MacBook Air's tradeoffs
Posted 16 January 2008 - 08:59 AM
This is an ideal machine for my traveling. Everything that Apple has taken out of the MBA, I've never needed. The only item I wish was included was an internal 3G card, but with the US cell market split between GSM and CDMA I can understand why that it's not included. At least I can buy one of the several USB models available.
Posted 16 January 2008 - 09:26 AM
Posted 16 January 2008 - 09:43 AM
Ok, end rant. You know we're all just envious of you for having the distinct possibility of getting your hands on one of these. ;-)
Posted 16 January 2008 - 10:16 AM
I think Dan Frakes is the first person to write an article and hit the nail on the head The MacBook Air is a Niche Product The End_
It's for folks that travel excessively - or work in remote locations [who don't always have access to a hardline Ethernet port] It's a Supplemental product as a 2nd Machine to consumers that already have 1 Mac [an iMac or Mac Pro] and are looking to grab another one for very easy mobility
And besides - this is only the beginning of the revolution Think about the good features of this thing being applied to the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines Think about the next generation of Mac Monitors And the iMacs - they just upgraded those - but imagine a 24 inch iMac half as thick as the current line - which is already thinner than the past 2 versions
But yeah - all of those folks trying to figure out how exactly this new MacBook Air fits into the grand scheme of the product lines - it's a Niche Product_
Posted 16 January 2008 - 10:19 AM
There are lightweight computers on the market which fit in between a full-size computer and a "travel computer". My wife has a 12" thinkpad x-60 which weighs 3.3 lbs, with full size keypad, interchangable battery and upgradable memory. Unfortunately it doesn't run OS X, and it isn't a work of art, but it's small enough to carry everywhere. Some compromises were made (no optical drive), but they didn't compromise on connectivity and battery interchanges. One could use the thinkpad x60 as a standalone, with a docking station and external monitor for use at home or in the office. I don't see that at all with the Air.
The 12" powerbook was a great compromise between portability and functionality, and it's still missing in the Apple product line.
Posted 16 January 2008 - 10:21 AM
It needs a Mini with huge firewire drive as companion? One would think so.
Posted 16 January 2008 - 10:25 AM
It is like saying you aren't going to buy a Toyota Prius because it can't haul five people and a ton of gravel. Were you looking at ANY subcompact vehicles or wanting a truck?
The same holds for computers. For people who want an ultralight laptop this offers some very good features. For people wanting a desktop replacement don't bother looking at any ultralights.
Posted 16 January 2008 - 10:27 AM
They plan to sell HDTV movies to computer screens in the future, at least starting with this one.
One may also think BluRay is also planned for future.
Posted 16 January 2008 - 10:34 AM
>The MacBook and MacBookPro are too heavy to carry around in a backpack or briefcase, especially for those of us in the academic environment where we're on foot or cycling much of the time and would prefer to have the laptop as a lone computer.
I am a student who commutes everyday to class, and I have a MacBook in my backpack constantly. It is much more convenient than my old iBook G4, and with just a binder in my backpack, I don't notice the computer at all. Of course, the 12" PB was definitely the perfect machine for commuting students, but the MacBook isn't bad.
Good work on the article, Dan. Many people I have talked to have expressed confusion over the intended audience, but you've explained it well. It is a niche product; that's all you can say.
Finally, what parts of the MacBook Air does everyone see making their way into the rest of the portable lineup? I see Multi-Touch trackpads on the next gen MB and MBPs.
Posted 16 January 2008 - 10:40 AM
1. Most corporations are reluctant to allow WiFi access to the internal network.
2. Most execs use thumb-drives and external mice.
3. The ethernet dongle does not have a USB hub in it.
This is a fatal mix.
I don't think the price is the issue. Last generation 12 inch G4 PowerBooks sell on eBay for more that the MacBook Air.
As long as you are not doing media editing, this thing is plenty powerful. Actually I still do most of my Photoshopping of 10.1MP CR2 images on my 20" G4 iMac because I love the LCD. The Air would smoke it in CPU and has more than twice the RAM.
I'm certain that we will see a revision with ethernet, and maybe more USB ports and an interchangeable battery unless this thing fails altogether.