Featured Articles

Analysts expect ARM to do well next year

Analysts expect ARM to do well next year

British chip designer ARM could cash in on the mobile industry's rush to transition to 64-bit operating systems and hardware.

More...
Huawei and Xiaomi outpace Lenovo, LG in smartphone market

Huawei and Xiaomi outpace Lenovo, LG in smartphone market

Samsung has lost smartphone market share, ending the quarter on a low note and Xiaomi appears to be the big winner.

More...
Intel Broadwell 15W coming to CES

Intel Broadwell 15W coming to CES

It looks like Intel will be showing off its 14nm processors, codenames Broadwell, in a couple of weeks at CES 2015.

More...
Gainward GTX 980 Phantom reviewed

Gainward GTX 980 Phantom reviewed

Today we’ll be taking a closer look at the recently introduced Gainward GTX 980 4GB with the company’s trademark Phantom cooler.

More...
Zotac ZBOX Sphere OI520 barebones vs Sphere Plus review

Zotac ZBOX Sphere OI520 barebones vs Sphere Plus review

Zotac has been in the nettop and mini-PC space for more than four years now and it has managed to carve…

More...
Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Thursday, 15 May 2008 10:11

Air Jobs on the rebound - 2. Input devices and Ergonomics

Written by Nermin Hajdarbegovic

Image

Review: Call Apple for Anorexia



Keyboard and Touchpad


Image

By default, the Air uses its Webcam to regulate backlight intensity and turn on the keyboard illumination. This, coupled with the power efficient LED backlit screen improves battery life. The keyboard is very spacious and you should have no trouble coming to grips with it. Its separated, black keys feel great, velvet-like, yet the whole keyboard feels incredibly solid if you consider the weight and size of the Air. A single mono speaker is installed underneath the right half of the keyboard.

Image

You've probably noticed the oversized touchpad by now. It measures 13cm (5.1in) across, and like the iPhone, it recognizes multi finger input. You can use two fingers to rotate your images, pinch to zoom in or out, and navigate in Safari with three fingers. Due to its size, these actions are much easier to perform than on the 3.5-inch iPhone, but their usefulness is still a bit dubious.

Image

It's a nice addition, but on the iPhone it makes a lot more sense than on a notebook. Hopefully, Apple will expand support to other apps, allowing users to make full use of this innovative feature.

Although the keyboard and touchpad are first class, this doesn't mean you'll cherish each moment with your Air. Apple did a good job with the 802.11n wireless, we had no trouble with it, but there's no regular LAN connector. This might be an issue for some users, and it's a pity Apple didn't include a USB Ethernet dongle in the package.

Image

There's just one USB, so you'll need some cable/hub juggling if you want to use the Air as a desktop machine from time to time. Connecting it to a monitor shouldn't be an issue thanks to the micro-DVI out, and if the mono sound isn't enough you can count on the audio out. The battery can't be replaced, so you shouldn't stray far off without the power adapter. Luckily, it's very compact and light. The trouble is you end up with a lot of accessories to carry around. If you need Ethernet, more USBs or if you need to connect it to a monitor, you need a dongle. If you need to backup frequently, or handle optical media, you also need to get a USB SuperDrive.

Image

Obviously, the Air isn't meant to replace your desktop, it's conceived as a second or even third computer. In any case, 64 or 80GB of storage aren't much by today's standards, so an extra USB would come in handy for external hard drives or the SuperDrive.

Image

Of course, none of these things, not even the power adapter, will fit into the Crumpler pouch shipped with the Air. Although the Air is slim and light, it has a rather sizable footprint, measuring 32.5x22.7cm, a bit more than most 13.3-inch notebooks on the market. None of those notebooks can boast 0.4-1.94cm thickness, though.

(Page 2 of 3)
Last modified on Thursday, 15 May 2008 17:35
blog comments powered by Disqus

 

Facebook activity

Latest Commented Articles

Recent Comments