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420 comments

1st post (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108634)

phirst ph0st phirst ph0st .. na na na na na...

Keep waiting (5, Insightful)

adamwright (536224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108670)

If you want big screens and fast clocks, I'd conjecture you're not the market segment the Air is aimed at. Have you considered a Macbook Pro?

Re:Keep waiting (1, Funny)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108972)

If you want big screens and fast clocks, I'd conjecture you're not the market segment the Air is aimed at. Have you considered a Macbook Pro?

And the 17" at that. If that is not big enough you could always convince them to develop the 30" portable, but that would be a tad ridiculous.

Re:Keep waiting (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109124)

I have to work with some gawdawful Windows IDEs that were clearly designed for a 21" monitor or bigger. So I can't get by with anything less than a 17" notebook. Even so, I'm always fussing with nested split panes.

Even a good IDE, like Eclipse, probably would be hard to use on anything less than a 15" monitor.

If I was working in Emacs, or if all I had to do was office type tasks, 13" would be plenty for me.

Every notebook is a set of compromises. Bigger screens (and faster processors) require larger batteries or shorter battery life, or both, along with greater weight. Tiny screens means much less weight, and greater convenience when you are doing things like trying to fit your laptop and coffee onto a cafe table. I suspect 15" to 17" is a good compromise for most people who need laptops.

But it is also true that any design that excels in some dimension is bound to be better for some people. I'd like a 20" laptop, because of the software I have to use. When I was traveling a lot, searching for an outlet at the airport was often a big deal, but if I could afford a 20" laptop, I'd just buy a spare battery. I'm a 250 pound weightlifter, and also an extremely light packer, so the space and weight is nothing for me.

On the other hand, small and light would outweigh other considerations for other people. A 98 pound woman whose travels a lot is going to look at a 20" laptop weight eighteen pounds as an exercise in lugging 20% of her body weight through the airport. For her a MacBook air, at 3 pounds, is actually a heavier load a percentage of her body weight than a typical 17" laptop is for me.

There are people who would love this thing for its low weight and the convenience of a small package. Even I would find it convenient, if it weren't for the software I have to use.

Re:Keep waiting (3, Funny)

ardin,mcallister (924615) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109182)

Actually, instead of comprimizing, I have a 15" laptop, and a Samsung Q1Ultra (7" screen)... you'd be amazed what you can get done on a 7" 1024x600 screen... especially when the battery life is 3:30 even when working hard. I even have a NDS with the browser rom so If all i need is to check my mail, i just pull that out.

Also, the samsung is great if you wear cargo pants and find yourself constantly needing a computer for something or another. it fits in the cargo pocket. it was great when i went to the wild game with it. had something to do durring breaks.

Re:Keep waiting (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109388)

I started work in the era of printing terminals and VT100s, so I doubt you could amaze me by doing productive things on a 7" screen, especially if you have young eyes (which I don't anymore).

However, I'd count adding $1200 of capital expense as at least a little compromise.

Tell me, do you use Vista on this thing? I find Vista on 2GB barely tolerable without 2GB of ReadyBoost.

I don't mean to troll but... (5, Insightful)

toppavak (943659) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108676)

Isn't the whole point of the 'Apple experience' to never have to do something like open up your laptop's case with a screwdriver?

Re:I don't mean to troll but... (4, Funny)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108710)

Don't you understand? Steve just tries to entertain mac users and show them new and innovative things (like screwdrivers).

Re:I don't mean to troll but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108742)

I think the official 'Apple experience' is for Apple to change the battery for you.

But it is nice to know that isn't impossible for mortals to do it themselves with the help of a simple tool.

Re:I don't mean to troll but... (2, Insightful)

splortnik2003 (698008) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108794)

I think it depends on the Mac. I've tried to open a grand total of two Apple laptops. One was surprisingly accessible and easy to crack open, one was a nightmare. Don't mean to be harsh, but more generally it's a bit lazy to think that getting the basic user experience right (thoughtful, consistent UI for example) is necessarily at odds with being able to pop open the hood.

Re:I don't mean to troll but... (1, Insightful)

toppavak (943659) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108894)

Having the battery screwdriver accessible is a good thing for the long run so you can replace the battery once it dies, but most of the complaints I've personally heard about the non-swappable battery are related to the Air's role as an ultraportable and not being able to swap batteries on long haul flights or trips when power may not be available- which a screwdriver to the case doesn't really address. Even an external USB battery expander would defeat the purpose of an ultraportable- it'd be a little awkward to have a brick sticking out of the side of your sleek sexy ultra thin Air.

Re:I don't mean to troll but... (2, Interesting)

splortnik2003 (698008) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109042)

Yeah, this is true. I don't know why it doesn't bother me as I'm someone that used to buy extra batteries by default with any new laptop. Probably a combination of more plugs on flights, a pretty good claimed battery life, and exposure to the Apple RDF.

Re:I don't mean to troll but... (5, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108848)

Like the iPods, the mechanics (structure) involved to make the battery as easy to remove as say, the macbook, would add a significant amount to the size of the unit. The battery latch on the macbook is roughly the size of a nickel. Would you like your ipod to be 1/8" thicker just to add a latch for the battery?

For apple, a BIG selling point is it's the thinnest thing going for anywhere near those specs. Adding a latch is NOT worth losing that bragging right.

Also you'd have to consider adding casing for the battery since its no longer considered always protected inside the shell of the computer, so that adds both size and weight. The iPod's internal battery has an "outer case" of foil, hardly suitable for consumer handling. And the connector needs to be something that can handle many hundreds of uses, not just a few. That connector again adds size and some weight. The external battery connectors that apple uses are actually pretty big, and I'd be willing to bet you can't find that much unused space in the Air.

