Apple launched the original Macbook Air in January of 2008. It was the thinnest laptop in the world and Apple's most under-featured laptop in the lineup, however it was highly priced as Apple tends to do. I purchased the original 80GB Macbook Air and it worked well enough however it lacked in performance and ports like multiple USB Drives and an Optical Drive. Apple introduced this technology a little early for us to take it in.
But now just two years later I think the world is beginning to catch up to Apple's idea. A simplified, green, fast experience on the Mac. Apple has always been noted for being simple and removing absolutely everything you do not need and finding ways to turn a 5 step process into 2 steps.
With the new model of the Macbook Air Apple is really giving us a look into the future and here's why:
They have completely removed the hard drive and replaced it with a much smaller quieter and faster system the flash memory, built right into the board. It is not so easily replaceable however as capacities rise and prices go down this will be less of an issue. Flash storage is very fast and allows instant on access to your computer like with the iOS devices.
They have taken disc based software and media out of the equation along with a disc drive entirely. Apple bundles a USB drive with OSX and iLife pre-loaded and with the addition of the Mac App Store along side the ability to download software from the internet already buying packaged software or music and movies is actually a hassle now. With over the internet downloads purchasing something gives you the product instantly minus a short download time. As for burning CD's and DVD's sharing media and information over the internet is the new standard and if a disc is required, for the time being, Apple sells a superdrive attachment for those rare occasions.
Apple has removed all ports that are not required to add to the thinness and lightness. I find that on the go 1-2 USB ports are all I may need to sync my iPhone or stick in a USB Drive and with the 13 inch Air you even get an SD card slot for data and pictures. A display port is also included so you can hook your small screen up to a bigger display and lastly the magsafe power port to charge the system.
Finally Apple has added four large batteries in this incredibly small thin system to give it 7 hours of wireless internet use and 30 days thats one month of standby time. A feet that is amazing considering my old laptop would last around 3 hours of normal use.
Apple clearly has simplified the way portable computers are used, not by adding anything but my taking things away. This roughly 2lb .68inch thick device is meant for a wireless portable and most importantly green world. The Macbook Air has a beautiful design made out of aluminum and glass. It is so classy and powerful enough to do most tasks from the most basic to some more advanced like minor video editing and gaming. It is definitely not for someone who need a power beast of a computer with the highest graphics and the most RAM imaginable but for most average users it is the future.
The only drawback I have with the new Macbook Air is the price. $999 for the low end 64GB 11inch model, that is very highly priced. For that price or the $1699 price of the high end model you can get a really powerful Mac. But if you want the things only the Macbook Air can offer, thin, light, fast, and simple; then I think the Macbook Air is perfect.
Will I be getting one?
Well, I currently do not have a laptop at all. I have 2 iMacs a 24" (my old one that I use on occasion) and my new 27" Core i7 iMac I bought this year. I also have an iPhone 4 and a 64Gb iPad Wi-Fi. The iPad replaced my last laptop and I haven't really missed one. But there are some things that a small laptop can do that an iPad can't, mainly for my needs iLife things and Flash on the internet. So I am planning on selling my old iMac and I might just pick up a 13inch Macbook Air.
You can check out the Macbook Air and other Apple products Here