January 15, 2008

Reactions to the Macbook Air

Filed under: Uncategorized — numist @ 9:29 pm

I’ve got to hand it to Apple. The Macbook Air is full of great ideas for a ultraportable laptop.

The primary space consumers in a laptop, from my experience disassembling notebooks (and using the PowerBook 12″ as a specific Apple reference) are the optical drive, the battery, and the hard drive.

The Macbook Air cleverly steps around these issues by slimming the battery, excluding an optical drive, and reducing the footprint of the hard disk, using a 1.8″ model over the common 2.5″.

This thing must be the greatest machine since the PowerBook 12″! LED-backlit display, solid state hard drive option, and all the performance of the current Macbook. Pinch me!

Wait, the specs say that it has a 13.3″ screen… that can’t be right…

The Macbook also has a 13.3″ screen, so that means it’s as wide and deep as a Macbook, right? Wrong! Due to the bezel thickness, it’s BIGGER. Wider and deeper. It’s true that it is thinner and lighter, but those aren’t the only things that matter. Weight and thickness savings have been given undeserved priority lately, eclipsing the more important issue of basic footprint design.

The Macbook Air is no replacement for the PowerBook 12″, which is (in this author’s opinion) what most people were looking forward to.

My normal use case for a portable is not to carry it around in an envelope, but the Macbook Air does bring some technology that I look forward to making its way to the other product lines including:

  • Backlit Macbook keyboard: this will be good to see on the Macbook. There’s no reason not to anymore.
  • Solid State Hard Disk Drive: faster than a platter, this is the way of the future in portable storage. The speed issues have usually been due to the machine waiting for the hard drive.
  • LED-Backlit display: this isn’t really anything new, but seeing it in the Macbook Air gives hope that the rumours of display supply shortages are no longer probably
  • Smaller Core 2 Duo chip: thanks to Intel for making this possible. This chip will likely see a lot of use in the portable market.

It’s true that the Macbook Air is lighter and thinner than any previous computer Apple has made, but that doesn’t impress me, nor fit my wants.


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