And considering the claimed battery life, it almost erases the need to carry a spare battery.

My watch has a battery that I can't replace myself. I have to take it into the store for them to crack it open because it's a diver's watch and requires a special tool to unscrew the back cover. Does this bother me? no. I expect it. Your car needs the transmission serviced after so many miles, and that's not considered a user-maintenance thing either. There are many more examples. It's not like you throw it away when the battery goes out... Now THAT you would have room to complain about.

Re:I don't mean to troll but... (5, Insightful)

toppavak (943659) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108982)

Like the iPods, the mechanics (structure) involved to make the battery as easy to remove as say, the macbook, would add a significant amount to the size of the unit. The battery latch on the macbook is roughly the size of a nickel. Would you like your ipod to be 1/8" thicker just to add a latch for the battery?
I completely understand what you're here, I was just trying to make the point that proposing this 'solution' to assuage peoples' concerns about not having a swappable battery is a little... disingenuous to the ideal of the Mac as easy to use. If someone doesn't want to buy a Mac cause they can't swap batteries, being able to swap batteries by opening up the case isn't going to change that.

And considering the claimed battery life, it almost erases the need to carry a spare battery.
For a lot of people, I can see this being the case, but equally not the case for many other people that want ultraportables. A 5 hour battery life on a 16 hour flight would be a bit... lacking. Not to mention people that travel to underdeveloped regions. Especially considering the 5 hour rating is probably the max not the minimum. I'd much rather have a slightly larger laptop (like a thinkpad X61) with the oversized battery giving 10 hours of juice and keep the original 5 hour battery in my bag for emergencies.

Re:I don't mean to troll but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22109224)

You don't service your own transmission? Wuss.

Re:I don't mean to troll but... (2, Insightful)

thegnu (557446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109424)

Would you like your ipod to be 1/8" thicker just to add a latch for the battery?

These Sansa e200 things have these neat little beveled screws that add approximately .04 microns to the width of the device. I actually WOULDN'T want a latch on my MP3 player that disengaged the battery, thank you very much. But beveled screws...I'm so excited about where this new technology will take pioneers like Apple!

Re:I don't mean to troll but... (5, Insightful)

Murphy Murph (833008) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109510)

These Sansa e200 things have these neat little beveled screws that add approximately .04 microns to the width of the device. I actually WOULDN'T want a latch on my MP3 player that disengaged the battery, thank you very much. But beveled screws...I'm so excited about where this new technology will take pioneers like Apple!


The Sansa E200 series actually proves the grandparent's point.
The Sansa E200 series contains the three most-requested features the iPod Nano lacks:
FM radio.
Expansion card slot.
Easily swappable battery.

What do we get?
A device almost exactly twice as thick as the thickest Nano.

Re:I don't mean to troll but... (2, Insightful)

photomonkey (987563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109520)

Your car needs the transmission serviced after so many miles, and that's not considered a user-maintenance thing either.

Changing the gearbox fluid on my TJ is easier than changing the engine oil. Break open the fill nut (to let air into the transmission) and open the drain plug. Close drain plug and add gear oil until it starts dribbling out of the fill hole. Then tighten the fill nut, and you're done. And even engine oil is that plus filter.

What seems easy and simple to some (read: user serviceable) is difficult for others.

Re:I don't mean to troll but... (2, Insightful)

russlar (1122455) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109030)

Isn't the whole point of the 'Apple experience' to never have to do something like open up your laptop's case with a screwdriver?

someone remind this guy that the first mac was made of wood.

Something bigger/faster (4, Informative)

erebus24 (632942) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108680)

I think I'll have to wait for something with a bigger screen and a faster clock speed.
You means something like a MacBook Pro? I think one of us is missing the point of the MacBook Air.

Re:Something bigger/faster (2, Informative)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108708)

Not to mention the faster MBP with a 15" screen is only $200 more than the Air as well.

Re:Something bigger/faster (1)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108814)

I think one of us is missing the point of the MacBook Air :)

Re:Something bigger/faster (5, Interesting)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109218)

What *is* the point.

What market segment up until now were saying to themselves "If only this laptop was exactly the same size but *thinner*"

My boss travels a lot on airlines and was waiting for an ultraportable macbook. He wanted one *smaller* - that could fit nicely in the limited space on airline seating in the way a normal laptop won't. This doesn't either.. so it's a missed opportunity.

The other thing he asked for - solid state disks (hard disks don't last long if you fly a lot) - was answered, but he won't be getting the Air.

Re:Something bigger/faster (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109276)

I hear you, but it's pretty worthless trying to argue this point here. People will just accuse you of being unable to understand people's needs besides your own--yet never really articulating how that extra thin size really makes a difference.

Re:Something bigger/faster (2, Insightful)

vidarh (309115) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109504)

I've travelled a lot with my 15" MacbookPro (90.000 miles last year) and airline seats wasn't a big problem. A 13" is certainly small enough. If you want smaller, there are plenty of (non-Mac) alternatives, but 13" is really the smallest I can comfortably use. Having something thinner and lighter would make far more difference to me, as it'd make it more comfortable to carry my laptop around with me to meetings while still remaining usable.

As for the limitations, they don't really bother me much apart from the battery limitations. But then, in business class most airlines offer in-seat power these days and adapters for the Macs are cheap enough, and if you fly economy there are always external portable laptop adapters you can buy (yes, they are not great, but if you're sitting in your seat on a plane it's not a big problem to have one in your carry on and put it in the pouch of the seat in front of you while working, and if the alternative is carrying around replacement laptop batteries you'd be carrying about the same weight anyway).

