Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Hardware Hacking Businesses Portables (Apple) Apple Hardware

MacBook Air's Battery is Actually Easy to Replace 420

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-that's-not-so-bad-then dept.
pizzach noted that the MacBook Air battery is actually fairly easy to replace. "All it requires is a philips screwdriver. Unlike some of Apple's other products, the battery is not so soldered in which should make a lot of people at least a little bit happier." I think I'll have to wait for something with a bigger screen and a faster clock speed.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

MacBook Air's Battery is Actually Easy to Replace

Comments Filter:
  • Keep waiting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by adamwright (536224) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @10:24AM (#22108670) Homepage
    If you want big screens and fast clocks, I'd conjecture you're not the market segment the Air is aimed at. Have you considered a Macbook Pro?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      If you want big screens and fast clocks, I'd conjecture you're not the market segment the Air is aimed at. Have you considered a Macbook Pro?

      And the 17" at that. If that is not big enough you could always convince them to develop the 30" portable, but that would be a tad ridiculous.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by CastrTroy (595695)
        Yes, it would be ridiculous [laptopmag.com]. It's not quite 30 inches, but it's still huge. Seriously I don't know why people buy these things. Buy a smaller laptop and hook it up to the big screen when you get to the office/home.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by toddestan (632714)
          I see it mostly for the people who plan on using their laptop sitting at their desk almost all of the time, but still want the capability to grab it and go if they need to. It would also make a great system for LAN parties and such.
    • Re:Keep waiting (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hey! (33014) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @11:09AM (#22109124) Homepage Journal
      I have to work with some gawdawful Windows IDEs that were clearly designed for a 21" monitor or bigger. So I can't get by with anything less than a 17" notebook. Even so, I'm always fussing with nested split panes.

      Even a good IDE, like Eclipse, probably would be hard to use on anything less than a 15" monitor.

      If I was working in Emacs, or if all I had to do was office type tasks, 13" would be plenty for me.

      Every notebook is a set of compromises. Bigger screens (and faster processors) require larger batteries or shorter battery life, or both, along with greater weight. Tiny screens means much less weight, and greater convenience when you are doing things like trying to fit your laptop and coffee onto a cafe table. I suspect 15" to 17" is a good compromise for most people who need laptops.

      But it is also true that any design that excels in some dimension is bound to be better for some people. I'd like a 20" laptop, because of the software I have to use. When I was traveling a lot, searching for an outlet at the airport was often a big deal, but if I could afford a 20" laptop, I'd just buy a spare battery. I'm a 250 pound weightlifter, and also an extremely light packer, so the space and weight is nothing for me.

      On the other hand, small and light would outweigh other considerations for other people. A 98 pound woman whose travels a lot is going to look at a 20" laptop weight eighteen pounds as an exercise in lugging 20% of her body weight through the airport. For her a MacBook air, at 3 pounds, is actually a heavier load a percentage of her body weight than a typical 17" laptop is for me.

      There are people who would love this thing for its low weight and the convenience of a small package. Even I would find it convenient, if it weren't for the software I have to use.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Actually, instead of comprimizing, I have a 15" laptop, and a Samsung Q1Ultra (7" screen)... you'd be amazed what you can get done on a 7" 1024x600 screen... especially when the battery life is 3:30 even when working hard. I even have a NDS with the browser rom so If all i need is to check my mail, i just pull that out.

        Also, the samsung is great if you wear cargo pants and find yourself constantly needing a computer for something or another. it fits in the cargo pocket. it was great when i went to the wild
        • by hey! (33014)
          I started work in the era of printing terminals and VT100s, so I doubt you could amaze me by doing productive things on a 7" screen, especially if you have young eyes (which I don't anymore).

          However, I'd count adding $1200 of capital expense as at least a little compromise.

          Tell me, do you use Vista on this thing? I find Vista on 2GB barely tolerable without 2GB of ReadyBoost.
          • What I never understood is why they made them backgrounds so white; my eyes are overexposured almost continuesly. I got to turn all the backgrounds black again to have that retro style back. Some users have their backgrounds set to hi-contrasting colors ready to blow off your head into atleast 216 pieces (the amount of webcolors).

