Apple took a completely different approach to ultralight notebook computers with the MacBook Air (MBA). Where netbooks used small screens, shrunken keyboards, and underpowered CPUs, Apple has gone very, very thin so the MacBook Air can have a 13.3″ LED backlit display, a full-sized keyboard, and a 1.6 GHz Core 2 Duo CPU – along with up to 5 hours of battery life without turning off AirPort.
New to the MacBook line is a large multitouch trackpad, which lets MacBook Air users do the same kind of things iPhone users can. The MacBook Air uses a special version of the Core 2 CPU that’s 60% smaller than usual. (You can upgrade to a 1.8 GHz CPU for US$300 additional.) There is no built-in optical drive.
The MacBook Air is Apple’s first computer to support wireless NetBoot, and the Remote Disc software that comes with the MBA (on CD) can turn a Mac or Windows PC into a NetBoot server, allowing access to that computer’s optical drive from the MBA even for reinstalling the operating system. (However, you have to use a USB optical drive to install Windows for use with Boot Camp or virtualization. You can add an external USB 2.0 SuperDrive that is only compatible with the MBA for US$99.)
The MacBook Air has the same footprint as the MacBook, but it’s 2.2 lb. lighter and was the first Mac with a unibody aluminum design.
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A few things are missing. This is the first aluminum Mac notebook since 1999 without FireWire, and it only has one USB port. There is no option to upgrade RAM from the 2 GB built into the computer, because it’s soldered to the logic board. There’s no built-in ethernet port; if you need ethernet, Apple sells a USB 2.0 ethernet adapter for $29. The Apple Remote is not included with the MBA; it sells for $19.
The MacBook Air is available only with an 18-bit glossy display, not the 24 bits you might expect. Like the iPod and iPhone, it does not have an easily replaceable battery. Cost to have Apple replace the 37 Watt-hour battery out of warranty is $130.
The MacBook Air was available in two configurations, which can be further customized:
- 1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 80 GB 4200 rpm hard drive, 2 GB RAM, built-in iSight, and a 1280 x 800 display for US$1,799.
- 1.8 GHz, 64 GB solid state drive, 2 GB RAM, US$3,098.
What You Need to Know
With 2 GB of memory and no upgrade possible, OS X 10.5 Leopard and 10.6 Snow Leopard are your best OS choices, especially 10.6 since it is optimized for Intel. OS X 10.7 Lion is too demanding of resources to be practical on the original MacBook Air unless you’ve upgraded to an SSD, and even then you might not be happy with its performance.
The MacBook Air was the only Intel-based Mac designed to run from a parallel ATA hard drive, a tiny, slow 80 GB microdrive also used in iPods. Then again, SSD was so expensive in Early 2008 that it cost $999 to upgrade to a 64 GB SSD. As of August 2014, you can upgrade to a 60 GB SSD for $149 or a 128 GB SSD for $247 from Other World Computing.
Because you can’t upgrade RAM, your best upgrades are to replace the poky microdrive – or even Apple’s original SSD – with a fast new SSD and run OS X 10.6.
Closed Lid Mode: All Intel ‘Books support “lid closed” (or clamshell) mode, which leaves the built-in display off and dedicates all video RAM to an external display. To used closed lid mode, your ‘Book must be plugged into the AC adapter and connected to an external display and a USB or Bluetooth mouse and keyboard (you might also want to consider external speakers). Power up your ‘Book until the desktop appears on the external display and then close the lid. Your ‘Book will go to sleep, but you can wake it by moving the mouse or using the keyboard. The built-in display will remain off, and the external monitor will become your only display. Since all video RAM is now dedicated to the external monitor, you may have more colors available at higher resolutions. The MacBook Air is designed to run safely in closed lid mode, but if yours runs hot (perhaps due to overclocking or high ambient temperatures), you may want to open the lid when in closed lid mode: The screen will remain off and the computer will more readily vent heat from the CPU.
To resume use of the internal display, you need to disconnect the external display, put the computer to sleep, and then open the lid. This will wake up your ‘Book and restore use of the built-in display.
