Apple announces MacBook Air

Steve Jobs took the stage this morning at the Macworld Conference & Expo to exhort the Mac faithful and announce a handful of new products.

MacBook Air

The rumors were true. Steve Jobs unveiled Apple's latest portable, the $1,799 MacBook Air, which he called the "world's thinnest notebook." Dissing Sony's TX series, Jobs said that other subnotebook manufacturers inevitably compromise on the display, have mini-keyboards, and run too slowly due to heat issues.

Specs:

  • 1.6GHz or 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo
  • 80GB 1.8" Hard Drive standard, optional 64GB solid-state drive
  • 0.76" thick at thickest point, weighs 3lbs.
  • 2GB RAM
  • 5 hours of battery life
  • $1,799 for 1.6GHz, 80GB HD model; $3,099 for 1.8GHz, 64GB SSD model
  • Full aluminum case

The MacBook Air is silver, weighs 3 lbs. and has a wedge-shaped profile that's 0.76" thick at the fattest point and 0.16" thick at its thinnest point. There's a full-size keyboard, a 13.3" widescreen display with LED backlighting, and a built-in iSight. The keyboard has an ambient light sensor similar to that of the MacBook Pro, and the trackpad supports multitouch gestures for panning, zooming, and rotating.

On the hardware side, the MacBook Air comes standard with an 80GB 1.8" hard drive, with a 64GB solid-state drive available. It's powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo running at 1.6GHz, with an option for a 1.8GHz model. According to Jobs, the Core 2 Duo in the MacBook Air is 60 percent smaller than standard C2D CPUs.

There's no optical drive or Ethernet port on the MacBook Air. The new laptop only includes built-in 802.11n, USB, DVI, and a headphone jack. Software installations can be done remotely using "Remote Disk," which allows the MacBook Air to access the optical drive of a networked Mac or PC.

Jobs also touted the environmentally-friendly nature of the MacBook Air. It has a full aluminum case, which he said is "highly desired by recyclers," a bromide- and PVC-free motherboard, and the retail packaging takes less than 50 percent of the volume of the previous packaging.

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Software installations can be done remotely using "Remote Disk," which allows the MacBook Air to access the optical drive of a networked Mac or PC.

Yikes... so you will need another PC around to install software from a disk.

Am I the only person that thinks, whilst it has some drawbacks (non-user removable battery, no optical drive..etc) this actually looks a good little machine.

Expensive yes. But a nice standard unit (by standard I mean that it's be used for daily tasks which don't vary much)

0.76" thick at thickest point, weighs 3lbs. Great, now I can carry it around in my pocket!!

I no longer need a suitcase on wheels to transport my old 1.5" thick 6lbs notebook.


too subtle?

hm. when the turtle necker start touting the recycleability of its latest product (and its packaging), instead of its feature set, you know something is terribly, terribly wrong.

why does jobs always have to say bad things about the competition, cant he sell mac on it's own merits rather than what the competition does.... if apple stuff was so great he woudlnt have to bag the competition every chance he gets, to try and convince people mac is better..

He says it because it works. And because he knows that Apple makes the competition look, slow, dated, and dumb.

Ask any Mac user just how right he is.

LTD said,
He says it because it works. And because he knows that Apple makes the competition look, slow, dated, and dumb.

Ask any Mac user just how right he is. ;)

ok well thats good, there no technical reason's for it, they just think they're better than everyone else.... we all know the just works isn't alwasy true (keyboard problems, patches do get released, etc etc) look slow dated and dumb, ummm how does that work again, my PC at home is way faster than any mac on the market, and i got a real pretty case, that i picked myself. personally i think the apple cases are ugly...dumb well i wont comment on that.

Hm, I'd love this for university, but I'll stick to my main idea because of the price : I'll buy a used Macbook.

Any actual picture of the laptop (not computer render)?

For an ultra portable laptop you don't need optical drive; it saves some battery, too.

Missing quite a lot of important features and finger print reader.

But if you're in the market for a really light and thin notebook this looks good (price is a little too high though). Maybe it's a good idea to wait until the 2nd or 3rd generation.

not really since they hold the patent on a lot of multi-touch stuff and already use it on the iphone and touch.

MS isn't the only company doing multi-touch.

