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First HDD-based MacBook Air reviews hit the wires

post #1 of 133
Thread Starter 
Apple has seeded journalists at three of the nation's most widespread publications -- The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Newsweek -- with early MacBook Air review units. The first reviews from these publications began cropping up earlier this morning. A detailed summary of each review, and some observations, follow.

On average, the reviews are vague and offer little substance that couldn't be garnered from a press release or quick stroll by Apple's booth at last week's Macworld Expo. In addition, it appears that all three reviews pertain to the bare-bones entry level MacBook Air configuration with a 1.6GHz processor and 80GB hard drive. The high-end model with a solid-state drive was not reviewed.

Of the three, AppleInsider found Ed Baig's review for USA Today to be most informative, as he included a couple of fresh tidbits on the Air's design from conversations with Steve Jobs and made other unique observations. Here's an overview of the three reviews:

Wall Street Journal

"Apple finally has entered the subnotebook market, introducing a lightweight laptop meant to please road warriors. But, typical of Apple, the company took a different approach from its competitors," wrote the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg. "The result is a beautiful, amazingly thin computer, but one whose unusual trade-offs may turn off some frequent travelers."

Pros:
"It's impossible to convey in words just how pleasing and surprising this computer feels in the hand.""The MacBook Air's screen and keyboard were a pleasure to use.""The machine felt speedy, even with multiple programs running."Mossberg was able to install and run Windows just fine via Parallels virtualization software on his test unit, though he did not specify whether that test unit was a 1.6GHz or 1.8GHz model.Apple's "clever" Remote Disc software for wirelessly sharing another Mac or PC's optical drive worked fine in Mossberg's tests, in which he installed several new programs from CDs on remote computers."
Cons:
However, Remote Disc "requires disabling third-party firewalls on Windows machines. It also doesn't work for installing Windows on your Mac, for watching DVDs, or for playing or importing music." For those tasks, you need Apple's $99 MacBook Air external SuperDrive.The sealed-in battery means you can't carry a spare in case you run out of juice, and you have to bring it to a dealer when you need a new one.The thin case can't accommodate a larger internal hard disk. And the machine omits many common ports and connectors.There's no Ethernet jack for wired broadband Internet connections and no dedicated slot for the most common types of external cellphone modems." So, "[i]f you're out of Wi-Fi range, you're out of luck, unless you buy an optional, $30 add-on Ethernet connector or a cellphone modem that connects via USB."
That single USB port is a problem, because so many peripherals use USB. You can buy a tiny, cheap USB hub that adds three more ports, but that's yet another item to carry.Battery life failed to live up to Apple's claims, coming in at just 3 hours, 24 minutes when Mossberg disabled "all power-saving features, set the screen brightness at maximum, turn on the Wi-Fi and" played an endless loop of music.Because of the Air's larger screen height, "the lid stands higher when opened than on most other subnotebooks. So it isn't as usable as some competitors when the seat in front of you in coach on a plane is reclined."
USA Today

"The MacBook Air laptop that CEO Steve Jobs unveiled last week turns heads. And now that I've used this Twiggy-thin, 3-pound marvel for several days, I can also report that it's a remarkably sturdy-feeling machine, especially given its size and weight," the USA Today's Ed Baig wrote after toying with his 1.6GHz loaner. "The skinny -- the word can't be emphasized enough -- $1,799 (and up) computer will make students and frequent business travelers gush."