            I'd say, let's have a strike all of us, bring back the retro! Bring back the 7 to 9" screens! I want my black backgrounds back! Back to the old days!
            Boycott VGA! ... now let me co
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Bobartig (61456)
        Dell makes a 20" portable, it even has a big beefy integrated handle. At 18.3 lbs, you could use it for some curls on the go, as well.

        http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/xpsnb_m2010 [dell.com]

        Being a non-coder working in game development, I had to use IDEs every day, mainly Visual Studio and ProDG. VS was pretty easy to get to a 'reasonably productive' state with a few clicks, but ProDG (for PS3) was this labyrinthine mess, spawning split windows everytime you tried to click anywhere.
  • by toppavak (943659) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @10:25AM (#22108676)
    Isn't the whole point of the 'Apple experience' to never have to do something like open up your laptop's case with a screwdriver?
    • by Yetihehe (971185) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @10:29AM (#22108710)
      Don't you understand? Steve just tries to entertain mac users and show them new and innovative things (like screwdrivers).
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by dufachi (973647)
        Yes, up next on Jobs' list is the iScrew; a $75 screw driver used just for opening up your MacBook Air to swap the battery.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by splortnik2003 (698008)
      I think it depends on the Mac. I've tried to open a grand total of two Apple laptops. One was surprisingly accessible and easy to crack open, one was a nightmare. Don't mean to be harsh, but more generally it's a bit lazy to think that getting the basic user experience right (thoughtful, consistent UI for example) is necessarily at odds with being able to pop open the hood.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by djh101010 (656795) *

        I think it depends on the Mac. I've tried to open a grand total of two Apple laptops. One was surprisingly accessible and easy to crack open, one was a nightmare. Don't mean to be harsh, but more generally it's a bit lazy to think that getting the basic user experience right (thoughtful, consistent UI for example) is necessarily at odds with being able to pop open the hood.

        I've been inside 3 Dells, one Toshiba, and one IBM Thinkpad. All three of them were a certified pain in the ass. Not sure how "hard to work on stuff inside" is in any way unique to Apple. In the case of the Air, from the pics, it's a case of "unscrew the cover and unplug the battery", which oddly enough is exactly the same thing I had to do to upgrade RAM on my Dell D600 - unscrew a cover, unplug something, and plug something else in.

        Not disagreeing with your point, don't get me wrong - but it's fu

    • by v1 (525388) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @10:45AM (#22108848) Homepage Journal
      Like the iPods, the mechanics (structure) involved to make the battery as easy to remove as say, the macbook, would add a significant amount to the size of the unit. The battery latch on the macbook is roughly the size of a nickel. Would you like your ipod to be 1/8" thicker just to add a latch for the battery?

      For apple, a BIG selling point is it's the thinnest thing going for anywhere near those specs. Adding a latch is NOT worth losing that bragging right.

      Also you'd have to consider adding casing for the battery since its no longer considered always protected inside the shell of the computer, so that adds both size and weight. The iPod's internal battery has an "outer case" of foil, hardly suitable for consumer handling. And the connector needs to be something that can handle many hundreds of uses, not just a few. That connector again adds size and some weight. The external battery connectors that apple uses are actually pretty big, and I'd be willing to bet you can't find that much unused space in the Air.

      And considering the claimed battery life, it almost erases the need to carry a spare battery.

      My watch has a battery that I can't replace myself. I have to take it into the store for them to crack it open because it's a diver's watch and requires a special tool to unscrew the back cover. Does this bother me? no. I expect it. Your car needs the transmission serviced after so many miles, and that's not considered a user-maintenance thing either. There are many more examples. It's not like you throw it away when the battery goes out... Now THAT you would have room to complain about.

      • by toppavak (943659) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @10:56AM (#22108982)

        Like the iPods, the mechanics (structure) involved to make the battery as easy to remove as say, the macbook, would add a significant amount to the size of the unit. The battery latch on the macbook is roughly the size of a nickel. Would you like your ipod to be 1/8" thicker just to add a latch for the battery?
        I completely understand what you're here, I was just trying to make the point that proposing this 'solution' to assuage peoples' concerns about not having a swappable battery is a little... disingenuous to the ideal of the Mac as easy to use. If someone doesn't want to buy a Mac cause they can't swap batteries, being able to swap batteries by opening up the case isn't going to change that.

        And considering the claimed battery life, it almost erases the need to carry a spare battery.
        For a lot of people, I can see this being the case, but equally not the case for many other people that want ultraportables. A 5 hour battery life on a 16 hour flight would be a bit... lacking. Not to mention people that travel to underdeveloped regions. Especially considering the 5 hour rating is probably the max not the minimum. I'd much rather have a slightly larger laptop (like a thinkpad X61) with the oversized battery giving 10 hours of juice and keep the original 5 hour battery in my bag for emergencies.
        • by /ASCII (86998) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @12:40PM (#22110036) Homepage
          The gist of the second half of your post seems to be that the main problem with the Air is that it doesn't fix every single problem and complaint that people of today has with laptops. It doesn't have to. There is a market for different laptops with different tradeoffs. Personally, I value small and light very highly, so I'd definitely consider buying an Air if I hadn't bought a pretty sweet computer 6 months ago. But I may very well beuy an Air 2.0 in a year or two.

