back to article It was the MacBook Air sub-notebook

For once the rumour mill was right. "There's something in the air," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs. And then he hit us with the MacBook Air. It’s aluminium, has black keys, is super, super thin, and Steve held it easily with his fingertips. Apple MacBook Air Thinnovation “It’s the world’s thinnest notebook,” he went on. It has …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Alan
    Jobs Halo

    have to wonder if...

    The first 'smash this device' video on youtube will be it snapping in two like balsa wood?

  2. Andrew
    Flame

    Let's put money on the RMA reasons...

    It's too thin.. so here goes.

    Battery Life will be rubbish - not the advertised.

    Someone is bound to snap it.. or sit on it.

    Internet Connection will be limited.. I'd need my ethernet.

    It too thin - on a lap it'd feel horrible I'm sure...

    Let the flaming commence :)

  3. Andrew Badera
    Jobs Horns

    so what's it going to COST?

    Based on the specs, I'm ready to turn in my Eee PC ... but not if it's going to cost me a year's salary.

  4. Bjørn Vermo

    Why?

    Why would I want a thinner computer? I doubt it will be very sturdy, and thickness is not the limiting dimension of the current generation of notebooks either. If anything, I'd go for a thicker, more reliable model with longer battery life. I still have a Psion NetBook which works.

  5. Tim Greenwood

    The dark side..?

    I am even more tempted by the dark side now as I had already pencilled in a mac as my likely next laptop. That seems to tick a few of the right boxes immediately and I have to say it looks quite sexy.

    Am I now a lost cause or is there still time for me to turn away?

  6. Darryl
    Flame

    Man is this thing going to overheat

    ...given Apple's track record with cooling (or lack thereof)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    I Like It, but I Won't Get One

    I need either more screenspace (I use a 17") or less (If this will be a dinky thing I use to impress clients, then I don't even need 13". 10" like the TZ is fine).

    I also need more disk space, more RAM and more speed.

    I'll wait until they start to apply some of these techniques to the bigger bunch.

    I also expect to see a FIRESTORM of issues arise. Some will probably end in recalls. This tech is so extreme, and the tolerances so low, that something HAS to go wrong (Anybody remember the "FireBook 5300"?)

    It's the asbestos jacket...I expect "You Hate Steve" flames, even though I'm a die-hard Mac user/programmer/evangelist.

  8. Allan Rutland

    Is it just me...

    or this thing looks like it has no ports at all? No USB seem to be visible, no firewire, no nothing by the looks. And from what it seems, the usual Apple lets seal the battery into it means when the batteries gone, this things binned. That you can bearly get away with on MP3 players, but at the price this thing is, its a bit silly to expect it to be disposable. Slick fashion item, yet utterly useless otherwise.

  9. Gareth

    re: so what's it going to COST

    Maybe it wasn't there when you read the article, but it says at the end: £1199.

    By my reckoning, that's enough for an eePC AND a plane ticket to travel to whichever beach that model hangs out on.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No rear or underside picture?

    We need to know what ports it has. Surely there must be a power socket, or is it 1G for 5 hours then go buy another one? Someone already mentioned ethernet, USB would be useful, considering you can get USB hubs that replicate all the usual ports found on the back of a PC.

    Also is the battery replaceable? I imagine something that thin would be useful in the construction of letter bombs as already demonstrated by Mr J himself.

  11. jim
    Gates Horns

    Windows

    Does it run Windows XP?

  12. Daniel
    Thumb Up

    nice

    maybe the standard mac books will get even more affordable now ...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Metric Martyrs

    "The MacBook Air goes from 1.9cm down to 0.4cm at the thin end. It has a width of 32cm, a depth of 22.4in and weighs in at 1.36kg"

    What is this, a lesson in dimensions from that NASA guy who mixed up measurements:

    http://www.cnn.com/TECH/space/9909/30/mars.metric.02/

    At least this will not cost $125m, though knowing Apple..........

    Oh and also Toshiba did this back in 2002. Anyone remember the Portege 2010CT?

    http://www.laptopshop.co.uk/Toshiba-portege_2010-laptop-1-nd2.htm

    1.19kg and 1.91cm thick

    built in wireless, USB2 and Ethernet removable battery and a magnesium alloy case.

    Is it me or are Apple way behind the curve?!

    AC as just waiting for the iFlame!

  14. Herby Silver badge
    Joke

    Windows?

    No, it probably won't run XP, only Vista.

  15. Phil Endecott Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Halve the weight please.

    Tosh portege R500 10U is 790 grams. This is twice that.

  16. Vaughn
    Thumb Up

    Id like to point out...

    It has 4 ports: Magsafe (AC), Headphone, USB and a Mini DVI port that can be broken out to Composite, Digital and S-Video as I recall. The latter three 'drop down' when needed- thats why they are hard to discern in the product shots.

    As someone pointed out, I am sure that a bevy of port replicators will be released, this is the first Mac I know that opens the door for enterprising developers to write the drivers for the many existing options too.

    Lastly the MBAir is not limited to borrowing optical drives from nearby Macs, it can wirelessly possess PC hosts too. :)

  17. Webster Phreaky
    Jobs Horns

    AAPL 166.72 -12.06 points.. Wall Street says YAWN!!

    OK Apple Tards, explain this in your terms of Apple Fantasy-land and the Apple World of Denial.

    Apple (AAPL) was up to $199.92 on the NASDAC exchange just before the years end, with all the pending Fruits - Nuts -n- Flakes Bowl aka MWSF. Now with grand YAWN intro of MacBook hAIRbrain Apple stock CRASHES 12.06 points in hours and a total value LOST of $33.20 (265.6 points) since 12/31/07. Think Apple's jig is up? Wall Street seems to agree! Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ......

    Ps.

    (I sold my 200 shares, bought at $145, at $199.71. Thank you Apple Tard that bought them)

  18. AnonymousEngineer
    Dead Vulture

    To Quote Will Smith in Men in Black...

    I fell like I'm gonna break this damn thing.

    How long before someone snaps an airbook in half?

  19. Alex

    I've got one!

    a toshiba portege 2010CT that is, it hates me, it has one nipple and about 32mb of memory, I need some kind of DamnSmall OS to squirt into it but then it has drivers from Mars!!

    still that macair does look quite tasty and no doubt it would preform considerably better than my macbookpro in the fliping eggs dept!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Useless at multimedia

    Seriously,

    one usb port. No Firewire. 1.8 inch hard disk?

    DV editing on that is not going to be fun, let alone HD. Of course, it'd run great if you fork over £700 for the flash drive upgrade.

    A Macbook would probably get more performance than this on IO bound tasks. For a third of the price.

    And if all you want is a lightweight surfing machine, then why not get an eeepc? It's actually small, rather than 'thin'.. Whoever asked for a thin laptop? Small, that's they key.

    I really don't understand who this laptop is for.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    I remember the Toshiba

    A fantastic machine. Apple are def way behind although unlike Tosh you will probably hear how great it is, how innovative, how stylish and how must have as Apple hype it beyond belief and throw mega bucks at marketing it. The sheeple will believe it too!

  22. Colin Wilson
    Thumb Down

    My wife just made a good point...

    You can:

    1) fly to the US (although we prefer Canada)

    2) buy it at an Apple store

    3) fly home

    4) declare the purchase to customs and pay the import duties

    5) send off the claim form to get the sales tax back from Canada

    ...and it'd STILL BE F*CKING CHEAPER than Apple are trying to sell it to UK buyers for :-/

  23. Ray Gratis
    Stop

    Thin becomes sharp?

    How thin does something have to be before it is considered sharp?

    What a larf if these are confiscated at airport security!

  24. Nick Mallard

    Battery :/

    And they've not learned from the iPhone disaster - this has a sealed, non user replacable battery too.