Pros:
"The wide, backlit LED screen is lovely.""[I]t is a yummy machine for people who spend a lot of time traveling.""The keyboard keys light up the dark  there's a built-in ambient light sensor."Spacious multi-touch trackpad.
Cons:
"Air does not come with the built-in ability to connect to a speedy wireless data network run by various cellular carriers. Jobs told me last week that Apple considered it but that adding the capability would take up room and restrict consumers to a particular carrier.""With too few ports, a sealed battery that you can't replace on your own and no built-in CD/DVD drive, Air is not the ideal laptop for everyone.""The 80 GB hard drive isn't generous by today's standards.I ran into initial snags trying to remotely install software from the DVD drive in a Dell PC, until tweaking settings in Windows.Baig rented The Cooler from iTunes as part of his test process, but on playback, the film "occasionally hiccuped" as he watched it on the Air.The MacBook Air's $99 external SuperDrive is "awkward to use" sitting in coach on an airplane.[T]here's no FireWire connector for folks wanting to hook up digital camcorders, or ethernet jack for tapping into the Internet when Wi-Fi is unavailable or poky."Battery life came in at 3 hours 40 minutes as Baig surfed the Web, used Remote Disc and wrote. However, "he battery died an hour sooner when he watched The Cooler, but he did make it through the movie.
Newsweek

"Certainly Apple has fulfilled its goals in terms of thinness. The Air is a lithe sheath of aluminum so slim that it can slide under my office door," wrote Newsweek's Steven Levy.Â*"Packed inside the shell -- which is three quarters of an inch at its thickest point, trailing off to a wispy 0.16 inches -- is two gigabytes of memory, a bright 13.3-inch screen (lit by cutting-edge LED technology) and a full-size keyboard. This is a top-of-the-line array for a subnotebook."

Pros:
"Did I mention that it's really skinny."Multi-touch trackpad."The Air doesn't run as hot as Apple's other laptops--it's actually possible to work for an hour with the device on your lap without the feeling that your fertility is at stake."
"Its diminutive dimensions pretty much evaporate the eternal quandary of whether or not to take your computer along with you.The Air includes "an excellent keyboard with its great automatic backlighting feature."It's got a built-in video camera for conferencing."The screen is big for a subnotebook, and quite bright.""Battery life is quite acceptable--I didn't have time for a definitive study but was getting only slightly less than the five hours per charge that Apple promises.
Cons:
Many people will likely have to pay $29 for a "dongle" that plugs into the USB port to allow the Air to be plugged into Ethernet."There's no slot to plug an EVDO card for cellular broadband, so if you want that, you must use a different USB dongle connecting to a card for that purpose."No Firewire port either."A USB hub will be required for most people, but at the expense of "spoiling the Air's sleek figure."Non user-replacable battery.Remote Disc is tricky and not as effective as the physical drive it aims to replace.80GB standard hard drive too small -- "Apple insists that if it used the 160-gig hard disk drive it offers in its high-end iPod classic, it would blow the profile of the MacBook Air."The MacBook Air's omissions "are troubling -- especially to someone in a down-turning economy deciding whether to spend a premium sum for a computer with subpremium storage."
post #2 of 133
I find the list of cons from each of the reviewers just plain silly. The Air is not meant to be your one and only computer. If you need huge storage, or want to watch movies on it, or import CDs, etc...this is not the computer for you. I thought this stuff was just too obvious to appear on "CONS" lists. This is made to be extremely portable. This laptop has only what you really need - and not everything you could possibly want. If you want to take some music with you, move some on from your other computer. If you want to bring a movie to watch, move on a digital version from your other computer. If you want to have more storage space, firewire, several USB attachments, DVD burning, yada yada...get a laptop that's more appropriate, like a MacBook Pro. Or even a MacBook. That's what they're for. Putting these things on a list of shortcomings doesn't make sense. It doesn't have a retinal scanner either...they forgot to add that to the cons list.
post #3 of 133
my 2 cents for MBA:

1. I am not all that hot for the design of the MBA, contrary to many. Other than it being really thin, I don't find it all that pretty or good looking. I still like the design of MBP more.

2. I am not so sure about using 1.8 inch HD. Didn't Apple tell people that using iPod as a HD for computer is not really a good idea and it may damage the HD down the road?

3. If Apple is billing the computer as wireless centric notebook, I find it confusing that MBA does not have Express 34 slot to put 3G cards in. Maybe there are USB-based 3G modems, but I haven't seen one.

