Steve Jobs just released the world’s thinnest notebook, the MacBook Air at the MacWorld Expo 2008. In typically Steve Jobsian fashion, he pulled the ultra-thin notebook from a manila envelope.The notebook is even thinner than the thinnest part of the Sony TZ series of notebooks !!!The notebook features a 1.6 GHZ Intel core 2 duo processor with 2 GB Ram. It has a 13.3 inch wide screen display with a full-size keyboard. The keyboard is backlit for poor light conditions. The notebook also comes with the standard iSight webcam built in for video conferencing right out of the box. There are a few innovations in the touch pad as well. You can now do gestures for actions like flipping through photos, rotating photos, zooming into them etc. just like in the iPhone and the iPod touch.The notebook has a 80 GB HDD and an ultra-small motherboard, which is almost as long as a pencil!!. The standard battery gives up to 5 hours of battery life with moderate usage. The notebook also features a MagSafe connector for power, one headphone jack, one USB 2.0 port and a Micro-Dvi port.It’s also got one of the most advanced wi-fi connection features compatible with the latest 802.11n protocols as well as features Bluetooth 2.1 and EDR. And yes, it doesn’t have a CD/DVD drive !Well basically you have two options for CD/DVD on the Air. One called the SuperDrive which is a reasonably priced $99, external USB drive that jacks into the a USB port. The second option that Jobs unveiled is something called Remote Disc. This is a software based solution compatible with windows and mac computers that allows the Air to remotely share another machine’s optical drive. While definitely cool, I wonder how fast this will catch on.

Another noticeable omission, is the exclusion of an ethernet connector. While you can definitely buy an accessory like a USB to Ethernet convertor, to use with the Air, having this port would definitely be a nice addition. Other accessories and upgrades that you can get are

  1. 1.8 GHZ Intel Core 2 Duo processor instead of the standard 1.6 GHZ
  2. A 64 GB solid state Hard drive

And last but not the least, the whole thing just weighs under 3 pounds and costs just $1799 !!!

While the product is definitely a great one, with amazing aesthetic design there are several things I didn’t like about it. Chief among them is the lack of many ports, average battery life (even my powerhog of a Dell with a large 15 inch screen gives me 3.5-4 hours ), no scope of battery replacement in terms of longer lasting batteries so far, lack of a CD/DVD drive and memory being restricted to just 2GB.

Maybe Apple can do something in future versions of the Air to rectify this, until then there is definitely something in the air.

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