back to article Apple MacBook Air 11in Core i5 notebook

For years this particular Mac user preferred to carry around an X-Series ThinkPad, despite having a house full of Apple laptops. That's because Apple could offer nothing with comparable size and weight. It was worth putting up with Windows or Ubuntu to gain the convenience of a smaller lighter machine. Apple MacBook Air 11in …

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  1. John Latham

    Does it have integrated 3G?

    If not, it's just another Apple-shaped doorstop.

    1. Jonathan Fingas
      Facepalm

      It shouldn't have built-in 3G

      Why do some insist on built-in 3G?

      Hey, I know, I'll pay extra to commit the computer I have for the next 2-4 years to a particular cellular technology that will probably be obsolete halfway through its lifecycle!

      It's not even a very efficient use of tech. It would be smarter to get a MiFi or other pocket router; for the same money, you can get *any* device you own on 3G or 4G, not just one. The pack also helps you save battery life on the notebook.

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        Some strange definitions

        I totally agree with the OP. You have a strange definitionof efficient.

        Firstly in the real world 3G has been around for years and in the Uk at least will still be around for another 5-10.

        Secondly a mifi is another piece of kit and charger to carry. Additionally the lid of a laptop gives much better space for bigger cellular aerial. Both are more efficient than your suggestion.

        Thirdly with 3G active you are not likely using wifi so it can be powered down so battery life is not an issue.

        Lack of 3G is the only reason I haven't bought an 11" Air myself. It's ridiculous that something that is meant to be ultraportable lacks this as at least an option. It's the whole reason I spent Air money on a vaio TT.

    2. cloudgazer

      'Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor with 256MB ($999 model) or 384MB ($1199 model) of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory'

      All the Air series use the Intel integrated GPU solution.

    3. That Awful Puppy
      WTF?

      If you wouldn't mind explaining?

      I seem to have done quite a bit of work on various ThinkPads and MacBooks, and none of them had integrated 3G. Does that render everything I did on them imaginary?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nope but...

      It comes with an integrated "Apple basher for the sake of it" repellent. The clamshell closes sharply the second one of those lay their fingers on the keyboard.

    5. Scott Mckenzie

      Err.

      I've never once found a machine where the integrated 3G was anything like 'good' - as such all of our remote staff begged to have the plug in USB dongles back. So why not do the same?

      Or pair it with your smartphone and use that 3G connection. Or find some WiFi Access Point, they're rather prevalent.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      3g

      has to transmit over several kilometres, often; wifi over metres, with subsequent implications for battery life for both. it's a very specialist requirement for a laptop - not a mainstream one.

  2. Volker Hett

    What service costs?

    What do you expect to fail within 18 month?

    1. Gary 24
      FAIL

      The battery, apple has a terrible rep with regards to batteries, look at the ratings on the apple.com/ukstore for the old replaceable batteries.

    2. xenny

      The battery

      Laptop batteries are good for a few hundred cycles.

      1. baryonic

        Apple's new notebook batteries have a much longer cycle life than normal replaceable batteries--at about 1,000, about 3 times the number of cycles. I suspect the battery will last as long as the machine itself...

    3. shifty_powers

      You'd probably need a new battery; it'd would have degraded enough by then and it is not user replaceable....

    4. Bassey

      Re: What service costs?

      I "assume" he was referring to the battery - but it would be useful to include statements in a review rather than veiled inferences.

    5. jonathanb Silver badge

      The battery perhaps? It probably won't fail completely but it will lose a lot of its charge capacity.

    6. ThomH Silver badge

      The battery, presumably

      Though 18 months may be a little bit of artistic licence. If Google is to be believed, the Airs ship with a lithium polymer battery, which normally means about 300 charge cycles. If you do a complete charge slightly more often than every other day then you get 18 months.

      1. baryonic

        That would be true if Apple used ordinary LiPoly batteries and charging technolgies for its built-in batteries, but it doesn't.

