updated 03:45 am EDT, Thu October 21, 2010
Apple hits the bullseye yet again
The new 11.6-inch Macbook Air is a notebook that many Apple users have long been waiting for. While it might not have the most impressive overall specs, it delivers snappy performance for use with everyday apps. Mail, Safari, iChat, and iTunes all work smoothly and load quickly, making it a very useable device for users who need mobility and functionality on the go.
While it might have been nice to have 3G connectivity built-in, it would have only meant yet another data plan for Apple iPhone and iPad users suffering data plan fatigue. Being able to connect to the net by tethering only when on the move may actually be a blessing in disguise.
There is plenty of space on the palm rest to make typing on the full-size keyboard a breeze. While the screen is smaller, the display is high-quality and produces sharply defined text and equivalent workspace to a typical 13-inch notebook due to its high-res, 1366x768 display. The new glass trackpad works beautifully and is more than ample.
The only aspects that are somewhat disappointing are the lack of keyboard backlighting, and the fact that it doesn't use Intel's latest generation of Core i series chips, but a previous generation CULV Core 2 Duo. Though, as already noted, performance is more than adequate; it's just nice to have more processing grunt than one needs. Then again, Apple would have had to sacrifice on graphics performance and increase the asking price. As it is, the new Macbook Air is affordable, desirable and a highly portable device. In the past, there have not been too many ultra-portable notebooks that could be described in this way.
On first impression, the new entry-level Macbook Air is a winner, and one would expect that Apple will have yet another runaway hit on its hands.