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View Full Version : MacBook Air: Regarding What's "Missing"




clayj
Jan 17, 2008, 08:04 AM
Obviously, no one actually has one of these yet. I took a careful look at the specs for it before I ordered mine. Here's why I think comments about what it lacks are perhaps off-base:

No Ethernet: I don't really feel like this is an issue. Virtually everyone who owns a Mac already has WiFi, and many places where you'd use an MBA have WiFi as well. I think the only time I ever actually used the Ethernet port on my MBP was when I was doing a gigantic (50 GB) file transfer, and using the wired connection was faster than using wireless. Otherwise, I've always only used wireless.

No built-in optical drive: Again, I don't really feel like this is an issue. I've used my MBP's SuperDrive to install a few apps (Office 2004, Photoshop Elements), but I've never burned a CD or DVD in my MBP, and I don't install apps on the road. The Remote Disc functionality should suffice for most people, and for everyone else there is the $99 external SuperDrive option which allows you to "leave the drive at home" if you're not going to need it with you.

Not enough disk space: I think people are getting a bit spoiled when it comes to disk space. We see computers being fitted with TB hard drives now, and we wonder if 64 GB or 80 GB will be "enough". For most people, using this computer as it's meant to be used, the answer is yes, it's enough. Given the small screen and slower CPU (compared to larger notebooks or desktop machines), you shouldn't be using this for video editing, anyway... and remote disk options, where you might store your files on an Internet-accessible location (like Windows Home Server; why doesn't Apple have something like that?), suddenly make it possible for you to access all kinds of files, even if they're not actually in your notebook.

Not enough CPU power: Again, this is not meant to be a video editing or gaming machine. The 1.6 and 1.8 GHz CPUs are almost as fast as what is currently offered in the Mac mini, and I don't see people complaining that minis are underpowered.

Not enough FireWire/USB ports: How many USB ports do you need? One should suffice for syncing your iPhone or iPod. And I doubt that people are going to be lugging around multiple USB devices and plugging them into the MBA simultaneously while they are away from their desk. As for FireWire, the only things that really use it are powered external hard drives, which you can't use while away from your desk, and video cameras.

No removable battery: When you get the form factor down this small, with virtually no wasted space within the volume of the chassis, things like the hardware necessary to allow a battery to be removable take up valuable space. Imagine how much larger an iPhone or an iPod would be if they had removable batteries. Imagine how much smaller other companies' phones and laptops could be if they started making batteries permanently installed. It's a trade-off; removable battery, or smaller chassis. (My only hope here is that Apple's battery replacement process is FAST: Ideally, they should be able to do this in the Apple Store, without you having to ship your MBA anywhere. The $129 price is comparable to the price of a MBP battery, and factors in installation costs. Apple may actually be losing money on this, given the high cost of skilled technical labor.)

Remember, folks: This is a notebook. You are sacrificing features (ports, storage space, etc.) in order to get portability. The more portable it is, the more features you have to give up in comparison to a less portable solution, such as a Mac Pro. The trick is, as Jobs said, to give up as little as possible, and to give up those things that you truly don't need. If you compare the volume and weight of the MBA to other notebooks, or even other desktops, I think you'll find that it is perhaps the most powerful machine available anywhere on a power:volume/weight basis.

I think Apple did a pretty good job. I would like to see the MBA2 come with a slablike (MBP, MB) configuration, rather than a wedge... but the MBA's wedge is pretty nice. And the MBA2 should also include WiMax or 3G support, so that we can be wireless anywhere.



QCassidy352
Jan 17, 2008, 08:10 AM
I agree with you. The MBA is a great choice for some people (and a bad choice for others, but what isn't that true of?). What all of the complainers fail to realize is that design is a feature, and one that you have to pay heavily for. That applies to computers, but also to cars, furniture, clothes, you name it. For some people (including me) the "missing" features are more important than the design of the MBA, but for others, like you, those features are less important than design. It's nice to have options. :)

jamesarm97
Jan 17, 2008, 08:18 AM
I would probably seriously consider one has a second computer to 'throw' around when I went places IF it had a 120/160gig 1.8" hard drive option.