        From Apple's page on batteries: "Your new Apple notebook features advanced battery chemistry that greatly extends the battery’s lifespan. The built-in battery of your MacBook, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air is designed to deliver up to 1,000 full charge and discharge cycles before it reaches 80 percent of its original capacity. In addition, Adaptive Charging reduces the wear and tear on the battery giving it a lifespan of up to 5 years."

    7. Error404

      I would hazard a guess at the battery - non user replaceable

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What service costs?

      The battery, presumably.

    9. David Beeston
      Thumb Up

      Indeed

      Especially with 3 years of Apple Care as ANYTHING even remotely broken gets sorted of free (minus the cost of Apple Care of course).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        everything EXCEPT batteries that have worn out through use rather than a manufacturing defect.

        I just looked this up on the Apple site. As someone else has pointed out, this is a 'while you wait' repair with an appointment and costs the same as the 'user replaceable' batteries on the older macbooks.

        ie - stop griping - the upsides of an integrated battery outweigh the downsides.

        1. Roger Heathcote 1
          Megaphone

          Err...

          What upsides?!

    10. B33k34

      these service costs

      I *suspect* he's talking about the battery and it's actually rather bogus.

      Apple laptop battery management is very good now - I sold a 3 year old macbook (black plastic) which spent most of it's time connected to the mains. It's battery was showing sub 50 charge cycles and something like 95% of original capacity.

      The battery life of the Air is huge so, even if you use it all day away from your desk you're probably only charging it over night so 18 months is only 500 charges (and the battery is meant to be good for > twice that).

      In reality it's possibly a 3 year service cost and Apple only charge about the same for it as a genuine battery for most other laptops (my experience with aftermarket Li-Ion batteries for laptops, iPods, drills and phones has been very poor - I'd only buy genuine in future).

      1. petur

        @B33k34

        Li-Ion batteries and it friends deteriorate with age, so even if it has 1 charge cycle, it will have a crappy capacity after a few years.

        1. B33k34

          Sure. But Apples battery monitor also tells you the capacity. There was no significant deterioration in capacity showing either.

    11. Dapprman

      The usual laptop consumable at a guess ...

      Do Apple batteries actually last 18 months, or are they like most other laptop batteries - using the computer plugged in and about 6-12 months the battery is dead ?

      1. Volker Hett

        From my experience

        The battery should last longer then this, even on my 2006 white Macbook the battery still has some 85% capacity after more than 500 cycles.

    12. Armando 123

      Really?

      I've had mine for almost 3 years of fairly heavy use, but the battery is still fine. It's not what it was when brand new (STOP PRESS SHOCKER!) but I still get two hours, easily, unless I'm doing some heavy-duty stuff.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Peter Bond
    WTF?

    Phew...

    "Resources are things we invent, folks, the outcome of our ingenuity"

    Thank Christ for that. I'll sleep more easily tonight knowing we can rustle up more oil and gas by using our ingenuity. I've been labouring under the misaprehension that these and other substances only existed in finite quantities on this planet. How wrong can a man be?

    1. handle

      Invented resources

      I guess the reviewer should put that to the families of some coal miners in Wales (or anywhere else, for that matter). They obviously died in vain.

      1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Invented resources

        What an idiotic comment - and you've made quite a few.

        You should apply for a job as a presenter.

        1. handle

          Idiotic comment?

          Not according to the 0 thumbs up, 8 thumbs down you got so far for saying that.

          A presenter? There's only one wannabe Jeremy Clarkson here, and it's not me.

    2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Phew...

      I hate to break the news, but we're almost out of whaleblubber too.

  5. 1Rafayal
    Devil

    Very expensive netbook?

    I am not an Apple owner, nor am I a member of the Jobsian Cult. But, this actually looks like an Apple product I would use, especially when you look at the price of the thing compared to when the first one was released.

    Devilish face as I referred to the "Jobsian Cult" with the full intention of garnering the wrath of the Apple Fanbois :)

  6. JDX Gold badge

    I wish I was wealthy enough that I could choose a laptop on factors other than grunt/£ - it looks beautiful.

