Apple Announces New Thin, “Green” Laptop – Will You Bite?

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I will admit it – I am one of those Mac evangelists that PC people hate. I got my mom to switch and she swears they are easier to use and have less problems than her old PC’s did. I won’t say anything bad about PC’s because everyone has their own preferences and I try to respect that, but I do prefer Mac’s ever since the Apple IIc was out when I was a kid. Anyway, yesterday Apple came out with their new laptop computer, the MacBook Air. Stupid name, I know…but I guess it’s because it is all about being wireless and not being tied to anything. But I still think it’s a dumb name.

So why is this laptop being mentioned here? Because it might just be the “greenest” computer available today. First off, Apple enclosed the entire thing in aluminum, which is recyclable at the end of it’s life. Since most laptops are at least 50% plastic, this is a good thing. Also, the screen is backlit by LED lights which saves a ton of energy, and has a mercury-free LCD display with arsenic-free glass – the first one ever.

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The keyboard is bromide and PVC-free, the packaging is minimal and recyclable, the internal cables are PVC-free, and it meets ENERGY STAR requirements. All sounds good, right? Well, as for the environment, it looks like they hit a home run. However, there are some things you should know about, and it seems that there are quite a few people complaining about some of these issues already.

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First off, the battery is not user-replaceable. I personally don’t have a problem with this, but a lot of people do. Apple does say they will do it for you for free, so that kind of negates that point. (You still have to buy any replacement though). It does not have an optical drive – so no CD’s or DVD’s – but again, I don’t really buy or use CD’s anymore, and if I wanted a movie or CD on this computer I could just access the file off my MacPro. And that is what Apple wants you to do – they have made it possible to access any media off any other computer. So if you have software on DVD you want to install on the MacBook Air, you do need to have access to another computer. Not a problem in my house. Also, there is only one USB port, no Firewire ports, and no ethernet connection. Thus, the “Air” part of the equation – Apple wants you to do everything wirelessly. Overall, I love this new computer and think it will work well for the majority of people who need thin and lightweight laptops. Add in the environmental aspects, and it looks even better. Check it out at Apple.com.

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Comments

  1. That was the best review I have seen period. I use a borrowed PBG4 to do the Ladder and soon have to return it and really need to get the mobile computing thingy down. Hence I have hounded every article about that Mac Air! I have no intention of leaving Apple. No Way.
    Still I don’t have that kinda dough, ya’know? It would be a real $tretch, (but I gotta do the Ladder or the world won’t like it one bit when I start showing up in public with an armful of throwing-pies:) I mean, it will probably have to be ebay or somet’ing along those lines.

    I must be indestructibly mobile, as I take the train to NOLa every month or so to perform music, check with surviving friends, hear live music, eat the city and whatnot…usually more whatnot…and the Ladder has to happen Every Morning. That is why I find the wifi so attractive but one doesn’t alway find wifi so available. I love this big G4 but really don’t need all of it truth be told. That Air sure seems to fill the bill. Does it have speakers? How long does the battery last?
    Do you think it will come down in price after the initial Hrump? The way they did the iPhone, only sooner? If I try a computer to hold me over until able to afford the Air, do you have any recommendations?
    Thank you again for that excellent review.
    Bruce
    editor~NO News Ladder

  2. What size MBPro do you have Greg? I am contemplating getting a new one, and as much as I like the Air, I just don’t think it is enough for me, and not being able to update anything might be a PITA.

  3. Oh I think the Air is so cool, but $1800 for a laptop that is way less powerful than the $1100 MacBook. So torn, so torn. Granted, I don’t need my laptop to do any of my graphic or video editing work, but still.

    So tempted…Oh Apple, why?!?!

  4. The newer 12″ one? They are nice and much skinner than my old iBook 12″. But this MBA – so torn now. I am actually in the discussions forum over at Apple in the MBA forum reading what people are talking about.

  5. I have the 15″. Coming from a 12 there was no way I could jump to the 17. The 15 still feels big, and heavy. My 12 could not lift the 3d work I was doing any more, so I had to move up. I still miss the small size of my old machine though.

    If my work allowed I’d go for the Air in a minute.

  6. You want my entire Mac laptop history?

    First – Powerbook Duo – don’t even remember the model number, but we had the whole dock thing – it rocked!

    Powerbook 2400 – another smallest ever PowerBook. Started my plan business drafting on its tiny screen in the evenings – yikes, in 2001 – not that long ago!

    iBook G3 600 mhz – still pretty small, and worked so well, my daughter still uses it.

    12″ aluminum Powerbook – awesome little machine, fast enough for me to do my 3d work and drafting – even smaller than the ibook and 2400.

    Then a big hole in the sub-notebook range from Apple, I needed a new machine, and here I am with a 15 now…

    I know 1800 is a lot more than 1000, but its still not that much. About the same as my Duo way back when. Its got plenty of ram – you don’t need to add anything to it.

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