4. Since Apple wants you to buy music through iTunes, not being able to import music remotely kinda makes sense.

5. I honestly don't know who will be up for purchasing this notebook. For about $500 less you can buy a faster computer (Macbook). what you get for $500 more is aluminum casing and 2lbs less. If you find 2lbs extra that troublesome, you need to spend $500 for gym membership, not for purchasing MBA.
post #4 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by syklee26 View Post

3. If Apple is billing the computer as wireless centric notebook, I find it confusing that MBA does not have Express 34 slot to put 3G cards in. Maybe there are USB-based 3G modems, but I haven't seen one.

USB cards are out for most. Otherwise, there isn't a solution for Macbook users... and there are.
post #5 of 133
I think one of the hard things to get around for people who have been in the "computer" industry ( users and work related ) is that ...... there are no more rules ! The notion that the writers " cons" are not applicable does not and will no longer apply in the future that is coming.

You might ask, what do I mean by this. Well, looking at the year 2003, one may have argued that the smart phones are supposed to be big so they can do all they can do and they are only meant for the "buisness people" , so the average celphone user should not point out those flaws of weight, price and size. Fast forward to 2007, and everyone wants a smart phone like an iPhone ! There is no reason why one should have or use a smart phone vs. why one should not . The idea that the smart phone is only for business people is dead . Mothers, fathers and bratty kids all want a smart phone ( like the iPhone ) .

So, here we are with the MacBook Air . It is the first generation of the "air" family in Apple portables, but note that just because it is a sub-note book does not mean it is only for people on the go ! And yes, it can be owned by every one and it can be the only computer a person has. The perceptions that this is a device for the few does not and will not apply with each passing day . That argument is as old as the PowerBook 100 ( I have one and love it !!!! ) Welcome to tomorrow today . Apple always does it , it is nothing new. All laptops will be sub note books in the future and most of them should have a nice big screen and comfortable keyboard to type on !
post #6 of 133
I know it's got that "Wow" factor in the form of ultra-thinness, but overall I think the cons far outweigh the pros.

Extremely limited storage, lack of ports, no optical drive making you dependent on another computer (what if you're away from your "home" computer but you need to load something to the MBA? No computers around you have the wireless drive feature installed? man you're screwed), non-removable battery, etc etc.

But hey you DO get backlit keys, right? And for all these lacking features, Apple wants you to pay $500+ more than a more capable (and same footprint) MacBook? Me thinks not.

Seriously, as someone pointed out above, if you can't stand the extra 2lbs, $500 for a gym membership ain't that bad an idea. And crap, if you spend just $200 more, you can have a MBP, with all the bonuses of the MBA (casing, keys, etc), and none of the drawbacks (save for 1.2 pounds or so).

It's nothing more than a status symbol. Serious people are going to opt for the MBA, and price-conscious consumers are going to opt for the MacBook. People worried about their status are going to opt for the MBA.


That's the breakdown.
post #7 of 133
I am really surprised at all the negative reviews. This is a computer that is designed to be used wirelessly in every sense of the word. It is also not intended to be the user's main computer but a trusty sidekick. If I were to purchase a MacBook Air, I would love it. My job requires me to carry a lot of stuff onto the airplane. Saving a couple pounds and still being able to get all my work done is great.

Let's see about all those "negative" comments. If I were to use my MacBook Air at home I could: connect to my network using my AirPort Extreme, use my G5s DVD, connect to the internet, print wirelessly, video conference with the built-in iSight, stream music and video to my AppleTV without ever using ANY USB connections. I would most likely want to purchase the External SuperDrive because I need to burn DVDs on the road from time to time. I can plug in a USB powered hard drive to back-up the internal drive.

Is this computer for everyone? No! Especially if it is going to be your only computer. This is for road warriors who need a high performance computer without all the weight. You can always buy the ethernet USB cable. I find it laughable people make this an issue. Remember when people griped when Apple started leaving out modems in their laptops? When was the last time you used a dial-up connection? It has been 3 years for me. I also bring my Airport Express with me when traveling to create my own wireless network in my hotel room. The only REAL omission is the lack of a Firewire port. That may be a deal breaker for some. You can load it with movies and music using iTunes as well.

