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MacBook Air v MacBook
blaisepascal
So... for $600 more, I get (a) twice the RAM (2GB v. 1GB), (b) half the thickness (12mm v. 27mm), (c) 60% the weight (3lb v. 5lb), and (d) a multitouch touchpad.

The screen's the same, the baseline HD's the same, the battery life is slightly less (5hr v. 6hr), the sound's the same, the video's the same...

Oh, it's wedge-shaped, not square. (Am I evil for thinking that'll make a better doorstop in a couple of years?)

Am I missing anything?

So for you Mac fans out there.... is it worth it? I'm not sure I'm sold on it.

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I would have liked to have seen slightly sexier specs in the baseline unit for that price--faster CPU, larger HD.

That said, in the portable market, the combination of small and capable has always brought a high premium. With the existing MacBook and MacBook Pro lines having already moved the bar for an 'ordinary' notebook computer and set the price point people will pay, it was inevitable that, even if all they did was take the exact specs of the MacBook and make it slimmer and lighter, it was going to be noticeably more expensive.

Psychologically, the new price point is right between the MacBook and the MacBook Pro, which is perfect in terms of trying to define a market.

My prediction: if the MacBook Air starts selling better than the MacBook despite its higher price and lack of optical drive, then by this time next year, the plastic MacBook line will be eliminated, the existing MacBook Air models will be moved into that price point, and a newer, faster, sexier MacBook Air will move into the $1799 niche.

I didn't even notice the lack of an optical drive.

Is 3lb v. 5lb and twice the memory that big of a deal?

For some people? Yes, absolutely. The more you travel, or even just wander around the office with the thing under your arm going from meeting to meeting, the more those two pounds matter, honestly.

If my work place were willing to buy me an Apple in any context whatsoever, I'd be all over this thing like white on rice. As it is, having just bought a MacBook Pro last year, this isn't QUITE sexy enough for me to consider selling my MBP in favour of it. But they were very close.

Also, look at the competition.

The baseline offering for the comparable Dell, for example, the Latitude D430, sports a slower processor (1.2GHz), 1GiB RAM, 40GB HD, the older GMA950 video chipset, the same panel resolution (1280x800) but a smaller screen (12.1"), for $1500. There's currently a promotion that cuts that down by about $350 and, IMO, is aimed squarely at trying to compete with the new Apple offering, but that's the list price.

If you customise for comparable specs to the $1799 MacBook Air (2GiB RAM, 80GB HD, 802.11b/g/n, BlueTooth) the list price goes up to $1874.

So it's better and cheaper than it's 3lb competitor, but is slower than it's cheaper older 5lb brother who is otherwise comparable? Even with a 3rd party RAM upgrade?

I have no opinion, but the entry immediately preceding your question on my flist was this.

Is this being bought by work or bought by you?

Neither. If work would buy me a laptop, it's likely it would be a Dell, not a Mac. And at this point in time my funds should go towards digging me out of a financial hole, not getting a laptop.

The lack of optical drive, 80 GB HD, and the presence of only a single USB port (no network jack, no Firewire) make the Air a non-starter for me. For sake of comparison, my current MacBook has 2 USB ports, 2 FireWire ports, and a network jack, as well as a SuperDrive. It also has only an 80 GB HD, and I wish I'd gotten a larger one. I love the size and weight, and it's awfully tempting, but given the various things I need to be able to do with a computer, the Air just won't work for me.

Edited at 2008-01-15 10:04 pm (UTC)

not evil... but I kinda doubt we can afford it :(

"MacBook Err."

--Elliott C. "Eeyore" Evans

I'd forgotten today was MacWorld, honestly.

Nope. Not considering it, (not that I'm in a position or a need to right now in any event. Ananda is just over a year old).

My reaction to the stats went, "Eh. Eh. Uuh. What the???" That last was for the lack of an optical drive.

What we have here is a stripped down computer for a pumped up price.

Given that it took Apple almost six years to get me to upgrade my laptop I won't be surprised if the same thing happens again. I mean, face it - even laptops are rather mature machines.

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