MacBook Air Sucks Too

So, Apple have released a new MacBook: the “MacBook Air”:

MacBook Air is ultrathin, ultraportable and ultra …

..pointless? featureless? useless? overpriced? Yes, I totally agree.

It is being piped by Apple fangirls and boys everywhere as the perfect tool for wireless communication and work on the go.. which is great, but I can do that on my current laptop and that cost me around £699 less. Plus, I have this magical, mysterious piece of technology known as: a CD/DVD drive. Yes, the MacBook Air is so advanced that it doesn’t even have the most basic of our (my) computing needs.

I’m not renowned for my support of Apple or Mac OS, so feel free to dismiss this as biased vitriol.. but when I see a new piece of hardware being advertised as “innovative” and yet only has a single USB port; no optical devices; no Ethernet port; non-replaceable components and a sealed battery that can only be replaced by Apple for a fee? Well, let’s just say “innovative” isn’t the first word that comes to my mind, but I used up my swear word quota for the week in my last post.

We’re told that for a meagre $1299 more (on Apple’s own site) we can get the same laptop, but with a slightly better processor and a 64GB solid state drive. (For those less savvy, a solid state drive is one with no moving parts. Think of those little USB drive dongles and you’re spot on.) Now, large solid state drives are expensive still, but 64GB is not a large drive. I could buy 8 lots of 8GB USB drives for £20 a piece (that’s £160 or approx. $315) and create my own solid state USB RAID array (if I were into that sort of thing) for $984 less than the cost of the upgrade.

We’re told that should we want/need the functionality of a CD/DVD drive we can quite easily buy an external one. Er, had I just spent over 1 thousand pounds/dollar on a piece of hardware, I would not expect to have to pay more for a peripheral device when the majority of low-end laptops have decent quality optical drives as standard? As I said on Snark: that’s like buying a toaster, but being charged extra for the heating element, the button to pop the bread down and the other one to pop the toast up again!

We’re told that if you don’t like it, you’re obviously missing something: “It’s aimed at a different market!” Which market is that.. more money than sense? MUG tattooed on their forehead? Said same entry tells us that the iPod and iPhone have sealed batteries and both products succeeded, but failed to mentioned the whopping £930 difference between the laptop and the phone (and quite frankly, my 5+ year old Nokia has a replaceable battery so there’s no bloody excuse.)

We’re told “ooh, it has special software that allows you to install software from another user’s drive!” Hate to break the bubble, but Windows has been doing that since.. 98SE? It’s called “Map Network Drive”. Clever, eh?

I am yet to find a convincing argument as to how this is a good product, and why a person should buy this over the hundreds of other ultraportable laptops and PDAs that do the same job and have more features and are a fraction of the price.

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79 comments so far

  1. Maren said:
    On January 17, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Ok I’m not getting into this again lol but re: sealed battery that can only be replaced by Apple for a fee The replacement is free; you’re paying for the price of the battery.

  2. Jem said:
    On January 17, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    The replacement is free; you’re paying for the price of the battery. I know that (perhaps I should clarify in the entry). It’s still extortion though! I mean, I thought my old VAIO battery was expensive (

  3. Stephanie said:
    On January 17, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    I would say having one of those computers would be easier to slip into my bag than a clunky laptop. I have five classes in a row on wednesday, and it’s really hard to carry all my books plus my laptop. Not enough space and much heavier. I wouldn’t spend as much money as they’re asking, probably, but it would be useful for taking notes in class. it’s probably a really great computer for university students, or doctor’s offices. do they have the little computers in the UK at the doctor’s office where you input all of your information instead of writing it out? my OBGYN has them at his practice. However, it’s highly impractical in the business world, unless it’s a travel work computer. But who spends 1299 on one of those?

  4. Chien Yee said:
    On January 17, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    My laptop’s way better than that. Seriously.

  5. Jem said:
    On January 17, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    @Stephanie: so buy an ASUS EeePC. Less than $500, more than capable of the requirements you’ve given. Bish bash bosh, a saving of around $700. See? Still no reason for the MBA.

  6. Sarah said:
    On January 17, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    Apple goes on about that they’re not “evil like Microsoft”, they’re just the same in my book. Their iPod’s are a load of crap, I’ve had one and the battery hasn’t lasted a couple of years. It’s a shame because it was a gift from Sean. My new Philips mp3 player that cost £25 is better than that tat. iPods are just over-marketed peices of shit, to be very blunt. People think that iPods are the in thing and that they must have one to be cool or to be in with the technology. Wrong! Apple products are over-hyped and over-priced. Yes the products are very pretty indeed, but that’s all they are. I’ll stick to my good ol’ Samsung lappy that has not failed me yet and has everything I need. Over £900 for a bloody iPhone? No thanks. Good old Nokia, for the win.

