New MacBook Air

New MacBook Air

 

After grinding in the rumor mill for months, Apple finally unveiled a subcompact notebook. And in typical Apple fashion, the new MacBook Air isn’t simply a new, super-small notebook. It showcases new innovations not seen on PC notebooks.

 

 

At its thinnest point, the MacBook Air is .16 inches, while at its widest point, the notebook measures .76 inches. It weighs only three pounds. During the MacBook Air introduction, Steve Jobs presented the MacBook Air inside an interoffice envelope to emphasize the notebook’s diminutive size.

 

 

Inside the MacBook Air is a 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor that Intel re-engineered to fit a smaller die. The Core 2 Duo in the MacBook Air is 60 percent smaller than the standard Core 2 Duo used for portables. A 1.8GHz processor is available for an additional $300. The processor has a 800MHz frontside bus, and comes standard with 2GB of RAM that’s soldered on to the motherboard – you can’t add more RAM.

 

 

A 1.8-inch 4,200 rpm 80GB hard drive comes with the standard configuration. Pre-Expo rumors said that the subcompact would have flash-based memory, and a 64GB solid-state drive is available as a $999 built-to-order option.

 

 

Other hardware features include a full backlit keyboard, a 13.3-inch backlit LCD with a 1,280 by 768 native resolution, an Intel GMA X3100 graphics subsystem that shares its RAM with main memory, built-in iSight, 1 USB 2.0 port, a micro DVI port, and a headphone jack. There’s no built-in optical drive; an external USB MacBook Air SuperDrive is available for $99.

 

 

The MacBook Air has a full sized trackpad that has expanded support for gestures. Taking a page out of the iPhone interface, the trackpad lets you perform finger gestures such as zoom, pan, scroll, and more.

 

 

Wireless connectivity includes Bluetooth and 802.11n. Wi-Fi is the only available network connectivity. Apple also introduced Remote Disk, which finds available computers on a Wi-Fi network and lets the MacBook Air use the optical drive on those remote computers for those times you absolutely need an optical drive, such as for software installations.

 

 

Apple says that the integrated battery has a 5 hour life. The MacBook Air comes with a 45-watt power adapter.

 

The MacBook Air starts are $1,799. Apple says units will start shipping in two weeks.

 

 

 

To download this video to add to iTunes for viewing on an iPod with video, right click here and choose, Save link as.../Download linked file, depending on which flavor of browser you are using.

 

REQUIREMENTS: QuickTime 7.0 or later. 

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Ginny Crandall

I just came across this article and I'm kind of laughing at all the nay-sayers out there. Why? Because even now there are hundreds of people across the United States that are sitting at a desk with their Macbook Airs, sipping down their Hawaii coffee and working online. It's more popular than you all thought it would be. http://www.makanagardens.com/

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cinive55

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patrick

amazing but dissapointing about you must buy a seperate optical drive.

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Anonymous

the sony/vista adds are really annoying...

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Gary

This is just what I have been looking for. Thin and light, easy to carry. Beautiful!!! Perfect for a 2nd computer.

Everything I do is wireless, and I don't know when the last time I used an optical drive was, except when I loaded Leopard on my iMac. Besides, Kensington already has a dock that attaches via a usb 2.0 port that handles mouse, keyboard, audio and 2nd video monitor, and other usb hubs. Great for when I come home and just plug in 1 usb plug.

The battery is easily replaceable if you know how to use a screwdriver. I'm sure there will be 3rd party companies out there that will offer them (OWC???)
What's not to love. I use my iMac for power stuff, and the Air will be perfect for everything else I do!

I may be the only one to get one, but it will be great!!!

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Upbeat Guy

Fantastic product.
The concept is clear and it works for me.

Too bad that so many people don't like the Air, but it seems to me they just want something else. I can buy an extra optical disk if I need one, but I rarely do. If people want a DVD player, buy one. There are plenty out there with small screens. What makes my comute so unpleasant is carrying so much heavy stuff around. And we don't have the iPhone here yet. So a thin, lightweight Mac... oh my god, heaven on a stick! If the trackpad works as well as it looks on video then I can live without a mouse.

