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January 21, 2008

MacBook Air Lacks Features, Analysts Say

By Raju Shanbhag, TMCnet Contributing Editor

A few days ago, Apple (News - Alert) introduced its newest notebook Air, and claimed it was the thinnest notebook in the world. But now as the features of the notebook are being discussed and as the analysts get a look at the “Air,” some feel that the notebook’s apparent lack of features may not endear it to the potential customers. As for the features that are surely there in this notebook, they include a 13.3-inch wide-screen display, a 1.8-inch hard drive and a full-size back-lit keyboard.

According to a report in PC World, Scott Armstrong, a Mac user, and the president of the Macintosh Users Group in Kennewick, Washington, feels that the “Air” does not meet the needs of Apple's traditional multimedia audience. To start with, the machine’s storage capacity is not too great. Analysts feel that at 4,200 revolutions per minute, the hard drive is really slow.
Another surprising omission is the cold shoulder to a FireWire communications port, which is necessary to transfer big multimedia files. Surprising, because in the past, Apple has led the effort to promote FireWire.
Analysts expect the product to sell slowly because of its high price point and overlapping functionality with the existing MacBook and MacBook Pro lines. Also, many analysts believe that Apple is looking for wireless communication between devices, as it has got rid of the Ethernet port and included wireless storage. The company seems to have been trying to change the way users look at ultraportable laptops by introducing more wireless features in its laptops.
Whatever the analysts say, Apple has at least been able to generate some interest for its products by creating curiosity and making claims that the laptop is the thinnest and the lightest laptop on the earth. Even if it fails to attract the buyers who look for advanced features, it may still be able to attract the students who who prefer mobility even at the cost of some of the features found in the modern laptops.
Raju Shanbhag is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
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