    That'll be expensive in a couple of years.

    The price doesn't look too bad, but once you look closer at some of the components, I'd not want them in a very, very, very cheap budget PC notebook - 4200rpm ata drive? That won't last long - and how much will the solid state replacement cost? :)

    It does look nice though, and this will be the first nice thing I've said about Apple. Ever. That's how laptops should be looking but it does need further expansion possibilities and a proper battery.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    A huge let-down

    Good stuff: It looks great. It's really thin and light. It has a backlit keyboard.

    Bad stuff: It starts at £1200. The solid state disk model is £2030! (a 17" Macbook Pro is £1800). It has shared memory graphics. You can't upgrade the RAM. There's one USB2 port. There's no ethernet. The battery isn't user replaceable. The screen is glossy only.

    What is this product? Is it supposed to be an 'ultra-high end of the low end' laptop? Is there such a market?

    Why have Apple spent so much time and effort working on the Macbook when it was fine as it was? The gap was that left by the 12" Powerbook is what needed filling. Basing this on the guts of the Macbook Pro, ethernet, a hole for more RAM and at least two more USB ports would fully justify the first price (nothing can justify the second!). I would happily have it a pound heavier and a bit thicker to make up for it.

    How disappointing.

  26. Michael Jarve
    Jobs Halo

    Cost!? Be damned

    God himself delivers his only begotten laptop and people are concerned with cost? Blasphemy!

  27. Tag

    re: Id like to point out...

    It may be able to 'borrow' optical drives, admittedly a nice touch, but what about if I don't have another Mac right next to me to borrow from? More to the point, if I do, then why do I need to buy this thing?

    Secondly, Apple can't say "it's the world's thinnest laptop" since as far as I'm concerned, it isn't really one. No ethernet, no optical drive inside, and one USB? Once I've tacked on port replicators and an optical drive and a power supply, it'll be a pretty cumbersome piece of kit.

  28. Paul F
    Thumb Up

    For Enthusiasts Only

    Obviously this isn't meant to appeal to anyone who doesn't own another, bigger computer. It's a travel device only, kind of like a spider. You have the wagon for utility, the sports car for joyriding. You'd have to be daft to use one as your primary computer.

    Also - Ethernet is an option as a $29 USB dongle.

    Big minus for me? No exchangeable battery. Bzzzt!

  29. Daniel

    No Firewire?

    1 USB, and no Firewire? Have they lost their minds?

    Seriously, this sounds like the perfect machine to replace my aging ibook, especially since I care more about size than power anyway. But ports - that's a different story. 1 USB port for I/O is a joke!

    -daniel

  30. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton

    But is it as good as my old vintage Toshiba Portege

    But is it as good as my old turn of the century P3 Toshiba Portege replete with a rugged alloy case a long 3 hour operational life on a small 3Ah battery with wifi a plug in via PCMCIA card and so on !

    It too also fits in the same size envelope too !

    Now it they sold for a grand maybe but anything more is way too much of a rip off !

    Now where was the the Paris angle again ?

  31. Silvergunner
    Thumb Down

    FAIL.

    Been a Mac faithful, it was news to me that Apple are making such a huge mistake. The main points are that it really isn't that different from a standard Macbook, but with a thinner construction and almost twice the price. I was expecting Apple to release a machine to compete against the EEE for around £400-500.

    Seems like they didn't listen though, and this will fail like the iPhone did. Steve, if you are reading this, PLEASE release a low-cost 7" Macbook instead of this £1200 monstrosity...

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Also the USB port can be an Ethernet port

    Apparently there is a USB dongle to give a wired ethernet port. Not clear if this is a USB to ethernet adapter or just a passthrough that brings out a proprietary connection to an ethernet port in the USB port. If it is the latter, it means you couldn't use a USB hub with this so having a wired ethernet port would take your only USB port.

  33. Tom Chiverton
    Alert

    That tosh...

    The Toshiba maybe the same thickness, but look at the rest of the specs - it's only 866meg by 256 with a 30 gig disk !

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    @ Webster

    First, I'd like to thank you for taking my Apple shares from me when I sold them at $145, after buying them at $20. Maybe one of these days you should take the time to learn how the market really works and understand what drives market fluctuations. Perhaps you should do a comparison between Apple and Dell over the last five years. Yeah, that's Apple up there returning the four bagger, while Dell is the slightly lower than flat line.

    As to Anonymous Engineer, about as long as it takes them to break the little Sony VGN-TZ150N/B laptop I would image. BTW, the Sony runs $1900, and only has 1 GB RAM, and only runs at 1.06.

    Finally, a special call out to the AC who posted the Toshiba reference. PIII, 866 mhz, with 256 MB RAM, all for £1324 pounds. Are you really trying to say that this new Apple is really the same animal as that Toshiba?

    Do any of you anti-Apple fanatics ever bother to even try to read about the product? Nah, I bet you just see the word Apple and go into a hissy-fit.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    not bad...

    its not too bad. yes, the ports are a limitation - ethernet RJ45 presentation via a USB? nasty..but it'd provide. likewise, serial port via USB. but thats a lot of dongles suddenly...and an external DVD/CD/BluRay?? unit. nasty.

    yes, some other laptops are lighter and thinner...but they are quite far behind for processor/memory and HD space.

    that said, i think I'd prefer a couple of EeePCs instead...especially since Apple seem so content to rape the UK for pricing - yet again! its cheaper to FLY TO NEW YORK TO BUY ONE !!

    Apple != helping solve global warming

  36. Colin Wilson
    Coat

    The Paris Hilton angle

    Perhaps it'd fit in there too, as well as an envelope...

  37. DrXym Silver badge

    Please check your brain in at the door

    This thing is too expensive, has too few features and has a sealed in battery, hard disk and memory. Who in the right mind would buy something that doesn't even allow the battery to swapped out? Would it have killed Apple to put a screwplate underneath to access the battery, or to make the battery clip in somehow like every other laptop in existence? No it wouldn't. Just like with the iPod and iPhone this seems like a cynical ploy to encourage users to "upgrade" when the battery dies, or suffer the horrible inconvenience and expense of getting it replaced. It certainly doesn't indicate good design.

    Also judging from Apple's recent record on build quality with expanding batteries, yellowing cases, melted power cables and overheating it will be interesting to read the tales of woe that impatient new owners of this laptop will have.

  38. Will
    Jobs Horns

    Share price

    To the guy gloating over the share price, anyone who has ever watched Apple's share price after an Apple announcement will know that it always takes a dive. This is because the mediatards and fanboys whip themselves up in to a frenzy of expectation which drives up the share price, then when the products don't live up to the expectations it crashes between 10 and 20%. Now is always a great time to buy, you can make a good return by the end of January.

  39. Ben Bufton
    Thumb Up

    I think it looks cool...

    ... it's not cheap, but I'm not cheap - can't wait!

    :)

  40. jai

    re: My wife just made a good point...

    the difference between the US and UK prices works out to be just 300 quid. cheapest flight the New York that i can find at the moment is 260quid so you're gonna have to time your flight to conincide with a favourable currency rates, and also so that you won't have to stay over in a hotel anywhere

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What's the Paris Hilton angle then?

    I got it! It's the Paris Hilton of laptops. Thin and pretty at first glance. After a second look though it is ultimately shallow, expensive, and useless.

    And the Air also has three ports...

  42. Hywel Thomas
    Boffin

    VAT

    The comparison of US to UK price is slightly unfair, failing to account for VAT.

    USD -> GBP, add 10%, add 17.5% VAT and you get £2029.

    The apparent 30% difference is really just 10%.

  43. Nexox Enigma

    Meh?

