Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Portables (Apple) Apple

Apple Announces MacBook Air 1218

Posted by kdawson
from the thin-end-of-the-wedge dept.
Apple made four announcements at MacWorld Expo: the new MacBook Air, new features for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and movie rentals via iTunes from a TV without a computer involved. The new portable gets most of the attention. It is 0.76" thick at the thickest part, tapering to 0.16". It weighs 3 pounds and has a 13.3" screen and full-size, backlit keyboard. Its Intel chip is the diameter of a dime and the thickness of a nickel. The MacBook Air will cost $1799 and up. Its storage is either 80 GB disk or 64 GB solid-state drive. 2 GB of memory. It has no optical drive (an external one is available for $99) and features a way to wirelessly use the optical drive of any nearby Mac or PC with the proper software installed.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Apple Announces MacBook Air

Comments Filter:
  • But.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by bherman (531936) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:47PM (#22054192) Homepage
    does it blend?
    • Re:But.... (Score:4, Funny)

      by flitty (981864) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:53PM (#22054348)
      Buy me one, Mail it to me in a Manilla envelope, and i'll "find out" for you.
    • Re:But.... (Score:5, Funny)

      by worryrock07 (1220392) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @03:05PM (#22054666)
      Air smoke. Don't breathe this.
    • Re:But.... (Score:5, Funny)

      by LetterRip (30937) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @03:14PM (#22054934)

      does it blend?
      Yeah Blender works just fine on OS X Leopard, thanks for asking though :)

      LetterRip
    • WTF? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MoxFulder (159829) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @03:43PM (#22055552) Homepage
      No ethernet port, only ONE usb2 port, no microphone jack? Honestly, how are you supposed to use this thing? What if you need to use Ethernet and a flash drive at the same time? Are you supposed to carry around a USB-to-ethernet dongle and a hub... possibly a POWERED hub?

      I love how people rave about Apple's "all-in-one" designs, yet in practice every all-in-one computer is a mess of external devices and cables. My grandma, for example, has an all-in-one iMac... with an external modem, an external floppy disk drive, and a hub... since the stupid computer doesn't have any convenient front ports for a USB flash drive.

      Oh, and no user-replaceable battery? Thanks but no thanks... there are lots of other ultra-portables that I'd choose over this one.
      • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @04:05PM (#22055986) Homepage Journal
        "I love how people rave about Apple's "all-in-one" designs, yet in practice every all-in-one computer is a mess of external devices and cables. My grandma, for example, has an all-in-one iMac... with an external modem, an external floppy disk drive, and a hub... since the stupid computer doesn't have any convenient front ports for a USB flash drive."

        I hate to 'rail' against Grandma here, but, in other people's defense, MOST people out there don't need a floppy drive, nor a modem for their laptops. Flash drives, cdroms, and wireless/ethernet seem to be the standards for today, and those all work well with most all laptops, Apple's included.

      • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Funny)

        by BlueStraggler (765543) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @04:54PM (#22057002)

        My grandma, for example, has an all-in-one iMac... with an external modem, an external floppy disk drive, and a hub...
        I guess the hub must be for her dot-matrix printer.
      • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Simon Brooke (45012) <stillyet@googlemail.com> on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @05:01PM (#22057136) Homepage Journal

        No ethernet port, only ONE usb2 port, no microphone jack? Honestly, how are you supposed to use this thing? What if you need to use Ethernet and a flash drive at the same time? Are you supposed to carry around a USB-to-ethernet dongle and a hub... possibly a POWERED hub?

        Apple would reply, 'how last century'.

        The answer is you don't use a wired ethernet - Xerox designed ethernet to be wireless back in the seventies, that's why it's called ethernet. Running it over wires was only ever supposed to be a short term hack while they sorted out getting the radio link working. And Apple fanbois aren't expected to be technical enough to worry about security issues.

        And, of course, you don't use a flash drive. You use that wireless ethernet to access your Time Capsule[TM] [apple.com], which it seems to me was the really interesting bit of today's announcement from Apple.

        So, if you're so mind-bogglingly primitive that you still think digital watches^W^W wired networks are a really neat idea, then you aren't part of Apple's target market for this machine.

        Oddly enough, it's the first Apple machine I've been tempted to buy. And although I like the form factor, the thing that sells it for me it the mouse-pad gestures, which are just so much richer and more intuitive than anything we've seen before. Next job, of course, is to hack something together so that that functionality is available in Linux/KDE...

      • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Funny)

        by hawks5999 (588198) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @05:10PM (#22057292)

        No ethernet port, only ONE usb2 port, no microphone jack?
        AND WHERE'S MY ISA SLOT????
      • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Thumper_SVX (239525) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @06:52PM (#22058798) Homepage
        The perfect example of one who is not the target market, and who does not get it.

        Me? I'm not the target market, either but I used to be. The target for the Macbook Air is the road-warrior, the person who racks up enough frequent flyer miles in a year to fly to Paris for Christmas. I know, I used to be that guy and I would've killed for this device. As it was, I had a Toshiba Portege that was awesome, though underpowered even when it was state of the art. It did me perfectly, and fit like a champ in a briefcase that I could carry into the cabin of the flight. The 5 hour battery life was also more than enough for 99% of the flights I took in the mainland US, and the flights I took within Europe. The only time I would have used the laptop more would've been on an international flight... and most of them either have rather good in flight entertainment options these days, power sockets in the seats or I had my iPod.

        I have a Macbook Pro which I love to death, but I have no need of a laptop like the Air in my current job or my life. I like the expandable, heavy and reliable Pro which has run like a champ for me for two years and has given me very little trouble. If I were back in the road-warrior business, I'd be all over the Air as a primary laptop for business, using home networking for the majority of my big file storage and just keeping the necessities on the Air.

        This isn't an audio studio laptop... Apple has one for that; it's the Pro. It's also not a consumer laptop... Apple has one of those; the Macbook. This is one aimed at a very specific market segment; those who need an ultra-portable computer but are less than impressed with the options available elsewhere. And at 3lbs with a 13" screen, this is just an incredible piece of technology. Hell, I'd consider one of these for the geek value if I had $2K to drop on it right now. The price point and the name say it's not for the average consumer... the lack of optical, CPU speed, expandability and so forth say it's not for the A/V pro. Like every Apple product except the iPod, it's aimed at a very specific market segment... and one that's been screaming out for exactly this for a long time.

        Oh, and if you want to bring issue with the lack of an optical drive... well, I have one in my Pro which I rarely use except when I'm at "home base". And if I'm at home base, what's wrong with me hooking up a USB drive to do the same? Oh, and there's a $99 external drive available as an option if it's really important.
  • by (H)elix1 (231155) * <slashdot.helix@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:49PM (#22054228) Homepage Journal
    From the apple site...

    Hard Drive

    Your MacBook Air comes standard with a Parallel ATA (PATA) 4200-rpm hard drive. Or you can choose a solid-state drive that delivers faster performance and greater durability.
    arrow_open.gif arrow_closed.gif Learn more Loading...

    80GB Parallel ATA Drive @ 4200 rpm
    64GB Solid State Drive [Add $999]

    Wow. Just Wow. Transcript from http://www.macrumorslive.com/ [macrumorslive.com]

    10:26 am New Ad for MacBook Air. Plays off of the ability to fit in an envelope.
    10:25 am Pre-orders today, shipping in two weeks
    10:24 am $1799
    10:24 am 2 GB Memory standard
    10:23 am 5 hours of Battery Life
    10:23 am No optical drive, but a Superdrive accessory is available for $99. Also, software comes with the MacBook Air that allows you to "borrow" a Mac or PCs optical drive.
    10:21 am 802.11n + Bluetooth 2.1/EDR
    10:20 am Other features: 45 Watt MagSafe, 1 USB 2.0 port, Micro-DVI, Audio Out
    10:19 am Steve retaking stage
    10:19 am Otellini: The processor is as thick as a nickle and as wide as a dime.
    10:18 am Apple asked Intel to shrink the Core 2 Duo. Intel shrunk the processor by 60%. Paul Otellini, CEO of Intel is taking the stage
    10:17 am 1.6 GHz Standard, 1.8 GHz Option -- Intel Core 2 Duo
    10:16 am 80 GB hard disk standard, 64 GB SSD as an option. "they're pricy, but they're fast"
    10:15 am 1.8" Hard Drive
    10:15 am How did we fit a Mac in here?
    10:15 am Move a window by double-tap and move. Rotate a photo by pivoting your index finger around your thumb. Of course, pinch-zoom.
    10:14 am Multi-touch trackpad
    10:13 am display is LED backlit. iSight is built-in. MacBook-like keyboard, but with an ambient light sensor
    10:12 am Magnetic latch, 13.3" widescreen display
    10:12 am MacBook Air is 0.16" to 0.76". The thickest part of the MacBook Air is thinner than the thinnest part of the Sony. It fits inside a envelope
    10:10 am We thought 3 lbs is a good target weight, but there was too much compromise with the other features
    10:10 am Most people think of Sony TZ series when they think of thin notebooks. Competition specs: 3 lbs, .8-1.2 inches, 11 or 12" display, miniature keyboard, and slower processor.
    10:08 am "The World's Thinnest Notebook"
    10:08 am As you know, Apple makes the best notebooks in the industry. Today, we are introducing a third kind of notebook. It's called the MacBook Air
    10:08 am 4th thing: There's something in the air
    10:07 am Steve has re-taken the stage
  • by Bertie (87778) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:49PM (#22054232)
    But how am I going to watch movies?

