Originally Posted by Amorph
All of which it desperately needs, because its built-in storage is laughable. Well, it's fine for text files and light browsing.
Laughable yes in the sense of a full grown laptop, but lets be honest it does a lot better than the other small form factor internet appliances on the market. Compared to the nokia Tablets the Eee PC is a power house.
On one bus, so no substantial improvement over a hub.
Sure beats carrying a hub around with you. This for many will become a necessity on with the Vacuum. Well those silly enough to buy the machine.
Legacy, when Jiffy Lubes have wireless access.
WiFi simply isn't available 100% of the time, that is reason enough to have an alternative.
802.11g only. S-l-o-w.
What is of concern is that you can't see the value in removing things that are not often needed, nor of building in enough that you don't need expansion. With a bare minimum of ports, the Air is durable, looks sleek, and could be shrunk down as small as it was because the motherboard doesn't have to extend to cover port locations all over the machine.
There is such a thing as going to far and the Vacuum is the perfect example here. Its problems revolve around the lack of ports and the non swappable battery.
With the ports I'm flexible and would love to see a reasonable complement of USB port as they could easily cover multiple needs. Having a reasonable number of ports would not of impacted the design significantly. One port though is stupid especially when the machine lacks a dedicated Ethernet port.
As to Sound ports the thing that strikes me here is they have a perfectly good standard in the iPhone for a port to handle both audio in and out on a compact machine. Instead the Vacuum becomes a challenged device when tasked with VoIP. One of course could use an USB adapter but there is only one port there. So you are limited to either the built in mic or Bluetooth in most cases.
I like the Eee. It's a spiffy little machine that takes care of the needs of a lot of people. But it's not a full-fledged personal computer.
Neither is the Vacuum. The limitations are different for sure but by the same logic make it far less than a full fledged computer. The reason I chose to compare against the Eee PC is not that the Eee is a full fledged computer but rather that it got the I/O right at a far lower price point than the Vacuum.
So by the same token the Vacuum is less than a personal computer but frankly is not in a position to meet as many needs as the Eee PC.
The OS and applications are take it or leave it (you can install Windows, but it's not a happy experience). The screen, while usable, is tiny and dim. You can't touch type on the keyboard, which is a deal-breaker for me.
All valid complaints, but fairly easy to deal with on an open system. The issue with the keyboard on the Eee for example is valid but no where near as critical as the limitations on the Vacuum. There is no way to provide for what is missing from the Vacuum, which is pretty sad considering its price.
The Air is at least a fully capable Mac.
It is no more a fully capable mac than a Eee PC is a fully capable Linux laptop. The limitations are different for sure but you simply can't say that the Vacuum is fully equipped.
And while there's something to having a machine like my 17" PB that has every possible contingency accounted for, and is sized and weighted appropriately, there's also something to be said for a machine that only has what you need 80% or 90% of the time, and leans on peripherals for the rest. Obviously, if you spend 80% or 90% of your time with your ports full and your drive whirring, the Air is not your machine. But how many people just use their laptops, without peripherals and without an optical disk, almost all of the time? That's the potential market for the Air.
I'd say that market is very small.
It is unfortunate too as It would have only taken a bit of thought and engineering to make the current rendition of Air much more acceptable. Instead i looks like Apple was more concerned about looks than function.
Oh, and it doesn't hurt that the Air looks gorgeous while the Eee looks like cheap. Maybe Asus could clean up the design by getting rid of a lot of those ports.
Actually I have ideas for the next rev of the Eee PC too. It would be improving a machine that already works of course. The port allocation would be rebalanced a bit but I wouldn't get rid of all of them. Might even add one of two.
The thing with the good ole Vacuum is that it wouldn't take a lot to make the machine much more attractive. It would still be to high priced but at least practicable for people with money.