The Macbook Air is not the thinnest notebook. As usual, they lie in their marketing. The worlds thinnest notebook is held by Intel's Metro notebook... its only 0.69 inches thick and weighs 2.25 pounds. Unlike the Macbook Air, it has a secondary screen on the top for that mobile functionality in Vista with a fully backlit keyboard. (In my opinion, the colour of the lighting is better.... its red/orange)

Here: http://images.businessweek.com/ss/07/05/05...op/index_01.htm

Oh, and unlike Airs 5hr batterylife... this beauty has 14hrs!

evo_spook said,
Just a pity you are comparing a actual product available for sale with a show prototype

The Air wont be available for sale for another couple of weeks, and less than a month ago it was "a prototype", just like all the other "prototypes" out there that apple decided to use and rush to release first.

Neo-Lenin said,

The Air wont be available for sale for another couple of weeks, and less than a month ago it was "a prototype", just like all the other "prototypes" out there that apple decided to use and rush to release first.

Theres quite a difference between a technological showcase prototype to sell a new technology to manufacturers and a released product.

hmm, I think it looks pretty nice. I suppose that goes with the apple moniker though, the aluminum chassis is especially nice to me. As for the price, I think it's fair given what the market is charging for other similar products.

What I don't get is why the heck they really need to put that fast of a processor in there. I mean honestly, for what it would be used for I think that's somewhat overkill. I imagine the most intensive app you'd be running on it would be parallels, so I'd be perfectly happy if they offered a model with an even slower processor giving the comp less heat generated and lower price while increasing battery life most likely.

Also, as far as comparing this to the EeePC, I don't think it's a valid comparison. I mean the Air has a much nicer screen and is loaded with a full OS. Additionally, it's got a heck of a lot more storage capacity and processing power in comparison. With the OS and computing power, the Air is a much more flexible mobile platform that can perform a much wider variety of tasks.

Just noticed, I kind of feel like the trackpad button should be bigger. I rather like the size of it on my macbook pro...

WTF? $1 025 CDN to go from an 80 GB hard drive to a 64 GB SSD drive? What kind of an f***ing idiot would do something so irrational? :S You could get 1-2 TB of external storage for the same price or even another laptop! And not to mention, $1 899 CDN for that sub-notebook is definitely not worth the price, even though it offers better value than the Sony equivalent.

If Apple were to have any hope in hell in selling this thing, they'll really need to drop the prices considerably to say in the $1 200 to $1 500 CDN range (or even less if possible). I may find their products very innovative (I own an iBook and an iPod Nano), but let's face it. This product's going to flop!

What's so over priced about it??? Similar things are either equal, slightly cheaper, or slightly more.

3000 for a ssd may seem like a lot... but for ssd thats a pretty big drive... not to mention the technology is new.

Just like with everything else thats new... it will come down in time.

Awesome and expensive. Seems to go hand by hand. But expensive is already a Mac standard. :(

Anyways, we'll see a large line of people waiting outside a store, maybe for days... Ahhh, geek trends.

Downsides:

No replaceable battery
1 USB 2.0
No optical drive
80GB 4200rpm HD PATA (wow. Talk about slooooooooooooooow!)
RAM not upgradeable
Mono Speaker
No Ethernet
No Express Card
No Card Reader
No WWAN
No Firewire


You can get a USB ethernet adapter, but that would use up the 1 USB port.

$1800 to start. OK, who is buying this overpriced, stylish piece of junk?

I've been looking on the Aple site, and you can add a "super drive" for $99. That's weak. For $29 you can get the friggin Ethernet Adapter. Also weak.

RAID 0 said,
I've been looking on the Aple site, and you can add a "super drive" for $99. That's weak. For $29 you can get the friggin Ethernet Adapter. Also weak.

Yeah. The USB Ethernet Adapter. To plug into your one USB port. What happens if you want to use the USB Super Drive and the USB Ethernet Adapter at the same time? Buy a hub?

NateB1 said,

Yeah. The USB Ethernet Adapter. To plug into your one USB port. What happens if you want to use the USB Super Drive and the USB Ethernet Adapter at the same time? Buy a hub?

Exaclty. It's not so thin when you carry around an external "super drive", Ethernet Adapter and USB hub.

RAID 0 said,

Exaclty. It's not so thin when you carry around an external "super drive", Ethernet Adapter and USB hub.

So, don't carry them around then. It's your choice, rather than your computer's.

eAi said,
So, don't carry them around then. It's your choice, rather than your computer's.

You want your computer making choices? No thanks.

Well, the specs are quite good for a "sub-notebook", considering that iMacs and MacBooks (except pro's) dont even come with 2gb of RAM.
It still doesn't appeal me, for some reason.

