Blog Post

The MacBook Air Is Doomed


What Apple (s aapl) fan of small-and-light computing doesn’t remember that Macworld Expo Keynote? The one where, uncovering Apple’s then-latest laptop and holding it aloft, Steve Jobs declared it “the smallest full-featured notebook in the world.” By the self-satisfied smile on his face, you knew Apple was back in the ultra-portable market for good.

Two years and change later, it was canceled.

That would be the 12” PowerBook G4 of 2003 that met its demise in 2005, but what happened then seems eerily familiar in 2009. Since the manila-envelope unveiling at Macworld Expo 2008, the MacBook Air has gotten less Apple Event love than the time it takes Yael Naïm to sing “New Soul.” Phil Schiller spent about 30 seconds detailing a spec bump and a price drop at WWDC 2009, the same event at which the MacBook Pros saw major redesign. It was that seeming indifference to the Air that led me to ponder the history of the smallest PowerBook in relation to the fate of the thinnest MacBook. ?

Comparative Updates: 12" PowerBook G4 vs. MacBook Air

Spooky, huh? The overlap is like looking at some old soul reincarnated and doomed to relive the same life of regret. Note that after the first revision that included new video options, both models subsequently received “drop-in upgrades,” incremental increases in CPU and storage capacity. Also, the 12” PowerBook G4 ended its model life at $1,499, which is the same price as the MacBook Air now.

Of course, comparing the timeline of the PowerBook G4 with the MacBook Air hardly predicts the future of the latter — though a mirrored RAM boost for the MacBook Air would be nice. If there is any foretelling of the Air’s future to be had, it’s more likely to be found in the demise of the PowerBook. That demise, in my opinion, would be the iBook.

When the 12” PowerBook G4 was introduced, it had several big advantages over the 12” iBook.

  • G4 CPU vs. G3 CPU
  • CD-RW/DVD vs. CD/DVD player
  • GeForce4 420 Go and display spanning vs. ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 and display mirroring
  • Infinitely Awesome Keyboard vs. Chicklet Keys

By the time the last iBook model was introduced, the only advantage left to the higher-priced PowerBook was the keyboard and the ability to run dual displays. When Apple switched to Intel (s intc), the MacBook did spanning, and the superior keyboard was no more. The black MacBook effectively replaced the 12” PowerBook G4 in the laptop lineup. The question now becomes whether the 13″ MacBook Pro is replacing the MacBook Air.

Feature Creep: MacBook Air to MacBook Pro

At Macworld Expo 2008, Steve Jobs might as well have likened the manufacturing of the MacBook Air from a sheet of solid aluminum to Michelangelo discovering David within a block of stone, so lavish was his praise of the technology. If you aren’t familiar with the process, there’s a video on Apple’s web site, on a MacBook Pro page. Symbolism noted.

The timeline shows the migration of technologies from the MacBook Air to the 13″ MacBook Pro. Though it’s a given that Apple always intended to diffuse the tech throughout its portables, the 13″ MacBook Pro puts these features in a design similar to the MacBook Air. Further, several MacBook Pro features are arguably missing from the MacBook Air, including: better battery life, more RAM, buttonless trackpad and SD Card slot.

Originally promising five hours of “wireless productivity,” battery life declined with the second revision of the MacBook Air due to its faster CPU. The third revision brought battery life back to five hours with a change from a 37 to 40 W/Hr battery. However, the new built-in battery in the 13″ MacBook Pro has increased battery life to six hours. While it is possible the MacBook Air has reached the limit of battery life, the memory situation is not up for debate.

In January of 2008, 2GB of RAM in a MacBook Air was a good deal; not so much in 2009. Even Apple’s white MacBook comes with 2GB standard. Worse, the high-end 13” MacBook Pro comes with 4GB standard. In stark and embarrassing contrast, the the high-end MacBook Air still has the same 2GB of RAM soldered to the motherboard. It’s a change that should have happened, but hasn’t, like the single-button trackpad.

Button, button, whose got the button, and why?

The MacBook Air was the first Mac portable to have multitouch input, with that functionality later duplicated across the Pro lineup. The question concerning the MacBook Air trackpad is why is there still a button? Clearly, Apple has moved away from that design with the high-end portables, a lineup that includes the MacBook Air at $1,499. A button-less trackpad may be more a matter of form than function, but what about the SD Card slot?

