Damn Apple!

16 Jan, '08


Needless to say, THIS is what I want for my birthday! 😉 A brand spanking new MacBook Air!

The buggers never let up do they, they almost never disappoint either. The features in this one is that it is almost completely wireless, no cd/dvd, and limited physical connectivity. The “gesture-based” trackpad is really sexy and the “wow” factor here must be the 64GB SOLID STATE (ie, memory) hard drive!

I know that others are not overly impressed and I share some of their criticism, but man, I am for any computer that is so light and so god damned sexy!

I won’t be able to afford nor justify the $3k price tag for the solid-state enabled MBAir, but that other one is certainly doable.

So hear me y’all: me wants, me needs, me deserves and me shall gets!

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Comments (44)

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  1. Redbelt says:

    Sorry. A computer without an Optic drive? Handicapped.
    And you might want to save some money and get a normal laptop when you see what Ubuntu can do. I formally invite you to the next Linux Users Group (LUG) Bahrain gathering.
    Gives you something to blog at least, wuddya say?

  2. mahmood says:

    Consider it done. I would love to attend and hope that my schedule doesn’t clash.

    But as for the MBA, I don’t particularly care that it doesn’t have a built-in optical drive, I’ve lived for a couple of years with a Dell laptop without one and just made use of an external whenever that was needed. Yes, it is more convenient to have that drive to be sure, but as my use of it is rather limited, I can live with an external again if I have to.

    But oh it is so saweet!

  3. ASKAD says:

    No RAM upgrades.
    No built in optical drive.
    Very Expensive.
    Slow 4200 rpm HD.
    No built in ethernet.
    1 USB port.
    No firewire ports.
    The battery is sealed into the machine, not removable by the user. In that way, the situation is more like an iPod than like a traditional notebook. That means, if it stops holding a charge, replacement will require submitting the MacBook Air to Apple, rather than popping in a new battery yourself.

    Check Apple’s Support about the battery replacement here—> http://www.apple.com/support/macbookair/service/battery/

  4. mahmood says:

    Gizmodo has a hands on with pictures.

    They end it with:

    Verdict? Ultra light, ultra awesome.

    Even with the negatives they pointed out!

  5. Loki says:

    I have an old G4 12” Powerbook that is starting to show its age. I was just about to get a new MacBook Pro when rumours of this started floating around.

    This is now a serious consideration for me. I’m actually more interested in the solid state version but I will need to see some benchmarks first.

    The optical drive thing isn’t a big deal for me. Compare the amount of documents that get passed round using CD to USB flash drives. and for installs there is wireless optical disc installer (you can utilise any wireless PC or mac’s optical discdrive to mount a CD on the macbook air via wifi or wired).

    Redbelt: Sure one can buy a “normal’ laptop and put Ubuntu on it (or Kubuntu in my case). But your still stuck with Linux 😈

  6. ammaro says:

    i have something against the fruit company products, but this doesnt look half bad. shame on some of the missing things, would be interesting if they could have squeezed it all into the same package. lol.

  7. Dale says:

    They just re-invented the eMate 300. Admittedly, there is quite a bit of improvement, but the basics are all part of the Newton project: light weight, durable, battery-powered, and most importantly, flash memory storage instead of a hard drive. The most important difference between the two machines is the fact that I bought my eMate for ninety-nine cents plus shipping on Ebay.

    I’ve been using Linux for ten years now. Probably will continue to use it for another ten years. I was surprised to hear that there is a Bahraini LUG. I am one of the few Americans who has actually been there, but I still tend to think of the Middle East with images of camel caravans and oil lamps. Old ideas die hard I guess.

  8. I says:

    Ok, so Apple have just produced the ultimate PDA on steroids.

    Neat. Damn expensive though. While I like it, I don’t think I’ll get one just yet.

    I think I can do most of what I want on a Palm TX, or the new HP Ipaq 110 🙂 (tongue very much in cheek)

    Note that neither of these have a DVD drive either.

  9. Hani says:

    I’m due to go to New York on the 5th of Feb. I wonder if my laptop bag will come back 3lbs heavier?!

  10. Redbelt says:

    Loki, you are invited to the next LUG meeting too. Installing Kubuntu and actually using it to be productive are two different things. That is where the Lug comes in.

  11. Loki says:

    Redbelt, fairpoint. My latest tinkering has been with FreeBSD (again with KDE) and a Ubuntu liveCD at some point, but it has literally been tinkering rather than actual productivity. I haven’t used linux as my main OS since OS X.0 came out and that was Yellowdog on PPC.

    Thanks for the invite! when and where? I’ll try to make it.