Intel-based Macs use a partitioning scheme known as GPT. Only Macintel models can boot from GPT hard drives. Both PowerPC and Intel Macs can boot from APM (Apple’s old partitioning scheme) hard drives, which is the format you must use to create a universal boot drive in Leopard. Power PC Macs running any version of the Mac OS prior to 10.4.2 cannot mount GPT volumes. PowerPC Macs won’t let you install OS X to a USB drive or choose it as your startup volume, although there is a work around for that.
- Nickname: AirBook
- introduced 2008.01.15 at US$1,799 (1.6 GHz) and US$3,098 (1.8 GHz with solid state drive), due to ship 2 weeks later; build-to-order price for SSD reduced US$400 and 1.8 GHz CPU $100 2007.07.04, making top-end model US$2,598; replaced by Late 2008 model 2008.10.14
- CPU: 1.6/1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P7500/P7700
- Bus: 800 MHz
- RAM: 2 GB
- Level 2 cache: 4 MB shared cache
- Part no.: unknown
- requires Mac OS X 10.5.1 Leopard to 10.7 Lion; not compatible with 10.8 Mountain Lion or later
- Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard compatibility
- Grand Central Dispatch is supported.
- 64-bit operation is supported.
- OpenCL is not supported with Intel X3100 GPU.
- Geekbench 2, 32-bit: 2044 (1.6 GHz), 1800 (1.8 GHz)
- Geekbench 2, 64-bit: 2352 (1.6 GHz), 2455 (1.8 GHz)
- Geekbench 3, 32-bit, 1 core: 771 (1.6 GHz), 814 (1.8 GHz)
- Geekbench 3, 32-bit, multicore: 1211 (1.6 GHz), 1282 (1.8 GHz)
- Geekbench 3, 64-bit, 1 core: 899 (1.6 GHz)
- Geekbench 3, 64-bit, multicore: 1413 (1.6 GHz)
- Xbench 1.3 (1.6 GHz hard drive model)
- overall: 40.65
- CPU: 77.83
- memory: 127.09
- Quartz graphics: 96.97
- OpenGL graphics: 13.92
- Hard drive: 20.30
- GPU: Intel X3100 with resolution to 1920 x 1200 on external display (mini-DVI port), supports extended desktop.
- VRAM: 144 MB (shared with main memory)
- Video out: Micro-DVI (DVI, VGA, S-video, and composite supported with adapters; DVI and VGA adapters included)
- display: 13.3″ glossy 1280 x 800 18-bit 113 ppi color active matrix
- supports 1280 x 800, 1152 x 720, 1024 x 768, 1024 x 640, 800 x 600, 800 x 500, 720 x 480, and 640 x 480 pixels at 16:10 aspect ratio; 1024 x 768, 800 x 600, and 640 x 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio; 720 x 480 at 3:2 aspect ratio
- allows mirroring to external display and extended desktop mode
- Hard drive: 80 GB 4200 rpm 1.8″ hard drive (same one used in iPod classic), 64 GB solid state drive optional at US$999 additional
- SuperDrive: optional external USB 2.0 drive, requires high power USB port (only compatible with MacBook Air)
- floppy drive: external USB only
- expansions bays: none
- USB: 1 USB 2.0 port
- FireWire: none
- IR port: none
- ExpressCard/34 slots: none
- Ethernet: optional USB-to-ethernet adapter
- Modem: external USB only
- WiFi: 802.11n AirPort Extreme built in
- Bluetooth: BT 2.0 built in
- size: 8.94 x 12.8 x 0.16-0.76″ (227 x 325 x 4.0-19.4 mm)
- Weight: 3.0 pounds (1.36 kg)
- Low End Mac’s best MacBook Air deals.
- Road Apple: The Original MacBook Air
- Best Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Deals. Best online prices for Snow Leopard.
- Best Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Deals. Best online prices for Leopard.
- The October 2008 MacBook value equation, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.10.15. Apple changed the entire MacBook lineup on Tuesday. How do close-out prices compare to the new ones?
- Upgrading a First Gen MacBook Air With a SSD, Brad Moon, Wired, 2012.02.13. “It took the better part of the day, but eventually, my old MacBook Air was once again operational. And significantly faster on boot-up and launching of applications.”
