Apple's new 11.6-in. MacBook Air: Don't call it a netbook
Some might find this mini-laptop too small, but travelers will love it
Computerworld - When you first take the 11.6-in. MacBook Air out of its box, the word "netbook" will almost certainly pop into your head. After all, the diminutive size and weight of Apple's newest ultraslim laptop -- not to mention its modest 1.4-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor -- are very netbook-like.
But the petite Air is much closer to a fully modern laptop than the small-but-crippled netbooks you see on the Windows side of the aisle -- as it should be, given that netbooks are significantly cheaper. Though it arrives with a few trade-offs compared to other notebooks in Apple's line-up, the Air delivers a true Mac laptop experience.
And it comes with one very noteworthy technological advance: onboard flash storage that's mounted directly to the logic board. More about that in a minute.
I've had a chance now to try out this particular MacBook Air for several days, and while its small screen took some getting used to -- my 17-in. MacBook Pro is a relative behemoth -- I've generally found it to be a delight to use. It's stylish and well built, has a full-size keyboard, is powerful enough for the tasks I've thrown at it and comes in at an attractive price.
In other words, for Apple fans looking to get their hands on the latest and lightest Mac available, the MacBook Air should prove to be quite popular. That's especially true for road warriors concerned about size and weight, and those who might be tempted by the iPad but need more traditional laptop features.
Apple's Air line is now almost three years old. The first one was unveiled in January 2008. (I owned one of those first-generation models and, later, an Air with a solid-state drive, so I'm familiar with the line.)
Apple now offers four models differentiated mainly by screen size, processing power and storage space. Two come with the 11.6-in. screen, and two have the larger 13.3-in. screen, the same size as before, though with a higher resolution. Prices range from $999 to $1,599, but you can spend a bit more if you upgrade the processor, add more RAM or increase storage.
The model in hand, sent over by Apple for review purposes after the new lineup was unveiled last week, offers 128GB of storage and costs $1,199. (The entry-level version has half that amount of storage, 64GB, which many people will find constraining in this era of digital video and photos.)
If you want more than 128GB, you'll need to get the $1,599 model, since it's the only one that offers 256GB of space. So right off the bat, you'll have to decide how much room you need for all your data and apps. Choose wisely, as the storage can't be upgraded later on.
- Hands on: Apple's Mac Pro is the fastest Mac ever
- Apple CFO to retire in September after he cashes in $53M stock award
- Apple's CarPlay to spark mobile apps war in your car
- Apple retires Snow Leopard from support, leaves 1 in 5 Macs vulnerable to attacks
- Apple patches critical 'gotofail' bug with Mavericks update
- Why Apple needs a $700 MacBook Air
- Apple takes top spot in brand value computation
- Apple gets a patent for health-monitoring ear buds
- Apple shifts to hardware-first TV strategy with revamped set-top box
- iTunes is almost as big a biz as OEM Windows
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready? Read "Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready?" now, and discover best practices and actionable steps to implementing a production-ready big data solution.
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup...
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Laptops White Papers | Webcasts