- Jame

mashinhead
Jan 17, 2008, 08:22 AM
i never use ethernet but the only reason i think it's bad is cos when i have problems with anything internet related through my webhost or isp, they always ask me to hard connect and by pass the router to see if that's the issue.

also i rarely use the optical drive and could do without one on my mbp

the complaint about the processor that you bring up is more related to the price of the machine. a mac mini is $600 or so.

i don't mind the removable battery. apple often sacrifices this in favor of asthetics on mutiple products.

my complaint really is more the hard drive space, and ram and the inability to upgrade it, or for the machine to hold more.

thies
Jan 17, 2008, 08:26 AM
And? You not needing such features invalidates the remarks of those who do need them in a subnotebook how exactly?

clayj
Jan 17, 2008, 08:26 AM
i never use ethernet but the only reason i think it's bad is cos when i have problems with anything internet related through my webhost or isp, they always ask me to hard connect and by pass the router to see if that's the issue.That sounds like you are saying it'd be your only machine. I would be very surprised if anyone had just an MBA and not any other computer.

Besides, there is also a USB/Ethernet dongle available for those who truly need wired Ethernet. For those of us who don't, we appreciate not having that hardware/port in the machine. Again, eliminate what you don't truly need (or at least make it an external add-on) if you want to make the smallest possible machine.

andiwm2003
Jan 17, 2008, 08:40 AM
to me the MBA would be a "third" computer next to an emac and a 15" Powerbook. In that case all my needs for larger storage, screen, home network are covered.

so the MBA would be for being super mobile. The only three things i would miss would be a second USB, a kensington lock and most importantly a express card slot for internet via verizon/sprint/at&t or similar. if this was built in it would be ok as well. but not having internet everywhere is a real disadvantage. i'm sure the next version will have intels chip set that allows you to have internet via phone carriers.

Blue Velvet
Jan 17, 2008, 08:41 AM
I would be very surprised if anyone had just an MBA and not any other computer.


At the equivalent of US$2400 here in the UK, therefore that makes it a pretty expensive niche product to have in addition to yet another Mac to have around for heavier work... I guess that's why I'm disappointed, that the clear banding of desktop products isn't quite reflected in the laptop range and that in other emerging markets, a product that's so dependent on wireless access may not find its feet.

Saying that, others have remarked on this being particularly targeted at the Japanese market as Apple have been doing poorly there. It would be interesting to hear from those in Japan if this is the case.

thies
Jan 17, 2008, 08:48 AM
If that was directed towards me

it wasn't

desenso
Jan 17, 2008, 08:53 AM
Both of my parents will upgrade to the MacBook Air, and both will use it as their primary computer.

Business travelers will find all the features they need in the MBA. For the vast majority of people who can afford one (professionals who travel), it will suit their needs.

And unlike a Vaio or other ultra-portable, it has the Apple Sex Appeal which will make it sell.

This will be a very successful computer. The vast majority of the complainers in this forum (a) don't seem to represent its target market; and (b) are known whiners, anyways.

ob81
Jan 17, 2008, 09:05 AM
At the equivalent of US$2400 here in the UK, therefore that makes it a pretty expensive niche product to have in addition to yet another Mac to have around for heavier work... I guess that's why I'm disappointed, that the clear banding of desktop products isn't quite reflected in the laptop range and that in other emerging markets, a product that's so dependent on wireless access may not find its feet.

Saying that, others have remarked on this being particularly targeted at the Japanese market as Apple have been doing poorly there. It would be interesting to hear from those in Japan if this is the case.

Apple is not doing poorly in Japan. Of course they would like to do better. This laptop is not what Japan is after though. These people REALLY are very mobile, with the bulk of them owning scooters and taking trains. In my experience, most mobile hardcore users here need to stay connected to the internet all of the time. They get 11" sony's with built in service from wireless providers. The Macbook Air is missing this, and that will hurt it in the long run. My wife's father loves Apple and we looked at the Air together online. He asked me who the provider was for the wireless internet, and laughed when I said that he would have to connect via wi-fi when he had access to it.

Blue Velvet
Jan 17, 2008, 09:14 AM
Apple is not doing poorly in Japan.

Not being Japanese or even living there, I can only go by what I read, which is that computer sales for Apple have been disappointing, executives over there have been repurposed, and that they're staking a lot on the 3G iPhone. That's why I was curious to hear from those more familiar with the situation. :)

Catch
Jan 17, 2008, 09:15 AM
most importantly a express card slot for internet via verizon/sprint/at&t or similar. if this was built in it would be ok as well. but not having internet everywhere is a real disadvantage. i'm sure the next version will have intels chip set that allows you to have internet via phone carriers.

