First Look: Apple's new MacBook Air (with photos and video)

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  • Reply 41 of 186
    I just can't see the MBA being successful. It's the reincarnation of the Cube in a laptop form- stunning design, weak in power, high in price. In addition to wealthy Mac freaks, I'm sure it will be popular with Hollywood starlets, Manhattan fashion desingers, etc as a high tech status symbol, but that's about it. I could see $1800 if it included the 64 Meg flash drive, but for a 4200 rpm drive? Is losing two pounds and half an inch worth all the downsides? I don't think so.



    Meanwhile, Apple overlooks obvious holes in its lineup such as a 15" Macbook and a mid range tower. These would cost considerably less than the MBA to create and have far greater appeal. Sure the might "cannibalize" (I hate that term) their other product lines, but it would more importantly draw people over from the PC side (like me).
  • Reply 42 of 186
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider


    Critics have already pounced on the design decisions of the MacBook Air, insisting that it needs various ports, a lid that allows users to swap out the battery, and future expansion slots for RAM and various other things.



    Critics need to say something of course, but the Air is clearly not intended to be a MacBook Pro killer, but rather a revival of the ultra portable Mac laptop.





    I think not. I think its something rather new. Let's see now... ultrathin, nonremovable battery, sexy lines, multitouch...



    Ohhh, I get it now. It's a MacBook... iPod-ized.



    If the 'Halo' effect wasn't obvious enough already, Steve's now gonna hit you over the head with it. With a sledgehammer.



    Also kind of explains why its not a true subnotebook... that wasn't the point.



    .
  • Reply 43 of 186
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stonefree View Post


    Meanwhile, Apple overlooks obvious holes in its lineup such as a 15" Macbook and a mid range tower. These would cost considerably less than the MBA to create and have far greater appeal. Sure the might "cannibalize" (I hate that term) their other product lines, but it would more importantly draw people over from the PC side (like me).





    Amen, bro. Mac marketshare is improving, but could be a lot better still if Apple priced more aggressively in certain segments and filled the more glaring holes in its lineup, as you say. In the current environment, new Macs like that would absolutely kill.



    But Steve-o seems not to care a whit about such things. \





    .
  • Reply 44 of 186
    Okay a macbook is 13.3 with the same footprint but thicker. It's 5lbs.



    Let's say I wait a year for the LED screens to be there too. I then open it up. I throw out the innards of the superdrive. I yank the HDD and put in a 1.8inch one and have a teck guy duct tape it in.



    Aren't I now at 4lbs just from those steps and that is with a heavy plastic case?



    I mean look at the weight of a 14INCH Panasonic with an optical drive. I don't want an optical drive, but why the hell can Panasonic or Toshiba deliver stuff closer to 2lbs with optical drives (again with a 12inch screen to help, but they also have removable batteries, optical drives, lots of ports and probably stereo speakers). Toshiba has a 12incher with the same sized keyboard and an SSD at 1.75 lbs. Okay, slightly smaller screen, but 40% lighter! Okay, those laptops as not quite as thin, but narrower and shorter. Toshiba R500 is like 0.8 thick. Gee, Apple gives me .74 thick that tapers a big at the cost of greater width, depth and weight. Thanks, Apple! This is not A work, more like a solid B.



    Maybe Apple should have used carbon fiber to save on the case's weight...
  • Reply 45 of 186
    19841984 Posts: 955member
    I've seen a lot of complaints about the price of the SSD. You do realize that this is not within Apple's control right? Take a look at other laptops using them. It adds the same amount to the price if not more. They are expensive. There's just no way around it right now.
  • Reply 46 of 186
    I've been surprised by all the negativity, since the final product was pretty much what I was hoping for, but then it's a lesson to me that not everyone (indeed, seemingly very few) shares my opinion on what makes a good ultra-portable. Among the common complaints are the battery: I never carry a spare and am rarely more than five hours from a power source, so no problem for me; and the lack of an optical drive, which I am actually very happy about. I use the optical drive very, very rarely and it's always struck me as unnecessary on a laptop unless you're installing software. I download my movies and tv shows, transfer files on a flash drive - my optical drive largely sit there gathering dust 99 days out of a hundred. I even like the lack of access - gives me a sense of solidity (though I might reconsider the first time something breaks). In fact I have only two complaints: the price and the lack of an ethernet socket. Despite that, I'll get one to replace my MacBook, which has all the features I need but is a bit too heavy, and wastes space with that unnecessary optical drive and removable battery.
  • Reply 47 of 186
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by spatial View Post


    Despite that, I'll get one to replace my MacBook, which has all the features I need but is a bit too heavy, and wastes space with that unnecessary optical drive and removable battery.





