Intel makes MacBook Air processor available to all
But the Air clones will be coming anyway
The reduced-size 65nm Core 2 Duo designed by Intel and incorporated inside Apple's super-slim MacBook Air is available for other computer makers to buy, the chip company confirmed last week.
No great surprise there - Intel's in the business of selling as many chips as possible, not operating as Apple's in-house silicon specialist - but the news hasn't stopped commentators speculating that a raft of Air-alternatives will be hitting the market in the very near future.
Again, no surprise there. Wherever Apple's innovation - whether it's come up with idea itself or, more usually, taken an existing product and run with with it, as per the iPod, the iPhone and, now, the Air - takes it, lesser brands are wont to follow. So there will be more skinny laptops coming, whether Intel makes its physically cut-down CPU available to other customers or not.
Come May, Intel will have a raft of low-power, high-performance 45nm Core 2 Duo processors ready for laptop makers. And don't forget 'Silverthorne', the 45nm ground-up-design UMPC chip that uses HyperThreading to boost performance while keeping the core count to one.
Apple's MacBook Air: smoooooth
It's not just the small processor that's made the Air possible. While that helps shrink the machine's motherboard a little, Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro mobos aren't exactly large as it is. Neither are many other laptop boards. What makes the Air possible is the willingness to drop the optical drive and to use a handheld music player-grade hard drive until solid-state disks become cheap enough to be offered as standard.
Incidentally, what the Air does have over its rivals - whether you like the machine or not - is the best casing. Compare it to similar PCs, such as Toshiba's Portege R500, and while the Air is a smooth, solid product, thanks to its aluminium alloy shell, the R500 is clad in flexible plastic that's all humps, bumps and air vents.
Still, while the Air is nicer looking, it's clearly less functional - the R500 has plenty more ports and an integrated optical drive. Watch out for our full review of the Toshiba.
Re: Price bloat
"MacOS is a little thinner than Windoze but the Apple pricing is certainly bloated!"
Just out of interest, what planet do you live on? Ever thought of making a comparison before spouting off? To save you the bother, here is one I did earlier.
Leopard/OS X (+ iLife08) - $200 (I'll ignore the family, 5 license, offer at $267)
Vista Ultimate - $355 ($232 upgrade)
So what is more bloated again?
Now if you mean hardware then I'll agree that Apple stuff comes in *slightly* higher (like for like) than an MS powered effort but the Air is a 'must have' product so early adopters are dumb enough to pay the inflated price.
Good as the R500 is...
....it's about as capable as multi tasking as the average woman is of comprehending the off side rule. The spec is great on paper, well everything except the ULV processor, but it's the processor that lets it down...even running XP it is not capable of doing much beyond Outlook and a couple of spreadsheets - which is exactly what is' designed for, whereas the Air is similarly sized, albeit a chunk more pricey and devoid of some standard features (though i agree with Apple and many others that it's not necessarily bad as they have solutions to all the common issues) but importantly the Air is powerful, it can genuinely do most tasks, i.e. Photoshop etc
Many seem to miss the point in slating the Air, it's a mobile PC that just so happens to be powerful enough to do the work that laptop users want - i want a lightweight machine but given my job role i also need a machine capable of hard work, the R500 is useless in that respect, the Air is not.
If you don't spec the SSD hard disc either (which i know is desirable) then i don't think the price is bad either.... but then again most seem to want the moon on the stick, with Uranus thrown in for free these days.
Re: skinny laptop needs skinny os ..
Very true indeed, but how about a skinny pricetag to match too?
MacOS is a little thinner than Windoze but the Apple pricing is certainly bloated!
Now thats a shame... really. I think it will further highlight how cappy the OS is.
skinny laptop needs skinny os ...
... and they'll be attempting to shoehorn Vista onto them