Friday, January 18, 2008
It's A Laptop And It's Thin
Moments after Steve Jobs unveiled Apple's thin new MacBook Air on Tuesday at MacWorld, dozens of units were put out on the show floor at San Francisco's Moscone Center, accompanied by teams of Apple employees, dressed in identical, long-sleeve black T-shirts. A mob of Apple fans quickly gathered to ogle, stroke, poke and debate the merits of the new device.
The MacBook Air has an aluminum shell and feels solid when you pick it up and flip it over, even weighing in at a mere 3 pounds. Apple employees don't blink if you ask about dropping it. But no one's really tried. The machine hasn't been "ruggedized" like the super-sturdy models hawked by Panasonic.
The MacBook Air is insanely thin. Three pounds? 0.76 inches thick?!? It sounds like a great achievement, but I've never found the laptops I've used to be unwieldy beasts. If I can sit in a recliner and type, I'm fine with a 6-pound laptop that has more features and power.
But as I watched Steve Jobs demo his new products onstage at San Francisco's Moscone Center, I was struck by all the things you can't do with the MacBook Air. That's because the balance of power at Apple, and in the tech world generally, has tipped. In many ways, phones are now more powerful than laptops.
I'm a sucker for products that look good, but there need to be some guts beneath the shiny skin. I don't care about having the world's skinniest laptop.
A Clear Future
I'm just not going to buy the latest item - PC, Mac or cell phone - just because it's thin .
Now... if it can mix a rum and coke for me and drive my car home when I'm drunk, that's a 'nother story.
...Yes. That would be Big Carbon Al's houseboy and if the houseboy does a poor job mixing the rum and coke, then Al has another houseboy to administer a disciplinary beating. Unfortunately, I can't afford the care and feeding of a houseboy, but Al can. Oh and Al's on Apple's board of directors if I'm not mistaken. That's why Al can have a houseboy and I can barely have a house at all. Well it's more like a shack but hey the appliances I throw out in the yard actually make it look better.
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