  7. Aisling said:
    On January 17, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    I like a laptop with a little bit of meat on its bones! :P

  8. Jordie said:
    On January 17, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    LOL Aisling…

  9. Jem said:
    On January 17, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Over £900 for a bloody iPhone? Noo, the iPhone is about £360 – the £900 is the difference between the laptop and the phone.

  10. Stephanie said:
    On January 17, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    True enough. But it’s not white and sleek and shiny! Hahaha.

  11. Danny said:
    On January 17, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    thats the thing i hate about apple they make all there products look good and charge loads and then in the end they don’t have that many features. =[

  12. Veronica said:
    On January 17, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    I think mac air looks nice, but I prefer my macbook pro *hugs it*. I like the idea of having a laptop that won’t break if I barely touch it (let alone drop it, which I have done a few times oops) oh and I’d rather not spend more money on a product when I could get the same thing + a cd drive + more durable. Apple makes weird products sometimes. I carry around my laptop to and from campus without pain or worry, it fits nicely and hey carrying 5 pounds around is probably better for me anyways (I consider it exercise :() I honestly see no reason to get it, appeals to a certain market my ass.

  13. Elea said:
    On January 17, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    It’s kind of uncanny…I was contemplating a blog entry on how I’m not impressed by the MacBook Air, but you beat me to it! And I do love my MacBook for the record, so I am not biased against Apple by far. But also…what is happening with their names? MacBook Air? Is it just me or does the name even sound silly? I miss the days of ‘iBook’ and ‘PowerBook’…at least it didn’t sound like I was ordering a burger computer then!

  14. Philip said:
    On January 17, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    As a kind of disclaimer, I should say I’ve just ordered a Mac Pro. But I’ll agree with a lot of the criticisms of the Air. Like the rest of the laptop range, they’re too highly priced when you compare the PC equivalents. But it’s a matter of choice, and if you find using Windows a chore and a pain, Macs are worth the extra.

  15. Hillarie said:
    On January 17, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    I believe that the MacBook Air is mainly considered innovative for the download junkies. I love a lot of the Apple products. However, I think that this one was a complete waste of their time. Plus, it only weighs two pounds less than the MacBook itself. Uhh…it’s not that terrible to carry two extra pounds…

  16. Tracy said:
    On January 17, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    Sorry, I can’t give you a convincing argument. It’s just another Mac-Fad ;)

  17. Kachii said:
    On January 17, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    I ranted about this one earlier. I said, “not having a floppy drive, ok. But, as far as I can tell, I still have DVDs and CDs on my shelves and I need something to put them in.” My laptop is a £600 Dell one and I think it’s better than that hunk of shit Apple created. Sure it’s heavy, but it’s virtually indestructible (I’ve dropped it on hard flooring multiple times, not a scratch or a crack to be seen – I imagine that other thing would snap in half) and has pretty good performance and 9 hour battery life (4 if I happen to play games) not to mention the elusive CD/DVD drive.

  18. Rachael said:
    On January 17, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    Sorry to be pedantic, but the iPhone is

  19. Alyssa said:
    On January 17, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    I agree that the price is a bit ridiculous. The MacBook Air looks gorgeous, though. No doubt about that. :3 The idea of it not having a CD drive immediately turned me off. I’m not that knowledgeable on its technical specs, but even if I did, I don’t think I would buy it. It’s too expensive. Buying external parts is just troublesome, too. It’s pretty portable and convenient for post-secondary students. I still wouldn’t get it for myself, even for university. I’d get a nice old MacBook.

  20. Jem said:
    On January 17, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    the iPhone is

  21. Mike said:
    On January 17, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    More like a CRAPtop. Hahahaha! This is a clear example of Steve Jobs running around in his house mashed up on cocaine going “I CAN DO ANYTHING I WANT!” I’m in no mood for serious debate.

  22. Julie said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 1:13 am

    Grr, the site timed out as I posted my comment. It starts at 1899 FUCKING DOLLARS? That’s plain theft. I can get an excellent laptop or a desktop computer with several components for much less than that. And not having a CD drive and having only 1 USB port is quite a downer. Do Mac laptops support external mice? I like using an external mouse with Eric’s laptop. It’s utterly crappy and has 3 USB ports.

  23. Annie said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 1:40 am

    Whoah I love the new layout.

  24. Rachel said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 3:09 am

    I’m not a fan of Mac myself (although I’m told I should be since I do so much “graphic” stuff), but it sounds to me that Mac is slapping a bunch of pretty words to an ugly, useless machine that turns them more profit than the more ridiculous iPhone (people seem to forget the iPhone is indeed made TO BE A PHONE, not you mp3, travel guide, computer, game console, etc.) ANYWAY. I know it irritated me when I bought a special graphics card for my Dell and the slot that it was supposed to go in was removed…completely. So I had to ship it back. Stepping back onto track (em…sorta), like I said, lacking things like an Ethernet connection, CD/DVD player (FTW…) and other essentials, they’re just slimming it so it looks pretty and completely lacks in functionality.