  12. mahmood says:

    Dale, like you I’ve got the eMate 300 sitting just opposite of where I am typing this. Next to its cabinet lies my original Newton too, and between those is a Remington typewriter!

    These all serve as a reminder (other than looking good, of course) of where we were just a few years ago and where we are now.

    The rate of change is mind boggling.

    Apple eMate 300

    The eMate 300 was a gift from my friend Robin Thompson.

    The Newton

    The Newton. That Sony thing beside it is (can you believe it) a floppy disk drive used to ‘capture’ a frame of video. The only Hi8 camcorder was connected through video cables to the side and then you hit the “capture” button and hope it’s the frame you want while the floppy disk drive is whirring!

    and Finally:

    Updated iPhone with new software

    My brother Hani’s iPhone just updated with the new software. I’m glad that he got my blog on that screen too! (it’s also a good excuse to post it!)

  13. Eyad says:

    Hmmmm, my laptop is half past dead and its about time I get a new one, I wonder if I can convince the company to pay for it, haha.

    1800$ isn’t bad for a laptop now a days, OK the solid state is sweet, but I can live with out it, the optical drive, well, how many million people said they need a floppy drive?

    I would get one with 20GB storage if I’ll get it cheaper, i lost count of how many tb’s I have, long live external memory.

  14. Captain Arab says:

    I read the release announcement on BBC. Quite impressed, except that the 80GB wouldn’t be doing me any favours. Never owned an Apple except for an iPod, all the reviews are encouraging… Maybe with the company bonus due soon, that way I won’t feel the pinch.

  15. Facts!
    1- This isn’t the lightest laptop ever.
    2- This isn’t the thinnest laptop (Sony X505)
    3- Sealed RAM, sealed battery, sealed CPU, no optical drive, slow and small HDD, one USB, no ethernet, crappy GPU and high price!
    4- This isn’t the first laptop with OLED display.
    5- This isn’t the first laptop with backlit keyboard.
    6- 1.3KG is nice, but 13inch screen is not so portable.
    7- Gesture trackpad, give me a break! you will only use it once to impress teenage girls and i don’t expect seeing anybody pinching pictures 2 weeks after buying this laptop.
    8- If Steve announces the iPoop (a shiny white crap with apple logo) it will sell like hot cakes and fanboys will droll.
    9- 3100$ for the SSD model! ouch!
    10- Wake up, it’s just another f***ing laptop.

    Look for a real laptop, Sony TX TZ series, Asus EEE and U series, XPS M1330, Lenovo IdeaPad U110, ThinkPad X series… this list goes on.

  16. It’s pretty cool, but I agree with the majority of people here. It’s nothing more than a PDA on steriods.

    With only one USB port, you’re going to have to clutter up your sexy apple desk with a butt ugly USB hub and the accompanying powercables.

    With no CD drive, I don’t know what you could do, except by an external one, and plug it into your ugly USB hub.

    It’s a great machine, but they’ve sacrificed functionalilty for style, which in my book is a no no. Still….damn sexy!

  17. mahmood says:

    3- Sealed RAM, sealed battery, sealed CPU, no optical drive, slow and small HDD, one USB, no ethernet, crappy GPU and high price!

    I can live with all that. The only real complaint that I have is the limited HDD. I would have preferred it to be at least 120. There is no way I can fit all my junk in such a small drive, my pictures alone take more than 30GB!

    Another thought, with no Firewire, does that mean that standard is now dead?

  18. J.M. Heinrichs says:

    You might consider the MB Air as the new generation PowerBook Duo. And what we need next is a replacement for the Newton 2100.


  19. Johnster says:


    I bought an Apple last year and it is the biggest pile of crap I have ever come across in my life. You have to be a real nerd to use it and know all sorts of funny codes. It is TOTALLY counter intuitive.

    It is slow and frustrating to use.

    Personally, I find all IT very sad and have no interest it it but Apple is the worst.

    I just wish IBM and Bill Gates had totally buried them a few years ago and then I would not have wasted my money on this junk

  20. ammaro says:

    if you take all the goodies out of any laptop, it wont be tough to make it that slim…

  21. mahmood says:

    So Johnster, it never got fixed?

    Ammar, look again, the goodies you expect are all there and more.

  22. Abdullatif says:

    Just pre-ordered mine from the States. It’ll take two months to arrive at iMachines and I can’t wait that long..

    This PC is for internet users and maybe photographers who want to play around with pictures. Not for a serious user. For serious “computing” I’d get a water-cooled desktop PC. As for mobility, you can’t beat air.

  23. ammaro says:

    im expecting a DVD player.

  24. mahmood says:

    Those are available for 15 Dinars in Giant and other places.