I like the portability of regular macbooks.

HEAT ISSUES !? cheecky ******, when I was at work, someone got a Mac Book Pro and had to get a raplacement twice and eventually get a full refund due to it overheating, it killed a fly that landed on it from being that hot... who the **** does that jobs idiot think he is

I used to have a Sony sub-notebook (with the optical only in the base station) and I never really missed it the optical drive. The unit was small and light. Once you use one, you will hate going back to the large, heavy things we carry today.

No one seems to have noticed but isn't it odd that Steve can't... just absolutely cannot... sell ANY Apple product without first downplaying the competition? Are Apple products really so bad that they can't sell themselves? Come ON, you even used Windows to help sell Macs! Can't they invent anything that sells itself?

Who will they compare themselves to next?

It doesnt mention if there is USB or firewire
If theres an external port for external devices - that would be a good thing
I am thinking, trying to install Farcry or some game thats on 4+ DVD's, how long would that take to install wirelessly

It has a USB port, mic socket and a Micro-DVI port. They are recessed at the side hidden behind a flap door. There's no firewire. Apple have also announced 500gb and 1tb external HD's that support wireless backup's and are also wireless base stations.

instant.human said,
dont like it - dont buy it.

think its overpriced - dont buy it.

hate apple - dont buy anything by them.

its as simple as that.


Exactly.

Same thing for those which say the same of Microsoft.

The Air isn't about price, power or performance (as such). Its designed for the roadwarrior salesmen, reps and other positions constantly travelling who need a pc. These are the kind of positions where salary sacrifice and tax writeoffs make anything cheap/free.

Then you have the weight aspect, hence the name. Its really light. 3 pounds means you can literally stand and rest the thing on your arm while you bash away entering someone's report. Being so thin, not even an -inch-, makes it easy to pack, and would thrive in a travelling case built for a bigger machine.

The environmental angle is obviously to placate the general public over previous waste concerns. Its good practise, soon the iphone, imac and ipod range will incorporate all the same features.

In other words, it appeals to those seeking some sort of status symbol more than a functional computer?

That explains the Apple logo.

umm just one question.. do you travel??
i agree weigth is a big deal, but if i gave my sales guys a laptop like that theyd throw it at me, 'how am i supposed to watch DVD's, how do i burn a CD for a customer', and the boss's would have a fit and ask why they all have such expensive machines and i have no idea where you get the 'free' bit. it may be a tax right off, but management still cares about price..

C_Guy said,
Is your Macbook boring you again? Either way that's a great contribution. to the thread, thanks.


almost as good as yours..

eilegz said,
sure you can run bootcamp but no dvd drive or cd drive how are you gonna install xp or vista on this.

Either buy the external disk drive, or run the included software on another computer and install it wirelessly through the other computers disk drive. Or get an ISO...

Hell-In-A-Handbasket said,
i like apple's stuff,,, but this laptop doesnt have a replaceable battery

Yikes, didn't even notice that.. no way would I buy one of these now after having now many notebook batteries die over the years

WolfDV said,
nice, but vastly overpriced

I'll wait and see what other companies come out with.

No, costly, but not overpriced compared to similar manufacturers sub notebooks, the sony is more expensive.

evo_spook said,

No, costly, but not overpriced compared to similar manufacturers sub notebooks, the sony is more expensive.

Interesting... what about the Asus EEEPC? Kinda close, sub notebook, no optical drive... but how much is the EEEPC? $299... how much is the Mac Book Air? STARTS AT $1799. Not overpriced? Oh you want the SSD... starting at $3098!! WOW!!! You're SOOOOOOOOOO RIGHT!!! THAT'S NOT OVER PRICED!!! THAT'S A ****ING RIP OFF!!

RAID 0 said,

Interesting... what about the Asus EEEPC? Kinda close, sub notebook, no optical drive... but how much is the EEEPC? $299... how much is the Mac Book Air? STARTS AT $1799. Not overpriced? Oh you want the SSD... starting at $3098!! WOW!!! You're SOOOOOOOOOO RIGHT!!! THAT'S NOT OVER PRICED!!! THAT'S A ****ING RIP OFF!!

THEN WHAT ABOUT THE BLOODY SONY, COME ONE?????????????????????????

evo_spook said,

THEN WHAT ABOUT THE BLOODY SONY, COME ONE?????????????????????????