This is the internet age, people. With Wifi and Bluetooth you can do your routine stuff on the go. Fantastic. For pro work get a different machine.

Can't wait.. except that I'll have to. It won't be delivered here for ages yet. Unless we get the iPhone first in which case... maybe we do need those lower prices.

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Anonymous

More revolution than evolution but for God sakes I've dealt with CEOs who want the newest gadgets and even the MacBook Pro never caught their eye. They pay enormous amounts of cash each few months for smaller, thinner and better looking. They get what they want regardless of company computer policies.
Funny when these CEOs meet with their IT teams they tend to suggest heavily on the purchase of the brand computer THEY use not what IT wants. Soooo if you want to get into business and have tried everything to woo the IT department, the next best thing is to put pressure on them from the Boss.
It fits perfect. The boss likely doesn't install his own software. Doesn't do design work., Wouldn't know what Firewire is but has iPod or iPhone that uses USB. Probably hates wires. And likely has never swapped a battery in between naps in First Class on a plane.
The only thing missing is a cell based internet connection built-in.
The only thing really missing, is you and the point.

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Anonymous

well then- i guess they should have named it 'the executive'....

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Anonymous

you know they ARE pretty much air... leave it to Apple to backhandedly mark them so.

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Anonymous

Why are so many complaining that there(they) have no use for a notebook like the Macbook Air? Not everyone is a student on a budget that can only afford a Macbook. Not everyone is a graphic artist or music video editor or a movie maker that MUST use a Macbook Pro. There are actually people out there who travel A LOT and even a 5lb notebook is too much. These people just need their email, word processing, spreadsheet, browsing, IM. I for one was expecting a smaller form factor, maybe 11" screen or something. But the Macbook Air's size make me think apple has a 10 to 12" tablet on the way with a touchscreen interface like the iPhone. You can quote me on that! BTW I bought a Macbook Pro. I didn't need this much power. But I just wanted one. Something for everyone. Why do you think there are so many models of iPods.

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Berkley

im a sucker, what can i say. i saw and it and said, OH GOD YES!!! I WANT ONE!! typical of a mac addict (shameless plug), i know.

then i thought about it... no expansion ports. or too few for me to be concerned with. no way to hook up an external mouse or monitor without monopolizing all of the 2 expansion ports. then... no optical drive. really? yeah, no optical drive. no in-flight dvds. no games that only come on optical media. no burning cds/dvds. no to mention many more things that i dont want to get even more depressed by listing them.

eye-candy factor... HIGH
usefulness... very LOW (especially considering the price tag)

if someone were to give me one for free, i would make the most of it and show it off to everyone but i would still do the majority of my work on my old dual processor quicksilver. sigh.

apple, i love you, very very much, but for the love of {insert f-word explicative}, please give me some great bang for my mega-bucks. pretty please?

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Bill Burkholder

It always bothers me that you put ads for Sony Vaio computers and Windows software in the magazine and in videos about Apple products. There's a HUGE and INSULTING disconnect there.

Surely some Mac-centric vendors would be willing to sponsor this stuff! Why would I ever want to buy a Vaio when I could run Windoze on my Mac? If I did buy a Vaio, instead of buying a Mac, why would I pay any attention to Mac|Life magazine?

The only reason an old Mac addict like me runs Windows at all is because his company writes PC software he has to use. It aggravates me to start it...

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Bill Burkholder

What I really want instead of the 'Air is a 13.2-inch MacBook Pro with easily expandable components. I want to be able to switch out the hard drive, the RAM, the battery, the processor module (!!!), and the optical drive, without prying the case open when disassembling the damned thing.

It needs an Express Card 32 slot. It needs at least two USB 2.0 ports, both FireWire 400 and 800 ports, some version of DVI, and analog and digital audio in/out. It needs Ethernet 10/100/1000 and 802.11n and BlueTooth 2 EDR.

