Pros Thin, light, sexy, the illuminated keyboard is cool
Cons Weak specs for a high-end portable, no networkability, no optical drive, severely limited connectivity, and sealed battery (again)
Summary Obviously not a true USER opinion, but more of a prospective user/consumer opinion...
I think Apple makes some great products. Obviously they're sexy, and the user interfaces are really good. But come on... I just can't get on board with this MacBook Air. If you want the solid-state drive and a meager 1.8 GHz processor, you'll be shelling out nearly $3,100. And even though it's a vaunted APPLE product, it will still be outdated in one to two years' time, just like any computer product. If this thing were $1,200, then sure... bomb-diggety. But $1,700 base price for a tiny laptop with no configurable options? And really, 1280x800? I suppose that's okay for a 13" screen, but 1440x900 would be nice. Integrated video... blah. And an 80GB HDD that spins at only 4200 RPM? Yeesh. No optical drive, no ethernet port, no FireWire, no HDMI, no SD (or any) card reader, no ExpressCard slot, and ONE stinking USB port? What planet is Steve Jobs living on? I do give Apple props for at least not gouging their cult-like base customers on the external DVD drive (only $100).
This is a very pretty laptop, no doubt, but for this size laptop, I'd rather have the year-old Dell XPS M1330, which is FAR more configurable and real-world functional costs considerably less. Depending on the sale of the week, you can get this very sleek laptop with a better processor, 50% more RAM, a DVD-RW drive, fingerprint reader, HDMI output, discrete NVIDIA video card, over three times the HDD capacity (at 5400 RPM), and the same LED-backlit screen, top-of-the-line WiFi, integrated webcam, for $300 less. That also gives you a 3-year in-home warranty, which Apple charges an extra $250 for, and it's not in-home. Want the 64GB solid-state drive? Dell charges $750 to upgrade. Apple inexplicably charges $1,000. The only real drawback to the Dell unit is that it runs Vista.
Like I said, I really like some of Apple's products. I'm in no way a Mac hater, nor am I a Dell zealot (simply using them for comparison). I just don't understand why Apple charges so much for less, and still get people (albeit a very small percentage of them) beating down their doors to buy the stuff.
I can see that, at some point in the future, the optical drive will be obsolete and you won't need an ethernet port (or Apple's proprietary $30 USB-to-ethernet dongle). But that's not going to happen before this new laptop from Apple becomes a relic. In the here and now, I have to figure this laptop will appeal to a very narrow niche of self-pronounced "high-end" users (which is a joke considering its lame processor and smallish hard drive), or more likely, people whose self-esteem is directly tied to owning the latest overpriced Apple gadget on the market.
Pros Light, thin, powerful, and professional
Cons ¡Muy costoso!
Summary I'm a college student and a businessman...so I can understand the practical value of having an ultraportable machine with me for classes and meetings; carrying around things over 5 pounds in your backpack can be daunting with all the other stuff in there. This is a nice step in the proper direction, but it really IS a glamour piece rather than something I can use and abuse on a daily basis. I'm staying with my MacBook.
Pros Design, Screen, Battery Life
Cons No Removable Battery, No DVD/CD, ONE USB PORT, NO ETHERNET, THE LIST GOES ON...
Summary While Apple has manage to make a beautifully slim notebook, it HAS compromised the reality of everyday functionality.
While the keyboard may be great for students, having only one usb port,no ethernet jack and no optical drive is NOT great for students.
Even if you get a usb ethernet jack, you have no other room for such build ons, no room for a usb optical drive, or a flash drive, an external hard drive, usb speakers..nada.
Apple, of course can claim exclusivity on the ever wonderful OS X, but this is inconspicuous consumption if i've ever seen it
Worst part is, There is no removable battery. Similar to ipods, the battery is internal and must be removed by a technician...which I'm sure Apple will charge out the @$$ to do.
*sigh* ok, my rant is done.
Pros Style, screen brightness, weight, Keyboard
Cons No optical drive
Summary I just wanted to give an honest opinion of what my experience has been with this laptop. For starters, I have been a PC user for the last 20 years. I own a SONY VAIO ultraportable which I bought a few years ago and have been very happy with it. But lately windows was driving me crazy and I decided to try a MAC product.
I have to say that the airbook is a superb machine. It is absolutely gorgeous. It starts with in 20 seconds (as oppose to my sony which can take about 2 minutes to get goin) and it is extremely quiet. I can't even tell that it is running. It has been extremely fast for my everyday uses, ie web surfing, itunes downloads, internet chating. I am still getting use to MAC OS but it seems pretty intuitive. I have had no crashes or failures.
The Battery life is pretty good. I am getting about 4 hours with my daily use. I have not missed the ethernet port sine I have a wireless network at home. I suppose it will be a problem when I travel to hotels which donot have WiFi, But i did buy the little converter.
I do miss the optical drive sometimes. It is little tedious to hook up a portable superdrive every time you want to watch a DVD. Although I have started to rent movies from itunes and that is pretty cool and easy ( I guess that is what apple wanted anyway.)
Overall it is a wonderfull machine, albiet an expensive one. (FYI my little sony notebook cost me 2500 about 5 years ago). So I guess the price is relative. If you can affoard it and want a well built portable machine, this maybe for you.
Pros Excellent to get work done while on the road and saves your back. Not for people working with lots of large files (or games or DVDs). Go for 64 SSD version and you'll enjoy a very quiet machine that does not fry your lap and saves your energy + back.
Cons It was very expensive to get the ssd version.
Summary This is jackpot as far as I am concerned. I am an academic who works on music and cinema and travels a lot. I need to have something very light to browse the web, and get my writing done. This machine is superlight, very quiet, and fast. And it doesn't get very hot at all (I have the ssd version; despite the hefty extra cost I think it is worth it, because it does not get very hot at all - unlike the normal drive one, I think - is a bit faster, and is super-silent (stealth!), so you can have it on your lap for ages. And so far I have only needed an external drive a few times, just to upload Word and Keynote through another mac. That was easy enough. I suppose it could do with an extra port or two, but the additional peripherals which I bought since (for keynote presentations, and to use a wired adsl line) were not that pricey, and are small and light enough to carry around with it. Mind you: in hotels they sometimes have a female port for adsl connections, so you'd need an extension cable for those things anyway. And do I need to play CDs/DVDs while traveling? No, I actually rarely do. I now just use Handbrake (freeware) to rip DVDs which I then take with me, in case I get bored, and of course I download MP3s mostly. The screen is good, and so is - remarkably enough - the sound. But bottom line is this: it is light, fairly sturdy, and fast, and all those people complaining about battery issues and wanting a DVD drive etc. probably don't actually do a lot of writing. I haven't measured this, but my battery runs for at least 4 or 5 hours when I write and use the Internet a lot. That's not terribly much, but enough since after all, would 6 or 7 hours make that much more difference? No, you'd still have to keep an eye on it, and plug it in a power socket regularly. If you want to fiddle around with things more and basically replace your desktop, this is NOT the machine to go for, but I have a good desktop at home, and needed something light to help me get work done and not ruin my back when traveling. This is it.