While one could argue that the SD Card slot might not fit into the MacBook Air, certainly no Mac laptop would benefit from such a feature more than one without an optical drive. Instead of purchasing a SuperDrive, you could boot OS X off an SD card for troubleshooting, or even installation. Imagine where that could lead.

When asked about bringing Blu-ray to the Mac at an Apple Event in 2008, Steve Jobs replied that “Blu-ray is just a bag of hurt.” By this, Jobs meant Apple didn’t want to burden Mac users with the “cost of the licensing and the cost of the drives.” While that sounds altruistic, it’s a little difficult to understand, as companies like Dell (s dell) have sold sub-$1,000 laptops with Blu-ray drives for over a year.

More understandable would be history repeating itself with Apple and removable media. In 1998, Apple introduced the original iMac without an integrated floppy drive. The future is clearly digital downloading, the way video is rented and sold at the iTunes Store. Unlike the floppy, Apple has a vested interest in speeding the demise of the optical drive. Should Apple remove the optical drive on Pro lineup, the impact would be immediate for the MacBook Air.

The handwriting for the optical disc is not on the wall, but the back of the MacBook Pro case.

Removing the optical drive and supporting structure from the 13” MacBook Pro could reduce the weight by as much as half a pound. How much could Apple engineering then do to reduce the size of the motherboard? Adding a longer, thinner battery could allow for a wedge-shaped case, making the 13″ MacBook Pro look and feel a lot like the MacBook Air. Would a prospective MacBook Air buyer then pay an extra $300 for one less pound in weight? It’s the story of the 12″ PowerBook G4 all over again, though the story won’t end this year.

Fall is for iPods, perhaps desktops, but not laptops, and not during an Apple-less Macworld Expo in January 2010. Between February and April would be a good guess for the next round of laptop updates. Ironically, a last MacBook Air update in the spring would nearly complete the comparison to the 12″ PowerBook G4. Sometime later that year, the first MacBook Pros without optical drives could be introduced, leaving Apple’s latest foray into ultra-lights to vanish into the thinest air.

41 Responses to “The MacBook Air Is Doomed”

  1. There is no point removing the optical drive from the pro. DVDs (like CDs) arnt going to be wiped out by the download industry and many people I know prefer using CDs for gaming to avoid 15GB downloads.
    The pro is already very light and thin, getting rid of a, quite frankly, vital optical drive is stupid. The lack of an optical drive is what made me get a pro and not an air.
    Anyway, why would apple make the pro lighter and thinner? It would, as you said, make the air redundant.

  2. ks2problema

    Fanboyz — of any ilk, whether Apple, Microsoft, or Google (or any other commercial brand) crack me the heck up. The desperate justifications and pretzel logic, the elaborate and ultimately rather pathetic rationalizations.

    Good stuff.

  3. I have both MBA (trackpad w button) & MBP(trackpad w/o button) and I prefer a lot the trackpad w button on MBA. Its very clumsy and non-intuitive to perform primary & secondary click on MBP’s Trackpad w/o button. You can activate secondary click/tap by tap on the Lower right corner but it means you may have to raise your index finger to use it; you can’t really use your thumb on these trackpad w/o button unless you want a lot of false input. Multi-Trackpad to support multi-touch is good but getting rid of the the button is a step backward.

  4. If the macbook pro forgoes the optical drive, it effectively takes the form of the macbook air. Even if it would be named the macbook pro and the air name was removed, the air contributed the form factor and the pro contributed the name. Guess what product line just died.

  5. David W.

    The MacBook Air was a great machine when it was introduced and still fulfills a marketing niche.

    The MBA was not meant to be the primary Mac for the house. The typical user is one who buys a iMac for the house, has a computer at work, and wants something very light and portable to carry in between. The MBA still fulfills that purpose weighing only 3 pounds vs. almost 5 pounds for the new MacBook and 4 1/2 pounds for the MacBook Pro. (Yes, the MacBook is actually heavier than the MacBook Pro). That 1 1/2 pounds makes a big difference when you carry it around all day on your shoulder.

    So, there’s still a good market for the MBA. Why wasn’t it refreshed in the last two rounds? Because it already had a unibody construction, multi-touch trackpad, backlit screen, and all the other features that were recently added to the MacBook Pro line and the Mac Book.

    However, if the MacBook Pro does get lighter and a bit thinner (and that WILL happen), the MBA will be dropped. I wouldn’t cry for it any more than I cried when Apple dropped the iBook because the MacBook’s price dropped and the iBook looked too much like the MacBook.

