back to article Apple MacBook Air

After Steve Jobs' Macworld Expo keynote, we got our hands his latest product announcement - the stunning MacBook Air laptop... Can't see the video? Download Flash Player from The Air is incredibly thin and an amazing feat of engineering - although the lack of a replaceable battery is a bit of a killer.


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    So they clap when he just says "Macbook Air" and one of the best features is its profile is it?! Probably because it has not got much else going for it to be honest. £1200 for something with an optional optical drive?! Tossers

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That was funny

    Oooooh!!! It's so thin! Aaaaahhhhh!

    [sometime later]

    Oh! My battery is running out. Aaaghhh! Dammit

  3. Craig Collier
    Jobs Horns

    who is the tool doing this video?

    just sucking up to apple guys, "ah yeah thats really, cool, £1200, very impressive"

    no it isn't, thats extersionate. Sorry, but this guy doesn't seem like someone who should be reviewing these kind of things if no critical analysis is bothered to be thrown in. Free ticket, possiblity of a free Macbook Air if he says its beautiful on camera?

  4. Greg

    What the hell?

    Was he being sold that, or was he reviewing (previewing) it?

    "Oooh, it's thin. It's thin. It's so thin. Wow, incredible, woo. Thin!"

    Are you sure he wasn't one of the people whooping and touching God in the crowd at Job's speech?

    "£1200? Wow, that's impressive."

    Impressive? It's extortionate!

  5. Neil Hoskins

    Apple Unveil Invisible iBook...

  6. Jason Togneri


    Now, I'm no Apple fanboi, but seriously:

    Ethernet: no.

    Firewire: no.

    USB ports: 1.

    Expansion slots: no.

    Removable battery: no.

    HDD capacity: 64GB.

    Compared to some equivalent-sized laptops - both in specs and size and PRICE - it is waaaaaaay at the bottom of my list. There are plenty of others just as thin as this with more onboard luxuries (or necessities, depending on how you see it) with greater storage, faster processors and more upgradeability. Here's a good quick look at four comparisons with the Air:

  7. David Neil

    I always thought it was an urban myth

    But I'm pretty sure that I just heard some apple fans/yanks 'whooping' a guy opening an envelope.

    The tinfoil one with the basting tray - flames at 250 for 1 hr 45 mins please

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Video review - plus point

    Seeing how the gesture worked on the touch pad was good, though there must be some estimation of location relative to the screen for multitouch. It is an evolution of the normal touchpad however; I wonder when a full touch-screen MacBook will be released...

    Why get hung up about the battery ? It'll last 2-3 years, then replace it (either through apple or I'm sure a number of 3rd party vendors). I agree if you need two batteries (e.g. long train journey) then this is a limitation but people are making such a big deal over it - calling it a disposable laptop !

    I like the optical drive being external - how long before they produce a BluRay one ?

    $999 is too much for a 64GB SSD option. Shame about that.

  9. E


    It is a very pretty machine, and it does arouse techo lust.

    It is too much of an Apple lock-in however. Non-replaceable battery implies 'disposable computer' and/or very excellent after-purchase service revenue stream for Apple. Also, If I can't pop the battery out how can I reset the thing when Mac OS 10 goes south?

    I think the real cost of this computer will be a lot higher than the sticker price.

    And, well, I gotta ask, will it run Linux?

  10. Saucerhead Tharpe

    How soft is your "reviewer"

    H ementiones the battery, but no followup.

    Thus is a bit of a problem

    Want to use Eithernet and a n other USB device, well, you are going to need a hub.

    Optical drive is extra

    So the bulk starts to rise

    i think I'll stick with my EEE. OK I have an external HD, at £60 that still makes it a tad cheaper than the MacBook Air

  11. Anonymous Coward

    For god sake...

    They removed certain features for a reason... to make it very small, thin and light! If you don't mind the extra bulk you buy a MacBook for £699, saving yourself £500 and have all the things they took out of the Air.

    The chap in this video is simply appreciating what is a wonderful piece of design, if he'd started ranting about it not having a optical drive or replaceable battery the guy would have looked at him like he was an idiot and told him to buy a MacBook if he wanted those features.

  12. Dave


    The Envelope is the only provided accessory. Its so you can send it back to the nutter when the battery has expired.

