AppleInsider in-depth review of Apple MacBook Air: delicious iPod laptop

The MacBook Air “has captured the attention of customers both with its new form factor and with its controversial design tradeoffs engineered to deliver its thin profile and light weight,” Prince McLean reports for AppleInsider.

“Every product involves a series of engineering decisions. The Air trades off some high end features of the MacBook Pro to slim down in size and weight, and trades off the economy of the MacBook in order to deliver a desirable punch that matches its razor thin outline. In our review, we’ll look at three major categories of Apple’s engineering decisions that resulted in the Air: mobility, performance, and overall design,” McLean reports.

• Mobility looks at how the Air competes in terms of small physical size versus practical usability.
Performance examines its top speed capacity versus heat generation, fan noise, and battery life.
Design compares its offerings in rich features versus a delivery of pared down, elegant simplicity.

McLean reports, “Each area considers a balance between two extremes in desirable aspects. Every competing ultra mobile laptop alternative to the MacBook Air makes different design decisions that renders it more or less suitable for specific types of tasks.”

“There are plenty of things to list as missing in the Air, but in many cases, adding them in would involve both raising the price and watering down the slick physical sophistication Apple delivered in its attractive, simple, and well designed ultra mobile laptop. The MacBook Air isn’t a gamer PC, it isn’t a workstation replacement, it isn’t designed around optical media, and it won’t plug into your DV camcorder, gigabit switch, or FibreChannel SAN. It doesn’t have to. It’s the delicious looking iPod laptop from the maker of the iPhone, and Apple isn’t going to have any problem selling it,” McLean reports.

Full article here.

12 Comments

  1. @Cubert:

    Ever had a job where you need to be able to hook up to the network remotely to provide support 24/7? Computer, charger, 3G modem, pager (for redundancy), mobile phone, bag… they all have to be with you, ready to respond within 10 minutes for an entire week. Need to be able to remote control other computers as well, so XGA resolution gets tiresome real quick, which eliminates the tiniest, lightest ultraportables from the running.

    With that particular set of needs a pound here or there does make a difference, even for IT Support folks who moonlight as gym rats. The MBA would be very good for those particular needs, but it would be even better if the iPhone could be used as a BT Turbo 3G modem for it… (I can dream, can’t I?)

  2. “Come on, people! It’s only a few pounds difference!”

    go to your local Apple store and look at all 3 machines.

    it is a LOT more than a few pounds difference. and they were attracting a lot of attention when i was at my local store.

    Apple is going to sell more than a few of these, just wait.

  3. Duh! What is not to like. If it’s too expensive for you now, just wait a while. Clearly laptops and all other devices will just keep getting thinner and better until the screens and cicuit boards are flexible (both of which already exist). Apple is just the first to release such a product now, and there is currently a premium to pay, but it won’t be forever.
    What is the alternative? Laptops getting thicker each year?

  4. I can think of nine reasons not to buy a MBA versus MacBook Pro:

    1. Slower processor
    2. Smaller hard drive
    3. Accessing 19 screws just to change a battery
    4. Shorter than anticipated battery life
    5. Problems with some external monitors
    6. Slow downs with some Bluetooth devices
    7. Remote Disc failing to work with some routers
    8. inability to install Windows with Remote Disc
    9. Failure of some third party headphones to fit the recessed jack
    10, cost

    Problems 5, 6, 7, and 8 may be easily fixed. Problems 1, 2, 3, 4, and 9 are inherent in the current model design and unlikely to change. MBA hasn’t broken through the cost barrier yet, and I don’t see Apple reducing price soon.

  5. Remember when Apple dumped the floppy? I well remember the weeping and wailing, the gnashing of teeth and grinding of bones.

    And now the MB Air drops the optical.

    Well, I say so what. I think it’s delicious.

    And I want one.

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