Engadget reviews Apple’s MacBook Air: thinnest, sexiest laptop around today

“It fits in a manila folder, you can slide it under a door, and if you threw it hard enough you could probably chop someone in half with the thing. It’s the thinnest, and if we may say so, sexiest laptop around today: the MacBook Air,” Ryan Block writes for Engadget.

“It’s hard to take lightly (har) the purposeful design that went into the Air, it’s simply and without a doubt the most beautiful laptop we’ve seen in a while,” Block writes.

“There are a lot of things that the Air gets right, and a decent amount of horsepower is one of ’em. Apple didn’t take the easy route and go with an etiolated Ultra Low Voltage (read: ultra low performance) chip, they actually pushed Intel to repackage a slower version of its full-on Core 2 Duo processor. We were a little disappointed when Steve announced this wasn’t the new power-efficient, lower-heat 45nm Penryn chip design, but in the time we’ve played with the Air, it’s still rarely managed to output enough heat to raise an eyebrow. This is actually a laptop that belongs on your lap — without any fear of sterility. Of course, as our Mac-on-Mac benchmarks showed, the 1.6GHz chip is still a little on the slow side, but the Air is by no means unusable. It’s not really one of Steve’s ‘screamers’ — but ultraportables aren’t really intended to be,” Block writes.

“The Air isn’t supposed to be everything for everyone. For those in need of a machine that masters basics in a super thin, light form-factor, and who have the coin to pay for that ultraportability, the Air absolutely nails it like few others,” Block writes.

“Apple’s learned to take the next step in miniaturizing their portable computers. While not all Mac users are going to stand in line to get this latest machine, Apple is doubtless welcomed back into the ultraportable laptop market by the technology world. Perhaps the largest side-effect of the Air won’t be ditching optical drives, though; for the rest of Apple’s consumer base it’s now just a matter of time before other Mac laptop lines benefit from the technical and engineering advances that made this thing so thin and light. Give us the lovechild of the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro, and it’s all over,” Block writes.

Full article here.

66 Comments

  1. Well yeah, it fits in a manila folder, you can slide it under a door if you so desire, but that’s about all it’s good for!

    Odds are that it won’t survive a slight drop that a MacBook will and I can’t wait to hear the horror stories from the GB!

    I’ll buy a MacBook instead—more for my money. Not as slim and sexy, but built like a tank compared to the MacBook Air!

  2. Engadget concludes (which MDN left out):
    “The Air is a tough call. On the one hand it proposes to be a no-compromises ultraportable, but on the other hand it compromises many (but not all) the things road warriors want. We’re all about removing unnecessary frills and drives (we rejoiced the day the original iMac bucked the floppy), but laptops are increasingly becoming many users’ primary — often only — machines, which is why the Air’s price doesn’t do it any favors, either. It’s hard to justify almost two grand for a second laptop (or a third machine) just for travel needs — and even then, that’s only easily done if all your data lives in the cloud. Given those sacrifices and that higher-end sticker, it’s more than likely not going to replace most peoples’ current workhorse laptop.”

  3. In Japan, miniaturization is a benefit that a significant part of the market values and will pay for.

    In the western world, the thinness will likely be seen merely as a feature, not a benefit. Still, it will bring more traffic into the stores, just to see it. The curious may well walk out with another machine.

  4. It fits in a manila folder…

    Not advised, it might get mailed by the office gofer.

    if you threw it hard enough you could probably chop someone in half with the thing

    Odd Job with his flying hat already has that job covered. Unless your willing to challenge him to a duel?

    It’s the thinnest, and if we may say so, sexiest laptop around today.

    I say not. That title goes to my girlfriend, a current French model.

    “Here eat something you poor girl”

  5. I don’t understand why people complain when Apple gives customers another choice. The previously existing choices are excellent, with the MacBook and MacBook Pro. Apple provides another distinctly different choice without taking away the existing choices; that’s even better.

    I can see how I could use a MacBook Air as my only Mac. Most of the software I use these days gets installed through a download. In a few years, I think most laptops will save weight and volume by not having a permanently attached optical drive.

  6. “Odds are that it won’t survive a slight drop that a MacBook will and I can’t wait to hear the horror stories from the GB!”

    and you know this because…..?

    seriously, what god died and made you all knowing?

  7. You guys can have yer boney little stick figure models.
    Me, I want a REAL woman. That’s why my favorite mistress is an Italian model. She’s stacked like a brick shithouse.

    You may have heard of her. The name is Alotta. Alotta Fagina.

  8. @ken1w

    Your post is the first sensible thing I’ve read about the MBA.

    Clearly this isn’t for everyone. I see it as the direction laptops are heading. So much is downloaded over wifi. The external drive is there WHEN it’s needed ( new CD, burn DVD)
    It’s laughable when everyone writes that this is supposed to encompass everything a desktop does (come on, play game like unreal???) I really read that somewhere.
    This is going to sell like crazy. Wait until this comes down into the macbook price range and then a Macbook air(pro) comes out.
    Lot of possibilities. Not in my price range but desirable.

  9. Every review of this thing that I read they always have a line about “what roadwarriors want” or how the air isn’t up to snuff for the average “roadwarrior.” This is the classic straw-man argument and I don’t see why people don’t see it as such.

    I asked five people at work last week what a “roadwarrior” was to them, and they all described the guy with the thinkpad and a couple of spare batteries and fifteen peripherals. You kow the guy with the useless portable printer that he carries around and fights with in his hotel room, and the huge bag with fifty miles of cables and power adapters.

    The Air is NOT meant for “roadwarriors” it’s a consumer portable like the MacBook. It’s not a Pro machine, it’s not a “travel the world” machine. It’s not for the geeked out “roadwarriors” that are writing these reviews. It’s made for regular folks.

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