  7. petur
    Thumb Down

    iWaste

    battery not replaceable -> product designed to last 2 years. At that point the capacity of the battery has dropped enough that the user complains and looks for an alternative

    My 3-year old dell is enjoying its second battery, and will get a new one next year. Since it is still fast enough, there's no need to replace it when battery life is OK.

    1. introiboad

      My unibody MacBook is on its third year and the battery is now showing signs of needing replacement. But the laptop has been upgraded from Leopard to SL and then to Lion and still runs like a champ.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And how much do Dell charge you for a replacement batttery?

      My very unscientific research (go to Dell site, click on random model) gave a price of £105 (shown as being discounted from £130) for the Inspiron M301Z

      That's MORE than Apple charge to fit a replacement battery to a Macbook Air.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    when a regular netbook sells for over £350...

    The Register say that it's "overkill" and "has missed the point of small form factor machines"

    yet, now, strangely it sees the point of them being more feature rich and costing 3 times as much.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: when a regular netbook sells for over £350

      Your post would have a point if the Air was a netbook, which it clearly is not. In the same way as a certain brand of car can be overpriced in its class, you wouldn't then judge a supercar unfavourably against it. Apples and oranges my friend.

    2. Volker Hett

      sure

      an Atom is so close to an i5, you'll see no difference.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yesh

        And wow, a huuuge 2gb of ram

    3. Steven Raith

      A regular netbook...

      ...comes crippled out of the box by Intel and Microsoft, has a barely usable CPU if you want to do more than three things at once - on any operating system, not just Win XP/7 - and has a fairly low res, almost certainly low quality screen. Brazos Netbooks look like changing that, mind, and forcing Intel to pull their finger out over Atom. I've played with a couple now, they're pretty tasty for the price.

      The Macbook Air comes with a chunky Core i5 and is actually pretty damned close to being a mobile desktop replacement* in terms of the grunt it has for everyday use, on either Mac OS or Windows 7. The compromise (other than ports) is minimal, and that's why you pay more for it. The compromise with a proper netbook is massive, that's why you pay less for it.

      Bear in mind it was only a few years ago that machines of the MBA class (ultra-ultra-portable with usable grunt) were going for closer to £1500 from the likes of Sony and Toshiba, and Apple itself - for what it does, the price isn't half bad.

      In the end, that's why paying £350 for a traditional, barely-better-than-my-mobile-phone Atom netbook gets baulked at, and paying £900 for an ultra-ultra portable near desktop replacement is lauded.

      Ah, crap, just seen the post it note on my screen - don't feed the trolls. Bah.

      Steven R

      *for day to day stuff - obviously if you're doing full on video editing or software compilation, you're probably going to go another route.

  9. Armando 123

    Love my Ver 1

    I've had mine for a while and I'm quite happy with it. It's been beaten to death and still works fine. Yes, it would be nice if it had more performance, but it seems more solid that my old Dell work laptops at about 2-3x the weight and it is SO much more handy to own that a Dell XPS, which is approximately the size of a battleship anchor and not quite as useful.

    All I can say is that my next laptop, paid for with my own cash, will be an Air.

  10. podman

    Nice review, and I must say I'm very happy with mine, but for a few frustrating QC issues which resulted in me having to get 2 replacements- newest one is perfect though.

    No integrated 3G, but not so much of an issue if you have a phone to tether with.

    However, they're all using dual-core processors, not quads as stated on the first page.

  11. The New Turtle

    Possibly the battery - if cycled every day that would be around 500 cycles, or the 'official' lifespan of a battery.

    I have a friend with one of these, and it's a genuinely nice bit of kit, however the lack of general connectivity would annoy me.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought MacBook Air's were disposable.

