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In-Depth Review of the MacBook Air With Photos 244

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the long-road-ahead dept.
Engadget has the first really in-depth review of the MacBook Air that I have seen with plenty of great photos and specifics. They do a great job of highlighting the highs and the lows with plenty of concrete examples to back their claims up. It seems that while the MacBook Air is a great step towards ultra-portable computing, overall the pricepoint is just too high. Which is not surprising from a new Apple gadget I guess.
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In-Depth Review of the MacBook Air With Photos

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  • Re:NOT Bad placement (Score:5, Informative)

    by yabos (719499) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @09:51AM (#22192836)
    Didn't you see the mag safe adaptor that comes with it? It's a 90 degree adaptor that fits while the MBA is on any flat surface. The one they showed on the edge of the table is the MB adaptor and they only show it so you can see how you have to use the MBA adaptor.
  • Re:NOT Bad placement (Score:5, Informative)

    by yabos (719499) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @10:00AM (#22192886)
    Yes it comes with it's own power adaptor that is the small one shown next to the larger MB/MBP one in one of the pictures. I don't know why they complain about the other power adaptor besides just adding words to their article.
  • Great! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26, 2008 @10:18AM (#22192970)
    Engadget has the first really in-depth review of the MacBook Air that I have seen with plenty of great photos and specifics. They do a great job of highlighting the highs and the lows with plenty of concrete examples to back their claims up. It seems that while the MacBook air is a great step towards ultra-portable computing, overall the pricepoint is just too high.

    Great post! :-)
  • nice try (Score:5, Informative)

    by oever (233119) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @10:27AM (#22193018) Homepage
    The new MacBook Air will hopefully point laptop makers in the right direction: small and silent laptops. From what I can tell from the specs and the review, though, the MacBook Air is not as nice as the laptop on which I'm typing this: the Dell Latitude X1. Although the X1 is now out of production, it is still, in my opinion, the perfect laptop. Someone else has already taken the trouble of comparing [ormset.no] the two machines. Here's the summary:

    Dell Latitude X1 is smaller (albeit slightly thicker), has a gigabit ethernet port, comes with a external DVD burner, has two USB ports and and SD and a CF slot. The battery is easily removed and replaced or upgraded.

    The MacBook Air has a dualcore 1.6 GHz processor where the X1 has a single core that clocks 1.1 GHz. Also the Air can take 2GB versus the 1.25 GB of the X1.

    The X1 comes with an obligatory copy of Windows XP, but I upgraded it to Kubuntu Feisty. The MacBook comes with an obligatory copy of Mac OS X.

    I have been developing KDE4 on my X1 just fine. The extra speed would be nice, but for a portable machine battery life is more important.

    If the X1 were still in production, it would clearly be the better laptop.

  • Nice try, indeed (Score:3, Informative)

    by tgibbs (83782) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @11:19AM (#22193348)
    You are seriously comparing a 1.1 GHz single core to a 1.6 GHz dual core? That's not even close to the same class of computing power.

    Meanwhile, people are quibbling that the MBA is slightly slower than other Mac dual core laptops...
  • Re:nice try (Score:5, Informative)

    by tgd (2822) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @11:29AM (#22193402)
    The X1 is a great laptop -- I love mine, but I'm sorry its not even close to the Airbook. Its extremely slow (less than half the speed of a 1.6ghz C2D), its got a small keyboard and a low-resolution display.

    Its *great* for use on an airplane because the seat in front of you can be back and you can still fit it on the tray. Its great for tossing in a bag.

    There is no way on Earth you could use it as a full-time laptop unless you had midget hands and only used Office.
  • Boot from USB?? (Score:3, Informative)

    by JoeCommodore (567479) <larry@portcommodore.com> on Saturday January 26, 2008 @12:08PM (#22193684) Homepage
    Apple disabled the booting of system CDs from USB CD drive a long time ago (required either a direct connect drive or fire wire) I figure the special CD drive changes the situation for the MacBook air.
  • by dfghjk (711126) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @02:05PM (#22194552)
    Who cares what someone who packs his computer with toiletries thinks?