          BTW, we have 5 X61s at work, and with the oversized battery they get more like 7 hours. Not that much more than the claimed 5 hours from the air, and the oversized battery is OMG HUEG!1!!
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Macdude (23507)
          If someone doesn't want to buy a Mac cause they can't swap batteries, being able to swap batteries by opening up the case isn't going to change that.

          There are two kinds of people wanting to swap batteries, one wants to swap them frequently when the battery runs down, and the other wants to be able to swap them occasionally when the battery starts to fail. Being able to open the case with a screwdriver and swap the battery appeals to the latter group.

          For a lot of people, I can see this being the case, but e
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by thegnu (557446)

        Would you like your ipod to be 1/8" thicker just to add a latch for the battery?

        These Sansa e200 things have these neat little beveled screws that add approximately .04 microns to the width of the device. I actually WOULDN'T want a latch on my MP3 player that disengaged the battery, thank you very much. But beveled screws...I'm so excited about where this new technology will take pioneers like Apple!
        • by Murphy Murph (833008) <sealab.murphy@gmail.com> on Saturday January 19, 2008 @11:52AM (#22109510) Journal

          These Sansa e200 things have these neat little beveled screws that add approximately .04 microns to the width of the device. I actually WOULDN'T want a latch on my MP3 player that disengaged the battery, thank you very much. But beveled screws...I'm so excited about where this new technology will take pioneers like Apple!


          The Sansa E200 series actually proves the grandparent's point.
          The Sansa E200 series contains the three most-requested features the iPod Nano lacks:
          FM radio.
          Expansion card slot.
          Easily swappable battery.

          What do we get?
          A device almost exactly twice as thick as the thickest Nano.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by photomonkey (987563)

        Your car needs the transmission serviced after so many miles, and that's not considered a user-maintenance thing either.

        Changing the gearbox fluid on my TJ is easier than changing the engine oil. Break open the fill nut (to let air into the transmission) and open the drain plug. Close drain plug and add gear oil until it starts dribbling out of the fill hole. Then tighten the fill nut, and you're done. And even engine oil is that plus filter.

        What seems easy and simple to some (read: user serviceabl

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DrXym (126579)
        Like the iPods, the mechanics (structure) involved to make the battery as easy to remove as say, the macbook, would add a significant amount to the size of the unit. The battery latch on the macbook is roughly the size of a nickel. Would you like your ipod to be 1/8" thicker just to add a latch for the battery?

        I don't accept that for a second. Apple is allegedly a company which comes up with clever designs, yet not for batteries it seems. Instead they expect people either to throw away their otherwise fu

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by russlar (1122455)

      Isn't the whole point of the 'Apple experience' to never have to do something like open up your laptop's case with a screwdriver?

      someone remind this guy that the first mac was made of wood.
  • by erebus24 (632942) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @10:25AM (#22108680) Homepage

    I think I'll have to wait for something with a bigger screen and a faster clock speed.
    You means something like a MacBook Pro? I think one of us is missing the point of the MacBook Air.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by stewbacca (1033764)
      Not to mention the faster MBP with a 15" screen is only $200 more than the Air as well.
      • I think one of us is missing the point of the MacBook Air :)
        • by Tony Hoyle (11698) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Saturday January 19, 2008 @11:20AM (#22109218) Homepage
          What *is* the point.

          What market segment up until now were saying to themselves "If only this laptop was exactly the same size but *thinner*"

          My boss travels a lot on airlines and was waiting for an ultraportable macbook. He wanted one *smaller* - that could fit nicely in the limited space on airline seating in the way a normal laptop won't. This doesn't either.. so it's a missed opportunity.

          The other thing he asked for - solid state disks (hard disks don't last long if you fly a lot) - was answered, but he won't be getting the Air.
          • by Sancho (17056)
            I hear you, but it's pretty worthless trying to argue this point here. People will just accuse you of being unable to understand people's needs besides your own--yet never really articulating how that extra thin size really makes a difference.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by vidarh (309115)
            I've travelled a lot with my 15" MacbookPro (90.000 miles last year) and airline seats wasn't a big problem. A 13" is certainly small enough. If you want smaller, there are plenty of (non-Mac) alternatives, but 13" is really the smallest I can comfortably use. Having something thinner and lighter would make far more difference to me, as it'd make it more comfortable to carry my laptop around with me to meetings while still remaining usable.

