MacBook Air, the next Mac Cube?

So I followed the various feeds of the MacWorld 2008 keynote to find out what’s new and count the “booms” (there was only one I believe), but mostly to find out about the new Apple laptop. I’m looking to replace my partners aging G4 iBook so I was particularly interested. But I’m afraid I’m not won over by the new MacBook Air.

Quite simply it is too expensive and featureless. It has nothing that the cheaper MacBook’s don’t have already. In fact it has less… less I tell you. The only thing going for it is teh sexy and that’s about all that the cube had going for it too. Of course, everyone loved the Cube, everyone wanted the Cube, but nobody bought the Cube. It’s possible Apple might have done it again.

Here’s what you don’t get when you buy a MacBook Air that comes with a MacBook:

  • The ability to upgrade to 4GB of RAM
  • The ability to upgrade to larger hard drives – the SSD option is insanely expensive
  • About an additional 0.4Ghz of processor speed
  • A built-in optical drive
  • Wired ethernet
  • An Apple Remote included in the price – unbelievable, they must cost all of five dollars to make
  • A firewire port
  • Two USB ports – I don’t fancy carrying around a USB hub?
  • By the looks of things, a removable battery – because we know how much people appreciate not having one on the iPod/iPhone

Here’s what you get when you buy a MacBook Air that doesn’t come with a MacBook:

  • A backlit keyboard
  • Multi-touch trackpad

If that weren’t enough, then the pricing difference between the US and Australia is practically extortion. The US price is USD$1799, while the price in Australia is AUD $2499. At the current time that’s about $450 more expensive after conversion. Check for yourself at Google.

So I’m probably going to go and drop some cash on a new MacBook instead. They are faster, cheaper, do more and quite honestly are just as pretty.

  1. You had me until the last line, just as pretty?

    It will be interesting to see how well it sells, and how the rest of the line develops towards the air — air, what a lame name for a laptop. I wonder if it runs hot, hot air?

  2. MacBooks are prettier than most laptops… 🙂

  3. But hey, on the bright side, new products like these reduce demand for the previously awesome ones. So, that new Macbook you’ll probably buy might end up a little bit cheaper. That helps, right?

  4. @Chris™

    I very much doubt the prices will change, but I can live in hope. Honestly though, seeing the MacBook Air has just made me more convinced that the ordinary MacBook is the right choice. I’m kind of glad I’m not feeling the desire to up-sell myself on the new fancy toy.

  5. Trent said:

    Making something smaller and more breakable is not what I need. That is part of the reason I forked out more for a Macbook Pro in the first place (it is tougher). A titanium case… we would be talking 😉

  6. I agree the MacBook Air is well overpriced for what it is. The multi-touchpad I feel is trying to cash in on the novelty of the iPhone and I couldn’t really see myself using it on a daily basis. Also what’s the deal with the no inbuilt optical drive? No thank you.

    I know this is slightly off topic, but making customers pay $25 for apps that should have originally shipped with the iPod Touch seems to me to be extortion.

    Show me the boom.

  7. @Dan Callaghan

    Ummm, didn’t Apple give you your iPod Touch in the first place? Quit your bitching!

  8. Diello Arias said:

    I didn’t like the new Macbook at all… It doesn’t have any revolutionary feature… It doesn’t have a built-in optical drive… No additional USB ports…

    Apple just released it because “wow, it’s the thinnest Laptop ever”… Just because Air is thin, it doesn’t mean it’s good… It’s like a toy ! haha

    My choice is the ordinary Macbook, for sure…

  9. polaine said:

    I don’t think I’d get it either – I don’t suppose most regular Mac laptop users would. I don’t think that’s the market. The market is really those people who would buy a sub-notebook to supplement their desktop machine when they’re mobile.

    The question is not whether Apple will win over all us Mac fanboys who have laptops anyway, but the Road Warriors (note those big, masculine capitals) who have to have the most at the smallest size (unlike in their pants). Given that most of those people are die-hard Windoze corporates thanks to the companies they work for, I reckon Apple have their work cut out for them. But then again Apple are pretty good at creating markets instead of joining them.

  10. engtech said:

    just dropped by the first time… damn, really nice theming of Sandbox.

  11. Maya said:

    I’m not into new tech stuff especially Mac. I switched mine out for a PC because we didn’t get along. I have to admit I was won over by the “pretty-ness” when I saw the commercial. I’m also assuming it’s pretty lightweight too and I’m lazy and hate carrying heavy things. I wonder if it’ll come in pink soon.

  12. Hah!! That’s just what I was saying to the guys in CSU at COFA the other day – the next cube for sure 🙂

  13. wol4 said:

    As standalone computer maybe not as powerfull as we’re used to have, but: used as a sort of controller or remote device, hooked into a computer system – luxurious!

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