Apple releases the "MacBook Air," but will it measure up?

Apple's new MacBook. A beauty.


Apple has put the "Wow" in computing, today announcing its MacBook Air. What had been rumored to be a MacBook with wireless broadband built in turned out to be nothing so pedestrian. Apple, the Arsenal of computing, surprised many with an insanely thin new MacBook Air

Intel and Apple started collaborating on the project a year ago and the result is nothing short of spectacular. Whether it's something that you'll actually want to buy is an entirely different question, however. At $1,799.00, it's not cheap, but no one buys excellence for pennies.

Here are some of the more incredible/interesting aspects of the design:

  • Dimensions: 0.16" to 0.76". 13.3" screen. As demonstrated, it fits within an envelope. It is dramatically thinner than anything else on the market.

  • The option of flash-based memory.

  • Multi-touch trackpad that allows users to work with on-screen windows in similar ways to the iPhone's touch screen.

  • 1.6 GHz Standard, but also available in 1.8 GHz (Intel Core 2 Duo).

  • Not much hard-drive space: 80 GB standard, 64 GB SSD as an option (see above).

  • No optical CD/DVD drive. Jobs pitched this as a plus (i.e., you can get any movies/etc. from iTunes), but I think that's a cop-out.

Is it drool-worthy? Of course. Will I be buying one? Nope. I've never understood the interest in micro-portables, and this is no different. I want my laptop to replace my desktop and not simply be a nice adjunct to a real laptop. The MacBook Air's hard drive is too small (for me) and its processor is slow. I might get one for my kids, but not for me.

Still, it's clearly a thing of absolute beauty.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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