Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"There's Something in the Air"

Steve Jobs announced, at his Macworld Keynote address earlier today, Apple's newest toy, the MacBook Air.  It's dubbed the world's thinnest notebook.  

It is 0.76 inches at its thickest side and 0.16 inches at its thinnest.  It has a full-size keyboard with backlight, a full-size 13.3-inch brilliant LED screen, and weighs 3 pounds.  It truly is an engineering wonder.  The best feature for me though is its elegant design, which is not surprising since this is an Apple product after all.  The notebook, however, is not without flaws in my view.  The hard drive is only 80 GB.  True, there's provision for a 64 GB SSD, but that's still not built-in and it will cost more.  The computer has no optical disc drive (for something so thin, what do you expect?).  The processor, although an Intel Core 2 Duo, is only 1.6 GHz, with an optional 1.8 GHz for more money (Adam, my current MacBook, has 2.0).  There's only 1 USB port.  I have to admit that my perceived shortcomings of this product has been addressed preemptively by Jobs: this is a wireless wonder.  It has one of the best WiFi features available and it has software that can "borrow" another computer's disc drive for software installations and suchlike, all via a wireless connection.  

For its engineering feats and its truly exquisite design, I must give it a 10 out of 10.  But given its functionality features (the hard drive, the lack of a disc drive, the lower-speed processor), I would not want this for myself at this point.  I'm having a hard time, as it is, getting all my stuff crammed into my 80GB HD.  My dream computer is still the MacBook Pro.  Having an iMac along with that MacBook Pro certainly wouldn't hurt either.  

I think Jobs' next challenge is to combine the functionality features of the MacBook Pro with the design of the MacBook Air.  Now that would be the perfect notebook computer.  Impossible?  Bill Gates, in 1981, said "Nobody will ever need more than 64KB RAM."  Look at the technology we have now.  So much for 64KB.  I can't wait for Keynote 2009!

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