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Tech reviewer trinity tackles MacBook Air

Posted at 1:04 PM on January 24, 2008 by Jon Gordon

The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg, Newsweek's Steven Levy and USA Today's Ed Baig are out with their reviews of Apple's super-thin notebook, the MacBook Air.


"It’s impossible to convey in words just how pleasing and surprising this computer feels in the hand. It’s so svelte when closed that it’s a real shock to discover the big screen and keyboard inside.

But there’s a price for this laptop’s daring design: Apple had to give up some features road warriors consider standard in a subnotebook, and certain of these omissions are radical."


The Air shines most, of course, when it's out in the open--on an airplane seatback tray, on a conference table, beside your latte in a Starbucks and on your lap when you're sprawled on the sofa. (Bonus: the Air doesn't run as hot as Apple's other laptops--it's actually possible to work for an hour with the device on your lap without the feeling that your fertility is at stake.) The gentle curves and the absence of protrusions make this an instant object of techno-lust, another notch in Apple's belt of design triumphs. Most importantly, its diminutive dimensions pretty much evaporate the eternal quandary of whether or not to take your computer along with you ... But in service of slimness, something had to go, and depending on how you use computers, these compromises might either be negligible or deal killers.


"The skinny — the word can't be emphasized enough — $1,799 (and up) computer will make students and frequent business travelers gush. Encased in aluminum, Air has a comfortable-to-type-on full-size keyboard, widescreen 13.3-inch display and an iSight video camera.

But with too few ports, a sealed battery that you can't replace on your own and no built-in CD/DVD drive, Air is not the ideal laptop for everyone. And while battery power is impressive, it pooped out in my tests well short of the best-case, five-hour scenario Apple has been touting."