back to article Apple rolls out two new MacBook Air models

"What would happen if a MacBook and an iPad hooked up?", Steve Jobs asked his "Back to the Mac" audience today, and answered his own question with the release of two new versions of the MacBook Air, available today starting at $999. The new duo includes a 13.3-inch, 2.9-pound version, the same display size as the MacBook Air …

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  1. Mark 65 Silver badge

    Shame about the chip

    Nice design, shit CPU. Core 2 Duo? At the prices Apple charge I'd be looking for the new i-series ULV processors.

    1. MagicBoy
      Jobs Halo

      i3 won't fit

      The i-series won't fit. It's a three chip solution as Apple won't use the Intel graphics and nVidia don't have a combined Chipset/GPU part.

      Won't fit in the 13.3" MBP, so no ******* way it's going in the new Air.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meh

    1. What about TRIM for the SSD?

    2. CPU is 2 generations old. What next... used Pentium 3's?

    3. I own 4 Dell mini 9 and Dell mini 10 running OS X, cost for 4 machines less than $999.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re Meh

      "3. I own 4 Dell mini 9 and Dell mini 10 running OS X, cost for 4 machines less than $999."

      Well done you. The rest of us want legal machines.

  3. flameresistant

    Underwhelming Special Event

    That was the most underwhelming Apple special event for ages. Nearly half the time was spent demonstrating what seem like modest enhancements to iLife applications. I use all the ones they demonstrated and I was bored stiff.

    That said it is a good thing that Apple seem to have remembered that Mac's are still important to their company.

    The new MacBook Airs look like very nice notebook computers indeed. I think the light weight, long battery life and instant on will make them attractive to many people. Can't see the point in the 11" model personally.

    I need deeper pockets to get one mind you. The configuration that approximately matches my current MacBook would cost an eye watering £1600! I know that 250GB of flash isn't cheap but phew that's a lot of wonga to spend on a notebook computer.

    Jobsy reckons all notebooks will be built this way in the future. Hopefully the price will have come down by the time my existing one needs replacing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My sentiments exactly

      Thinner - tick.

      More memory and usb ports - tick.

      Longer battery life - tick.

      No CPU upgrade? - X.

      No need for me to upgrade yet. Would have expected more, 18 months on from the last Air release.

  4. stu 4

    Company

    Well I'm gonna go see em today.

    A 11.6 specced to 1.6 at 128gb is still much cheaper than the old air which I've got as a 'holiday' laptop.

    If they have sorted out hardware acceleration and it can play 1080p gopro footage I can see me walking out with one

  5. Regis Terme

    Price not justified

    1000$/£850 for the low-end model? No ethernet port?

    Flash memory instead of a hard disk probably is the future - but right now I'm getting a less storage for more money. Where's the beef?

    Come back Asus eeepc, all is forgiven!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Dear Santa

    Nice to see the PeeCee DellBoi's spitting hate and envy so early this morning. Shouldn't you be running virus checkers or something useful?

    My only regret is I have a 1 year old Macbook Pro which is running like a dream, has had zero problems and still looks brand new.

    I guess I could trade up - this is something the DellBoi's may not understand - but Apple kit has a residual value unlike 90% of one year old Windoze boxes that are fit for the recycling bin after 6 months use.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not impressed

    I like these new Airs, but I watched the event online last night and I must say I was pretty disappointed with the proposed new OS 10.7 features. Mission Control? A fullscreen feature? An app-store?!?! How about fixing the Finder first before adding all this nonsense. Finder is so pathetically useless it's not even funny: if you are a Windows user here are a few things you take for granted that Explorer can do but Finder can't:

    1) Email a file from within Finder - nope, doesn't work. Right click a file and there is no way you can email it or share it.

    2) Cut a file a paste it elsewhere. Yep, you heard right, you cannot cut a file in Finder. You have to copy it, paste it, and then go back and delete it. Or drag it between two open windows, but then you need to mess about and arrange the Finder in such a way as to make this possible. Or indeed it means you must have the source and destination windows open at the same time.

    3) Right click a file and select "Rename". Nope this does not work either. To rename a file you have to select a file and hit the enter key. Seriously. Enter doesn't open the file, Cmd+O opens a file.

    4) Select a file and press the "Delete" key... nothing happens. To delete a file you have to press Cmd+Backspace. Yes, there Delete key does not delete files. Actually, you could say that this is just something you have to get used to, but to me it is just Apple trying to be different.

    Finder is lacking so many features I could go on for hours.

    1. bex

      true

      After using windows explorer for years using finder can be very frustrating true. The lack of send to email at this late stage is baffling.

