"Portability of an iPad, Power of a Macbook"5.0 starson by Jamie9230
Pros: -Extremely thin and tapered design
-Very fast (for a laptop that thin), flash storage still amazes me
-Silent, manages to stay relatively cool
-Instant on isn't much of a feature, I turn my Air off. Though it boots in 12 seconds.
Cons: -NO SD CARD SLOT
-Narrow selection of ports
-Extremely hard to service the device (everything is soldered, only memory can be changed)
-Cannot upgrade RAM
-Speakers are shallow, slightly quieter than my liking
Summary: The Good:
The 2010 Macbook Air is a big update from those over-priced, over-heating, fragile Airs we saw a couple years ago. The biggest feature is probably the use of Flash Memory, Apple designed the new Air like an iPad, they soldered almost every piece directly on the computer to save space, though sacrificing customizability. The specs look meager on paper, but it out-performs my expectations. Again, I assume it's the Flash memory that's doing alot of the work, it can boot up in ~12-15 seconds which is the fastest I've seen in a Mac or a PC. It's quiet (no spinning disk), can get warm after a while. Applications are snappy, HD video is smooth, and multitasking is enough for the average user. Trackpad is easy-to-use, multitouch gestures become second nature. iLife 11 comes preinstalled, it's really a fun set of programs. iPhoto is easily the leader of the 3 updated apps, full-screen view uses every bit of screen you can spare on the 11-inch. This thing is crazy thin, it makes Macbook Pros look dated and fat. The batteries on the Air are gigantic if you have seen the inside, 5 hours on the 11-inch. Mine does around 4 hours and 40 minutes; holds a respectable charge.This new Air is the ultraportable of the ultraportable category. Great for the coffee shop, campus, or the traveler.
Because it's so thin and light, it's very breakable. You DO NOT want to drop this, though the lack of a spinning disk might protect your data, it's not going to protect the screen. I tried running Aperture 3 on it which was good, but the lack of a SD card slot causes you to tangle with wires and wasting one valuable USB slot. Keyboard is great, makes a nice crisp sound when you depress it. It is NOT backlit which is a big disappointment since I use this in crazy spots which don't usually have great lighting. The iSight/Facetime camera is VGA, not as high-res at the iMac's. The screen is 16:9, the first appearance on an apple laptop. Core 2 Duo is really kinda last-gen technology, I was expecting an i3. Flash Memory is very fast but also very expensive. 64GBs of storage isn't going to archive your entire HD movie library. 2GBs of ram is the minimum recommended to run Snow Leopard, because it's unserviceable make sure to get the 4GB of RAM when you buy it.
So what is this new-fangled thing? Well Apple says this features makes shutting down obsolete because it can hibernate for 30 DAYS on one charge and can snap on instantly. I don't use this feature at all, because 1) It BOOTS UP in 15 seconds 2) Shutting down clears the RAM cache which is healthy for your system.
The Macbook Air is powerful, though not powerful enough (or have enough storage) to be the main computer for the average user. It's a nice extension of your iMac/Desktop. Dropping down to $999 and becoming Apple's second laptop to dip below the $1000 level, I can see this new device to become extremely popular.
Battery Life: 8/10
Service and Support: 7/10 (9 if easier to open, I always liked non-technobabble language at the Genius Bars)