High-quality photos and notes on Apple's new MacBook Air

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  • Reply 81 of 112
    An external battery exists which works perfect with current MacBooks and MacBook Pros. See http://www.batterygeek.net for details. (I have no business interest here, but I'm using one of their batteries and are very satisfied.) Of course the battery weighs more than the MacBook Air, but on long flights you drop the battery in the seat pocket and enjoy 10++ hours of juice.



    But one thing is stunning me: Given that the MacBook Air is aimed at travelers, does it really miss a Kensington Lock slot? I couldn't find one on any photo....



    Q-chan
  • Reply 82 of 112
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    There is a huge border around the screen to help with rigidity. There is practically no space between the aluminum and the backside of the screen. The only place to add stiffness if around the screen. Add to that the new led backlighting. Since the circuitry cannot be added to the back of the screen, you must line up the modules all around it and pipe the light to the back of the LCD.
  • Reply 83 of 112
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post


    This is the Cube 2.0. Really damn sexy, but before its time.



    The cube wasn't a portable. This is.



    I can see why the extra cost for miniaturization with the cube didn't fly. I don't see this as the same thing at all.



    There are tons of people who travel constantly and mainly use their computers for reading and typing text, and looking at images. Saving space and weight is a huge deal.



    The only complaint I have about it is that you can't get it with more than 2 gigs of ram.
  • Reply 84 of 112
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post


    There are tons of people who travel constantly and mainly use their computers for reading and typing text, and looking at images. Saving space and weight is a huge deal.



    Except the MBA has only shrunk in the Z-dimension... not in the dimensions that matter most: the X & Y. Even if it's as thin as a piece of paper, if it has a 13.3" diagonal, it still will be too big for a lot of people.



    That was the problem with the Cube. It cut the wrong fat. This will be the MBA's undoing.



    If 13.3" was too big before, the MBA didn't change that.



    -Clive
  • Reply 85 of 112
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post


    Except the MBA has only shrunk in the Z-dimension... not in the dimensions that matter most: the X & Y. Even if it's as thin as a piece of paper, if it has a 13.3" diagonal, it still will be too big for a lot of people.



    That was the problem with the Cube. It cut the wrong fat. This will be the MBA's undoing.



    If 13.3" was too big before, the MBA didn't change that.



    Why is the X & Y the most important? What if the size issue really was mostly the Z? Or the weight? Or the ability to stuff more papers in the briefcase? X & Y won't affect the number of papers you can stuff.
  • Reply 86 of 112
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Anyone been able to try the keyboard? I heard someone (who I don't think had used it) complain about the "chicklet" keyboard. That's BS, right? I wonder how it compares to the other current Apple offerings.
  • Reply 87 of 112
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post


    Except the MBA has only shrunk in the Z-dimension... not in the dimensions that matter most: the X & Y. Even if it's as thin as a piece of paper, if it has a 13.3" diagonal, it still will be too big for a lot of people.



    That was the problem with the Cube. It cut the wrong fat. This will be the MBA's undoing.



    If 13.3" was too big before, the MBA didn't change that.



    -Clive



    Dear Clive, I am sorry to sound like your dad but as a daily 12" powerbook user I can only tell you that anything smaller than 13,3" is way too small to have a pleasant workflow (despite spaces). It's like wearing tight underpants all day long, it's sexy but doesn't feel like
  • Reply 88 of 112
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    I finally looked at the pictures (which aren't bad BTW; quit your whining you DoF perfectionists), and I noticed that it looks like the case may be exceptionally easy to open. I've had to open my 12" PB maybe a half dozen times to diagnose and swap out a failing hard drive and it was a pain in the ass. The MBA on the other hand has 8 or 10 exposed screws around the outside of the bottom of the case. I'm hoping that means eliminating the ugly pop-off-the-keyboard steps to get inside.



    More importantly, it's possible that the battery and hard drive are basically 8 or 10 screws away from access. So a year from now when cheap higher-volumes drives are available it might not cost an arm and a leg (or nerves of steel) to upgrade.
  • Reply 89 of 112
    philbyphilby Posts: 124member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post


    Now that the MacBook Air is released, it's the next MacBook Pro that will REALLY get me excited. Imagine what could be updated:



    New, larger touchpad with gestures.

    New keyboard to update with all other products.

    New video card?

    45nm processors?

    Larger hard drives with SSD option?

    Maybe even the option to ditch the optical drive for a 2nd HD? (Remote disk really proves we don't use DVD drives often anyway)

    Blu-ray drives?



    Argh!

    Did you really have to o that?! Now I'm getting all giddy about the nest MBP, too: this would be one sweet machine, even without the SSD and second HD options.



    However, the MBA is rather tempting too... a nicely beefy Mac Pro with an MBA as mobile Ersatz computer... yum!
  • Reply 90 of 112
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by malax View Post


    (which aren't bad BTW; quit your whining you DoF perfectionists),



    In that case, your anti-whining is whining too.



    It's not about doing a perfect job, I'm don't think that the technique used is anything but misapplied and way overdone, as in doing DOF for its own sake rather than to good artistic effect.
  • Reply 91 of 112
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Why is the X & Y the most important? What if the size issue really was mostly the Z? Or the weight? Or the ability to stuff more papers in the briefcase? X & Y won't affect the number of papers you can stuff.



    I second this notion.



    Once a device is too big to fit into your pocket, where do you put it? Seems like the vast majority of people put it in carry-on luggage, a backpack, or a briefcase.



    For these types of toating, weight and the z dimension are indeed the most critical. How may briefcases, backpacks, and carry-ons have I seen that are incapable of fitting the MBA's x and y? None that I can recall.
  • Reply 92 of 112
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Why is the X & Y the most important?





    Well, the ridiculously tiny fold-down trays you encounter on many planes, trains, and buses, for starters.



