MacBook Air - First Look

The MacBook Air is the worlds first thinest laptop brought into the market that has seen its share of very light, very capable products from other companies with the Sony Vaio, Lenovo, and Fujitsu, among others. Here's a look on what the MacBook Air has to offer compared to others.

With only three pounds? 0.76 inches thick it makes it real attractive, but where is the DVD Drive? There isnt any, you need to either purchase the $99 Apple MacBook Air superdrive, which connects via USB, or use the new Remote Disk feature to “borrow” the optical drive of another computer on your network.

Also the MacBook Air has far fewer ports than what you'll find on some of the monstrous "desktop replacement" laptops now available: Flip down a small hatch, and you'll find three that can handle many needs. There's a headphone jack where you can plug in headphones or speakers; a USB 2.0 connection for everything from a mouse to a video camera; and a Micro-DVI adapter that can hook the machine up to one of Apple's displays when you're not on the road--or, with the help of a $19 adapter, to a projector or monitor sold by a third party. So if your thinking about several USB or if you have some FireWire devices, its going to be a little tough with this notebook.

Still, the MacBook Air has a lot of the feel-good characteristics, the full-size keyboard feels good, as advertised. The LED-backlit screen is sharp and readable. The machine's two gigabytes of built-in memory allows it to switch between applications, such as iMovie and iPhoto, easily. And the enormous trackpad, with support for "multitouch" gestures, is easy to pick up. However like with the Sony Vaio, Apple has cut corners by providing lower CPU power. There is no reason why the MacBook Air could not start at a 2Ghz CPU range, instead it sits between 1.6-1.8Ghz on its Intel core 2 Duo. Sure we dont want it to heat up, but its not going to make a difference believe me.

You can see that the MacBook Air is not really meant for the power user, but the "Hands Free User", one that needs to be connected online with adequate power for handling applications and lasting throughout the day with a good 5hr battery (which is not removable, lets hope it lasts), or perhaps your just the person that wants the latest and greatest, has the money ($1799USD) and doesnt mind paying for what we know is the general rule, that you pay more for slimmer size always more.

  • Highly mobile light and thin design.
  • Sexy, attention arresting appearance.
  • Impressively solid hardware engineering.
  • Leading CPU and graphics performance for its class.
  • Very practical full size, illuminated keyboard.
  • Bright LED backlit screen looks great and its environmentally progressive.
  • Innovative multitouch trackpad features work well.
  • Full featured video output options for a light mobile.
  • Runs quiet and cool even when cranking.
  • Very good WiFi 802.11n reception.

  • No built in WWAN options.
  • No FireWire or Gigabit Ethernet.
  • Peripherals and connectivity limited to single USB port.
  • Battery life closer to 3-4 hours; no add-on battery option.
  • Remote Disc needs more work.
Here is a comparison chart from Gizmodo. (click image to enlarge the image).

Here's the official guided tour of the MacBook from Apple

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