- Extended coverage for MacBook Air hinge, Mac Portable Retrospective, iBook as netbook, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2009.09.25. Also building a Pismo from 3 dead ones, upgrading RAM, buyers interested in Apple tablet, first USB 3.0 ExpressCard adapter, bargain ‘Books from $179 to $2,294, and more.
- Protect your notebook against loss, theft, data loss, and security breaches, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.08.25. 10 percent of laptops are lost or stolen every year. Tips on preventing theft, securing your data, and recovering from a lost, stolen, or broken notebook.
- The 64-bitness of Mac OS X 10.6 ‘Snow Leopard’, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2009.08.19. Although Apple is promoting ‘Snow Leopard’ as a fully 64-bit operating system, it defaults to running in 32-bit mode.
- The Road Ahead: 64-bit Computing, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2009.08.19. Personal computers started with 8-bit CPUs, Macs started out with a 24-bit operating system, and 32-bit computing is starting to give way to 64 bits.
- OS X 10.6 requirements, why Apple owns the high end, when to upgrade your Mac, and more, Mac News Review, 2009.08.14. Also Microsoft Word patent infringement, BackPack shelf for iMac and Cinema Displays, two updated Bible study programs, and more.
- No Final Cut 3 with Intel graphics, MacBook Pro hard drive lag, small USB 2.0 monitor, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2009.08.07. Also 13″ MacBook Pro ‘a cut above the rest’, Windows 7 to boost netbook prices, CPU Speed Menu, Logitech Unifying Receiver, bargain ‘Books from $179 to $1,999, and more.
- OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard for $29, run Windows on your Mac for Free, Update Breaks Office 2008, and more, Mac News Review, 2009.08.07. Also getting your Mac ready for Snow Leopard, Time Capsule doubles capacity, Picasa 3 for Mac, Bodega Mac app store, and more.
- Optimized Software Builds Bring Out the Best in Your Mac, Dan Knight, Low End Mac’s Online Tech Journal, 2009.06.30. Applications compiled for your Mac’s CPU can load more quickly and run faster than ones compiled for universal use.
- Low End Mac’s Safe Sleep FAQ, Dan Knight, Online Tech Journal, 2009.06.15. What is Safe Sleep mode? Which Macs support it? How can you enable or disable it? And more.
- The Safe Sleep Mailbag, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.06.15. Safe Sleep mode is enabled by default on modern MacBooks. How it works, and how to change how it works.
- MacBook White updated, DIY Mac tablet, danger of ‘Safe Sleep’, $350 80 GB SSD kit, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2009.05.29. Also Apple tablet ‘confirmed’, 3G and lower cost MacBook Air models rumored, 500 GB bus powered hard drive, Mini DisplayPort adapters, bargain ‘Books from $179 to $2,299, and more.
- Mac ‘Book Power Management Adventures, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.05.19. If your ‘Book won’t power up, shuts down while your working, or has other power issues, resetting its internal power manager may clear things up.
- Nvidia replacing faulty graphic chips, Mac netbook speculation, OS X on a netbook, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2009.03.20. Also MacBook mod puts screen behind Apple logo, $150 green battery, external battery for MacBook Air, new notebook stands, bargain ‘Books from $170 to $2,999, and more.
- Making the switch from a G4 PowerBook to a Unibody MacBook, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.03.17. The transition to an Intel-based Mac hasn’t been without its problems – slow dialup performance, incompatibility with Eudora, and no real gain in speed with standby apps.
- Unibody MacBook vs. 12″ PowerBook, 17″ MacBook Pro disassembled, living with MacBook Air, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2009.02.20. Also replacing hard drive much simpler in new MacBook Pro, netbooks now 20% of notebook market, notebook dock with video, bargain ‘Books from $499 to $1,899, and more.
- Heat management for ‘Books and the last Mac to run OS 9.1, Phil Herlihy, The Usefulness Equation, 2009.01.08. Tips on keeping a first-gen MacBook Air from throttling back with CoolBook, using G4FanControl with a G4 PowerBook, and the fastest Mac that can boot Mac OS 9.1.