I just watched The Today Show on NBC and they all went crazy over it! They each commented that because the computer is so small and light, they would more likely bring it with them when traveling. They said they could video chat with loved ones when on the road.
post #8 of 133
and I know people are going to say "ultra-portable! Ultra-portable!" but the thing is, to make it comparable to any of their other offerings, you have to buy the peripherals (DVD drive, usb adapters) which is MORE $$$, and then you have to carry that stuff around, completely negating the ONE BENEFIT of the MBA, size & weight, as now you're carrying around the computer, and all the peripherals that would have otherwise been built in.
post #9 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoMacUser View Post


Let's see about all those "negative" comments. If I were to use my MacBook Air at home I could: connect to my network using my AirPort Extreme, use my G5s DVD, connect to the internet, print wirelessly, video conference with the built-in iSight, stream music and video to my AppleTV without ever using ANY USB connections. I would most likely want to purchase the External SuperDrive because I need to burn DVDs on the road from time to time. I can plug in a USB powered hard drive to back-up the internal drive.


Why would you be buying a MBA with woeful specs and a heavier price tag compared to a macbook for a home laptop? BTW, once you purchase the external super dirve, the weight of that and the MBA puts you less than 1lb lighter than a MacBook Pro.
post #10 of 133
Sounds like an endless money pit if used as your only computer.

It would appeal to me if I were rich enough to afford this and a nice iMac or Mac Pro.
post #11 of 133
I think a lot of people admire the Air. I know I do. My real opinion on is that it's the sort of machine I'd love to see other people using, but not me.

It's an amazing effort and has appeal, but if I go for something a just bit thicker, all the sacrifices the Air makes disappear. I guess I'm not the target for it and that's fine. I wish it well and in time we'll see if people really go for this.

On a tangent, I disagree with those who rationalize the difficulty some reviewers express in getting their content (music/movies/whatever) into this thing. This is still a computer. It chould do basic computer tasks. Rationalizing that "Apple wants you to buy your <insert media type here> at the iTMS" is a weak defense of the shortcomings here. People have existing content and/or CDs (CDs especially since they are so easy and cheap to acquire used). If you're happy to see every new machine or device they release become more difficult to use with your existing media then there's a problem. Apple's traditionally attracted people by being *easier* to use and work with than any other options. Problems noted in this regard by reveiewers are things that *need* to be fixed, not rationalized away.
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post #12 of 133
I agree with the first replier, to me the cons rules is ridiculous. If this is going to be your one and only computer, then this is not for you. Invest in either a MacBook or a MacBook Pro. I see the Mac Book Air, as of now, as a laptop for people on the go. And when you're on the go, you don't need an optical drive, you don't need four USB slots, the Ethernet is debatable, but the amount of places that have wireless now is making Ethernet obsolete. The only real con that I see is the battery. All you really need with the MacBook Air is a case and a thumb drive and you are good to go.

The cons outweighting the pros doesn't suprise. Whenever Apple comes out with something they always have to tear it down first, and then in a couple of months they have to admit how wonderful it was.
post #13 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Battery life failed to live up to Apple's claims, coming in at just 3 hours, 24 minutes when Mossberg disabled "all power-saving features, set the screen brightness at maximum, turn on the Wi-Fi and" played an endless loop of music.

The battery life looks disappointing, but turning off all power saving measures and running the screen at max brightness is a bit much.
post #14 of 133
I see this laptop as a bridge to what I really want. Slightly smaller footprint (12"?) with backlit keys and a optical drive and bigger HD. If an ipod can store 160GB why not his?. I don't need it so thin.
post #15 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

The battery life looks disappointing, but turning off all power saving measures and running the screen at max brightness is a bit much.

