

The Keyboard: Very nice, backlit.

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Multi-Touch Trackpad: Functionality is quite limited at this stage. Will be nice to see what developers come up with though.

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No built in optical drive: You are able to use the optical drives of other macs on your network, or buy the external superdrive for $99 US.

Ports: 1x USB 2, 1x 'Micro-Dvi' and 1x Line out. Hope you don't need to plug anything in..


The weight: 1.36kg vs 2.27kg of the Macbook and 2.45kg of the Macbook pro.

The Battery: Apple claims 5hours of battery life...We'll see if this stacks up. There is also no way for you to swap the battery out if you carry a spare, as it's fully sealed.

The CPU: Core 2 Duo 1.6Ghz or 1.8Ghz. Hmm...if it were a true ultraportable then they would be great.

The GPU: Echo...echo...It uses integrated graphics, intel x3100.

Remote: Does it include the Apple remote? I don't think so.

The Price:

Macbook Air $2990
Macbook $1848
Macbook pro $3390.

It seems to me that the Macbook Air is really just an expensive fashion item for a niche market.
That's my take on it.

Other related posts:
Jailbreak your 1.1.3 or 1.1.4 iPod Touch.
My iPod Touch 1.1.3 Jailbroken Gallery
How to Upgrade iPod Touch To Jailbroken 1.1.3

Comment by ChrisGNZ, on 16-Jan-2008 22:08

After using a Toshiba Portege R100 (probably the thinest laptop I was aware of until the Macbook Air came along) I can attest that the ultra small hard disks are *slow*.

Thus I would *only* consider getting a Macbook Air if it came with a Solid State Drive.

There was quite a heated and very interesting discussion on the reliability, performance, and life-span of Solid State Disks on Slashdot quite recently: http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/01/14/1454258

The general consensus seemed to be that SSD are damn quick for reads, and with typical everyday use, should last at least 10 years. Be sure to have enough RAM that you don't need to use a Pagefile, and you'll be sweet.

Damn I'm lucky if my currently mechanical hard disks last more than 5 years.  I just can't wait for SSD to get lot cheaper!

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