Macbook Air: What a rip off or is thin really that in?

When Steve Jobs unveiled the Macbook Air at his keynote, Dave Legg (our coder here at Neowin) immediately contacted me and showed me the link to the demo of this wonderful product, my jaw dropped. How was this thing so thin? How does it stay cool despite sporting an Intel Core 2 Duo? I was on my merry way to find specs, needless to say I was disappointed when all the facts became clear.

Apple have seemed to master the way of selling hardware at inflated prices and touting it as the next best thing to sliced bread, and lets face it.. consumers lap it up but I have a feeling you'll be ripped off at the price they are asking!

We have yet to see the effects of heat and will we be ok with taking the "Air" on an plane and then having the battery run out less than half way across the Atlantic? Usually we'd be able to swap out the empty for a second battery, but not in this case. it's not upgradeable or even removable!

I doubt I will educate any person that swears by Apple hardware, but at the very least lets draw a comparison to a relatively cheap Sony VAIO with Mr Jobs latest offering.

Macbook air @ $1799*:

  • 13.3" 1280x800 Screen
  • 2GB RAM nonupgradeable
  • 1.6 ghz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • No optical drive
  • 80GB HDD (4800 RPM P-ATA Drive)
  • Wifi: a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • Camera: Yes
  • Fingerprint scanner: Yes
  • Card reader: None
  • Battery: 5 hours, non removable
  • Graphics: Mobile Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
  • Ports: Headphones, Micro DVI Out, 1 USB
  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Thickness: 0.75"
  • Dimensions: 12.8" x 9"

Sony VAIO @ $1400*:
  • 13.3" 1280x800 Screen
  • 2GB RAM max 4gb
  • 2.0 ghz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • DVD±R DL / DVD±RW / DVD-RAM
  • 120GB HDD (5400 RPM)
  • Wifi: a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • Camera: $30 extra
  • Fingerprint scanner: Yes
  • Card reader: Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, SD, xD, MMC
  • Battery: 4-6 hours depending on battery size, removable
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8400M and Intel GMA X3100
  • Ports: USB /10/100 Ethernet/Firewire/Micro SD Port (*up to 8GB)
  • Weight: 4.2 lbs
  • Thickness: 1.5"
  • Dimensions: 12.5" x 9.3"

So I ask, are you paying $399 extra for the fact that it's so much thinner, a little lighter and has a lot less features? Is thin really that in, and more to the point that costly?

You decide!

*Prices mentioned are US dollars and the Sony VAIO had the custom option of a $30 camera added

Reference: Sony VAIO SZ740

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