Apple is planning to release a Thunderbolt-to-Firewire adaptor soon, but with the new MacBook Pro With Retina Display also foregoing Firewire it looks as though the writing may be on the wall for IEEE 1394 on Apple kit.
Fine keyboard and a nice, big touchpad
The Air’s main connectivity issue now is its lack of an Ethernet port. In the past, your only option for wired networking was to buy one of Apple’s USB-to-100Mb/s-Ethernet adaptors, but Apple has also announced a new Thunderbolt-to-Gigabit-Ethernet adaptor too. Both adaptors cost £25, but the Thunderbolt adaptor will be preferable, giving you a faster connection as well as freeing up one of your USB ports.
The webcam has been updated too, now offering 1Mp resolution, sufficient for 720p video, but there’s still no SD card in this model as there is in the 13in version. And, of course, the MacBook Air wouldn’t be an Apple product if there weren’t at least one completely gratuitous change that involves some new type of cabling. This time around it’s the Magsafe power connector, updated to MagSafe 2 for some unspecified reason. So if you bought a spare power supply for a previous MacBook Air you won’t be able to use it with this one.
And, let's not forget, this remains the most portable of Apple's laptops - and one of the most portable notebooks period. It's compact, skinny, and light - just a kilo - so it's great for folk who carry a notebook around at all times. Yet the fine, solid keyboard, big touchpad and decent screen resolution - there are as many pixels on display as on many a cheap or mid-range 15-incher these days - means it doesn't compromise its usability.
Only the aforementioned lack of on-board Ethernet and SD let it down, but I wonder how many general, non-pro users will be inconvenienced by that. Ditto the inability to expand the machine's memory beyond the build-to-order options. But it shouldn't be long before third-party SSD updates will at least let you boost the machine's storage capacity.
This year’s MacBook Air hasn’t been reinvented in the same way as the MacBook Pro has. It’s essentially a housekeeping update that introduces Intel's Ivy Bridge platform and at long last brings in USB 3. Existing owners won’t need to rush out and upgrade, but this update should keep the MacBook Air competitive with all its Ultrabook rivals for the rest of this year. ®
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I do wish there was some sort of filter for this crap.
Yes, Apple make expensive consumer-centric products which are annoying locked down (Retina MBP battery gluing and RAM-soldering are 2012's idiotic ideas it seems). Yes, they attract zealots. My experience is that a Macs allows me to get more work done with less faffing around - people time is more expensive than kit.
At out small software development services company we started using Macs to do iOS development only, but now we're replacing the Windows boxes with Macs as they reach end of life. I tried a couple of flavours of GNU/Linux a couple of years back but it was too painful on laptops - wireless, 3G, suspend/resume issues, audio and printer driver issues. With Macs we get all the handy command line tooling (out of the box and with Macports) without the GNU/Linux laptop pain or the Windows cygwin pain.
YMMV, buy what makes you happy. TBH I miss my old Thinkpads, before Lenovo started making them out of cheese.
Re: No Ethernet
>Renaming it to "Overpriced metal sheened wireless deelie for mugs" would be better, and far more accurate without calling iTards what they actually are.
Does posting dumb shit like that make you feel better about your miserable self?
I second the motion for an iHater filter. They can be allowed back in when they back up their claims with evidence.
They are especially irritating because the rest of us would like to talk rationality about the future of the kit that we use, and new ideas and standards often pop up on Apple kit. I'm a PC user. Take the ThunderBolt interface for instance - that has the potential to blur the distinction between desktop and laptop, offering as it does the ability to offload a discrete graphics card into a docking station, as Sony have used it for on the equally pricey Vaio Z (along with fast external storage and a monitor to boot). Exciting stuff, in so far as tech goes.
That's high end kit at the moment, but give it a year or two. This stuff will affect us more than one manufacturer deciding now that many of its users don't use Ethernet enough to warrant a dedicated socket. Shit, one relative of mine bought a new laptop purely because her old Toshiba didn't have a caps-lock light or a SD Card slot...
Viva la difference.
Re: No Ethernet
> Renaming it to "Overpriced metal sheened wireless deelie for mugs" would be better, and far more accurate without calling iTards what they actually are.
Strange how tossers like you can't support their overpriced claim with links to where one can find a comparable PC for half the price of a Mac. Put up or shut up, please.
Re: No Ethernet
It's funny, because so many professional musicians use Mac laptops. Even Kraftwerk who aren't "tards" by any stretch of the imagination.