I went to MacWorld 2008 yesterday (Wednesday). This was my first time at any Mac event so it was an interesting experience.
First off, I did get the chance to handle the MacBook Air and I am not too impressed with it, and here are my thoughts.
1) There are no firewire ports.
2) There is no Network Plug.
3) The battery is built in.
4) The missing optical drive is just not cool.
I think it’s important to have some firewire ports for certain reasons. First, since the hard drive is obviously built in with no easy access to it, having the MacBook Air will make data recovery situations virtually impossible. I have worked in the data recovery business and I think not having any easy / exclusive access to the hard drive is a bad idea. Also, it eliminates remote reinstallation of the OS through firewire which again I think is a bad idea. I think that having a firewire port for failsafe type operations is extremely important in case things go south with the Notebook.
Not having a network plus I think is something bad waiting to happen. For example, software installation relies on the Wireless card. What if the wireless card goes sour? You would not only be looking at a notebook that would be internet-less but also a laptop that can not have software installed on it. That would suck if the laptop is out of warranty, you just purchased your new Adobe Suite and the card burns out. Bad combo. With laptop network connectivity, you should always have 2 ways of getting into the laptop.
The battery being built in is just bad. There have been many people who have experienced the issue where the laptop freezes and the power button does not work. Detaching the laptop battery and reattaching it gives the laptop a good cold reboot to resolve the issue. Since the battery is built in, how are you gonna do a hardware reset if the laptop has a little glitch. Not good.
The missing optical drive is just a way of apple saying, “Our product is cool, especially without an optical drive”. Sure they have the remote installation of software using a different computer, but that’s just a jenky way of getting around it. Apple tries to make having a missing optical drive look cool but fail miserably. What if you want to burn a CD? What if a client has all their reports on a CD? Especially with the price tag attached to this laptop.
I wish I had more than a few hours to explore all the booths in great detail, but we did have to skim through both the South Hall and the West Hall. Either way, I look forward to next year and dedicating more time into the Expo.