    You can get a Fujitsu P series for about that weight with a full compliment of ports, verified long battery life, and an optical drive for a little less weight. Of course it's thicker, but thats because it has roughly the same sized parts crammed into a smaller area, since it has a smaller screen. Which runs pretty much the exact same resolution as this 13.3 inch screen, so it doesn't really matter, unless your eyesight is bad, in which case, get glasses.

    I suppose nobody wants to copy over music or movies for the road, because doing that over wifi will be loads of fun. No docking station either, which is pretty much a must for any laptop that I move around frequently. Then again its got no ports anyway, so I'm not exactly going to be burdened with plugging in lots of periferals every time I use it on my desk. Better invest in super high mark up (and inferior) Apple bluetooth mouse and keyboard.

    I'd rather have my 4 year old Fujitsu P5020D than this thing. I've dropped it, stepped on it, melted bits of it with a soldering iron, and gotten it into a few bike crashes over the years, and it still works great. Its obviously a bit slower than this thing, but since I'm running Slackware with Fluxbox, not OS X with that 'impressive' gui, it is probably a hell of a lot more responsive. Plus its small enough that I can use it comfortable on airline tables with the seat ahead of me reclined fully, on my lap, and any number of places where a 13.3 inch screen might be a tight fit. Plus they fit in my favourite backpack, which holds only up to 11 inch laptops. If I wanted to spend that much on a new laptop, I'd get a new Fujitsu... which is actually lighter than this thing. And weight is what bothers me the most.

  44. Nick Fisher
    Thumb Up

    Ports

    Who uses RJ45 connectors on laptops these days? Er, that's right, no-one.

    Notice it doesn't have parallel ports or those splendid PS/2 DIN connectors either. Those fools at Apple, what were they thinking?

  45. Greg
    Jobs Horns

    The stupidest laptop I've ever seen

    There's a better vid here, sports fans:

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ULy1SPNAKu4

    At 0.4cm thick at the thin end, what's to stop you snapping it in two? He went on about it being durable, but he opened it with his fingertips. And if it's only that thick, it can't have any cooling.

    And what the hell is this:

    "It's optimised for the wireless world in a way that only Apple can do."

    Errrr...what magical way do they have that the rest of us don't?

    Oh, wait, it's wireless-N. Nice. So it's non-standard wireless and partly proprietary, most probably. That'll be the bit that only Apple can do.

    Also from the vid:

    "Re: Screen - Whether you're delivering a keynote or watching a movie, everything is blah blah blah..."

    Watching a movie? On what? It's got no optical drive! OK, I could rip some to the HDD, but only a few, seen as the HDD's so damned small. So that's useless too. I notice that every solution he has for it not having an optical drive involves buying another Mac product. Yes, why use your existing DVD library when you can rent ours? Why install stuff when you can use your other Mac to install stuff (which you can only do by....installing stuff)? Backup? We've got another Mac product for you! Or perhaps you'd like to add to the already OTT £1200 price tag to buy the external drive? I am reminded of this:

    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2003/08/20

    As for ports - one USB port (for the optical drive it's missing) and a proprietary monitor port so you'll end up paying a fortune for adaptors that you then have to carry with the system. Nice.

    And if I'm not much mistaken, that's a sealed-in, non-replaceable battery. So in a few years, it's dead and there's nothing you can do. Except buy the new Mac, of course.

    That's got to be the stupidest laptop I've seen in ages. So I'm sure Apple will sell millions of them to their fanbase. All they have to do, it seems, is wear a black top and say "wireless" a lot.

    I do like the trackpad gestures, though. Very nice, those.

  46. Paul Murray
    Thumb Down

    My Next Mac

    My next Mac will not be one of these. It will be a PowerMac with dual quad-cores and a truckload of memory. Laptops be damned. I got a 12" powerbook with a PPC and 3/4s of a gig. Run MySql, two instances of glassfish (DEV and PROD), The GIMP, and eclipse enteprise and the damn thing starts grinding to a halt. "Ewww! I'm running out of memory! Watch the beach ball while I swap memory for a minute!". Weak as piss.

  47. jubtastic1
    Paris Hilton

    Well colour me disappointed

    I was [s]hoping[/s] praying for an ultraportable, something to replace my aging and battle weary PowerBook 12". Instead Apple deliver a feature crippled ultrathin with a very dodgy precedent setting sealed in battery.

    When exactly did thin become such a desirable goal that it became ok to leave out everything else? Am I supposed to get a new thinner laptop case to reclaim that .5cm? MacBook Air? PHBook more like.

    This long time Apple fan/technician is going to get an EeePC, it isn't exactly what I want but at least it's light and small, two qualities that tend to be top of your list when you have to lug the bastard thing around all day.

  48. dave hands

    disposable laptops

    Only a very very rich man could have come up with this. A £1200 disposable laptop.

    What a muppet.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Its all about looking good

    Apple are becoming more and more like a marketing company and this product shows it.

    One USB only - its a bit crippled today or Apple have some huge intention of everything going wireless soon?

  50. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton

    The Battery

    According to the boys at digg the battery is USD$129 and free fitting as in a similar deal to the iPhoney , the yeah but is that you have to sign the usual disclaimer about the no guarantee regarding data loss 101 doc .

    The usual do it yourself battery boys will figure out within the next month or so on how to halve that cost !

    But the lack of ports or port extender or add on flat battery pack will be telling , it thus reminded me why of Macintosh Mark 1 was a total dog because it too suffered from similar faults back in its day ! But oh my the empty case of Mac Mark 1 does make a wonderful bog paper holder though !

    Now I know what the Paris connection is , thanks guys !

  51. Lickass McClippers
    Boffin

    I'll stick...

    ...with my HP Pavilion dv9340 rather than this Apple wank cheers...

    ● Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor T5500

    ● 2048 MB (2 x 1024 MB)

    ● 160 GB SATA Hard Disk Drive 5400 rpm

    ● 17" WXGA+ High Definition BrightView Widescreen

    ● NVIDIA® GeForce™ Go 7600 with 256 MB dedicated video memory

    ● IEEE 1394 FireWire® Interface

    ● Lightscribe Super Multi DVD Writer (+/-R +/-RW) with

    Double Layer support

    ● Bluetooth® wireless networking

    ● Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945 802.11a/b/g Integrated

    Wireless LAN

    ● TV Tuner DVB-T, with remote control

    ● 5-in-1 integrated Digital Media Reader for Secure

    Digital cards, MultiMedia cards, Memory Stick,

    Memory Stick Pro, or xD Picture cards

    Ports

    1 VGA port

    1 HDMI port

    4 USB 2.0 ports

    1 IEEE-1394

    1 RJ 11 modem connector

    1 RJ 45 Ethernet connector

    S-video TV out

    Remote control infrared port (Remote Control optional)

    2 Headphones-out one w/ SPDIF Digital Audio, 1 Microphone-in port

    Cable docking connector

    Weight: 3.56 kg (7.8 lbs)

    Dimension: 28.50 cm (L) x 39.60 cm (W) x 3.16 cm (min)H /

    4.18 cm (max)

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Nick Fisher

    "Who uses RJ45 connectors on laptops these days? Er, that's right, no-one."

    Err most businesses? Then again, it's designed for home use, not serious work use (don't class luvvies as serious users).

    Ok so it has one USB, but hey you can plug in a USB drive, but hold on, I need to copy this DVD up to the Network (no wireless in many offices). So copy to drive, swap over ethernet and continue copying...

    Yawn...

    Why didn't they just add a couple of extra USB's? Would anyone of noticed that it stayed thicker for an extra cm or two?

    Modern Apple engineering, design over function.

    Shame because it could've been so much better.....

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Apple criticisms

    I think this looks pretty nifty -- though as with most new products I'd wait for the first product refresh before buying one.

    I really do fine many of the criticisms weird. People seem to be saying "How dare Apple make a product that is not all things to all people, or specifically what I want. They're clearly stupid!"