  13. stu 4
    Thumb Up

    top gadget

    I bought the i7/256mb/4gb 11" when it came out - replacing my previous 11" 1.6 core duo.

    it really is an amazing little powerhouse. My MBP17 has been resigned to the study now, and the air has become my main work computer (I travel with it everyday).

    I've never seen the beef with non-replaceable batteries. If you are tech-savie you can easily buy a replacement and DIY. If you are not, you just take it into an apple store and they do it while you wait + properly dispose of the battery (which is probably more than most of use do normally).

    Combined with the fact that the latest apple battery tech seems to not really degrade very much compared to lipo, I don't think I'd ever expect to have to replace the battery - my 2 year old MBP still has 100% charge for example.

    Surprised you didn't mention CPU usage with HD playback - this is incredibly low thanks to the tight integration with the intel 3000 HD - playing 1080p* mp4 or mkv full screen barely registers on stat CPU gauges at all (old nvidia model was around 30%).

    *cue muppet moaning about playing 1080p on non-1080p screen... sigh.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thunderbolt

    Why is this even being touted as a feature/ plus point..?

    Firstly, there are next to no devices that currently use thunderbolt.

    Secondly, it may be (theoretically) faster than USB3, but that's irrelevant as hard drives/ SSDs cannot keep up with the speed of either in the first place. So for moving files/ data thunderbolt is no better than USB3.

    But, USB3 has the advantage of being backwards compatible with USB2, and thus, thousands of devices. So why are people believing all the FUD Apple are spouting about thunderbolt, when it offers no advantage to the user over USB3?

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      One of things you can use thunderbolt for is to attach monitors to it. In fact at the moment, it is about the only thing you can do. I'm not sure you can do that with USB 3.

    2. Sam Greene

      Because it will let you have any port you want. I'm sick of apple removing ports as they see fit. Thunderbolt implements PCIe, so you can stick any other port on the end of the cable - USB, FW, eSata.

      "Secondly, it may be (theoretically) faster than USB3, but that's irrelevant as hard drives/ SSDs cannot keep up with the speed of either in the first place"

      Drive arrays can keep up. Check it out - it's called RAID.

    3. Jeff 11

      Re: Thunderbolt

      "Why is this even being touted as a feature/ plus point..?

      Firstly, there are next to no devices that currently use thunderbolt.

      Secondly, it may be (theoretically) faster than USB3, but that's irrelevant as hard drives/ SSDs cannot keep up with the speed of either in the first place. So for moving files/ data thunderbolt is no better than USB3."

      USB3 will be a great consumer technology, but it's not by any means the same thing. Thunderbolt is backwards compatible with the DisplayPort, and throws in another 10Gbit channel to boot. That's pretty important if you're in an industry where you need extremely high throughput. And Thunderbolt devices certainly do exist - the Promise Pegasus that Apple's started to promote with all its Macs.

      Secondly, USB3 can be CPU intensive and high-latency compared to Thunderbolt (and Firewire before it), making it unsuitable for higher end applications like low-latency SANs and hi-res, uncompressed video transmission. SSDs have already exceeded the available bandwidth of the 3Gb SATA2 bus, which is why we now have 6Gb SATA3. If you need high volume read/write performance, then a second SSD would exceed the bandwidth of the of USB3's 4.8Gb bus... and eat at least one of your CPU cores in the process. On a mobile device, that can mean a significant reduction in battery life.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Ok, so it's future proofing, but this is on a device that Apple clearly doesn't intend people to use for more than about 2 years, ie look at the battery...

        Also, it may be good for RAID, but no Apple laptops have RAID.

        Finally, it may be good for enterprise/ servers, but it seems obvious Apple has turned away from enterprise and servers.

        Apple only appeals to the home market now, and for that market it's useless for the next 3 or more years.

  15. launcap Silver badge

    Au contraire

    Battery replacement:

    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing-MacBook-Air-Models-A1237-and-A1304-Battery/848/1

    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing-MacBook-Air-13-Inch-Mid-2011-Battery/6359/1

    And you can get the battery from the usual sources.