  6. Astrochimp

    @R Hoffman:
    Actually, you are correct about what you define as “lies” in the context of your email: they all do it. Apple, however, goes a step further: lying about negatives on their competition, explicitly. The above video shows Larry Ellison doing the same thing.

    Like you, I am resigned to advertising in the realm of vendors hyping themselves. Yes, they all do it, and therefore it’s really necessary for businesses to succeed.

    Microsoft does NOT lie about Apple’s products and the benefits they bring to consumers.

    Apple lies constantly about Microsoft’s products, as I said above. This is NOT to consumers’ benefit; we are all hurt by it to an extent. Apple lies brilliantly well about its competitor Microsoft, and the ads are entertaining, but simply not true.

    Microsoft’s “Laptop Hunter” ads? They address choices in the marketplace and pricing, and the basic point is accurate about Apple inc.

    Recognize also that the media as a whole LOVES to hate Microsoft, and bashes on them constantly in subtle ways that it does not bash other companies. Remember the lead-up to the fake Iraq war by GW Bush? The media was biased in favor of the war generally, although skeptics like myself saw through it and knew what was really going on.

    I ask that people be skeptical of the messages (including those from Microsoft) and recognize that Microsoft really does do a lot of good for consumers. For example, memory randomization at runtime is a great thing, and years after Microsoft shipped it with Vista, Apple is imitating it in their Snow Leopard OS.

    I’m a user of Windows Home Server, from Microsoft of course. I’m thrilled with it, and would be happy if other vendor’s stepped up and competed. So far, though, Microsoft is the only one who has done something beyond dumb NAS for home users.

    I think you’ve simply misunderstood my point. Please re-read my letter above, and be skeptical for a change about companies’ self-hype: t’aint necessarily so.

  7. Astrochimp:
    Allowing automatic updates from Microsoft may be safe today, but it sure wasn’t in the past. The damage caused by seemingly innocuous OS patches over the years is nothing short of devastating.

    I have been in the software development industry since the late 90’s and recall vividly telling customers NOT to install a patch because it would break their enterprise software. It happened several times each year and quickly trained everyone that updates from Microsoft were a danger to their business. We weren’t allowed to install any updates until they’d been tested and approved for compatibility.

    I expect Microsoft has cleaned up its act and stopped breaking things on a regular basis, but the damage has been done and a lot of IT people and ordinary users simply don’t trust updates from Redmond.

    Getting back on topic I think the MacBook Air has a future as a niche product for those who are willing to sacrifice performance for minimal weight. The price will have to come down a little more and the battery life will have to improve, but they really don’t need to be much faster. Plus Snow Leopard will allow Apple to defer upgrading the RAM for at least another year.

    • Astrochimp

      If a patch breaks an app, probably either the app was poorly written (using an unsupported API) or a port was shut down. In that case, either the app can be fixed to where it should have been – potentially expensive – or the port can be reopened for that corporation, or a different port used.

      Or, as you note, maybe the quality standards for patches have just gotten better. I know that Microsoft makes huge investments in testing patches, and the state-of-the-art has gotten much better.

      Tuttle has raised the memory-randomization feature, which will ship with Snow Leopard. Good for Apple for imitating what Microsoft did years ago with Vista, and good for Apple consumers.

  8. Astrochimp

    Four things:
    1. You’re putting words in my mouth, I never said that Conficker infected only one machine. However, if all Vista users did the smart (default from Microsoft) thing, zero machines would have been infected with Conficker.
    2. “Apple has implemented address randomization” … years after Microsoft shipped it with Vista. And, Apple hasn’t shipped Snow Leopard yet, so in effect, they haven’t “shipped” address randomization. It’s good for Apple consumers that Apple is copying Microsoft here.
    3. Apple OSX is more secure, to begin with, than Windows 9x. True. Vista? I think Snow Leopard has a shot, but Apple’s biggest advantage is small market share.
    4. As for your quote, remember that IE8 has a “compatibility view” feature. In terms of counting individual sites, I have no doubt that what Microsoft says is true.

  9. sanaiote

    i am not an expert, either i am old enough to talk about it, but watching this funny discussion about laptops, i thought with myself that both of them are machines with a scary future. In one hand, they are too much young to belong to a museum and in the other hand, they are also not enough to supply our rising consumer markets and its high levels of expectation and requirement. But they are quite enough to see naked girls. Don’t you think?