            As for the limitations, they don't really bother me much apart fro

          • by stewbacca (1033764) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @11:54AM (#22109526)
            Something tells me that if Apple had made the Mac Book Air 10 or 12 inches instead of 13, people would be ripping Apple for making a computer with a screen that is too small. Look at it another way...it is the thinnest notebook on the planet with the largest screen.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by British (51765)
            That's what gets me. I just don't get the point of a thinner notebook, and if I'm reading this right, needs dongles for every port. Never have I seen anybody complain about laptops being overly thick. Nobody says, "wow, I wish this notebook was 2cm thinner, as this would be revolutionary!". Of course, we've seen Apple innovations go the way of smaller iPods, on the x & y axis. Now the laptop is just smaller on the Z plane.

            You want innovation? How about a cheaper laptop? A laptop that costs less than $50
    • True. But remind me again what the point of it is. Light weight? Looks cool? I think its a rather niche product, its portability is negated by its lack of things built in ( ethernet, Dvd drive, ect). I think its going to meet the same fate as the Mac Cube.
  • by PaintyThePirate (682047) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @10:29AM (#22108712) Homepage
    It doesn't really matter that it takes five minutes to open it with a screwdriver and switch the battery. The point is that people want to carry two or more batteries with them and be able to switch them when one goes dead, without requiring tools (or having to void the warrenty).
    • It doesn't really matter that it takes five minutes to open it with a screwdriver and switch the battery. The point is that people want to carry two or more batteries with them and be able to switch them when one goes dead, without requiring tools (or having to void the warrenty).

      Exactly, or for those of us that travel a lot have a repalcement fedEx'd to your location when the one you have dies.

      Plus, a removal batteyr means that if you get a really bad system hang you can do a manual "power down" and restar
    • It doesn't really matter that it takes five minutes to open it with a screwdriver and switch the battery. The point is that people want to carry two or more batteries with them and be able to switch them when one goes dead, without requiring tools (or having to void the warrenty).

      Not if you're flying. I thought I read somewhere that they would not allow a second laptop battery on planes.

      The ideal solution is to have better battery life. Also, the 5 hour rating that Apple gave was apparently in full usage an
    • by wfolta (603698) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @11:47AM (#22109460)
      First, if you've got to carry several spare batteries because you will be using your laptop for extended periods in areas that don't have power, it won't kill you to carry a few extra pounds in the form of a MacBook or MacBook Pro.

      Second, exactly where will you be that power is inaccessible? Coffee shop? Plane? Train? Boat? Car? Airport? This is the 2000's and power is accessible in almost all of these places.

      Third, this is a continuation of the complaints of years past where people lamented the disappearance of 5.25" floppies, then 3.5" floppies, etc. It's a wireless world now (and Apple has introduced other products to make this even more-so), and it's a world with power accessible in many places you would have never had it before. In fact, I can think of very few places that I've taken my laptop in the last couple of years where I had to run off of battery power by necessity. (Convenience, yes. I like the view here and there's no plug near, but necessity, no. There's a plug 30 feet away.)

      Fourth, I return to my first point. If you want great gas mileage, don't buy a Porsche. If you maximal cargo space, don't buy a Cooper. If you want acceleration, don't buy a Prius and then complain that you can't add Nitrous Oxide and a Supercharger. The proper tool for the proper task, so if you want to work with your data with a highly portable machine with a large (for its class) screen and total wireless capability, get an Air.
    • by goombah99 (560566) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @12:11PM (#22109732)
      1) there's an adapter for airline seat jacks so you don't need that second battery
      2) theres a Ethernet jack dongle for the USB so you can plug it to a hard line
      3) there's a mini multiple USB hub so you can put in plenty of things
      4) it has blue tooth (and wifi N) built in so your blue tooth mouse or pointer does not need a jack.
      5) it's gotta honk'in large cache so the 4800 rpm disk is not going to be that big a drag (afterall the macbooks and mac mini are only 5400 rpm and have smaller caches)

      It's not a supercharged photoshop engine given the slower disk and lower end graphics and 13.3 inch screen of course. That's what the8 cpu macpro is for.

      But it's two pounds less than a macbook and you don't need an oversized breifcase or book bag to take it a along. I could see this as a lot easier to schlep around at conferences than may macbook pro. And with it's ultra-fast wifi it's gonna be a lot easier to keep synched than the usual cable clumsiness.

