Originally Posted by Bergermeister
I've been a happy Air user since the Rev 1 machine... upgraded to the new SSD model last year and love it. It has been very productive and has gone with me many times my 15" MBP wasn't an option and, honestly neither was my wife's 13" MBP.
I consider this to be bogus because if you didn't have an AIR one of the others would have went.
The Air is lighter than the 13 even with a Wacom tablet slipped into the bag. Never has the single USB been a problem for me. The only complaint I have with the machine is with the flip out port: for some connectors, it is a tight squeeze, but honestly it hasn't been a real problem.
I find the flip out port to be very bothersome and un Apple like. It would be a far better place for an SD slot as you allude to below. A place to put the card and to not have to worry about it.
When I travel, I always carry my Airport Express, so I don't need ports for internet and tablet.
That is an interesting comment and maybe something I should look into. Like wise the so called MiFi devices have an appeal. The problem is these devices take up a lot of space that could be handled by a direct Ethernet connection. With many chip sets Ethernet is virtually free as are your USB ports.
That is additional silicon isn't required as the chip set will support a number of USB channels for instance. This is really what bothers me about the AIR, the hardware is there Apple just choose design over function. Mind you design is good, as is seen in many Apple products, but so is functionality.
Guess I sound a little reluctant to criticize the Air... must come from being a very satisfied user and also from enduring a constant and violent onslaught of Air bashers over the years.
Remeber if someone bashes AIR it is because the machine doesn't meet their needs. It is not a comment on you. For many of us the AIR is a frustrating example of Apple at it's worst.
It is sort of like the original Mini which was a great concept. It however shipped with a minimal number of ports. Years ago I can remember what I believe where Apple engineers, asking people about improvements to the Mini on one of the online forums. I know I and many others hit upon the lack of USB ports, well wouldn't you know it all revs of the Mini since have had a nice compliment of USB ports. Apparently this has helped sales considerably well that and the Intel hardware.
Now being a laptop I don't expect AIR to have that many ports. But I do expect a complement to handle my normal needs. It is just frustrating to see that Apple has been so shortsighted.
Though I am content, I also believe in upgrades each year to make it better, so, here goes (some have already been suggested):
Upgrades are beautiful.
- improve the flip port design to give it slightly more space around the USB port
USB in my opinion needs to be externally accessible. As I mentioned above the flip port is a good place for an SD slot.
- give it 2 USB ports (lots of people have fussed over this so giving it 2 will quiet that complaint and should't be hard at all)
Two would be minimal if you are going to supply an Ethernet port.
- give it longer battery life (I currently average 4.5 hours per charge which is great - especially coming from an older 15" that gets 3 - but with other devices and machines reaching 10, the Air should see a big improvement, too)
This may be possible if Intel ever gets it's new ULV processors out the door. The big problem though is the lack of space for the battery.
- the above being more more important, a bigger, meaner CPU and graphics system
Actually graphics could be tough if they have to go with embedded Intel graphics. You are right they need improvements here but the options are thin. Maybe an AMD solution would work.
- ditch the HD and only offer two SSD models (the speed difference is worth the reduced space)
This is another shortcoming if AIR, far to little internal storage. I'd really like to see Apple move to PCI Express storage cards for thinnest.
- add an SD card slot that lets the card mount flush so you can leave it in
- an even lighter weight power adapter than now (I think they're called switching adapters). This would add a little cost, but make the Air experience even greater.
I think all Apple power supplies are switching. Improvements in technology make them lighter.
- 4GB RAM standard would be terrific
- keep the current screen and keyboard size; if people want something smaller, they can get a iPad (I plan to)
I'd love to hear from you in a year or so after getting that iPad. Just to get feed back on the AIRs usage. I suspect that the AIR would not be traveling as much as it does now.
- get rid of the track pad button, make the pad larger and give more touch gestures to the OS, including the ability to assign functions to certain areas of the pad. I'd love to be able to leave my Wacom Bamboo Touch at home.
That is an idea!
Remember many of us don't think the AIR is a bad idea, we just think it is a poor implementation of an idea. Alot of that has to do with the ports. Rationally we can understand the technology limitations and accept that Apple has constraints to work within. It is when design becomes more important than functionality that we get concerned.