PC Magazine: Use wireless peripherals with Apple’s MacBook Air

“Don’t let the MacBook Air’s limited wired connectivity cross it off your list—it can connect to plenty of wireless devices that will conserve its one USB port,” P.J. Jacobowitz reports for PC Magazine.

“Only one USB port and no Ethernet jack on the Apple MacBook Air!? Chillax. Don’t let this be a deal-breaker when it comes to purchasing the world’s thinnest notebook. This ultraportable laptop includes two other connectivity options—namely Bluetooth 2.1 and Draft-n Wi-Fi—for all your toys. Here are some Mac-friendly devices that the Air can talk to wirelessly. We’ll also show you how to connect wirelessly to some devices you may already own, so you can save the Air’s sole USB port for a rainy day,” Jacobowitz reports.

Jacobowitz covers:
• Linksys Wireless-N Gigabit Router
• Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus
• Apple OS X 10.5 “Leopard” (comes installed on the MacBook Air)
• Eye-Fi Card
• HP Photosmart D7460
• iSkin Cerulean RX & TX Combo

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Corinne” for the heads up.]


  1. Anyone know any particularly compelling reason the Air doesn’t have wireless USB? Would have saved a bit of the complaining, and put Apple in the tech-forward position it was with the Airport card in the clamshell iBook.

  2. @OpJ

    “Anyone know any particularly compelling reason the Air doesn’t have wireless USB?”

    Name one computer today that comes with wireless USB.

    I mean, come on people. If you go down these line of whining, why not ask why “the Air doesn’t come with wireless FireWire? How come the Air doesn’t have wireless DVI/HDMI?”

    Let’s please try to stay real, okay? I know USB will eventually go wireless, but the technology ain’t close to being finalized yet.

    That being said, I do hope the 2nd rev of the Air comes with either built in EDGE or 3G.

  3. The MacBook Air doesn’t have Firewire, right? So how do you transfer all your files and settings from your old Mac? It’s one of the feature I appreciate most and why I never have a reservation to upgrade.

  4. @MCG
    There’s no Firewire. You can migrate using the wireless connection but it’s really slow. Another option is the USB-to-ethernet adapter.

    Apple assumes that the Air will be a secondary computer and you won’t want to migrate everything over to it. It has only an 80 or 64 Gb hard drive.

    I’ve had mine for two weeks and it’s amazingly transparent with regards to wireless connection!

  5. my music goes through my Airport express
    my Canon printer uses Bluetooth
    my keyboard and mouse are Bluetooth
    I plan on getting a Time Capsule (500GB)

    In other words, an Air would fit perfectly in my (almost) current system. I would still buy the DVD player for movies on the road.

    The one drawback that I can’t overcome is no Firewire. And the only situation that could be affected by that would be if I get a hi-def camcorder and want to dump the info onto my laptop during a trip. That may be stretching it, but it is still a drawback that I have to consider.

    If that were overcome (Rev 1b?) I would be satisfied.

  6. what am I missing here?

    why would you buy “Linksys wireless “N” ” touter @ $250.00 and a 500GB HD for $200.00

    wouldn’t you get the same thing with a 500GB Time capsule @ $299.00?

    and I thought you could only use “Time Machine” wireless with the Capsule?

  7. ‘chillax’ is a compounding of ‘chill’ and ‘relax’. Its a bit dodgy, but who are we to stop a fellow Mac user from expanding the 800,000 words in English to 800,001?

    So, for those of you offended by the word, I can only say: Chillax!

    If you are going around in circles, then ‘chillaxial’ can be used…

  8. I dunno… there’s lots of inconsistencies in the article. Correct me if I’m wrong on the following:
    He says: “Once plugged into the Draft-n router and wirelessly connected to your MacBook Air, you’ll have a robust wireless data backup solution via OS X 10.5 Leopard’s “Time Machine” utility. “
    I think: Doesn’t Time Machine wireless backup only work on Time Capsules, direct-USB connected drives, and Hard drives physically connected to another Leopard-powered Mac?

    He says: “If you own a digital camera that uses a miniSD card, consider swapping the card out for an Eye-Fi Card”, followed by “Eye-Fi Card ($99 list). This 2GB microSD card has built in Wi-Fi…” further down the page.”
    I think: From the images on the linked page provided (PC Magazine review, no less) it sure looks like a standard SD card size.

    Finally, one obvious thing he missed was a Bluetooth mouse. Could be the wireless Mighty Mouse, or similar products from Logitech, Kensington or even Microsoft. But I’ll let him off on this, as it could be argued that you’d want to use the multi-touch trackpad instead.

    Now, if only Apple would release full Bluetooth Functionality on the iPhone then we could finally get wireless synchronisation! But then again, you’d still need to recharge the iPhone…. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” />

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