Apple MacBook Air Late 2008
Still sexy, but rather faster now
Review The MacBook Air is a quintessential Apple product, one that demonstrates both the company’s strengths and weaknesses. When it was launched at the beginning of 2008, the Air was admired – nay, drooled over – because of its elegant, ultra-portable design.
But while some people lusted after it, others pointed to its limitations and argued that this was just one more example of Apple trying to sell style over substance.
MacBook Air: quintessential Apple laptop
The main criticism aimed at the Air was that it was over-priced and under-powered. Certainly, with a starting price of around £1200 for a mere 1.6GHz processor, the Air didn’t provide a lot of bang for your buck. To be fair, though, ultra-portable laptops such as this always come at a premium, and the Air did actually compare well with similar ultra-portables from big-name brands such as Sony and Toshiba.
There were, however, other aspects of the Air that were harder to overlook. The single USB port and complete lack of Ethernet were puzzling – after all, they wouldn’t exactly add a lot to the weight and size of the unit. The non-upgradable 2GB of RAM was more disappointing, while the absence of a built-in DVD drive simply left some people scratching their heads - although it did give Apple the chance to sell an expensive external drive as an optional extra.
Same design, new internals
And the decision to seal the laptop’s battery inside the unit so that there was no way to swap an empty battery for a full one – well that just seemed plain daft.
Do you have to be a geek for requesting an RJ45 or second usb port?
Right tool for the job?
While I look askance at Air having only one USB port (??) and a non- replaceable battery (???), I also agree with the many posters who basically said that if it won't work for you as-is, don't buy it. I wouldn't buy a Maserati to haul sacks of concrete any more than I'd buy a pickup truck to race on the autobahn. Kudos to Apple for pushing the design envelope; in due time I expect we'll see something with all the features that powergeeks need built into something stylish enough to make us look forward to doing work on it.
I get PC's for free,...
Now,.If Mr. Jobs would like to give me an MBA for "FREE"
I'll use his products.
Why oh Why
Do people continue to criticize at product that would never fit their needs or in fact is not even targeted at them as a potential customer.
I have seen the MBA and absolutely love the form factor and design, however like others here I would never buy one, why not, because it wouldn't do what I needed, however why should that stop me liking the product for what it is or admiring the design aesthetics. I think it's great that innovation like this continues as eventually it will filter down into the sort of devices I need and use.
It's a real shame people insist on this type of behavior - it is not constructive or enjoyable (and I usually enjoy reading the news and views on El Reg).
Please, Please accept products like the MBA and iPhone for what they are, and if you are not the intended audience then don't feel you have to try and ruin the experience for those who are. I am not an Apple Fanboy - I use products from many manufacturers (including Apple) and don't feel the need to call something a pile of cr@p just because it doesn't meet my needs!
The MacBook Air is not MEANT to be a powerhouse for geeks, it's targetted at people who want reasonable performance in a very compact form. Apple have *deliberately* stripped out a lot of the unnecessary stuff (unnecessary for its target market, not geeks) to make it so unbelievably thin and portable.
The whining I keep hearing from people moaning about how expensive it is given it's been stripped down. Sorry guys, but stripping all this stuff off a standard laptop form factor takes R&D time, it's the same reason Porsche make versions of it's cars which have everything stripped out (glass for perspex, removal of seats, no air-con etc, right down to the badge being a sticker rather than a metal badge) and cost MORE than the standard versions with all the trimmings. It's a niche market that they're catering for and the design costs time and therefore money.
If you have about £1200 to spare and want an Apple laptop, you have 2 choices - buy a full-featured MacBook Pro if you're a geek and/or want the power and features the larger form-factor provides, or buy a MacBook Air and get the ultimate in portability with some features and performance sacrificed in order to achieve that.
Remember geeks - the MacBook Air is not targetted at you! Go buy the MacBook Pro instead.