Apple MacBook Air enters the light, thin mobile market

17 Comments

MacbookairIt’s official: the MacBook Air is the third line of portability in the Apple notebook family. As much as I like my 15-inch MacBook Pro, it’s certainly not the device of choice when I leave home. I’ve been more productive with smaller devices like my UMPCs and Asus Eee PC. The MacBook Air offers up an opportunity though: folks looking for the power of a MacBook or MBP in a smaller, lighter package are squarely in the aim of the Air.

  • Thin, tapered design ranging from a scant 0.16″ to 0.76″ thin thick, 3 pounds in weight
  • 13.3-inch widescreen display with LED backlight; ought to help with the power consumption, battery rated at 5 hours
  • 1.6 GHz to 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo-powered with 2 GB of RAM, so no skimping on performance
  • 80 GB hard drive standard, in the 1.8-inch form factor; 64 GB SSD option. This could help drive down SSD pricing…
  • Multi-touch support like the iPhone on a large trackpad, backlit keyboard
  • 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1, external optical drive available as a $99 option; Remote Disc software will allow for use of opticals on networked Macs or PCs
  • Starting price at $1,799, shipping in two weeks, pre-orders begin today

No question in my mind that a ton of thought went into the design here. Apple seems to have created a very portable device that still offers a more-than-generous screen and keyboard size. Ultra-portable? No, not when I look at traditional UMPCs and upcoming MIDs. Light, powerful and (dare I say it?) sexy as all get out? You betcha and I have little doubt that a ton of these will be flying off the shelves at Apple stores everywhere. Check the Apple MacBook Air site for full details or catch a video guided tour of the device. Who’s buying?

17 Comments

bobm

I have a first gen mac book and while it’s nice I think I could do everything it does with the Air. The biggest disappointment is the 1.8″ drive tho.

If Steve had consulted with me I would have told him make it 11 or 12″ screen and all would be good in the world.

My eeePC is good for short usages but i couldn’t imagine trying to work for 8+ hrs a day on it.

I’ve been on the fence about getting this (just because I can) but fear that the dev conf will release a new 13″ mac book pro..

to make it worse it’s almost time for the PMA (photo show), also an expensive hobby.

Mike Cane

>>>Mike Cane, suck it up you wuss!!! :P (just kidding!)

I are the anti-Ahrnold.

Man, there are THREE POUND BOOKS I’ve had to abandon reading because they add too much weight to my shoulder bag. It’s just not light enough.

Asus EeePC or Cloudbook — YES!

GoodThings2Life

@Gork, no no no… you would go with whatever choice you pick at the start. It’s not just the battery that’s integrated, it’s the whole kit-n-kaboodle– memory and hard drive are integrated too, according to reports from Engadget and Gizmodo. Enjoy the pretty paperweight.

gork

GoodThings2Life:

I can use the MacBook Air as a business PC easy. It has everything I need. You can run Office, Open Office and answer e-mail and I can install Windows Remote Desktop (still gotta use Windows) and many other applications. This is a Core 2 Duo. This isn’t a lightweight in the hardware department. The Eee and Cloudbook I can ALSO use as a business machine and they are MUCH less powerful then the MacBook Air. Also much cheaper. You could even edit video on the MacBook Air. The only downside to that is no firewire so getting video on it might be hard….but that’s not what the MacBook Air was designed for.

As for cost, I agree on the 64 GB SSD version. It doesn’t justify the cost to go SSD on the Air at this point.

If I had to ask for anything on this thing(other than a removable battery), I would like to see a built in SDHC card slot. Why is it the PC camp is the only one who gets this? SDHC cards could be as ubiquitous as USB thumb drives if they’d actually just put a dang slot on the front like PC’s have.

I too wish the MacBook Air was cheaper, but it looks like they wanted to have the power available on this machine and didn’t want anything less than a Core 2 Duo in it. It’s sad….they could have easily put a Celeron or something smaller in this thing and it STILL could have ran OSX acceptably.

GoodThings2Life

Mike Cane, suck it up you wuss!!! :P (just kidding!)

Yeah, the integrated battery on this thing makes it useful for *maybe* a year until the battery dies out (par for the course with Apple batteries).

Scoobie

Pity they didn’t deliver a umpc, which there engineering they could shake the market into action

Mike Cane

Sorry, I know this is heresy and I will hanged in effigy in Frisco tonight (they’ll also set the effigy on fire for some warmth!), but the Air doesn’t excite me like the Everex Cloudbook or even Asus EeePC do. Three frikkin pounds is NOT light to me!

GoodThings2Life

Once again, this is just a demonstration that Apple is all looks and no brains. I mean, sure it looks like a super-model, but does it really matter if it’s only usable for web surfing, entry-level multimedia, and word processing (*IF* you buy Office)? It still isn’t a Tablet PC, a Media Center PC, or a gaming PC, and at the start of a weekday, you still can’t use it as a business PC.

And then there’s the cost factor… talk about an over-priced feather… who do they think they are, Dell’s Latitude XT?

gork

GASP! 64 GB SSD almost doubles the cost! Wow. Well, I’d go with the 80 GB one there until SSD goes down in cost.

gork

I love this thing. Plus the ability to use a PC or Mac CD/DVD drive to read those over the network is cool. I hope it doesn’t need a Airport Extreme to do that however. I have a commercial grade router in my house and I ain’t giving it up! :D

Wiley Johnson

64GB SSD is $999 as am option.
It needs to drive down a LOT more
..wiley
NW Houston

Wiley Johnson

64GB SSD is $999 as am option.
It needs to drive down a LOT more
..wiley
NW Houston

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