  13. Nick Palmer
    Thumb Down


    I've gotta ask "Will it blend?" :D

    @AC "Video review - plus point"

    Most manufacturers won't warranty a battery beyond 12 moths - even if the rest of the machine carries a 3yr on-site as standard, they'll only warranty the battery for 12 months - and there's a reason for that. Good luck with expecting the battery to still be chipper in 3 years... I wouldn't call it a disposable laptop so much as a cash-cow for Apple's service department, especially given their previous shenanigans with batteries. As for the optical drive, you can buy generic laptop optical drives now; HD variants'll follow in fairly short order, as will, say Dell or HP or Lenovo variants.

    Seriously, the machine's under-specced, over-priced, not any more brilliantly portable or compact than machines from Lenovo or Toshiba or Samsung, lacking in basic connectivity... Fanboi-fodder only.

  14. sleepy

    Horses for courses . . .

    All the arguments people are giving against it are simply arguments that for most people Macbook and MacBook Pro are better choices. Absolutely. But if your haircut, and an uncrumpled suit are your priorities going in to a meeting, or you are a travelling management type, this is clearly an excellent product. Maybe Apple is entering the corporate market from the top down.

  15. therealvicz
    Paris Hilton

    Battery is £129 replacement by authorised dealer ..

    .. not too bad - how many batteries do you lot go thru fer fecks sake!

    It is expensive, impractical but boooootiful.

  16. Oliver Smith
    Dead Vulture

    @all those whining at the price

    If the MacBook Air price doesn't sit well with you, you can always go out and buy the nearest equivalent machine, a Sony VAIO TZ, which is bigger, slower and err.. more expensive, starting at £1500ish (but for that £300 premium you do get an optical drive).

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    @For Gods Sake

    saving yourself £500 and have all the things they took out of the 'Air'

    I'm sorry, paying a lot less for more and this is a good thing?

    No wonder Steve is so rich. There are enough muppets who will buy whatever he launches because it's shiny and will pay whatever he feels like charging

  18. Roger

    Overpriced, oversized

    Quick. Name one thing that the Apple Air has that the Asus Eee PC doesn't. Good salespeople are those who know the value of money, so they won't be buying these. Let's hope purchasing managers have similar sense.

  19. E

    More great thots.

    I just took a look at Apple's page for this machine ( There is a picture of the machine hanging in mid-air.

    I think it would look better with a pair of sci-fi-esque plasma pulse cannons hanging from it's undercarriage, and matching slight bulges at the back of the case, where the warp drives are located.

    The guns should be mounted one on each side, slightly set back from the front, about 2/3 away from the centre of the machine.

  20. Richard Cartledge
    IT Angle

    Asus Eee PC is a brick

    "Quick. Name one thing that the Apple Air has that the Asus Eee PC doesn't. " - are you kidding? The Asus one looks like that $100 notebook made for African tribes! The Macbook Air has design and good taste, and runs OS X, that's all it has going for it. It's great if you're rich, just like an expensive watch.

  21. Richard

    Battery Replacement is £99 not £129

    £99 gets you an "out of warranty" replacement of your battery, which seems a reasonable price and gets professionally fitted and tested for you.

    [ ]

    Now, hands up who has had to remove a battery from an Apple laptop in order to reset it? Nah, thought not, you hold down the power button for a while.

    (shock horror ipods have never had a removable battery and they are impossible to reset aren't they? 8-)

  22. Sean Baggaley

    "Name one thing that the Apple Air has that the Asus Eee doesn't"

    You mean, aside from a decent, backlit keyboard, decent 13.3" screen, an 80Gb hard disk and a UNIX-derived OS with a GUI worth a damn? (Oh, and and iLife'08 if that floats your boat.) Not everybody likes tiny, dinky keyboards and eye-strain-inducing screens.

    A MacBook Air will run Parallels or VMWare Fusion, either of which will let you play with Windows, Linux, Solaris or any other supported OS. In a VM. At native speeds. (And even some 3D graphics support.) Good luck doing that on an Eee.

    The Eee PC does *nothing* that the Psion netBook didn't do way back in 1999, so I have no idea why so many people are wetting themselves over it. Hell, the Psion even had a better OS: EPOC32. (Better known today as Symbian.)

    In short: the Eee PC is a disposable gadget which will end up on eBay within six months. The Macbook Air is computer you can actually get some work done on, but which won't break your back and looks damned nice too. Sure, it's expensive, but what did you expect from the IT industry's equivalent of Bang & Olufsen? A $100 price-tag?

    (And no, I have no intention of buying either. My Psion still works fine.)

  23. Alex McKenna


    There do seem to be a few rather bitter techo types here .

    They vaguely go on about other laptops being as light, or as cheap or more stuffed with "useful" features like floppy drives or Edison wax-cylinder cutting options, but none of these "great" alternatives have all these plus points.

