You have all probably seen the news about the new MacBook Air announced this morning by Steve Jobs and now that the glitz and glamour of the keynote is wearing off people are diving into the details. One major issue, IMHO, that Adrian Kingsley-Hughes pointed out in his first thoughts was the lack of a removable battery. It isn't such a big deal with iPods or the iPhone that lasts all day for the most part, but to not have a removable battery on a notebook computer is an interesting strategy. I do have to admit though that I only have a single battery for my MacBook Pro, but then again I primarily use it at my house as my only PC since I only get a bit more than 2 hours on the go with it.
While I think the MacBook Air looks slick with its slim form factor, it doesn't seem to be a good device for the mobile worker with the single USB port and no ExpressCard slot. The only options remaining for connecting wirelessly without a WiFi hotspot are to use the USB slot with a USB modem or connect to your mobile phone via Bluetooth. The problem with the single USB port solution is that the MacBook Air, actually all of the Apple notebooks, do not include any kind of media card reader so if you want to upload any photos/videos you have to take out your USB modem, connect a card reader, move the photos/video onto the hard drive, and then reconnect your USB modem to connect again. You now also have to carry a USB flash card reader and it just continues to boggle my mind why Apple, who tends to focus on media, can't make integrated flash card readers a standard across all of their notebooks. Am I missing something here?
To truly be a MacBook Air, Apple should have added a 3G radio for people to pop in a 3G SIM card. It would be more difficult to use a 3G EV-DO integrated solution because then the device would have to get a separate service plan just for data access, but the Sony Vaio UX devices have integrated EDGE data options and Apple could have bumped that up to a 3G option.
I will be skipping the MacBook Air and was really hoping for an Apple Tablet, but it looks like I'll have to keep holding out and maybe we'll see something like this in 2009. Can Apple at least add a flash card reader in their notebooks the next time they make a hardware announcement?