Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Whole Lotta Air In There

There is no question that the MacBook Air is another innovated feat of design and engineering by Apple. It's a gorgeous lust-bucket of metal and silicon. I heard Nick Carr, on a recent Gillmor Gang, call this computer a flat version of the Cube. I don't think this is fair. There are a number of technological innovations in the Air besides packaging which was the only thing really innovative about the Cube. The Air is like a concept car. It's sleek, sexy, loaded with interesting features, but ultimately impractical for daily use by most people. Unlike concept cars its one you can at least actually buy and drive around. However, even the most irrational Apple fanboys out there have to admit it's not the most practical computer out there. I don't think anyone who actually does serious software development could use it. It's probably not even a practical office machine. So who is this machine built for? I think mainly this computer, technological advances aside, was meant for rich technology fashionistas who want that status symbol travel computer. The kind of people who's main computing workload, is email, browsing, presentations and the occasional spreadsheet. (View only mind you not serious number crunching.) This isn't a bad thing. There are people like this in the world and I think Apple will sell quite a few of these machines, but I don't think this will be the lasting legacy of this machine. I think besides being a rich kids toy this machine will influence laptop design for the next 5 year. So when you roll your eyes at the first guy you see whip out an Air in Starbucks or at some meeting somewhere just think pretty soon you'll be able to get one of those machines, that actually has enough balls to do real work, at a lower price point, real soon.

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