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:
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.
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!
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