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Apple's NVIDIA-based MacBook Airs arrive early, get unboxed

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
Apple Store online customers are reporting Friday that their NVIDIA-based MacBook Air notebooks have begun arriving almost a week early. Included are some unboxing notes and photos.

Unboxing notes

AppleInsider reader Renegrub submits the following photos of a new 128GB SSD-equipped 1.86GHz MacBook Air with some brief notes on the unboxing experience compared to the earlier 2008 model.

As can be seen in the photos, Apple's new eco-friendly packaging is actually slightly larger in volume due to the shift in materials, and somewhat less glamorous than the one used for the inaugural MacBook Air. Overall, the no frills packaging resembles that of the boxes used for the new unibody MacBooks and MacBook Pros.

Another noted change is that the included install discs are now broken out into two separate DVDs, one for Mac OS X and another for Applications. The second-to-last photo also reveals the revised drop-down port compartment where the mini-DVI port has been replaced with a Mini DisplayPort.

Internal design changes

In addition to gaining NVIDIA's new GeForce 9400M integrated graphics system and industry standard Mini DisplayPort, the new MacBook Airs also run on a new version of Intel's special-run 'small form factor' mobile processors introduced in August.

The original MacBook Air contained a 65-nanometer versions of the processor that Intel shrunk extensively and exclusively for Apple and Lenovo.

Nicknamed the Core 2 Duo S, the new 1.6GHz and 1.86GHz parts run at nearly the same clock speeds as the processors used in the first-generation MacBook Air, but support a faster 1.06GHz system bus (up from 800MHz) and a larger 6MB Level 2 onboard memory cache.

They new 45-nanometer chips also consume less power at just 17W compared to the 20W of the custom-ordered 65-nanometer versions.

Unboxing photos

















post #2 of 48
Wait...if those pictures are legit, you're telling me that the MBA still has a trackpad with a click button? Why would the new MBs and MBPs lose the button but the Air keep it?
post #3 of 48
Wow...it looks like...a MacBook Air. Amaaaazing. Thank you so much AI for showing us how the MacBook Air with nVidia card looks like. I would never have guessed.
post #4 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

Wow...it looks like...a MacBook Air. Amaaaazing. Thank you so much AI for showing us how the MacBook Air with nVidia card looks like. I would never have guessed.

Stop being an ass. Appleinsider is a news website, and whatever news they have, they publish it for their readers. Be grateful to have a resource like AppleInsider.

You may not be interested, but who cares about what you think? Other people might be in the market for one and are now looking for what stuff has exactly changed (and in this case, what stayed the same).

Now, go! ssshhh.
post #5 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by dacloo View Post

Stop being an ass. Appleinsider is a news website, and whatever news they have, they publish it for their readers. Be grateful to have a resource like AppleInsider.

You may not be interested, but who cares about what you think? Other people might be in the market for one and are now looking for what stuff has exactly changed (and in this case, what stayed the same).

Now, go! ssshhh.

Yeah, I've been a bit harsh lately on people of the forum and AI. I apologize to AI and everyone I have offended in the past few weeks.
post #6 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achiever View Post

Wait...if those pictures are legit, you're telling me that the MBA still has a trackpad with a click button? Why would the new MBs and MBPs lose the button but the Air keep it?

The MacBook and MacBook Pro get the new trackpad because they got all-new redesigned cases. The MacBook Air keeps the old trackpad because it keeps the same case. It would not be worth re-engineering the MacBook Air's case and producing new tooling just to change the trackpad.
Mac user since August 1983.
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Mac user since August 1983.
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post #7 of 48
Why have they added a handle onto the box? I thought they were getting rid of those?

Honestly, as neat as the handle is, it's pretty useless. I'd rather my MacBook box didn't have one because I can never get the box to close perfectly and it won't slide into any spaces sideways without binding. I'd even assume that the handle is the reason they put the box inside another one for shipping (of course, that might just be security).
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post #8 of 48
That is very interesting that they didn't include a click-pad like the new MB/MBP.

I know I should just not saying anything if I can't say something nice, and there are plenty of people who do want/need one. However, I still just can't see why you would want the MBA. Is it really worth the extra money for thinness to deal with such a featureless notebook? Someone recently interested in going Mac asked me about them and I had to tell them that it would be real mistake for them. When I explained that it only had one USB port and no optical drive, they couldn't believe it. Pretty much any conversation (with non-fanboys) have led to the same thing. No one can really explain why they want a MBA other than the cool factor, which I guess is enough for some.
post #9 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achiever View Post

Wait...if those pictures are legit, you're telling me that the MBA still has a trackpad with a click button? Why would the new MBs and MBPs lose the button but the Air keep it?

