Thursday, January 24, 2008

The MacBook Air...Yeah...

Unless you've had your head buried in the sand for the last two weeks, you've heard about Apple's new MacBook Air, the super-slim notebook that apparently looks really cool. Apparently there were some features left out in order to slim it down. Such as...

  • Normal port set, including Ethernet
  • An optical drive (unless you want to use RemoteDisc, which is still pretty useless)
  • A changeable battery
Now, I'm going to say that I'm not a huge Apple fan. I think that Steve Jobs is an all-around jerk, and their products are vastly overpriced, and not anywhere well-designed enough to warrant that cost. However, I am thinking about getting a Mac for my next laptop, so I can triple-boot, and code for all three major platforms. However, the Mac I'd want to get is currently out of my price range at $2500, so it might be a while before I act on that. In fact, my current laptop, a refurbished Averatec 2260, which cost me 8 hundo, is running great. Plus, it has an ethernet jack, in case I go to my dad's house. Oh, and a DVD burner, so I can watch movies I buy, or make backups of my data. And I forgot the SD-card reader, which is really helpful now that I have a Nokia n800 (which I LOVE, by the way.)

One thing I do find HILARIOUS though, is that the last time I used a laptop that required a usb-connected drive, it was in 1992-3, my mom's old IBM, whose model number I can't even remember, but boy was it a clunker. It is counter-intuitive, though, that to use the world's "most portable" laptop, you've got to schlock around another attachment. That might just be me, but I'm pretty sure that the industry started putting drives in laptops so that people didn't have to carry around all that extra crap.

To be fair, there are ways around some of these issues. I haven't seen anyone try it, but there are USB ethernet adapters, which could solve the wired internet problem. As far as the Remote Disc issue goes, that's Apple's problem. My guess is that the next version will fix the music/dvd reading issues. Didn't anyone learn anything from the early iPhone adopters? Apple has a habit of screwing over it's most loyal fans, good thing they like it.

However, I had an "aha" moment when thinking about the battery issue. Sure, you can't change the battery yourself, and if you run out, you're scoobied. Unless Apple has the same idea I had. The Mac power adapters are already pretty huge, though I'm guessing the Air's is smaller (I haven't seen it yet.) So, what should the Jobspire do? Slap an external battery into the power adapter! Charge the laptop's battery first, then the external battery, and if the laptop's battery is going to die, and the user doesn't have access to an AC outlet, they can still plug their power adapter in, and run off the battery power there.

In general, like all of Apple's products, the Air is ridiculously over-hyped. I'd feel bad about giving it more coverage, but I don't get enough traffic to feel guilty about that. It's a one-trick pony, and that trick gets pretty boring real quick when you can't play a DVD.

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