Apple keynote: gadget lust a-plenty

Razor-thin laptop, wireless network storage… nice.

I don’t see much point in regurgitating the keynote, but I do fancy the £1,199 MacBook Air  (£2,028 if you want a solid state drive) and Time Capsule (the £329, 1 terabyte version). Revised Apple TV looks nifty too, although it wasn’t clear whether the “all the studios are involved” deal on iTunes movie rentals includes the UK.

11 thoughts on “Apple keynote: gadget lust a-plenty

  1. Gary says:

    one obvious drawback to the Air: you can’t swap the battery. It’ll be interesting to see how much a replacement costs.

  2. Stephen says:

    I dunno: I’ve never bought a replacement battery in about five laptops. By the time the batt goes it’s only good enough to use as a spare desktop replacement…

  3. Gary says:

    I use mine as desktop replacements too. I think, though, if you want a laptop as a desktop the Pro is the one to go for. Air is relatively underpowered with limited expansion. I find even the Pro a bit cramped due to the lack of storage space – doesn’t take much of an itunes library to fill up the hard disk, and I’m not a big video fan.

    Leaving aside the obvious – it’s a superb bit of engineering – I’m wondering if this is a smart purchase for anybody other than style fans. The key market for ultraportables is road warriors, who have been up in arms at US airlines’ ban on carrying a spare battery as carry-on. Given all manufacturers lie about battery life, the Air’s 5-hour battery life isn’t what you’ll get in practice so the inability to swap batteries is a bit of an achilles heel, I think.

    Still want one, mind you. Reality distortion field in full effect :)

  4. Alex says:

    MacBook Air: It’s an underpowered, overpriced piece of crap. Yes, it looks lovely…ish but other than that? Who’s this aimed at? Too expensive for students, too underpowered for musicians/film makers/designers, no optical drive so not likely to appeal to business users……

    It’s style over substance and (IMO) the first major Apple misfire in several years.

    More thoughts here – http://www.undergroundscene.co.uk/forum/information-technology/50879-macbook-air-apple-drops-dud.html

  5. Gary says:

    I dunno, I think it’ll sell. Ultraportables do command a premium and Sony’s done all right with its ones, and you should never underestimate the appeal of bragging rights. I think a significant number of people will buy one just to show off. And I think it will have a halo effect on the rest of the range because it’s so different from anything in PC land. I might be wrong, but I reckon Apple knows exactly what it’s doing with this one.

    To give a faintly weird analogy, it’s like the volkswagen group. The Skoda Octavia, VW Golf and Audi A4 are all essentially the same car, but the difference in price is incredible – you can get a decent Skoda estate for twelve grand new, while the equivalent Audi is 23 grand. The only rational purchase is the Skoda, but again and again people buy the Audi. And if I had 23 grand, I would too – because while the Skoda’s a great car, the Audi has the “want one!” factor. I suspect it’ll be a bit like that with the Air.

  6. mupwangle says:

    >>no optical drive so not likely to appeal to business users……

    I reckon that it’s the very opposite. Very few business users that I work with care about optical drives. About 60% of users here take a laptop without optical drive as it’s slightly smaller and lighter when travelling. They buy seperate USB DVD drives to leave in the office (or borrow one from us) If this was a windows PC we’d be inundated.

    I bought the Skoda.

  7. Gary says:

    There’s a good analysis over at Daring Fireball:

    The MacBook Air is undeniably beautiful and clever, but clearly designed as a secondary machine, not a main machine… I’m not sure that the MacBook Air is going to be a huge hit, but it’s got enough going for it that, at worst, it’ll be a hit of some sort.

  8. Tony Kiernan says:

    I thought this was going to be positioned somewhere between the Touch and the MacBook as that was what was really needed; ultra-portable, low-storage space, for browsing on the hoof but possible to do proper typing. Shows you what I know.

  9. Squander Two says:

    Yeah, more and more people are realising that they only use the optical drive to install stuff and watch films. It’s just not an important bit of the kit.

  10. Alex says:

    “I thought this was going to be positioned somewhere between the Touch and the MacBook as that was what was really needed; ultra-portable, low-storage space, for browsing on the hoof but possible to do proper typing. Shows you what I know.”

    Same here – I was expecting an Apple take on the Eeepc, not quite a laptop, but more than an iPod Touch.

    The cost is my major problem with the MBA, it’s almost twice as much as entry level MacBook but is woefully underpowered compared whilst having exactly the same sized 2D footprint.

    I’ll be getting an Eeepc when I want to get an ultraportable, maybe going as far as doing that touchscreen mod that’s on Youtube.

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