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The MacBook Air has no clothes

I was immediately dismissive of the MacBook Air because it had too little RAM (2 GB max), too little storage (80 GB max), and too little expandability. The lack of a DVD drive isn't really a huge issue, but a single USB port is. Anyway. You can figure out for yourself why the MacBook Air is a waste of time without even seeing on. Unless of course you're a Mac fanatic. In that case, it takes a month or so with the machine before reality sets in. As it did, apparently this week, for Jason O'Grady:

The MacBook Air has no clothes.

There. I said it.

After using the MacBook Air intensely since it arrived in February, I am beginning to feel the limitations of its pokey 1.6GHz processor and 2GB of RAM. I knew what I was getting into going in, but I was convinced that I could make it work. Initially the tradeoff of less CPU and RAM was worth shaving two pounds off my daily notebook heft but as I use the MBA more and more I’m increasingly frustrated by its molasses-like performance.

Jason seems like a credible, nice guy. And this belated post should be celebrated as pure honesty. But it's not the weight of the MacBook Air that's the selling point. After all, there are lighter PCs out there, as well as similarly-hefty PCs that have optical drivers and other features the MBA lacks. No, the selling point is the thinness. And maybe I'm not thinking differently enough here, but weight, not thinness, is indeed the central issue for any frequent traveler. One might think of this as a performance:weight ratio problem. Unless one were blinded by the Reality Distortion Field, that is.

(I’m not complaining about the 80GB hard drive, either. With some careful data gymnastics I’ve found it pretty easy to live within 80GB, with the exception of Parallels disk images. Those, my friend, are a bear. To hell with music and photo libraries damnit! I need Windows XP!)

Ah, the blood curdles over in Cupertino. We all need Windows, Jason. We all do.

I stand behind my diary posts about the MacBook Air though. It’s a great machine for light-duty users, frequent fliers and Mac-daddy executives, but for resource intensive users I recommend a top-end MacBook Pro with 4GB of RAM.

In case you hadn't been following his stunning 214-part series, Jason blogged about the MacBook Air every day since he got it in February.

I'm curious, however, about the target market for this thing: Those who are...

  • Light-duty users ... and ....
  • Frequent fliers ... and/or ....
  • Mac-daddy executives.

That's quite a crowd, I'm sure. But after a month of use, Jason has basically just arrived at the conclusion I made before needlessly dropping $2000 or more on an underpowered, paper-thin computer. Few people need this thing. And I just don't see the point. That said, 4 GB of RAM and 160 GB of hard drive space, along with a second USB port, would make the MBA interesting. Until then ... eh.

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