January 15, 2008 at 8:38 pm #1133thx_1227Participant
Alright, the keynote from MacWorld has just ended. Here is the big news:
1. Movie Rentals in iTunes
2. Apple TV Take 2 – HD Movie and 5.1 surround support
3. MacBook Air – World’s thinnest notebook
4. TimeCapsule backup device
5. New apps for iPhone and iPod Touch
I am definitely a bit underwhelmed. The Air is impressive to look at, but I wouldn’t buy one. No optical drive, a rather slow processor, and limited ports are my my issues with it. Not to mention the $1800 starting price…
TimeCapsule looks pretty good, not a bad price for the storage space plus the wireless base station ($300 for 500 gigs, or $500 for a TB).
The new Apps are okay, I’ll take a look at them for my Touch.
iTunes rentals? Eh, not really thrilled…January 15, 2008 at 8:57 pm #13584
Are you kidding? All of it looks good to me.January 15, 2008 at 9:04 pm #13591thx_1227Participant
The Air looked great at first glance, but after looking at the details more closely I’m not so sure about it. I guess I was expecting too much from the rumors that have been floating around…
The other stuff is pretty cool, I just don’t really see the iTunes movie rentals going anywhere. I hope I am wrong about that…January 15, 2008 at 9:17 pm #13589
I’m afraid I’d break that damned thing. They should have had Kate Moss showing it off. Or one of the Olsen twins.January 15, 2008 at 11:38 pm #13586digitaltopiaParticipant
The Air could at least partially be in response to other efforts like the Eee PC… low-powered processors with a solid-state drive in an ultra-portable form factor. They do serve a certain segment of the populace. While some use their laptops as their main systems, if I want to do anything serious like gaming, I just use my desktop. I just use a laptop for checking e-mail, surfing the web, and doing some writing in more comfortable areas than my computer desk. I think this newer generation of laptops serves that segment well.January 16, 2008 at 2:56 am #13587OctaviousParticipant
That’s sick.January 16, 2008 at 3:52 am #13588
I don’t know. To me it seems really pricey for something that doesn’t come with that many bells and whistles. Seems to me the only thing going for it is that it’s paper thin, and I really could care less about that. My notebook’s about an inch thick (or less). Do we really need to spend $3,000 on something that looks like an anorexic airplane tray table.January 16, 2008 at 5:00 am #13583
For me, I think that the Air is just about perfect. I watch movies, play on the internet, write a little, and that’s about it. This machine is perfect for that.
Also, Bryan and I were talking about it earlier and I was thinking about how he was bummed about the lack of a firewire port. This is much more for the casual person, not the hardcore power-user. I think that the Macbook Pro serves as the ultimate workhorse of the group. I mean, look at the hard drive — 80 gb isn’t even close to being something for one of the hardcore — and the removal of a firewire port is kinda proof of Apple’s reasoning that the Macbook Pro serves as the ultimate road pc. This new machine is mostly for a whole new group of people — the casual internet guy.January 16, 2008 at 5:30 am #13580
Something you are going to find casual reviewers, Apple fans at large (and even worse) non-Apple owners saying a lot about, is how this machine is not ____ or doesn’t have _____. I even caught myself doing this on the phone with Rob this afternoon. Let’s put the whole thing in perspective, shall we?
It’s a segment machine.
It’s not built for everyone, and it’s not built for you to have a tough time deciding between a loaded MacBook or this. It’s not designed to give you a smaller desktop replacement machine, such as the MacBook Pro. Sure, I’d really like to have seen some form of FireWire on it… give me a 4-pin mini 1394, or even an extra USB 2 as a mini plug. Why do I need it? Well, I’d like to be able to hook up more that one peripheral at a time, and I want to be able to capture video from my camcorder and- There I go wanting it to be a desktop replacement again.
Let’s talk about Macs for a second. Do you realize that the MacBook is a consumer laptop… and Apple’s entry point into the notebook market? Entry. Let’s compare it to the similarly priced consumer product from best-selling brand Dell. You’d have to get right into the XPS line to start comparing… you can try it with others, but you’ll have to custom build to get a solid comparison. This is Dell’s top notebooks by the way.