That battery life actually seemed fairly good considering how he was using it.
Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face? - Jack D. Ripper
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Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face? - Jack D. Ripper
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post #16 of 133
M-ass-berg did the opposite of what one does to increase battery life. What about screen brightness at minimum, wireless off, and power savings at maximum? Then you might get 5 hours.
post #17 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by mazzy View Post

I see this laptop as a bridge to what I really want. Slightly smaller footprint (12"?) with backlit keys and a optical drive and bigger HD. If an ipod can store 160GB why not his?. I don't need it so thin.

It's been stated several times that the 160 GB drive in the iPod is too thick for the Air.
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post #18 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bancho View Post

It's been stated several times that the 160 GB drive in the iPod is too thick for the Air.

Yes I know. I would go slightly thicker and include it though.
post #19 of 133
If this computer was designed to be used wirelessly, why the ominous need for a power brick for anything over three hours of use?! That's really disappointing, not that I expected it to meet my personal needs adequately. Given concerns with the economy, I really hope that Apple focuses some energy into another machine I would never buy, the Mac Mini. Need to make it more competitive in specs and price...
post #20 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bancho View Post

That battery life actually seemed fairly good considering how he was using it.

Maybe, but just that one data point doesn't help. It also looked like he was doing almost everything he could to get the run time down, and then only speculated that maybe it could get 4.5 hours with some reasonable power saving measures.
post #21 of 133
It's obvious that Air was designed for SSD, not HDD. Just wait until the price drops.
post #22 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by random bob, a.r.c. View Post

I know it's got that "Wow" factor in the form of ultra-thinness, but overall I think the cons far outweigh the pros.

Extremely limited storage, lack of ports, no optical drive making you dependent on another computer (what if you're away from your "home" computer but you need to load something to the MBA? No computers around you have the wireless drive feature installed? man you're screwed), non-removable battery, etc etc.

But hey you DO get backlit keys, right? And for all these lacking features, Apple wants you to pay $500+ more than a more capable (and same footprint) MacBook? Me thinks not.

Seriously, as someone pointed out above, if you can't stand the extra 2lbs, $500 for a gym membership ain't that bad an idea. And crap, if you spend just $200 more, you can have a MBP, with all the bonuses of the MBA (casing, keys, etc), and none of the drawbacks (save for 1.2 pounds or so).

It's nothing more than a status symbol. Serious people are going to opt for the MBA, and price-conscious consumers are going to opt for the MacBook. People worried about their status are going to opt for the MBA.


That's the breakdown.

Random Bob, welcome to AI!

I'm not really responding directly to you, but to the many who seem to share
your analysis.

This computer is exactly what I've been needing. I have an iMac for my work at home
and this little wonder is going to make it easier for me to work away from home when
I need to.

I don't need any of the external attachments. I'm glad the extra ports and larger
HDD aren't included. I don't need a gym membership, because I'm quite fit,
thanks, but when my employer sends me on a trip with their 800 LB Toshiba
in my backpack, I always have to leave my personal computer at home. NO MORE!
I can slip this into the same backpack and hardly notice the difference.

I can transfer files (even movies or whatever I like) from my big iMac as needed.

They seriously could not have designed a more perfect machine for me
if they had asked me to sit in on the development of it. I could not be more
pleased.

Maybe I'm odd, but there have got to be a lot of people who feel the same.
I'm getting tired of reading things like "Who would want this?". The answer
is "ME!"

And status has nothing to do with it. It's perfectly useful as a mobile extension
of my home network. That's the bottom line.

My two cents.
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post #23 of 133
Jobs aka two-face:

"Air does not come with the built-in ability to connect to a speedy wireless data network run by various cellular carriers. Jobs told me last week that Apple considered it but that adding the capability would take up room and restrict consumers to a particular carrier."