I wouldn't buy that POS either. I only have one laptop, it's a Compaq and it's not fast.. but it only cost me $599. My 3 other PCs, I built myself. Later this year I am looking at the Mac Book only because I want to quad boot OS X, Ubuntu, XP and Vista. Makes for one nice all-in-one machine.

RAID 0 said,


I wouldn't buy that POS either. I only have one laptop, it's a Compaq and it's not fast.. but it only cost me $599. My 3 other PCs, I built myself. Later this year I am looking at the Mac Book only because I want to quad boot OS X, Ubuntu, XP and Vista. Makes for one nice all-in-one machine.

Sorry, like the Mac Air, the Sony is expensive, but both of them are not POS and I can't see why you would call them such. Ultraportables have always cost more.

Like you, as I said earlier, I would not buy the Air, too compromised, I would get another of the range instead of that, but just cause it is the same price as the competition and not suitable to my needs, I don't see a need to go on a tirade about it. Its different, priced for the market, will not suit most, but that is the same for other PC in the same market THAT ARE PRICED SIMILAR.

evo_spook said,

Sorry, like the Mac Air, the Sony is expensive, but both of them are not POS and I can't see why you would call them such. Ultraportables have always cost more.

Like you, as I said earlier, I would not buy the Air, too compromised, I would get another of the range instead of that, but just cause it is the same price as the competition and not suitable to my needs, I don't see a need to go on a tirade about it. Its different, priced for the market, will not suit most, but that is the same for other PC in the same market THAT ARE PRICED SIMILAR.

Why are you harping on the Sony? It's only one of hundreds of PC notebook models. We know Sony is overpriced. Fortunately, they're not the only company that makes Windows notebooks.

i hate apple
but at least they are trying to do something new and cool

cant say the same for others!

also how uses optical drives?!!! its USB external HDD's and flash!! we all download stuff now!

peacemf said,
i hate apple
but at least they are trying to do something new and cool

cant say the same for others!

also how uses optical drives?!!! its USB external HDD's and flash!! we all download stuff now! !:)

wierd the amount of PC users that come out and say "I hate Apple" thats as strange as people coming out and saying "I love apple" Its just a company, you either like or not like its products. MS has done a lot of dodgy stuff in the past, but can't say I'd waste any thought on hating them, they have good things and bad things.

This Air, quite nice, but it, like the iPhone is too compromissed, so if I was going to spend that money on a Apple laptop I'd get a Mac Book Pro for the price. The price as mentioned I don't think it is too bad when compared to other ultra portables, but..... until I see it in real life, I prefer the Sony Ultraportable, the Airs should maybe have had more then one option, the 13" down to a 11" screen, now that AND a 11" screen I might have being tempted.

how does removing half the stuff that every other machien on the market has make it 'new' what the hell is 'new' about it.... cool maybe but thats just the pretty design, nothing to do with hardware specifications..

p.s. he probably edited the quote part, if you hadent noticed he edited the top one too....

evo_spook said,
neufuse you edited my post, but nothign has changed??? whats going on?

He edited the post you responded to. You quoted it, so he had to edit yours, too.

(I had to edit this just because everyone else is doing it.)

Apple Macintosh Lover said,

A white keyboard with an aluminum finish? Yuck! :x

Thats exactly what the current Apple keyboards look like? :confused:

I agree, it would have looked much nicer with white keys.

Ehhh... It's a really cool machine, but their other laptops are way better value. I don't have any problems carrying around a 1" thick laptop, so being thinner really isn't that big of a deal to me.

I agree. As we all know, the smaller it is, the more you pay. Performance-wise a iMac or a Mac Pro is better value than any laptop. You pay for the miniaturization and the R&D costs of fitting everything in...

You also pay for looks with a car. But on one really seems to come down this hard on Mercedes-Benz.

I take it your deal-finding persona drives one sweet ass Hyundai Pony!

Axon said,
I take it your deal-finding persona drives one sweet ass Hyundai Pony! :happy:

The sad part is you probably think that's an insult.


Anyways, I always like to see Apple get caught fibbing. Just like the 'World's fastest PC' commercials they had to stop airing.

Axon said,
You also pay for looks with a car. But on one really seems to come down this hard on Mercedes-Benz.