MacBook @ 1099: 2.0 GHz | OSX (1 edition for everything) | 1GB RAM | iSight | 13.3″ LED display | 80GB SATA HD | Combo Drive | x3100 Graphics | Airport Wireless B/G/N | Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR | 55 Watt-hour lithium polymer battery | Analog/Digital Audio | Mini DVI/VGA out |
Dell @ 999: 1.6 GHz (for $100 you can even the price up to even and have a 2.0GHz) | Windows Vista Home Premium | 1GB RAM | WebCam | 13.3″ LED display | 120 GB SATA HD | Combo Drive | x3100 Graphics | Wireless B/G | what? No bluetooth? | 37 Watt-hour lithium ion battery | VGA out/HDMI out | card reader
Okay… so here’s what I’m pointing out to you. After a WHILE of the MacBook (the consumer product) being in market, the Dell product came along with a near match in features and price point… in the XPS line. Entry for Dell is much lower priced, but the point is that they believe that you will need to be a power user or a pro to use most of those features, or to be willing to pay for them. Apple thinks the consumer wants a better OS standard, faster wireless capability, bluetooth for interacting with wireless products like keyboards, mice and mobile phones and long battery life. Dell thinks you want big hard drive, HDMI out and a card reader at the expense of shorter battery life and no bluetooth. Maybe they do good with this… but is this was pros are picking? Is it the average consumer?
Now, let’s jump up to what Apple does with pro… You can do about the same with the very top end of a bunch of products. You’ll get weaker audio, card readers and other stuff stuck in there… oh yeah, and you’ll get a big fat bloated OS that eats up more of those comparable resources.
What the fuck is your point Bryan?!?
I’m getting there.
The same people that made the choices above, starting building ultra-portables some time back… making the same kinds of choices they have before, only no successful line to price-compete with, or to try to do feature matching with. They just said make it light, small and pack some shit in there that makes it look good. We have/had a Dell ultra-portable that was ‘well rated’ for ultra-portable type duties. It’s just under 4 pounds, does about 2.75 hours with wireless on, has no optical drive, came stock with 1GB of RAM (last year) has a 12.4″ display, no bluetooth, proprietary connector for external CD burner (no DVD), no webcam, and a 40GB hard drive. This line hasn’t changed that much today.
We know that some people wanted something above the consumer level, because everyone bought above that line. But we also know that many of those people don’t need a desktop replacement like an XPS or a MacBook Pro. They need battery life forever, good performance, decent storage, the ability to connect on the go, and software features.
So, this MacBook Air…
Has nearly the horsepower of Apple’s other notebook products, comes packed with RAM… the same amount I use to edit HD video, work in Photoshop all day and such, a killer battery, great wireless… and oh by the way, it won’t beat your ass slinging it over your shoulder in the airport; it won’t force you to rearrange a whole table to get it out and use it; It will actually fit on that fold-down airline tray, maybe even beside your drink and peanuts;
Now, I’ve really gotten to my point. If you need connectivity and features and low price point… in the Apple product line, there is nothing wrong with a Macbook. It’s quite robust. If didn’t swear I needed screen size, I’d easily be able to do my job every day with one. If you need more horsepower, and a complete desktop replacement in the Apple line the MacBook Pro is just crazy badass. We left desktops behind 1.5 years ago, and have not regretted it for a second. But if you need killer battery life, light weight and such… this is what these other two are not. It’s a segment killer in my opinion. I think the high end of it is a bit much, but solid state drives are the cause there. It will get beat a bit for the 1 USB port, but is it so much harder to have a mini-hub than to have an external drive? Beside, how many USB devices do you connect when you are in some other company’s meeting room?
I hope that people don’t beat on it too hard for it not being what THEY want in a laptop… chances are, it wasn’t even built for you. Once of the other two machines are probably a better fit. But if I had to travel 2 times as much as I did last year, I’d give up my screen real estate, my optical drive and my internal storage for this thing’s weight any day of the week. The rest, wouldn’t be giving anything up quite honestly. I’ll I’d be annoyed with is having to use a hub. By the way, I worked all day today at home without 1 USB device connected.January 16, 2008 at 5:34 am #13579rob wrote:For me, I think that the Air is just about perfect. I watch movies, play on the internet, write a little, and that’s about it. This machine is perfect for that.
