“Apple’s engineers know that there’s more to good design than just a spec-sheet full of numbers. It’s the sheer elegance of the Macbook Air’s slimline design that catches the eye, and when you feel how comfortably the machine balances in the palm of one hand you can’t help but wonder if your credit card will stretch to buying one,” Cliff Joseph reports for Personal Computer World. “There’s no doubt that Apple has hit the ultra-portable nail right on the head. But shrinking the unit down to this size has inevitably involved compromises in other areas.”
“Anyone looking for a powerful laptop to replace their desktop PC or Mac should probably look elsewhere as the Macbook Air simply doesn’t have the raw horsepower for that,” Joseph reports.
MacDailyNews Take: Hence the existence of Apple’s MacBook Pro.
Joesph continues, “Even so, it is more than adequate for running ordinary business software such as Microsoft Office, surfing the web and handling your email.”
“You will, however, probably end up spending a bit more on optional extras for the Macbook Air. The ultra-thin design leaves no room for a DVD drive at all, so watching DVDs is out of the question – unless you pay £65 [US$99] for the optional external DVD drive,” Joseph reports.
MacDailyNews Take: Why waste battery power spinning shiny plastic discs (and carrying them around) when there are far better ways of watching content on the go? Bring your iPod along and, while you’re at it, enable Disc Mode. Or – here’s a daring move – put a couple movies on the MBA’s drive.
Joseph continues, “There’s only a single USB port for connecting peripherals… while the lack of Ethernet is just daft.”
MacDailyNews Take: Targus’ Ultra Mini USB 2.0 4-Port Hub costs $19. Apple’s USB Ethernet Adapter connects to MBA’s USB 2.0 port and provides an RJ-45 connector which supports 10/100BASE-T Ethernet for $29. Each items weighs about an ounce. Any more meaningless complaints?
Joseph continues, “Omissions such as the lack of DVD drive and the non-replaceable battery will mean that the Macbook Air simply won’t be suitable for some people. And it’s not powerful enough to replace a desktop PC or Mac. However, the sheer size-zero slimness of the unit is hard to beat, so if portability is your top priority then the Macbook Air could be just what you’re looking for.”
MacDailyNews Take: If you want to carry an extra battery around, you want a MacBook or a MacBook Pro. If you’ll still determined, third-parties do make external batteries that plug into MBP’s and MB’s MagSafe power connector. External batteries that likewise support MBA should be arriving shortly.
Full review here.