Re:Something bigger/faster (3, Insightful)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109526)

Something tells me that if Apple had made the Mac Book Air 10 or 12 inches instead of 13, people would be ripping Apple for making a computer with a screen that is too small. Look at it another way...it is the thinnest notebook on the planet with the largest screen.

Re:Something bigger/faster (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109436)

True. But remind me again what the point of it is. Light weight? Looks cool? I think its a rather niche product, its portability is negated by its lack of things built in ( ethernet, Dvd drive, ect). I think its going to meet the same fate as the Mac Cube.

Can I get that through airport secuirty... (1)

zsbyd (1037486) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108704)

Now if only I can bring a Phillips screwdriver and a spare battery on to a plane, then I will be set for those extended flights without in-seat power. I could go for a plastic screwdriver, but I know TSA won't be all too happy about my spare battery.

Re:Can I get that through airport secuirty... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108952)

So, let me get that straight:

1) TSA prevents you from getting a spare battery on the plane.

2) Your complaint is that you'd need an extra screwdriver to put that battery you don't have with you in your MacBook Air during the flight.

3) WTF?

Re:Can I get that through airport secuirty... (3, Interesting)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109020)

I'm not sure your problem is a big one. There'll be aftermarket chargers and top-up devices coming out of belkins ears before you know it.

I recall having been asked to REMOVE the battery from my laptop at airport security. THAT is something that will cause problems if you get the wrong TSA agent.

Re:Can I get that through airport secuirty... (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109070)

The ability to swap batteries on the plane may be moot if you can't bring them on at all. This recent TSA ruling [dot.gov] puts a lot of limitations on loose batteries.

Re:Can I get that through airport secuirty... (1)

MrDiablerie (533142) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109160)

Or you could just buy the optional airline adapter that lets you plug right into your seat on the plane.

Re:Can I get that through airport secuirty... (2, Informative)

Dorceon (928997) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109166)

Is it really that hard to use a site like SeatGuru [seatguru.com] to figure out in advance which seats have power, and choose only from those seats?

Doesn't really matter (3, Insightful)

PaintyThePirate (682047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108712)

It doesn't really matter that it takes five minutes to open it with a screwdriver and switch the battery. The point is that people want to carry two or more batteries with them and be able to switch them when one goes dead, without requiring tools (or having to void the warrenty).

Re:Doesn't really matter (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108804)

It doesn't really matter that it takes five minutes to open it with a screwdriver and switch the battery. The point is that people want to carry two or more batteries with them and be able to switch them when one goes dead, without requiring tools (or having to void the warrenty).

Exactly, or for those of us that travel a lot have a repalcement fedEx'd to your location when the one you have dies.

Plus, a removal batteyr means that if you get a really bad system hang you can do a manual "power down" and restart. Not that Macs ever have any problems...

Re:Doesn't really matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108890)

"Plus, a removal batteyr means that if you get a really bad system hang you can do a manual "power down" and restart."

A removable battery is not required for a manual power down. For you to think so only reveals that you don't know enough about how the machine works. You just hold down the power button for a few seconds until it's forced to power off in hardware. I can't think of a software situation that would stop that from working. I shake my head every time I hear about someone removing the battery or unplugging their desktop for an emergency power off. Not necessary.

Re:Doesn't really matter (1)

charlieo88 (658362) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109016)

Not about a Mac, but I've had HP laptops that were so locked up, that holding down the power switch for two minutes did NOTHING.

Re:Doesn't really matter (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22109206)

Apple thought of everything, you don't even need to turn it off when it hangs. Just wait til it runs out of battery...

Re:Doesn't really matter (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109018)

Now, it wouldn't surprise me if Apple is better at this than others, but I know for a fact that there are Windows laptops that can screw up the hold-down-power shutdown in software. A friend has one, and I first taught him the hold-down-power trick, but even so he managed to crash it so hard he couldn't turn it off, and I had to tell him to remove the battery.

Re:Doesn't really matter (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109036)

It doesn't really matter that it takes five minutes to open it with a screwdriver and switch the battery. The point is that people want to carry two or more batteries with them and be able to switch them when one goes dead, without requiring tools (or having to void the warrenty).

Not if you're flying. I thought I read somewhere that they would not allow a second laptop battery on planes.

The ideal solution is to have better battery life. Also, the 5 hour rating that Apple gave was apparently in full usage and not for sleeping - I have seen some non-Apple portables that are lucky to be able to sleep for five hours, even when new.

Re:Doesn't really matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22109102)

And knowing Apple... if you DO try to replace the battery yourself (or have someone else do it) instead of sending it back to California and spending $129 to have Apple replace it, Apple will probably void your warranty. Why is Apple now making most of their products so the user can't replace the battery quickly and easily? As the original poster said, most users want to be able to carry around an extra battery pack or two to be able to quickly replace a dead battery. Dumb move Apple!!

Re:Doesn't really matter (4, Insightful)

wfolta (603698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109460)

First, if you've got to carry several spare batteries because you will be using your laptop for extended periods in areas that don't have power, it won't kill you to carry a few extra pounds in the form of a MacBook or MacBook Pro.

Second, exactly where will you be that power is inaccessible? Coffee shop? Plane? Train? Boat? Car? Airport? This is the 2000's and power is accessible in almost all of these places.

