MacBook Air: Not For You So Don’t Panic

Quick, name the perfect product for everyone?

Air, the other one? The thing we breathe? Yea, how is that air in Houston in August or in Beijing?

Um, not so perfect.

Water? Who here only drinks tap? Don’t we like it flavored, carbonated, with taurine, mint or almost anyone other than tap?

So, not water … but apparently if it’s announced from Apple, it must be 100% perfect for everyone at all times.

Yea, not too high of a benchmark so that anything that falls slightly short of that is a “failure” or “disaster.”

apple-air.jpg

The MacBook Air is what it is. It’s a lightweight fairly speedy laptop with emphasis on lightweight.

Is it for everyone? No.

It’s for road warriors and those who are tired of carrying a heavy laptop around. For those that have NEVER traveled for an extended period with a laptop – you just don’t know. Holding it in a store for a minute is NOT the same thing. At the store holding it for a minute, you can’t justify spending a few hundred dollars extra but try running down a mile-long airport terminal or carrying a bag full of printed collateral and then ask yourself if 2 lbs, 4 lbs, etc. extra is worth the difference? Until you’re at that point you simply don’t know or don’t need an Air or any other ultraportable.

All you see is what’s “missing” but when you’re schelping a 5 lb or 7 lb laptop from room to room and then around a giant Pentagon like building – that’s when you wonder – how much weight are those extra CAMERA memory slots or how many peripherals do I need to plug into this thing at once? This is NOT a desktop machine for everyone. Is Apple not manufacturing any of their other lines or computers? No. You want full power and have the room? Buy the desktop Mac Pro. You want an all-in-one? Buy an iMac. You want portability on a budget and are willing to trade a little speed and screen size? Buy a MacBook. Need the most features, speed and screen size? Buy a MacBook Pro. You choose what you want – everything in this world including Macs are a compromise in some way because there’s no perfect for everyone 100% of the time but for those who want thin, light, good enough speed, a nice screen, OSX, and a full keyboard?

The MacBook Air has a lot of nice touches …

The Apple Air has built in WiFi and the new Remote which lets you mount a CD or DVD on a nearby machine – what more do you need?

Want security or recovery utilities – a 16 GB USB stick weighs a few ounces or would you rather carry around a bulky optical drive internally or externally?

Still without WiFi at home or at the office? How about a $8 connector from Ethernet to USB that weighs a few ounces.

Can’t live without extra USB ports? Unpowered or Powered.

At home, you can add the Apple Time Capsule so you can print, share a hard drive and of course access the internet via WiFi:

timecapsule.jpg

As for the “non-removable” battery, AppleInsider points out it’s a three minute job but more importantly, in a few weeks, I’m sure there will be a USB long life external battery which is even BETTER that it’s external. First, you’re going to have to carry a spare battery anyway whether it’s internal or external, they both weigh about the same – and with an external battery, you can charge it without having to insert it into your larop OR carry around its own charger AND even better, when your internal battery goes low, you can simply plug in the external battery (presumably through the USB) and best of all, without having to shut down and remove the other battery.

So for those worried to no end about a battery that is not removeable is simply over worrying the solution. Of course, the perfect solution would be a battery that would run for 19 hours but until we get to that point, saving a few lbs is much more important than whether the additional 1 lb battery I have to carry anyway is external or internal.

The MacBook Air is clearly NOT for everyone but finally a full sized laptop in screen, speed & keyboard but one that weighs much like a sub notebook. The thin-ness is an extra bonus. Just ask the ‘road warriors’ what’s at the top of their wish list? The MacBook Air delivers 98% of what’s most important – bulk, screen size, processor speed, battery life and keyboard size.

Along with the built-in WiFi and a USB stick, the remaining 2% is easily manageable.

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4 Comments

Filed under Apple, Apple Mac, Computing, Financial, Internet, Retail

4 responses to “MacBook Air: Not For You So Don’t Panic

  1. When you’re running around the Taiwan airport searching frantically for water before you have to make your connection to Manila this thing would seem worth its un-weight in gold.

    When that happened to me, my 17″ PowerBook was nearly the death of me and I would have killed for something like an Air instead.

    I don’t think the $700-odd price difference between this and a MacBook is of any significance whatsoever when you compare it to life spent continuously in airports. I don’t have that particular life, but in that hour or two spent in Taipei, I gained far more empathy for what someone like this really needs, and is willing to pay for.

    Vertical bulk matters to shove it in an attache case. The 13″ screen and manila-envelope form factor is perfect for someone like that. For the first time in the world, you can fit a fully featured computer into a standard leather attache instead of having to lug around an ugly computer case. And no thief will even think you have a computer with you.

    Now, I happen to be a software designer in love with the disk space, big display and computing power of my Powerbook. So my next laptop will be a MacBook Pro, no question.

    But if I was a heavy traveler, which implies someone with a budget high enough to easily expense one of these things, I would buy one without hesitation or question.

    Because of this, I think they’ll sell.

    I’d still like a tablet with support for a bluetooth keyboard, though, so I could draw doodles on the plane. That’s what I was hoping for with MacWorld.

    I’m sure third parties will figure out a nice sketchbook application for my iPhone but it won’t quite be the same …

    D

    (METROXING: That’s another good point. The inter-office envelope thing would be a perfect way to hide a laptop. No way is anyone going to bother to steal an interoffice memo envelope ;-) )

  2. Chuck

    The MB Air is…the future. We say we need all these things (Ethernet, CD/DVD tray, USB, etc.). But I could go to work and work wirelessly all day, and then go home and surf the Internet wirelessly. So why do I need Ethernet? I don’t watch movies on my MacBook Pro. I don’t use a mouse at home.

    The Apple TV is also going to revolutionize movies and Internet video. It is an all-in-one package at a very low price. It’s elegant and wireless and simple. The content is there (or will be soon).

    The MB Air is brilliant, as is the new Apple TV software upgrade. It is where we are all going: wireless.

  3. Mr Roberto

    The Asus Eee PC is the way of the future. It does everything the Air does, it did it first, and it’s doing it at 20% of the price.

    The Asus Eee PC alone understands that for what they can do, subnotebooks are overpriced.

    The real hero of the Tool for the Travelling Businessman category is the Asus Eee PC, not the MacBook Air. The Eee PC dares to buck the trend; the MacBook Air is just happy to follow it and bilk the people who have more credit than sense.

    (METROXING: Well, as a hobbyist mini computer, it’s fine and fun. For business use, as long as you don’t mind only running the included apps (unless you learn Linux to load apps) and only a 4 GB of storage (you can add aditional flash memory). It’s also got an 7″ screen and a small keyboard, no built in wifi or bluetooth – and of course, you don’t get OSX, iLife and free tech support at 200 stores around the world … so it doesn’t exactly “do everything the MacBook Air does for 20% of the price.” It’s a fine product for what it is but not exactly a full fledged computer).

  4. Ruhayat

    “It’s a fine product for what it is but not exactly a full fledged computer”

    Neither is the MacBook Air, I dare say.

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