As you know, we don't get much Apple stuff in our labs, but things are changing, especially after our editor-in-chief fell in love with one of those overhyped iPhone things. Honestly, I don't know what he sees in it, but the boss is always right. (It's the browsing capabilities and it sucks with battery life and with Edge speed, ed) So when I got a call from IT Computers, our shop around the corner, telling me there was a Macbook Air waiting for us, I pounced on the opportunity to check out some Apples myself.
We scored the cheaper version, with a 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo and an 80GB HDD. There's no sexy SSD, but at least it keeps the cost down, although it's still a pricey piece of machinery, selling at around €1700 in the EU. We've just received the sample, so there's not much to say about the performance yet, although the first impression is very positive. The Air is a marvelously designed product and the build quality is excellent, as you may expect from Jobs' crew. In turns heads like a supermodel in a prison courtyard and this is the principal reason for getting one.
The sleek, minimalistic design affects its ergonomics. While its backlit keyboard is spacious and its touchpad is huge, the connectors paid a high price for the space age design. It has just one USB 2.0 port, which is hidden on the right hand side, behind a cover along with a micro-DVI, and a headphone connector. On the left side you'll find a power connector and that's about it. Of course, there's no optical drive, as you may expect from a 1.36kg notebook. This is not a big deal, but the lack of a replaceable battery is. Once you run out of juice on the road, you've gotta recharge and there's nothing you can do about it.
We will try to do a full review early next week, as Fudzilla's biggest Apple fanboy, Mr. Nick Farrell, is eager to hear our verdict, so stay tuned.