With the MacBook Air, Apple has created the world's thinnest laptop--measuring an unprecedented 0.16-inches at its thinnest point (and 0.76 inches thick overall). Apple also introduces its vaunted multi-touch technology, found on the iPhone, to its laptops with the MacBook Air, enabling you to pinch, swipe, or rotate to zoom in on text, advance through a photo album, or adjust an image via the oversized trackpad.
Despite the its slender shell, the MacBook Air doesn't skimp on the specifications. It includes a 13.3-inch LED-backlit widescreen display, full-size and backlit keyboard, and a built-in iSight video camera for video conferencing. The MacBook Air is powered by a custom-built 1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, which provides an optimized, multithreaded architecture for improved multitasking performance. Other features include 2 GB of RAM, an 80 GB hard disk drive, Wi-Fi connectivity via 802.11a/b/g/n standards, a micro-DVI video output (with included adapters), and up to a 5-hour battery life.
It comes pre-loaded with Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system, which adds over 300 new features including easy backup of your most important data via Time Machine, a redesigned desktop that helps eliminate clutter, and the newest version of the fast-loading Safari web browser. It also comes with the iLife '08 suite of applications, including iPhoto, iMovie, Garageband, and iTunes.
Amazingly thin at just 0.16 inches at its thinnest and 0.76 inches at its thickest point, the MacBook Air weighs just 3 pounds.
Apple's Thinnest Laptop Is Also Its Greenest
The MacBook Air embodies Apple's continuing environmental progress with its aluminum enclosure, a material highly desired by recyclers; Apple's first mercury-free LCD display with arsenic-free glass; and brominated flame retardant-free material for the majority of circuit boards as well as PVC-free internal cables. In addition, the MacBook Air consumes the least amount of power of any Mac, and its retail box, made primarily from 100 percent post-consumer recycled material, is 56 percent smaller by volume than the previously smallest MacBook packaging.
The thinness of MacBook Air is impressive, but even more impressive is that fact that there's a full-size notebook encased in the 0.16 to 0.76 inch of sleek, sturdy anodized aluminum. This svelte, 3-pound laptop has a vibrant, energy efficient 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display, and its spacious trackpad offers multi-touch gesture support for pinch, rotate and swipe--making it more intuitive than ever to browse and rotate photos or zoom into web pages in Safari. It also features a full-size keyboard that's backlit, making it ideal for dimly lit environments such as airplanes, studios or conference halls. It includes a built-in ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the brightness of the keys as well as the display brightness for optimal visibility.
One of Apple's most celebrated innovations is the MagSafe power adapter connector, which offers a magnetic connection instead of a physical one. So, if you happen to trip over a power cord, you won't send the MacBook Air flying off a table or desk--the cord simply disconnects, without damage to either the cord or the system.
Because of the amazingly thin design of the MacBook Air, an optical (DVD/CD) drive was not included. To install software from a disc, you can wirelessly use or "borrow" optical drives on remote PCs or Macs using the Remote Disk feature. This allows you full access to an optical drive without having to haul one around. If you want to have an optical drive for burning CDs and DVDs, you can purchase the optional MacBook Air SuperDrive (sold separately). This multi-format CD/DVD read/write drive is powered by the MacBook Air's USB port, eliminating the need to carry a separate power adapter.
The MacBook Air doesn't include wired Ethernet networking, and instead relies solely on Wi-Fi to connect to your home network as well as wireless hotspots. The built-in 802.11n wireless networking provides up to five times the performance and twice the range of 802.11g, but it's also backward-compatible with 802.11a/b/g routers, enabling you to communicate with the a wide variety of Wi-Fi resources. It works seamlessly with the optional AirPort Extreme base station as well as Apple's Time Capsule Wi-Fi base station/hard drive--both of which include 802.11n capabilities. If you don't have access to a wireless network, you can use an optional USB Ethernet Adapter (sold separately)
Use the built-in Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) wireless technology to connect to your PDA or cell phone, synchronize addresses, or download pictures from your cell phone. You can also use a wireless headset for iChat audio chats and VoIP calls as well as quickly share files with a colleague.
Video Conferencing with Built-in iSight
Artfully placed in the display bezel is an iSight camera, which enables easy video conferencing as well as allows you to snap pictures of yourself and create video podcasts. Using the iChat AV application, video conferencing is integrated into your iChat buddy list, so initiating a video conference is a breeze. iChat also lets you hold audio chats with up to 10 people and provides high-quality audio compression and full-duplex sound so conversation can flow naturally. For video podcasting, you can record a short clip using the iSight camera, then use iWeb to create a video blog entry or post your GarageBand-recorded podcast.
Display and Graphics
The MacBook Air includes a vibrant 13.3-inch LED-backlit display and a full-sized keyboard.