Mobility everywhere would have been icing on the cake. I think Apple underestimates how useful this is to business users. I am still missing 3G in my iPhone as well Apple! So I would agree with you on this point...

C

clayj
Jan 17, 2008, 09:29 AM
Mobility everywhere would have been icing on the cake. I think Apple underestimates how useful this is to business users. I am still missing 3G in my iPhone as well Apple! So I would agree with you on this point...

CI don't think that anyone disagrees that adding 3G support to the MBA, or to the iPhone, might eventually be a good idea. The instant Apple announces a 3G iPhone, I'll be ordering one. EDGE is just painfully slow.

But I would like to point out that adding 3G support to the MBA would require setting up some sort of alliance with a mobile carrier, presumably AT&T. Apple probably doesn't want to artificially limit the market for the MBA by implying that only AT&T subscribers can use the machine's capabilities; so, from that perspective, not adding 3G is a good thing for now. WiMax just isn't around enough to merit adding it now, plus I get the feeling that WiMax is going to be a serious battery killer.

starman0147
Jan 17, 2008, 09:30 AM
All the info in the OP is very true but when you can get a Macbook which includes everything that has been excluded and more for less money why bother… Ok its thinner and lighter, but you are still going to be carrying it round in the same size case as you would do with a Macbook.
I am not knocking the product itself, I think its fantastic but I just cant see the point of it when Apple do a better cheaper machine in the same size.
Now if the MBA was 10” or had been an 13” pro machine I would have be one of the first people to be placing an order.

ob81
Jan 17, 2008, 09:30 AM
Not being Japanese or even living there, I can only go by what I read, which is that computer sales for Apple have been disappointing, executives over there have been repurposed, and that they're staking a lot on the 3G iPhone. That's why I was curious to hear from those more familiar with the situation. :)

:) The whole "Apple is not doing well in Japan" thing comes from the fact that there is still a huge untapped userbase here. In the US, you may see 2 or 3 zunes for every 30 ipods you see. You may see 1 Sony/other for every 100 ipods you see. Here in Japan, people use thier phones as MP3 players. They even use PSPs as MP3 players.

Apple does not dominate here like they want too. Laptops in general are not really even that big in Japan. Everything is so small. I went to Tokyo the other day and took up 2 seats at a Mcdonalds. I pulled out my laptop to confirm an appointment and it took up the entire surface of the table that was alloted to the space I was sitting at. This was a 13" macbook.

It felt big and out of place, and people were staring. The business guys had handheld devices that ran the full version of windows vista business, and have built-in wireless from providers. They run about $2k in Japan, and they are VERY popular. I hope that the 13" Air is not geared at Japan, because that means someone didn't do thier homework.

pr5owner
Jan 17, 2008, 09:35 AM
No Ethernet:

i kinda disagree with you here, there is no excuse for not putting in ethernet, even UMPC's with no KB's have GigEthernet, what about backups? like the time capsule thing apple has out, that needs to backup ALOT of data, not having gig and backing up over wifi is horrible!, wifi is unreliable and slower than hell.

No built-in optical drive: im ok with no BUILT in, but apple is ripping you off by not including it, all the other 12" portable notebooks have it either built in or included as a firewire/usb drive. you dont need to BUY a CD drive and get ripped off. sure you can use your desktops drive, and so can every other operating system to date. windows you can share it out and on linux the same thing.

Not enough disk space: for how much your paying it is an issue, also using a crappy 4200RPM PATA drive? wth is that? thats a slap in the face.
again, UMPC's come with 160GB drives, 160GB is 160GB, you pay a certian amount, why not get what you deserve?

Not enough CPU power: its price, i understand why they did it because apple sacrificed function over form, the MBA doesnt have enough space for heat sinks, but other 12" blow the MBA away by including a 2.2GHz Core 2 duo for CHEAPER.

Not enough FireWire/USB ports: you will need multiple devices because there is NOTHING in this laptop, no eth, no optical, etc, etc see above.
some 12" laptops even have 4 usb ports while most have 3. also the same laptops have firewire, even some have the 6 pin firewire (vs the standard 4 pin)

No removable battery: again, apple wants to rip you off, all other laptops have removable batteries, a hellva lot of them are LIGHTER and smaller than the mba. also a battery costs $50 for a brand new one. not $129, only apple charges that kind of rediculous price for a battery. in reality, batteries cost around $10 to the store.

