A tardy review of the Macbook Air

| Jan. 27, 2008

Did you say you wanted a review of the Macbook Air several weeks after its debut? Well, you’re getting one anyway. I was going to call this review the “Macbook Who Cares” because I’m so witheringly clever, but I’m sure there’s a bandwagon of bad “air” puns out there already. Into “thin air”, “hot air”, “break like the air” — those are all for free.

Part laptop, mostly air.The first thing you notice about the Air is how small it is. How did Apple do it? If you’d told me all you had to do to make a smaller laptop was remove the optical drive and a bunch of ports, I would never have believed you. But somehow Apple harnessed the power of “removing stuff” and produced the Air.

Will wonders never cease?

It was while reading a better review from Engadget that I realized what other Apple product the Air most resembles: the G4 Cube.

Both were received to great enthusiasm and are a marvel to look at. They are also too small, too expensive, oddly-ported, difficult to upgrade one-offs that have no long-term sustainability. In both cases, Apple has released to manufacturing what are the computer equivalent of concept cars. Just as the slot-loading drive, touch-sensitive buttons, smaller form factor and DVI port of the Cube began to appear on a lot of later Mac hardware, the features and advances of the Air will soon find their way into much cooler — and more practical — iMacs, Power Macs and iPods.

Yes, “there’s something in the air” — unfortunately it’s Icarus.

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