Originally Posted by KevinN206
I don't see how it's a fair comparison to compare something that was built in 2004 vs 2008. The technology (processor, cooling methods, battery technology, etc...) in 2008 leapfrogged by many folds compared to 2004. The processor architecture change from Pentium M to Core 2 was nothing short of magical. Everything got smaller, cheaper, faster, and more efficient (less heat = less cooling required). The Sony X505 was the true innovator prior with the tampered design. And yes, I agree, Apple designed a beautiful hinge.
A mobile device isn't just a collection of parts. It's an intricate system of tradeoffs-- price, weight, durability, battery life, aesthetics, performance, ergonomics, etc.
You can sell super advanced designs if you don't care about price. You can make very powerful, very light laptops if you don't care about battery life. You can make amazingly inexpensive stuff if you don't care about quality or durability. You can make bullet proof devices if that's your number one priority.
What Apple did with the current Air is successfully balance performance, cost, battery life, design, ergonomics and materials to create the most appealing notebook of its kind to date.
People seem to think that this kind of design integration somehow doesn't count as innovation, but it really does. It involves a vast array of material and design technology, and it involves judgements regarding what the market will support and when the available technology is robust enough to meet the design criteria.
You can always point to a competitor to an Apple product, or a historical antecedent, and note various advantages on one or two counts, but that misses the point. You have to judge Apple's stuff in their entirety, and by that criteria they have some of the best stuff out there. And the way they're achieving that-- from their design philosophy to discipline in the face of feature creep to how they build on platforms through carefully controlled iteration-- is genuinely innovative.