- 2 compact portable USB 2.0 hubs, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.01.12. Compact hubs from Targus and Proporta make a great complement to your notebook computer. Each accepts a third-party AC adapter to provide bus power.
- MacBook keyboard among best ever, glass trackpad less than intuitive, TiBook desktop mod, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2009.01.09. Also $179 to change battery in 17in MacBook Pro, argument for an Apple netbook, MacBook Air SuperDrive hacked for any Mac, bargain ‘Books from $170 to $2,299, and more.
- No, an overgrown iPod touch is not a netbook, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2009.01.06. BlackBerry pretends its Storm is a netbook, but a netbook needs to be big enough for a typable keyboard.
- Ubuntu Linux and Boot camp make it easy to create a triple boot Mac, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2008.12.24. Boot Camp makes it easy to install Windows on Intel Macs, and Ubuntu now makes it easy to install Linux to a virtual Windows drive.
- The ‘Better Safe Than Sorry’ Guide to Installing Mac OS X Updates, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.12.16. Most users encounter no problems using Software Update, but some preflight work and using the Combo updater means far less chance of trouble.
- Unibody MacBook video problems, DisplayPort DRM loosened a bit, Mac netbook discussion, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.12.05. Also free licensing for Mini DisplayPort, the sexy clamshell iBook, Apple’s liquid cooled notebook plans, Sonnet FW 400/800 adapter, bargain ‘Books from $500 to $2,299, and more.
- MacBook slowdown without battery, DisplayPort and DRM, 256 GB SSD, MagSafe solutions, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.11.26. Also Mac netbook prospects, laptop cooling table with 2 fans, solar notebook bag, hard shell cases for unibody ‘Books, bargain ‘Books from $500 to $2,299, and more.
- Software to keep your MacBook cool, Phil Herlihy, The Usefulness Equation, 2008.11.25. Heat is the enemy of long hardware life. Two programs to keep your MacBook running cooler.
- Netbooks tempting, cry out for Mac OS X, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.11.24. Netbooks are light, cheap, compact, and underpowered. One with OS X and a real Core 2 Duo processor would fly.
- DisplayPort copy protection, trackpad update, netbooks not to be taken lightly, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.11.21. Also Apple set for record sales, 4-finger gestures on original MacBook Air, MacBook Apple’s best consumer notebook to date, Cricket laptop stand, bargain ‘Books from $490 to $2,299, and more.
- Virtualization shootout: VMWare Fusion 2 vs. Parallels Desktop 4, Kev Kitchens, Kitchens Sync, 2008.11.20. Both programs do the same thing, but one runs Windows XP smoothly alongside Mac apps, while the other bogs down everything but Windows.
- Kensington Ci95m Wireless Mouse: Great battery life, smooth performance, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.11.13. Kensington’s slim wireless mouse is well built, works smoothly, has great battery life, and avoids Bluetooth pairing and wake-up issues.
- Targus USB 2.0 High-Speed File Transfer Cable helps offset loss of FireWire, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.11.10. Although it can’t replace Target Disk Mode, Targus’ $40 cable makes it easy to transfer files quickly between two Macs, two PCs, or one of each.
- A brief history of portable computing: From Dynabook to netbooks, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.11.06. 40 years ago Alan Kay dreamt of a two pound handheld computer. Portables have made a lot of changes since 1981, but haven’t yet matched the Dynabook.
- One OS to rule them all, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2008.10.29. With Fusion or Parallels letting you run Windows at full speed, Mac OS X gives you the best of both worlds.
- Apple’s new production technology: Is it worth it?, Tim Nash, Taking Back the Market, 2008.10.27. Carving MacBook bodies from a block of aluminum simplifies production, increases assembly automation, and gives Apple a leg up on the competition.
- Will Apple’s rumored $800 notebook be a netbook?, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.10.13. Netbooks are hot, and with the economy in turmoil, Apple needs to offer a netbook for the OS X crowd.
- How to clone Mac OS X to a new hard drive, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2008.10.07. Whether you want to put a bigger, faster drive in your Mac or clone OS X for use in another Mac, here’s the simple process.