    What's that? I can rent them from Apple, you say? What a coincidence!

    Remember, kids, it's not lock-in, it's Steve Jobs holding you nice and safe in his loving arms...
    • by MoneyT (548795) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:52PM (#22054310) Journal
      Your movies aren't already ripped into 20 different formats and stored on your in home wireless server? Then what the hell are you doing playing on slashdot, get moving man!
    • by Llywelyn (531070) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:53PM (#22054346) Homepage
      Or you can buy them from Apple, download them from other sources, or rip them from your own DVDs.

      How is this related to lock-in again?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cashman73 (855518)
      Forget the movies! How am I going to install Duke Nukem Forever?!?! Or does DNF come preinstalled on this thing?
  • "Integrated Battery" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rockmuelle (575982) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:49PM (#22054234)
    (from tech specs page on apple.com)

    "Integrated 37-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery"

    Are they serious? No way to swap out a battery halfway through a 10 hour flight? No way to take it out at security check points (or if it catches fire)?

    Please tell me I'm misinterpreting that phrase. Want to buy one now, but that's a deal breaker. Argh!!!

    -Chris
    • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:56PM (#22054428)
      Then get a MacBook. Sorry but you are not going to fit it into that form factor.

      "Wah Wah Wah, I want a replaceable battery in the iPod."
      Get a Nomad. Some companies even have players which take AAs.
      "But they're not tiny like an iPod".

      Compare a AA to an iPod... there's no way you're going to get it into that form factor.

      Go take the battery out of your laptop. Notice all the extra plastic around the battery. And then the laptop has to have plastic where the battery sits. So you're already essentially doubling the case thickness.

      Do you want a laptop that is 0.16" to 0.76" thick? Go grab a ruler and put that in perspective. There is no way in hell you're going to do that with a standard external battery.

       
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I love reading macrumors.com whenever there is an impending product release like this.

        I kid you not I read a comment that was something like, "if it has dedicated video, I'll buy it in a heartbeat." Yeah, because they're clearly going after the gamer and 3D development market with these babies. You can always expect the:

        "If this product has I'll buy it in a heartbeat." or "If this product costs I'll snatch it up in a second." What we have above, concerning the battery is a sort of reverse play on the same
      • by ZombieRoboNinja (905329) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @03:53PM (#22055768)
        >>Do you want a laptop that is 0.16" to 0.76" thick? Go grab a ruler and put that in perspective.

        I've been trying, actually. The 0.16" is clearly marketing-speak, because when you look at the thing the edges come to points. By that logic, I've seen cars that are .16" "at the thinnest point." And .76" is certainly thin, but hell, my current MacBook is less than an inch thick already. So at best they saved maybe a tenth of an inch of thickness and added in a prettier, curvy form-factor.

        After watching the little intro video on the Apple website, I'm getting the impression this is intended mainly as a shiny executive toy. They mention presentations, meetings and airplanes every time they get a chance, for example. But beyond looking sleek, I'm not sure I get the point. I mean, are you actually SUPPOSED to be storing these in packing envelopes? If not, what are the advantages over a normal laptop? Is it worth the inconvenience of no removeable battery, no optical drive, minimal connectors, and limited hard drive options, all for a pound or two of weight saved? I know, I know, it comes with the subnotebook territory - but who are these "subnotebooks" targeted at, anyway?
        • by ContractualObligatio (850987) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @04:53PM (#22056968)
          > what are the advantages over a normal laptop?

          There are three consistently important things about portable devices - size, weight and battery life. Many people who can afford it are willing to pay for smaller, lighter and longer. It's that simple. If this perspective does not make sense to you - simply write yourself out of the target audience and get on with that which is important to you.