Third, this is a continuation of the complaints of years past where people lamented the disappearance of 5.25" floppies, then 3.5" floppies, etc. It's a wireless world now (and Apple has introduced other products to make this even more-so), and it's a world with power accessible in many places you would have never had it before. In fact, I can think of very few places that I've taken my laptop in the last couple of years where I had to run off of battery power by necessity. (Convenience, yes. I like the view here and there's no plug near, but necessity, no. There's a plug 30 feet away.)

Fourth, I return to my first point. If you want great gas mileage, don't buy a Porsche. If you maximal cargo space, don't buy a Cooper. If you want acceleration, don't buy a Prius and then complain that you can't add Nitrous Oxide and a Supercharger. The proper tool for the proper task, so if you want to work with your data with a highly portable machine with a large (for its class) screen and total wireless capability, get an Air.

convenient mail-in replacement (5, Funny)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108716)

They also mention you can have it replaced for $129 by mailing it in. Ahh, that must be why Steve Jobs showed us that it fits in a manila envelope. How convenient!

Re:convenient mail-in replacement (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108828)

Yeah, and it takes 5 business days. How many people can survive without a computer for that? Guess you'll need to buy a Macbook Pro as well as a backup.

It fits in an envelope? Oh wow! (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109140)

Anyone else remember that one of the "oh wow" moments in Apple history was when it was discovered that the Macintosh was the most frequently stolen computer in the world. More recently the iPod became the target of choice for footpads and muggers. With such an easily disguised laptop, is Apple trying for the hat trick?

I want the old Slashdot back! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108720)

This stupid new "# Comments" overlay is very confusing to use, and it doesn't even work with Firefox 3 Beta 2!

Slashdot was a lot better when I could just use the comboboxes to tell it to show all posts, and nest them.

Re:I want the old Slashdot back! (0, Offtopic)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108790)

And just try reading slashdot with javascript disabled or a browser that doesn't support it.

Ajax/DHMTL/Javascript is nice when it degrades gracefully. It's poor design when it doesn't.

Swapping batteries, not replacing is the point (4, Insightful)

manekineko2 (1052430) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108728)

I think this is missing the point behind the main thrust of the complaints. Most of the people complaining about it (at least here on Slashdot) have been the mobile road warriors who are worried about it running out of juice while traveling, rather than the battery wearing out after 2 years and needing replacement.

It would appear at first that Apple's ultra thin and light missed its target market; after all, the main market for ultra thin and lights has traditionally been mobile road warriors. However, the lack of a swappable battery and of a wired LAN port (my company, and most I have been to, as well as many hotels I have stayed at, don't even have a wireless network option) make clear that mobile road warriors aren't the target market.

The target market is in fact fashion conscious users, and students, and others whose requirements are a sexy form factor.

I don't think that weight is necessarily even _that_ significant a factor here. Steve Jobs made clear if I recall correctly that he was willing to increase weight to decrease thickness. Thickness has no particular use other than sex appeal, footprint is actually more significant in terms of usefulness when it comes to size. In terms of weight, there have been other laptops that are significantly lighter yet retaining key features like a wired LAN and swappable battery. The entire point of this laptop is how thin and awesome looking it is.

Re:Swapping batteries, not replacing is the point (1)

BWJones (18351) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108868)

Actually, I'd argue that Apple hit the nail right on the head. I ordered one as soon as they were available simply because the 15in Powerbook is too unwieldy for extensive travel, especially internationally where every ounce counts and space is at an all time premium. Flying in and out of the UK for instance, you are limited to one carry-on and when you are already carrying gear (camera gear in my case), a 2.5 lb savings along with the smallest form factor you can manage and still have a full size keyboard can be tremendous (I've tried the smaller keyboards and if you do lots of writing, they are impossible).

The battery issue is relatively minor as many airline seats on flights longer than 5 hours have power outlets and you can do wired internet with the MacBook Air through the USB port.

Re:Swapping batteries, not replacing is the point (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22109062)

You would have ordered what ever the new apple product was because it isn't a computer to you, it is simply a fashion statement. Your are an apple-whore.

Re:Swapping batteries, not replacing is the point (1)

cbart387 (1192883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109274)

you can do wired internet with the MacBook Air through the USB port.
Ignoring the cost of everything (cause if you can drop the money for this laptop then I assume can afford the adapter) I wonder if you lose any speed with the ethernet-to-usb conversion. That would be a deal breaker for me (assuming there weren't any other deal breakers). Does anyone know if this is the case?

Re:Swapping batteries, not replacing is the point (1)

kaiidth (104315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109288)

Just in case you travel through the UK any time soon, note that the rules have been slightly relaxed [bbc.co.uk] on carry-on gear, depending on the airport, the airline and possibly the weather. Some specifics [bbc.co.uk] have been published recently.

FWIW I've never actually been on a flight on which a power outlet was made available, although I've travelled a lot in the last couple of years, including some very long flights. I think that is because only business class and above usually get gifted with this sort of thing. Also, no-one ever weighed my hand baggage, so I'm much less concerned about weight than bulkiness. Although I started with a Toshiba, I ended up using IBM/Lenovo, who seem to me to have anticipated absolutely everything that the IT business/programmer type might ever want to do and built it into their T and X series, but then, my requirements are not yours...

Re:Swapping batteries, not replacing is the point (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109540)

You're right, it's usually business. Most decent airlines offer in seat power in business these days, but very few do in economy (if you do ever fly business, though, beware that unless you buy an adapter upfront you'll be stuck with buying a ridiculously overpriced adapter in flight in most cases - most in seat power use one of two "special" plugs)

Re:Swapping batteries, not replacing is the point (-1, Flamebait)

Charcharodon (611187) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108896)

The target market is in fact fashion conscious users, and students, and others whose requirements are a sexy form factor.

aka....The Retarded

No wired LAN, no DVD-rom...this device is for the person who already has a desktop at home, but is too cool to actually use it, or is trying to gain a little status in the coffee shop crowd.