    DAMN YOU, removable laptop battery!!! You're so... so... UNNECESSARILY AND CONVENIENTLY REMOVABLE!



    *takes MacBook battery out and shakes fist at it*











    Holy unnecessarily removable batteries, Batman!















    .
  • Reply 48 of 186
    I think a lot of you folks are overlooking something important.



    I noticed it right away given my field. I make all my money maintaining, configuring, and setting up computers for business professionals. I also advise them on technology and help them to find solutions that match their lifestyles.



    Many of them are very fond of Macintosh, and they pretty much all lamented a lack of a more portable computer. When I found out that something along those lines was going to be included in Jobs? keynote I told them about it, and started advising that they hold off on new laptop purchases just in case something revolutionary was announced (and I theorized that this is exactly what would happen). What amazed me, though, is that while talking with them about prospect ultra-portables, nearly every single one of them started complaining about miniaturized keyboards or screens smaller than 13". Their issue was weight. I figured Apple wasn't going to deliver a proper solution for them, and started to hope the Macbook would get an appropriate revision.



    And then here comes MacBook Air. It is a perfect solution for nearly all of them, and about twelve of them have already pre-ordered it. They can use it comfortably (no need to adapt to a non-standard keyboard, or view super-small text on a screen), and it is not going to wear their backs out. They had initial concerns about things like the CD-ROM drive, but Apple's solutions appear to be very elegant. I think this product is extremely wonderful for this demographic!



    Business professionals.



    Normal computer users care about accessibility and usability. They want something that works, feels comfortable, and doesn't interfere with their plans. That's what the MacBook Air offers, and to people of this nature, it more than justifies its price tag.



    I won't be getting one myself -- I depend too much on advanced computer capabilities -- but I'm very excited about the technology it introduces. I'm looking forward to seeing these gestures mature into other notebooks from Apple, I'm looking forward to seeing further evolution of the solid state drive, and I'm looking forward to the headway Apple will get with other computers thanks to the miniaturization technology that they have put into this laptop.



    And for on-the-go work, for the vast majority of non-multimedia professionals, 2GBs RAM and 80GBs HDD space is more than enough to keep them covered for even the next six years, if they plan to use the computer that long. I suspect most people who buy this sort of computer, though, will be considering upgrades regardless after about four years (if not less).



    I think this product will be a success.



    Just not for the typical Mac super-user.
  • Reply 49 of 186
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post


    And then here comes MacBook Air. It is a perfect solution for nearly all of them, and about twelve of them have already pre-ordered it. They can use it comfortably (no need to adapt to a non-standard keyboard, or view super-small text on a screen), and it is not going to wear their backs out. They had initial concerns about things like the CD-ROM drive, but Apple's solutions appear to be very elegant. I think this product is extremely wonderful for this demographic!



    Business professionals.



    Normal computer users care about accessibility and usability. They want something that works, feels comfortable, and doesn't interfere with their plans. That's what the MacBook Air offers, and to people of this nature, it more than justifies its price tag.



    I think this product will be a success.



    (snip, snip, snip)



    You are 100% correct. This is the computer for executives and other professionals. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people run out and buy the MacBook Pro and it ends up being too much computer for them. This fits it's intended target audience perfectly.
  • Reply 50 of 186
    Lots of negative posts! If this computer is not for you, get over it. It is for some people and they will enjoy it immensely.



    As for those who say it has no ethernet, it does with an adapter that those who can already afford the machine won't consider outlandish.



