Elliott C. Back: Internet & Technology

Apple’s 13-inch Macbook Air Sucks

Posted in Apple,Hardware by Elliott Back on January 16th, 2008.

Today at the Macworld 2008 Expo, Steve Jobs released a new version of the Macbook called the Macbook Air. Unlike last year’s iPhone announcement, the response to the Air was negative. The price of Apple’s stock today dropped 9.02% to close at $169.04 and $163.01 in after-hours trading:

appl-price-2008-macworld.png

If you’re interested in the Macbook Air, check out these specifications from the Apple Store. For $1799, you get a 0.76 inch thick, 3.0 pound notebook with a 13.3 inch backlit widescreen display, 1.6 GHz Core2 Duo processor, iSight camera, backlit keyboard, and multi-touch trackpad. It has a single USB 2 slot and a single micro-DVI slot and headphone jack via a door on the side. Wirelessly, it supports 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1/EDR. It has no optical drive natively, and comes with a wimpy 80GB 4200 RPM hard disk. A 1.8 GHz processor and a 64GB solid-state drive (SSD) will cost $3,098.

macbook-air.jpg

I have to agree with Michael Arrington of Techcrunch that the laptop, even as a premium option, is grossly overpriced and underpowered. A slightly heavier, but significantly more powerful Sony Vaio (40% faster CPU, 30% faster hard disk, more ports, fingerprint sensor, nvidia graphics, twice as much hard disk space, slightly thicker, slightly heavier, same height and width) can be bought for $1800. If you go to Dell, you can configure their 13.3-inch widescreen XPS M1330 with an SSD drive and a few upgrades for just $2,404, a significant savings over Apple’s price.

It’s interesting that Kineda and Paul both point out seriously problems with the new Macbook (it’s wimpy, overpriced, and full of proprietary non-replaceable, non-upgradable parts) but still cheer it on. Paul says,

News flash to Devin people don’t buy ultraportable notebooks for their workstation-like performance. Enough said. Do I want one? Hell yes.

But, it’s Daring Fireball who finally gets to the bottom of the Macbook Air, and why it sucks. It just doesn’t make the right design choice! Thinner is not the same as smaller; we want a 12″ or 11″ or 10″ model, both smaller in form factor and thinner and lighter to boot:

I’d have rather seen a smaller footprint, a la the old 12-inch PowerBook G4 — something just exactly as wide as a full keyboard. I’d prefer to sacrifice screen size on the notebook in exchange for an even smaller machine.

Update: Did you know that five years ago, Sony made the Vaio X505, a laptop .8″ thick? Pwnt, Apple. That’s all I can say!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 16th, 2008 at 12:21 am and is tagged with . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback.

23 Responses to “Apple’s 13-inch Macbook Air Sucks”

  1. Steve says:

    I think Mabook Airs are ****. They are made of cheap materials and they feel like you can snap them like a piece of wood. To small and are worthless. THEY SUCK.

  2. iArm says:

    if it sucks u dont need a girl to do dis job buy one and it vil suck for u …. lolzxxxx !!!!!!!!

  3. gs says:

    air is a total POS. the hinge broke twice and there is a vulnerability with the screen connection wires that come loose and my wifi card has blown out and cant recognize networks. not to mention, no replaceable battery, a keyboard that sucks, and it is f-ing slow. looks great – useless. quality of mac laptops has nosedived after they went to intell chips.

  4. James. Braselton says:

    Hi. There. You. Right. You. Can. Get. A. 13. Inch. MacBook. With. 4. Gb. Of. Ram. And. A. 128. Gb. Ssd. For. & 2,300. Or. A. 17. Inch. Macbook. Pro. With. 8. Gb. Of. Ram. And. A. 256. Gb. Ssd. For. $5,200

  5. pumkin says:

    I just got mac book air and i like it so far. I also think that it is over priced – but it was a gift so .. ;)
    But i am kind of bummed because i use a sprint card to get online that uses the only one usb port and i wanted to sync my iphone so i need to use another usb port – but THERE IS NONE!!!!
    Whatever apple! – atleast 2 usb port would suffice for hell of an expensive piece.

  6. Dave says:

    $1000.00 of the price of any Mac is for shipping it out of China. Cult leader Steve Jobs outsources the building of Mac laptops to the Chinese in Shanghai, thus taking jobs away from Americans, and making us pay the freight. I worked for Apple for a year and 3 months, and quit. I could not stand the arrogance.

  7. daniel says:

    haha what a piece. I mean simply stupid when you even consider that they downgraded everything and then made it almost as expensive as the 15″ macbook pro. But to say that the Vaio X505 is anything at all is a laugh too, it only had 20GB hard drive. yay for fitting your applications on the computer but not having room to save your data at all

  8. josh says:

    …………. Normal macbook is soo much better

  9. Mayo says:

    I will wait for Lenovo Thinkpad x300. If you want rock solid laptop then Thinkpad is top notch. I had gone from R50e to x61 and now i cant wait new x300.

  10. David says:

    Did the share price drop coincide with the worldwide dip is stocks? It might not be about the product as much as the world economy. I have no comment on the Mac itself, except the ports or lack of them

  11. Julian says:

    What an exorbitant price tag. Granted the size is very appealing, however the sacrifice in production cannot be stomached, especially the lack of 3G connectivity….. will wholeheartedly be passing on this one.

