None of those features – or missing features – have changed in this new, updated model, so if the non-replaceable battery or non-existent DVD drive put you off the first time around then you’re not going to change your mind now. However, improved processor, memory and graphics performance do mean that this new model is noticeably faster than its predecessor - as you'll see from our benchmark tests in due course.
Not over-endowed with ports
Like the first Air, the new version is available in two configurations. There’s a model with 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 120GB hard drive that costs £1271, or you can opt for a 1.86GHz processor and 128GB of solid-state storage for £1761. Both prices are lower than the original Air, which went on sale less than a year ago, would have set you back.
Both models have 2GB RAM - still non-upgradeable, unfortunately - a 13.3in, 1280 x 800 widescreen display, this time driven by an Nvidia GeForce 9400M integrated graphics core.
There’s still that single USB 2.0 port, along with 802.11n wireless networking, a built-in webcam and microphone, but no Ethernet or Firewire. The dimensions and weight remain the same too: a mere 19mm at the thickest point, 320mm wide and 224mm deep, and a very well-balanced 1.36kg in weight.
The lid's thin, but tough
The original Air was also available in 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz models, so the processor speeds have barely changed. However, Apple has used a different processor for this model, one of the newer Core 2 Duo processors equipped with 1067MHz frontside bus, up from 800MHz on the original model. The memory has been upgraded to 1066MHz DDR 3, which provides a little extra performance too.
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.