    So in summation: you can (if even vaguely technically capable) replace your MacBook Air battery.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or simply take it to the Apple store, takes them about 10 minutes to do it.

      The battery is easily replaced people, its a non-issue

  16. Daniel Barnes

    I've had mine for a few days now, and it's bloody marvellous! It's nothing like a netbook apart from it's similar size, it's a proper laptop in a smaller form factor. It's lightning fast, much faster than my 15" unibody macbook pro and the screen is lovely, much better than any laptop i've used before.

    Yes the battery will die eventually, but it is replaceable by apple for £99, or you could do it yourself if you are out of warranty and by the time that happens these batteries will be churning out of china anyway at a much cheaper price.

    I'd recommend one to anyone, even if they did insist on installing (shudder) windows on it.

  17. Sam Greene

    Thunderbolt Gear

    There is some new thunderbolt gear on the market. An expresscard34 adapter: http://www.sonnettech.com/product/echoexpresscard34thunderbolt.html .

    This lets you add yet another adapter (the card) for whatever needs you might have. Might let some of us get rid of our 17" MBP, which is the only remaining laptop with the slot.

    A hub, recently announced, but not yet for sale, which doesn't count - http://www.dailytech.com/IDF+2011+Belkin+Shows+Off+Thunderbolt+Express+Dock+/article22715.htm

    There are also some 'pro' level RAID arrays out there you'll easily find on the Apple site.

  18. Jean-Paul

    Batteries sigh

    Don't get all this stuff about batteries, if they fail you get them replaced. Yes there was a bad spell with the Santa Rosa based Macbook Pro, I had one, and are on my third battery. Each and everyone was a free replacement from the Apple Store, walk in with a 'failing' battery and walk out with a new one. With Dell and Sony previously they classed it as a consumable item.

    Don't forget that Thunderbolt is great for an external display screen as well and it charges the Air through it as well. Really nice to get a multi-screen solution with USB hubs etc when you 'dock' with a single cable :)

  19. Colin Ritchie
    Paris Hilton

    Damn I bought my Mum a MBP 6 months too early.....

    Bugger, I should have seen this one coming, I got my dear old Ma an i5 13" MBP Sandybridge when it came out, now Apple just made a worthy replacement for the same price and half the weight. Mum wouldn't have noticed the performance hit and would have loved the weight loss....

    How long do you reckon Dell will take to copy this baby?

    Paris, cos the original airhead always leads the pack.

  20. John Latham

    @Why do some insist on built-in 3G?

    I insist on it, because it's a better solution in my experience.

    I've been on call for the last six years. During that time I've used various Thinkpads with and without integrated 3G, Macbook air without, two variants of USB dongle, a mifi type device and an Android smartphone with wifi tethering.

    Of these, the Thinkpads with integrated 3G worked far better than any dongle or tethering solution, for two reasons:

    1. In a laptop form factor you can arrange the aerials around the screen to get much better reception than in a dongle or phone.

    2. 3G sucks battery life, so it makes sense to have the 3G in the thing with the largest battery.

    I like Apple devices - I have an iPad 1, a last-gen MBA and several iPhones. With integrated 3G the MBA would be near-perfect. Certainly the mobile usability of the MBA beats the Thinkpad in terms of form factor and standby/resume speed/reliability. It's also faster to perform many tasks than my Windows 7 machine with the same CPU, but the refusal to offer integrated 3G, even as an option, is bewildering, to me.

    YMMV, obviously.

  21. Lord Zedd

    1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with 3MB shared L3 cache

    Last I checked, dual core was not quad core.

    1. Captain Underpants

      @JeanPaul

      I've been told on various occasions by Apple that batteries are, in fact, consumable items, when querying failing MBP batteries after ~2 years. Which is fine on a machine where you can buy and replace the battery yourself, not so much on a machine where you can't...