    The MacBook and MacBook Pro lines have not disappeared. There was a major Mac Pro refresh just a few days ago, and product releases happen throughout the year.

    The only thing that really worries me about this one is the sealed battery question -- though since it's a pretty low power consumption device, this will probably be less of an issue than it would with most laptops.

    Yes, it's a niche, but it's an interesting approach to a very real niche.

  54. Matthew Banwell
    Happy

    Upgrade?

    If you want a new computer that fits in an envelope, it's probably a better upgrade path to simply buy a bigger envelope.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amusing

    Fair bit of typical Apple bashing, by largely misinformed/uneducated fools. There's also genuine criticism of the laptop by people not trying to compare it to old, slower and lesser speced PCs.

    I have a Dell Latitude X300, it's got a hefty 2-3kg docking bay which is about 15cm thick, but when detached the unit weighs 1.1kg and is about 1cm thick, but it has no optical drive either but it does have more ports than this new Apple laptop.

    I agree with others here that the lack of ports is a definite mistake, and not having changable batteries shooting themselves in the foot (they could have a market for spare batteries if they had allowed it to be changed). With 802.11n the lack of ethernet port is not such an issue if you have the machines within the distance people often have machines connected via ethernet, as it can theoretically reach upto 300mbit/sec for transfer rates, whilst not as good as gigabit ethernet connections, it's still quite usable..

    That said, I think the specs are extremely good otherwise for a UMPC, and people are forgetting that other UMPCs on the market retail for substantially higher than their larger laptop alternatives.

    To the person who was commenting on its lack of suitability for DVE, well der, no notebook is suitable for such a purpose. Higher end laptops like MacBook Pro and other PC laptops can be used for that, but i highly doubt you could find a notebook on the market which would suit such needs (with its limited bus speeds, limited expandability, etc).

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Battery

    >And if I'm not much mistaken, that's a sealed-in, non-replaceable battery. So

    >in a few years, it's dead and there's nothing you can do. Except buy the new

    >Mac, of course.

    Or do as any sensible person would do and simply buy a new battery and get it fitted for free by Apple:

    http://www.apple.com/support/macbookair/service/battery/

    (although the European price is over double the US price).

  57. Bill Fresher
    Gates Horns

    Genius design

    The first mac you can put in a shredder.

  58. Colin MacLean
    Pirate

    The most befuddling laptop.... IN THE WORLD!

    Reminds me of those superduper sportcars Clarkson et al drool over on the telly. Fine for a quick spin round the test track, but completely impractical for daily use.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No optical drive

    My grandad's ripped all his DVDs to a load of 2GB memory sticks. He says they're more convenient to carry around than DVDs. Don't ask me why he didn't rip directly into his hard drive.

    Anyway, Apple should have given this thing a memory card slot and supplied the restore disks on a memory card. That would have been embracing the future of computing.

  60. Marcus Bointon
    Go

    Can't anyone read?

    The battery is replaceable, just not by you, and it will cost you $129, which is not too unreasonable. Since I bought my MacBook, I've removed the battery precisely once to install RAM and HD upgrades. In a year and a half I've never burned a DVD, though I've read a couple - I mostly pull stuff across the network anyway as it's faster than the local drive.

    My MacBook ethernet port died after a fall from a desk (magsafe lets go, RJ-45 doesn't, lesson learned) and I've survived on WiFi ever since, though I'm glad to see an Apple branded USB Ethernet dongle as nobody else makes drivers (because there hasn't been a Mac without internal ethernet for years). I have 2 USB ports, but most of the time I don't use either (and I can see the new trackpad being better than the majority of mice), though I do use the DVI port on a 24" LCD.

    Greg said "wireless-N. Nice. So it's non-standard wireless". Wireless N is neither non-standard nor proprietary. It may not be carved in stone like 11g (not that that's worth much given its interoperability problems), but it does generally work pretty well, and is definitely worth having, especially since it's faster than 100-T ethernet most of the time. Micro-DVI is not non-standard either - it's just not as common as fat and crappy VGA. You'll probably be complaining it doesn't have parallel and game ports next.

    All the price comparisons also fail to notice (as usual) that the US prices do not include sales tax, which varies between 0 and about 16% depending on where you are (which is why they don't quote it inclusive).

    And yes you can run Windows XP and Vista on it (or linux), either with BootCamp or Parallels/Fusion.

    So, missed facts aside, I don't see any great advantage of this laptop for me. If I was some executive travelling a lot with hand baggage only, I'd be grateful for the weight saving and battery life, and getting that at the same time as having a really nice screen makes it actually usable, unlike most 10" screens, especially if your eyesight isn't great.

  61. Scott Mckenzie

    Toshiba

    Err, has anyone tried the Portege models from Toshiba, the on paper specs of the R500 i use are impressive, in all except the processor.... the ULV processor can just about handle running XP (let alone Vista) try and run more than Outlook and Excel and it's slower than continental drift.

    This at least looks like a reasonably powerful ultraportable... i would probably rather have had a few more ports, slightly thicker version etc, but the spec doesn't put me off when i think what i actually use it for and what ports etc i use regularly.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Yawn

    Why the continuous comments on how thin it is? It's as thin as the thickest part given it only slims down at the edges. Apart from that it's bloody huge (same size as my macbook) with a low res screen (and if it's the same as the macbook, crap) and a slow, slow disk (I've had stinkpad X40s that used 1.8 inch drives and they're slooooow). Yawn.

    I've been using skinny laptops since the Stinkpad 560 in the mid 90s, and this is close to useless. No changeable anything. No ethernet (try living in a flat in london with 30 wifi networks buzzing around).

    I've currently got an X60 with slower Core 2 and that gets damn hot with proper vents .. this thing is gonna fry. His holynesses arguments over CPU speed are irrelevent here given how slow the disk is and the screen being such crap - the only people needing anything over a 1 gig Core 2 are modelling and graphics guys and they'll take one look at the screen and disk and run).

    Toshiba will sell you a much smaller laptop that's half the weight and includes an optical drive.

    What a let down.

  63. Simon Still

    What is the issue with ports? It's a laptop

    I'm currently using a Thinkpad X32 at work. It has, wait for it, no optical drive. I use it in it's docking station when at my desk when i plug in a monitor, power, and a usb hub - because it has limited ports and i need a mouse, keyboard, usb cable to charge my blackberry, a port to plug in my usb key. I tend to install apps when i'm at my desk and rarely use my optical drive.

    When I'm working on the move I don't plug anything into it except my power cable and maybe a usb key. This is apple thinking smart and asking what you actually *need* from a laptop. Few people buying a 2kusd ultrasmall laptop are not going to have some other machine they can use for the rare time they need an optical drive and many of my app installs are downloads from the net anyway. As for ethernet - how often do you move a large enough volume of files that this is going to be an issue. Copying your music collection is a one time action so it can take a while without it being a problem.

    On portability it's the weight i look at - that's why i have the X32. I'm carrying a bag that's big enough to take an A4 envelope, and usually have a file or sheaf of papers with me, so something with a bigger screen at the same weight as the X32 is no more effort to carry and better to work with.

    I think they've got it right. It's not the one for me as a personal machine - given I rarely carry my personal laptop anywhere outside the house it's got no advantages over a Macbook - but if my employer switched to Apple i'd take this over a macbook or macbook pro.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    I have a solution!!

    You all don't like the skinny thing from the evil evil pear-shaped-head man; evidently.

    Well, don't buy it.

    That was a simple one, wasn't? Ok, here is my coat.

    GB

  65. Evil Graham
    Stop

    re: re: My wife just made a good point...