  25. Louise said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 3:15 am

    When I was told how thin it was I was like: “no way! :o” But yes you can slip it into your backpack, folder, etc. It looks like it can be easily snapped or stepped on. lol Now just because “everything” is wireless now (I disagree) doesn’t mean you need to remove USB ports and disc drives from the computer. I prefer direct-connections over signals as they can (potentially) interfere with other things or drop out unexpectedly. If anyone out there wishes to buy a MacBook, I’d recommend the Pro – It has a GeForce 8! (Pretty snazzy graphics card!) Better price for what you get. (Although I’d pay way less than that price for a desktop PC with the same/better specs. :P) On a side note, I like the “new” design. :) Nice use of the squidfingers pattern.

  26. ilianna said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 3:30 am

    All surface, no substance! It’s just way too expensive for what they’re offering. It’s like you’re paying for the “prestige” and coolness factor of owning a name-brand and newly released product that happens to look oh-so-good.

  27. Shannon said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 3:54 am

    Like Elea, I was contemplating a rant on Macbook Air, but decided to let the big bloggers battle it out. First time I read the confirmed features of Macbook Air, I snapped it mentally. The laptop, I mean. Too… thin. And useless.

  28. Noellium said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 4:12 am

    I’m with the folks who said it looks like it could snap right in half. It probably wouldn’t survive in a violent place like my backpack. :P The only Apple products I’m a fan of are their Macs (sans Air). It seems the cons outweigh the pros for both iPod and iPhone. :/

  29. Jacky said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 6:01 am

    You know, despite being a Apple-convert and supporter, I agree. I have NO interest the Macbook Air. My Macbook Pro isn’t THAT heavy (my old laptop used to break my back carrying it to school) and has what I want and what I need. I can see the appeal to the users who aren’t as tech savvy as us, such as the average Myspace-whore university student, but the lack of a CD drive (this is what killed me — how stupid is THAT!?!) and hefty price isn’t going to make it anymore accessible to students, even with the generous students discount. Sadly, I think Apple missed its mark this time. But I can easily see a future model (with said kinks ironed out) being a success.

  30. Juice said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 6:55 am

    The main concern here is really the price, it’s too expensive for average people. Since also it’s a first gen product (I’m not a fan of first generation tech stuff), the price will probably go down soon (hopefully). But really, it is still overpriced, being the Apple fangirl that I am. I would buy it if it was around $800 dollars, coz it really is beautiful thing to look at, despite what’s inside it.

  31. Vera said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 7:30 am

    haha, my boss was reading the article, and promptly proceeded to measure his own laptop’s width (it’s a Dell)… turned out the difference was 1mm =P I’m not exactly a Windows fan, but Visual Studio doesn’t work on any other OS yet… so… I got used to it. Besides, ever since I bought my own PC and installed the OS myself, it’s been running “fantabulously”. The trick is, not to install more “trash” than is absolutely needed. In my case, that equates to nothing more than Photoshop and Visual Studio (I’m not a gamer).

  32. V said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 9:02 am

    I love OS X to a ridiculous degree, but the MacBook Air blows. Who the hell pays US$1,800 to $3,100 for a laptop that can only get up to 64 GB of HD space, has a 1.8 GHz processor max, and doesn’t come with Firewire or a CD/DVD drive, etc? That’s fucking ridiculous. The MacBook itself is rather compact already. The Air has the same screen size as a usual MacBook–it’s just anorexic instead. It’s like carrying a folder instead of a binder in your bag. Not a huge difference. How much travelling do you have to do in order to justify an Air? I pretty much see the MacBook Air as Apple trying to measure up in an e-cock contest with other computer vendors. Please, Apple, stop making me ashamed of defending you on other occasions.

  33. Vixx said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 9:16 am

    I think it looks pretty effing cool and must be easier for people to cart about, but it’s just not sturdy enough for me. I drop stuff too often. :P V xx

  34. Joel said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 9:52 am

    What I suppose most people here aren’t thinking about is the fact that since the mid-90s, there’s been a fairly large niche of people willing to pay top dollar for a really thin sub-notebook. They want it as a companion for a more powerful desktop, not as a computer on its own right. In that light, the MBA is perfect for that niche in pretty much every way.

  35. Jem said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 9:58 am

    So, you’re telling me Joel that myself and my partner (who both work in IT) and the 30 or so other people who’ve commented on this post simply haven’t heard of this niche, despite the fact that it’s “fairly large”? And, supposing this niche does exist and I’m simply blind to it, what has the MacBook Air got that the other super thin, ultraportable laptops haven’t got (apart from a lack of features?) I don’t think people will be buying this because it’s really thin – and it’s not the world’s thinnest as they claim – I think people will buy it because it has the Apple brand, or as a status symbol.

