The Courier-Mail: Apple’s MacBook Air ‘the answer for those who want ultimate portability and style’

“It’s 1998 all over again. Like the original iMac 10 years ago, Apple’s MacBook Air is simultaneously prompting gasps of astonishment at its industrial design, and sneers of derision at its missing features,” John O’Brien reports for The Courier-Mail.

“While the original iMac controversially dumped the floppy disk drive — a bold move that PC makers eventually followed — the MacBook Air does away with an internal CD/DVD drive, Ethernet and Firewire ports, all but one USB2 port, large hard disk capacity, removable battery and upgradable memory,” O’Brien reports.

“But when you hold it in your hands, none of that seems to matter. The razor-thin form factor is a thing of beauty. It’s 19.4mm at its thickest point and 4mm at its thinnest,” O’Brien reports.

“And when you use it, you realise just how dispensable many of those features are, for the sake of the ultimate in portability. ‘Less is more’ might be cliched these days, but Apple has again shown that it’s what you don’t include that can make the most elegant products,” O’Brien reports.

“What the critics don’t seem to get is that the MacBook Air is targeted at a specific class of user. Those for whom raw power and specs are all-important should look elsewhere, such as the MacBook or MacBook Pro. But for those who want the ultimate in portability and style, the MacBook Air is the answer,” O’Brien reports.

“The MacBook Air is truly a revolution in portable computing, and the increasing popularity of Apple’s laptops shows the company is making all the right moves in an increasingly mobile computing world,” O’Brien reports.

Full article — recommended — here.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, O’Brien gets it.


  1. “Raw power and specs are all-important”

    Funnily enough, my girlfriend said I had those last night.

    It put a smile on my face until I wondered what she was doing without…

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  2. Us folks in Brisbane are pretty o’fay!

    The MBA may even be better than a MBA from … oh say… Haaaaaaaarvard…
    Not but is a sweet machine.

    I have seen them floating around and they re the eyes catchers – since we do not have the iPhone here (legally). 🙁


  3. Nothing new here. It should be obvious by now that the only notable “features” of MBA are its lighter weight compared with the MacBooks and its “style”.

    One can hardly define this MacBook’s slower processor, smaller and slower hard drive, lack of FireWire port, lack of Ethernet port, lack of upgradeable memory, and user-unfriendly batter replacement “features”. All these slower, smaller, missing, and unfathomably complicated components are available for consumers at a similar price to current 15-inch MacBooks. Instead you do get MBA’s “portability” (objectively rated at 3 lbs) and “style” (purely subjective). No real value here for me.

    One can buy Ethernet dongles (when WiFi is out of range) and external SuperDrives to almost bring MBA up to the same level of functionality as a MacBook, Some have also suggested hauling an external battery should you believe that that the security of a power supply is essential. But hauling this separate and miscellaneous gear around seems to defeat the “portability” feature”.

    As I see it, a MBA is the technological equivalent of this intead of one of these instead of one of these.

    Some will insist that power, connectivity, upgradeability, and ease of use are immaterial; and that 3 pounds of visual appeal are more important to the consumer

    Ampar, Crabs, mark, Spark, Big Al. What do you think? Is the author correct in his assessment? Is MBA best suited for those who favor form over function, seek style over substance, prefer panache over power?

  4. Jeff, we need stories like this so people who get paid to write can say essentially the same things I was saying in answer to MBA critics here within days of the MBA’s introduction. Afib has it right, in a negative sort of way. The MBA is a second-rate, over-priced choice for a laptop … which it isn’t. As an ultraportable, it shines. He(?) thinks it’s all about “style”, but that isn’t always true – not even close – though that does matter for many purchasers. I’m still using an iBook – less power still – on a daily basis. Portables are not always all about power. When I want power, I go to my tower.

  5. A few years from now, I expect to see a computer very much like the MacBook Air (but much cheaper, obviously) in the backpacks of millions of students everywhere. The MBA is so cool that it’s hard to imagine anyone bashing it except to make themselves feel better about not being able to afford one.

  6. I know, I know, don’t feed the friggin’ troll. I just can’t help myself.

    The MBA really is the best sub notebook on the planet. I gave one a test drive and it was very smooth. It was a Ferrari. I, however, need a 4X4 Landcruiser. I use and love my MacBook Pro and my Cruiser, for that matter.

    If you don’t want a sub notebook then you don’t want a MBA. It’s that simple. But don’t be a total idiot and claim that the reduced feature set that makes it a sub notebook somehow also makes it unworthy of consideration.

    If you want a sub notebook you can afford it. If you wish to impress clients, the MBA is no more ridiculous a purchase than a Golf Club Membership, an Armani Suit or a Rolex Watch.

    Good old Afib, obviously, has no need to impress anyone and he/she is doing a very good job of it.

  7. Big AL;

    “If you want a sub notebook you can afford it.”

    Not so, Al. I want a lot of things that I can’t afford. Like a Mac Pro with two 30-inch LCD monitors. Like 99% of the humans on the plant, including you, I am compelled to budget my computer purchases.

    “If you wish to impress clients, the MBA is no more ridiculous a purchase than a Golf Club Membership, an Armani Suit or a Rolex Watch.”

    I agree wholeheartedly, Al, purchasing a MBA is absolutely ridiculous. Frankly, my clients are more interested in me saving them money rather than the bling I bring. They’re more interested in their cash and not my flash.

    “But don’t be a total idiot and claim that the reduced feature set that makes it a sub notebook somehow also makes it unworthy of consideration.”

    Actually, I considered the MBA, Al, and I concluded it was a complete waste of money. That was my original point, Al. I examined MBA carefully, weighed the advantages and disadvantages then concluded MBA had no feature set worth nearly 2 grand.

    “(MBA) was a Ferrari. I, however, need a 4X4 Landcruiser. I use and love my MacBook Pro…”

    Amazing, Al, after you considered all the MBA had to offer (or not) you came to the conclusion I did! That must make you a “total idiot”, too.

    “The MBA really is the best sub notebook on the planet.”

    That’s not saying much, Al. Why not be more specific and say that MBA is the best under-powered, overpriced, and feature poor notebook on the plant, but it’s pretty, very pretty. I’ll stick with optimal and leave the best to the rest.

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