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MacBook Comes Up for Air

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In addition to unveiling a movie rental service for iTunes and an updated version of Apple TV (with a lower price), Steve Jobs in his Macworld keytnote today announced the MacBook Air, which at a maximum thickness of 0.76 inches (and 3 lbs), is the world’s thinnest notebook.

It sports both a full-sized keyboard and a 13.3-inch widescreen, LED-backlit display, and five hours of battery life. The Air will sell for $1,799 (for 1.6 GHz standard version) and $3,098 (for 1.8 GHz version, ouch) and will start shipping in two weeks. Additional specs include: a built-in iSight camera; built-in multitouch gesture support; 1.8-inch drive; USB 2, micro-DVI and headphone via a flipdown door; 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.

The machine was built to be wireless, Jobs said. There’s no optical drive. There’s a “remote disc” feature built right into the operating system that will show all Macs or PCs in the vicinity — you can just click on a machine and ask to borrow its optical drive. That’s pretty cool.

Head over to Earth2Tech for a rundown of the Air’s green qualities.

(thanks to Carolyn for writing this up on my behalf)

22 Responses to “MacBook Comes Up for Air”

  1. Jim Green

    I think the MacBook Air represents a fundamental shift in the stagnant laptop market. Its what users want, a full power laptop in a small package, perfect for traveling. The big question I have about the MacBook Air is this: is the battery life to be believed? If we’ve truly got 5 hours, then its a winner. If not, then I question the removable battery issue (lack of one, that is) in a big way.

  2. i think this thing will be a hit. yes, it sacrifices things for being light and small. but, really, it doesn’t sacrifice nearly what i thought it would. and judging from most people’s reactions – it will do fine.

  3. I was expecting the Air to be a thin-client browser, word processor, and media player for around $750.

    Basically, instead of something looking to replace the laptop, I was hoping for something to replace the newspaper.

  4. An overpriced (WAY overpriced), easily dented laptop that lacks some of the most basic features (user replaceable battery, optical drive, ethernet port, a keyboard that actually looks usable). More of the same “pretty instead of functional” crap that Apple is known for.

    If I want a pretty paperweight I’d buy this, if I want a laptop that is actually good for something I would not buy this. To make this work anything like a normal laptop you’d have to do the same as the ipod crowd and drag around a bag of extra accessories to plug in since hardly anything is included. Why not just buy a laptop that’s a couple millimeters thicker that includes everything? Sure it may not be quite as pretty, but at least you can do something with it. Being lighter than other laptops is worthless if you have to carry an extra 5 pounds of accessories with it.

    And LG.. what on earth are you going to do on a 9, 10 or 11 inch screen? 13 is way too small as it is, but you’re wanting to reduce screen sizes even more?!

  5. @Sebastian definitely agree with you. But…(and Apple is smart to leverage this) part of what people will pay extra for is the halo effect of buying into Mac culture. Apple is in the tech and the experience business. Starbucks capitalizes on the same notion that the experience of going to its retail locations, walking the streets with branded gear, etc. compensates for a price that’s relatively illogical in its market.

    I’ll be waiting to invest in the second gen, however:)

  6. I have used Apple for years now. I am on my third MacBook. I will be a buyer of the new thin one. I assume it will be strong enough and not bend or warp. Thin is good, but I hope it will close correctly a year after I buy it.

  7. The Air is clearly not meant to be the only computer someone uses. I’ve got a 24 inch iMac on my desktop with an additional 23 inch monitor. I need something to take into meetings. I need to be able to take notes. I need to be able to drive presentations.

    My questions mostly deal with the impact of the solid state drive on battery life and overall system performance.

  8. Mr. Crash

    I’m still waiting for an apple product where a weakness isn’t packaged as a (premium price) strength.

    No 3g in iphone.
    No 3g in their “ultraportable” – with no optical drive and only one USB port?… Wtf.

    This is not the worlds thinnest laptop.
    This is not worth the (more than 17″ MBP) price it’s costing.
    This is not what I wanted apple.

    Give me a proper touch screen device already.
    Something that isn’t a gimmick.

  9. Yes, the lack of removable battery sucks hard. I’ve gone through 3 batteries for my 12″ Powerbook, and the thought of not having it user replaceable turns me off permanently. The 13.3″ screen (and a bezel as fat (or fatter?) than the Macbook) means the footprint is more or less the same. I want small, not just thin. Thin is good, but I would have been much more excited by an 11″” screen with a super thin bezel. As it is, I’m really more interested in the next 9-10″ iteration of the eeePC. For now, I’m sticking to the G4 powerbook for a little longer

  10. pauroberts

    The $3000 version includes the 1.8Ghz processor PLUS the $999 solid state flash drive. You can get the 1.8Ghz processor for $300 more than the $1799 base price (so $2099).

    However, the base 80Gb drive is only 4200 RPM (kind of slow), and I don’t understand why they’re not offering the 160Gb version of the drive since they sell it in the iPod Classic.

    Sebastian, go buy an OLPC laptop and enjoy the experience. Feel the love of that user-friendly OS and ergonomic hardware.

    The good news is that when you buy one for yourself, some underprivledged student in a third world country will get one too. And they definitely can’t afford one of these.

    So, I’ll have to wait for some of this technology (small stuff and greener components) to make it into the Macbook Pro line. I was hoping it would be today. This machine is tempting (not @ $3K for only 65Gb), but it is not a full performance machine. Probably just a matter of time:-)

    And that’s what’s most interesting about these keynotes. It’s an indication of what’s coming. Today’s announcements may not be your cup of tea, but they show you where we’re all headed (Mac or OLPC or TV).