  36. Grax said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 9:58 am

    I think that Air is not a bad little kit, with an interesting gimmick. The only thing that’s really wrong with it is its price tag. The components are not new, just polished. People would be a lot more excited if it was priced at it’s real value. Which I think is around…. $200-$300, not $1800 minimum. Oh and more USB ports would be nice.

  37. Karl said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 11:15 am

    I can see both sides of the argument..ultraportables are nice. However, the Asus EE or whatever the spelling is still gets my vote. Sensible pricing too. More USB ports, good looks etc. Smaller drives, but that’s not such an issue for the intended use. MBA is very stylish, oh yes. But the price is too high, for too little. Ultraportable + bulky USB hub/External CD/DVD etc..defeats the purpose. Network drive mapping – oh, please. I do that on PCs with BROKEN drives, I wouldn’t expect to have to do it on a brand new machine to do something. Theoretically, NOT including parts should cut costs…so why the price tag?

  38. Brigitte said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    So dismissed! ;3 Also an ellipsis has 3 dots “…” with a space on either side (hey, you invited it when you critiqued BBC’s single quotation marks!) :D

  39. Philip said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    I quite like the transparency of the optical drive borrowing. Yes, you could open up the drive to be shared, then map it, use it, and unmount it again – or you could just open a finder window and have it there for the using instantly. Just because you can do something now doesn’t mean there’s not a better way of achieving the same results.

  40. Pharao said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    I don’t know why everyone complains about a “lack of features” – if you need a optical drive and many USB ports and $foo buy a MacBook. The Air is a piece of hardware that would match my needs. If I’d buy one I’d replace my private notebook I use for chatting, development and to show some people some photos of trips and stuff. There is no need for a optical drive. One USB port? More than enough. I don’t know what you do with your notebook while you’re on the road, but I plug a UMTS-modem in some times or a USB stick of I have to give someone some files. (but this happens less thanks to WiFi and bluetooth) So there is nothing really missing IMHO. And no, Asus EeePC is _no_ alternative. * Small display -> sucks. * small keyboard -> sucks. * no performance -> sucks. >I could buy 8 lots of 8GB USB drives for £20 a piece […] I hope this was just a joke… >It’s called “Map Network Drive”. Clever, eh? no. you didn’t understand the feature. Watch the demo video again ;)

  41. Han said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    I hardly ever use the CD drive on my laptop – but I agree its damn useful. The silly thing is – you have to pay to use wireless networks everywhere so who actually uses it – it all costs when you can do it all at home. I can’t see businesses using it because they obv need CD drives and I dont see home users using it because its too expencive – so wheres the market – ey apple! Its essentially like the asus eee which is cheap compact and has the same featutres!

  42. Jem said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    @Philip: Just because you can do something now doesn’t mean there’s not a better way of achieving the same results. Oh absolutely, and I admire Apple for wanting to do something new.. but when you’re sacrificing basic features for the sake of a couple of millimetres and at a massive cost, it’s just not worth it. @Pharao: The Air is a piece of hardware that would match my needs That’s clearly not what you’ve said in your own blog. There is no need for a optical drive. CDs/DVDs are useful for both recovering backups and archiving data. A lot of clients through work send stuff via CD that is too big to upload/e-mail. There’s software installation. My music, etc. Plenty of “needs”. One USB port? More than enough. Mouse (I can’t use a touchpad), USB printer, USB data stick, USB projectors, etc. I hope this was just a joke Not at all. If I really need solid state drives for whatever reason, I could provide the solution cheaper with individual USB drives. Cheap = good. no. you didn’t understand the feature. Yes I do, I simply find it redundant in the way it’s been applied.

