Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week
Home  /  geekspeak  /  Macbook Air: Is Thin Enough?

Macbook Air: Is Thin Enough?

Tags : 

I’ve spent the past couple of weeks testing out Apple’s second take on its ultra-portable laptop concept, the Macbook Air. When Apple launched the first model of the Air, I was somewhat interested by the very thin form factor, but totally taken aback by the price; more than two thousand dollars for a machine that wasn’t, to put it bluntly, even poking at the sides of being cutting edge a couple of years ago.

The Air comfortably fits into the category of what used to be called “ultraportables” right up until the first netbooks hit the scene and radically reinterpreted not only the size of notebook systems but most markedly their pricing. It’s undoubtedly something that’s affected the pricing of the Macbook Air (and many of the competing ultra-thin Windows equivalents), as the new models start at a much more moderate $1,199.

For a system as innately portable as the Air, that’s a pretty good buy, but it’s still not without its catches. The processor still isn’t cutting edge — an ultra-low voltage 1.4GHz or 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo — although the internal storage, which now only comes in solid state drive (SSD) format, is. Solid State Drives contain no moving parts, so they’re rather more durable than traditional hard drives, as well as drawing less power and running much cooler. The catch there is that they’re more costly, and as such, the entry level Macbook Air that I’ve tested comes with a slender 64GB of available storage. An external, older normal USB hard drive would seem like a very sensible choice for any Air purchaser.

The first model of the Air infamously had a single USB port that had to service any external peripherals, including ethernet ports, external drives and adaptors. The new model doubles that number, which at least means you could (for example) use a USB modem and USB storage drive at the same time. Like its predecessor, an optical drive is noticeably absent, although you can install software on a client PC or Mac to share an optical drive to the Air over a network.

I’ve used plenty of netbooks over the past couple of years, and the Air does neatly overpower them in terms of raw processing power. Where it’s technically feasible to, for example, edit a spreadsheet or adjust an image on a netbook, you need plenty of patience, and the Air does manage that a little better. Then again, Netbook prices have continued to tumble over time, so there’s still a fair pricing gap between a standard Netbook and the Air, or for that matter a fatter, more regularly specified PC notebook.

For heavy travellers, the light carrying weight, full sized keyboard and very quiet and relatively cool operation of the Macbook Air make a reasonable buying case. Those on more limited budgets, or who want the even smaller form of a netbook would do well to trawl the online stores, where some of last year’s models can be had for less than $500.


Recent News

It’s incredible to see how far we’ve come from even just 10 years ago in terms of home networking. Back then, Telstra’s pay TV channels and its T-Box Digital Video Recorder were all the rage and ‘internet-ready’ devices weren’t as accessible as they are today. While the ways in which and the ease at which

This week, Apple released an update to its macOS operating system to macOS Big Sur 11.5.1. Unusually for Apple, it detailed exactly what kind of security issue it relates to. Specifically, it patches a hole that would allow attackers to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges. If that sounds like so much techno-mumbo-jumbo to you,

I’ve not had a standard landline in my home for quite some time now. Partly that was because I very much did switch over to using my smartphone a great deal more over time. Mostly, however, it was because getting rid of it was one of the simplest ways to cut off those interminable “support

Social media can be a huge force for change, and in these times where many of us are bouncing in and out of lockdowns, also a vital lifeline for communication on everything from important matters to the wildly trivial. We’re all allowed our personal obsessions, after all. However, many of us don’t think about the

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Learn about the precautions we are taking and our new contactless pick-up and remote service options. Read More
Get help setting up your home office or homework area today. Learn More