Remember, folks: This is a notebook. You are sacrificing features (ports, storage space, etc.) in order to get portability. The more portable it is, the more features you have to give up in comparison to a less portable solution, such as a Mac Pro. The trick is, as Jobs said, to give up as little as possible, and to give up those things that you truly don't need. If you compare the volume and weight of the MBA to other notebooks, or even other desktops, I think you'll find that it is perhaps the most powerful machine available anywhere on a power:volume/weight basis.


no, 12" 3lbs and lower notebooks WITH DVD drives, ethernet, modem, 3x+ usb ports, FW, DVI/HDMI/VGA out, mic/line in/headphone/SPDIF with a 2.2GHz Core 2 duo with upgradable everything (ram, hdd, pcie cards and even the cpu itself) are avalible for $900-1500. these notebooks are actaully MORE portable because they are smaller overall thanks to the 12" screen.
their footprint is smaller so you can use a smaller bag. the MBa is 13" and requires the same size of bag as the regular MB

I think Apple did a pretty good job. I would like to see the MBA2 come with a slablike (MBP, MB) configuration, rather than a wedge... but the MBA's wedge is pretty nice. And the MBA2 should also include WiMax or 3G support, so that we can be wireless anywhere.

wedges are fine since most notebooks are like that, they dont get in the way, if you want a sim card slot for HSDPA in your laptop, just get a 12" with that built in, they have been out for ages now. even dell has had it for about 2 years and they are a LATE COMMER to built in WAN.

also just to add, alot of 12" notebooks even have deticated video (8400GS 128MB seems to be the popular addition) this video card is capable of playing quake 4, call of duty 4 and alot of newer games at medium resolution. the MBA not having deticated video if even just a crappy x200 or something is no excuse at $1800. any deticated video card is better than onboard

clayj
Jan 17, 2008, 09:46 AM
even UMPC's with no KB's have GigEthernet

UMPC's come with 160GB drives

all the other 12" portable notebooks have it either built in or included as a firewire/usb drive

no, 12" 3lbs and lower notebooks WITH DVD drives, ethernet, modem, 3x+ usb ports, FW, DVI/HDMI/VGA out, mic/line in/headphone/SPDIF with a 2.2GHz Core 2 duo with upgradable everything (ram, hdd, pcie cards and even the cpu itself) are avalible for $900-1500

Pr5owner, I'm curious about these UMPCs and 12" notebooks you've mentioned that have Gigabit Ethernet built-in, 160 GB HDs, etc. Can you please cite specific examples of machines?

diabolic
Jan 17, 2008, 09:55 AM
I'd imagine that Apple researched the target market and discovered some things while they were designing the MBA.

A. Most of the time I won't be connecting this via ethernet. If I need it, I won't mind buying a $30 adapter.

B. Most of the time I won't need more than one USB device connected. If I add a mouse, it will be Bluetooth. Adding several peripherals (external drives, etc.) is in direct opposition to any idea of portability in my opinion, but I won't need many during regular use. In the rare case that I do, I don't mind using a hub.

I wouldn't necessarily consider most of the people who post here or who follow the keynotes to be very representative of the target market for the MBA.

There were a ton of people on MacRumors bashing the iPhone and saying it would instantly flop. That worked out well.

wrightc23
Jan 17, 2008, 10:00 AM
I'd imagine that Apple researched the target market and discovered some things while they were designing the MBA.

A. Most of the time I won't be connecting this via ethernet. If I need it, I won't mind buying a $30 adapter.

B. Most of the time I won't need more than one USB device connected. If I add a mouse, it will be Bluetooth. Adding several peripherals (external drives, etc.) is in direct opposition to any idea of portability in my opinion, but I won't need many during regular use. In the rare case that I do, I don't mind using a hub.

I wouldn't necessarily consider most of the people who post here or who follow the keynotes to be very representative of the target market for the MBA.

There were a ton of people on MacRumors bashing the iPhone and saying it would instantly flop. That worked out well.

Yes I agree, many including myself define the desirability of a new notebook based around our own narrow requirements. If it doesn't meet them then there is clearly something wrong with the new design.

