Feeds
80%

Apple MacBook Air Early 2008

Style over substance - and thank God too

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The Air's three ports are on the right-hand side, within a fold-out panel that's remarkably effective and feels well made. The 3.5mm headphone socket, USB 2.0 port and mini DVI port - adaptor cables are bundled for full DVI and VGA - are gently spring-loaded and not remotely as flimsy as these kind of mechanisms so often are.

Again, the unit closes flush with the casing, though there's a gap above it to allow you to flip the ports open. This is easy enough to do when the laptop's held on its edge, but tricky when flat on a desk, a result of the narrow gap between desk and laptop edge, not the mechanism itself.

There's no catch to hold down the Air's lid, but there's enough strength in the hinge to hold it down. The front of the Air has an indentation to allow you to reach under the lid's edge and lift it up with a finger. That's sufficient pressure to open the lid with out pivoting the base too, until you get the lid past the vertical. There's sufficient friction in the hinge to keep the screen wherever you place it.

Apple MacBook Air

Well-hinged

The glossy 13in, 1280 x 800 display is wonderfully clear and crisp, though no more so than any other LED-backlit screen we've seen. But while the horizontal viewing angle range is great, in the vertical it's pretty poor. Again, that's par for the course on laptops these days.

The Air's screen bevel is surprisingly wide but not intrusive. It's clear the Air's the size it is in order to make room for its large touchpad. The width of the LCD is barely bigger than that of the keyboard, and had Apple implemented an ordinary touchpad, it could have shaved a good 1.5cm off the width of the Air.

The touchpad is big because Apple's enabled iPhone-stye gesture input: draw two fingers apart to zoom into pictures and the like, then turn them to rotate images. It works as well as it does on the iPhone - pictures zoom and rotate smoothly and without lag - but where it's essential on the handheld, here it seems a gimmick.

The keyboard's lozenge keys are very good to type on, and there's none of the bend you get with some laptop keyboards - the Air's keyboard is mounted solidly. The keyboard backlight - activated manually or whenever the light around you dims - is welcome, as is the addition of dedicated keys for Mac OS X's Exposé and Dashboard features. We'd have rather had wireless enable/disable buttons than the media playback controls, but each to their own.

And what's with an Eject key on a optical disc-less laptop?

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Reg man builds smart home rig, gains SUPREME CONTROL of DOMAIN – Pics
LightwaveRF and Arduino: Bright ideas for dim DIYers
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Apple patent LOCKS drivers out of their OWN PHONES
I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't let you text that
Microsoft signs Motorola to Android patent pact – no, not THAT Motorola
The part that Google never got will play ball with Redmond
Slip your finger in this ring and unlock your backdoor, phone, etc
Take a look at this new NFC jewellery – why, what were you thinking of?
Happy 25th birthday, Game Boy!
Monochrome handset ushered in modern mobile gaming era
OnePlus One equals 'killer' new mobe running CyanogenMod
But it's invites-only for now, and you might also need a hammer
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
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.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
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.