Monday, April 28, 2008

Air Jordon

I saw my first Apple MacBook Air. Like everything Apple does these days, it is design-marketing-engineering perfection.

Name: perfect. Look: perfect. Size/weight: perfect.

This is a beautiful piece of equipment and, like the commercial demonstrates, is light enough to be held easily with one hand -- something I did as the MacBook Air was handed to me across the table. The monitor is a standard, small-notebook size but is hi-res with the super-clear glass. It's impressive.

The mouse pad is bigger than a standard notebook and takes the same finger commands as the iphone. Genius.

The Air has built-in wireless and a camera with "photobooth" software so the lens can be used as a camera. The monitor acts as the flash. I kid you not, I tried it.

One feature I loved: the electric cord has four small prongs and attaches magnetically to the laptop. It pops off with a sturdy tug.

3 pounds. 2Gig ram. 80 gig hard drive. More than sufficient. No dvd/cd drive. Who cares? The laptop has become a web-access appliance.

What does Apple have that Dell/HP/IBM/Microsoft don't? Vision. Steve Jobs provides a focused mission that guides the company and the products show it. Will the $1700 price tag keep people (like me) away? Yes, but in this case you do get what you pay for.


Billy F said...

It is like $1600, though. I understand the coolness of a basic web computer, but that seems a little high to me!! I think it should be no more than $900. No CD/DVD Drive, only 1 USB input, and no firewire. I am interested to see if they fix this on the next model of this.

Francis Shivone said...

Billy -- Every innovative product cuts something useful to keep something else more in keeping with the vision. Weight/size vs speed, function. And all of that with manufacturing and cost in mind.
In the end I like decisions they made. Others won't.
I can't justify buying and Air, but I can understand how others can.
The visionary side of it is that the web is becoming the software and in some ways the hardware. Storage can be done on the web, music and video uploaded and downloaded. I think the future hard magnetic drives will be smaller, if at all.
Flash drives and the web is the future.
Just my opinion, mind you.

Jake Good said...

When I first heard about the AIR (watching the press conferece)... I instantly wanted one... if it weren't for Becca running and tackling me, eventually ripping my credit card from my hand... it would have happened.

I've been playing with one on and off when I visit some friends who have one or an apple store in NYC when I'm out there, and I have to say... it's nice.

The beauty of how thin it is and the engineering behind it definitely warrants the $1600.

@Billy - There's nothing *wrong* to fix in the next version. The decisions were made to keep it fit. It's not meant to be a desktop replacement, but a mere quick and light laptop that you use for quick tasks or on the road type situations. It's meant as a secondary laptop.

@Francis - Can't justify it? Already have a laptop? I say if you don't have a laptop, have a desktop, and need something portable... this might be your ticket! Or a regular MacBook really...

and about Flash drives... why not just use an online flash drive like, oh... I don't know...

Francis Shivone said...

Jake --

1. Actually I was going to mention in an upcoming post because that is exactly what I was referring to.
2. I have a couple laptops and because I have more kids and grandkids than credit cards I have to watch the dollars.
3. Elvis (the artist in residence at Starbucks) tells me an Apple store will soon be in the old GAP. Becca's going to have to lock you in.
4. A friend of mine who, with me, goes back to mini-computer use before the days of ms-dos, and who has been a PC guy, like me, told me he went Apple with the Macbook.

It's a vision thing. Apple has it. No one else does.


Becca said...

Seems like it might be a little bit hypocritical for me to say so, since I had to rip the credit card out of Jake's hand, insert the eye roll :) but I have considered getting an AIR for grad school, light, portable, seems like the perfect fit.

Yes, we also heard about the potential Apple store in the Fort. Down payment for a house??? Nah we blew it at the Apple store.

Francis Shivone said...

Becca -- everyone should be allowed a little bit of hypocrisy.

I say you get one.


billy f said...

Good Ponits Francis....I see where you are coming from...Thanks for the intelligent non belittling argument...As always, I appreciate your blog....

billy f said...

oops..mispelled Points!!

malibu said...

I almost bought this too - until the salesperson whispered "I almost scooped this up with some papers on my desk and threw it away" - which made me wonder "I bet my clumsy self could crack that screen pretty quickly " - so I ended up buying the new iMac instead and keeping my old iBook. I love the Leopard software too. It's a delight. Besides...if you have the iPhone for portability, the MacAir (for me) becomes a "yeah, maybe later on down the road" expense.