Apple unveils “the thinnest notebook in the world” – the MacBook Air. Apple went and looked at most of the thinnest notebooks – Sony TZ series, for example and tried to distill the best of all of them –
- ~3 lbs
- 0.16 to 0.76 inches thin, 12.8 inches wide and 8.95 inches deep
- 13.3-inch LED-backlit widescreen display that has a 1280 × 800 pixel resolution
- full sized MacBook-style black keyboard with Ambient light sensor
- built-in iSight
- multi-touch trackpad (Move a window by double-tap and move. Rotate a photo by pivoting your index finger around your thumb)
- 80GB drive as standard, 64GB SSD as an option
- 1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo as standard chip which operates with 4MB of on-chip shared L2 cache running at full processor speed, and uses an 800MHz frontside bus (1.8 GHz as an upgrade)
- 45w MagSafe
- 1 USB 2.0 port
- 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1/EDR
- 5 hour battery life
- 2GB of 667MH DDR2 SDRAM
The MacBook Air runs from 0.76″ to 0.16″. The thickest part of the MacBook AIr is thinner than the thinnest part of the Sony TZ series. So thin it fits in a manila envelope. This crazy thin MacBook is silver, got a camera with more rounded edges.
Fullsize, 13.3″ widescreen display. LED-backlit display saves power, gives bright display, instant-on the minute you open it. There’s a built-in iSight camera, and a fullsize MacBook-style black keyboard. “Perhaps the best notebook keyboard we’ve ever shipped.” And it’s got a backlit keyboard with an ambient light sensor (previously a MacBook Pro-only feature). Multi-touch gesture support on the trackpad. There’s a preferences pane that lets you turn on a bunch of different gestures and it gives you a video that shows you what things do. Double-tap and then you can drag the cursor around. Pan around a large photo with two fingers. Rotate with a two-finger interface, like turning a dial. Three fingers lets you pan through photos, and of course there’s a real pinch interface for zooming in or out.
Hard drive is a 1.8″ 80GB (with an option of a 64GB solid-state disk). It’s about the length of a pencil. Amazing feat of engineering and there is no compromise on performance. Core 2 Duo chip on the board at 1.6GHz standard with an option to go to 1.8GHz. They asked Intel to consider something: Apple wanted the chip, but needed the same die on a smaller package. So Intel engineered the same chip but made it 60% smaller.
What do we do with optical drive?
Movies, install software, backups, burn music CDs. Here’s why we don’t need to do that: wirelessly rental movies, most of us have iPods instead of CDs, for backups Time Machine and Time Capsule to wirelessly backup.
So what about installing software?
Going to do that wirelessly too. New feature built into MacBook Air OS called Remote Disk, under Devices. It’ll show you all the Macs and PCs in the area with special software (Macs or Windows machines). You can ask to borrow a machine’s optical drive. Once they’ve accepted, you can see what they’re disc is. A PC can even read a Mac disc with this special software. Click on it, and it’s just like having a local optical drive. “That’s how we’re going to install stuff. Wirelessly.” Don’t think users will miss optical drive.
They didn’t want to compromise on battery life. With wireless turned on, they still eked out 5 hours of battery life. So, a 3 lbs., 0.16″-.76″ thickness, 13.3″ fullsize display, fullsize keyboard (backlit), multi-touch gestures, iSight camera, 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of memory, 80GB hard drive (64GB SSD optional), 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, and Magsafe connector — price starts at $1,799.
Apple is taking pre-orders today onwards and will ship them in two weeks.
The MacBook Air has a fully recyclable aluminum case. It also has the first mercury-free display with arsenic-free glass. All the circuit boards are BFR-free and PVC-free. And the retail packaging is 56 percent less volume than MacBook packaging. Helps with energy for transporting and disposing of materials. MacBook Air joins MacBook and MacBook Pro, “best note books in the industry.”