Yes, they are legit. The MacBook Air doesn't have the glass screen like the new MacBooks either. The most likely explanation is size and weight. The trackpad button is probably too thick to fit into the enclosure.

Other possibilities could be that Apple didn't want to re-engineer the Air yet for financial reasons, or is hasn't finished doing it because it's complicated and takes time, or simply can't do it and keep it's original dimensions and weight. There are many possible reasons for not including it.
post #10 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDragoneater View Post

Why have they added a handle onto the box? I thought they were getting rid of those?

Honestly, as neat as the handle is, it's pretty useless. I'd rather my MacBook box didn't have one because I can never get the box to close perfectly and it won't slide into any spaces sideways without binding. I'd even assume that the handle is the reason they put the box inside another one for shipping (of course, that might just be security).

When the MacBook Air first came out, they came in a custom Apple designed bag just for the first MacBook Air customers.

After the stores ran out of the special bag they just put them in regular Apple bags. Now they won't need to use a bag since it has a handle.
post #11 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by dacloo View Post

stop being an ass. Appleinsider is a news website, and whatever news they have, they publish it for their readers. Be grateful to have a resource like appleinsider.

You may not be interested, but who cares about what you think? Other people might be in the market for one and are now looking for what stuff has exactly changed (and in this case, what stayed the same).

Now, go! Ssshhh.

lol..
post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyKrz View Post

That is very interesting that they didn't include a click-pad like the new MB/MBP.

I know I should just not saying anything if I can't say something nice, and there are plenty of people who do want/need one. However, I still just can't see why you would want the MBA. Is it really worth the extra money for thinness to deal with such a featureless notebook? Someone recently interested in going Mac asked me about them and I had to tell them that it would be real mistake for them. When I explained that it only had one USB port and no optical drive, they couldn't believe it. Pretty much any conversation (with non-fanboys) have led to the same thing. No one can really explain why they want a MBA other than the cool factor, which I guess is enough for some.

There is a small but significant segment of the market that never uses their optical drive and doesn't need more than a single USB port. Not everyone is a poweruser who need all the bells and whistles. For some having a light weight Mac is worth it.
post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

When the MacBook Air first came out, they came in a custom Apple designed bag just for the first MacBook Air customers.

After the stores ran out of the special bag they just put them in regular Apple bags. Now they won't need to use a bag since it has a handle.

Jeez guys, you rip a shred off poor old Kim for being a bit negative about some of the tenuous links to talking about the technology, then you go on to discuss the change in the handle on the box that the laptop comes in !?!?!!
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post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyKrz View Post

That is very interesting that they didn't include a click-pad like the new MB/MBP.

I know I should just not saying anything if I can't say something nice, and there are plenty of people who do want/need one. However, I still just can't see why you would want the MBA. Is it really worth the extra money for thinness to deal with such a featureless notebook? Someone recently interested in going Mac asked me about them and I had to tell them that it would be real mistake for them. When I explained that it only had one USB port and no optical drive, they couldn't believe it. Pretty much any conversation (with non-fanboys) have led to the same thing. No one can really explain why they want a MBA other than the cool factor, which I guess is enough for some.

I'm somebody, so I'll post my reasons.

Reasons I love my MBA (first Gen):

1) It's slim and light. I can carry it in the same backpack as my pathetic,
work-required, Toshiba laptop, and not break my spine carrying two full-size
laptops like I used to.

2) It's a Mac.

3) It is cool-looking, and when non-fanboys ask about it (as they always do),
I tell them what's great about the operating system, and end up recommending
they look at the bigger MacBooks if they want optical drives, etc.

4) I don't use an optical drive. (I think I've needed one once since I've had
the thing, and my iMac provided its over wireless and it worked great.)

5) It's not my main computer. I have a 24" White iMac for most things.
The MBA is for mobile activities.

6) Until now, it was the only machine Apple offered with the SSD. I love
the security of knowing there's not a mechanical spinning disk with my
data on it.

7) It's snappy.