It needs an LED backlit screen with a color gamut as large as Adobe RGB (1998), so I can use it as a reference monitor in the field.

No, I don't care whether it weighs three pounds or eight. And I don't care whether it's "green" or not. I just want it to be rugged as hell, and work like a dog, and be as serviceable as my old G4 AGP towers are.

It would help if it had a 2.8 GHz quad core processor and great heat dissipation and a six-hour battery life, but now I know I'm dreaming.

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Travis

I definately agree with the need for an express port. I can't leave my Jobsite to hunt for a free wifi spot to exchange files with clients. I'm often in the middle of nowhere and I need to us a broadband card like the ones sprint uses for connecting to their cellphone service. The lack of a touchscreen type device killed it for me too. Looks like I'm going with the Modbook tablet.

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Nebby

I haul a lot of gear when doing photo shoots-cutting back at least 2lbs is worth the price. And it'll be sleek for client presentations. Or tossing in the backpack and biking over to the coffee shop to finish writing proposals. I was hoping for something in the 10-12" range, but after spending some time with a Macbook, anything smaller than gets tiring when actually using it for work. This laptop kicks ass.

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sweens

I'd rather see Apple focus on making a better imac, keeping the components current and giving us some choice on video cards.

I agree with the general sentiment, it's cool to see Apple pushing a new boundary, but the Air is not a product that I'm interested in. Ken Rockwell (www.kenrockwell.com) put it this way...

"The Air seems like a dainty girly-man (or business-man) laptop for taking boring notes rather than the modern creative tool and data cruncher I need as a photographer."

Well said

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RJ

i remember buying my first iBook (clamshell) in 2000 and thinking... what the heck.. why no diskette drive... but hey... i have never wanted one since... seems Apple's paving the way again with no optical drive... wow!

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Bob

I'm sorry - 'ultraportable' to me doesn't mean super thin; it's still a 13" screen and has the same (even bigger) footprint that a MacBook. I don't care how thin it is; I would have liked to have seen something in the 10-11" range. I'd trade an extra 0.5" of thickness for an extra USB, firewire, and ethernet port.

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RP Macmurphy

Well, gee....if Apple spent more effort giving us what we can use (maybe even asking real folks) and less political CRAP then market share might hit double-digits. BUT why do that when we can keep everyone divided! That method sure is working great now, isn't it!!

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Stephen

It looks like the ram is built right into the motherboard, which means that you would never be able to upgrade. This is probably why it ships with so much (2GB), and why the initial cost for the standard model is so high.

If I were to consider getting a computer like this, I would skip purchasing software, and try to make this an open source computer. No more adobe, microsoft, apple. Instead go with GIMP, OpenOffice, Mozilla, etc. That way you'll never care about cds or dvds (except movies). Also given that flash hard drive prices and sizes should scale like processors (and not hard drives), I would certainly wait on that flash hard drive extra.

Does the multi-touch pad work with spaces? Or will you need to smack the screen still? Also, why does the ipod classic come with a 160 GB hard drive, but not this mac?

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Susie Ochs

It is soldered to the board, no upgrading. i wondered the same thing about the160GB iPod hard drive, too.

 

Anyway, I think it would be tricky to have this as a primary computer. Maybe if you mostly used Web apps and open-source, which is getting more and more possible all the time. Wonder if that rumored docking station thing would make this more attractive, or just more expensive.

 

One thing I'll say from playing with it briefly at the show: The pictures don't do it justice.

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Robert Edison

Steves Keynote was awesome, a change from last year when all the attention was on the iPhone.
Reminds me of 2004 and 2003 and 2002!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

However:

In the keynote ? He looks thin, (his face) your Impressions:?

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Ben

Didn't we already learn our lesson?

So you release a notebook that doesn't actually have a market because: firstly, it's to expensive for a general consumer; and secondly, it isn't powerful enough, or expandable enough for a professional.

Slim and sleek? Yes. Absolutely. Naturally.

Practical? Not in the least.

I thought we went through this with the G4 Cube in 2000/2001...

