“The MacBook Air isn’t designed to be a desktop replacement system, and it doesn’t have desktop-like specs, unlike the MacBook Pro (see Tom Yager’s review, “The best notebook you can buy”) and other 2.4GHz-plus Core 2 Duo laptops on the market,” Paul Venezia reports for InfoWorld. “Could I live without a bevy of ports and a DVD drive? Could I use the Air to do real work?”
“In order to find out, I bought one and used it to write this review. In many ways, the Air has caused me to rethink some of my preconceived notions about what I need from a computer (see my “Deep End” blog post on that topic),” Venezia reports.
In an age when you can still get a laptop with a parallel port, Apple has created a laptop with no legacy ports, even deleting FireWire from the specs. There’s also no built-in optical drive. Many reacted to this with disdain, decrying the lack of an internal optical drive, fixed RAM, and limited ports as being too limited and artificially handicapping the system. I’ve come to realize that I don’t think that’s the case at all. When I thought about it, I don’t really need any of those things on a daily basis, and when I do, it’s rare. Perhaps desktops need lots of ports, but not laptops — not any more. In a time when I can buy a 16GB USB2 flash drive for under $80, why would I bother to carry DVDs and CDs? If I don’t use those, why do I need the drive? If I need to transfer files between systems, I can use wired or wireless Ethernet, or that USB flash drive. – Paul Venezia,, “The MacBook Air finds its Nietzsche,” February 10, 2008
“It’s unfair to classify the MacBook Air as a laptop. It’s not, unless you’re Mini Me. It’s an ultraportable,” Venezia reports.
“I figured the best place to work with the Air would be a coffee shop, which is essentially its native environment. Within five minutes of sitting down and joining the free Wi-Fi network, one of the three people that had been eyeing me came over and said, simply, ‘Wow.’ The other two then came over and after five minutes of the Air being passed around, hefted, and turned over and over, the general consensus was still ‘Wow.’ One woman brandished a Dell Latitude like a dirty diaper and announced that it was time for a change,” ” Venezia reports.
“The MacBook Air is not perfect, but it sure is attractive and functional. If you’re looking for a desktop replacement system, get a MacBook Pro. If you’re looking for a basic laptop, get a MacBook. If you’re looking for supreme portability and more than reasonable performance, definitely get a MacBook Air,” Venezia reports.
Full review here.