Thanks for reading.
Journalism is publishing what someone doesn't want us to know; the rest is propaganda.
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post #15 of 48
The MacBook Air is getting better, but that port door is possibly one of the worst design ideas Apple's ever come up with. My friend has an Air, and he cannot plug is his wireless 3G internet dongle because of it. He loves the Air, but hates that door with vengeance.
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post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafe;

7) It's snappy.

Thanks for reading.

lol
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post #17 of 48
Is this the first time the box got bigger, even though the device did not get bigger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

My friend has an Air, and he cannot plug is his wireless 3G internet dongle because of it.

He can buy a 12" mUSB-to-fUSB cable for 99¢. I have a 3G WiFi card, it fits in the USB port just fine on my machines, but since it's bulky, anything next to it gets in the way, so the extender cable is necessary, even without a MBA.
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post #18 of 48
I also have a first gen MBA and love it.
It's changed the way I handle my computer needs.
I carry it everywhere and with a USB EVDO dongle (which I attach with a USB extender) I'm able to connect from anywhere.
A great machine.
I opted for the SSD, concerned by the potential for HD failure (two fragged disks in two years on work Thinkpads). The machine is a wonder of engineering.
Unlike Lafe, I use my MBA for most of my computing (occasionally hooked up to larger screens) with the exception of photo and video editing, I use my 15' MBP for that.
Cheers,
post #19 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyKrz View Post

No one can really explain why they want a MBA other than the cool factor, which I guess is enough for some.

I have a MacBook Air because light weight is important to me and because I cannot tolerate having an optical drive in a laptop that I will never use. I don't need any additional ports. I care very little about the cool factor.

If I could make my dream changes to the MacBook Air, they would be the following from most desired to least desired:
- 2560x1600 13" display (I would use Resolution Independence even though it's unpolished)
- lighter weight
- faster/more RAM
- longer battery life
- lower cost

I expect that the next major redesign in two or so years will integrate 256GB or 512GB flash onto the motherboard to reduce size, weight, and cost while increasing reliability. Perhaps there will be two options: slower CPU with 4GB ram, 256GB flash, and a 1920x1200 13" display or faster CPU with 8GB ram, 512GB flash, and a 2560x1600 13" display.
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post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Is this the first time the box got bigger, even though the device did not get bigger?

I wondered about that, I wondered if it was an optical illusion or something. Apple usually doesn't increase packaging size if they can avoid it.

Quote:
He can buy a 12" mUSB-to-fUSB cable for 99¢. I have a 3G WiFi card, it fits in the USB port just fine on my machines, but since it's bulky, anything next to it gets in the way, so the extender cable is necessary, even without a MBA.

It seems like the Air design was a missed opportunity to include a cellular internet card built-in or optional. I think the typical Air buyer would love to have a pervasive network, not having to think about whether there is a hot spot nearby. Having to use a long, protruding and potentially fragile stick for that use just seems antithetical to the Apple "message".

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I expect that the next major redesign in two or so years will integrate 256MB or 512MB flash onto the motherboard to reduce size, weight, and cost while increasing reliability.

Have hybrid storage been proven to be useful to anyone? It's a nice concept, but a "speed boost", it is not, at least not that I've heard or read.
post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I wondered about that, I wondered if it was an optical illusion or something. Apple usually doesn't increase packaging size if they can avoid it.

Could it be the same size as the MB box, so Apple has to use manufacturing, which would reduce the overall carbon footprint more than having multiple box sizes that reduce the packaging slightly?

Quote:
It seems like the Air design was a missed opportunity to include a cellular internet card built-in or optional. I think the typical Air buyer would love to have a pervasive network, not having to think about whether there is a hot spot nearby. Having to use a long, protruding and potentially fragile stick for that use just seems antithetical to the Apple "message".

I agree. I know Apple doesn't want to pre-include a card or have multiple version of each type depending on if you didn't want a card, wanted EV-DO or HSDPA, but I think the use of original method of supplying WiFI with an optional AirPort card, could work here. I think for manymysefl includedthe real missing feature of the MBA is the 3G card.
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post #22 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I think for manymysefl includedthe real missing feature of the MBA is the 3G card.

I agree. But it's also missing the same thing my iPhone 3G is missing . . .

3G COVERAGE!!!
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post #23 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Have hybrid storage been proven to be useful to anyone? It's a nice concept, but a "speed boost", it is not, at least not that I've heard or read.

Who wrote hybrid? Once SSD technology gets close to Winchester technology in terms of price/capacity, then it will not make sense to package it in an enclosure designed for HDDs. It will make more sense to integrate the flash storage on the motherboard. The only disadvantage is that it's not upgradable, but probably well under 1% of laptop owners ever upgrade their HDD.

