MacBook Air - First thoughts

At Macworld 08 Steve Jobs introduced us to Apple's latest addition to the Mac family - MacBook Air. What's so special about the MacBook Air? It's the world's thinnest, most portable notebook.

At Macworld 08 Steve Jobs introduced us to Apple's latest addition to the Mac family - MacBook Air.  What's so special about the MacBook Air?  It's the world's thinnest, most portable notebook.

MacBook Air - First thoughts

The dimensions of the MacBook Air are unbelievable - 0.16-0.76 inch (0.4-1.94 cm) high by 12.8 inches (32.5 cm) by 8.94 inches (22.7 cm) and the whole package comes in at 3.0 pounds (1.36 kg).  Despite the small size, the MacBook Air is equipped with a 13.3-inch widescreen TFT panel capable of 1280 by 800 native resolution, and a full-size keyboard (which is backlit) with 78 (U.S.) or 79 (ISO) keys

MacBook Air - First thoughts

The system is based on Intel's Core 2 Duo processor range and comes in either 1.6 or 1.8GHz flavors and 2GB of DDR2 RAM.  Also squeezed in to this tiny aluminum box is an 80GB drive or an optional 64GB solid-state drive.

It seems that Apple has also caught the environmental bug - the MacBook Air seems like it's a little better for the sky (and the water, trees and everything else) than other Macs:

  • Highly recyclable, mercury-free aluminum enclosure
  • Mercury-free LCD display with arsenic-free glass
  • PVC-free internal cables
  • Largely recyclable, low-volume packaging
  • Meets ENERGY STAR requirements
  • MacBook Air received a Silver rating from EPEAT

Peripheral connections seem a little mean - a single USB port, an audio out port and a micro-DVI port.  No Ethernet, no modem (sold separately as USB adaptors)

MacBook Air - First thoughts

Also, the MacBook Air doesn't ship with an optical drive.  If you want one you have to buy the optional MacBook Air SuperDrive ($99). 

Here are some prices for you to mull over:

  • 1.6GHz, 80GB MacBook Air - $1,799.00
  • 1.6GHz, 64GB SSD - $2,798.00
  • 1.8GHz, 80GB MacBook Air - $2,099.00
  • 1.8GHz, 64GB SSD - $3,098.00

One downside that I can see - the battery is not user replaceable.  This is starting to become a trend for Apple.  I guess it's a good way to build a level of obsolescence into a product so people come back in the future and buy again.  Not sure how ethical, customer-friendly or environmentally-friendly that is though. 

Apple sure has a way of making the small seem big.  My prediction is that this is going to be a huge hit for Apple.

Thoughts?