- CodeWeavers brings Google’s Chrome browser to Intel Macs, Alan Zisman, Zis Mac, 2008.10.02. Google’s new Chrome browser uses separate processes for each tab and brings other changes to Windows users. Now Mac fans can try it as well.
- MacBook Air makes a convert, Alan Zisman, Zis Mac, 2008.09.24. Apple’s thin, light MacBook Air makes a great field computer for someone who already has a desktop system up and running.
- With 10% of the US notebook market, where will Apple go next?, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.09.19. Apple increased its share of the North American notebook market by 60% over the past year and moved to fourth place. What can it do for an encore?
- BYO $550 Mac netbook, new MacBooks rumored for October, notebook battery famine, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.09.12. Also MacBook Air owners have mixed results with latest update, Intel’s fast and costly solid state drives, laptop docking station, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $2,699, and more.
- Buy a MacBook now or wait?, MacBook touch patents, Samsung X360 takes on MBA, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.09.05. Also 20 years of portable Macs, data backup and preservation, universal U-Charge battery charger for Mac ‘Books, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $2,699, and more.
- Tomorrow’s solid state drives and notebooks, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.09.04. Flash drives are great but have some shortcomings. Some thoughts on building better SSDs and notebooks to use them.
- New ‘Books likely in September, 17in PowerBook display fault site, SSD security, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.08.29. Also 6 ways to speed up your MacBook, next generation MacBook Air CPU, MacBook Air Update, LapStrap carrying solution, rise and fall of ultraportables, bargain ‘Books from $220 to $2,699, and more.
- Does running OS X system maintenance routines really do any good?, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.08.26. Mac OS X is designed to run certain maintenance routines daily, weekly, and monthly – but can’t if your Mac is off or asleep.
- Simple Mac security in the age of malware, Kev Kitchens, Kitchens Sync, 2008.08.13. Unlike Windows PCs, at this point Macs can’t become infected simply from being on the Internet, but you still need to be careful about your downloads.
- Next gen MacBook rumors and speculation, Laptop Laidback 3 released, privacy screen, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.08.01. Also Apple warns of MacBook drought, mobile chip overkill?, Apple rumored abandoning Intel chipsets, MacBook Air requires SuperDrive to install Windows, bargain ‘Books from $325 to $3,069, and more.
- Tricking out your notebook for superior desktop duty, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.07.29. For desktop use, you don’t need to be limited by the built-in trackpad, keyboard, and display or a notebook’s compromised ergonomics.
- Kensington Portable Power Outlet a great accessory for the road warrior, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.07.22. With three AC outlets and two USB charging ports, this compact device is a great way to have extra power outlets when you’re on the go.
- Free VirtualBox for Mac now a virtual contender, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2008.07.21. A year ago, the Mac version of VirtualBox lacked some essential features. Over the past year, it’s grown into a very useful tool.
- New MacBook models for the back-to-school buying season?, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.07.21. Intel’s new Centrino 2 platform plus the long time since MacBook and MacBook Pro updates makes new Mac notebooks almost a certainty before school resumes.
- 4-core Core 2 Extreme mobile CPU in August, 256 MB SSD coming to MacBook Air, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.07.18. Also Centrino 2 shipping, OS X running on tiny MSI Wind notebook, fuel cell notebooks one step closer, free laptop tracking service, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $2,649, and more.
- MacBooks cheaper than PC laptops, SSD power draw debated, MacBook Air showdowns, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.07.11. Also Samsung fires up 128 GB SSD, next gen MacBook Pro design, drawbacks of MagSafe, 7200 rpm vs. 5400 rpm drive benchmarks, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $2,649, and more.
- Time Machine can now backup to a shared hard drive, Alan Zisman, Zis Mac, 2008.07.08. Earlier versions of Leopard didn’t seem to allow backup to a shared drive on another Mac, but the 10.5.4 update allows it.
- Win the depreciation game by buying on the low end, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.06.24. The worst depreciation afflicts high-end models. By buying a less powerful version, choosing certified refurbished, or picking up a used computer, you’ll come out ahead.