Update: I see now how you might have supposed that I meant hybrid storage. I had accidently typed MB rather than GB in one sentence. I had it right in the following sentence. I've now fixed the earlier post.
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post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Is this the first time the box got bigger, even though the device did not get bigger?


He can buy a 12" mUSB-to-fUSB cable for 99¢.

Im sure he has one. He shouldn't need one though. Terrible design move. No excuses. None.
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post #25 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by LichMBA View Post

I opted for the SSD, concerned by the potential for HD failure (two fragged disks in two years on work Thinkpads).

From my personal experience Mac OS X seems to have fragmentation under control for a considerably longer period than Windows. However, smaller HDs that are kept close to full will fragment quicker.
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post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyKrz View Post

When I explained that it only had one USB port and no optical drive, they couldn't believe it. Pretty much any conversation (with non-fanboys) have led to the same thing. No one can really explain why they want a MBA other than the cool factor, which I guess is enough for some.

I think you're reaching a one-sided conclusion.

I'm one of those who wouldn't buy a laptop with a built-in optical drive. Why should I carry something I never use? I thought I'd need more USB ports than one, but I haven't needed to plug in anything beyond a USB stick.

This first gen MBA has been good to me. It does everything I need, and I love its minimalist feel. I just carry it everywhere with me without thinking twice so I could write my stories when I have a sudden free minute. This freedom beats any "cool factor" for me. In fact, I'd not mind covering my MBA so less people stare at it when I work in a public place.

As for the non-fanboys, a couple of my colleagues bought Airs after seeing me work on it.
post #27 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Is this the first time the box got bigger, even though the device did not get bigger?

Yes I was confused by that too. The box on the right in the pics was smaller and waaay cooler-looking. The white one with the handle looks like the old-style boxes (same as my MacBook 1st gen).
post #28 of 48
Question: Did Apple add the fourth conductor to the headphone jack on the revised Airs that they did to the new MacBooks and Pros, enabling mic and playback controls via iPhone-style wired headphones?
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post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Question: Did Apple add the fourth conductor to the headphone jack on the revised Airs that they did to the new MacBooks and Pros, enabling mic and playback controls via iPhone-style wired headphones?

yes, i read they did
post #30 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I agree. I think for many mysefl included the real missing feature of the MBA is the 3G card.


...i'm yet another one who's right behind you!
post #31 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by i love the www View Post

yes, i read they did

That's nice. How about some...proof?
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post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I have a MacBook Air because light weight is important to me and because I cannot tolerate having an optical drive in a laptop that I will never use. I don't need any additional ports. I care very little about the cool factor.

If I could make my dream changes to the MacBook Air, they would be the following from most desired to least desired:
- 2560x1600 13" display (I would use Resolution Independence even though it's unpolished)
- lighter weight
- faster/more RAM
- longer battery life
- lower cost

I expect that the next major redesign in two or so years will integrate 256GB or 512GB flash onto the motherboard to reduce size, weight, and cost while increasing reliability. Perhaps there will be two options: slower CPU with 4GB ram, 256GB flash, and a 1920x1200 13" display or faster CPU with 8GB ram, 512GB flash, and a 2560x1600 13" display.

dream on... you basically just said, "if I could make a new computer that is soooo much better than the air and make it look like an air and make it cheaper than an air..."

apple fanboys can take it too far... trust me, I'm one of them.
post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by federmoose View Post

dream on... you basically just said, "if I could make a new computer that is soooo much better than the air and make it look like an air and make it cheaper than an air..."

You missed the point. What I basically said is that I don't want or miss any of the features that some here lament as missing from the MacBook Air. An internal optical drive or more ports are just not on my wish list.
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post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

You missed the point. What I basically said is that I don't want or miss any of the features that some here lament as missing from the MacBook Air. An internal optical drive or more ports are just not on my wish list.

I like it, but opted for a new [Al] MB instead. My reasons weren't based on price, but on the lack of 4GB RAM, HDD that was smaller than my current needs, and an insufficient battery life. A faster CPU would be nice, but that wasn't a deal breaker.

On your previous points..