  43. Pharao said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    That’s clearly not what you’ve said in your own blog. It would match my needs – that doesn’t mean that I want to buy one or that it is a perfect notebook or that there is nothing that could be done better – I just wanted to show that the Air is not this limited like you said. My primary reason why I don’t really consider to buy one is still true, even if it would match my needs. It would look absurd for me (2.02 meters) to use something this tiny Everything else is something I could get along with, even if it is not really “great” CDs/DVDs are useful for both recovering backups and archiving data. A lot of clients through work send stuff via CD that is too big to upload/e-mail. There’s software installation. My music, etc. Plenty of “needs”. * backups: time mashine. I don’t need to do backups while I’m on the road. and if I’d really need to do one – usbstick * cds you get: I also get sometimes a CD. and I always do the same thing – throw it into my fileserver, copy it to my share folder, done. cds tend to break (at least while I use them) or get some scratch that make them useless – also a reason why I won’t use a cd / dvd as primary backup medium * software? I install my system _one_ time with everything I need. If I need new software I always install it @home. After many many years I learned that it’s always a good idea to have some time and another system if I install something, because you never know when something is going terrible wrong. And in these days most software I use is open source – so I just download it. I don’t know when I got the last software on CD / DVD * Music? all digital. See “cds you get” Mouse (I can’t use a touchpad), USB printer, USB data stick, USB projectors, etc. * Mouse: I only use the touchpad of my notebook while I’m on the road. At home I got my bluetooth mouse * printer: connected to my desktop and shared * USB projectors: never have seen one (and I did enough presentations) I see no point in more than one USB port while I’m on the road or in my garden. I don’t use my private notebook as a desktop replacement. It is only a notebook. Not at all. If I really need solid state drives for whatever reason, I could provide the solution cheaper with individual USB drives. Cheap = good. Sorry, but I think you miss it. We don’t talk about: “can I build a cheaper SSD for $foo.” (That’s not really hard. AS you mentioned SSDs are expensive) We should talk about: Is there any point in using a SSD as system disk. Answer: Maybe. Looking at the price of SSDs: pricing is okay. I don’t see why this is a problem. You want one – you pay for it. You don’t want it? No one forces you to buy it. Does Dell notebooks suck too, because they give you exactly the same option?

  44. Jem said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    I just wanted to show that the Air is not this limited like you said. But you haven’t. Even with all these “great” reasons and excuses you’ve managed to come up with for not having/wanting a CD drive, or more than one USB port, you’ve only vaguely justified why it’d work for you and yet still haven’t answered the questions and queries of the majority. It’s not just me who wants a CD drive, it’s not just me who uses a mouse with my laptop, it’s not just me who wants more than one USB port. You see what I’m saying? There’s this huge market, this “faily large niche”, supposedly.. and yet out of all the blogs and all of comments and all of the people who’ve spoken to me about this, you’re the only person who’s even remotely interested and even you have slated it’s memory, battery and size. You want one – you pay for it. You don’t want it? No one forces you to buy it. No, indeed – and that goes for the whole laptop. I don’t intend to buy one either. That doesn’t mean I’m not entitled to an opinion on what I consider to be a waste of good money, does it?

  45. Pharao said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Even with all these “great” reasons and excuses you’ve managed to come up with So, it’s a excuse how I use my notebook and how I handle data? Good to know… and yet still haven’t answered the questions and queries of the majority. I don’t care what majority wants. I care what I want and what I need. But btw. there are enough people that have the same requirements. Other vendors sell nearly the same thing and every Windows / *nix fanboy loves them (e.x. Dell Latitude 430 [solid state, no cd drive, ….], Sony TX [IIRC]) or just bring in exactly the same arguments you did why these notebooks suck. Sticking to your arguments other notebooks suck, too – but somehow on a magical way they seem to be bought… and even you have slated it’s memory, battery and size. as I already said – it’s not perfect, but IMHO far better than you try to make it. That doesn’t mean I’m not entitled to an opinion on what I consider to be a waste of good money, does it? I spoke about the SSD option. (sorry if this wasn’t clear)

  46. Xuan said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Holy crap, new layout. YOU WENT BACK TO THE DARK. Ily, Jem. Sexy. Ehh. I’m apathetic towards the whole Macbook scene; I’ve yet to really look into the specifications in-depth, but from a glance at some electronics shop … Jesus H. Christ, it was an exorbitant amount. At least compared to some of the non-Apples with the same specs.

  47. Chelsea said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    I agree with everything there. And to be honest, although it lacks all those extras, they’re just doing what any comany does. Market pull, technology push. Pulling in customers because of the Apple brand and it’s reputation as the ‘in-thing’ and technology push because we aways want more. Better than what we already have. A normal Dell or whatever does the job, why do we want a cooler more advanced (though this isn’t) one? Just to keep up with the fad I guess. Pointless really.

  48. Jem said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    @Pharao: So, it’s a excuse how I use my notebook and how I handle data? No, but I do think that for every reason why I’ve said it’s impractical you’ve come up with an excuse as to why it’s wrong but not actually provided any reasoning to back it up except for what you think you could use it for. As I said, you != majority. I don’t care what majority wants. Of course you don’t. Who does? But do you think Apple could survive if only one person bought their products? Other vendors sell nearly the same thing Other vendors (well, maybe with the exception of Sony) aren’t whacking a bloody great price tag on their laptops. The Dell you quoted – only £760 – nearly half the price of the Macbook Air. You seem to assume that my argument is limited to Apple? Not at all, I will actively rant against any hardware I believe to be overpriced and overhyped. I spoke about the SSD option. I know what you meant :) I just feel that your logic applies to the whole item (if I don’t like it, don’t buy it)

  49. Saya said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    I don’t think I’d want to buy/own/use a Macbook air, it’s overpriced and as you say, pretty useless so that you might as well spend your money on better things. However it is still very pretty and a great technological advancement, not to mention probably a step ahead to the thin laptop with CD drive- right?

