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National Geographic Editor loves his Macbook Air

On January 15, 2008, at the annual Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Steve Jobs unveiled the thinnest Macbook ever: the Macbook Air. People ohh-ed and ahh-ed on how thin it was. But thinnest had it’s price; no optical drive and the battery can only be replaced by opening the portable itself. But there’s no doubt that the Macbook Air is sexy.

That’s how National Geographic’s West Coast Editor, Steve Casimiro, feels.

Who am I kidding? The Macbook Air is the sexiest laptop ever. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it connects to the internet, processes words, “i”s your life, etc., etc. But those lines! That sleek, svelte silhouette…it’s like nothing you’ve ever laid your hands on. And yes, you have to lay your hands on it to get the full effect. You can YouTube the “manila envelope” ad like it’s a Victoria’s Secret fashion show, but there’s no substitute for touching. It’s true for Victoria (I’m guessing) and it’s true for the Air.

If you think he’s absolutely enthralled, fallen head over heels with the Air, Casimiro cites some shortcomings of his sexy laptop.

The 1.6 GHz processor, in his opinion, is not the stumbling block when it comes to multitasking:

Intensive computer tasks, like heavy-duty video editing or photo processing, are more likely to be slowed by the lack of ports (just a single USB 2.0)

The lack of the DVD drive doesn’t even bother him. Ripping out the drive to achieve the slender chasis was worth it. The problem lies in the internal hard drive:

The 80GB hard drive is another story… Far better would be for Apple to offer a 120GB drive or larger.

Last, he explains that the advertised 5-hour battery life is only possible if the user takes active measures to really cut down on energy consumption (lower screen brightness and just use a word processor. HA!) But that’s not the real issue:

The bigger issue is that the battery isn’t replaceable. There’s no way you’ll make it from one coast to another with full computer time, unless you switch planes and outlet-jump between flights. To my mind, this is the Air’s biggest weakness.

He wraps up by saying:

The Macbook Air is the future, now… Of course the Air is sexy and of course the Air is imperfect–but it’s far more versatile than most believe. The Air is designed to be a leading edge, attention-getting product. By that measure, it’s a smashing success. The surprise is that the deeper, more fundamental qualities— computing, usability, comfort—also make it a smashing success. You should give it a closer look. Make that “touch”.

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Filed under: Hardware

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