“We were sceptical about the Air when it was announced, back in January. But now it’s available there was nothing for it: we had to try it out ourselves,” Tony Smith reports for Register Hardware.
“There’s no denying the Air’s beauty, even if aesthetics don’t matter to you. Closed, the laptop’s lid and base are gracefully curved, a trick that accentuates its incredible thinness, making it stand out even alongside Apple’s still-pretty-thin MacBook Pro,” Smith reports. “The Air’s perhaps the wrong side of a kilo… but the weight comes from its aluminium shell, which gives the Air a reassuring solidity. It’s not a ruggedised machine, sure, but the lid doesn’t flex like the R500’s does, and being metal it’ll be more resistant to the bumps and scrapes a laptop taken on the road will inevitably take.”
“The touchpad is big because Apple’s enabled iPhone-stye gesture input: draw two fingers apart to zoom into pictures and the like, then turn them to rotate images. It works as well as it does on the iPhone – pictures zoom and rotate smoothly and without lag – but where it’s essential on the handheld, here it seems a gimmick,” Smith reports. “The keyboard’s lozenge keys are very good to type on, and there’s none of the bend you get with some laptop keyboards – the Air’s keyboard is mounted solidly. The keyboard backlight – activated manually or whenever the light around you dims – is welcome, as is the addition of dedicated keys for Mac OS X’s Exposé and Dashboard features.”
“The Air is a ‘love it or loathe it’ machine, but don’t let the naysayers put you off if it offers the form factor you prefer. Of course it’s not going to be the laptop to suit everyone – you can buy cheaper or more capable Macs and PCs – so it’s not a must have for the price-conscious buyer or the power-hungry,” Smith reports. “If form-factor is your prime concern, then the Air provides a good computing experience, and if our time with it is anything to go by, its port and optical disc limitations proved no handicap at all.”
“For us, price notwithstanding, the Air hits the mark… This is style over substance in the very best possible way,” Smith reports.
More in the full review here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Linux Guy And Mac Prodigal Son” for the heads up.]