  10. @Astrochimp

    You love MS so use their stuffs…

    We love Macs and Apple.

    Why you need to worry or care about Mac security since you are obviously not using one.

    • Astrochimp

      @AdamC – I hear you, but I care because Apple is lying to consumers and doing it very, very well. Consumers suffer as a result, and probably many people are or will be compromised and stolen from.

      I want real, valid, honest competition in the marketplace towards better security.

      Towards that end, I want Mac users to wake up and hold Apple accountable.

      I’m thinking that Google won’t get away with it, and that will help cast light on Apple’s mendacity.

  11. Astrochimp

    @andelsboligtilsalg and @davesmall, I don’t think you read my entire post even.
    Apple lies to sell computers. Try this one:
    The very clever message is that Macs have *no* security issues, and non-Apples all suffer from viruses, crashes, etc. Apple is really talking about Windows 98 I think, and hoping that no one realizes that, just as Apple’s products have improved immensely since 1998, so have Microsoft’s. I’m running Vista and it never, ever crashes, and even though right now I’m not bothering to run any anti-virus at all, I’ve never gotten a virus and I don’t expect to. So, the ad is just a very cleverly presented lie – Brilliantly mendacious advertising.
    I don’t get worms because I don’t install apps from unknown authorship, and this is another area where Microsoft Vista kicks OSX’s butt: authentication of authorship. If I’m preparing to install an app, at elevation-of-privilege time, the signing author of the application is called out. This can’t be spoofed. Apple doesn’t do it, but it should, to serve Apple’s customers better. I believe it won’t because instead of improving security, Apple would rather lie about it and try to maintain the illusion of perfect security.
    Here’s something the Macolytes need to learn about security: The conficker virus was reverse-engineered from a Microsoft patch. This means a) Microsoft found the security vulnerability before anybody else b) the only Windows installation (Windows XP or Vista) that actually got infected, got infected only because their admin did something ignorant and stupid: the admin changed the default setting of “yes, install Microsoft critical patches” to “no, pretend security issues don’t exist”.
    Something else to learn: perfect security doesn’t exist.
    Here’s an interesting read on Mac OSX security, or lack of it:
    Larry Ellison was always full of shit. You’re citing this as evidence of what’s wrong with Microsoft? I might as well as Michael Steele about his “objective opinion” of Barack Obama. That’s just really, really stupid.
    Actually, that invites a great comparison: I compare Apple’s lies about security with the Republican Party’s efforts to get us into war in Iraq. Of course they were lies, but they sure worked, didn’t they? The American people were abused, hundreds of thousands of innocent people died, but the RNC got what they wanted – campaign contributions and extra oil profits, though artful lies. Apple sells computers the same way, and consumers are poorly served and put at risk through the illusion that Apple’s OSX has no security issues. It’s worked so well, Google’s trying the same thing.
    Now, I don’t expect the readers of this post to actually learn everything because you got religion, folks, and you can’t argue with religion; unless you decide you’d like to have a stronger handle on reality. When you do, look around, and you’ll discover that obscurity (i.e. small market share) is no substitute for security. Google is hoping that most people don’t realize that, and think that Chrome OS is secure, when and if it finally ships, and when and if it finally makes it out of beta.
    Note: I respect Apple for making very pretty computers, and creating a nice, easy-to-use experience for people who don’t want to deal with a lot of choices, e.g. my parents who are in their 70’s. I really worry about my parents’ IT security, though.
    I bet the Kool-aid tastes realll nice.
    Now, if you had read my post, you would have noticed the challenge therein: does Microsoft actually lie about their products, or their competitors’, beyond the usual ad hyperbole? Tell me. Bring it on.

    • Tuttle

      You don’t run antivirus on a Vista box and believe that conficker only infected one machine (last month there were still over 20 million infected machines on the net), yet you expect us to listen to you about security?

      Apple has implemented address randomization, authorship signing (Since 10.5, it seems you too are comparing old Apples to new oranges) and sandboxing in the past couple of versions, so it’s really, really absurd to say they aren’t working on security issues. And the reason they are more secure to begin with isn’t obscurity, it’s a more compact, modern and less cruft-ridden codebase that is easier to audit for things like buffer overruns and such. Plus with address randomization fuzzing the memory stack – how that dude in the link did his hack and representative of almost all OS X exploits – is no longer a viable option.

