I am a big fan of the Macbook Air (MBA). I bought mine March 2008 just a few weeks after it was release.
Back then; my original plan was to use it as my main computer, I have to admit that never happened.
The MBA has limitations:
The Internal HD is only 80GB which demands an external HD to store an iPhoto’s and ITune’s library.
One USB port: impossible to sync an iPhone, iPad, camera or camcorder with iTunes or iPhoto without a hub.
It is not fast enough for some applications (Photoshop, Final Cut Express…).
I decided to only use it when I’m on the road; traveling with it is great.
I absolutely love it. It is the best size, weight, and design.
New Macbook Air:
When I saw the new Macbook Air last week I thought that all of the limitations would be fixed.
A Bigger SSD HD.
Two USB ports: one for an external HD and one for a device like an iPhone, iPad, or camcorder.
More RAM (up to 4GB) combine with the SSD HD making the machine faster.
Thinner and lighter.
I was so happy about it, that I order one the day after it was released.
Well, I was a little to fast. Later that day I canceled the order after arguing with the seller who was giving me a1% rebate (because I bought 3 Macbook Pro, 1 Mac mini, 1iPad, 1 IPhone 4 in one year). The less than $15 rebate was insulting and unnecessary. After all, I was not even asking for a rebate.
Beside that, the real reason to cancel the order was because I found out that Apple took away the backlit keyboard.
While traveling by plane, train or car the light is never very strong so the backlit keyboard is imperative. Not having seems like a downgrade to me.
@ the Apple Store:
On Saturday, I went to the Apple Store near home. I brought along my “now old” MBA. I succeeded to put my hands on the new MBA and set-up my old MBA next to it. (Last Saturday everybody wanted to see the new baby, so it seemed)
Sorry, but I did not dare taking pictures there were too many people, and I was concern about Apple security rules, and I did not want to have to deal with the staff or the security people.
After 5 minutes, I was surrounded but other customer amused to see the two computers next to each other.
The two machines are so similar that people thought that my old MBA was the new one and tried to play with it.
1- Size: there is no big difference in size. The new MBA it a little flatter on top (it lost maybe one millimeter of thickness).
2- Weight: The New MBA is 100 grams lighter than the old one. It is better, but I did not feel the difference when I held it.
3- Screen: The differences were not noticeable. I thought that the new MBA would have much better resolution. During the presentation, I understood that the resolution of the new screen was the same as the Macbook Pro.
As my friend Jared said: « I hate that silver bezel » . The black bezel of the Macbook Pro’s screen is so beautiful. I also regret that Apple could not put the same screen on the New MBA.
4- Cam: The difference between the two is not visible.
5- Keyboard: The letters printed on each keys are whiter than on the old one. I noticed that my old MBA’s keys start to be really shinny, which makes the character less visible. I wonder how the new keyboard will age? Maybe Apple could have put white keys like on the external keyboard of the iMac. Or as my friend Ralph said “glow in the dark letters”.
C’est la vie:
No doubt, the new MBA is a much better machine, but there is not enough of a difference between the two to replace my 2,5 years old machine.
The missing backlit keyboard is really a big issue for me today. I do not want to take the risk to have a problem while traveling.
But you know me, I can change my mind and decide to get it sooner than I think today.