    The future is really the likes of Joost. Forget inflexible media.

  25. Loki says:

    As one of the comments mentions the duo. Apple did file for a patent in a which a laptop slots into the side of monitor/imac like device. A couple of website covered this, here is a link from MacNN.


  26. Hani AlYousif says:

    There’s a difference between reading a list of technical specs and actually using a product. Before the iPhone was on sale here in the UK most of the people I had a chat with all listed the missing features of the product. I bought the iPhone the day it was released. When they saw it and had it in their hands they all forgot all their gripes and just wanted to get one.

    What does this have to do with the MacBook Air? Why don’t we wait to see and use it and then make up our minds instead of reading the specs and dismissing it out of hand.

    For those who don’t know me, I am a Mac user and big fan so take that into consideration as well!

  27. Anonny says:

    I don’t understand your problems Johnster. I bought the MacBook Pro and have been on Gadgetcloud Nine ever since. But then again I have worked with Mac for longer too, so …

    The main seller for the Air is the solid-state memory, to my mind, and as this is only recently hitting consumers, we can expect improvements in access speed and capacity soon. If it wasn’t for some major dental work I’m going to have done this year, I’d buy one as my online machine, thus keeping my “project” Macbook offline, unsullied and pure. 🙂

  28. I agree with ASKAD and I’m fine and happy with my Macbook my white little wonder maker, but yet I wonder how much is it In the the Apple store or iMachines?

  29. ammaro says:

    Mahmood: The future is really the likes of Joost. Forget inflexible media.

    I totally agree with you. I would love to be able to use such services on the regular, download the movies I want and watch them stream rather than buy/rent the DVD, and so on. However, until something is done about the underperforming internet services in our country, this really isn’t much of an option for us.

    Back in the US, I used the internet for ALL my media requirements. Here, I get frustrated just thinking about it.

  30. I says:


    Quote: ” Unquote

    If you really HAVE to take ALL your photos with you all the time. Why not compress them into a smaller package. Otherwise, leave some out. Both methods would free up some of the limited space.

    When I think that 13 years ago one of my early PC’s (I had Macs until I realized that I couldn’t get the programmes I wanted on them) only had a 4.3 GB HDD a lot has changed. Mind you, I backed up regularly onto CDs, freeing space.

    Judicious spring cleaning and exorcising of junk would give you enough on the HDD or solid state memory to enable you to work virtually anywhere.

    It is unlikely that this would be your only computer so the rest of the pics or other stuff would permanently reside on the main desktop.

    Just my 2 fils worth



  31. I says:

    Sorry, the quoted passage that got missed out was as follows

    “The only real complaint that I have is the limited HDD. I would have preferred it to be at least 120. There is no way I can fit all my junk in such a small drive, my pictures alone take more than 30GB!”


  32. mahmood says:

    If you really HAVE to take ALL your photos with you all the time. Why not compress them into a smaller package. Otherwise, leave some out. Both methods would free up some of the limited space.

    I don’t have to have all my pictures in one computer, but it’s a nice to have feature. With 1TB now going for around BD100, that should be a reality. I understand that the laptop HDDs are necessarily smaller in size and capacity, but making a computer now with just 80GB is laughable, especially when you consider that the almost standard capacity delivered with desktops is 300GB.

    But still, you are right of course. I am not sure if I like to carry all of those pictures with me is a necessary requirement. I suspect it is a “just in case” scenario. What I should do is just be ruthless and keep only the excellent or required pictures and delete the rest.

    But taking your advice a bit further and combining it with mine, I think what I will do is find a way to just carry the proxies on my laptop and the full versions on the external hard disk. Regardless of whether I decide to buy the MBA.

    I just have to find a way to do that proxy/full workflow. Any advice there would be appreciated. I use iPhoto 8.

  33. Loki says:

    The MBA for me is what I’m looking for but I’m not at all sure about the price tag. I wanted a scaled down mac that will run my applications, travels easily, and use with isync / usb. the capacity isn’t a problem for me as my main Mac is 80ton dual G5 with NAS connected to wired and wireless for media. If the MBA comes in higher than a standard Macbook (which it will), than i guess its question of how much one is willing to pay for thinness and lightness.

    at iMachines the MBPro is about BD1.1k last time I checked and the MB is about 600BD (depending of config). I’m curious to see where this fits in. Does anyone know?

  34. I says:

    I just wonder how long it will be before Iomega, Western Digital or any of the other hard disk manufacturers start to produce high capacity HDs with wireless . . . or are they already doing this ? Now that would be interesting.

  35. Loki says:

    I – by consulting Imam Google I found the following:


    Doesn’t look that convincing, although NAS’s (ie hard disks with ethernet port) are becoming more affordable. So you just plug those into a wireless router.