    Thinness is the ultimate measure only because Steve Jobs said so. Being slightly thinner than most while still having a full sized screen and keyboard does not make it an ultra-portable. Neither does a custom CPU package or an undesirable hard drive form factor.
  • by EverLurking (595528) <slash@dave c h e n .org> on Saturday January 26, 2008 @02:13PM (#22194610) Homepage
    It would've been nice if the battery was removable, but in the interests of a clean, thin design, they didn't decide to do it this way. Someone did point out that usually your laptop is dated/obsolete before the stock battery is dead anyways. However, apparently taking out the battery isn't that much of a chore, 10 case screws (00 Phillips, not even the fancy Torx screws used in other Apple laptops) and 9 holding down the Lithium Polymer battery pack which is REALLY thin. Gizmodo had some gutting/tear-down pics and a video up for awhile, but they look like they've been taken down (as they did it to their Apple Review unit, I'm sure Apple isn't too pleased about that). Here is a mirror of the video and pictures: http://groups.google.com/group/mac-book-air/web/macbook-air-tear-down-pictures [google.com] Actually, that Google group site also has a nice list of alternatives to resorting to a USB Ethernet dongle and some solutions to the "no built in Wireless WAN (EVDO/WiMax)" issue: http://groups.google.com/group/mac-book-air/web/networking-tweaks [google.com]
  • Re:Price-point? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Saturday January 26, 2008 @03:23PM (#22195072) Homepage Journal
    Percentage point has actual meaning. In fact, the media is quite good in getting it wrong, i. e.: "Today the FED raised interest rates by 0.25 percent".

    Except that raising and lowering interest rates in 0.25-percent increments is exactly what the Fed does. I.e., reporting it that way is not, in fact, wrong.

    Oh, and "Fed" is an abbreviation, not an acronym, so "FED" is wrong.
  • Re:nice try (Score:3, Informative)

    by Smurf (7981) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @07:51PM (#22196718)

    Dell Latitude X1 is smaller (albeit slightly thicker)
    "Slightly" is quite an understatement. The article you cite quotes the dimensions as:

    MBA: 1.94×32.5×22.7 = 1431.235 cc
    X1: 2.5×28.6×19.68 = 1407.12 cc

    But the thickness of the MBA tapers from 0.76" = 1.930 cm to 0.16" = 0.406 cm. The average thickness is thus 0.46" (1.168 cm, so the X1 is 2.14 times thicker), and the actual volume is more like 861.692 (so the X1 is 1.63 times larger).

    And quite frankly that's not the only flaky part of the comparison. The author makes claims such as "the processor in the MBA totally owns the one in the X1, but you can change the battery of the X1 so it is more powerful". Talk about spinning it!
  • No Kensington Lock (Score:2, Informative)

    by Paul_Hindt (1129979) on Saturday January 26, 2008 @10:03PM (#22197440) Homepage
    A review of the MBA at Tom's Hardware [tomsguide.com] points out that there is NO Kensington lock point on the notebook.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01, 2008 @04:13PM (#22265932)

    I'll bite. Along the lines of "X Windows is only good for holding more X term screens,"
    It's quite obvious you know nothing about Linux desktop environments from the past decade.

    I _love_ Expose for its ability to show me what I'm working on - on all my screens - at the touch of a button.
    I've been doing this on Linux for years.

    The other day, I wanted to send a partial screen capture to an associate. I hit cmd-shift-4, and selected exactly what I wanted to send. Didn't have to edit the picture to crop off stuff I didn't want, etc. Maybe Windows has that, now. I don't know - I pretty gave up on MS a while ago.
    Considering alt+print screen existed back in Windows 95, must of been a very long time ago.

    Dependencies? What are those? ". ./configure ; make ; make install"?
    What the hell are you talking about? Nobody has needed to type those commands on Ubuntu to get dependencies and such working, infact, the package manager handles everything transparently so the user doesn't even need to know.

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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