The battery performance from most of the reviews seems pretty bad. If you were watching a movie on a long flight, 2.5 hours is pretty low. It's no worse than normal laptops though but it should be better for an ultra-portable. Perhaps large bright screen plus fast processors minus connectivity were the wrong compromises to make. The lifebook gets 10+hours I think.
post #24 of 133
I'll be interesting to see what happens if someone goes for one of these here at work. Last I asked, they wouldn't allow a USB => Ethernet dongle on the network, and you can't access our internal network without a wired connection.
post #25 of 133
Some of the MBA defending has been kinda funny. They don't want to accept the shortcomings, so they basically spin it like, "there's nothing wrong with it. The MBA is perfect for Apple's (and therefore my) narrow tunnel vision for the product." It's thin and light. That's the benefit. What's what they're buying. It's barebone portability. They should just let go of the "but, but, but" defenses.

On the other hand, if someone wants the features of a MB or a MBP, then they should get a MB or MBP and let it go also. Not everything Apple makes needs to be for everybody... which is why I also support making an xMac. I support making these types of expansive products because Apple's "one size fits all" agenda has been pretty limiting thus far. I don't have to care for the product personally to appreciate Apple finally spreading their wings a little.
post #26 of 133
As the USA Today guy said, I also rented a movie through iTunes and it skipped occasionally.

That said, it was an extraordinary experience! Renting a movie that looked great, came and went without any physical media at all! I've been renting movies since... gosh, what 1986 or so? I actually experienced the step into a new paradigm. It was this ethereal vortex like feeling.

I would definitely do it again, even with the skips. $2.99 for library rentals was a fine price point.

BTW, I used my PB G4 S-Video out to plug into the tv and watch the movie there. (Also the audio out connected to the sound system.) The colors on the tv looked absolutely terrible until I Calibrated the TV in System Preferences > Display. It took all of about 25 seconds (shorter than calibrating a monitor display -- it could tell it was a tv and not a monitor) and the calibration made a HUGE difference. HUGE. I couldn't emphasize that enough.

Definitely calibrate your tv display if you're going to watch your videos in a similar way.
post #27 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafe View Post

Random Bob, welcome to AI!

I'm not really responding directly to you, but to the many who seem to share
your analysis.

This computer is exactly what I've been needing. I have an iMac for my work at home
and this little wonder is going to make it easier for me to work away from home when
I need to.

I don't need any of the external attachments. I'm glad the extra ports and larger
HDD aren't included. I don't need a gym membership, because I'm quite fit,
thanks, but when my employer sends me on a trip with their 800 LB Toshiba
in my backpack, I always have to leave my personal computer at home. NO MORE!
I can slip this into the same backpack and hardly notice the difference.

I can transfer files (even movies or whatever I like) from my big iMac as needed.

They seriously could not have designed a more perfect machine for me
if they had asked me to sit in on the development of it. I could not be more
pleased.

Maybe I'm odd, but there have got to be a lot of people who feel the same.
I'm getting tired of reading things like "Who would want this?". The answer
is "ME!"

And status has nothing to do with it. It's perfectly useful as a mobile extension
of my home network. That's the bottom line.

My two cents.


If you couldn't lug around the extra 2lbs for the Macbook or the extra 1.2lbs for the MBP, then I beg to differ, you DO need to hit the gym ;-).

I think that everyone's point is: Yeah you're carrying a lot around, but seriously? An extra 2 pounds? 2 pounds? Can't carry an MBP at 5.4lbs, but an MBA at 3lbs is totally manageable? Do people really want to stand behind that sort of statement?

I stand by everything I said; they went for "thin" and succeeded, but went for useful and failed. People on the go will still need optical drives at times. What's that you say? Just buy the EXTRA $99 PERIPHERAL? What a good idea! now you've paid $600 more than a MB, and it weighs the same. Oh, and you still have less ports, non-removable battery, etc. But hey at least you have backlit keys.

For all the MBA is supposed to be for, it seems that in iPhone or Touch would be a better choice. Same lack of ports, same wi-fi mobility, limited storage, and you're still tethered to another mac to load things.

