Apple ships Air
Love it or hate it, it's here
Apple has begun shipping its skinny MacBook Air laptop, a product that's managed to generate more controversy than even the iPhone has.
Apple's MacBook Air: slim...
The notebook is between 4mm and 19mm thick. It has a length of 32cm, a width of 22.7cm and weighs in at just 1.36kg. It has an LED-backlit 13.3in display and a full-size keyboard. The Air comes with a choice of 1.6GHz or 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo processor. For storage, it packs a 4200rpm, 1.8in 80GB HDD, though a rather pricier 64GB solid-state drive is also available.
There's no on-board optical drive, but that doesn't appear to have bothered many folk. What gets the goat of a fair few Register Hardware readers is the lack of portage, in particular an Ethernet socket, though Air owners can buy dongle that clips into the machine's USB port and provides an Ethernet port.
But then there's no other USB port to plug a mouse or a memory key into. In addition to the solitary USB port, there's a headphone socket and a mini-DVI port to drive an external monitor.
Apple's pitch is that the Air's first and foremost a wireless device - it has 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 with Extended Data Rate (EDR) technology on board. The machine comes with software that allows any Mac running OS X 10.4.10 or above, or a PC with Windows XP or Vista, to 'lend' the Air is optical drive over the airwaves for software installation - but not media playback, it seems.
The other irritation most commentators cite - well, apart from the whole Apple hyperbole thing, which probably pisses more people off than the hardware does - is the lack of a user-removable battery. That's a worry given Apple's record on battery replacement programmes and issues over the last couple of years.
Still, early looks at the Air have revealed replacing the battery's just a matter of unscrewing the laptop's base and pulling out the power cell. We reckon it won't be long before cheap third-party alternatives hit the market.
But that's still not going to be much use to folk who like to travel with multiple batteries to extend the away-from-the-mains life of their machines.
The 1.6GHz, 80GB Air costs £1199 in the UK and $1799 in the US. The 1.8GHz, 64GB SSD model costs £2028/$3098.
Apple MacBook Air
I used to have a 12" Alu PB and didn't have any of the problems you've stated with deforming case.
Perhaps I was just lucky.
Bang and Olafson
Or Luis Vuitton maybe. Nothing to do with computing, nothing to do with innovation. All about taking off the shelf components, compressing them into so small a case they overheat, reducing the power, reducing the features, raising the price.
And proclaiming how cool you are.
Its not the product one hates, its the company.
No. Just no.
I like Apple, I love my Macbook Pro, I own an iPhone, my iPod is with me constantly, but I wouldn't trade my year old Pro for this.
If it was GIVEN to me I'd sell it and buy something else. Maybe something useful. I really feel Apple dropped the ball with this one.
So, I can pay 75% of the price of a MacBook Pro for a slower computer with fewer features? NO optical drive? Intel Graphics? A battery I need a screwdriver to swap out? I don't care how thin it makes it, I want an optical drive! My last Laptop with no optical drive was a Dell Latitude XPI+, I have no urge to go back to 1996.
Maybe if it had had a super small footprint like the EEEPC it would make sense, MAYBE. But no Apple, I liked you product for convenience. And eliminating 1/3 of the computer to make it skinny is not "convenient" I'm not buying.
Apple, I wanted a SMALL laptop, not just a skinny one.
Aluminium case? No thanks!
I'm got a 12" PowerMac, and I must say I'm very happy with it, except for the flimsy aluminium shell.
Even the smallest drop deforms the case. It's virtually impossible to open up (to change the hard drive, say) without crinkling. Oh, and it scratches easily.
Next time I buy a laptop, aluminium will be a deal breaker. Carbon fibre or titanium-only for me.
Apple must always maintain a differential in pricing ... otherwise people like me will have less excuse for saying (smugly) things like "Well, you get what you pay for", "I prefer driving a Bentley", "What's a Virus?", "Oh, look, your phone's got buttons ... I remember them from when I was a kid."
AND ... many Windows trolls would need to go elsewhere to post their hate and drivel.
AND ... El Reg might get tickets to Apple jollies. (Nah, just kidding!)