MacBook Air Reviews

Two MacBook Air reviews are in from USA Today and Newsweek, and they're both fairly positive, but with caveats.

USA Today: USA Today's Ed Baig summarises with this verdict: "Given the compromises, I don't expect anyone to use Air as their only computer. But it is a yummy machine for people who spend a lot of time travelling." Going more in depth, he lauds the Air's thinness, and revels at the little things like the magnetic latch and the backlit LED display. The worst part? He got more than an hour less than Apple's rated battery life.

Baig also notes that this is the weakest Core 2 Duo in the entire Mac lineup, which means you won't be using this for video editing. He knocks points off for the sacrifices, such as the internal optical drive, the scant 80GB hard disk space, the one USB port, lack of FireWire, and the average battery life. Apple rated this at 5 hours, but he only got three hours and 40 minutes just surfing the web, using Remote Disc and writing. It only lasted two hours and 40 minutes when watching a movie. Verdict: Not for everyone (mostly travellers), and definitely not a main computer. [USA Today]

Newsweek: Steven Levy at Newsweek compares the Macbook Air's thinness to the circumcision ritual, noting that they sliced off just enough to make it super thin. Thin enough for him to spend a good third of his review saying how thin it is, and how it's so great on a lap, on a Starbucks' table, on a conference table, and on an airplane seatback tray. He then decries the obvious lack of features we've been talking about since we heard about the Air: lack of user-replaceable battery, the one USB port, no optical drive, blah blah blah.

It essentially read like Levy was reviewing off the spec sheet, and doesn't have many tales of his first-hand experience with such topics as how snappy the sluggish processor is or how convenient (or inconvenient) using the Remote Disc is (he does note that you have to lower your Firewall to its lowest setting to allow easier configuration). Verdict: Not much of one, but what he does have agrees with Baig: it's thin and even though Apple's removed much of its innards, "the things that Apple left on were the ingredients for a quality computer." Also, he spends much of the review talking in a roundabout way about penises, so it's worth a read just for that. [Newsweek]