    As usual, Apple is the first to chuck out the near-obsolete drive, remember the shock when they dropped the floppy?

    Then the battery thing. I've had my iBook for three or four years. The battery has never been removed, and works fine. So what's all the screraming about?

  24. Anonymous Coward

    how many rivers

    I remember when apple ditched the floppy disk in the early 90s and how many considered it a foolish move. How people cried and shouted out loud about the ipod not having the ability for battery replacement... ah, those voices are at it again.

    If you're happy with your windows set up that you got for £100, well then GOOD FOR YOU.

    If you think that your Linux box is what gets you dates and keeps your underwear wet then GOOD FOR YOU TOO.

    Leave Apple's latest for those who appreciate it. Save us all the pointless whining.

    Haven't you guys learned, no matter how much you cry, you'll never make a river.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns


    Why does that product marketing sleaze bag from apple keep saying -

    "ok, yaaahh, absoluutely, that's the best way to experience it"

    what other way are you supposed to experience it other than by picking it up and using it? I mean, you're hardly likely to try mixing cocktails in it, or spreading peanut butter on it to help you swallow it..


  26. Marcus Bointon

    Comparing with Eee PC

    Roger said: "Name one thing that the Apple Air has that the Asus Eee PC doesn't."

    Um, how about:

    OS X

    Better screen

    Better keyboard

    Two faster CPUs

    Better WiFi



    More memory

    More disk space


    Much longer battery life

    It doesn't look like you borrowed it from your kids

    Apparently none of these features are worth anything and so should all be free anyway.

    My MacBook does all this too, and more but costs less and weighs more. The trade-off works for me.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How times change... used to be that mac fanboys were the most obnoxious people on net forums. Now it's the anti-fanboys. "I wouldn't want this product, therefore everyone who wants it is stupid! Stupid stupid stupid you're all stupid!" *screams and stamps feet*

    If you're making a quarter million a year it's a pretty cool toy and good for certain things. And there's the neat thing about products - if you don't like its shortcomings, you DON'T HAVE TO BUY IT!

    This may take a while to sink in, so just sit back and cogitate for a bit - and then get on with your lives. FFS.

  28. J


    I think I'll get one to go with my Ferrari. Oh, wait.

    I think I'll have to get an eee go go with my red 1990 Dodge Daytona then... Not even that.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Me oh My

    The WASP in me keeps saying 'Nah, overpriced designer crap'

    Trouble is the rest of me also says it :)

    Want Web 2.0 hardware ? Theres a man with a fruit stall over there that can supply. He can throw in a few nuts as well :)

  30. This post has been deleted by its author

  31. Andrew Yeomans
    Jobs Horns

    What's it like for RSI?

    Has anyone tested extended use of a flatter keyboard for Repetitive Strain Injury? Still, I suppose the future court claim is one way to get your money back!

  32. andy rock
    Jobs Horns


    ipod style battery? talk about moving away from a laptop full of ubiquitous parts. you gotta hand it to Stevie; he will sell millions of 'em.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    this still gives reason

    Thing I like most about MBA is that the new stuff will be adapted in next gen MB and MBP, proper laptops. But before that I'm more than happy to keep my MacBook.

  34. Daniel

    bunch of synical F****rs

    Right i am a windows user, always have been and always will be, i've dabbled in linux, but have no real benefits from it. I have a big desktop and a little laptop.

    the desktop does the grunt work and gaming. the laptop does wireless internet, business and gets moved around every single day to a new location. All i have plugged in recently would be a webcam, and a thumb drive. but not at the same time. The last disc i put in the machine was to install....well you know what i think it was to install the OS.

    anyway a 12.1" screen is pretty small and it makes for a tidy laptop but it can be a bit cramped and strains your eyes. but what can you do? most 13" screens result in fatter laptops? The apple is slim, infact possibly one of the slimmest. it may be very similar to other laptops at its thickest point but it is ludicrously thin at the edges due to its shape. it has no cd drive, no problem there, my music is mp3 and most drivers etc i download. yes it has one usb, but as i said its usually just a pen drive i plug in anyway.

    and the price starts at £1199... the extra grunt is a waste of money because the whole point is that it isnt designed to be powerful, its designed to be portable and simple. Yes the SSD is expensive but your paying for a slightly better processor aswell, afterall if your interested in an SSD money isnt that much of an issue.

    Just relax, go play with your little ee and let me know what you do when a webpage isnt 800pixels wide? annoying having to scroll sideways isnt it.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tall poppy much?