Oh, and by the by: way to gouge your customers on the whole iPod touch deal.

I swear, technology just isn't worth my time anymore...

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Walker Quine

"looks amazing but i'm not sold yet. somethings missing"
yeah, lets try FIREWIRE, more ports, and an optical drive, till it gets those things built in Im sticking to my iBook.

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Anonymous

I was hoping for multi-touch on more than just the trackpad... if the screen was responsive to touch I would buy one in a second.

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Anonymous

i love your site, i love your magazine...and while i'm in the marketing business (thus, understand the power of the ad dollar), can someone explain why i have been beaten to death by Sony Viao ads (with windows XP logos) in both print and now on screen???

lord, i actually had to watch an ad before i could see the new macbook air video.

who thinks that this is a wise ad? are they trying to steal us to windows?

We are Mac Users! MAC LIFE!? hello!?

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Travis

It is Ironic that all these anitmated windows ads keep bogging down my crappy work windows machine. It takes me an hour to navigate the site with all the stupid cartoons. at hom on my Imac i would be gliding right by them

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Anonymous

Don't feel let down! Even if this first iteration isn't exactly perfect, think about what it portends for the future. Apple is a'changin' the game again . . .

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Dumitriu Alexandru

Tomorrow my package will come with my new macbook. I was kind of scared reading the rumors before the expo. I thought i was going to regret that i bought it. I'm not captivated by anything. It's thin, ok, but the specs don't give it any kind of a pop. Also the price tag is pretty high. Add a couple of hundred dollars and you could get a macbook pro(for which you can later make serious upgrades). Not to say about the 1,8ghz model which is more expensive than a mac pro. I am a great fan of apple. I have used only PCs until recently. Apple has captivated my attention with their products but this highly anticipated expo just doesn't make me wanting more.

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JM

I am disappointed with the entire keynote....
The "Air" seems pretty useless. As a die hard Mac person, I am let down.

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Anonymous

I am getting an EEE PC tomorrow, already owned one, i love it.

MacBook Air's colors make it look friggin ugly though - that black & white keyboard w/ a silver aluminum case...

ultra portable is a novelty that people want, but don't need. It saves my butt but my butt does not need to be save so its good either way.

cheers,
Vlad

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Datil

Many former (or current) 12" Powerbook owners have been waiting, and we were disappointed. The Air is light and thin, but still freeking big. I could care less if it were 5 pounds instead of 3, and could care less if it were 1 inch -vs- .5 inches.... this thing is STILL essentially the same size as a MacBook, just thinner. Gimme something with a 10 inch screen -- THAT would be "ultra-portable"!!!

Add to that it will be guaranteed to have the iPod battery woes (factory replacement anyone?) and you can't swap it on a long flight (ummmm.... expensive portables are for travelers too no?).

Other than it being novelty-ishly thin, what's the point?

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Anonymous

this is a lot of 'air' for the price.
i would be thrilled if it cost about half of what apple is asking, as it's not upgradable and, if you had an iphone and an ipod- what would you need this for? and if you run a lot of memory intensive programs- what would you need this for?
i've read the further rumours that the 'air' will be able to be plugged into a 'dock', which of course could add funcionality. but how much more would that be?
as a die hard mac, the complaint i hear the most from non-mac people is 'but why is it so expensive?', which i usually follow with lengthy statements to justify the price. personally, i can't imagine justifying the price of the 'air', or at least until a trustfund comes into my future.

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Barney

I've been waiting for this announcement for a while. As an artist, I've wanted a tablet computer made by Apple. All the rumors were pointing that way, but no. I was hoping for a digital sketch book, instead this is like a digital napkin. I hope they update one of their laptops to be a tablet, and keep an optical drive.

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jhillen

looks amazing but i'm not sold yet. somethings missing

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ICU Design

yes, something is defenitly missing, actually everything is missing. Sure it could be used for students browsing myspace at their local starchucks, but other than that, no good can come from owning one of these. I can now see ebay flooded with these laptops in the next few weeks.

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