Yes, I’ve heard all the nay-sayers out there, ripping on the new, glorious Macbook Air. You’re saying that it has no user replacable battery, no firewire, no optical drive, is too flimsy, yadda yadda.
Yeah well, that’s not the purpose of the Macbook Air. You want to do intense mobile HD video editing? Ok, that’s exactly what the Macbook Pro is great at! Do-everything-ok basic work computer? That’s the Macbook. The Macbook Air is sleek, thin, lightweight, and powerful. It cut’s out all unnecessary bulk, to offer a platform you can easily travel around with to perform basic work tasks. I ask myself, how often, when I travel, do I REALLY need a dvd burner, firewire 800 ports, etc? Not often. Yes, I understand some people work in industries where they need that – Go get a Pro. The bulk of my work is surfing the web, working with MS Office, chatting, video conferencing, and listening to music. The Air seems perfect for this.
Regarding the non user replacable battery. Meh… I only have one battery for my 15″ Macbook Pro, and I’ve rarely been in a situation where I’ve needed to go for more than 4.5 hours using my computer, away from a plug. Charge up in the airport, hack out some work on the flight, re-charge when you get to your hotel room that night. Perfect.
And what about movies/music etc? No optical drive? I haven’t watched a movie directly off a dvd in years! Pretty much all of my on-laptop computer watching comes in the form of watching mpeg movie file backups of the dvd’s I own. No messing with shuffling disks around, and when I want to watch a movie, I just load it up instantly from my external HDD. And if I’m going on a trip, I’ll just move a few movies over the the internal HDD before the trip. Also, with the iTunes store now offering both movie purchases and rentals, in HD nonetheless, who needs to lug around an optical media drive everywhere? (yes, I know optical media is not dead, and I’m a huge supporter of the Blu-ray camp, but that’s another discussion…)
For networking, the Air supports 802.11 A, B, G, and N. N wireless is fast. In fact, I believe its speed definitely faster than any internet connection I will ever be on, and most likely faster than most LAN’s i’ll be on. No, it’s not gigabit ethernet, but really, when am I using all that speed? Especially on a portable. For streaming video off of my wirelessly connected Time Capsule, it’s perfect.
Finally, no, it’s not going to be flimsy. Full disclosure, I haven’t handled one myself, yet. However knowing Apple’s historically excellent and solid build quality, I’m sure this thing will be solid. From the pictures, it looks like it has a solid edge bevel, akin to the iPod Touch’s edge… and a metal casing similar to the iPod classic. The hinge will be rock solid, and just like my apple keyboard, although it’s extremely thin, I don’t think you’ll be able to bend it easily.
So, there’s my take on it. It will be a great computer for road warriors, commuters, or trendsters who want a powerful, capable, but minimal computer for home/lifestyle.. perfect to sit on the couch with at night and check email and chat, perfect to catch up on the latest new music on Beatport, or tv shows on Hulu.Time will only tell how well it’s picked up, but I’ll surely be down at the apple store asap, to give it a quick handle.