- MacBook vs. MacBook Pro, 500 GB drive for MacBooks, Toshiba intros lightest laptop, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.06.20. Also 17″ MacBook Pro ‘best desktop replacement’, 15″ MacBook Pro vertical stripes and off-color screen, solar power for the MacBook Air, magnesium shell for the MacBook, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $2,749, and more.
- No widescreen display for me, accessing MacWrite files, Fedora Linux for G3 Macs, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.06.19. Why monitors need more height, not more width; using MacWrite files, unleashing old Macs with Linux, and using badram to work around bad RAM in LInux.
- Praise for Opera, low cost iBook mobo replacement, IrDA and IRtalk, WaMCom recommended, and more, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.06.18. Also the use of ‘compleat’, booting from CD, new Toshiba 1.8″ drives too thick for MBA, and PowerPC support and Snow Leopard.
- 16:9 computer displays: Let’s not go there, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.06.17. “…there’s no reason our computer displays should match the proportions of our television displays.”
- 5400 rpm 1.8″ drive, Apple grows notebook share by 61%, MacBook Air attracts, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.06.13. Also poor WiFi in MacBook Pro linked to Real Player, how to dim the Penryn MacBook Pro’s sleep light, low-end notebook sales taking off, 2-finger scrolling for older ‘Books, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $2,749, and more.
- Glimmers of innovation in a world of copycat PCs, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2008.06.10. Everyone can’t play Follow the Leader – someone has to be the first to try something different.
- SheepShaver brings Classic Mac OS to Intel Macs and Leopard, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2008.05.20. Mac OS X 10.5 doesn’t support Classic Mode. Neither does Leopard. But SheepShaver lets you emulate a PowerPC Mac and run the Classic Mac OS.
- Limited USB bus power in Santa Rosa Macs, 1 TB in your ‘Book, MacBook cooler, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.05.16. Also Hitachi first to market with 320 GB 7200 rpm notebook drive, Apple to refund for sparking power adapters, interoffice style sleevecases, 10 hour external MacBook Air battery, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $2,699, and more.
- Windows on Macs: Three paths for integration, Jason Packer, Macs in the Enterprise, 2008.05.14. Mac users have three routes for running Windows apps: Run Windows using Boot Camp or virtualization, or use a compatibility layer such as WINE.
- MacBook sales explode, MacBook Air reviews, several new hard drives, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.05.09. Also silver-zinc batteries may outlast lithium-ion, Bell Aliant bundling MacBook with Internet access, notebook drives benchmarked, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $2,699, and more.
- MacBook Air overheating, MacBook Pro vertical striping, flash vs. hard drive, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.05.02. Also the 2008 econo-Mac stimulus plan, MacBook Air ‘most attractive laptop ever’, low latency RAM put to the test, combo notebook/monitor stand, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $2,699, and more.
- Firmware 1.5 screen blanking, air travel notebook stand, battery calibration, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.04.25. Also aluminum MacBook rumored, PowerBook converted to desktop, Apple IIgs converted to notebook, new battery tech may end explosions, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $2,699, and more.
- Graphic glitches plague Penryn ‘Books, MacBook Air reassuringly solid, 3D Notebook mouse, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.04.18. Also adding RAM to a MacBook Pro, notebook buyer’s guides, falling in love with the MacBook Air, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $2,699, and more.
- Mac benchmarks, firmware updates for all MacBooks, sleep-and-charge USB ports, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.04.11. Also troubleshooting the MacBook Air, keyboard protectors and sleeve cases for the MacBook Air, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $3,099, and more.
- 18-bit video inadequate, restoring AppleWorks speed, Macintosh display info, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.04.09. Also problems importing AppleWorks drawings and a damaged, unfixable mail database in Outlook Express 5.
- Millions vs. thousands of colors: What’s the difference?, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.04.07. Once again Apple is being sued over a Mac that can display ‘only’ 262,144 colors per pixel, not the millions it claims. Does it realy matter?
- Atom CPU runs cooler and longer, MacBook Air a supermodel, 2008 MacBook migration tips, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.04.04. Also MacBooks for earthquake detection, 802.11g for G3 and G4 PowerBooks, upgrades for Pismo PowerBooks, CPU Speed Menu Switch software, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $3,099, and more.