    A pretty terrible platform to work on if your laptop's footprint is too big.





    .
  • Reply 93 of 112
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post


    Well, the ridiculously tiny fold-down trays you encounter on many planes, trains, and buses, for starters.



    A pretty terrible platform to work on if your laptop's footprint is too big.



    I had flown one round trip last year, in economy class, and that wasn't a problem.
  • Reply 94 of 112
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post


    Except the MBA has only shrunk in the Z-dimension... not in the dimensions that matter most: the X & Y. Even if it's as thin as a piece of paper, if it has a 13.3" diagonal, it still will be too big for a lot of people.



    What kind of bag would someone have that wouldn't fit something 9 by 13 inches? I can't imagine a backpack or briefcase that would be too small for this. Do you really think people want a laptop that fits in a purse? Especially when doing that means a smaller screen? I would think that out of all possible sacrifices, giving up a decent size screen would be the wrong "fat" to cut, it's a major usability issue.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by malax View Post


    Anyone been able to try the keyboard? I heard someone (who I don't think had used it) complain about the "chicklet" keyboard. That's BS, right? I wonder how it compares to the other current Apple offerings.



    Isn't that the exact same keyboard as the macbook?
  • Reply 95 of 112
    I might just be adding fire to the flame here, but, I've been reading a lot, and thinking a lot, and these are my two cents.



    Everyone has this preconceived notion that an ultraportable is a computer that is really just as tiny as possible, 11 or even 10 inches with a small keyboard and not much visual space. For some reason, everyone fell in to the belief that this was the only way to handle a ultraportable. The way that I look at it, this is one way to look at an ultraportable, the macbook air is another. You can carry this computer around as if it were just another pad of paper. It has a full keyboard, a bright screen so you don't have to strain your eyes, or worry about making mistakes like some of us do with small fingers. Apple got rid of all the things that you don't need on the move, and sure they "replaced" them with things that you are going to have to buy through them, but there is still a legit replacement.



    Apple took the idea of an ultraportable and took it in a new direction, this thing really is barebones... but it isn't barebones in the factor of convenience. Think about what this computer will be used for: taking notes, surfing the web, watching an occasional show or movie that you can keep on the harddrive, ichatting, video chatting, possible editing. You can do all of those on the move now, and if you want you can keep that and plenty of other things in your bag because of how light it is and how well it fits with everything else. The way I see it is though, is that now you can do it comfortably. Apple has started to offer some of the best keyboards around, and the fact that they are putting it in to now one of the smallest computers just shows how much they think about both form factor and convenience.



    I'm not sold on this computer at all yet, I will have to see it in the store for myself and see if it is worth the purchase, but something this tiny, and it is truly tiny, is exactly what I was looking for. And seeing that it has a monitor as bright and as skinny as that gives an advantage in my eyes, being one that values screen space.



    Long story short, looking at what ultraportables have done before the macbook air, Apple is not trying to compete against the market, yet pushing it in a whole new direction, and I for one like it.
  • Reply 96 of 112
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post


    Isn't that the exact same keyboard as the macbook?



    Other than the Air has a backlit screen, MB doesn't, it does look the same.
  • Reply 97 of 112
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I had flown one round trip last year, in economy class, and that wasn't a problem.





    Well, that's you. Other folks' mileage can, and does, vary.



    The funny thing? I bet ya that if the MBA had a true subnotebook footprint, everyone would be going on and on about how wonderful that is, instead of insisting that the current not-so-small footprint 'isn't an issue'.



    Apologists, unite!!!



    The MBA is nice, and I like it, but it doesn't seem to be a true subnotebook.





    .
  • Reply 98 of 112
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post


    Well, that's you. Other folks' mileage can, and does, vary.



    The funny thing? I bet ya that if the MBA had a true subnotebook footprint, everyone would be going on and on about how wonderful that is, instead of insisting that the current not-so-small footprint 'isn't an issue'.



    But even if it is wider than the tray, how is it really a problem? The tray is flat with maybe a tiny lip on the edge, the notebook is flat, even if it extends over the sides of the tray, I don't see how it's a big deal. I can see it being a big deal if it's wider than the seat, but it's not nearly that wide. The height and depth of the MBAir is smaller than the notebook that I used too.
  • Reply 99 of 112
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    But even if it is wider than the tray, how is it really a problem? The tray is flat with maybe a tiny lip on the edge, the notebook is flat, even if it extends over the sides of the tray, I don't see how it's a big deal. I can see it being a big deal if it's wider than the seat, but it's not nearly that wide. The height and depth of the MBAir is smaller than the notebook that I used too.





    Well, for one thing, if its significantly wider than the tray, then the rubber feet you find on most laptops don't get a chance to engage, so the thing slippy-slides all around while the plain/train/bus is moving and/or cornering. It also just feels less secure.



    Additionally, there may not be enough room on some trays for a medium or large footprint notebook to be open with the screen set at an angle for optimum viewing (the seatback of the seat ahead of you may be too close). So you sometimes end up with the laptop in, well, your lap, as you hunch over for hours on end like a troll. Not so great for the neck and back.



    Seriously Jeff, it isn't really news that some travellers prefer small-footprint notebooks. There are sound reasons for it. It really depends on what your traveling accommodations are like.



    .
  • Reply 100 of 112
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post


    The MBA is nice, and I like it, but it doesn't seem to be a true subnotebook.



    Basically you're saying it's bad because it's not like every other True Subnotebook you've seen.



    So what?



    It's really small and light, which is a good thing. Would it really be that much better if it had a smaller (harder to read) screen and worse keyboard?



    Here's a question I haven't seen asked anywhere so far...so how HOT does the thing run? Since it's super light, if it ran fairly cool it might be comfortable to actually have in your lap.
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