    No Optical Drive? Good riddance, as it goes unused 99% of the time and is not essential then. Anybody who buys the Air will have at least one other computer; many will have several. With Remote Disc, people will be more than happy to part with the dead weight and bulk.



    For those who complain about the battery size, having used PBs and MBs and MBPs for many years, I think a 5 hour life is perfect. A swappable battery might have been a better implementation, but they will hopefully provide a rapid turn-around if the batt ever does need swapping. You can plan a two-day down period, especially if you have several other machines to work with.



    For those who think it cannot handle video, think again. The latest HD cameras in Japan do not have FireWire: it is becoming a USB world. Though I wouldn't want to edit a 3-hour epic on the Air, it should more than handle light video.



    For those who think 80GB isn't enough, I am a professional writer/materials developer and work with audio and video all the time. My old PB had an 80GB drive that never once ran out of space. My current MBP has a 120 HD, but only 50 GB are currently used and that is with an entire video project before editing. I simply do not keep frivolous stuff on it. If I want music or entertainment, I have an iPod Touch.



    The skimming of features has led to a nicely lowered front end of the computer which I think will make typing on it easier (ergonomically) than with a MBP where the user has to elevate his hands.



    While I believe it will be popular with a variety of groups, with the Air, Apple is playing on the success of the iPhone amongst executives. These are people who won't blink at the slightly high cost of the Air but will quickly appreciate that it doesn't have anything they don't want or need. If they need a more powerful computer, they can grab a MBP.



    That Apple also released the TimeCapsule makes for the perfect set that has the user in mind, a very Apple way of doing things. Time capsule, Air and a printer and you have an amazing system that will be the envy of many.



    As one who hoped Apple would come out with something the size of a DVD case, I will admit that they changed my thinking. This is light enough and thin enough to slip in a briefcase with other things without taking special consideration for the computer; I'm sure that a 3rd party will create a padded case in the form of an envelope, so you can even use that soon.



    Again, if the computer is not for you, it doesn't make it a bad machine. As Spam and Xian said above, this computer is a perfect item for those Apple hopes will buy it.
  • Reply 51 of 186
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post


    No Optical Drive? Good riddance, as it goes unused 99% of the time and is not essential then. Anybody who buys the Air will have at least one other computer; many will have several. With Remote Disc, people will be more than happy to part with the dead weight and bulk.



    It truly is a daring move from Apple. And the external optical drive is just perfect: this way you can choose between an external Bluray drive and HDDVD drive yourself. Apple wins (zero gamble risk) and the consumer wins (freedom of choice).



    I hope the new 15" & 17" MBP will follow this trend. With a black iMac border this time ?
  • Reply 52 of 186
    pbpb Posts: 4,255member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post


    Business professionals.



    These are the magic words. The MBA is for them and no one else. Well, probably a few more, but that's all.



    This notebook has its uses and Apple certainly conducted the necessary market research before even starting the project. Time will tell how well it will do. Until then it is to anyone's speculation to tell. Personally I have zero interest in the MBA, but this does not prevents me to see that some professionals may do.
  • Reply 53 of 186
    pbpb Posts: 4,255member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post


    No Optical Drive? Good riddance, as it goes unused 99% of the time and is not essential then.



    I would not generalise so easily. My daughter uses quite often the optical drive (at least 2-3 times per week), but this does not means that everyone else uses it that often. Same for the 99% figure you cite.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post


    Anybody who buys the Air will have at least one other computer; many will have several.



    Quite so, which just reinforces the idea that the MBA is not for everyone. This task was appointed to the Macbook, so everyone who dislikes the MBA can go and buy a MB instead. Not that much different, except for the weight.



    Somehow I don't understand the slam Apple gets on this. If Apple did a mistake, then the price will be heavy. We don't need here to bust some little vein on this.
  • Reply 54 of 186
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    If those were plugged in and running all day on a glass table, they should be warmed up enough to indicate whether they will be lap toasters or something more comfortable. Any first hand reports on the temperature?