  12. Not surprising. Like many Apple products, its style over functionality. But the ignorant masses will fall for the trap like always and buy whatever makes them look cool and trendy

  13. Yoshi says:

    One USB port is all you need. At home you plug in your hub, into which everything else is plugged. On the road, you’d only need one port.

    I NEVER use my optical drive at work, and I hardly ever use my optical drive at home. I transfer docs with a thumbdrive, and I backup docs to an external hard drive.

    One criticism I’ve seen that I wholeheartedly agree with is the lack of 3G connectivity — I think someone at Slate.com pointed out that the iPhone is a more advanced tool than the Air since you can get to the internet pretty much everywhere all the time.

    but the thickness is a big issue — when you travel a lot every little bit helps, and being able to slip your laptop and more other stuff into the same space will really make a difference especially for sales folks/trainers and the like…

  14. KEV says:

    if it sucks so bad then shove it up your apple and keep it to yourself. i hate people who get pissed over only having one usb. this is stupid

  15. I totally agree that the laptop is way overpriced, and lacking in power, however, I still find it surprising that it was so ill received. I mean, most people are all about design and little substance.

  16. My biggest disappointment was the name Air referring to weight and not G3 wireless connectivity. What road warrior would carry a computer bought in 2008 for $3k without an exchangeable battery or constant internet connectivity?

    I say back to the drawing board Apple, I will be passing on this one.

  17. Tim says:

    Only one usb port?no optical drive?cant change batteries?This thing is an abacus with current.I can just imagine being at LaGuardia or Newark international airport and asking the baggage check in desk or better yet TSA if they would please slip a disk into their computer so I could download something real quick.Yeah right Id be arrested at the most laughed away at the least.64 gb of memory has a strange way of conjuring up images of the old commodore 64 computer.And no user friendly battery my boss will love when my comp dies after 5 hours while were on our way to England and I pull out a playboy and say sorry boss cant do the spreadsheet no juice.DUHHHHH

  18. Ellaine says:

    The design is so ugly. It looks so thin and looks like its only made up of cheap material,seriously. And yes, its overpriced. I’d go for the new HP Pavilion dv2600. The design is simply irresistable. ;]

  19. Jay says:

    Useless. No drive for DVD’s no hard space to rip them on machine. A slow processor, no replaceable battery. And you would have to use an hub or swap peripherals constantly, or by all brand new bluetooth wireless peripherals. Honestly what were they thinking? Oh I know lets make a machine that will constantly be in apple repair with battery issues and issues with the 2 ports that will be outdated spec wise as soon as you by it.

    Thanks I would consider a macbook or a viao for half the price and live with the extreme 2lbs weight difference!! Ouch my back.

  20. [...] MacBook Air登場から早2日、海外での反応はどうでしょうか? Elliott C. Backの”Apple’s 13-inch Macbook Air Sucks”というエントリより 去年のiPhoneの登場とは異なり、MacBook Airに対する反応はネガティブです。Appleの株価は今日(現地発表日1月15日)の後場、$169.04から$163.01と9.02%下げました。 もちろん海外でも好感的な記事は多いが、CrunchGearの「MacBook Airはなぜ基本的に役立たずか」という記事など否定的な意見もあり、賛否両論。日本でもレッツノートより重いMacBook Airという2chの記事などが否定的。 海外ではサイズが小さいこと=魅力とはならないのかも?どこかで「アメリカでは車に積めればそれがラップトップだ」というジョークをどこかで聞いた気が。もしくは去年のiPhone登場に比べてインパクトが弱かったから? 単純に最近の米国株安の影響だとも考えられます。 私個人としては、Appleのラップトップは重いという印象を打ち壊した意味でも、今回のMacBook Air登場は評価をしています。また、Apple TVやiTunes Storeのレンタル登場もボディーブローのようにじわじわと効いて来ると思っています。 ロイターのチャートによると1月18日現在、$160.9前後と発表前に戻していません。うーん。 via Elliott C. Back read レッツノートより重いMacBook Air read CrunchGear Apple Appleの株価 macbook air MacWorld 2008 ニュース ニュース, Apple | 5:20 pm 関連エントリ Apple、MacWorld 2008でMacBook Airなど新製品発表MacWorld 2008のテーマは"There's something in the air." 新型MacPro登場、このタイミングで?iPod Touch / iPhone向けiGoogle登場、使ってみる世界初プラチナiPod nano [...]

  21. Its good design, but I think they compromised too much just to say “thinnest notebook in the world”. Only 1 USB port thats shocking.

  22. Dinofond says:

    It’s the Macbook that can be a frisbee too!

    Hail Eris All Hail Discordia!!

  23. Luis says:

    Elliott,

    I can’t agree with you in saying that the new MacBook Air sucks, I think is brilliant design, and the price point is to make sure the other MacBooks don’t get ignore by this new and hot design. I do agree with the fact the market for this new MacBook Air is so thin that it will not do well on sales. If I had money to spare I would get one, since I don’t have the money or the need for a device like this one, I guess I’ll play with it in the Apple store when it gets there in two weeks.

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