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Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo P7500 1.6GHz (4MB L2 cache, 800MHz frontside bus)
Graphics: Intel X3100, 144MB shared memory
Memory: 2GB DDR2 at 667MHz
Screen: 13.3" 1280 x 800 glare widescreen TFT (LED backlit)
Hard Disk: 80GB 4200RPM PATA hard disk drive
Optical Drive: none
WLAN: AirPort Extreme WiFi (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n)
1x Micro DVI,
1x USB 2.0 port (480Mbps),
1x Audio out
Dimensions: 0.4 to 1.94cm x 32.5cm x 22.7 cm (H, W, D) - 0.16-0.76", 12.8", 8.94" (H, W, D)
Weight: 1.36kg (ca. 3.0 pounds)
Battery: 37-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery, integrated not user replaceable
Battery Life: ca. 3:15+hrs (depends heavily on screen brightness setting)
Battery Life (manufacturer): 5 hrs
Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard incl. iLife ’08, 12-month warranty
Let's start with the basics. The Air is the best looking MacBook ever, and as far as I'm concerned, one of the best looking notebooks in general. Apple designed it with fashion-minded people in mind and it did a marvelous job. The good looks come at a price, but many people will be more than happy to sacrifice USBs, Ethernet and an optical drive to enjoy Apple's latest toy.
So, what are the drawbacks? Lack of ports springs to mind first. There's no optical drive, either, meaning you have to cough up an additional $99 for an external SuperDrive and that hurts. No Ethernet ? Some people won't really mind, but others will. I think it's still a bit too early to kick it out. You can't replace the battery yourself. This is a bad deal considering it's an an ultra-portable machine and its battery life is nothing spectacular, much lower than the 5 hours Apple boasts. You can't add more memory, either, as the 2GB are soldered onto the motherboard. The tiny hard drive is slow and can impact performance, especially when running multiple apps. Also, Apple offers only a 12-month warranty, not good considering it's such a pricey piece of machinery.
On the upside, you get a very stylish, light and well-built notebook powered by a good CPU. Its keyboard, touchpad and screen are top of the line. The 80GB 1.8-inch HDD lacks speed and capacity, but I still don't think that spending €650 for the SSD version with the same CPU is worth it.
Speaking of value, this particular SKU is the cheapest one, and I think it offers the best value for money as well. SSD pushes the price sky high, and getting a faster 1.8GHz version with the same HDD for €300 more doesn't make much sense, either. Compared to Lenovo's cheapest X300, the Air looks like a fair deal. The Lenovo packs a 64GB SSD, and it sells at around €2200, and so does the SSD Air. But if you can live without SSD, and I see no reason why you could not, you can get the cheaper Air with an HDD for €1550.
Compared to the Air, the Lenovo is a bit underpowered, thanks to its Core 2-Duo SL7100 2x 1.20GHz LV. However, it has a higher res screen (1440x900) and an optical drive. Seems like a more sensible choice for corporate users, but the cheapest X300 still costs €650 more than the cheapest Air.
Bottom line, can we recommend the Air? Yes, but it's not well suited to meet everyone's needs. If you can cope with its shortcomings and place an emphasis on style rather than practicality, the Air is the way to go. It's a beautiful piece of hardware and if you're looking for a notebook that will turn heads, you won't go wrong with it. The bottom line is, if you are fasion freak and like pretty at the cost of functionality, this is the perfect notebook for you
Too bad we don't have a design award at Fudzilla, as the Air deserves at least that, but yet again we are not a fashion magazine, either.
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