    I've been thinking about this integrated battery thing, and I finally realized that I have never once pulled out my second battery for my 12" PB or various PowerBooks before that in order to keep working. There are a couple reasons for that: 1) I'm not one of those proverbial work-every-minute-of-a-cross-country/ocean-flight people and 2) I never found it convenient to keep 2 batteries charged and ready to go. So this MBA will save me the $130 or so for that just-in-case batter that I never got any use out of.



    I really don't understand the vitriol about this new product. I'm almost afraid to buy one because a mob will converge on my house to attack my family (or at least insult me). If you don't care about a 40% weight reduction then move along; this product is not for you.
  • Reply 55 of 186
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by suhail View Post


    The MacBook Air is awesome, fabulous, sexy, thin, light, and innovative in most ways.

    Only 2GB RAM, only 80GB HD, or the shameless $999 for a smaller solid state HD.

    Beautiful, Underpowered, Overpriced.

    Apple will soon be reliving the Cube days.



    That is a hefty amount of innards for an ultralight. Most of the others being cited as "better" have less and slower of everything, especially those 1.2GHz ULV CPUs.



    I have two 2GB of RAM in my Merom MacBook. The max iwould be 3GB but who pays a premium for that? 2GB is more than enough.



    As for the SSD, I double dog dare you to find a cheaper one. The lowest I found from an OEM is $1,400.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stonefree View Post


    I just can't see the MBA being successful. It's the reincarnation of the Cube in a laptop form- stunning design, weak in power, high in price.



    All ultralight notebooks are higher in price. It's the nature of the beast. This however actually uses a modern LV C2D instead of a higher priced and slower ULV processor.



    Quote:

    I could see $1800 if it included the 64 Meg flash drive, but for a 4200 rpm drive? Is losing two pounds and half an inch worth all the downsides? I don't think so.



    $1,800 will barely buy you 64GB SSD from Google Products. And that's if you shop around.[quote]







    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NYCMacFan View Post


    I don't want an optical drive, but why the hell can Panasonic or Toshiba deliver stuff closer to 2lbs with optical drives ... Okay, those laptops as not quite as thin, but narrower and shorter.



    These also don't have ful size keyboards, displays or low-voltage CPUs. They are slow and uncomfortable to use for long durations.

    IT'S NOT AN ULTRA-PORTABLE.

    IT'S AN ULTRA-LIGHT "REGULAR" PORTABLE.

    It's not your universal claw hammer, it's a specialized hammer.

    Formula One cars aren't designed for to compete with the family minivan, but are designed to do a certain task very well. Save for the lack of HSDPA, this is an absolutely ideal machine for mu constant traveling. No one expects this to ideal fr everyone, but it's foolish to think that just it's a good fit for you that it's not a great fit for other people.





    PS: The battery duration is with WiFi on. Turned off, i wonder how much additional battery life I can expect. This is a big deal for internal flights that are lasting 12 hours or more. I currently bring 2 additional MacBook batteries with. What a pain in the ass it is to remove my TechShell, pull out a coin and replace the battery ever two hours. This should equal or exceed those threee batteries when WiFi and BT is disabled.
  • Reply 56 of 186
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PB View Post


    I would not generalise so easily. My daughter uses quite often the optical drive (at least 2-3 times per week), but this does not means that everyone else uses it that often. Same for the 99% figure you cite.




    I was speaking from personal experience, but I have several computers both at home and at work. Someone for whom a notebook is their primary computer will likely use the optical drive more often. The MBA is targeted at people who don't need nor want the optical drive but are willing to pay a little extra to have something light, portable and sexy.



    The funny thing here is that part of my job is creating CDs and DVDs.
  • Reply 57 of 186
    shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member
    I can see the market for this product. A lot of people I know use their laptops as desktop replacement machines rather than true portables because their machines are too heavy to carry around all the time. The most important factors for me are size, weight and battery life. I like the full sized keyboard as it looks comfortable to use for long periods, the weight is ok but not brilliant. The one issue I have however is battery life. I suspect that there was nothing Apple could do but surely by now the laptop battery makers could have invented a battery that lasts at least 8 hours or longer. When I am out on business seeing clients it's a real pain to have to ask them all the time if I can plug my laptop in.
  • Reply 58 of 186
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post


    Lots of negative posts! If this computer is not for you, get over it. It is for some people and they will enjoy it immensely.



