Ted Leung on the (MacBook) Air

Ok, the title is a horrible pun. Blame DrErnie. I don’t have that many comments about the Air itself as a product. I like the form factor for the most part, but I think it’s underpowered for anyone who is seriously writing code or processing RAW photographs at a serious level. At the same time, there’s no doubt in my mind that they will sell a lot of units, because it’s just so cool.

The most interesting thing about the MacBook Air is the custom packaging of the Core2 Duo that Intel did for Apple. It’s interesting to see how that partnership is working out. I certainly don’t remember anything like this happening with Motorola or IBM. If Apple is able to get custom versions of Intel chips, that gives them space to introduce products that will be harder for competitors to match. Of course, Intel probably wants to give those chips to its other customers eventually, but if Apple could secure, say, a 1 year lockout before anybody else got the chip that is in the Air, that would be a nice position to be in.

Many people (including me) were surprised that there was no MacBook/MacBook Pro bump, but some articles on the new Penryn chips suggest that there isn’t a large benefit, and it turns out that the dates for Intel’s Montevina laptop platform have been moved up to May, so maybe Apple just decided it wasn’t worth the trouble.

On the whole, there wasn’t much for me to personally get excited about this year. At one point, I commented in IRC, “we killed twitter for this?”. Which is probably the other interesting point about the Stevenote, Twitter got knocked so hard that my Twitterific is still reporting errors multiple times per hour. The only decent live reporting that I saw was in the Ars Technica and MacRumors IRC rooms and on the MacRumorsLive website. Everybody else was bombarded or laggy. Seems to me that there’s still plenty of scalability issues for people to be working on.

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