    Sorry to let you down, but your wife is also wrong about reclaiming Canadian sales tax for overseas visitors. There *was* such a scheme, but it got cancelled from April 2007, see:

    http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/gi/notice221/notice221-e.html

    I don't know the situation for the US, perhaps your wife should check that at the same time she is looking for super-cheap flights and hotel accomodation.

  66. Colin MacLean
    Boffin

    The envelope concept is genius...

    ... especially as the MBA will spend a lot of its time in one, between you and the Apple repair shop...

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    @Tom Chiverton

    Of course the Tosh is much lower spec, it was made in 2002. The point people are making is that yet again Apple have failed to be innovative but would like you to believe otherwise.

    @Nick Fisher

    Who uses RJ45? Everyone if they listen to my recommendation. I wouldn't dream of sending any credit card details etc over wireless because as yet there isn't a single wireless protocol that can't be broken. Wired is still far more secure.

    This is yet another limited Apple product that takes away far more than it delivers and Stevie boy just laughs at you and says 'Whack an extortionate price on it, the muppets will pay it'

  68. Eddie

    4200rpm HD!

    What is the slowest, cheapest hard drive doing in a premium product? A 4200rpm drive kills any laptop performance - upgrade any laptop to a 7200rpm and watch the overall performance double.

    The problem with any laptop is all the other clutter you have to carry round with you - power supply brick, proper mouse to do something useful, cables and adaptors, etc.

  69. Gerald Wilson

    Flat cube?

    Sad to see so many ill-informed comments. Makes Reg readers look thick. Bad for publicity... Just read the descriptions, and check the tech BEFORE you flame next time, please.

    Obviously, this is an unusual device. Its target market is unclear, because it's somewhat radical. It's pitched at wireless use only - anything else is a kludgy compromise - and Apple do appear to have thought out what this implies. Read the specs. Watch the demo. Pause to think. Being a touch radical, it's getting the same cool reception that met the iPod when that was launched. (Check the history.) So maybe this device will succeed, too.

    Or maybe it's a cube squashed flat. Have to wait and see.

  70. Simon Greenwood

    re: My Next Mac

    Paul - not being funny here, but if most of what you're running is FOSS, there are way better laptops that you could run Linux on and have native X11 support instead of Apple's half hearted implementation. I love OS X but my next machine is probably going to be the best laptop I can put together running Ubuntu. The only app I would miss is Panic Unison and the only nice feature will be Airtunes, which someone is going work out real soon now.

  71. Peter Kay

    Some nice features, but it doesn't need to be this thin

    The processor is interesting, it's pretty, and has some legs as a travelling/demo machine that isn't linked up in the (wired) office too often.

    However, what's the point of making it that thin other than shinyness? Weight is usually more of an issue.

    It really wouldn't have killed them to add more USB ports, modem and LAN.

    It's good that things have moved on from laptops the size and weight of a few bricks, but at some point it's counterproductive to make them smaller and thinner.

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    It looks pretty.

    But that's all it has going for it.

    It's an under-spec'd and over-priced fashion accessory and as such I'm sure it will sell bucketloads.

  73. Fritz Menzer
    Thumb Down

    And the worst is...

    ...that for marketing reasons they will not to bring out a useful product that may keep people from buying this useless toy (like a MacBook Pro 12" or 13.3"). At least not anytime soon.

    :-(

  74. Ian

    Cool

    So now I can pay over a 1000% more than an ASUS Eee PC to get whilst what is a more powerful system, isn't powerful enough to do anything you couldn't on an Eee PC i.e. Web browsing, office, e-mail, IM, movies, music.

    It's not like you'll be playing high end games or anything on either system so why pay over £1000 when you could pay £169 and be able to do the exact same things?

    Not to mention of course that this thing looks far less rugged than the Eee PC, that's it's made by Apple and is hence guaranteed to have a whole bunch of manufacturing defects and that it's nowhere near as open as the Eee PC. In fact, all it has over the Eee PC in practice is more storage, something that is largely negated with cheap memory cards in the Eee PC.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    I would've liked it...

    ... If it didn't have a sealed in battery, and the lack of multiple I/O (USB/Firewire) ports.

    Oh well. The Toshiba will have to do a while longer.

  76. David Evans
    Thumb Down

    Who cares about thin?

    It's uber-thin, but so what? Its weight that matters, and this is still heavier than a Sony TX or a Samsung Q series. In fact my Samsung Q30 is smaller, lighter, you get the external DVD writer as part of the deal, it has more ports and most importantly, a removable battery (in fact you get a standard 3-hour battery and a double size six hour one).

    I'd actually really like a proper Mac sub notebook, would even pay a premium for it, but not this; its a toy.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Will it blend?

    Well?

  78. Greg

    Re: Battery

    "Or do as any sensible person would do and simply buy a new battery and get it fitted for free by Apple:"

    I wouldn't class anyone buying one of those as a sensible person. ;-)

    </obvious>

    Seriously though, how many iPod owners bought new batteries when theirs blew up/expired, and how many just went and bought the new iPod?

    And only having batteries available from Mac means they can rip you off to their heart's content.

  79. Greg

    Re: Can't anyone read?

    "Greg said "wireless-N. Nice. So it's non-standard wireless". Wireless N is neither non-standard nor proprietary."

    It's not been standardised yet. I'd say that was fairly non-standard. Which makes it....proprietary. Hmm? No?

    There are still inconsistencies and incompatibilities in .11n hardware, which is why I wish people would wait for the ruddy standard. Nothing wrong with G for me.

  80. tardigrade
    Thumb Up

    Lots of AC's here isn't there.

    I am sure that some people here sit on their thumbs for months on end waiting for Apple to release a product so that they can flame it.

    A few points that some others here have picked up on.

    1. You don't have to buy one so calm down dear. Even Steve's mind vortex isn't that strong.

    2. It's not a Desktop so stop expecting it to have the features of one.

    3. If it doesn't have the specs you need buy a MacBook / Pro and save some money. Also the Eee PC is a different market.

    4. Watch the keynote and find out what your talking about first. It has cooling, the battery can be replaced by Apple etc..

    I'm surprised that it doesn't have an SD slot that should have been a given with their being no optical drive. A lot of people are carrying SD cards around these days in preference to CD/DVD's ditto this for USB. It needs another port.

    Who's going to buy it? Well I hate lugging my Dell Latitude (slim as it is) around to clients. A MacThin or ThinBook (see what I did there) would fit the bill. The larger track pad helps with not using a mouse when out and about. I backup via wireless to my own home server anyway so that works for me. I don't need a DVD drive and the backlit keyboard I wish I had that on my laptop now so all in all it's pretty good.

    There is lots of stuff that it doesn't have. Luckily I have all that stuff on my desktop. Which is why I have a desktop on my desk and a laptop on my lap when I'm not in the office.

    All a bit obvious really isn't it.

  81. frankgobbo

    Rah rah rah and all that noise

    Geez, you'd be hard pushed to find a bigger bunch of whiners anywhere. It's pretty simple, if you don't like it, don't buy it.

    Now, I for one am pretty anti apple. I'm writing this from an IBM/Lenovo T60 (work supplied), and my personal laptop is a Toshiba Portege R100 (check out its size, and the specs of the delicious R500). Awesome.

    But I've had the R100 for 4 years now. And I'm looking for something to replace it. And quite frankly, this is it. I work in IT, which means I can claim any such machine on my tax - up to 100% of its value. So over 3 years in Australia, the machine is free and I can salary sacrifice and pay 53.5% of its RRP immediately.

    So, for somebody in a field that you can either salary sacrifice or claim this on tax, I really don't see any issues. Battery? Who REALLY gives a shit? You replace it when it's knackered. It'll be a couple of years, I won't stress about it now. One USB port? I've got a mini USB hub which weighs about 12 grams and has 6 ports on it. Jesus how hard is that? Enough for your ethernet dongle, your modem, your CDrom drive and anything else you need.

