New Apple MacBook Airs

Apple introduced a new MacBook Air portable computer today— actually, two of them. One has a 13-inch screen and the other an 11-incher. They replace the existing MacBook Air and offer several improvements over the older model, including longer battery life, better screens, instant on, and a great big multi-touch trackpad. The biggest difference under the hood is the use of a “Flash” drive rather than a traditional spinning mechanical hard disk. For all practical purposes the MacBook Air’s new Flash drive is just like a digital camera card– small, flat, no noise, no moving parts, all electronic, low power demands. You can get as much as 256 Gigabytes of storage space when you buy the MacBook Air and if I were buying one, that’s what I would do. There’s a 128 GB version, and a 64 GB version (for the 11-inch model only) but I’d go with 256. I wouldn’t be mad at you if you got the 128, but I would not recommend the 64 GB model because I think you need more space than that.

You will enjoy this little video, courtesy of Apple, talking about the new MacBook Air and how it came to be.

Here are some things to watch and listen for as you watch the video.

  1. Isn’t it ironic that Apple has based this machine on Flash technology, when it was only a few months ago that Steve Jobs was telling us how miserable Flash is and that he wants nothing to do with it? Actually, maybe it’s not ironic. It turns out that “Flash” is the name of two totally different things. The Flash that Steve doesn’t like is resource-hogging software from Adobe, used in web page design. The Flash that Steve does like is a little storage device on a chip, like a camera card. Totally different things, with the same name. What a drag.
  2. They refer to the camera as a “FaceTime” camera. Yesterday, we called it the iSight camera. Bye-bye, iSight. Hello, FaceTime. I’d expect to see more and more FaceTime stuff as time goes by– including, I predict, coming soon to an iPad near you.
  3. Does every interview with Jonathan Ive have him facing the same direction, slightly off-screen? So far, yes.
  4. Bonus: Jonathan Ive says “Aluminium” as only he can say it, at the 2:27 point. Listen for it.

All four models are available for ordering from Apple’s website today. Here’s the link. By the way, you’ll get the new iLife ’11 package pre-installed, for free.

Update: two more things about the new MacBook Airs. First, they are fast— about as fast as the “regular” MacBooks and MacBook Pros. Second, they are thin. Very thin. If they were any thinner they would only have one side! Heh heh. Extra credit for those who laugh at my joke.


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