- First 320 GB 7200 rpm notebook drive, USB ports inside MacBook Air, Modbook impressive, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.03.28. Also Vista on MacBook Air, 256 GB SSD you can’t afford, new BTO MacBook Pro 18 percent faster, MacBook impressive, solar laptop bag, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $2,699, and more.
- MacBook Air tossed out with newspapers, Penryn MacBook and MBP reviews, MacBook Periscope, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.03.14. Also Intel shows 160 GB SSD, Microsoft losing ground, fix for MacBook Air overheating, mini surge protector with USB power, multiple monitors with MBP, bargain ‘Books from $260 to $2,699, and more.
- New MacBook and MacBook Pro models, MacBook Air design ‘wasteful’, Penryn benchmarked, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.02.29. Also hands on with the new MacBooks, MagSafe issues, MacBook Air temperature tests, cooling stands and notebook cases, bargain ‘Books from $170 to $2,349, and more.
- Mac again: Picking the right MacBook, Andrew J Fishkin, Best Tools for the Job, 2008.02.27. The 5-year-old PowerBook needed replacing, but is the MacBook Air or the regular MacBook the better choice?
- Apple design in the MacBook Air era, John Muir, My Turn, 2008.02.25. The MacBook Air represents Apple’s first fully new Macintosh design since the Mac mini was introduced, and it’s destined to shape the look of Macs to come.
- MacBook Air selling poorly?, Macs benchmarked with Leopard, MacBook Air reviews, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.02.22. Also Travelstar 7K200 a great replacement drive, keyboard update restores first keypress, MBA ethernet adapter works with other Macs, bargain ‘Books from $170 to $2,849, and more.
- MacBook Air a compelling option for the true road warrior, Steve Watkins, The Practical Mac, 2008.02.22. Although it’s not intended as a desktop replacement and has a few shortcomings, the lightweight MacBook Air with its 13″ display could be the perfect field computer.
- Reinstall OS X on MacBook Air, going from MacBook to Eee PC, high capacity batteries, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.02.15. Also thoughts on the next MacBook Pro, more MacBook Air reviews, updates from Apple, Windows XP almost ready for OLPC, and bargain ‘Books from $170 to $2,599.
- MacBook Air Face-off: HDD vs SSD (with Video), Prince McLean, Apple Insider, 2008.02.11. “…in disk reading and particularly random access reads, the SSD was dramatically faster: as much as 18 times faster.”
- Could a wireless dock be in the MacBook Air’s future?, John Hatchett, My Turn, 2008.02.11. The MacBook Air is too limited in terms of connectivity, but what if Apple thought outside the box and created a MacBook Dock that connected by WiFi?
- Solid state drive vs. hard drive in MacBook Air, Mac drivers for Atheros WiFi cards, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.02.08. Also MacBook Air reviewed, Intel offers new CPU to all, MacBook Pro update imminent, MBA teardown, 8x SuperDrive for MacBooks, bargain ‘Books from $180 to $2,599, and more.
- Is the MacBook Air too lightweight for serious users?, Alan Zisman, Zis Mac, 2008.02.06. Apple’s slim, ultralight notebook incites lust, but with so many compromises it may not be your ideal field computer.
- MacBook Air reviews, Modbook interview, cracking open the Clamshell iBook, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.02.01. Also info on the Solid State Drive for the MBA, Intel’s custom MBA CPU, MBA Developer Note, MacBook User Guide, bargain ‘Books from $200 to $3,079, and more.
- Maybe no to MacBook Air drive upgrade, MS customer support, and Leopard on an eMac, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.01.25. MacBook Air may be limited to 5mm thin hard drives, Office: 2008 upgrade orders, external SuperDrive only works with MacBook Air, and Leopard on a 700 MHz eMac.
- MacBook Air battery easy to replace, Fujitsu Tablet PC Lighter and Cheaper than MacBook Air, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.01.25. Also MacBook Air SuperDrive needs high power USB port, booting with Remote Disc, Seagate Momentus notebook drive reaches 250 GB, MacBook Air cases, bargain ‘Books from $150 to $3,079, and more.