      The 13.3 inch screen is also a much nicer form factor than the 15 or 17 for airplane seats. PLus it's a wide screen not a SVGA shaped screen to it's not as tall. And it has a back lit KB that the macbook lacks.

      Basically the mac book is for college kids and teachers. The air is for bussinessmen and conference goers and people who like aesthitics in the house.

  • by backslashdot (95548) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @10:29AM (#22108716)
    They also mention you can have it replaced for $129 by mailing it in. Ahh, that must be why Steve Jobs showed us that it fits in a manila envelope. How convenient!

    • Anyone else remember that one of the "oh wow" moments in Apple history was when it was discovered that the Macintosh was the most frequently stolen computer in the world. More recently the iPod became the target of choice for footpads and muggers. With such an easily disguised laptop, is Apple trying for the hat trick?
  • by manekineko2 (1052430) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @10:32AM (#22108728)
    I think this is missing the point behind the main thrust of the complaints. Most of the people complaining about it (at least here on Slashdot) have been the mobile road warriors who are worried about it running out of juice while traveling, rather than the battery wearing out after 2 years and needing replacement.

    It would appear at first that Apple's ultra thin and light missed its target market; after all, the main market for ultra thin and lights has traditionally been mobile road warriors. However, the lack of a swappable battery and of a wired LAN port (my company, and most I have been to, as well as many hotels I have stayed at, don't even have a wireless network option) make clear that mobile road warriors aren't the target market.

    The target market is in fact fashion conscious users, and students, and others whose requirements are a sexy form factor.

    I don't think that weight is necessarily even _that_ significant a factor here. Steve Jobs made clear if I recall correctly that he was willing to increase weight to decrease thickness. Thickness has no particular use other than sex appeal, footprint is actually more significant in terms of usefulness when it comes to size. In terms of weight, there have been other laptops that are significantly lighter yet retaining key features like a wired LAN and swappable battery. The entire point of this laptop is how thin and awesome looking it is.
    • by BWJones (18351) *
      Actually, I'd argue that Apple hit the nail right on the head. I ordered one as soon as they were available simply because the 15in Powerbook is too unwieldy for extensive travel, especially internationally where every ounce counts and space is at an all time premium. Flying in and out of the UK for instance, you are limited to one carry-on and when you are already carrying gear (camera gear in my case), a 2.5 lb savings along with the smallest form factor you can manage and still have a full size keyboar
      • by kaiidth (104315)
        Just in case you travel through the UK any time soon, note that the rules have been slightly relaxed [bbc.co.uk] on carry-on gear, depending on the airport, the airline and possibly the weather. Some specifics [bbc.co.uk] have been published recently.

        FWIW I've never actually been on a flight on which a power outlet was made available, although I've travelled a lot in the last couple of years, including some very long flights. I think that is because only business class and above usually get gifted with this sort of thing. Also, no
        • by vidarh (309115)
          You're right, it's usually business. Most decent airlines offer in seat power in business these days, but very few do in economy (if you do ever fly business, though, beware that unless you buy an adapter upfront you'll be stuck with buying a ridiculously overpriced adapter in flight in most cases - most in seat power use one of two "special" plugs)
    • by Dr. Spork (142693)
      Good point about the swappable battery and its relevance to road warriors. This looks to me like a silly design mistake by Apple. I mean, if replacing the battery is just a matter of removing some screws, I'm sure their brilliant industrial engineers could have designed a "battery door" with an easy latch, without adding to the overall thickness of the machine. I'm less concerned about the ethernet port. I think that the days of wired-only internet service when you're on the road is numbered. Besides, if yo
      • by Sancho (17056)
        Cool--until you need to use the Internet and your cdrom at the same time. Or A flash drive.
    • by kaan (88626) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @11:03AM (#22109054)
      $29 buys you a tiny usb dongle with an RJ-45 port for wired lan. It's listed on the accessories section of store.apple.com.

      As for the battery needs, I'm a business user and while I do agree that extended batteries are nice, I don't think it's the norm that you need 8 hours of battery life without a single power outlet nearby. Where are you using your computer for that long that you're not near an outlet once in a while? I typically need stretches of several hours, possibly as much as 4 hours from time to time, but never much more than that. The people I know who have the extended battery packs seem to use them just because they can, not because they need to.

      I think the integrated battery decision is possibly market-limiting to the users who really do (for some reason) need 8 hours of battery life, but not nearly as limiting as you suggest. Overall, a simpler design has positive aspects in that Apple can spend time making features that most of their target users will benefit from, they can also get the product to market faster and lower R&D costs building it.

