Macbook Air or Hot Air?

January 15, 2008 • 14 comments

Apple MacBook Air eh…. I’ve always been a fan and advocate of the PC. The complete customization, the abundance of parts and accessories, the immense software selection…. all great aspects of the PC. Of course not all is well with the PC. The infamous BSOD, random restarts, hardware/software issues, etc. Sure XP fixed a lot of that, some would argue that Vista fixed even more. All fine and dandy. Yet I still use a mac….

At my current job I have been given a first gen MacBook Pro, since I’ve had it… I’ve pretty much used my (well built and powerful) PC system for pretty much just gaming. With Parallels I don’t have to worry about any “lack of software support” that the mac might have. The machine has been great for me at work, at school, and on a personal note.

Recently I have grown very accustomed to the mac. In fact you could call me a switcher. I’ll never forget my PC roots, but point is lately I’ve been pretty pleased with the way apple has been going till now.

Today’s keynote was well… kinda weak. An update to the apple tv which no one cares about, iPhone and iTouch coming out with a handful more apps (previous owners need to pay another $20 for the apps)… again no one cares because everyone who’s savvy has their iPod unlocked or has used jailbreak. Time capsule? what?

So now we come to the Ultra light, ultra thin Mac Book Air personally I don’t like this machine. I don’t even care for the name much.

Lets just do a simple Pros and Cons of the new MBA:

Pros:

  • Ultra thin
  • Ultra light
  • SSD Potential
  • Bragging Rights

Cons:

  • Price
  • Non-standard DVI connection
  • Single USB
  • NO Optical drive
  • NO expansion slot
  • NO memory upgrade
  • NO RJ-45 port
  • NO user-replaceable battery ($129 replacement)
  • Battery life not impressive
  • SSD costs another GRAND
  • Extra 200mhz costs $300
  • Typical apple markup
  • $99 external super drive that might only work with the MBA
  • Mono channel audio

MacBook Air is ultra thin, ultra portable, and ultra unlike anything else. But you don’t lose inches and pounds overnight. It’s the result of rethinking conventions.

Uh… no you lose inches and pounds by removing necessary and basic features of a computer.

I like my MBP because its pretty thin and pretty light… and the fact that its a complete computer…. not like the toy described above.

Being a hardware tech savvy guy, I cant stand the thought of not being able to replace my own battery, or add memory.

Bottom line is the MBA is a glorified iPod.

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14 Responses to “Macbook Air or Hot Air?”

  1. January 15th, 2008 8:17 pm B

    Psst.. check your spelling. Got tiny mess-ups..

    I think the price is ridiculous. If anything, it is merely to make a huge profit and pay-off Intel for making the processors smaller.

    HOWEVER, I am totally ok with the lack of optical drive.

    This thing isn’t meant to be a huge working machine. I think this move is a sign of what will come. Just like we moved away from the floppy, we will move away from the optical drive. Relying on wifi is an idea I’m on board with.

    Just my two-cents. I totally agree with all of your other cons, though. Leave it to Apple to get you to pay out of your butt for a product and have to pay them even more just to use it and upgrade it.

  2. January 15th, 2008 8:43 pm Zak

    I don’t think Apple owes anything to Intel for making the CPUs into 45nm. Its not like Intel did it FOR Apple. If that was the case then Dell, HP, etc would all be jacking up the price of chips. However CPU prices have been coming down more and more.

    Getting away from the optical drive is something I don’t see happening of quite some time. The amount of money invested into Blu-Ray and HD-DVD optical drivers are here to stay.

  3. January 15th, 2008 9:03 pm jesse

    damn… I just bought one of these…

  4. January 15th, 2008 9:10 pm B

    AH, well from what I understood was that the Intel chips in them are Apple exclusive and created per Apple’s request.

  5. January 15th, 2008 9:42 pm abelafonte

    I agree with Zak.

    I like the direction that things are headed. I can’t argue that there are some pretty amazing things going on in the creation of such a pristine machine.

    But the big deal to me is that if it seems like a proof of concept. A taste of things to come. Which means that it shouldn’t be priced right up there with mainstay products.

    I don’t think that the trade-offs equal what they’re actually charging for it.

    I’ve been buying Apple for the last 7 years now, and we all know that the price of the MacBook Air is gonna drop as soon as they reach Q1 goals.

    In summary: I would be more excited about this “grab and go” machine if it wasn’t almost the same price as my full-featured MacBook Pro.

    (And for the record… I am not feeling this new line of naming.)

  6. January 15th, 2008 9:44 pm Chuck Bird

    These “Apple exclusive chips” b is talking about are just the just normal “Penryn” 45nm Intel Core 2 Duo T5000/T7000 series mobile processors. You will find them in Dell and every other PC.

    The lack of a replaceable battery was a foolish mistake, considering the last 2 law suits over the exact same issue. Combine that with the fact that we’re in an age of exploding batteries, it was not wise.

    I’ve always thought apple was an okay software company, and they never really innovate in hardware, since they don’t every really make or design anything. Their laptops are made by EDS, Asus, and other low bidders, and their hardware is pooled from the same selection as everyone else.

    The fact that I can fun Leopard on my Dell just fine these days is a testament to what apple COULD be. But alas, they are like Sony and think the only way to win is do everything their way and to be proprietary.

    If apple let companies like Dell and HP sell OSX machines with a selected hardware obviously; we can’t expect the humble little apple team to support any real amount of hardware, unlike Microsoft and its partners, then you’d have some competition in the market. As of now, you have machines for elitists who think their shit doesn’t stink and that $8 for coffee is reasonable.

  7. January 16th, 2008 8:31 am Mayhem

    You know, ever since I started working at…I mean, uh – when is Apple going to come out with Minority Report-style stuff. Reality has not kept up with Hollywood! We should have flying cars, AI, teleporters and stuff, ya know.

  8. January 16th, 2008 9:47 am Brandon Lane

    an edit comments link would be helpful.

  9. January 16th, 2008 11:37 am Tim

    I was an original Lisa owner and a Mac-bigot until the mid 90′s when work forced me onto the PC. Since then, I have purchased ThinkPads exclusively, and for the last 8 years only the “X” series, which is an ultra-portable. No optical drive, small screen, limited power, but excellent battery life, small footprint and long battery life.

    So, I have no problem with no optical drive in the machine, as I almost never need it and when I do USB drives fit the bill perfectly. However, I cannot deal with the fact that I cannot increase the memory on the Air, and that there is only one USB port, and that I cannot replace the battery.

    Fix those three issues, and I could not wait to order mine. Everytime I see my friend’s MacBook Pro, I get jealous because I love the MacOS way more than Vista. But I cannot compromise on these critical items.

  10. January 16th, 2008 11:49 am Hassan

    Hmm. I suspected this much from Apple. They created a Super-Model computer. Looks great but nothing more than an empty shell.

    http://www.RonPaul2008.com

  11. January 17th, 2008 7:41 pm Othman

    Just to clarify the whole 45nm thing (for anyone who hasn’t already heard), Intel did make one-off processors for Apple, but they were 65nm chips with smaller packaging.

    http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=958

  12. January 18th, 2008 8:59 am Zak

    @Othman Thanks for clearing that up. That actually makes me dislike the MBA even more! Latest notebook from Apple and its not even using 45nm chips?! Lame.

  13. February 5th, 2008 12:43 am james

    I agree.

  14. April 14th, 2008 1:22 am Pinhead

    I love my Macbook Air. I’ve recieved it as a present recently.
    here’s a nice review on this laptop: http://www.maconair.com/the_pros_and_cons

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