Apple MacBook Air June 2009
Laptop lightweight packs more punch
Review Now in its third generation, the MacBook Air hasn’t had the same sort of overhaul as the rest of the MacBook range has had in recent months. Even so, Apple’s super-slim laptop has received a welcome price and performance tweak that should help broaden its appeal in more ways than one.
Apple’s MacBook Air: still skinny
The MacBook Air’s great strength, of course, is its lightweight, slimline design. Although it has a 13.3in screen with 1280 x 800 resolution, it weighs just 1.36kg and measures 18.8mm at its thickest point. The reduced weight really does make a difference when you’re travelling – it’s like carrying a paper notepad rather than a notebook computer.
However, one of the downsides of the ultra-slimline design is that there’s not much room for a cooling system – or a battery either – so the machine has always tended to use relatively modest processors in order to keep power consumption and heat output as low as possible.
The previous version cost about £1200 with a mere 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo processor, or almost £1800 with a 1.86GHz CPU. In the latest line up, the cheaper of the two models model gets a speed boost from 1.6GHz to 1.86GHz, along with a price cut of about £120 that brings it down to £1149.
We tested the faster version of the Air, that breaks the 2GHz barrier for the first time, reaching the giddy heights of 2.13GHz. This model gets a larger price cut from £1761 to £1349. Yes, it’s still expensive, but not out of line with similar top-name brands such as Sony’s ultra-portable Vaio TT or the Fujitsu LifeBook.
Solid Air: available with an optional 128GB SSD
Both Air models have the same Nvidia GeForce 9400M 256MB graphics core, featured in the previous refresh, plus 2GB of DDR 3 Ram, which is fixed and non-expandable. Our review unit also had a 128GB SSD, while the cheaper option has a conventional 120GB hard disk.
Next page: Mac Benchmarks
Yeah, of course I want to disassemble my machine on an airplane because they don't have airplane power adapters for the Air... (hint: they do)
FWIW: I use a Dell Mini 9 running Mac OS X and I love it.
'> Ive never understood how the same company that came up with something as good as
> the Macbook Pro could come up with something as shit as the Macbook Air.
Maybe ... they're targeted at different markets. Maybe ... you're not in the target market. ...
Just a thought. :-)
One of these days, Apple will announce the Airbook (imo), less graphics, RAM, and CPU,
but with an Expresscard slot, and they'll sell them like hot cakes.
I have love how people get so defensive over products like this. It's only "shit" because you can't afford it (me neither for that matter).
>(Mac's are toys for fanboyz)
For some people yes. But there are some extremely affordable and powerful creativity tools available for OSX.
The likes of Kraftwerk, Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode are Mac users.
Have a read:
Many hollywood films are edited with Final Cut Studio, are these all edited by fanboys too?
I'm sorry but at least 50% of the reason I have a notebook is I use it to watch movies while traveling. The other 50% of my time is spent online, either gaming or surfing. No I can't be fucked to download movies or waste 100s of hours copying all my movies to another form of media.
The Macbook Pro is a far more capable piece of equipment, it comes with what 99% of people need in a notebook.
External drive? Fuck off. I want portability not some klutzy shite that means I have to carry multiple pieces of equipment, dangling something over the edge of a tray table or hanging to the side when I use put the notebook in my lap.
I've never understood how the same company that came up with something as good as the Macbook Pro could come up with something as shit as the Macbook Air.