MacBook Air

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 31 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 31 October, 2010, 12:00am

Leave it to Apple to make even 'air' lighter. With the new Macbook Air, Apple has trimmed down its original super-thin notebook to be even thinner and lighter.

Like its 2008 predecessor, the new Macbook Air features a design that tapers from a pretty thin 1.7cm at one end to an incredibly thin 0.3cm at the other. A second model has also been introduced to the series. The standard model has a 13.3-inch display. Another has an 11.6-inch display.

One thing that doesn't seem to have changed is the processor for the basic configuration, which remains the same - an Intel Core 2 Duo chip running at 1.86GHz for the 13.3-inch model, but upgradeable to 2.13GHz. The 11.6-inch model comes with a 1.4GHz chip, upgradeable to 1.6GHz. Both models come with the Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics chip, and variable RAM and memory configurations.

One notable improvement of the new Macbook Air is that it uses solid state drives based on Flash memory technology, which was in part how Apple was able to reduce the computer's physical size. Best of all, because the memory is based on Flash, the Macbook Air boots up much faster - almost as fast as the iPad, according to initial trials.

It also allows Apple to introduce a battery-saving technology called 'deep sleep mode', which allows the computer to retain its battery life for as long as a month in standby mode.

Prices for the new Macbook Air starts at HK$7,588 (11.6-inch), and HK$9,888 (13.3-inch).

Pros: ultra-thin design, less costly than original model, solid state drive

Cons: no 3G, no Ethernet port (needs adapter)