Also, Bryan and I were talking about it earlier and I was thinking about how he was bummed about the lack of a firewire port. This is much more for the casual person, not the hardcore power-user. I think that the Macbook Pro serves as the ultimate workhorse of the group. I mean, look at the hard drive — 80 gb isn’t even close to being something for one of the hardcore — and the removal of a firewire port is kinda proof of Apple’s reasoning that the Macbook Pro serves as the ultimate road pc. This new machine is mostly for a whole new group of people — the casual internet guy.
I disagree… at $1800-$3000 it’s not designed for a casual anyone. It’s not a fit for you, you should still get a MacBook. It’s a fantastic machine, and you could load one up with retarded RAM and big fat hard drive and still have money to buy lots of movies and shit afterward. This is for the power user on the go. It’s not a desktop replacement, but it’s for those people that need a machine with real nuts when they are on the road, and can’t stay tethered to the office (or the wall for that matter) for any length of time. If it were made for the surfer, or the multimedia person, the remote would have been free. They know their customers, and as cool as you probably think this is, you probably are not the intended demographic. Even if you get one. 🙂January 16, 2008 at 6:21 am #13582
I should have said the casual user with a sense of style — you bring up some excellent points there, but to me, the low weight since I carry my PowerBook just about everywhere and the fact that it’s aluminum really puts it more in my ballpark.
But like I said, you’re probably right — if I do get a replacement, it probably should be a Macbook, not an Air. But that thing sure is sexy!January 16, 2008 at 7:29 am #13585digitaltopiaParticipant
Considering the price and what I’d use it for… just ultra-portable e-mail, surfing, and writing… while it looks great, I would personally probably go with the $400 Eee PC, although even that seems a bit pricey to me for what you get. Especially considering I recently read they’re supposed to be coming out with some ultra-cheap $200 laptops which I’m sure will still fit the e-mail, surfing, and writing thing just fine.January 16, 2008 at 8:22 am #13590
I meant to ask, how’s the iPhone working for you? I think right now you’re the only person I know who has one, so I’m interested to see you take on it.January 16, 2008 at 3:57 pm #13578rob wrote:I should have said the casual user with a sense of style — you bring up some excellent points there, but to me, the low weight since I carry my PowerBook just about everywhere and the fact that it’s aluminum really puts it more in my ballpark.
But like I said, you’re probably right — if I do get a replacement, it probably should be a Macbook, not an Air. But that thing sure is sexy!
The casual user with a sense of style will definitely be buyers of this… but I still maintain that they aren’t the ‘target’ since they wouldn’t need all of the horsepower this thing still has in a portable. See more below.digitaltopia wrote:Considering the price and what I’d use it for… just ultra-portable e-mail, surfing, and writing… while it looks great, I would personally probably go with the $400 Eee PC, although even that seems a bit pricey to me for what you get. Especially considering I recently read they’re supposed to be coming out with some ultra-cheap $200 laptops which I’m sure will still fit the e-mail, surfing, and writing thing just fine.
So that’s basically what I’m saying. It’s got a high price tag because it is NOT just casual surfing, email and writing. Sure it’s a really sexy nice fit for all of that, but it’s made for you to have PowerPoint, Word, Entourage and Safari open at the same time, doing image edits on a 20MB PPT deck and pulling text out of a 20 page Word document, and saving fat attachments out of your email… while surfing the web and listening to iTunes. It’s for portable power users, or to a much less extent I suppose casual users with style (that still need a little power from time to time). The Eee PC and any $200 machine couldn’t do these tasks above on most OSs without you wanting to smash it. Oh, and neither of those would do it for 5 hours.
Different audience. I’d love to have one, but it’s not the right machine for me. The 15″ MacBook Pro is. I have the 17″ though. 🙁January 16, 2008 at 3:59 pm #13581Frank wrote:Bryan,
I meant to ask, how’s the iPhone working for you? I think right now you’re the only person I know who has one, so I’m interested to see you take on it.
I love it. Love it. It’s got issues, but so has every single phone I’ve ever owned. The upside is, Apple is fixing them, and this time, they fixed several at once. If they’ll get copy/paste in there, and some software will hurry and make it to the iPhone, I’ll probably stop unshackling mine.
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