MacBook Air --Where?
A computer that fits into a manila envelope. Seriously.
I watched Apple CEO., Steve Jobs as he walked on stage for his keynote address, with a manila envelope that he placed on the desk beside him.
Many wondered what was contained in there, myself included.
So let's have a look at the specs., for the techs that read here:
- 13.3-inch, LED-backlit display;
- Full-size illuminated keyboard;
- Generous track-pad;
- Multitouch gesture support;
- Intel Core 2 Duo processor;
- Built-in iSight camera;
- Between 0.16 and 0.76 inch;
- Weighs 3 pounds
- 1.6GHz version - USD$1,799
- 1.8GHz version - USD$3,098
The photograph to the right, shows how the circuit board measures just a little bit longer than a pencil.
I can understand how a lighter computer alternative for travelers, is an ideal solution, but other than that, I don't understand the frenzy to make technological inventions, smaller and smaller, until they find that it doesn't work very well and have to come up with a new design that is perhaps slightly larger, but more functional.
Electronics that are so portable, are just as easy to steal, so I'd feel as though I needed to take additional precautions to protect my property.
The multitouch trackpad mirrors the gesture controls that will be familiar to current iPhone users. Apple says:
"It's a smart move on Apple's part; not only are the gestures easy to learn, but they're difficult to forget, making it far more likely that users will stick with Apple products once they've become used to the interface."
So let's have a look at what's missing in the new svelte notebook:
Those that have used Macs before, will be disappointed that some traditional key functions are missing.
- The battery is not user-replaceable. Meaning you can't swap your batteries out to extend the OS's operating life. You'll probably need to seek a professional to replace the battery when it inevitably loses capacity or fails altogether.
- No optical drive! This means that you'll be unable to boot from an inserted DVD, such as the Mac Leopard install disc, unless you purchase the "optional" external SuperDrive - currently prices at USD$100.
However, there is built in, high capacity USB Flash Memory, instead of a normal hard drive. This is supposed to mean that booting the computer; accessing files and loading of programs will be much faster. It's doubtful that you'll be able to boot from an optical drive in an alternate Mac, using the "remote disk" function.
Now here's a question: How will the user be able to install the next big upgrade if traditionally, Mac OS X installers require the system to boot from a disk?
- No built in Ethernet port. You'll need to pay an additional USD$30 for a USB-to-Ethernet adapter.
- No FireWire port. You'll be unable to use FireWire target disk mode. For those new to Macs, Firewire is invaluable as a troubleshooting and data transfer tool.
This means that a host of digital video cameras that are FireWire only, will be unaccounted.
- 2 GB ram only. Cannot be upgraded.
- No audio input port.
The LED backlit display replaces the electroluminescent back panel that notebooks currently carry. This is an innovation that is more efficient, reliable and durable than the former method.
Users will not have to do without an optical drive; it can simply be accessed differently by using either an external drive or accessing one in your wireless network (either from another computer or from a Hard Drive/Access Point like the "Time Capsule".)
You also don't have to do with only one USB port. If you use a USB hub, you'll be able to have as many as you like.
Interestingly and as a contrast to the utterings of Steve Jobs, the MacBook Air is not the thinnest notebook ever made. 1998 saw the launch of the Pedion, which was the baby of a collaboration by Mitsubishi and Hewlett-Packard - it measured only 18.4 millimeters thick or 0.7244 inches.
Unfortunately it came at a price of USD$6,000 which definitely determined it's sad fate.
Will Steve Jobs' new baby, MacBook Air also fall by the wayside? Comments?
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