  36. ammaro says:

    dont worry about carrying your photos with you, just back them all up onto DVD’s for storage purposes.

    oh wait… theres no dvd writer…

  37. Lorena says:

    Hi Mahmood 🙂

    I was not fully convinced.

    So the decision has been made: I AM STAYING WINDOWS… for now.

    These are the main reasons why I took this decision

    no built-in wireless broadband WLAN option (connected mobility is my #1 requirement)

    2:no express card slot to insert a wireless broadband card (except USB) only one USB port
    3:no optical drive
    4:no Ethernet port
    5:no stereo speakers
    6:too small a hard drive for me non-expandable 2GB of RAM
    7:sealed battery that’s not owner replaceable (have to send it into Apple for $129)
    8:no fire-wire port
    9:no standard VGA port
    10:a hefty $1799 price

    10 good reasons why im staying with windows .. check at this points , you may need a Mac…

  38. Lorena says:

    LOL amaroo you are bad boy!! but Serious mahmood is not a good choise my friend 🙂

  39. Lorena says:

    why dont you storage all your pics in here? i mean.. the ones you think you will need or the ones you take in your trip .. in that way you dont have to keep them in your hard drive …

  40. mahmood says:

    Hi Lorena!

    I can’t store my pictures in Flickr as they are too big to upload. I have to reduce the resolution to upload – thank Batelco’s internet speeds and price for this. So I would rather pictures which I think are worthwhile for sharing only, rather than storage.

    You’ve got the wrong idea about the MBA; it is loaded with wireless features. It is one of a few which actually come with the next generation broadband wireless standard built in! That solves most of your problems.

  41. Loki says:

    Lorena – why not get a standard Macbook. It addresses all your issues (or most of them) and it costs less. (and you can run windows if you must)

  42. Laura says:

    A good online storage site is Megaupload(dot)com. If you want to try it out first, you can get 50GB FREE storage with free membership. I don’t use it for storage, but I’ve downloaded a lot of 300 to 800MB files with no trouble at all.

  43. Stephen says:

    (Note, all prices in Canadian dollars because I’m located in Canada.)

    Keeping in mind that the MacBook Air is NOT intended to be a user’s only computer, I don’t really have a problem with it not having an optical drive, or many IO ports. After all, if I had a MB Air I could install files and apps from my desktop (indeed, one of my many desktops and laptops, but I’m a computer packrat).

    That being said, how does the MB Air compare to an ASUS Eee running Linux? or even an older sub-notebook/oversized PDA running linux? Surely the Eee would have the same “Gee-Whiz!” reaction from co-workers that MBAir buyers are looking for, and it’s way cheaper.

    Recently, I’ve decided I need a sub-notebook for when my Dell D600 is simply too bulky to lug around, like when I’m taking minutes at meetings for my boss and stuff like that. I’ve ordered an eMate off eBay that I’m going to tinker with, but I doubt it will suit my needs because it’s actually pretty big by today’s standards.

    I’ve also been trying to find an XO on eBay for a reasonable price, but scarcity has really inflated the price. An XO purchased for $200 through the “Buy One-Get One” program now runs at least $300 and usually goes for $500 or more on eBay. Ok, I guess that’s still cheap for a laptop.

    The solution I’m leaning towards is running Linux on an HP Jornada or a Fujitsu P-1032, both of which are available cheaply on eBay.

    To make a long story short, in principle I see no problem with a thin/light (sub)notebook that has no optical drive and limited IO ports, since no sub-notebook should be relied on as a desktop replacement. But the price of the MacBook Air (from CAN$1,899 on the Canadian Apple Store) seems exorbitant for a device that cannot be used as a primary computer.

    A new 4GB ASUS Eee running Linux starts at about CAN$370 on-line. True, the guts of the Eee aren’t at the same level as the MB Air, but is that really an issue when you consider that we’re NOT talking about a user’s primary computer?

    Personally, I think MacPhiles would have been better served if the MacBook Air was conceived more like a successor to the eMate (and the iPod Touch should have been conceived as a successor to the Newton, but that’s a rant for another day), instead of being conceived as a reduced-functionality MacBook.

  44. Loki says:

    I know this topic started when dinosaurs roamed the earth and looked down on strange hairy little scurrying animals thinking “gosh, look at that, what a stupid looking animal”, but, I thought I’d post a relevant comment.

    I very recently bought an MBA as a replacement for my somewhat dated 12″ G4 PowerBook. and basically, its a perfect replacement. I’m traveling at the moment and it is exactly what I need. I should add that I use this as my secondary/travel computer. At home I use a macpro.

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