          Many users do not need a removable battery, optical drive or additional connectors. It's that simple. If you do, simply write yourself out of the target audience and get on with that which is important to you.

          There's a lot to be said about being able to understand another person's perspective and requirements. On a geek site, an engineering achievement such as an incredibly small laptop that (for instance) required Intel to produce a new, smaller chip design is worthy of respect rather than puerile comments about shiny toys. Reducing height by 25% and weight by 40% is a tough design goal. But if you can't understand the user, or appreciate the engineering - just get on with other things.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by neapolitan (1100101)
      Agreed -- definite deal breaker for me as well. The battery is ALWAYS the first thing that dies in my laptop -- I would like it to be a $40 replacement part, not something that I need a screwdriver for, or (even worse) mail my machine back to Apple.

      I have never gotten more than a hundred charges or so from my battery without noticing definite decrease in capacity -- these are not deep charges, and if you use the battery every day, that is quite a few replacements over the life of the machine...
    • by Dixie_Flatline (5077) <vincent.jan.gohNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @03:01PM (#22054600) Homepage
      There's a $50 (CDN) adaptor for airline power. If you're on a flight, just plug in. And it's cheaper than an extra battery.
    • by dmccarty (152630) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @03:13PM (#22054868)
      No way to take it out at security check points (or if it catches fire)?
      .

      As opposed to those videos you saw where someone walked up and pulled out their exploding battery after it caught fire?

    • by real gumby (11516) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @04:10PM (#22056076)
      Dude, stop thinking of the battery as a consumable and start thinking of the whole the mac book air is a disposable item, like a disposable razor. When the battery is fried, just toss the MBA in the trash at the airport and buy another one from the vending machine just past gate 5 next to the first class lounge.

      Look, you heard it from the guy from Fox: "we always wanted rental movies online and consumers did too." You aren't a user any more, you're a "consumer" so start consuming!

      Replacable battery jeez. Get with the modern world! Next you'll want to install your own apps!

      -g

      (I love that it's called an "MBA" -- that's the target market!)
  • Movie Rentals? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:50PM (#22054262)
    I thought this was a pretty big part of todays Keynote:

    Touchstone, Miramax, MGM, Lionsgate, Newline, FOX, WB, Disney, Paramount, Universal, Sony all on board.
    Library titles: $2.99,
    New Releases: $3.99,
    HD rentals are $4.99.

    Rules: 30 days to start watching. 24 hours to finish
    Watch anywhere (Macs, PCs, all current iPods and iPhone

    Thanks MacRumors.
  • Short on Options! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by qwertphobia (825473) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:55PM (#22054396)

    So, somebody's going to buy one, and when they foobar their OS and drop it off at the helpdesk, how do we fix it?

    • No Firewire - can't boot target mode!
    • No Optical Drive - can't boot from DVD!
    • No Ethernet - can't net-boot!

    Yes, there is USB, so we'lll need to keep a few USB CD-Rom drives around for these things. >p>ah well, it looks real nice.

    • Re:Short on Options! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ant2 (252143) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @03:05PM (#22054676)
      But! You can use "Remote Disk" to access the optical drive of a nearby Mac or PC running a little Remote Disk client. Yes, you can even reinstall the OS this way. http://www.apple.com/macbookair/wireless.html [apple.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by guruevi (827432)
      You can buy an external optical drive or as the keynote mentioned: you can use a remote disk drive (over wireless) to boot/re-install your Air. That last thing is a really nice feature and I hope it gets extended to other devices as well, too much mucking around and loops to get something to boot how you want it ever since BIOS (and thus it's DOS-like hooks and limitations) came out in the 80's. The EFI firmware allows for such extensions and Apple is really using it well here.
  • Sweet. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:55PM (#22054404) Homepage Journal

    and features a way to wirelessly use the optical drive of any nearby Mac or PC with the proper software installed.
    And here I was thinking wardriving, bluejacking, and so on was just starting to get boring. Off to the coffee shop to watch some DVDs! I hope someone's got "The Simpsons" loaded in...
  • No FireWire?! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by alispguru (72689) <baneNO@SPAMgst.com> on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @02:56PM (#22054434) Journal
    Just a USB2. FireWire target mode has saved my butt so many times, I would really hate to give it up, especially on a portable machine.

    Although, you probably don't need it as much if you have that $1000 solid state disk...
  • by N8F8 (4562) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @03:04PM (#22054642)
    It better include a iHandjob!
  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @03:10PM (#22054806)
    apple why the lack of updates for you other hardware?

    like the lack of a macbook pro update, macbook, imca, adc, and mini updates?