I take it your deal-finding persona drives one sweet ass Hyundai Pony! :happy:

Uh no I buy used cars :P no sense in wasteing money for a new car when you can get it for at least half price 2 years later... same thing doesn't work with comps though... wouldn't want to buy a comp 2 years after it came out... so the car / comp analogy doesn't work right in this case for cost vs looks :P

Axon said,
You also pay for looks with a car. But on one really seems to come down this hard on Mercedes-Benz.
I'd rather have a 95 Cutlass Supreme (I hate this car with a passion btw) then a Mercedes/BMW/Lincon

For those that are goin to say overpriced, the Sony TZ (Sony's lightweight series) is more expensive than this...

I'm not saying this is cheap, but compartively, it's cheaper.

I can't believe I said all this, I hate Apple...

tsupersonic said,
For those that are goin to say overpriced, the Sony TZ (Sony's lightweight series) is more expensive than this...

I'm not saying this is cheap, but compartively, it's cheaper.

I can't believe I said all this, I hate Apple...

Apple also lied about the size of their one compared to others... Sony has one thinner then this

I compared the published Apple Air specs to the Sony TX mentioned:

Air
Intel Core2 Duo @ 1.6GHz
2GB RAM
80GB HD
No Optical
0.76" @ thickest
3 lbs
$1,799

TX
Intel Core Solo @ 1.2GHz
1GB RAM (Max 1.5 GB)
80GB HD
DVD+-RW
0.83-1.23"
2.84 lbs
$1,999

Apple standard RAM is higher than the maximum you can get for the TX, a much better CPU, and the Air is thinner/sleeker in profile. The sacrifice for the reduced size is no optical drive, which might be a deal-breaker for some people. The cost is also $200 less than the Sony TX list price.

Seems in roughly the same pricing ballpark, yet some lament the Apples as being "way overpriced". I'm not seeing it here.

tsupersonic said,
Link?

Link to what? watch the key notes when Jobs says the size of the smallest Sony laptop he didn't talk about the SMALLEST sony laptop... which is a tad bit thinner then the mac

neufuse said,

Link to what? watch the key notes when Jobs says the size of the smallest Sony laptop he didn't talk about the SMALLEST sony laptop... which is a tad bit thinner then the mac

Give me a link to the Sony website that lists the product specs. I checked sony's site and no sony sz series laptop is thinner.

Provide me with a link to the sony site, otherwise you fail.

I can't believe I'm defending a Mac... yikes

eilegz said,
OVERPRICED, sorry i rather get a thinkpad X series.

agreed, the hardware in macs are just so far behind that of a pc
i can get alot more than that for 3 grand

maybe if i was one of them rich mac fanboys...

eilegz said,
OVERPRICED, sorry i rather get a thinkpad X series.

+1

Looks good..

but just found that it didnt have optical drive :-( (not a big issue though!) , It shud have been 160GB..

too much pricey :-(

whocares78 said,
+1

no ethernet port either.. what if i want to transfer files FAST...

Buy the like $20 USB ethernet dongle.

Steven said,
Any laptop that does not have a user-replaceable battery is not neat. :mad:

wow, thats low. not only its overpriced, but they also find another way to cheat a customer.

nekrosoft13 said,

wow, thats low. not only its overpriced, but they also find another way to cheat a customer.


Well, seeing how they are not hiding this, they are in fact not cheating anyone

evo_spook said,


Well, seeing how they are not hiding this, they are in fact not cheating anyone

no they are simply scamming them.
On a serious note, sometimes with laptops it is required to remove the battery to solve problems...how the hell is that goign to work..and befroe you say it not just PC laptops..or for long trips when you need more battery life.. you can't just take a spare battery with you..

hell apple even recommends removing it under certian circumstances
http://www.apple.com/au/batteries/notebooks.html

It is a bit of a worry that they havent learnt their lesson on user replaceable batteries by now....

whocares78 said,

no they are simply scamming them.
On a serious note, sometimes with laptops it is required to remove the battery to solve problems...how the hell is that goign to work..and befroe you say it not just PC laptops..or for long trips when you need more battery life.. you can't just take a spare battery with you..

hell apple even recommends removing it under certian circumstances
http://www.apple.com/au/batteries/notebooks.html

It is a bit of a worry that they havent learnt their lesson on user replaceable batteries by now....

No, they're not scamming either, a scam would also be where its hidden, this is not hidden, you know it upfront and its your choice

evo_spook said,

No, they're not scamming either, a scam would also be where its hidden, this is not hidden, you know it upfront and its your choice

Yes you are absolutely correct. They are not scamming. They are just ripping you off.