  50. Skyte Media said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    DANNY POSTED: Thats the thing i hate about apple; they make all there products look good and charge loads and then in the end they don’t have that many features. =[ Well isn’t that what all companies are doing…concentrating on aesthetics? Just ashame we can’t have a mixture of the two!

  51. Darron Barnes said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    No optical drives will force MacBook Air lovers to rely more heavily on iTunes, a clever bit of marketing trickery dressed up in a thin laptop!!

  52. Kristina said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    I cannot believe that there is no CD drive on something so expensive.

  53. Cine said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    I was really looking forward to MacWorld, hoping for an upgrade to the Macbook Pro line. The Macbook Air was a huge disappointment for me, and I won’t be buying it. However, I can definitely see its qualities. I’m looking for a laptop that can replace a desktop computer, that I can use at work, at school, and at home. The Air’s harddrive is too slow for this, and the lack of Firewire is annoying. But for someone who only wants a laptop for use in lectures, meetings, flights, etcetera – it would be perfect. You brought up the EeePC, but I don’t think the two are comparable. With a 2gb harddrive, 512mb ram and a limited number of applications, Eee is all about the internet surfing and document handling. My smartphone can do that. The price is definitely going to be the deciding factor here, and the Air IS expensive. But to its defense, it’s competitively priced with the Sony TZ UP-laptops, only with a bigger screen. The other things that people are complaining about – the lack of SuperDrive, ethernet, and USB – I don’t really mind. I only use USB for iPod charging and external harddrive, and never both at once. I can’t remember the last time I used my CD-drive or an ethernet cabel. The CD-drive is being phased out, and while people were generally just as mad when the Floppy Disk was slowly becoming rarer, it will eventually just pressure industries into finding new, more effective distribution methods. I can definitely see why someone would be annoyed by the lack of these things and the price, though. So while most people won’t buy the Air this time around, I think this will set a new industry standard. In a year we’ll find tons of laptops this size for a much more consumer-friendly price. :D Jesus Christ, I just wrote an essay about an Apple laptop. I’m not a fangirl, really! :( I haven’t even owned one of their machines in three years.

  54. Jem said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    You brought up the EeePC, but I don’t think the two are comparable. I agree with you, but the justification for a lot of the features (or lack of) is that it’s only a little machine for small amounts of work on the move – something that the EeePC *is* capable of. This is also why I think that if you need more than that basic document writing/etc, you’ll want a decent spec laptop in the first place, not the reduced spec Air. For the record, never in my years of working in IT have I heard anyone complain about floppy drives being phased out ;)

  55. Hayley said:
    On January 18, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    As an Apple fangirl, I feel compelled to say… I absolutely agree. It’s absolutely frakking pointless. It’s basically a PDA except that it won’t fit in my sodding pocket. It’s the most completely useless piece of hardware I’ve had the displeasure of seeing. I am disappointed.

  56. Grant said:
    On January 19, 2008 at 12:45 am

    I totally agree, love the new design aswell. Air is just eye candy

  57. Paddy said:
    On January 19, 2008 at 2:37 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0ERgZ9dztk …Macbook Air. Why the hell not.

  58. Arwen said:
    On January 19, 2008 at 5:55 am

    Nothing apple makes is innovative. Stylish and trendy, yes. But innovative? Hardly. When they come out with a laptop that can do everything my Sony Vaio can do, AND scratch my ass at the same time, then I’ll consider them innovative. Besides, Steve Jobs looks like a cocky bastard.

  59. Chans said:
    On January 19, 2008 at 9:47 am

    I think Mac’s are expensive anyway, and if you have to pay more for the newer one and on top of that for things that come with any other laptop as ‘per normal’ than the chance of me buying a mac are out of the window(s)

  60. Niki said:
    On January 19, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Nice design, Jem. I liked the other one too but this one pwns xD

  61. Connor said:
    On January 19, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Hmm, I think any laptop that you like will suffice. If you have a laptop you like, and use with care, then you’ll be fine, apart from the occasional accident. Apple are, yes, very good at technology, but I find their things to be a bit flimsy and for show rather than for use. But the iPods, iPod touch (which is AMAZING!), and iPhone are amazing inventions; maybe the world of computers should be left to Windows. Although Apple are certainly dominating the world of technology nowadays.

