Apple MacBook Air enters the light, thin mobile market

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?

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