    And who the hell needs a cdrom drive on the move anyway? Frankly, the 1.1kg of my Portege is nice to carry around and do presentations, and even the 2.5kg of the IBM/Lenovo is alright.. but thinner and lighter IS better as far as I'm concerned. Those asking who it's for -- it's for me. People who want a nice machine, preferably POSIX based, which they can use as a daily box.

    We've got wifi at work, I've got wifi at home. I need a cd drive maybe once every .. ooh I dunno, never? I have NEVER needed one as long as I've had the Toshiba, and the last time I reinstalled the OS (windows) I did it via network with a VMWare "Ultimate Deployment Appliance".

    This machine is frankly exactly what I wanted. I'll be sure to let you know what fails first on it, though :)

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Air compares poorly to my full-featured 6lb. laptop...

    I'm rather amused by the people saying that the Air doesn't offer feature 'x' and therefore is a waste of time. Especially when what they're comparing it to is a laptop that weighs about twice as much and is twice as thick.

    Even better is to suggest that it's no good for HD editing. What the hell? Why would you even *think* about using this for HD editing?

    And the 4200rpm drive is there because it's not even a full-size laptop drive. This uses the same drive as the iPod and is one of the ways they got the size down to the point that they did. Of course performance will suffer on some applications, but for running Word/PowerPoint or Pages/Keynote it'll be more than enough. The multi-touch pad copped from the iPhone is a nice touch too and perhaps means that you don't need to tote around the mouse and everything else...

    Does it matter hugely that this only has one USB2 port? How often do you use multiple USB devices simultaneously while *away* from the home? Remember, this is an *ultra-portable* -- if you're only going to use it around the house, why not get a regular laptop and save yourself some serious £££? At home you could always connect it to a hub, or wait until they release this fancy new port-replicator-cum-iMac that we just read about in a patent application.

    That's why I think this laptop has two audiences: the Apple fans who will buy everything just because they love the sexy engineering, and road warriors who want a truly portable Mac/laptop. For instance, my wife, who travels around a *lot* giving presentations, was really interested when I told her about this machine and its specs. This weighs about half what her ThinkPad does, would do all the same things, and would enable her to ditch the bulky laptop bag and associated shoulder-pain entirely when she travels. Also, in spite of several reinstalls (and download all of the requisite firmware updates) I've never been able to get all of the hardware working the way that my 7 year-old TiBook does.

    Frankly, even for the modest amount of traveling that *I* do I would consider it over my MB Pro if it cost a bit less.

    My only *real* disappointments with this machine are as follows:

    1. Non-replaceable battery -- OK, so I can take it back to the Apple store and have a new one installed for $130 (no doubt £100 for us) when the old one burns out. But that doesn't help me much when I'm on the road for a full day and don't want to take all of the cords with me. A hot-swappable battery would be *awesome*.

    2. Battery-life -- is it any different if I have the SSD in there? If Apple could somehow get this up to 7 or 8 hours they'd really have me drooling.

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Anyone got a good lawyer?

    'the battery can be replaced by Apple'

    Have to buy all accessories from Apple, get Apple to fit them etc.

    STOP THE PRESSES: Monopoly;Anti-Competitive;Tying Consumers into their products etc

    Where are the EU lawsuits when Apple keeps pulling stunts like this. No wonder the MS lot think they are being unfairly targeted.

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Not only but also

    It won't just blend, it'll *fold*

    I'm pretty sure I'll be buying one to replace the 12" PowerBook with the almost dead HDD that shows me email and web pages at the moment. I don't need a bazillion ports and connectors and optical drives to do that so I'm going to buy a computer that doesn't have them and so lighter.

    God bless the PC idiots who 'need' an RJ45 and a thousand USB slots (more isn't always better but it's always MORE, right?) and are clearly labouring in denial of a world where networks went wireless for the rest of us years ago.

    @WebsterPhreaky and his irritating childish drivel I don't spend my life waiting for something I hate to be talked about and jump in waving my ignorance about like a petulant ten-year-old, who the hell do you think is listening to you ? Person reading Mac article suddenly realises "Ah yes, your idiotic rhetoric has convinced me, macs suck!"

  85. piper

    @frankgobbo

    "Frankly, the 1.1kg of my Portege is nice to carry around and do presentations, and even the 2.5kg of the IBM/Lenovo is alright.. but thinner and lighter IS better as far as I'm concerned. Those asking who it's for -- it's for me."

    Erm, brilliant point, and I wish you all the best...

    ...but it weighs more than your 1.1kg Toshiba..!! Hope you enjoy that extra thinness though

  86. Chris Coleman
    Linux

    Price disparity?

    "Hmmm. That $3098 equates to £1571 at today's exchange rate. Even allowing for UK sales tax, that's a rum deal for Brits."

    Actually, once you take off the VAT on the UK price, and add on local sales tax to the US price, there's only about £50 in it. Not really the sort of difference that makes headlines is it!

  87. Law
    Jobs Horns

    not a laptop

    It's the worlds biggest iPod Touch.... seriously... jobs must be rubbing his hands with glee at all the people who have a rosey picture of driving down to the shops, picking up this years "must have" laptop, walking home (because they needed to trade in their car for it), when they get home and open it - BAM - wtf, where do all my wires go?!

    A year later battery life goes down to about 30 minutes... so you ask for a replacement battery, and BAM - you have to sell your house to cover the cost of sending it in for "repair" to replace the battery at your expense.

  88. Julian
    Unhappy

    My 12 incher

    I suppose I'm just jarred off because there will never be a replacement for my 12" Power Book. Can you imagine the cost of an Air model based on the Pro series??

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    @not only but

    'labouring in denial of a world where networks went wireless for the rest of us years ago'

    You keep going with that wireless thing. Me and a thousand others will quite happily keep sniffing your packets, stealing your credit card details, reading your private mail and generally having a good time.

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Idiots?

    "God bless the PC idiots who 'need' an RJ45 and a thousand USB slots (more isn't always better but it's always MORE, right?) and are clearly labouring in denial of a world where networks went wireless for the rest of us years ago."

    You mean like every secure business environment on the planet?

    Clearly if you've only ever used a computer at home, starbucks and work for a mickey-mouse outfit then you might get the idea that you don't need ethernet.

  91. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Comparisons

    Someone at the Reg, please draw up a comparison table with the new MacBook Air, the Sony G11, Fujitsu P series and the EeePC. I find it amazing that people are considering the EccPC as an alternative but several comments seem to indicate this is the case.

    You can't blame Steve Jobs - in the US they bought the iPhone in droves (unlike in the UK) - you charge what the market will bear. People are very cynical - take the battery for example, it's going to fail in 2-3 years time out of warranty - I can see many 3rd party vendors offering replacement services so you won't be locked into Apple (just as you are not if you want to buy any other replacement laptop battery).

    I don't like having to pay a margin because I'm in the UK, but considering the effort to get a 10-15% discount for a product from Canada/US with a US keyboard, it's not worth it. I'm not too concerned, I don't own a Mac and this isn't the product to convert me to the light side - the Dell XPS1330 seems like a better option and better value at the moment (I don't care about thickness, just weight).

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Chris Coleman (Price disparity?)

    "Actually, once you take off the VAT on the UK price, and add on local sales tax to the US price, there's only about £50 in it."

    Taking off UK sales tax, and adding on US sales tax isn't exactly a fair comparison either - how about comparing the UK price sans VAT with the US pre sales tax price, or the US post sales tax price with the UK price inc VAT?

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    91 Comments

    So much said about so little

  94. Tom

    Can't use my mouse and USB stick at the same time.