I think calling some people retarded (4, Insightful)

crovira (10242) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109208)

neither makes your point nor endears you to the boss (who's daughter IS quite probably the target demographic for this little gem.)

Just say its not for you because of (yadda, yadda, yadda), and suddenly, you find that not even you want to read your opinion.

I'm not buying one because of my needs for something more substantial, but those are MY needs. They aren't for everybody.

Apple
got everybody to switch 5"1/4 disketes for 3"1/2 by giving them no option (and everybody predicted disaster,) them he
got everybody to switch to USB by giving them no option (and everybody predicted disaster), then
got rid of the diskette drive altogether by giving them no option (and everybody predicted disaster,)
then he got everybody to switch to writable CDs (and now DVDs) by giving them no option.

Now he's getting rid of CDs and DVDs altogether and moving storage into appliances and services; by giving them no option.

Wake the fuck up.

The machine YOU'RE using as a road warrior would still be taking up all of your desk space if it wasn't for Steve Jobs' sheer balls.

The internet and the web weren't caused by INTERNAL influences.

Re:Swapping batteries, not replacing is the point (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108914)

Good point about the swappable battery and its relevance to road warriors. This looks to me like a silly design mistake by Apple. I mean, if replacing the battery is just a matter of removing some screws, I'm sure their brilliant industrial engineers could have designed a "battery door" with an easy latch, without adding to the overall thickness of the machine. I'm less concerned about the ethernet port. I think that the days of wired-only internet service when you're on the road is numbered. Besides, if you can afford one of these, you can afford a $15 ethernet-to-USB adaptor. Mine is the size of a thumb drive and works very well.

Re:Swapping batteries, not replacing is the point (1)

primadd (1215814) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109032)

I think very soon The Steve will announce a very expensive add on battery plugging into the power socket.

--
webmasters: personalized bookmarking [primadd.net] scripts for your site
wp and phpbb plugin available

Re:Swapping batteries, not replacing is the point (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109440)

Cool--until you need to use the Internet and your cdrom at the same time. Or A flash drive.

Re:Swapping batteries, not replacing is the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108928)

Target audience? When was the last time you were in an Apple store? The place was flooded with teens and parents. Right before fall semester starts its flooded with college freshmen. I was in there after christmas. A guy was in there with his daughter, she was going to get an iPhone. She was 14. There is a large population that falls under "rich" but above $100,000 a year. People that probably have insane amount of debt but have the latest and greatest.

Could you imagine this in a college setting? 90% of these kids just use AIM, Mail, & Word. And before you go off ranting about how expensive it is for some college kid. Imagine those kids who drive new cars to college. The ones whose parents live in 500,000 houses and drive the latest from Mercedes. $5k is a drop in the bucket, I'm sure they can find another credit card to put it on.

But you know what, they keep Apple in business. And as long as they do that I'm happy with the other toys Apple gives me (ZFS, Unix, Stuff that just works(tm)).
---
Blatently copy and pasted from myself.
The same reason I don't have a problem with BMW selling their 3 and 5 series to any yuppie that wants to buy it. People that won't even touch the performance of what it's capable of. Because those people give BMW money to make nice toys for me like the M3 which I can take out to the track.

Re:Swapping batteries, not replacing is the point (1)

manekineko2 (1052430) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109050)

I totally agree with what you're saying, but then I don't think my post was in disagreement with yours in any way. We're in agreement on what the target audience is.

Re:Swapping batteries, not replacing is the point (4, Informative)

kaan (88626) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109054)

$29 buys you a tiny usb dongle with an RJ-45 port for wired lan. It's listed on the accessories section of store.apple.com.

As for the battery needs, I'm a business user and while I do agree that extended batteries are nice, I don't think it's the norm that you need 8 hours of battery life without a single power outlet nearby. Where are you using your computer for that long that you're not near an outlet once in a while? I typically need stretches of several hours, possibly as much as 4 hours from time to time, but never much more than that. The people I know who have the extended battery packs seem to use them just because they can, not because they need to.

I think the integrated battery decision is possibly market-limiting to the users who really do (for some reason) need 8 hours of battery life, but not nearly as limiting as you suggest. Overall, a simpler design has positive aspects in that Apple can spend time making features that most of their target users will benefit from, they can also get the product to market faster and lower R&D costs building it.

This reminds me a lot when the iPod first came out. Most people just couldn't say enough bad things about it. Too simple. No features. No replaceable battery. Too expensive. But the core comptency of the iPod hasn't really changed that much over the years: it lets you organize your music in a really simple way, and find any song fast. When it comes down to it, if you can't find your music easily, you're far less likely to use the device. And if you don't use it, every other "neato" feature is irrelevant because it'll be sitting in your desk drawer.

Re:Swapping batteries, not replacing is the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22109296)

It would appear at first that Apple's ultra thin and light missed its target market; after all, the main market for ultra thin and lights has traditionally been mobile road warriors.

I doubt the 'target' market is missing the point, which is light weight. Carry around a few replacement batteries for a while, and then see what you are willing to live without.

The inexperienced overpack, thinking they need a solution for every contingency.

A true road-warriors mantra is "travel light". You've got a power supply, and they usually have outlets where you are going.