Plus you save $1200.
post #28 of 133
I don't see why Apple did not include a docking station with the MBA. That would have allowed a(n):
Bigger hard drive
Internal DVD drive
Built-in ethernet
more ports
ect.
ect.
That would dimnish almost every argument against it except maybe the "OMG teh screen izz 2 larg!!1eleven!!!", and some people will just find a reason to dislike it anyway. But if Apple had included a docking station, that alone would have justified the cost (which many people see as WAY too high), and made everyon happier.
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post #29 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCrow View Post

I find the list of cons from each of the reviewers just plain silly.

From our POV, yes. But they are reviewing for the general public so their cons make sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by random bob, a.r.c. View Post

If you couldn't lug around the extra 2lbs for the Macbook or the extra 1.2lbs for the MBP, then I beg to differ, you DO need to hit the gym ;-).

I think that everyone's point is: Yeah you're carrying a lot around, but seriously? An extra 2 pounds? 2 pounds? Can't carry an MBP at 5.4lbs, but an MBA at 3lbs is totally manageable? Do people really want to stand behind that sort of statement?

I stand by everything I said; they went for "thin" and succeeded, but went for useful and failed. People on the go will still need optical drives at times. What's that you say? Just buy the EXTRA $99 PERIPHERAL? What a good idea! now you've paid $600 more than a MB, and it weighs the same. Oh, and you still have less ports, non-removable battery, etc. But hey at least you have backlit keys.

For all the MBA is supposed to be for, it seems that in iPhone or Touch would be a better choice. Same lack of ports, same wi-fi mobility, limited storage, and you're still tethered to another mac to load things.

Plus you save $1200.

The Air is 55% lighter than the Pro. You;d also need at least one additional battery to equal the duration of the AIr.

When traveling the only item isn't just a on'es notebook so a reduction in weight and bulk is quite helpful.

Why are you so certain that everyone will need an optical drive? I don't need one. The only thing that I need that isn't included is 3G.
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post #30 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by nowayout11 View Post

Some of the MBA defending has been kinda funny. They don't want to accept the shortcomings, so they basically spin it like, "there's nothing wrong with it. The MBA is perfect for Apple's (and therefore my) narrow tunnel vision for the product." It's thin and light. That's the benefit. What's what they're buying. It's barebone portability. They should just let go of the "but, but, but" defenses.

On the other hand, if someone wants the features of a MB or a MBP, then they should get a MB or MBP and let it go also. Not everything Apple makes needs to be for everybody... which is why I also support making an xMac. I support making these types of expansive products because Apple's "one size fits all" agenda has been pretty limiting thus far. I don't have to care for the product personally to appreciate Apple finally spreading their wings a little.

While the MBA bashing is starting to get pathetic. Most have gotten caught on one or two issues and complain that the MBA is absolutely worthless because of it. All it means is that the MBA is not for them.

I on the other hand am finding the MBA very intriguing and very close to my wants. I am looking to replace my aging 15" Powerbook that I use at home to surf the net, check email and other low intensity tasks. My concerns are the screen size (I find that 15" is not always enough), processor speed and cost. I can't wait to see one in person to see if the form factor will overrule my concerns.
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post #31 of 133
Mossberg is a genius! If you turn all the power saving features off, the battery life goes to crap. What a discovery. No wonder he's the Tech columnist fot the WSJ.[/sarcasm]
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post #32 of 133
$1,799 is way too much money for what can, by design, only be a secondary computer. It'd have to be well under a grand to be a realistic purchase for most people. And honestly, considering this machine is both spaid and nutured, I expected the battery life to actually live up to Apple's 5-hour claims; this thing doesn't even have great battery life going for it.
post #33 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCrow View Post

I find the list of cons from each of the reviewers just plain silly. The Air is not meant to be your one and only computer. If you need huge storage, or want to watch movies on it, or import CDs, etc...this is not the computer for you. I thought this stuff was just too obvious to appear on "CONS" lists. This is made to be extremely portable. This laptop has only what you really need - and not everything you could possibly want. If you want to take some music with you, move some on from your other computer. If you want to bring a movie to watch, move on a digital version from your other computer. If you want to have more storage space, firewire, several USB attachments, DVD burning, yada yada...get a laptop that's more appropriate, like a MacBook Pro. Or even a MacBook. That's what they're for. Putting these things on a list of shortcomings doesn't make sense. It doesn't have a retinal scanner either...they forgot to add that to the cons list.