    Although it has wireless networking I would still have prefered to have an ethernet port built in - even if it envolved some sort of dongle arangement. Also another USB port would have been good. I know it is aimed at people who want ultra portability - but still alot of people want to use a mouse with their laptop. Perhaps the new trackpad might get over this, but I doubt it. Unplugging my mouse to plug in a USB stick would just get annoying.

    At the end of the day people will buy this for a varity of reasons, but very few of the reasons will be that they need a computer that small and more to do with the styling and 'must have latest gizmo'.

  95. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Steve Jobs Keynote Speech

    Bend over and get ready for pain people. Time to take another one for Stevie, only this time we're moving up from a cucumber to a marrow

  96. Steve Evans

    Ahhh, business as usual...

    Form over function...

    Complete lack of ports because they'd have made it thicker.

    Complete inability to swap batteries on the go, or just buy a new battery when the old one dies, because that would have made it thicker (I suspect the battery is actually spread across the inside of the casing like jam!)

    I wonder how long it will be before the keyboard is removed, just cos it doesn't "look right" and would give them another 1/8" back... Anyone else remember the ZX81 keyboard?

    The only time this thin lightweight Mac is going to be thin and lightweight is when it's on your desk with you carefully guarding it. As soon as it comes to transporting it anywhere you'll have to put it in a steel box just in case someone puts a heavy post-it not on the top and snaps it!

    I'm sure it'll sell a bundle.

  97. aellath

    Think about the target market!

    Okay, yes, i'm a die-hard Mac fan, although i work exclusively on Lenovo and Windows. i'm also a person that *never* runs out to buy the newest and greatest anything; i want those idiots to be the introductory testers and i'll go get it after they've shaken it out. ('swhy i haven't upgraded to 10.5 yet!)

    However. i'm currently on an iBook G4 that is a couple years *out of AppleCare* (thus, about five years old). It does what i need it: email & web, WP, financial, games (including WoW), developers' tools, and Adobe CS, especially Photoshop. It's been majorly repaired only once or twice. In five years. And i'm not exactly gentle; i do things like trip over a big dog on the floor whilst carrying the iBook in one hand (running) and something in the other . . . swing around with the thing plugged in at the extent of the cable . . . walk away from a desk carrying whilst it's plugged in . . . carry it in a backpack that i then sling around and drop on floors . . .

    The point with this sub-notebook is portability. *Not* digital video editing, *not* major league graphics work. It's a notebook aimed at people who move around, for work *or for school*.

    The thinness of it is actually quite a good feature, not just for sexy good looks like intimated above. As thin as it is, i'll be able to carry it *and* these huge tomes of hardback textbooks that seem to be de rigeur for college now. It's great for a college student! Most campuses (in the US, anyway) don't let you onto their network with your personal computer, anyway, so a wired port is useless there. But it's got a full-sized keyboard, great for taking class notes on. Since apparently a lot of students hang out in coffee shops and those seem to have wireless access (i don't go to coffee shops, so i don't know), don't need a wired port there, either.

    For travellers, the thinness of it means it will fit in carryon with even more room to spare.

    My home is both wired and wireless; my workplace (which is a school district larger than Rhode Island; not, i think, a 'mickey-mouse outfit') is wired and wireless -- i haven't had to use a patch cable with my iBook in forever. 'Fact, i forget that i would need it in someplaces, and open up to check email before i realise that connectivity isn't there. Even my weekend job, for which there is only one computer (the POS), has wireless access so if i need to do some database work there i can just connect right up.

    If wired capability *is* needed, get the dongle when you buy the notebook.

    As for durability -- have you taken a look at what Apple's iBooks, old and new, have had to go through when in the hands of the target audience? We have schools still using the original coloured iBooks in lab carts and classrooms, and they run just as well as new for what the students need. *What the students need*, mind you; if it's a graphics arts class or something, they aren't going to be on laptops, anyway. i've seen these things run over, slung around by the handle and across the rooms, dropped off tables . . . and keep running. (i am also a repair tech; not just Apple, but IBM and Dell, too.) Maybe the display cracked when it went under the tyres . . . maybe not. Had one seriously stomped on that still worked save for a crack across the display.

    i really don't think that Apple would put out such a thin notebook, aimed for students and travel, that wasn't durable. (Unfortunately, it's too expensive for a public school district to add to the approved lineup.)

    The sealed battery also tips me off that it's for travel. My iBook has been suddenly powered down a number of times by the battery-latch getting caught on something and popping the battery out, or (lately) simply being loose in the battery compartment and being jiggled hard. Told you it was old! 8) With a sealed battery, a traveller doesn't need to worry about losing power, and schools don't need to worry about curious kids fiddling with them. As a power user, *i* personally find it annoying, because i like being able to swap a drained battery for a full one, but i can at least take a different view and see how it *is* useful.

    A lack of FireWire makes sense -- from this viewpoint. Kids aren't going to need FireWire access; they'll get what they need from USB drives or servers. Since i don't travel in my job, i don't know how prevalent FireWire is for the travelling businessperson, but the only time i use it is when i need to mount the iBook as an external drive on something. *That* happens only when the thing doesn't boot by itself. This is a great feature, something i dearly miss on the Lenovos i have to work on, and i find myself wondering if Apple has just dismissed it from this model, or replaced it with another way of mounting the notebook as a Target Disk.

    i hardly ever use the CD drive in my iBook. Only when i need to load an app. And since the MacBook Air can utilise any other Mac's *or Windows station's* optical drive over ethernet, no problem. If you need more optical availability than that, then get the external drive (DVD *and* CD burner!), or a different MacBook more suited to your needs.

    Personally, i can't see the payoff in paying hundreds extra for a SSD that's 20GB smaller than the HD, nor can i see paying double for that *and* just ~.2 increase in GHz. But the SSD *is* attractive for the shock-resistance! i just can't lose that 20GB (i have a lot of audiobooks!). But the base configuration will still do what i need -- and probably

    i *am* disappointed with Apple's continued lack of a second mouse button. It took me a while to get used to having one, and i do find it convenient not to have to use two hands to get the ctrl-click menu.

    The default configuration will most certainly be able to run WP, Photoshop, browser, Illustrator, JGrasp, Mail, TextWrangler, Preview (all with multiple files/windows open), a solitaire game, and copy files over the wireless all at once with no problem -- since that's what my iBook can do now. It'll probably even run WoW without having to have *all* other apps closed, though i'd still use an external mouse for that, which'll make it easier for me to pretend i'm not playing . . . ;) *And* it'll run Windows, which will be nice when i'm required to take that blasted VBasic class.

    No, this new notebook is *not* the holy grail. But nor is it a pile of flop. It is a precisely focussed notebook, and does it well. Take it *out* of focus, and you may be disappointed. My husband wouldn't use it for his graphic design and artwork, but then he wouldn't expect it to do that. It *will*, though, work admirably as a display to show clients the work in progress, and be able to do minor alterations to it that may come up in consult.

    Don't expect the world. You won't get it. Even Jobs can't do that.

    (heh, and by the time i save up for it, they might have MkII out with more ports or a replaceable battery or . . ? Initial bugs ironed out, anyway!)

  98. aellath

    Oh, and...

    ...by the time i actually manage to save up, a MacTablet may have actually come out, which is what i *really* want!

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Idiot?

    "I wouldn't dream of sending any credit card details etc over wireless because as yet there isn't a single wireless protocol that can't be broken."

    That only matters if you're using http, not https. *Are* you an idiot?

    "Me and a thousand others will quite happily keep sniffing your packets, stealing your credit card details, reading your private mail and generally having a good time."

    Same answer. If you use an insecure transfer protocol, anyone can read your mail without needing to live near you. If you use a secure one, it's secure from start to end.

  100. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just wait a couple of months for the Price Drop

    "...............by the time i actually manage to save up, a MacTablet may have actually come out, which is what i *really* want!"

    But we all know Uncle Steve will slash the price after a couple of months (just as he did by shafting early iPhone buyers).

