Feeds

Apple ships Air

Love it or hate it, it's here

High performance access to file storage

Apple has begun shipping its skinny MacBook Air laptop, a product that's managed to generate more controversy than even the iPhone has.

Apple MacBook Air

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.

Apple MacBook Air

...very slim

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.

Video Preview
Apple MacBook Air

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
WTF happened to Pac-Man?
In his thirties and still afraid of ghosts
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Happy 25th birthday, Game Boy!
Monochrome handset ushered in modern mobile gaming era
Leaked photos may indicate slimmer next-generation iPad
Will iPad Air evolve into iPad Helium?
True optical zoom coming to HTC smartphone cameras
Time to ditch that heavy DSLR? Maybe in a year, year and a half
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.