      This isn’t to say OS X is OpenBSD-like in its security (and utter lack of usability). But what exploits are out there are, for the most part, purely conceptual while Windows exploits are easily used in the wild.

      As for Microsoft lies, how ’bout this one: “IE8 has better compatibility with more web sites than any other browser.”

      Patently untrue.

    • R Hoffman

      @Astrochimp, I’ve been in this biz for almost 30 years as a developer, systems architect, business owner and industry analyst for developer and IT journals, covering PC, Mac, Unix, and just about everything else. I’m not going to waste more than a moment of time to refute your ludicrous theses, because you obviously have your mind made up, 180 degrees (that is, utterly opposite) from clearly observable reality. Please go troll somewhere else.

      If you define “lie” as hyperbole, deliberate misstatements, highlighting strengths and ignoring weaknesses, fudging comparisons, sponsoring bogus reviews and analyses, using outdated data, and so on, Microsoft lies about their products constantly, as does every other vendor, with very few if any exceptions. Microsoft is by no means exempt, and historically, has been near the worst of the lot. If you can’t see that, you really haven’t been looking very hard.

      Enough said.

  12. James, I think that for consumers of Apple products, it’s not so much about doom in general as avoiding a specific product end time. I can’t imagine too many people would have bought a 13″ MacBook in May had they known the 13″ MacBook Pro was coming in June. However, such rumors were widely discussed. For those taking part in that discussion, hopefully it aided their purchase decision. For those thinking about buying a MacBook Air now or in the future, the article is just more information—and opinion—to consider.

    • That’s a good and fair point, and the example you give of the unibody Macbook being replaced by the 13 inch Macbook Pro is a good one. That’s a situation I found myself in. I received a reconditioned unibody Macbook to replace a black Macbook back in March, and was a little perturbed when the change took place.

      But I think you could run yourself in circles if you hold back on purchasing a computer that works well for you _right now_, just because a better computer might be coming. My black Macbook was stolen, and I needed a replacement _right away_. I got it, and I was happy with it. I’m _still_ happy with my Macbook; it does what I need it to do and it does it well. And it will run Snow Leopard when it comes out. And when it gets old, I’ll replace it with what’s current then, but I think I’ll still be happy with it right up to the point I decide to replace it. Similarly, my wife loved her iBook G4, even to the day it was unfortunately stolen, and she loves her replacement Macbook Air just as well, and should love it even as it becomes obsolete in some people’s eyes.

      I guess what I’m saying is, the Macbook in my hand is worth two Macbook Pros in the bush.

  13. I enjoyed this post and the window you’ve given on the development of the Air and the PowerBook G4, but I’m not quite sure I understand the doom-laden attitude of this post. Technologies change. We would not be well served if Apple were still serving us with a IIC.

  14. Central Squared

    I hope this isn’t the case with the MBA. I have a rev 1, and while it definitely has its share of issues (primarily the utter crap video performance, mostly solved by undervolting with coolbook), I love the machine. It’s light, easy to carry around, and is a constant companion on my travels. I think the price and current specs are more in line with its capabilities now than when it first appeared, but that’s what I get for being an early adopter. I knew that going in. I’ve had a few people ask me about buying a used rev 1 and I always advise them not to do it, but rather spend a little more a get a new one. But I do hope the model lives on, if only to carry the torch for the 12″ PB.

    • theyPod, uPod, iPod, yPod?

      I love my first generation MacBook Air too. It is my first laptop that I have EVER felt like carrying around with me because it is so thin AND light (the light part being most important).

      I have owned many other laptops before the MacBook Air including the following in order of oldest to most recent: PowerBook 530c, PowerBook G3 (the Lombard one with the Bronze keyboard), iBook G3 (white one), PowerBook G4, MacBook Pro (first generation). All of these laptops I have dreaded carrying around with me because they’re so heavy. I currently use a MacBook Pro (first gen) and MacBook Air. The MacBook Pro sits at home like a desktop computer and the MacBook Air goes around with me (including bathroom trips…hahahah, to work, to cafe, etc.)

  15. Howie Isaacks

    I think you’re over analyzing things a bit. Maybe the button is still there because Apple felt that it was still needed for some reason. Maybe they haven’t decided yet to change the trackpad. The 12 inch PowerBook was discontinued for many reasons. First, Apple wanted to move its entire laptop lineup to wide screen displays. Second, there was the Intel switch. Third, the MacBook did away with the need for an additional small laptop. Lastly, Apple was very likely in the early development phase of designing the MacBook Air. The 12 inch PowerBook was awesome. I loved mine, but I sold it just over a year after buying it, and replaced it with a black MacBook.