    2. Steve Ives
      Go

      No reason to be unimpressed...

      These things that Finder can't do are, for the main part, just done differently:

      1 Email from finder? Use the Services menu or just drag and drop the file into the Mail icon in the dock.

      2 If you want to cut and paste a file between 2 directories on Windows, won't you need to have opened both windows at some point? So what's wrong with just dragging the file's icon between the two? Or drag the Finder icon onto the drive/folder icon and wait - a window will then spring open, where you can drop the file.

      3. Rename - click the file, wait a second and click again. The file name is then highlighted for renaming (but, unlike XP, without the file extension being highlighted, so just type the new name). And what's wrong with hitting 'enter' to rename? You're going to need the keyboard anyway. It appears that using the Finder, the rename procedure is: 1. Click file. 2. Press enter. 3. Type new name (without extension).4 Press enter again. Seems quick to me.

      4. Delete key doesn't delete file but cmd-delete does? Big deal - less risk of accidental delete. Just customise the toolbar to add a delete button.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This is pathetic

      It's not windows. It's not right-click centric. OSX focuses on drag and drop.

      1) Drag it to the mail icon.

      2) Drag it to where ever it's going.

      3) Click once to select the icon and once more on the name.

      4) Drag it to trash.

      This is like someone who's learnt to drive using an automatic bitching about "that pointless clutch thing".

    4. uhuznaa

      Finder...

      AC, you can mail a file from the Finder by just dragging it onto the Mail icon in the dock. Using Cmd-Backspace for deleting has some logic to it, since portable Macs have no Delete key and using just Backspace for this is a bit too easy. And what's wrong with Cmd-O for opening a file? It's the same keycombo you use within an app to open a file, so it's just consistent. Hitting enter for renaming instead of selecting a menu entry can't be that troublesome since the next thing you will do (typing a new name) will involve the keyboard anyway.

      There are some things the Finder does differently, but I can't really see a problem here. At least there's some logic to it.

      I totally agree that the Lion presentation was disappointig. It just dealt with cosmetic stuff. I don't think these will be the only changes, though.

      The app store, as an option, is a good thing. A direct connection between developers and endusers/customers can't be a bad thing. Apple takes a healthy cut, but on the other hand trying to reach the same audience and setting up your own licensing model and selling software online is not exactly free either. Most indy developers use third-party services and companies to market and sell their software and getting 70% out of what the customer pays is very hard then.

    5. whats the point of kenny lynch?
      Stop

      eh?

      1. are you talking about the desktop or a finder window? on the desktop you just drag the file onto the mail icon in the dock and its then attached to a new email

      2. you can drag from a finder window into the sidebar icons, pressing the spacebar when hovering over a folder will open it for you, then you can drop the file. does windows do that?

      3. you click onto the filename, wait a second and click again, then rename

      4. apple is trying to be better. hitting delete to remove a file from the desktop is not quite the right usability. you can right click and send to trash, this fits in with the desktop icon environment of moving unwanted items to the trash, then emptying the trash later.

      the finder has lots of hidden usability features, you just need to discover them, it's a pretty good way of working and is different to windows, and slightly better too.

    6. Richard Scratcher
      Jobs Halo

      What is this "Right clicking" of which you speak?

      1) E-mail a file from within finder? Just select the file and then from the Finder menu select Services> New E-mail With Attachment.

      2) Cut a file a paste it elsewhere? erm...not that big of a deal.

      3) Right click a file and select "Rename"? Just click on the file and then click on its name (Don't do this too quickly or that counts as a double click).

      4) Select a file and press the "Delete" key... nothing happens! This is just something you have to get used to. And it's there for a reason.

      "Finder is lacking so many features I could go on for hours." - I don't doubt it!

    7. Tim Almond
      Go

      Flash memory installed...

      ... is like your car manufacturer keeping the locking wheel nuts. SSD prices are real high but in a couple of years, they'll be mainstream. I'd buy an SSD for a laptop right now, but I'd do it on the basis of upgrading in a few years when you can get 256GB for £100 rather than the current price of £400.

    8. Miek
      Linux

      A tit is required

      "2) Cut a file a paste it elsewhere. Yep, you heard right, you cannot cut a file in Finder. You have to copy it, paste it, and then go back and delete it. Or drag it between two open windows, but then you need to mess about and arrange the Finder in such a way as to make this possible. Or indeed it means you must have the source and destination windows open at the same time."

      Amusingly there is a cut option, always permanently greyed out. There is a hack to enable this but that is where the hilarious stuff starts. When you 'cut' on OSX the file is dumped to the waste-bin where you can move it to your desired location. That one gave us quite a giggle for quite a while.