Re:Swapping batteries, not replacing is the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22109418)

Spoken like someone who isn't one. You don't pack for *every* contingency, but I've been 'saved' numerous times by my spare battery.

Re:Swapping batteries, not replacing is the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22109422)

The two criticisms I've heard most are:

1] No user-swappable battery: If only I could carry one or two around with me!

and

2] No internal optical disc drive: I don't want to bother carrying one of those around!

I fail to see logic in it.

Good news, everyone! (2, Insightful)

Mike1024 (184871) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108762)

I think I'll have to wait for something with a bigger screen and a faster clock speed.

I've got some good news for you then: You don't have to settle for a 13 inch screen and 1.8GHz processor at $2,099! For just $1,999.00 you can get a macbook pro with a 2.2GHz processor, the same RAM, a bigger hard disk, a bigger screen (still LED-backlit), free built-in gigabit ethernet, firewire, a decent graphics chip, you can avoid the glossy screen, RAM and HDD are user-upgradable - and you get all this for $100 less!

Or is being thin a really big selling point for you?

Re:Good news, everyone! (4, Insightful)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108870)

To repeat myself and others: "I think one of us is missing the point of the MacBook Air."

Or in other words, using a car metaphor, of course: "Nobody will ever buy a Porsche, because it's got only two seats and a minimal trunk space. For 50'000 EUR *less*, you'd get four seats, a pickup-sized cargo bay AND as much horsepowers, so the Porsche is clearly bad value." :)

Horsepower? Road apples. (2, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109088)

Or in other words, using a car metaphor, of course: "Nobody will ever buy a Porsche, because it's got only two seats and a minimal trunk space. For 50'000 EUR *less*, you'd get four seats, a pickup-sized cargo bay AND as much horsepowers, so the Porsche is clearly bad value." :)

If a Porsche had the same handling characteristics as a pickup, it *would* be bad value.

Unlike automobiles, making a laptop smaller doesn't increase its performance... it usually decreases it. The Macbook Air has a slower processor and hard disk (less horsepower) than the Macbook Pro, not the same.

If you're going to use an automotive analogy, try and find one that makes the slightest bit of sense.

Re:Horsepower? Road apples. (2, Insightful)

truesaer (135079) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109156)

If you're going to use an automotive analogy, try and find one that makes the slightest bit of sense.


The point remains, the primary goal of the thin and light laptop segment is for them to be...well, thin and light. I'm not particularly an Apple fan but it is sort of pissing me off hearing people whine about not being able to efficiently simulate folding proteins on a laptop that is totally not intended for that kind of shit.


If you're not a road warrior or a student who wants something to carry around for writing papers this is not the laptop for you and was never meant to be.

Re:Horsepower? Road apples. (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109412)

I'm not particularly an Apple fan either, and I can't stand the iPod and I can't stand the new chiclet keyboards (and GOD I hope they don't hang on as long as those horrible puck mice on the iMacs), but when Apple does something write I'll happily defend them.

But the guy you were replying to was saying the same thing you are saying now. Really. Look:

I've got some good news for you then: You don't have to settle for a 13 inch screen and 1.8GHz processor at $2,099! For just $1,999.00 you can get a macbook pro with a 2.2GHz processor, the same RAM, a bigger hard disk, a bigger screen (still LED-backlit), free built-in gigabit ethernet, firewire, a decent graphics chip, you can avoid the glossy screen, RAM and HDD are user-upgradable - and you get all this for $100 less!

Or is being thin a really big selling point for you?

He's making the same damn point: the Macbook Air isn't for the people who think being thin is irrelevant and getting decent performance is important. The only difference is that he's implying something about people who are willing to spend an extra $700 to get a slower but thinner Macbook, and you're implying something else. He's not missing the point any more than you are.
If you're not a road warrior or a student who wants something to carry around for writing papers this is not the laptop for you and was never meant to be.
If you are a road warrior or a student who wants something to carry around for writing papers, this is not the laptop for you either.

* For the road warrior, the lack of a removable battery pack is killer. When I was a road warrior my laptop was a Toshiba Libretto, which was genuinely smaller than any of the competition, but included a removable battery pack... which was super-important, even though the Libretto could go a solid 5 hours on a charge.

* For the student, well, how many students have an extra $700 (whoops, sorry, $830 including the optical drive and ethernet adapter) to blow on a laptop?

The 2 pounds difference in weight is reduced to one pound right off the bat by that external optical drive.

I'm not saying there's not a market for them, obviously there is, but it's not the student or the road warrior, it's the people for whom style matters above all. I'm normally ready to jump on people who say that's the only reason to get a Mac, but in this case we're comparing Macs against Macs: the advantage of being able to run applications that don't suck on an OS that doesn't suck isn't on the Macbook Air's side.

Re:Good news, everyone! (1)

rxmd (205533) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109172)

Or in other words, using a car metaphor, of course: "Nobody will ever buy a Porsche, because it's got only two seats and a minimal trunk space. For 50'000 EUR *less*, you'd get four seats, a pickup-sized cargo bay AND as much horsepowers, so the Porsche is clearly bad value."

Except that CmdrTaco's response is more like seeing a Porsche and then wanting a Porsche which is a little more aerodynamic and with more horsepower. So until Apple produces the equivalent of a Bugatti Veyron he won't be a MacBook Air customer.

Rolling in a little bit of mining truck won't hurt either as long as it doesn't spoil the form factor and of course it's Apple's problem how they do it.

"I think I'll have to wait for something with a bigger screen and a faster clock speed." is the 2008 version of "No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame": (-1: Missed the point).