    Just sit tight till Spring.

  101. Dustin
    Unhappy

    Proper tool for the job

    As always, a Mac/Pc (Technically a Mac is a Personal Computer, but I digress) flame war ensues. I would never choose this device for work. It is a very niche device for a specific market segment. For the person whom stated..

    "God bless the PC idiots who 'need' an RJ45 and a thousand USB slots (more isn't always better but it's always MORE, right?) and are clearly labouring in denial of a world where networks went wireless for the rest of us years ago."

    You obviously have no profesional telecomunications or networking experience, nor have you worked with networked multimedia content creation, be it video or multichannel audio. Your "PC idiots" statement places you in a category of user that is limited by brand as opposed to functionality or useability.

    The core of what this discussion should be is whether or not this is inovative. It is not. There have been ultraportable general purpose computers since the 80s for christ's sake. Texas instruments was putting out oversized calculators that were C/Basic capable with wide but short LCD displays. They had one on an episode of V back in the day. That stated, the Air is overpriced when looking at comprehensive functionality but about par the coarse for the UMPC market. It is only slightly more functional than my XV6700 phone.

    I'll finnish by saying this device does not meet my personal requirements, but I'm sure that many Mac fanatics and other entertainment device consumers will embrace it. Enjoy it and keep your ignorant smugness to yourself.

    P.S I use PCs, Macs, Linux, Solaris and HPUX systems daily. They are tools.

  102. Ivan Headache

    Re:Anyone got a good lawyer?

    My Dyson is playing up, I need a new rewind ratchet key for it. Damn, Eletrolux don't make or supply the part, neither do Hoover, or Samsung or Pioneer, or Ford, or Mercedes, or Boeing, or NASA. See where this is going?

    For those complaining about being tied in to Apple's batteries - they must be PC user because they have never bought a battery for an Apple computer. I have and I haven't bought it from Apple. There are always replacement batteries on eBay and from 'reputable' support companies. Same goes for iPod batteries. They are now available on the High Street in most UK cities and can be fitted by anyone with a modicum of manual dexterity.

    Then for the "hasn't got enough ports'" brigade. Next time you come out of your darkened room just take a stroll around where people are using laptops 'away from base'. Take a sneaky look to see if can see anything plugged into those laptops (other than a mains connector) chances are there will be nothing plugged in. (Unless of course it's a USB wifi dongle stick.)

    My wife has a HP Compaq laptop provided by her work. It has 3 USB ports. She uses 1 for her mouse because of the appallingly bad scratchpad the thing has. Occasionally she'll add a pen drive. My daughter has a similar aged iBook. It has 2 USB ports. She uses none of them - ever. I have scores of clients with laptops. When I go see them, invariable all is see plugged in is the power cord (and sometimes a printer).

    Anyway, we'll have to see how well it sells. I expect I'll have client with one within the next 30 days.

  103. storng.bare.durid
    Thumb Down

    Hmm... disappointing. Nevertheless.. wait and see.

    Time will tell how good or bad this machine is.

    Personally, I would say if you are anyway nerdy, get an EEE PC, it's an unbelievable deal.

    And sorry, vindictive as this may sound, it is almost obligatory:

    @aellath - TLDR. u f4!L

  104. Hywel Thomas
    Boffin

    @Mat Stace

    "@Chris Coleman (Price disparity?)

    Mat Stace • Wednesday 16th January 2008 15:13 GMT

    "Actually, once you take off the VAT on the UK price, and add on local sales tax to the US price, there's only about £50 in it."

    Taking off UK sales tax, and adding on US sales tax isn't exactly a fair comparison either - how about comparing the UK price sans VAT with the US pre sales tax price, or the US post sales tax price with the UK price inc VAT?@"

    The US price mentioned is sans sales tax. I think Chris probably meant "or add on local sales tax".

    Comparing both with different levels of VAT vs sales tax (which particular US sales tax do you want to pick ?) would be stupid in this context, which was the implication that Apple was charging a great deal more over here (30% ish), rather than a more modest (10% ish) contingency against currency fluctuations plus operating costs.

    I make the actual difference £108 on the low model and £157 on the silly model.

  105. Peter Lawrence
    Jobs Halo

    Replacement Batteries?

    I've been looking at replacing the battery in my iBook G4 (bought in June 2005). I'm looking at ~$120USD plus tax and shipping. I have to put the battery in myself, to boot! Not that installing a battery in a conventional laptop is difficult, but considering that the $130 figure includes labour, it's not out of line with current replacement battery charges.

    Most large cities in North America have an Apple Authorized repair shop, and I'm sure that these folks will be able to do the battery work. Sure, you can get cheaper batteries off of eBay, but buying off-brand laptop batteries is a bad idea anyway.

    Cheers,

    Peter

  106. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    We should be applauding Apple!

    Apple should be congratulated for innovating, pushing the boundaries and most of all broadening the appeal of high technology to those who are not geeks, or IT professionals who view technology as tools of their trade.

    I'm seeing Apple launch products that get ordinary people excited. MS and PC makers are bound to take the best parts of what works and follow suit as they've done before (Vista gadgets anyone?), thus benefitting an even wider audience. People should be applauding them rather than smugly firing holier-than-thou broadsides at them.

    And before anyone asks, I use both PCs and Macs.

  107. Hannah

    The answer to the battery solution

    The answer is one of these Solar powered laptop bags.

    As long as you're somewhere that's sunny...

    http://www.greenbang.com/2088/solar-powered-laptop-bag-hits-the-streets

  108. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    RE That only matters if you're using http, not https.

    You obviously don't know much about network security. Https only guarantees that the connection between you and the endpoint is secure. It does not guarantee that the endpoint you are connected to is the one you think it is. Also I rarely need to think about https as far too many people use the same password for everything. You log into a forum, and bingo I have all your passwords as you always use the same one. Not to mention all the sites that only use https for the initial login, then revert to http for everything else. My machine can easily pretend to be yours. MAC spoofing, ARP spoofing, DNS poisoning. And do you really know that you are connected to the starbucks wireless? How do you know that I am not set up next door with a wireless router broadcasting the name starbucks and hijacking all your traffic? How can you trust that https://mybank.com is really taking you to the site and not a spoof site set up on my laptop that my dns is redirecting you to?

  109. piper

    STOP SAYING IT'S INNOVATIVE

    IT'S NOT INNOVATIVE!!!!

    There have been loads of thin and light laptops, check out FSC's Q2010 for starters:

    Few ports, about 20mm in depth, no optical drive, reasonable sized screen, absolutely stunning. Cost the best part of £3ooo just last year too.

    There are few things new here. And the one USB is just a pain in the neck - are some of you that deluded to think users don't want to plug in a mouse AND a USB key at the same time? Or perhaps print from something on an external disk..?! There's no excuse, it should have 2 USB ports at least.

    And great, it has wireless, which works really really well with all the routers that require setting up with ethernet cables first.. Getting round that one will be a doddle for first-time users

    I'd buy a Sony SZ6 everytime. It takes up pretty much the same amount of space in my bag, I'm not actually going to notice that whole 400g more, it's stylish, has bloody good performance for an ultraportable, I can take another battery with me when I'm travelling and it's made by the same flippin company. No-brainer

  110. aellath

    @storng-bare-durid

    "@aellath - TLDR. u f4!L"

    i can parse the second half, but what the heck does TLDR mean??

    Some power users still have a respect for language and don't muck about with leet-speak. Honestly, when i see it wherever it looks like illiteracy to me.

  111. David
    Thumb Up

    @aellath

    "Honestly, when i see it wherever it looks like illiteracy to me."

    Amen :)

    Although, I rate it more as showing a level of retardation. I doubt I could ever rate it as high as "illiteracy" :)

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019