I've spoken to several people over the last couple of days who are quite taken with the MBA. It's fits the bill as an easy to use, attractive notebook that's small and portable without it's size making it too awkward to use and works with their home wireless internet connection. The MBA fits the bill ideally.

hippo206
Jan 17, 2008, 10:00 AM
For the most part, I agree with the OP. But, what i think the real test is those few off occasions where your on the road and your like "Crap!! I need to load X software" or you walk into a older hotel and they don't offer wifi. Its going to be funny if im ever at Starbucks and someone with a MBA walks up to me and asks to link wirelessly to my CD-Rom drive. Also when the first set of people have to replace there batteries I think it'll be interesting how many moans and groans we will see in the forums. I see it now... "129 for a battery!!! Steve you *******!!!!" emails to Mr. Jobs.

Ill admit, the MBA is not for me, it wasn't developed for someone like me, so I can only discuss how its features don't suit me. But, I imagine, even for the target ppl that Apple has developed this laptop for, have to worry about some of the lacking features in the MBA.

robanga
Jan 17, 2008, 10:07 AM
For UMPC comparisons a product like the Samsung Q1 Ultra is a comparison. It even has a 3G modem. Alas there is no full size keyboard though and certainly no storage as large as 160GB. Its more portable one could argue.

I have the original Q1 , which spends most of its life in my briefcase these days as a holder of photos and backup to my work laptop.

clayj
Jan 17, 2008, 10:10 AM
For the most part, I agree with the OP. But, what i think the real test is those few off occasions where your on the road and your like "Crap!! I need to load X software" or you walk into a older hotel and they don't offer wifi. Its going to be funny if im ever at Starbucks and someone with a MBA walks up to me and asks to link wirelessly to my CD-Rom drive. Also when the first set of people have to replace there batteries I think it'll be interesting how many moans and groans we will see in the forums. I see it now... "129 for a battery!!! Steve you *******!!!!" emails to Mr. Jobs.Well, for starters, a replacement battery for a MacBook Pro also costs $129. Admittedly, the MBP's battery is more complicated, since it has a nice metallic enclosure and a button with little LEDs that shows you how much charge the battery currently has (which is a GREAT feature, BTW), while the MBA's battery is likely just some cells wrapped in a plastic membrane with a small power lead running off of it. But then again, that $129 includes the cost of installation (labor). So I think it's an even trade-off.

As far as asking to share someone else's CD/DVD, the problem there is that that person has to install the Remote Disc software... which comes on the MBA's installation discs. If you don't have them with you, or if the software isn't available from the Apple web site, then they wouldn't be able to share their drive to begin with.

I would imagine that Apple did some surveying and usability testing and figured out that ultraportable laptop users use their CD/DVD drives "x" percent of the time, where "x" is a small enough number that the advantage of not being burdened with the additional weight of an optical drive grossly outweighs the disadvantage of not always having it with you. And for those times when you do need an optical drive, there are software (free) and hardware ($99) solutions available.

Catch
Jan 17, 2008, 10:11 AM
Obviously I would like the biggest hard drive I could get as I am paying for it, but what are you using all that space for? At my home office I have an Xserve in Raid 5 for backing up important files and for storage (this digital lifestyle is hard on storage), but on my MacBookPro I am using around 40g of storage space.

Just curious where all that space is needed in a laptop for you guys?

Regards,

C

devilot
Jan 17, 2008, 10:19 AM
i kinda disagree with you here, there is no excuse for not putting in ethernet, even UMPC's with no KB's have GigEthernet, what about backups? like the time capsule thing apple has out, that needs to backup ALOT of data, not having gig and backing up over wifi is horrible!, wifi is unreliable and slower than hell. I agree to an extent. But probably not as "passionately" as you. "I wish the MBA had an ethernet port." Or that the dongle was included, I mean, they're charging $30 which isn't a lot to most consumers shelling out $2K on a portable, but I'm guessing $30 to Apple is less significant than to an individual.

im ok with no BUILT in [optical drive], but apple is ripping you off by not including it, all the other 12" portable notebooks have it either built in or included as a firewire/usb drive. you dont need to BUY a CD drive and get ripped off. That also irks me a bit. I'd hope that since a premium is charged for this portable, they could at least include an optical drive for "free" since most portables come standard with an optical drive, no? :o I'm not that sure...

All in all, I quite like it, and if I could see myself happy with the MBA being my sole computer, I'd do it. :o I'd pay the $30 for ethernet (because, sorry Clayj, guess we don't all stay in as posh hotels as you-- but in the States and in some hotels I've been at in Europe, there's no wifi, but there is ethernet high speed net available). But that additional superdrive cost is quite irksome to me. :p

hippo206
Jan 17, 2008, 10:30 AM
Well, for starters, a replacement battery for a MacBook Pro also costs $129. Admittedly, the MBP's battery is more complicated, since it has a nice metallic enclosure and a button with little LEDs that shows you how much charge the battery currently has (which is a GREAT feature, BTW), while the MBA's battery is likely just some cells wrapped in a plastic membrane with a small power lead running off of it. But then again, that $129 includes the cost of installation (labor). So I think it's an even trade-off.