      (Yes, I know "can't" is relative - but if you've paid for and want to be able to rely on your AppleCare agreement you can't go fucking about with replacing the battery yourself, so back to the question of "what happens if you manage to get through the best part of 1000 charge cycles in less than 3 years and your battery goes to shit?")

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quad core??

    I don't think so. Even the link to Intel's page clearly says its a dual core processor (with hyperthreading)

  23. Wyrdness

    It's dual-core NOT quad-code

    The cpu is not a quad-core i5, it's dual-core. Even the Intel web page that he's linked to says that it's got 2 cores. Apple don't make a quad-core MacBook Air. Even the i7 options are still only dual-core.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Steve Jobs Shows No Love for Netbooks"

    Right Steve..."Steve Jobs hates netbooks. That much is clear. The Apple CEO has long decried the space as "cheap," a comment he went to town with during yesterday's iPad launch event. "Netbooks aren't better than anything," he said to rousing laughter. "They're just cheap laptops.""

    Or in the case of this thing...an EXPENSIVE laptop.

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2358514,00.asp

  25. G Murphy

    Is it just me or does El Reg appear to be reviewing every piece of Apple kit that comes out nowadays, including every single size available in the range?

    Very much confused by this; does the self confessed 'Mac user' reviewer gets to keep the review models or something?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    expensive service?

    £99 for a new battery fitted

    http://www.apple.com/uk/support/macbook/service/battery/

    considering a typical replacement battery costs around this it's not bad at all with the only downside you can't do it yourself or at least you're not supposed to but it's easy enough to take apart if you look on www.ifixit.com

  27. portseven

    3g?

    i would get one today but for the lack of 3g

    yes i read the coments on why would i want potentialy soon obselete tech built in, and why not just get a myfi.

    but i want convenience, a myfi requires charging, which means me carrying 2 chargers with me, also a dongle means something sticking out the side which can get broken.

    thats why i am in the process of getting a thinkpad x220t with built in 3g

  28. Nick Roberts

    I'm in no way an Apple fan - quite the opposite, I dislike and distrust the company enormously, and I generally consider the hype associated with their products to be just that. However, that doesn't mean I reject all their products out of hand. I've always been fond of the Air, and the latest one takes it exactly where I would want it. Sure, I think the choice of ports is ridiculous, and the sealed battery and HDD are very negative points for me, but they're very much outweighed by the positives - this is a very good machine indeed, and If it wasn't for the price, I would certainly get one. The competition just isn't there right now - the Ultrabook may well compete in a few months, but right now, there's nothing this small with this amount of power - and yes, looks.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just checked my 2010 13" MBA Ultimate Battery

    I got mine on Black Friday last year so it's just about 10 months old. I've had 134 cycles and the battery is still showing 100% charge. If it can handle 1000 cycles then I think I'm in for a good 5-6 years worth of battery life out of this baby before it packs in. Considering that I'm unlikely to be able to resist buying an updated model in the next year or two, I'm not losing sleep over the battery life or the possibility of having to pay Apple to replace it.

    Slightly jealous of the i5/7 CPUs in the new model but, to be honest, mine is plenty fast enough for web, email and the occasional bit of software development on the road. I envisage that this will prove to have been a great purchase for the original cost versus the number of years use I, or someone else, will get out of it. It'll be a fantastic 2nd hand purchase too.

    Having said all this, I'm looking forward to seeing some decent Windows Ultrabooks over the next year too and may well pick up one of those if they look like besting the MBA. See that, I have no operating system preference! I will choose the best tool for the job, if you'll pardon the expression. No os partisanship here, no, Siree Bob!

    If you want a great laptop, get one of these now or wait until the better Ultrabooks come out. Or don't, if you're a miserable cheapskate.

  30. Andy80

    90%?

    That review seemed a little negative to me, so why 90%?

  31. Drew 2

    I must be missing something here.

    2GB RAM, i5 CPU, 64 GBs of Storage for £849 = 90%. Can we flag down a cab and head for real street please?

    And resources are something we 'invent', the most stupid thing I've read for months.