      This reminds me a lot when the iPod first came out. Most people just couldn't say enough bad things about it. Too simple. No features. No replaceable battery. Too expensive. But the core comptency of the iPod hasn't really changed that much over the years: it lets you organize your music in a really simple way, and find any song fast. When it comes down to it, if you can't find your music easily, you're far less likely to use the device. And if you don't use it, every other "neato" feature is irrelevant because it'll be sitting in your desk drawer.
      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @01:05PM (#22110280)
        So you get one for wired network. Ok, then what about USB, as there's only 1 port? Ok so another for that. And optical media? Ok so another for that. Well now that small, light, elegant, laptop you bought isn't so light, isn't so small and certainly isn't so elegant. I have an older tablet that my work lets me use that is like that and it sucks. The tablet itself isn't bad, but you have a bag full of crap to go with it, since nothing is included.

        So that's the problem here for the road warrior market. The "well just buy X accessory" really defeats the purpose of having a small laptop. You lose your weight and size advantage there, not to mention that it is a much bigger pain to carry a bunch of separate dongles than it is to carry a slightly larger laptop that has everything in it.

        We'll have to see how it does, but trying to explain away all complains by "just buy an accessory" doesn't really work. Remember that Sony has a whole lineup of sleek small laptops out there. Many of them include just about damn everything (wired lan, USB, firewire, WiFi, bluetooth, cellular net, DVD, etc). Yes, they are a bit thicker and a bit heavier (though they have lighter ones that still include most things other than an optical drive) but that doesn't mean they aren't a consideration. While people like light, it isn't a case of "Well that laptop is nice, but it is 0.5 pounds more than this other one so I can't possibly buy it."
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by shmlco (594907)
          I'd just like to say that most of the your logic here is misplaced. For example, let's say I need a power adaptor at work.

          Well, instead of carrying one back and forth all of the time and digging under the desk every day, I simply bought one and left it at work. Problem solved. So if I should need an ethernet connector to get on the office LAN, I'd probably just do the same thing: buy one and leave it connected to the LAN.

          For the external drive, I'd probably leave it at home. I mean, how often do you really
    • by eunos94 (254614)
      OK, I'll bite. I disagree. I highly doubt that the Air is targeted at the road warrior. The road warrior needs to be prepared for all sorts of different situations and is adaptable to whatever environment they are in. The Air, in my mind, lives nicely in a house with all of its necessary wireless accessories nested in their appropriate places. My wife and I both have Apple laptops (Powerbook & iBook). We rarely watch TV or sit at a desk to work. The Air is ideal for us. It allows us to roam anyw
  • by Mike1024 (184871)
    I think I'll have to wait for something with a bigger screen and a faster clock speed.

    I've got some good news for you then: You don't have to settle for a 13 inch screen and 1.8GHz processor at $2,099! For just $1,999.00 you can get a macbook pro with a 2.2GHz processor, the same RAM, a bigger hard disk, a bigger screen (still LED-backlit), free built-in gigabit ethernet, firewire, a decent graphics chip, you can avoid the glossy screen, RAM and HDD are user-upgradable - and you get all this for $100 less!

    O
    • by phoenix321 (734987) * on Saturday January 19, 2008 @10:48AM (#22108870)
      To repeat myself and others: "I think one of us is missing the point of the MacBook Air."

      Or in other words, using a car metaphor, of course: "Nobody will ever buy a Porsche, because it's got only two seats and a minimal trunk space. For 50'000 EUR *less*, you'd get four seats, a pickup-sized cargo bay AND as much horsepowers, so the Porsche is clearly bad value." :)
      • by argent (18001)
        Or in other words, using a car metaphor, of course: "Nobody will ever buy a Porsche, because it's got only two seats and a minimal trunk space. For 50'000 EUR *less*, you'd get four seats, a pickup-sized cargo bay AND as much horsepowers, so the Porsche is clearly bad value." :)

        If a Porsche had the same handling characteristics as a pickup, it *would* be bad value.

        Unlike automobiles, making a laptop smaller doesn't increase its performance... it usually decreases it. The Macbook Air has a slower processor a
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by truesaer (135079)
          If you're going to use an automotive analogy, try and find one that makes the slightest bit of sense.

          The point remains, the primary goal of the thin and light laptop segment is for them to be...well, thin and light. I'm not particularly an Apple fan but it is sort of pissing me off hearing people whine about not being able to efficiently simulate folding proteins on a laptop that is totally not intended for that kind of shit.