Re:Good news, everyone! (1)

blhack (921171) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109544)

Or in other words, using a car metaphor, of course: "Nobody will ever buy a Porsche, because it's got only two seats and a minimal trunk space. For 50'000 EUR *less*, you'd get four seats, a pickup-sized cargo bay AND as much horsepowers, so the Porsche is clearly bad value." :)
You're really close (okay, no you're not even remotely close on this one).

A better analogy would be a Nissan Armada vs an Infiniti QX56. The Armada dn the Infinit are very very similar vehicles. The difference is:

The armada can't pull my boat
The armada can't fit all the kids AND their snowboards
the armada can't fit 6 full sized adults comfortably
the armada is quite a bit smaller
The armada doesn't have some of the features of the QX56 like standard navigation, backup camera, heated seats etc. etc.

But the armada IS basically a smaller version of the same body, minus a few features of course. An armada is certainly not a CHEAP car (its a really nice SUV)...but it is certainly not in the same class as the infiniti.

Now, an armada, due to its lack of features, is a much MUCH cheaper car than the infiniti. Some might say that this doesn't make sense. An armada is a much more practical car than the Infinit...it gets better gas mileage, it will fit into smaller parking spaces, it looks better. etc.

Same thing in Air vs Macbook pro. The pro has more features than the air does. The air should be looked at like a stripped down "budget" version of the macbook pro that is aimed at travelers.

okay now mod me as flaimbait for not worshiping the son of god[steve jobs] that is the maccbook air!

Cheaper Batteries? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108806)

For its part, Apple has announced its intent to offer a MacBook Air Out-of-Warranty Battery Replacement Program, which promises authorized replacements for US $129. The mail-in repair process normally takes 5 business days, the company says.


Why are these batteries so expensive? I know Apple is just launching this AirBook, and all its tech is new, and battery life is its primary constraint. But that replacement cost is 7.5% of the $1720 of the entire AirBook. The R&D and manufacturing of the rest of the skinny tech seems more precious to me.

But it's not just Apple and the AirBook. I've got an Inspiron 8000 notebook that's been running continuously for about 7 years, with no problems or failures/wearout (including the HD, which I replaced just on principle - and capacity - after 6 years). Except for the batteries: two batteris that I hardly ever used (maybe 4h cumulative unplugged) that just died after 5 years, cost $75 each to replace. And no option to repair them.

Is there a reason? Maybe I'm just missing the aftermarket of cheap 3rd party batteries. Or maybe the vendors are just "power mad".

Re:Cheaper Batteries? (1)

COMICAGOGO (1055066) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108876)

I think it's because most Mac users that buy the new stuff are actually, literally, made of money. They think of it as getting rid of some dead skin instead of overpaying.

Just so everyone knows I do have a Mac, and use it, but it's old enough that I only have to have money dandruff.

Re:Cheaper Batteries? (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109058)

Is there a reason?

Yes.

For wearing out: Li-Ion. They simply do that. Li-Ion batteries have a limited lifespan of approximately 3 years. Usage doesnt affect it much; temperature does. Put them next to a hot CPU and they'll die within a year, put them in the freezer and they wont lose more than 2% capacity per year. And of course, you dont really know how long the product's been in the shelf at the shop...

Basically, if you hardly ever use them, take them out and stick them in the freezer or at least in a fridge (allow thawing before use).

For the price: The non-standard form-factors make it an uncompetetive (and expensive) if not outright profitable segment.

Personally I avoid products with li-ion batteries like the plague. I can deal with it if they take standard size batteries, but with the soldered in crap? I prefer my expensive electronics to last slightly longer than a bottle of milk in the sunshine...

Re:Cheaper Batteries? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109378)

I suppose there's nothing I can do with these old Li-ion batteries, like sell them to a refurber? Are they toxic/hazardous, or can I throw them in the trash?

Who knew buying a battery was like adopting a tamagotchi?

Re:Cheaper Batteries? (1)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109524)

Actually charge/discharge cycles do have effect on the life the Li-ion batteries. The higher the charge/discharge speed the worse the effect. And even you don't use it, it degrades. I noticed that all Dell notebooks around me have their batteries dead after about 3 years with/without heavy battery use. The best way too keep a Li-ion battery is too keep it half charged at a cool place. And don't let it deeply discharged.

Not that easy (1)

spyfrog (552673) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108818)

Ok, so it is rather easy to change at home.
However, don't this opening of it void the guaranty?

Also, why did Apple made the battery internal like this in the first place?
Why don't simply make it as easy to change as on a Mac-book or any other laptop?
I don't see the rational in the decision to not make it easy to change it without opening the case.

Re:Not that easy (2, Insightful)

wootest (694923) | more than 6 years ago | (#22108938)

Because when they don't need to make a hatch for the battery, they could make it thinner.

Seriously: the reason MacBook Air exists is because it's light, and because it's ridiculously thin. It's also interesting because of the trackpad and its multi-touch gestures, and because it has slightly different tradeoffs when compared to other subnotebooks which makes it a fairly unique product - MacBook Air has a faster CPU and normal-sized screen and keyboard, virtually every subnotebook has more features and ports in every other aspect, but piddly screens and keyboards.

The reason MacBook Air exists is because it's a unique proposition in the market (per the above), not because it's really convenient to service yourself or fast or extensible. There are other products for that.

Re:Not that easy (1)

spyfrog (552673) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109092)

And how much thinner could they make it by making this decision?
Probably not much.

The Air is a strange thing that is mostly sold of being thin. I don't really understand the purpose of that. What if it was a bit thicker? The Air is still a large computer even if it is thin, since it is quite large in depth and length (which it of course have to be to have the large screen). The most important factors for people is usually the weight and that the computer isn't unreasonable large.
Air is very thin but not impressive when it comes to other dimensions.