Cons include battery life, even when one reviewer said it got almost 5 hours...
post #34 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandro View Post

Mossberg is a genius! If you turn all the power saving features off, the battery life goes to crap. What a discovery. No wonder he's the Tech columnist fot the WSJ.[/sarcasm]

Right, which in practice he is ALWAYS careful to note, means you add at least an hour to that figure based on his experiences with other machines. So the consensus is 4.5 hours with normal use. The person that got 3.5 hours of normal use is clearly low.
post #35 of 133
Bad words. I wrote a well-thought-out reply and then my internet connection reset and since I am at a hotel I had to log back in and lost my reply. So here is the abridged version:

I have owned laptops for years, and when using my computer AS a laptop, I very rarely use any of the ports or the DVD drive. I will admit using the DVD drive while at my desk, but that was because it was my only DVD player at college.

Basically, Apple took out the features that people don't need when on-the-go. For all the other crap, you have you desktop or higher-powered laptop (which every MacBook Air owner would have if they wanted to install any software from CDs / DVDs).

Also, I agree that the reviewers' battery life comments are bogus. Apple posts 5 hours of WiFi use... not of full-brightness-movie-watching-using-remote-disk-all-at-once use. The last reviewer said his typical use was getting him close to 5 hours.
post #36 of 133
Interesting to me. You have a single speaker under the keyboard. No review mentions sound quality at all. Even once.

I mean you are watching the film in your hotel room or streaming audio. No purchaser has even a slight interest in this question?
post #37 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCMacFan View Post

Interesting to me. You have a single speaker under the keyboard. No review mentions sound quality at all. Even once.

I mean you are watching the film in your hotel room or streaming audio. No purchaser has even a slight interest in this question?

I guess you can use some good iPod headphones, or if you have a big enough bag, pack some external speakers. Probably not a good idea if you travel via plane, but if you have a car it would be worhtwhile.
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post #38 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

$1,799 is way too much money for what can, by design, only be a secondary computer. It'd have to be well under a grand to be a realistic purchase for most people. And honestly, considering this machine is both spaid and nutured, I expected the battery life to actually live up to Apple's 5-hour claims; this thing doesn't even have great battery life going for it.

And UMPCs that cost as much are made to be one's primary computer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by His Dudeness View Post

I guess you can use some good iPod headphones, or if you have a big enough bag, pack some external speakers. Probably not a good idea if you travel via plane, but if you have a car it would be worhtwhile.

There is no such thing as "good iPod headphones".
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post #39 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

And UMPCs that cost as much are made to be one's primary computer?


There is no such thing as "good iPod headphones".

1. UMPC's that I've seen are more like "prototype devices" for sale. Interesting enough, but how many are actually ever sold? Comparing an Air to a UMPC really is insulting to Apple. It's in a different league. Here's the thing, if you price a machine in a certain range and market it a certain way, the public will have certain expectations. If they expect too much of it, perhaps it's because it's being hyped that way.

2. Good iPod headphones could have been construed as "good headphones that work with the iPod" (that's how I took it).
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post #40 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bancho View Post

1. UMPC's that I've seen are more like "prototype devices" for sale. Interesting enough, but how many are actually ever sold? Comparing an Air to a UMPC really is insulting to Apple. It's in a different league. Here's the thing, if you price a machine in a certain range and market it a certain way, the public will have certain expectations. If they expect too much of it, perhaps it's because it's being hyped that way.

They are both secondary machines used for people on the go. One just happens to be more useable than the other. Seeing as that there are many similar UMPCs and no other machine that is like the Air, I'd say that the Air is the prototype concept. But the point remains, $1,800 is not unreasonable for a secondary machine if it fits your budget and, more importantly, your needs.
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