          If you're not a road warrior or a student who wants something to carry around for

          • by argent (18001)
            I'm not particularly an Apple fan either, and I can't stand the iPod and I can't stand the new chiclet keyboards (and GOD I hope they don't hang on as long as those horrible puck mice on the iMacs), but when Apple does something write I'll happily defend them.

            But the guy you were replying to was saying the same thing you are saying now. Really. Look:

            I've got some good news for you then: You don't have to settle for a 13 inch screen and 1.8GHz processor at $2,099! For just $1,999.00 you can get a macbook pro

      • by rxmd (205533)

        Or in other words, using a car metaphor, of course: "Nobody will ever buy a Porsche, because it's got only two seats and a minimal trunk space. For 50'000 EUR *less*, you'd get four seats, a pickup-sized cargo bay AND as much horsepowers, so the Porsche is clearly bad value."

        Except that CmdrTaco's response is more like seeing a Porsche and then wanting a Porsche which is a little more aerodynamic and with more horsepower. So until Apple produces the equivalent of a Bugatti Veyron he won't be a MacBook Ai

      • by blhack (921171)

        Or in other words, using a car metaphor, of course: "Nobody will ever buy a Porsche, because it's got only two seats and a minimal trunk space. For 50'000 EUR *less*, you'd get four seats, a pickup-sized cargo bay AND as much horsepowers, so the Porsche is clearly bad value." :)

        You're really close (okay, no you're not even remotely close on this one).

        A better analogy would be a Nissan Armada vs an Infiniti QX56. The Armada dn the Infinit are very very similar vehicles. The difference is:

        The armada can't pull my boat
        The armada can't fit all the kids AND their snowboards
        the armada can't fit 6 full sized adults comfortably
        the armada is quite a bit smaller
        The armada doesn't have some of the features of the QX56 like standard navigation, backup camera, heated seats etc. etc.

        But the

    • Or you could get an Asus W7S [notebookreview.com] for $1299 [excaliberpc.com]. Faster CPU, faster GPU too.
  • For its part, Apple has announced its intent to offer a MacBook Air Out-of-Warranty Battery Replacement Program, which promises authorized replacements for US $129. The mail-in repair process normally takes 5 business days, the company says.

    Why are these batteries so expensive? I know Apple is just launching this AirBook, and all its tech is new, and battery life is its primary constraint. But that replacement cost is 7.5% of the $1720 of the entire AirBook. The R&D and manufacturing of the rest of the

    • by Znork (31774)
      Is there a reason?

      Yes.

      For wearing out: Li-Ion. They simply do that. Li-Ion batteries have a limited lifespan of approximately 3 years. Usage doesnt affect it much; temperature does. Put them next to a hot CPU and they'll die within a year, put them in the freezer and they wont lose more than 2% capacity per year. And of course, you dont really know how long the product's been in the shelf at the shop...

      Basically, if you hardly ever use them, take them out and stick them in the freezer or at least in a fridg
      • by Doc Ruby (173196)
        I suppose there's nothing I can do with these old Li-ion batteries, like sell them to a refurber? Are they toxic/hazardous, or can I throw them in the trash?

        Who knew buying a battery was like adopting a tamagotchi?
      • by cyfer2000 (548592)
        Actually charge/discharge cycles do have effect on the life the Li-ion batteries. The higher the charge/discharge speed the worse the effect. And even you don't use it, it degrades. I noticed that all Dell notebooks around me have their batteries dead after about 3 years with/without heavy battery use. The best way too keep a Li-ion battery is too keep it half charged at a cool place. And don't let it deeply discharged.
  • Ok, so it is rather easy to change at home.
    However, don't this opening of it void the guaranty?

    Also, why did Apple made the battery internal like this in the first place?
    Why don't simply make it as easy to change as on a Mac-book or any other laptop?
    I don't see the rational in the decision to not make it easy to change it without opening the case.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wootest (694923)
      Because when they don't need to make a hatch for the battery, they could make it thinner.

      Seriously: the reason MacBook Air exists is because it's light, and because it's ridiculously thin. It's also interesting because of the trackpad and its multi-touch gestures, and because it has slightly different tradeoffs when compared to other subnotebooks which makes it a fairly unique product - MacBook Air has a faster CPU and normal-sized screen and keyboard, virtually every subnotebook has more features and ports
      • by spyfrog (552673)
        And how much thinner could they make it by making this decision?
        Probably not much.

