Feeds
80%

Apple MacBook Air Early 2008

Style over substance - and thank God too

Business security measures using SSL

Even so, the Air's not without its flaws. We've already mentioned the very spartan array of ports, but there's another: the design of cooling system. The Air pulls air in through the keyboard and vents it out of a grille on the base, or vice versa. That's fine when you're using the air on a desk, where the airflow will be unimpeded, but it makes it tricky to use perched on your thighs. Do so and you'll block the vents.

MacBook owners might be wary of doing this in any case, having experience high Apple laptop baseplate temperatures, but the Air's a different beast that runs much cooler than the company's other machines. It's a lot cooler than the MacBook Pro when running exactly the same set of applications. Push the processor and upper and lower surfaces will warm up but never get unpleasantly hot as the MacBook Pro can. The fan will rev up in such circumstances, but we never found its hum intrusive.

Apple MacBook Air

Missing ports not missed

As it turned out, we didn't mind the absence of an optical drive or multiple USB ports either, but that's no excuse for not building either an extra USB or a Firewire port into the Air's array, and an Ethernet socket, for that matter. Apple's £19 USB-to-Ethernet adaptor works well enough but, like the remote control, really should have come bundled, given the Air's price.

The standard, hard drive version retails for £1199/$1799, to which you can add £829/$1299 for the SSD version. The price is high when compared to Apple's more mainstream laptops but less than what Toshiba is charging for its entry-level R500, and Sony for the Vaio TZ1. Like those machines, the Air is a niche product, aimed at folk willing to pay more for a machine that's as portable as possible. And the Air is certainly very portable.

So too are the Sony and the Toshiba but without the sacrifices Apple felt it necessary to make to get its machine so thin. A little more thickness for extra ports wouldn't have been much of a compromise and still left the Air with a slightly bigger screen and keyboard, and a faster CPU than the TZ1 and R500. Better looking too - that's enough of a differentiation without having to be thinner into the bargain.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
Apple's Watch is basically electric perfume
It isn't just me-too Apple that's lost its lustre: Gadget mania is over
In a spin: Samsung accuses LG exec of washing machine SABOTAGE
Rival electronic giant tries to iron out allegations
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.