- Is the MacBook Air this road warrior’s dream machine?, Andrew J Fishkin, Best Tools for the Job, 2008.01.24. A longtime ultraportable user and 12″ PowerBook G4 fan looks at the compromises in Apple’s lightweight notebook. Will it become his next ultraportable?
- The MacBook Air makes a statement, Frank Fox, My Turn, 2008.01.23. Apple’s MacBook Air isn’t designed to be all things to all users. It’s designed to tell the world “this is all I need when away from my desk.”
- More crumbling Macs, good news about MacBook Air storage, WiFi options for Classic Mac OS, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.01.23. Also reconsidering the MacBook Air, sometimes USB 2.0 cables are better, Mac switcher mistakes, Intel Mac mini or PowerBook G4, and more.
- MacBook Air vs. ThinkPad X300, moving from MacBook to PowerBook, USB 2.0 cables, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.01.22. Also another crumbling G3 iMac, a Rev. B iMac brought back from the dead, ‘fencing in’ type in HTML, and Leopard on an AGP Power Mac G4.
- MacBook Air: What do you do when there’s no WiFi?, John Hatchett, My Turn, 2008.01.22. Every modern PowerBook had ethernet and a modem, but how do you connect the MacBook Air when there’s no WiFi service?
- Early obsolescence and the MacBook Air, free Mac antivirus software, recent AAPL price drop, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.01.21. Also MacBook Air vs. Windows competitors, cost of MBA battery in Europe, can new Mac Pro Run Tiger?, iCab, and Leopard on a Digital Audio Power Mac.
- MacBook Air a Road Apple?, beautiful Macquarium, a Compact Flash to SCSI adapter, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.01.18. Also problems with a D-Link USB WiFi adapter, hi-def iTunes movie resolution, MacBook Air whiners, and another Pismo lover.
- MacBook Air unveiled, examined, and debated, The ‘Book Review, 2008.01.18. Initial impressions of the lightweight MacBook Air, its built-in battery, troubleshooting. and more. Also bargain ‘Books from $150 to $2,899.
- MacBook Air: Return of the PowerBook Duo?, Robert Alpizar, Marketing the Mac, 2008.10.29. Like the PowerBook Duo, the MacBook Air is the ideal field computer, but it needs a lot more features when its on your desk.
- The MacBook Air misses the mark, Barry Shell, My Turn, 2008.01.17. As sexy as the MacBook Air is, the 12″ PowerBook G4 beats it hands down in terms of practicality.
- MacBook Air disappoints, adding ethernet, Remote Disc, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.01.17. Comparing the MacBook with the 12″ PowerBook G4 and the PowerBook 2400, it’s not a desktop replacement, and Apple profits.
- The MacBook Air is nearly perfect, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.01.16. The MacBook Air isn’t quite the perfect replacement for the 12″ PowerBook G4, but it comes mighty close.
- Something new in the air, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.01.15. Macworld Keynote roundup: Time Capsule, iPhone and iPod touch improvements, iTunes Movie Rentals, Apple TV 2, and MacBook Air, Apple’s best notebook ever.
- We need more than 2 USB ports in MacBooks, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.01.14. There’s something wrong when you can’t plug a flash drive, mouse, and printer into a notebook computer at the same time.
- Computer benchmarks and other baloney: Don’t expect 2-4x performance from Intel Macs, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2006.02.06. The Intel Macs are faster than the models they replace, but only with software written for them. With older software, they’re actually slower than last year’s Macs.
- Comparing Apples to Apples: When is Macintel faster? When does PowerPC make more sense?, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2006.01.29. Benchmarks show the Intel Core Duo flies through native code but plods through PowerPC programs. Will PowerPC or Intel give you the more productive workflow?
- Macintel stumbling block: Sometimes you need Classic, Jeff Adkins, Mac Lab Report, 2006.01.25. As nice as the new Intel Macs seem to be, the lack of any Classic environment makes it impossible for some people to upgrade.
- MacBook Air – Technical Specifications, Apple
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