    The mini is 161 days old and that was just a core 2 cpu drop in update it still has the real old gma 950 video and only 1gb of ram at the same price point.

    The imacs are 161 days old as well and they have a weaker video card then the older a bigger imac before them.

    The macbook pro is 224 days old.

    also where is the xmac?

    the mac pro starts at $2700 now but you can cut $500 by going down to 1 cpu.

    $2200 for 1 quad core with 2gb of ram and ati 2600xt is better then the older mac pro but what about people who need a good desktop at $600+ and $1000 - $2000?

    The Imac screen is not good for pro work and the mini is over priced and underpowered for it as well.

    are you waiting for 10.5.2 with amd chipset drivers?
    http://www.mac4ever.com/news/34085/amd_dans_leopard_10_5_2/ [mac4ever.com]
    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=http://www.mac4ever.com/news/34085/amd_dans_leopard_10_5_2/&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=1&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3D10.5.2%2Bapple%2Bamd%26start%3D10%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26hs%3DzNW%26sa%3DN [google.com]

  • by Aphrika (756248) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @03:12PM (#22054862)
    I'm a tad annoyed by this. iPhone users get the new software update for free, new iPod Touch users get them for free, yet the early adopter iPod Touch people have to stump up $20?

    I know I'll end up buying them, but it's the principle of it all...
  • Air (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jethro (14165) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @03:14PM (#22054912) Homepage
    At first I was psyched about the MacBook Air. I've been wanting a small MacBookPro for... well, since the MBP came out. I was goign to ask whether this thing has a glossy screen.

    But really, a non-replaceable battery in a LAPTOP? Especially when Apple says that the batteries are rated for 18 months with "ideal usage"? That seems... a bit off to me. Also I'm betting the harddrives aren't that easy to replace/upgrade.

    Come on, Apple! I'll take the same form-factor as a MacBook! Heck I'll take the same specs, just put a real keyboard on it and get rid of the glossy screen! I'll still pay $1,799!
  • Time Capsule (Score:5, Informative)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @04:00PM (#22055894)
    The summary missed one of the new products, called "time capsule [apple.com]." It is basically an 802.11n wireless hub/Gb ethernet hub, with a built in hard drive for use with Time Machine to auto-backup all your macs. It's going for $500 for a terabyte, or $300 for a half terabyte. It is, of course, a small form factor without room for more drives. It will probably be the only backup solution that will really be easy enough for most of the home market, but not really all that cool for Slashdot types.
  • by bennomatic (691188) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @04:13PM (#22056146) Homepage
    Apple is leading into a market niche that is going to explode in the next few years.

    Note: Women are getting more education, and filling more elite/management positions than men [reason.com].

    Note: The CEO of Avon cosmetics joined Apple's board. [reason.com]

    Apple got a Gap board member to help with retail design and strategy. Apple got a Google board member to have a strong ally in networks and data distribution.

    Apple is not looking in to selling cosmetics, I can guarantee that. What Ms. Jung brings to the table is a huge amount of experience in marketing to women. Women who, per the first note, are going to be earning more, spending more, and who are an expanding market for techno-doo-dads which have been traditionally marketed to men.

    Oxygen network vs. Macbook Air? I don't know if that's what's going on here, but I think it's likely to think that Apple will be pushing their products--naming, ad campaigns and more, possibly even specific designs--in ways that will be more and more appealing to women. Making a laptop that's 3 lbs instead of 5 is not something that should be ignored by anyone who has ever noted the difference between the average man's hand/wrist strength and that of the average woman.

    Sony has done something similar, but half-a$$ed, with their "Bravia - A TV both Men and Women can Love" campaign. I think Apple will go down this road, and they will do it right.

  • by turing_m (1030530) on Tuesday January 15, 2008 @07:43PM (#22059552)
    It's 0.1 inches thick, can be folded up to fit in a standard envelope, sports a 2 terabyte SSD and 8 cores, all while sipping only 3.5 Watts of juice. As a nod to Greenpeace, it is not only biodegradable, it is also edible. Early beta testers describe it as having a "cool mint" flavor, and there are reports of a "zesty orange" version in the works.

    To enhance morale, at Apple there are gigantic posters of Steve Jobs fixing employees with what can only be described as a "level stare".

Wherever you go...There you are. - Buckaroo Banzai

Working...