A nice concept, but you can't add music from a CD to your iTunes (although purchases from the Apple store are encouraged) and you can't install copy protected software like Microsoft Office from a CD/DVD even if you have the installation code. It also requires a software install on the host machine and an authorization process.
These limitations can be addressed with a very stylish external CD/DVD that gets its power from the single USB port for an extra $99, which is a must for people who still use CDs frequently and enjoy movie watching.
The battery lasts a respectable four to five hours on a single charge and is sealed within the durable aluminum casing. Aluminum is a highly desirable material in the afterlife that will make it easily recyclable when you are ready for your next computer. Battery repairs will be available for $129 after several years of charging and recharging makes a replacement necessary.
The skin of the computer is a pleasing silver color that hides wear well. Apple would never discourage the purchase of a third-party padded case to show off some individuality, but Product Marketing Manager Linda Frager influenced me to keep it simple.
"It's a personal preference as to how much you want to protect MacBook Air. We took a holistic approach to the entire design and with the outside rounded edges it fits really nicely in your hand," Frager said. "It makes it nice to carry around and when I am on the go I just put it in my bag and go."
Air comes with the latest version of the Apple Operating System called Leopard, and all the latest Apple software to email, chat, surf, listen, watch and edit. It's powered by the latest version Intel Core II duo chip albeit at a slower speed than other Mac models, but that's helped keep the size down and make the Air the least power consuming Mac portable ever.
The MacBook Air is a major step forward in portable computing from the company that has been known to innovate and transform and transition the electronics industry kicking and screaming for years. An all-in-one desktop computer in fruit colors? No need for floppy drives? USB to connect peripherals? A $300 portable music player? All very successful innovations from Apple that were at first scoffed at.
Although consumers wish every computer could do everything, a more realistic compromise is choice. MacBook Air is only one of Apple's three laptop product lines. Air focuses on portability first, where MacBook (starting at $1099) focuses on a more general audience, and MacBook Pro (starting at $1,999) focuses on computing power for video editors and graphic artists.
If you are a student or worker-bee who is often on the go and wants your email, Internet, and access to your music, photos and movies, you'll love MacBook Air.
If you embrace the sheer elegance and portability you may be able to ignore the shortcomings of limited USB ports, relatively small storage space (80GB) and an extra cost for an external CD/DVD drive ($99) and/or Ethernet port ($49).