    As for those who say it has no ethernet, it does with an adapter that those who can already afford the machine won't consider outlandish.



    No Optical Drive? Good riddance, as it goes unused 99% of the time and is not essential then. Anybody who buys the Air will have at least one other computer; many will have several. With Remote Disc, people will be more than happy to part with the dead weight and bulk.





    For those who think it cannot handle video, think again. The latest HD cameras in Japan do not have FireWire: it is becoming a USB world. Though I wouldn't want to edit a 3-hour epic on the Air, it should more than handle light video.



    For those who think 80GB isn't enough, I am a professional writer/materials developer and work with audio and video all the time. My old PB had an 80GB drive that never once ran out of space. My current MBP has a 120 HD, but only 50 GB are currently used and that is with an entire video project before editing. I simply do not keep frivolous stuff on it. If I want music or entertainment, I have an iPod Touch.



    The skimming of features has led to a nicely lowered front end of the computer which I think will make typing on it easier (ergonomically) than with a MBP where the user has to elevate his hands.



    While I believe it will be popular with a variety of groups, with the Air, Apple is playing on the success of the iPhone amongst executives. These are people who won't blink at the slightly high cost of the Air but will quickly appreciate that it doesn't have anything they don't want or need. If they need a more powerful computer, they can grab a MBP.



    That Apple also released the TimeCapsule makes for the perfect set that has the user in mind, a very Apple way of doing things. Time capsule, Air and a printer and you have an amazing system that will be the envy of many.



    As one who hoped Apple would come out with something the size of a DVD case, I will admit that they changed my thinking. This is light enough and thin enough to slip in a briefcase with other things without taking special consideration for the computer; I'm sure that a 3rd party will create a padded case in the form of an envelope, so you can even use that soon.



    Again, if the computer is not for you, it doesn't make it a bad machine. As Spam and Xian said above, this computer is a perfect item for those Apple hopes will buy it.



    It isn't a bad machine, and it isn't bad because I don't want or need it, but it is not a machine that will sell. This is obviously cool but thats it and most aren't going to pay such a huge premium for something with less power and features. And as far as people who can afford it not caring how much all the peripherals cost that is not a good way to do business- "Oh hey this thing will be so expensive we can nickel and dime everyone and since they can afford such an expensive computer they can afford anything else we throw at them for 100 bucks". Come on. No one is going to "appreciate" getting less and paying more.
  • Reply 59 of 186
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,953member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tuneman07 View Post


    It isn't a bad machine, and it isn't bad because I don't want or need it, but it is not a machine that will sell. This is obviously cool but thats it and most aren't going to pay such a huge premium for something with less power and features. And as far as people who can afford it not caring how much all the peripherals cost that is not a good way to do business- "Oh hey this thing will be so expensive we can nickel and dime everyone and since they can afford such an expensive computer they can afford anything else we throw at them for 100 bucks". Come on. No one is going to "appreciate" getting less and paying more.



    That alone is unconvincing. These are _very_ similar to the arguments used to say that the iMac, iPod & iPhone wouldn't sell, but history has shown otherwise. Time will tell if it will be like those products or a Cube. It can go either way.



    If I buy one of these things, I'd not buy the optical drive behind anyway. I barely use the optical drive on my Mac Pro. I can take care of my movies, music, backups and software installations at home, any on-the-road data transfers can be done with a thumb drive or wirelessly.
  • Reply 60 of 186
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tuneman07 View Post


    Come on. No one is going to "appreciate" getting less and paying more.



    With that POV, every notebook is getting less and paying more compared to every desktop, yet notebooks are likely to outsell desktops for the first time this year. We have always paid more for smaller for more efficient technology in computers. Things haven't changed since Tuesday.



    With more and more people having multiple personal computers it makes sense to have one behemoth as a main workstation and another that is easily portable. If you won't use for long durations and don't need anything near a modern notebook's performance you can get an ulta-portable that it lighter and has a much smaller footprint, but you'll may more for that too.
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