As far as asking to share someone else's CD/DVD, the problem there is that that person has to install the Remote Disc software... which comes on the MBA's installation discs. If you don't have them with you, or if the software isn't available from the Apple web site, then they wouldn't be able to share their drive to begin with.

I would imagine that Apple did some surveying and usability testing and figured out that ultraportable laptop users use their CD/DVD drives "x" percent of the time, where "x" is a small enough number that the advantage of not being burdened with the additional weight of an optical drive grossly outweighs the disadvantage of not always having it with you. And for those times when you do need an optical drive, there are software (free) and hardware ($99) solutions available.


With the battery I guess im also factoring in the annoyance of having to potentially lose your laptop just to replace the battery whereas in the MBP I can do it myself.... altho im not sure if the replacement is done in store, but if it is I know 2 stores in my area where i would trust them to even open the box to the battery.

Also, im sure that the remote disc software is going to be available on the site, but that is besides the point, it was just a off comment that I would find it funny if that ever happened. What makes or breaks a lot of products for me is those off occasions. Those times where for some reason a program isn't running right, so i have to reinstall.... or I'm at a clients house and they don't have wifi and hand me a CD of next weeks target graft sales. Both are VERY rare, but happen... even if it happens once every 6 months it happens... and its important. Like I said, the MBA isn't for me, but I know these forums, and I know the moaning that will eventually happen. I mean damn.... look at all the complaining even tho not a single person here actually has one in there hands.

kamiboy
Jan 17, 2008, 10:41 AM
about the only two things that prevent me from getting a Air is the lack of optical out and the wedge form. I use my laptop mainly to watch HD movies on my plasma with 5.1 sound through surround system.

In fact Steve lost my interest in the Air the second he mwntined that the air at its thickest part is thinner than that other laptop. That was when I realized that the one thing that attracted me to Apple laptops to begin with was missing on the Air, symmetry.

When looking at the beautiful evenness of Mac laptops I could not understand why all other laptops where so crooked. I mean making the front of the laptop thinner isn't fooling anyone into thinking it is that thin all over the unit.

I reserve further judgement about the Air design aestetics for when I see one upclose. Apple products have a way of wowing you when you see them upclose rather than in photos.

netdog
Jan 17, 2008, 10:53 AM
This unit is not a DTR, people. Get over it. Buy a MBP or even a MB if that's what you want. It's also not a UMPC. It is a full-sized laptop that weighs three pounds. That really makes it the only laptop of its kind in the market at the moment. It competes against a Sony and Toshiba that have crap keyboards and much slower performance.

In short, the Air is a new sort of laptop altogether. Apple is betting that road warriors and others who need high mobility combined with the ability to do a lot of text work on it (email, spreadsheets, word processing) are going to love it. The Sony and Toshiba are lousy for that. The MacBook is twice the weight. I'm betting that Apple are right. A lot of people will want this kind of portability and quality interface (great full-size keyboard, multi-touch, etc.), and they will be more than happy to pay for it, all for less than the cost of the less impressive competition out there now.

gavd
Jan 17, 2008, 10:57 AM
I can see why people would like Apple to have included the optical drive in the price, but personally I prefer the way they've done it.

They've stripped the drive out anyway so why not give people the choice of getting one or not? If they had included it, the price would only have been higher anyway so this way people don't have to pay the extra if they don't want it.

Catch
Jan 17, 2008, 11:04 AM
When looking at the beautiful evenness of Mac laptops I could not understand why all other laptops where so crooked. I mean making the front of the laptop thinner isn't fooling anyone into thinking it is that thin all over the unit.

I doubt that Apples reason for the shape is to "fool" people into thinking its thinner than it is. I would have thought its because in order to make it as thin as possible some parts had to be thicker than others for the hardware inside. Making it evenly shaped would just create air inside the machine for no functional reason... My guess is that the thickest part is as thin as it could be to fit parts inside...

C

clayj
Jan 17, 2008, 11:11 AM
I can see why people would like Apple to have included the optical drive in the price, but personally I prefer the way they've done it.