  16. andelsboligtilsalg


    How about you back your claims up with some proof?, instead of throwing stuff in the air, and then say that WE have to prove you wrong?.

    Move on troll

  17. Astrochimp

    Why would you buy anything from a company that sells stuff with lies, e.g. Apple or Google?

    Apple lies about security and stability, both about its own products and about Microsoft’s. (Note that when Apple compares the current OSX to Windows 98, they *are* right about Windows 98, but not Vista or Windows 7 – pretty sneaky, yet a blatant lie.)

    Google just lies about security of the future Chrome OS; every OS has security issues, and perfect security is simply impossible.

    Microsoft does not do more than exaggerate about the merits of its own products, like all for-profits do. It does not lie. If you think I’m wrong, please demonstrate.

    • Tuttle

      Why would you buy anything from a company that sells stuff with lies, e.g. Apple or Google?

      I work in advertising so I just find this charmingly naive.

      And oh yea, the company that gave the world Fear Uncertainty and Doubt as a marketing strategy never, ever lies. Riiiiiight.

  18. It is a truism that Apple is ruthless regarding technologies and products, and I honestly believe the story of the 12″ PowerBook G4 is instructive regarding the MBA. If enough overlap occurs between the MBA and the MBP, it will be the death of the former. Additionally, sales matter, too.

    Regarding MacBook Air sales, Apple doesn’t provide data. We do know that the most popular laptop used to be the entry-level MacBook. It will be interesting to see if the 13″ MacBook Pro outsells the white MacBook. That is a data point that may come out a conference call. If so, that would not augur well for the MacBook Air, either, in my opinion.

    • I can’t imagine the 13″ MBP not outselling the MacBook Air, and by a healthy margin at that. It’s not so much the MBA got worse, but the 13″ MBP was a huge step up for Apple’s line.

      But I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion at all that the MBA will be discontinued. I think they discontinued the 12″ PB because there was nowhere for them to take it (hence the lowly updates). But it remains to be seen if the MBA has anything waiting in the wings for it. The price cut certainly helped a lot to bring it in line with the updated MacBooks.

  19. Adam Jackson

    Sorry but I think you’re just trying to stir things up. The MacBook Air was a test and one that has proved very very lucrative for Apple. The MBA has been a very healthy seller and has for many months sat in the top 10 Apple Store sales.

    Sure there are thousands of $999 1st-gen models in the refurb Apple store but there are also still last-gen (oct-08) 2.6Ghz pre-unibody MBPs selling as well.

    All I’m saying is, the MBA is a great machine, it fits a need and people that have one REALLY LOVE THEM and since the NVIDIA chipset was added, speed has really improved.

    I think Apple isn’t making radical changes for a few reasons.

    1. Unibody – MBA had it first but how do they improve it?
    2. Built in battery – how do you improve that besides increase the battery life
    3. Intel Core2Duo – the current chipset and intel chip can’t go any faster currently so Apple can only upgrade the MBA when Intel gives them a faster chip that fits in the .78″ thin MBA. (remember the diagram showing the motherboard next to a pencil?)
    4. Size. .16″ thin at the smallest part do you want thinner?

    In my opinion, the MacBook Air was ahead of its time and still ahead of its time but I’d like to see Apple not upgrade the speed of it and give us an MBA for $999 new out of the box w/ a 64GB SSD. I’ll buy one when that happens. I don’t think it’s being killed off.

    I owned a 12″ PowerBook G4 and that thing sucked!

    1. Crap battery life
    2. you could LITERALLY cook eggs on the bottom of it
    3. Very slow

    Honestly, I don’t think it even deserved the PRO name back in the day but that’s my opinion.

    The MBA is a separate class of notebook and will be around for a very long time.

    • agree on 1, 2

      For 3,
      That depends on how much RAM did run your PowerBook G4 on.

      That being said, apps like Safari 3+ can really be PowerBook killers – just look at the real/virtual memory usage in ‘Activity Monitor’ after an hour of browsing/streaming.

      Gets even worse when it comes to ‘office’ apps like NeoOffice which can literally take longer to launch than it takes for computers to BOOT UP! :)