      1. Neill Mitchell

        What? Eh?

        "Flash memory installed is like your car manufacturer keeping the locking wheel nuts."

        That doesn't even deserve an Apple/Car analogy bingo.

    9. Ivan Headache
      Thumb Up

      Re: Not impressed

      You've not been using macs very long have you?

      1. easily done - even with a right click and using automater

      2. No messing about needed at all. Cutting and pasting implies that you have to open windows anyway. And what happens if you get that 'never exptected crash' before you've managed to paste?

      3. Who told you to hit the enter key? You just click on the file name - like we've been doing for the last 20 years or so.

      4. deleting a file with a single keystroke is a good thing? You have a lot of faith in idiots my friend.

      (why not use the right click anyway.)

      1. caerphoto
        FAIL

        Cut and paste

        "2. No messing about needed at all. Cutting and pasting implies that you have to open windows anyway. And what happens if you get that 'never exptected crash' before you've managed to paste?"

        Usually when I cut&paste it's because I HAVEN'T got both windows open. I Cut the file, navigate to where I want it moved, then Paste it.

        As for the crash nonsense, you do realise that Windows doesn't actually move the file or anything until you Paste it? When you click Cut, all you're doing is tagging it as "waiting to be moved". If the power goes out, or Explorer crashes, no big deal, the file will still be there. Sure, if the crash/power-out occurs during the move there will might be problems, but again, the original file isn't touched until it's first been copied to the new destination.

        1. Ivan Headache
          Thumb Down

          Re: Cut and Paste

          Oddly enough, I rarely have both windows open when I'm moving files.

          File on desktop. I want to move it 7 folders deep on an external drive.

          One click and some dragging will do it. (I only have to go back to the desktop to delete the original because my destination is on an external. If the source drive and the destination drive are the same then there is no need to return.)

          So

          Select and move 7 folders deep - 1 click

          Delete original - 2 keystrokes( or 1 right-click)

          Cut and paste:

          select file - 1 click

          Cut - 2 keystrokes (or 1 right-click)

          navigate to external drive and open it - 1 click

          navigate to first level folder and open it - 1 click

          navigate to second level folder and open it - 1 click

          navigate to third level folder and open it - 1 click

          navigate to fourth level folder and open it - 1 click

          navigate to fifth level folder and open it - 1 click

          navigate to sixth level folder and open it - 1 click

          navigate to seventh level folder and open it - 1 click

          Paste - 2 keystrokes (or 1 right-click)

          So 4 keystrokes and 9 clicks ( or 11 clicks) - that's much easier than doing it on a Mac.

          OK so my Crash comment was irrelevant - similar to all four of your comments.

    10. BigG
      Heart

      Still does the job

      A whole year? Impressive.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm NOT going to say Netbook!

    because it is clearly not a netbook, as stated above the processor and good screen etc means this device falls smartly into the 11.6" sub notebook category.

    Now thats clear... a grand for a 11.6" sub-notebook! When the competition max's out at £499

    Citation provided: http://www.reghardware.com/2010/10/20/group_test_11in_notebooks/page2.html

    What are apple thinking! oh yeah a fool and his money... shiney shiney bling bling..

  9. Pavlov's obedient mutt

    oh the dilema

    see...

    the iPad is the portable option, and the iMac is for the home

    where does this new air fit in?

    1. flameresistant

      In Between

      "where does this new air fit in?"

      In between.

      The iPad is a portable option but not suitable for authoring anything significant. For example, there is no way you would edit a big report, develop a website or do some image editing on one. You could do that on an air. The iPad is currently good for web browsing, email, media consumption, games and large screen versions of iPhone style apps. I prefer using my iPad for all these activities. Until you want to use a site that runs flash that is.

    2. flameresistant

      Many People Are Prepared To Pay For Quality

      Don't all of the machines in that group test have hard drives instead of flash memory? That would explain a lot of the price difference. Even taking that into account the airs would still have a premium price tag.

      Just because some people are prepared to pay a premium price for a premium product doesn't make them fools.

      I use both a MacBook Pro and an equivalent Dell notebook bought about the same time. I was given the Dell by my employer and I spent my own money on the MacBook. They had a similar price differential. By your logic, you would conclude that both computers are the same and only a fool would waste his money on the MacBook particularly when he already had a free equivalent Windows PC.