They've stripped the drive out anyway so why not give people the choice of getting one or not? If they had included it, the price would only have been higher anyway so this way people don't have to pay the extra if they don't want it.Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!

Those are the magic words: Make it optional. If Apple had included the SuperDrive internally, (1) it'd cost more, (2) it'd weigh more, and (3) a lot of us would be grousing about how it was unneccessary for it to be in there. The same is true of the (not there) Ethernet port, or the (not there) FireWire port, or the (not there) extra USB ports... if you don't need it, get rid of it.

lasuther
Jan 17, 2008, 11:29 AM
I think the OP brings up good points. Some people have tried to compare the MBA to ultraportables, which I don’t think is fair. First of all, the MBA isn’t an ultraportable. Honestly it isn’t any more portable than the current MacBook. Also, compairing Macs to PCs doesn’t really mean anything. Windows sucks so much; I would never consider buying a PC even if the hardware was better.

I think the MBA is a fine computer. My problem is I think the current MacBook is a much better computer.

No Ethernet:
I travel a lot for work. There are some hotels that still use Ethernet. I was at a Holiday Inn where the wireless reception was so bad I ended up using Ethernet. Also, there are many customers that I can only use Ethernet in their plants to connect to the internet. Not having one built in is slightly annoying, but not a huge deal.

No built-in optical drive:
There have been many times where I was at my families or friends, grabbed a CD with pictures burned on it, tossed it on my MacBook, and made a slideshow that amazed everyone. Or grabbed a CD at a friends how to put on the MacBook. I’ve also used my MacBook on plane trips to watch movies. I’ve taking the MacBook to lan parties for video games (WC3, SC, WoW). Not having a built in optical drive can be a big deal for people who travel a lot and burn presentations. While the external is a option, it is clumsy, adds weight, and makes the footprint bigger than the current MacBook.

[Not enough disk space:
80GB is small, especially if you use iPhoto and iTunes a lot (and isn’t that one of the best parts of owning a Mac?). 4200RPM is slow. You can easily add a 160GB 7200RPM drive into a MacBook. That is a big deal.


Not enough CPU power:
You don’t see people complaining that minis are underpowered because most people don’t own minis. And they only cost $600. Its true 1.6GHz will probably take care of most people, but the MacBook gives you 2.2GHz with a significant price savings. And it’s not just the CPU, MacBooks can get 4 Gigs of RAM, the MBA gets 2 Gigs. The MBA is outdated the week you get it.

Not enough FireWire/USB ports:
You are at a friends house. You need to take data from a USB drive and burn it to a DVD. Or you are at a customer. You are plugged in to Ethernet and need to get pictures downloaded from your camera. Just having an iPod charging means you have no available USB ports. And that is a big issue. Not to mention, this would be the computer where you needed an external harddrive. The solution is to have a USB hub, which is clumsy, adds weight, and increases your footprint.

No removable battery:
Laptop batteries die all the time (I’ve replaced mine 1 year in). None removable battery isn’t a problem if you have an Apple Store near by. But many people don’t, and not being able to have a battery delivered so you can get your computer going could be a big problem for some people.

The MBA is a very sexy computer and will sell some models just on that. Also, there will be people with iMacs, MacBooks, and lots of money who want another computer with massive sex appeal.

The MBA answers the problem most people weren’t having: that MacBooks are over powered, over featured, and thick. For 99% of customers, the MacBook provides a more powerful computer, with more features, that will last longer, is a lot cheaper, and has the portability of the MBA. The MBA is a fine computer, the MacBook is just a better one.

netdog
Jan 17, 2008, 11:33 AM
The MBA answers the problem most people weren’t having: that MacBooks are over powered, over featured, and thick. For 99% of customers, the MacBook provides a more powerful computer, with more features, that will last longer, is a lot cheaper, and has the portability of the MBA. The MBA is a fine computer, the MacBook is just a better one.

The MacBook is heavy and has a mediocre display. Many are also not fond of how both the black and the white models look grungy after using it for some time. The MacBook is great for the price, but it has plenty of shortcomings.

Don't confuse your needs and problems with those of others. Glad you like your MacBook. It is a great little laptop.

ic1
Jan 17, 2008, 11:50 AM
. . . The only three things i would miss would be . . . a kensington lock and . . .

Yeah, it's there: http://www.apple.com/macbookair/features.html

The one truly critical feature on something you can slip into a messenger envelope.