    It has less features than other ultraportables, but is thinner with a nicer screen and keyboard, and is gorgeous, which is part of the appeal. Seems to me it compares favourably in price to other comparably specced ultraportables. If you're looking at an ultraportable and then grousing about the foolishness of trading off features and value for size, consider pausing for breath to allow some oxygen to saturate those starving neurons of yours.

  36. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton

    Oh Well

    Oh well after all that hype I stick with my baby Toshiba Portege P3 and be upgrading it to the latest R500 model which weighs a mere 849 grams and come complete with a lot more features that which is clearly missing by the cost cutting wankers at Cupertino !

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    What wingers.

    Love reading jealous PC users posts, green is a good colour for you.

    It's a mobile device not a full fledged work horse.

  38. Anonymous Coward


    I won't be getting one(lack of optical drive, no wired Ethernet, 1 USB port; kill it for me) but, the battery's not that big a deal.

    - Unscrew the back off,

    - pop the battery out, (its not like its soldered in there or anything)

    - pop new battery in,

    - screw the back on,

    And you're done, - admittedly a bit more hassle than the usual but, if people don't feel comfortable - (at most it's a 2 minute job in a store).

  39. Fred Fnord

    Someone's always saying this

    > The difference being the above mentioned manufacturers

    > actually make a superior product using superior components.

    > Apple uses off-the-shelf PC components, packages them up in a

    > spiffy case, and adds their operating system (be it better or

    > worse depending on personal preference).

    This is a constant litany these days, because one Apple product near the beginning of Apple shipping Intel-based machines had a standard Intel motherboard.

    They don't any more. Apple designs all their motherboards and has them built to spec. You can assert (based, of course, on no evidence) that they're no more reliable than other machines, but they're not off-the-shelf components. Unless what you mean is 'most of the components on the circuit boards are the same components as other manufacturers use' in which case I just want to slap you upside the head and ask, 'what, are they supposed to design their own diodes?'

    The typical Mac motherboard right now has a bunch of custom-designed (yes, by Apple) ASICs, a bunch of stock components, and a bunch of copper connecting them all together. A look at any current Mac motherboard would tell you that. But no, you heard once, three years ago, that Apple used the same motherboard as an ASUS, and so they all must be exactly the same.



  40. yeah, right.

    It's the usual Apple.

    People clapped because it's what had been predicted, so people were getting confirmation of the rumours that they'd been hearing about.

    It's your typical Apple product post-2005. Excellent, brilliant piece of engineering with contempt for the consumer built right in by the marketing dept. I'm guessing the battery could easily have been made user replaceable, but wasn't due to some marketing bod figuring they could make more this way. Same type of people who locked the iPhone to some of the least competent mobile companies. It all fairly screams contempt.

    From its low spec to its non-user-replaceable battery, all the way to its over-the-top price, the whole thing fairly screams "we think we're too cool so we can treat the consumer like crap".

    Bloody brilliant bit of engineering though. It looks very, very nice.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Well, I'm a PC user and I'd buy one

    A couple of months ago I bought a top spec Dell XPS M1330 with a 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo, 64GB SSD, 4GB RAM, internal HSDPA, LED backlit display, 3 year warranty for around £1750. Spec-wise it beats the pants off the MacBookAir and it was a fair bit cheaper too. It suits me well for my job. However, the MBA is one sexy bit of kit and if I didn't need a machine for more than web browsing, WP and email then a MBA would be right up my street.

    I could drop the cash on one tomorrow but I'll do what I'm planning to do with the iPhone: wait until version three and then buy one. Another two or three years and I think Apple will be making the machines to have and not just from the fashion sense.

  42. piper


    I don't know what motherboards Apple may have used in the past, and I'm not commenting on whether they design their own components, but it definitely does still outsource the manufacture of its laptops to Asus.

    It doesn't make anything itself.


  43. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Good video and report.


  44. Ryan Stewart

    Wow! They are really giving you guys the business.

    Over here its $1700, which is like, what, 3 pounds now?

    1200 would give you a car here.

  45. Stevendi

    Apple MacBook Air looks well fantastical.

    Apple MacBook Air looks well fantastical.

    It may be happy who may know a hi-tech like this for his own.

    I yet for it Apple I would be glad about a notebook that somebody single Apple MacBook Air onto a notebook replaces.

    It would be useful for my informatics studies.

    For me a machine like this unfortunately only a dream because I cannot bribe it.

    Dobosi István.

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