Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Goldilocks and the MacBook Air

Interesting post today on ITWire from Stephen Withers -- I wrote something along the same lines in a post back in December but think Stephen really nailed it with his Goldilocks analogy.
It will be interesting to see whether or not the news interest Apple's new MacBook Air attracted today translates into sales -- comments on the gadget sites like
Gizmodo and blogs like TechCrunch have been mixed.

My first impression is the product is not sufficiently different to what's already available from other vendors (including Dell) to make much of a mark -- it's no EeePC in that respect.

I'm also surprised Apple elected to leave out mobile broadband as an option in an ultraportable -- particularly given Steve Jobs' claim during the keynote the ".. the MacBook Air was built to be a wireless machine". Personally, if I was going to use 'the world's thinnest notebook' I'd prefer not to have to drag along a soap-on-a-rope USB 3G modem in order to stay connected (since free WiFi may be common in the US but that's far from the case elsewhere).

Finally, the 'green' design credentials of the product have also received some attention but personally these improvements, while laudable, will seem a little hollow until Apple moves to offer recycling options for consumers and small businesses (beyond the occasional recycling event and participation in the Byteback trial) in Australia. Jobs correctly said the aluminium of the MBA's case is "a highly desirable material by recyclers -– they love aluminium" but it'll be an unrequitted love if these devices end up in landfill at end of life.

Update: Looks like Gizmodo agrees re the Dell XPS M1330.

Update 2: And so does Greenpeace on the MacBook Air.

Update 3: So does ZDNet (on the M1330) -- to me what's most interesting is, a couple of years ago, who'd have thought a Dell would have even been on this comparison.