Tuesday, January 15, 2008

All about the MacBook Air

[Updated: added Unwired video hands-on of the MacBook Air] The world of tech has suddenly gone abuzz with Apple's latest, so here's the specs, snaps, price details (US, Canada, UK, Australia, Japan, US student) and all the links you need, courtesy of Apple's website (click here for Apple's MacBook Air portal; you can see the press release here) and my own efforts and sensibilities employed in creating a one-stop webpage for the wondrous thing. Specifications (Standard):
  • 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with 1280x800 resolution;
  • 1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 4MB L2 cache;
  • 800 MHz front-side bus;
  • 2GB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM;
  • 80GB hard disk drive with Sudden Motion Sensor;
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100;
  • Micro-DVI port (includes Micro-DVI to VGA and Micro-DVI to DVI Adapters);
  • built-in iSight video camera;
  • built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
  • one USB 2.0 port;
  • one headphone port;
  • multi-touch TrackPad with support for advanced multi-touch gestures including tap, scroll, pinch, rotate and swipe; and
  • 45 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter.
Available upgrades:
  • 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor;
  • 64GB solid state drive;
  • MacBook Air SuperDrive;
  • Apple USB Ethernet Adapter;
  • Apple USB Modem;
  • Apple MagSafe Airline Adapter;
  • Apple Remote;
  • AppleCare Protection Plan.
Operating system and pre-installed applications: OSX v10.5 Leopard, iLife '08, Front Row, Photo Booth; Australian version also has iWork '08 30-day trial and Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac 30-day test drive Key features:
  • Ultraportable: it's the world's thinnest laptop (or subnotebook, whichever you prefer) and weighs only 3 lbs
  • TrackPad: of iPhone fame. Everyone's saying soon every laptop is going to have this
  • Custom-made processor: has a Core 2 Duo CPU that's specially made for Apple by Intel and is 60% smaller than the regular ones
  • Looks: quite easily the prettiest and sleekest laptop around, if the reports are true
Notably doesn't have:
  • Optical drive
  • Ethernet jack
Folks at InfoSyncWorld are pointing out that Air users will probably travel with a lot of accessories and extra cables, such as a memory card reader and the SuperDrive, but I really don't think this is ever going to be an issue. Only 5 hours of battery life could be more testing (the pre-release rumors were squeaking it would have 10 hours). Comparison with other laptops: I'm sure there'll be many more in the upcoming days, but CrunchGear have done a fantastic MacBook Air vs Sony VAIO TZ150 comparison that you might want to check out. Colour: Silver till date, but more colours should be just around the corner Demo: You could check out this MacBook Air guided tour from Apple. Apple's slogan for it's latest product, by the way, is "thinnovation". Price: Ships (free) in 2-3 weeks; here's Apple's store. Here's the price tags: 1.6 GHz:
  • US: $1,799 (or as low as $43 a month)
  • US students: $1,699 (or as low as $41 a month)
  • Canada: CDN $1,899
  • UK: £1,199 (after VAT)
  • Australia: A$2,499
  • Japan: 229,800 Yen
  • Amazon.com: $1,794 (as on 3:24 PST)
  • Amazon.ca: NA (as on 3:24 PST)
1.8 GHz:
  • US: $3,098 (or as low as $74 a month)
  • US students: $2,868 (or as low as $68 a month)
  • Canada: $3,248
  • UK: £2,028 (after VAT)
  • Australia: A$4,338
  • Japan: 388,400 Yen
  • Amazon.com: $2,094 (as on 3:24 PST)
  • Amazon.ca: NA (as on 3:24 PST)
You might also want to check out the news here, as well as news on the Asus Eee PC [images: Apple, PC World]

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