MacNN takes a second look at the thin 3-pound laptop (February 20th, 2008)
Product Manufacturer: Apple
- Stylish and lightweight form factor Full sized, backlit keyboard & multi-gesture trackpad Extremely bright, sharp 13" LED display Above average battery life Accessories available to supplement functionality
- No internal optical drive Limited port connectivity No internal hard drive or memory expansion options Battery not user replaceable Slower processor
To address potential limitations caused by the Airís lack of an internal optical drive, Apple provides two solutions: an optional, external DVD Superdrive for $99 and a new Remote Disc application. The external DVD Superdrive connects through the Airís USB port and acts much like an internal drive, capable of installing programs as well as playing media files such as music or movies. The DVD Player application required an update to OS X 10.5.2 in order to recognize the external drive for DVD playback. Earlier versions resulted in an error stating that a valid drive could not be found.
The Remote Disc application allows the Air to use a remote PC or Macís optical drive to install programs or copy files; however, unlike the external Superdrive, Remote Disc cannot be used to stream video or music from the source computer to the Air. Remote disc works with PCs running XP or Vista, Macs running Tiger or Leopard, and requires installing the software that comes on the Airís installation disc. To be even more useful, Apple should post the Remote Disc software on its Downloads website to alleviate the need to carry around the installation disc.