updated 11:55 am EST, Wed January 16, 2008
MB Air vs Mitsu Pedion
Apple's claim to have the world's thinnest notebook in the form of the MacBook Air may not account for a 10-year-old notebook, says a claim from CNET. Although as thin at every point, the 1998-era Mitsubishi Pedion maintained a uniform thickness of 0.72 inches when closed, just slighly thinner than the new MacBook's 0.76-inch figure at its thickest point. This came despite a smaller 12-inch screen and considerably older technology, which included a 233MHz Pentium MMX. The HP co-developed notebook used magnesium instead of aluminum but also required a unique design to reach its dimensions.
Other historical notebooks have also come close, such as a version of the Sony VAIO X505 made partly out of carbon fiber, according to challengers of Apple's claim. However, most past systems have also historically expensive, with the Mitsubishi PC costing $6,000 and most such systems costing $2,000 or more despite slower performance than larger models. The Pedion was withdrawn quickly from the market after technical problems marred its debut.
Apple itself has shied away from making an all-time claim for the MacBook Air's thickness, which gives the Mac builder the ability to focus its comparisons strictly on current-day ultraportable notebooks such as the VAIO TZ without drawing absolute comparisons.