      Well in practice, the Dell is a piece of s*** that I only use when I am forced to. It's big, cumbersome, loud, has a poor display, a shockingly bad keyboard, a pathetic trackpad and runs like a slug. The Dell often locks up to the point where a power off is the only solution. That has never happened with the MacBook which is a joy to use. I gladly pay the premium for the superior engineering and quality in the Apple product that only becomes apparent when you use one on a daily basis.

      I do think the MacBook Airs are expensive but in comparison to a MacBook Pro not a sub-notebook Windows PC.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        shiny shiny bling bling...

        "I gladly pay the premium for the superior engineering and quality in the Apple product that only becomes apparent when you use one on a daily basis."

        Yes a premium indeed.

        Premium - Adjective

        1. Higher in price or value.

        Whilst it is true that many windows machines suffer from bloat (usually due to too many apps & crapware!) and are also a big target for Virus's (due to market share) it is not true that ALL windows machines suffer. If you know what you are doing its perfectly simple to keep a windows PC in good shape. Part of the stigma is they sell windows to people who don't know what they are doing! this is not so much of a problem with Apple as there is a smaller pool of available software and hence they cant be polluted so readily (espceailly if you ban flash)...

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. uhuznaa

      Netbooks

      I'm really looking forward to a Reg article doing a benchmark comparison between the MBA and the cheap 11.6" netbook flock.

      Personally I think the 11.6" MBA will be a hit. It costs as much as the 13" plastic Macbook, weights half as much, is thinner, prettier and not much slower. It also has the full-size keyboard as any MacBook. When my MBP is about to go to a new home (in half a year or so) I will have a good look at this thing.

    4. John_C
      Pint

      Cost and value for money aren't the same thing

      It's not £1000 vs £500, you're comparing a thousand dollars to five hundred pounds.

      UK pricing for the 11.6" starts at £849

      In any case while it's tempting to do so I don't think giving it a beating over the price really stands up to objective scrutiny. Look at the Dell Adamo or Sony Vaio X which are similar in design philosophy and the MBA is good value by comparison.

      I know it looks expensive against the laptops in the recent el-reg 11.6" group test but that's not comparing like with like - once you take into account that the MBA has a good tech spec (dual-core CPU, high rez screen, dedicated graphics, SSD), the battery life and the case design you see where the extra money goes.

      It's not going to be for everyone for sure, but given it's a lightweight ultraportable with enough power to cope with a wide range of tasks I don't think it's that overpriced. Oh, and before the predictable cries of fanboi yes I do own an iPhone, and an iPad. I also own a 10" dell netbook running linux and a high end gaming laptop running Windows 7. Each fills a niche in my life very nicely thank you very much, and I couldn't care less who makes them, I like them for what they do.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    just what the wife ordered

    other 1/2 has a truly awful Tosh running something called 'vista' been wanting to get her a mac for ages, don't see the ipad as a runner for her...but one of these looks right peachy. basically her needs are pretty minimal, she likes a keyboard, she has a P&S so SD card slot is handy, mostly she is on FB, email and IM. She will appreciate the instant on (Tosh takes for ages and ages and ages...),she will appreciate the built in cam, she will appreciate the lack of virus, she will appreciate it's snappiness...plus I won't have to learn Windows!!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    It is a netbook

    The definition of a netbook is lightweight, thin, with ether flash memory or HDDs and finally lacking a optical-drive. Aside from the Core 2 Duo and larger displays, this thing is an (expensive) netbook.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Troll

      shifting goalposts ?

      So your definition of a netbook doesn't include Atom-like CPU and sub-10" screen. Digital tech moves too quickly for any these definitions to have a life span for more than a month ....

      Let's give up on these "is it, is it not a netbook?" rants ...

  12. Matthew 17

    Looks fantastic

    Makes me wish I'd have an application for one. Would rather have this over an iPad though.

  13. Syn1c

    Here we go again

    "Oh no!! Apple wants to sell some more stuff. Quick, let me tell the world how much I hate them"

    I feel the same way about cars. Bloody Mercedes/Porsche/Ferrari making expensive motors when I can get a cheaper, more economical Ford/Mazda/Honda.

    If you don't like it, DON'T BUY IT!

  14. Garibaldi
    Linux

    Bit too pricey

    I would love to buy a mac book. My biggest issue with mac-books are that they have very limited option -- specially smaller notebook.

    13inch notebook don't come with matte option, and of course Mac-Air doesn't let you upgrade. Also, every 3 years or so I upgrade hard-drive, and with Macbook Air it's not that easy, instead of a standard PATA connector Apple uses a 40-pin ZIF (Zero Insertion Force). Standard Stata would've been betters..

    I would wait a year or so for apple to offer matte option in 13inch lappy, otherwise I would probably buy 15inch Macbook in near future.

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