Macbook in the Air

During yesterday’s keynote, Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs introduced the Macbook Air.

It’s an ultra-thin and light Macbook. It has a 13″ screen, 1.6 Ghz C2Duo processor, 2GB of RAM, 80GB hard drive, full-size keyboard, multitouch touchpad, one Micro-DVI out and one USB 2.0 port. It’s an interesting product. But I wonder is where it fits in.

For use as a main computer it might be a tad limited. The processor is acceptable, as is the memory, but the hard drive might not be sufficient. Also I think one USB port is really not enough. I have two on my MacBook and I already have problems with that. Also, there’s no UTC network connector and no CD/DVD drive. There are ways around that (such as a USB CD player, or this new feature that is called remote CD or whatever), but still, as a main computer — I’m not convinced.

So, what would it be used for instead? As a travel mate maybe. It’s light, so you can bring it anywhere, to work, in the train, on the plane. Its battery life is acceptable (up to 5 hours, an hour less than my Macbook). But if it’s a laptop that you’re supposed to have just for travel, presentations, and generally, to carry around with you everywhere, then the price tag is a bit high (this baby costs $1799).

And if you want something to carry around with you, something you only use for presentations and while traveling, but not as your main work station, isn’t an Asus Eee much more interesting? For one it’s heck of a lot cheaper ($299), which also means it’s not as much of a disaster if you accidentally leave it in the train (not something that would happen to me of course *cough*). Sure it’s not as powerful (it has a 900Mhz processor, 512MB RAM, 4–8GB of HD space), and it’s much smaller (it has a 7″ display), but that’s the point. It’s a cheap device for on the go. It’s not trying to be a full-blown desktop. It’s pretty clear where Asus positioned it: as a cheap, ultra-portable device. Great for presentations, great for doing a bit (but admittedly — not a lot) of work on the go.

So I’m not all that thrilled with the Macbook Air.