Had a fun morning keeping up with the Apple keynote from afar (though Mathew Ingram’s take on it was one of my favorites). I don’t really care that much about the online movie rentals topic, I’m sure others have that one cold. I don’t think Apple TV 2 (point oh!) will do much better than the dot-com version (what was with the madhouse cheering when he announced it had surround sound? hello, 1992 called, it wants it’s sound technology back). People just don’t want another box that has roughly the same content as their cable box. I think they should’ve put a Blu-Ray drive in it, then allowed it to do the “virtual drive” thingy (so smart!) back to the Air. Or at least have a Blu-Ray version. People would buy an iBluRay Steve, I promise. Then again, we’ll buy iDoggiePoop too…
Onto the Air. Wow. It’s well done, I must say (and far from useless, but nice linkbaiting there Devin!). Here’s my quick take on it, without having used one personally, starting from the dislikes to the likes:
TERRIBLE: 80GB hard drive? Seriously? Is that a joke? It’s one thing on my rapidly-getting-outdated MacBook, but in the newest of the new, it’s too small. My only hope is this is due to excess inventory from iPods, and they’ll bump it up to the 160GB version soon. And I’m not even going to address the 64GB SSD option, as $3K is out of the question in my eyes.
BAD: micro-DVI (mini-DVI was bad enough, come on!), no removable battery (but as a friend observed, I don’t have a spare battery for my MacBook either – I just hate not even having the option), lack of ExpressCard or built-in EVDO (that AT&T deal isn’t really paying off in this regards), price (it’s not outrageous, but it’s steep for what you truly get).
AVERAGE: expandability (I know there’s only one USB, but with a Bluetooth mouse, I think it’s fine), no optical drive (I just don’t think it really matters that much anymore, but I might be a little optimistically naive. That said, Apple did take the first step to kill the 3.5″ floppy…), missing Ethernet (ditto)
GOOD: screen, iSight, battery life (5 hours promised is like a *real* 3.5 hours, which is perfect).
GREAT: size (duh), weight, keyboard, touchpad (I knew they’d extend the gestures beyond the iPhone). It might look like the “great” list is much shorter than the bad ones, but I felt those needed more explanation!
All in all, this is a very very impressive laptop. I believe CEOs, marketing execs, and traveling salespeople all across the country are buying it. I don’t agree with conjecture that it’ll cannibalize existing MacBook (or Pro) sales, I feel this is yet another arsenal in the Apple inventory as they slowly climb in laptop market share. Remember – the future of computer sales is all about laptops, and the more they offer in that category, the better that future looks.
As for will I buy one? Decent odds. If the HDD was 160GB I’d be a lot closer (for the record, I have a MacBook with an 80GB hard drive that is constantly full). I feel like it’s a step up, but not a big one, from what I have today. The biggest thing that is holding me back is the concern that they’ll end up revving the MacBook Pros with the new screen and touchpad in the coming months and I’ll have buyer’s remorse about it. I’m on the verge of the pre-order right now, will probably decide in the next 48 hours or so.
Full disclosure: I became an Apple shareholder today.