The new MacBook Air is yet again pegged as the latest and greatest thing coming out of Apple. While I can tell you that the MacBook Air is definitely something to behold simply based on its light weight and overall performance. The simple fact is, that Apple has pulled their typical move of introducing a new and ?improved? version of the product while simultaneously launching a smaller 11.6? version of the original 13.3? MacBook Air.
Our complaints don?t really lie with the implementation of SSDs, which we heartily welcome. Nor is it their implementation of an nVidia GeForce 320M GPU [9400 replacement] outputting at a improved higher 1440×900 resolution. The biggest beef is with Apple?s decision to continue their milking of the already four year old Intel Core 2 architecture. Other publications out there are focusing on the new features like instant on, which we definitely agree is a good thing for Apple to have done? But they have completely ignored the fact that Apple is using a dated refresh of a 4-year old architecture in a product that is launching almost towards the end of 2010. How can Apple consider their products to be innovative, cutting edge, and magical [their words, not ours] if they can?t even use remotely recent technology in their newest products?
The new Macbook Air models
The simple fact is that Apple has done this for quite some time and has typically lagged behind PC makers in their implementation of new technologies. Apple prefers to take a more refined approach to their form factor rather than implementing new technologies, using an old CPU and architecture on a brand new product is simply unforgivable. Many of Apple?s older products [with the exception of the 13? and smaller MacBooks] feature Intel?s newer Core i3, i5, and i7 processors? and yet, Apple chose to go ?back to the Mac? and release a laptop with some seriously dated hardware.
In a way, we find it funny that a CEO of a multi-billion dollar operation goes out and attacks Research In Motion[RIM], makers of the Blackberry – while both companies do the very same thing: think of form factor only, instead of thinking what format factor could be designed if newest technology is used. After all, all MacBooks and now majority of notebooks use Intel’s patented – chiclet keyboard which sucks the air from the keys, runs them through the heated components and exhausts away from the user.
The Instant on is perhaps the key feature of the MacBook Air is Instant On technology, thanks to the built-in SSD technology. We’re glad to see companies such as Apple and OCZ "challenging" the establishment by putting NAND Flash chips on non-standard form factors [2.5" case] and going with SO-DIMM [OCZ] or a DIMM [Apple] approach. That should ease up any RMA requests and save on materials as well as labor.
At the end of the day, it is up to the consumer to decide whether Apple can justify charging $1,599 for an upgrade from their old MacBook air with only a bigger SSD and Instant On technology to show for. Some sites, though, in their excitement are already talking about upgrading from their old MacBook Airs to this one? we don?t really see why.