Whether you're working on a Keynote presentation or watching a movie before you catch a flight, every document, video, and photo on your MacBook Air will look sharp on the glossy 13.3-inch widescreen display. With pixel-perfect 1280-by-800 resolution, it's great for viewing and working with media. Video is powered by the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100, which provides 144 MB of DDR2 SDRAM shared with main memory. It features Intel Clear Video Technology, which delivers outstanding video playback with sharper image quality, increased clarity, and enhanced visual quality of interlaced content on progressive displays.
Hard Drive and Memory
For storage, this MacBook Air comes with an 80 GB Parallel ATA hard disk drive (4200 RPM). The 2 GB of PC5300 DDR2 RAM (two SO-DIMMs of 1024 MB) has an industry-leading 667 MHz speed, and it maximizes the capacity for this laptop.
Intel Core 2 Duo Processor
Custom-built to fit within the compact dimensions of the laptop, the MacBook Air is powered by a 1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with a super-fast 800 MHz front-side bus (FSB), and an enormous 4 MB of Smart Cache, an L2 cache that can be shared between the cores as needed. (An L2, or secondary, cache temporarily stores data; and a larger L2 cache can help speed up your system's performance. The FSB carries data between the CPU and RAM, and a faster front-side bus will deliver better overall performance.)
The innovative now-you-see-it, now-you-don't port hatch flips down to reveal (and closes to hide) all the ports you really need: a USB 2.0 port, a headphone jack, and a micro-DVI port.
The Intel Core 2 Duo's 128-bit SSE3 vector engine handles 128-bit computations in a single clock cycle, accelerating data manipulation by simultaneously applying a single instruction to multiple data. And its two execution cores are designed to share resources and conserve power, helping it to achieve higher levels of performance since it uses fewer watts. And with 4MB of shared L2 cache, the MacBook Air is a multi-tasking monster. With such substantial L2 cache, data and instructions can be kept close to the two processor cores, greatly increasing performance and allowing the entire system to work more efficiently. And, because the processor cores share the L2 cache, either can use the entire amount if the other happens to be idle.
- DVI output using micro-DVI to DVI adapter (included)
- VGA output using micro-DVI to VGA adapter (included)
- Composite output using micro-DVI to video adapter (optional)
- S-video output using micro-DVI to video adapter (optional)
- Analog audio output/headphone out (minijack)
- Built-in mono speaker and omnidirectional microphone
- Integrated 37-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery provides up to 5 hours of battery life
- Built-in full-size keyboard with 78 (U.S.) or 79 (ISO) keys, including 12 function keys, 4 arrow keys (inverted "T" arrangement), and embedded numeric keypad
- Supported resolutions: 1280 by 800 (native), 1152 by 720, 1024 by 768, 800 by 600, 800 by 500, 720 by 480, and 640 by 480 pixels at 16:10 aspect ratio; 1024 by 768, 800 by 600, and 640 by 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio; 720 by 480 pixels at 3:2 aspect ratio
Preloaded with Leopard and iLife '08
Preloaded with Leopard, you'll enjoy enhanced productivity and a clutter-free desktop (thanks to the redesigned 3D Dock with Stacks).
The biggest Mac OS X upgrade ever, the Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system features over 300 new features, including:
- Time Machine, an effortless way to automatically back up everything on a Mac
- A redesigned Finder that lets users quickly browse and share files between multiple Macs
- Quick Look, a new way to instantly see files without opening an application
- Spaces, an intuitive new feature used to create groups of applications and instantly switch between them
- A brand new desktop with Stacks, a new way to easily access files from the Dock
- Major enhancements to Mail and iChat
Leopard's new desktop includes the redesigned 3D Dock with Stacks, a new way to organize files for quick and easy access with just one click. Leopard automatically places web, email and other downloads in a Downloads stack to maintain a clutter-free desktop, and you can instantly fan the contents of this and other Stacks into an elegant arc right from the Dock. The updated Finder includes Cover Flow and a new sidebar with a dramatically simplified way to search for, browse and copy content from any PC or Mac on a local network.
Time Machine lets you easily back up all of the data on your Mac, find lost files and even restore all of the software on their Mac. With just a one-click setup, Time Machine automatically keeps an up-to-date copy of everything on the Mac. In the event a file is lost, you can search back through time to find deleted files, applications, photos and other digital media and then instantly restore the file.
The MacBook Air also comes with the iLife '08 suite of applications that make it easy to live the digital life. Use iPhoto to share entire high-res photo albums with anyone who's got an email address. Record your own songs and podcasts with GarageBand. Break into indie filmmaking with iMovie and iDVD. Then take all the stuff you made on your Mac and share it on the Web in one click with iWeb.
What's in the Box
MacBook Air, MagSafe power adapter, Micro-DVI to DVI adapter, Micro-DVI to VGA adapter, cleaning/polishing cloth, install/restore DVDs, printed documentation