    1. Daniel Barnes

      It's not about the spec, the same spec can be had for a lot less from other manufacturers, it's about the overall package. The phrase 'The whole is greater than the sum of it's parts' springs to mind.

      1. Volker Hett

        The spec, too

        From what I read about Intels "Ultrabook" initiative which is meant to enable others to build MBA like subnotebooks, they have a hard time to sell them cheaper than Apple does. They just settled on fibre reinforced plastic instead of aluminium for the case to get the price down.

  32. Armando 123

    USB3 vs Thunderbolt

    Any other greybeards here? Remember how people thought Apple was ridiculous going with USB on the first iMac? And no floppy drive? And how "there are no USB devices available" was a common cry?

    Mine's the one with the 78 of "Everything Old Is New Again" in the pocket.

    1. Michael Strorm

      Floppy drive omission *was* stupid

      "Remember how people thought Apple was ridiculous going with USB on the first iMac? And no floppy drive?"

      USB was a forward-thinking move that was fine in retrospect.

      Leaving the floppy out, OTOH, smacked of Apple wanting to *appear* forward-thinking by ditching a "legacy" technology without any satisfactory alternative being available at the time. Yeah, everyone knew that the floppy was on borrowed time and would be replaced eventually, but that was still in the near-future. The fact that virtually everyone who owned an iMac bought an external floppy drive proves that the omission was a mistake.

      In 1998, USB pen drives- if they existed at all- were at least five years from being affordable alternatives to floppies. Even CD writers were at least a year or two from commodity affordability, which would explain why Apple only built-in a CD *reader*.

      The only way to share files was over the net via the iMac's modem, which IIRC *was* what Apple expected people to do. Might not seem so bad nowadays, but bear in mind this was back in the 56K dial-up days (i.e. slow connection that wasn't always on line- on both ends) and not everyone was on the net back then anyway- certainly far from all computers.

      Useful way to send small files worldwide? Sure. Realistic alternative to the floppy? No.

  33. Roger Heathcote 1
    Meh

    2GB !!!

    Regardless of the other pros and cons only including 2GB of RAM is unforgiveable in the modern world. Every other high end machine has at least 4 if not 6 or 8. No Ethernet is a big omission too, especially when Mac are so big in the AV world, I wouldn't fancy moving multiple gigabytes of audio and video files around over WiFi on a regular basis.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      So speaks someone whose never used os x. It's much more efficient on memory usage than windows - more on a par with linux.

      It runs very nicely on my netbook with and atom and 2gb.

      Have you ever looked at your memory usage the average user doesnt need all 4gb even on windows.

      You only need 4gig plus if you are doing big photo editing or similar and afaik 4gb is an option.

      1. Tchou
        FAIL

        Apple should not

        presume how you will use your computer. Dual boot Windows and Linux on an Apple machine is perfectly legitimate.

        So yes 2GB is too low.

        1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
          FAIL

          Duh its not rocket science.

          So you spec 4GB on order which you can do. Anyone who has plans to run a dual boot - which is not an average consumer thing - will already do it.

          The same has been happening on windows machines for years. You spec what memory you need over a base config or get the next model up.

          Would you prefer the current windows situation where 4Gb is being wasted on dozens of windows laptops running 32bit windows that can only use 2.96 Gb?

  34. Will 10

    Considering the only competition in the style stakes is the Vaio Z - starting at £1500 - I think this pricing is pretty reasonable. Might even consider giving Apple a go with this...

    1. Ramazan
      Holmes

      @Will 10

      Totally agree with you regarding Sony VAIO Z. I've bought my MBA 1.5 years ago because it was considerably cheaper than Z but similar in other aspects,.. but there's still some tech like switching between discrete (nVidia) and on-board video in real-time which simply isn't in Apple products (yet).

  35. David Simpson 1
    Thumb Down

    Resources = Flawed Logic

    So the Lithium in the battery did someone invent that out of thin air or did some poor fool have to dig it out of the ground ?

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