Quote:
- 2560x1600 13" display (I would use Resolution Independence even though it's unpolished)
- lighter weight
- faster/more RAM
- longer battery life
- lower cost

- Higher res would be nice but there is a performance and battery hit for it. But without a properly working RI option it's just not worth it. I hope they get that ready for SL.
- I can't see them getting lighter than 3lbs unless they move from Aluminium to Magnesium.
- A faster CPU isn't possible with the SFF options they use. 1.86GHz is the fastest, but 4GB as standard would be a nice staple for the MBA. The Intel SSDs due out soon are showing significant speed gains over other SSDs. I hope Apple uses these.
- Longer battery life is needed since you can't replace the battery. Until it can go at least 6 hours under normal use this will never be a viable option for me. Is their new battery tech that increases battery life without adding weight?
- The device is high compared to most notebooks, but notebooks are high compared to desktops. Judging by the cost of the parts, the MBA is priced well; and using the other 13" ultra-light notebooks now vying for some MBA marketshare it's priced very competitively.

Since it is a higher-priced Mac notebook which is not for the average Mac consumer, I wish they would have used a 16GB USB thumb drive for the OS install instead of shipping the DVDs. Not only does it give the buyer a little more comfort in buying a PC without a DVD-ROM, but makes reinstalling OS X a snap and paves the way for Apple's future removal of the DVD-drive on their next case revision (hoping).
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post #35 of 48
Hi guys, I would like to comment, from my Apple sales experience :: handles = good.

Why? Well, my personal opinion, you don't need a separate bag, paper or plastic, just for the laptop. You get it, carry it off, and... voila, one less paper/plastic bag to use up, if you choose to.

Also, not sure if AppleInsider has reported it (maybe I missed it recently), AFAIK the iPod Touch has now drastically reduced packaging. Not the box anymore, just the casing very similar to the Nano and Shuffle.
post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafe View Post

I agree. But it's also missing the same thing my iPhone 3G is missing . . .
3G COVERAGE!!!

Heh. Funny, but tragic. Is it AT&T?
post #37 of 48
I think LichMBA is referring to "fragged" as in "killed/dead" ... not as in file-fragmented?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

From my personal experience Mac OS X seems to have fragmentation under control for a considerably longer period than Windows. However, smaller HDs that are kept close to full will fragment quicker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LichMBA View Post

...I opted for the SSD, concerned by the potential for HD failure (two fragged disks in two years on work Thinkpads)...
post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

When the MacBook Air first came out, they came in a custom Apple designed bag just for the first MacBook Air customers.

After the stores ran out of the special bag they just put them in regular Apple bags. Now they won't need to use a bag since it has a handle.

I always thought the custom bags, in a way, partially negated the gains made in reduced packaging and screamed "ego." When I got my iPhone 3G, I specifically asked for a plain (and presumably cheaper) bag. For me, the Apple experience is about the product and its performance, not the bag I use to carry it home.
post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by frdmfghtr View Post

I always thought the custom bags, in a way, partially negated the gains made in reduced packaging and screamed "ego." When I got my iPhone 3G, I specifically asked for a plain (and presumably cheaper) bag. For me, the Apple experience is about the product and its performance, not the bag I use to carry it home.


More like additional advertising. Apple made those bags for the same reason other manufactures make and give away -T-shirts with their logo on them. Spread the word.

Each bags screams "Another Mac product SOLD". Advertising. One can go out of their way to get a plain brown wrapper. Fine. Big deal.

For all the other people who get handed a logo emblazoned bag as a matter of course, it's a matter of small minds to infer "ego".

Whether or not one gets or chooses a particular bag really doesn't make them a better or worse person. Potentially, a person who goes out of their way to cast a pall on "ego" and then tell about how they work specifically avoid "ego", could have more or it than the person who is just handed a bag to get his or her goodies home.
post #40 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyKrz View Post

I know I should just not saying anything if I can't say something nice...

And yet...


Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyKrz View Post

and there are plenty of people who do want/need one. However, I still just can't see why you would want the MBA.

Really. Then how is it that you can (apparently) appreciate that there are people who/need want one? Are you that ignorant of the features it does have compared the the ones it doesn't? Actually, it's just a matter of objectivity and computer savvy to understand that there is a segment that can appreciate that the MBA offers a balance of features and price that suits them.

The rest of your post is just more crap and bias. People buy the MBA only because it's cool? You aren't really competent enough to give purchase advice, obviously.

The MBA isn't for everybody. But your petty contention that it isn't for anybody (oh, except fan-boys, riiiight) is short-sighted at best. (See, I can say something nice.)
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