  62. Tish said:
    On January 19, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    I think it’s a load of crap… What are they trying to do exactly? I don’t want something so small that there are about 4 ports on it or that doesn’t have a CD/DVD drive. It’s mindless. My Macbook has everything I need and it’s fine. I don’t see the need for making it smaller than it already is. It’s not that heavy, and doesn’t incite the worry of it being so fragile that it will snap when picked up. Nice new layout though, Jem :D

  63. dolphin said:
    On January 19, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    I love Apple. Since the release of Mac OSX, I think anybody still using a Windows machine is dumb (especially if they are using Windows Vista, also known as the slow, buggy, feature-lacking attempt at copying Mac OSX). That said, I think the MacBook Air is a bad move on Apple’s part and wrote a post bashing the product on my own blog. That said, I had to laugh at this statement: it doesn’t even have the most basic of our (my) computing needs. Seriously? Your CD drive is the most basic of your computing needs. I’m a graphic artist so I’m constantly dealing with large files, but I have my other monitor sitting right in front of my disc drive on my iMac because I use it that infrequently. I think getting rid of the CD drive is something that I think is a little premature, but very few computer users (besides perhaps gamers, I think most games still come on disc, though I don’t really know since I’m not a gamer) heavily use their CD drive. The panic over no CD drive is the same thing that happened when computers began being released with no floppy drives. People freaked out because they “needed” their floppy drive until you asked them when the last time they used it was. Usually if they thought about it, they’d start to calm down. The biggest problem with the MacBook Air is the price. It’s feature set makes it a secondary computer, but it’s price is set at the primary computer range.

  64. Cine said:
    On January 19, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    For the record, never in my years of working in IT have I heard anyone complain about floppy drives being phased out ;) Haha, really? My parents and teachers all had a fit about it. I assumed they weren’t unique. :)

  65. Beth said:
    On January 19, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    I have to say I agree with you mainly – I’d say the only feature (if you can call it a feature) of the Air is that it’s really thin. And for me, that would be a downside – I’d just be more worried about breaking it. I reckon a lot of people will buy them because it’s the new ‘in thing’, but I’d rather just buy a different laptop that’s a couple centimetres thicker but has more useful specs.

  66. Jem said:
    On January 19, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    I think anybody still using a Windows machine is dumb *rolls eyes* We managed an entire post and over 60 comments with no fanboy-esque bashing and then someone had to do it, didn’t they. Are you that insecure about your operating system that you have to attack people who choose to use something different just to make a point? Congratulations, you just undermined the argument of every single pro-Mac user in one silly statement. very few computer users (besides perhaps gamers I am a gamer.. I also, as I said, listen to my music with my CD drive, watch DVD movies and use CDs/DVDs for backing up. At work, data is often sent/received on disc so I use my drive for that. Again, new software also comes on disc. It’s feature set makes it a secondary computer, but it’s price is set at the primary computer range. Absolutely agree. You just summed up my entire point in one line, I think. Heh.

  67. Kristina said:
    On January 19, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    This isn’t to do with your post. But in my browser (IE7) your sidebar is right at the bottom of the page. And the ‘Hobbies’ link is underneath the ‘Home’ link.

  68. Drea said:
    On January 20, 2008 at 2:10 am

    Y’know, when I first saw the Macbook Air, I was like “… this reminds me of the Razr phone.” and if you ask anyone I know, I mentioned repeatedly how that thing would break the first time you drop it. So I got to thinking… I want to get a bajillion of them and drop them from the tops of buildings to see them smash. … for science? Oh nonono, for FUNSIES. =d

  69. thomas said:
    On January 20, 2008 at 4:15 am

    its funny that they have mp3 players that have more memory then their laptops. person with MBA:i want to download that song onto my ipod but i have to wait to get home. other person: why? just use your laptop person with MBA: cause i dont have anymore room on my laptop. But i love how it looks so its lack of good features and small harddrive deffientaly makes up for it. that makes no sense

  70. matt said:
    On January 20, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Only dumb people will pay that much or thay just have too much money. Only great for people who need text writing, email and portability… But then, buy the ASUS Eee PC: 4 USB ports ! more than enough power for text writing and email Ethernet 10/100 port ! Please don’t be stupid and let yourself be fooled by the genious Apple marketeers…

  71. dolphin said:
    On January 20, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    We managed an entire post and over 60 comments with no fanboy-esque bashing and then someone had to do it, didn’t they. Oh brother. Perhaps I should have worded it that, once I got put on a Mac OSX machine at work and realized that I was able to get twice as much done in the same amount of time as I was doing on a PC, I decided that it’d be stupid for me to use Windows at home since Mac OSX’s workflow was so much smoother for the things I do on a computer. If you prefer Windows, more power to you, I frankly have nothing at stake for what you use. And if simply noting that OSX works better for me is “fanboy-esque” bashing, then so be it. If I mention that I have and enjoy cable television, is that bashing broadcast or satellite? I don’t think so. And for the record, I’m not “insecure” about “my operating system” in large part because I’m a designer not a programmer so I don’t have my own operating system. If I did own an operating system I think I’d prefer to own Windows as I think Bill Gates’ paycheck is probably bigger than Steve Jobs (though I doubt Steve Jobs is going hungry). As I’ve said, I couldn’t possibly care less if you prefer Windows, Linux, or something else. Why are you so upset that OSX works well for me? My entire point in even mentioning that I prefer OSX was to note that I’m not some anti-Apple jerk, but even I think that the MacBook Air was a bad move and will most likely end up being a flop for Apple. Absolutely agree. You just summed up my entire point in one line, I think. Heh. Really? I said the MacBook Air was overpriced for what it was. You said it was “pointless,” “featureless” and “useless.” I think the MacBook Air is too expensive for the “point” of it’s “usage” based on the “features” it has available. Clearly we must have different understandings of what the words “pointless,” featureless,” and “useless” mean.