        The Air is a strange thing that is mostly sold of being thin. I don't really understand the purpose of that. What if it was a bit thicker? The Air is still a large computer even if it is thin, since it is quite large in depth and length (which it of course have to be to have the large screen). The most important factors for people is usually the weight and that the computer isn't unreasonable large.
        Air is very thin but not imp
        • by wootest (694923)
          Since the Air's battery spans the entire width of the computer, I don't think they could have.
  • Okay, you can replace the battery. But can you replace the battery without voiding the warranty?
  • This is the best explanation of why the MacBook Air doesn't have $yourFavoriteFeature I've read so far.
    http://wilshipley.com/blog/ [wilshipley.com]
    • I'm a programmer. I just want a machine I can write software on. Once, I loved gadgets, too, but now I really just want a gadget that (a) works, and (b) is beautiful and easy-to-use.

      I'm a programmer. I just want a machine I can write software on. Once I loved hacking on the computer itself, but now I just want a gadget that (a) works and (b) is easy to use. Beautiful I'll take... but I'm a programmer, I'm the only guy who'll see it, and the rest of my office is decorated in Early 21st Gentury Geek so I don'

  • They don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dasher42 (514179) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @11:07AM (#22109106)
    There's a certain crowd that's criticizing the MacBook Air a lot for what it leaves off, and I don't think they get what you want with a subnotebook. I likewise wonder what they think of the EeePC.

    There's a diversity of needs in personal computing, and at one end you have the gamers who want highly upgradable components and to cram everything they can into a 600-watt beast with fans whining. Fine, okay, but my own preference is that I'd rather not share my living space with that. The next is the quiet low-profile desktop, and Apple's doing that kind of thing very recognizably with the iMac and Mac Mini. There are PC systems like the shuttle. Then there are desktop-replacement laptops with enough GPU for gamers and CPU for number crunching. And now there are subnotebooks. Cite whatever midpoints or extremities you want, these are the relevant ones.

    Most web/email/office use is simply best done on something like an iMac if you're stationary, or a laptop. Those of us who value quiet and energy efficiency will more and more choose this route. The real junkies among us have not one, but several machines. After a while, it gets annoying if they're all identical configurations. You don't want to pack a DVD and a monster peripheral set into your subnotebook - that's for basic needs on the go! Leave your movie collection at home, say, on a nice Kurobox [slashdot.org] or some other NAS. You don't need multiple DVD burners. You can get disk images off your NAS. Back it up with a Time Capsule or roll your own.

    I like my network of specialized machines. It makes choosing an operating system and hardware configuration a matter of the right choice for the job. I think most of the criticism of the MacBook Air comes from the 600W desktop beast crowd that has everything in one or two boxes. Well... they'll come around.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sancho (17056)
      I like the EEE, and I think that the Macbook Air is pointless, so I guess that I'm the kind of person that you're looking to get some answers from.

      The reason for my opinions on the matter stem largely from portability. The Macbook Air may only weigh 3lbs (certainly a technical innovation) but if you set it on top of a Macbook, it's going to be about the same size. Its length and width are almost identical. Only its height (thinness) and weight are less. To me, that doesn't make it significantly more por
  • I commented about this just yesterday [slashdot.org].
  • by G4from128k (686170) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @11:16AM (#22109188)
    I'm wondering about the battery life with the solid state drive option. Apple states that the machine gets 5 hours on a 37 W-hr battery -- suggesting an average power draw of about 7.4W. Cursory Googling suggests that SSD draw about half the power of a normal HD -- perhaps 0.5 W less. That suggests that the SSD version might get more than 5 1/2 hours. Of course the SSD option comes with a faster processor which might taketh away that extra battery life.

    But all this is just speculation and BOTEC. Has anyone got their mitts on an SSD MBA and tested battery life???
  • by IainMH (176964)

    I think I'll have to wait for something with a bigger screen and a faster clock speed.
    You could argue that Taco is calling this apple product 'Lame'. :-)
  • Yea, but what are the chances Apple will sell you a replacement battery?
  • by Kagato (116051) on Saturday January 19, 2008 @01:17PM (#22110406)
    It's about the power supply. More and more airlines have in sear power in Coach. The power supply in the current MacBook and MacBook Pro draw too much power. They trip the breaker on the seat. The Air draws almost half as much as the others and will work with every airline power system out there.

    Second, the TSA keeps restricting extra batteries. Recently Spare LiON's were banned from checked luggage. There is no way to know if the same won't be applied to carry on.

    From that standpoint, a laptop that works with Airline power seems more important than being able to change the batteries.

"No job too big; no fee too big!" -- Dr. Peter Venkman, "Ghost-busters"

Working...