Another strange thing about the Air is that it is thinner on one side. What is to stop anyone from making a computer that has a 0.1 mm sharp edge and that is 30 mm on the other side? Would that still be thin or large?
If Apple had made the Air the same height on each side, they could probably have fitted a replaceable battery.

Re:Not that easy (1)

wootest (694923) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109382)

Since the Air's battery spans the entire width of the computer, I don't think they could have.

oh well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22108866)

I see myself in the middle of a flight replacing the battery with a screwdriver. Honest

What Good Does It Do? (1)

STrinity (723872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109004)

Okay, you can replace the battery. But can you replace the battery without voiding the warranty?

screwdriver (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22109008)

I can see it now, business travelers on a plane taking their computers apart to change the battery so they can continue working. I don't know how you will get that screwdriver past security...

They don't get it (5, Insightful)

Dasher42 (514179) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109106)

There's a certain crowd that's criticizing the MacBook Air a lot for what it leaves off, and I don't think they get what you want with a subnotebook. I likewise wonder what they think of the EeePC.

There's a diversity of needs in personal computing, and at one end you have the gamers who want highly upgradable components and to cram everything they can into a 600-watt beast with fans whining. Fine, okay, but my own preference is that I'd rather not share my living space with that. The next is the quiet low-profile desktop, and Apple's doing that kind of thing very recognizably with the iMac and Mac Mini. There are PC systems like the shuttle. Then there are desktop-replacement laptops with enough GPU for gamers and CPU for number crunching. And now there are subnotebooks. Cite whatever midpoints or extremities you want, these are the relevant ones.

Most web/email/office use is simply best done on something like an iMac if you're stationary, or a laptop. Those of us who value quiet and energy efficiency will more and more choose this route. The real junkies among us have not one, but several machines. After a while, it gets annoying if they're all identical configurations. You don't want to pack a DVD and a monster peripheral set into your subnotebook - that's for basic needs on the go! Leave your movie collection at home, say, on a nice Kurobox [slashdot.org] or some other NAS. You don't need multiple DVD burners. You can get disk images off your NAS. Back it up with a Time Capsule or roll your own.

I like my network of specialized machines. It makes choosing an operating system and hardware configuration a matter of the right choice for the job. I think most of the criticism of the MacBook Air comes from the 600W desktop beast crowd that has everything in one or two boxes. Well... they'll come around.

Nibbled to death by ducks... (1, Informative)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109184)

Owning a Macbook Air looks like being nibbled to death by ducks. Not only is it super-expensive, but Apple's actually charging for things that have come included in all their other laptops, like the video adapter:

In addition to the $99 MacBook Air external SuperDrive, Apple is also offering a $29 USB Ethernet Adapter, $49 MagSafe Airline Adapter, and $19 Apple Micro-DVI to Video Adapter.

Re:Nibbled to death by ducks... (5, Insightful)

linuxwolf (161541) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109384)

Maybe you should have tried reading the "What's in the box" [apple.com] section:

  • Micro-DVI to DVI adapter
  • Micro-DVI to VGA adapter

That lets you connect an Off-the-shelf MacBook Air to anything you can connect an Off-the-shelf MacBook Pro.

I'm not saying you won't get nibbled to death in other places (*cough* iTunes rentals *cough*), but this isn't one of them.

Re:Nibbled to death by ducks... (1)

lexarius (560925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109410)

My MacBook certainly didn't come with a video adapter. It has a MiniDVI port. VGA, DVI, and Composite/S-Video adapters sold separately.

Quack, quack... (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109442)

Lets look at what else it doesn't come with:

anything and everything that will keep you tied to your desk.

Your storage is internal (2GB RAM and an 80GB application and scratch-pad persistence mechanism) while the rest (500GB or 1TB with USB [for your printer{s} and RJ-45 to the net/web) can come over the 802.11n.

(Sorry I got distracted by my MacBook Pro's external 1TB drive doing its hourly incremental back-up via TimeMachine.)

Its a wireless (and slightly less top end,) version of something I already own, and use.

Yah, it'll sell and eventually shift the business world when they get around to building new stuff and NOT needing to pull cable.

Ask Slashdot: Battery life with the SSD option? (2, Interesting)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109188)

I'm wondering about the battery life with the solid state drive option. Apple states that the machine gets 5 hours on a 37 W-hr battery -- suggesting an average power draw of about 7.4W. Cursory Googling suggests that SSD draw about half the power of a normal HD -- perhaps 0.5 W less. That suggests that the SSD version might get more than 5 1/2 hours. Of course the SSD option comes with a faster processor which might taketh away that extra battery life.

But all this is just speculation and BOTEC. Has anyone got their mitts on an SSD MBA and tested battery life???

Lame? (1)

IainMH (176964) | more than 6 years ago | (#22109236)

I think I'll have to wait for something with a bigger screen and a faster clock speed.
You could argue that Taco is calling this apple product 'Lame'. :-)

New iPod "lame" quote? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22109330)

Is this the new iPod "lame" quote?

"I think I'll have to wait for something with a bigger screen and a faster clock speed."

Actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22109348)

I'M SICK OF THE WORD "ACTUALLY"!!!! Can people stop overusing it??? I also declare war on the words "dude", "awesome", and "like".

hardhack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22109560)

The title is "MacBook Air's Battery is Actually Easy to Replace". Why is this tagged with "hardhack"?

The tag system annoys me.
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