  72. Jem said:
    On January 21, 2008 at 9:12 am

    You just called an entire group of computer users dumb, and then spent two huge paragraphs backtracking and trying to explain how that’s not bashing? LOL. If you can’t see the problem with your statement, I’m not going to waste time explaining it to you. I’m far too dumb for that, no? The entire “pointless? featureless? useless? overpriced?” line was a piss-take of the MacBook Air marketing. Perhaps you’re not familiar with sarcasm…

  73. dolphin said:
    On January 21, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Perhaps you’re not familiar with sarcasm… Well I do love some irony. Just so we’re clear, if I make a statement that’s not meant to be taken so literally, it’s “bashing.” If you make a statement that’s not meant to be taken so literally it’s “sarcasm.” If I have to clarify the intention of my statement it’s “backtracking” and if you clarify the intention of your statement it means I’m too dumb to have reached into your head and psychically figured out what you intended. The funny thing is, we more or less agree, but you seem to have such an intense hatred for Apple that you can’t stand the fact that you might actually agree with someone who uses an Apple product. I don’t even begin to understand that, but, oh well, to each his own. Anyways, thanks for offering your opinion on MacBook Air. Hopefully it will be helpful to people. I’m not the type who gets off and having random fights on the internet so if that’s what you’re about, I’ll be on my way.

  74. Jem said:
    On January 21, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    I was making remarks towards a product, you were making derogatory marks towards people. Sarcasm (sure) or not, that’s bashing. And yes, yes I hate Apple so much – because I choose not to support this product, I despise them. That must be why all of the other people who commented here also hate Apple.. oh wait, no, a good 40% are Mac users. Did you forget the part where I already stated I agreed with your general logic? Jesus Christ! And I thought BarbiLee struggled…

  75. Ed said:
    On January 21, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    But it just “does things the way I think”… Good old Apple propaganda. It seems every one of their products corners a certain market revolving around the 3 Is: Intuitive, Innovative and Idiotic.

  76. ALloyd said:
    On February 8, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    CDs/DVDs are being phased out You’re kidding me. What are they going to distribute OSes on, USB sticks?! * The fact is that CDs/DVDs are still by far the most efficient medium for commercial program distribution, and in a normal, competitive market, would continue to be so for years to come. ** What’s really going on is that Apple are desperately trying to push us into having all our data being stored online where it can be inspected at any time (for our own security, of course :) ). The MacBook Air is another step down the path started by Steam. Pretty soon you won’t own any software at all; you’ll pay every time you use the programs “licensed” to you through a digital network – hey, every time you boot up the computer, if they can work out a way of streaming the OS straight from Apple’s servers. No more third-party apps, no more open source, hideous slow everything; but hey, on the plus-side, no more piracy, right? You won’t even have a hard drive – the next gen laptops will be even slimmer and lighter (ooh) and “your files will be available to you (andtheFBI) everywhere you go (untilweunfortunatelyexperienceserverdowntime). Of course, with no optical media drive, and no hard drive, if something gets corrupted on your lovely new MacBook Ether, or whatever it’ll be called, you’ll have absolutely no way to fix it, as you won’t be able to boot up to use the nifty drive sharing software (hey, what drives? we’re all going over to disposable laptops, haven’t you heard? just throw it away and get another $1,899 slice of heaven from Steve Christ). I hope you enjoy your new wireless paradise. * Actually, I already know the answer – Microsoft is already moving in the direction of having no install disks at all; you’ll get the pre-installed copy, and with no optical media drive to burn a back-up, that’ll be it. It can only be a matter of time before Apple follows suit. ** Blu-ray, anyone? I’m sure Apple’s innovative new wireless technologies can download 50GB in a few minutes.

  77. The Asus Eee — jemjabella.co.uk said:
    On April 19, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    […] me. I don’t need the latest and greatest mobile phone (my ancient Nokia 3310 still works); the MacBook Air is still a poncy piece of kit (a classic example of a sub-standard spec machine trying to be […]

  78. Danielle said:
    On May 26, 2008 at 5:09 am

    First off, I’d just like to say that I love this article! I myself own a lowly Macbook and a desktop PC (running on Vista *sighs*). I would NEVER pay the prices that Apple charges for the MBA. Call me a cavewoman, but I still need my CD drive. :/