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 It’s one thing on my rapidly-getting-outdated MacBook, but in the newest of the new, it’s too small.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.
I think the machine is nice, I just hope the SCREEN isn’t glossy.
Could of points here though. While BBD, HSD on a portable is NICE, it requires a lot of either sacrifice, commitment and engineering. To put the multitude of solutions as options into a device takes a lot of planning and engineering (but you of all people know this) for a cell phone, you KNOW you are buying into a carrier, but for a high speed cellular radio, the manufacturer either has to A) engineer all options, built in pci cards, etc, or B) choose a carrier. For the end user, it requires either A) pay a bunch more upfront 200-400$, or get a subsidized subscription and pay 100$ upfront, but have a 40-70$ commitment monthly going forward 2 years.
I think leaving the option up to a user, with a simple USB2.0 port, it leaves the door open but doesn’t require ANY of the above choices.
5 hours, in my experience from apple is five hours. I don’t think it will have to be discounted to achieve, or “with all radios off and the screen dimmed to a point that one cannot see it” like some other manufacturers. The LED screen uses 25% less power, the 1.8″ HDD uses 25% less energy. The new chips from intel use 15% less energy. and the battery is as big as the keyboard.
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> (for the record, I have a MacBook with an 80GB hard drive that is constantly full)
If you have a MB (not a pro) you should consider swapping in a bigger HD. It really is almost as easy as installing RAM. It took me less than 10m, and OWC has a 320g(!) drive for $200. It’s a no-brainer.
I ordered one, got the 1.8Ghz with AppleCare, wasn’t too bad with my educational discount — yeah I can’t believe I’m not done with college either, 10 years and counting. Wish it had built in 3g and an extra USB port, $500 less would’ve been nice too. But it’s still the closest thing to a perfect laptop that I’ve never seen and will be worlds better than my old um32w (the laptop just before the MBP0. Speaking of which, why isn’t anyone calling Apple out on the size? Sure they did it with what they are calling a normal mobile CPU, but my 4 year old Sharp um32w was .8-inches and still managed to have a CF card slot, which was hot at the time.
So, let me see, a new mac laptop is released and the pc aficionados all line up to denigrate it… A new Sony Vaio is released and it is same old same old… Listen up people, if this is not for you then it is not for you. No offense but, did you think Apple was trying to take over the world? Naw, that is Micro$ofts job.
Britt – perhaps you didn’t actually read the entire article before commenting? You clearly missed the last paragraph: “As for will I buy one? Decent odds.”
Also, if you’ve read my blog at all, you’ll notice I (1) hate Sony Vaios and (2) own a MacBook.
If one read your blog, it would give this chronology:
1) I LOVE SONY VAIOS
2) I HATE SONY VAIOS
3) I BOUGHT A MACBOOK
Hahaha! Close… But I think it’s a bit more like
1) The Eyetop DVD player is way janky. http://www.livedigitally.com/2004/11/17/eyetop-dvd-review/
2) I like to set things on fire. http://www.livedigitally.com/2004/12/17/89/
3) I LOVE SONY VAIOS
4) I HATE SONY VAIOS
5) I REALLY HATE SONY VAIOS
6) I BOUGHT A MACBOOK
what I miss the most in this notebook menat for the mobile traveller is a build in SIM card for cellular (UMTS/EDGE/GPRS) connections.
Using the single USB port for hooking up an external modem is not practical, especially when you are on the road. So I can use my cellphone you say. Well.. I don’t have speech on my T-mobile data cellular subscription. I have a data SIM only. The thought of having to carry a seperate bluetooth cellphone with me for just being able to connect my Air to a cellular network defies all purposes of buying this Macbook. (Mobility!) Apple really should have thought of this, it would have made the Macbook Air near perfect (harddisk should indeed have have been at least 120 to 160Gb)
COME ON APPLE GUYS: PLEASE BUILD IN CELLULAR with a SIM card holder !! The USB should be kept for other uses !!