MacBook Air

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Amazingly Ultra
Talk about ultrathin, the MacBook Air redefines the portable computer.  Despite measuring just 0.76 inches at it's thickest point and weighing only 3 pounds, the MacBook Aire packs a 13.3-inch widescreen LED backlit display and full-size keyboard.  It is the ideal companion for the frequent business traveler, student, or ultra mobile user.  It offers the essential speed, performance, and Mac-based experience without compromising on features.

The MacBook Air was first introduced on January 15, 2008 and is currently on its secnd revision or in other words, its third product cycle.   The MacBook Air is powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo processor.  Apple offers two MacBook Air models, a 1.86GHz with a
standard SATA hard drive or a 2.13GHz model with a solid state drive.

mbair_front.pngIn the Box
  • MacBook Air
  • 45W MagSafe Power Adapter
  • AC wall plug
  • Power cord
  • USB Ethernet adapter
  • Display polishing cloth
  • Install/restore DVDs
  • Printed and electronic documentation

mbair_3q.pngKey Configuration Options
  • Processor up to 2.12GHz (Intel Core 2 Duo)
  • 128GB solid-state drive
  • External MacBook Air SuperDrive
  • Apple USB Modem
  • MagSafe Airline Adapter
  • Apple Remote
Standard features:
  • Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6MB on-chip shared L2 cache
  • 1066MHz frontside bus
  • 2GB of onboard 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM that is shared with the main system memory
  • One USB 2.0 ports
  • Built-in iSight camera (at the top center of the display)
  • Mini DisplayPort output - support for DVI, dual-link DVI, and VGA video (adapters required)
  • Built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking
  • Built-in Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate)
  • Built-in microphone
  • Built-in mono speakers
  • Headphone/optical analog audio output (minijack)
  • LED-backlit glossy widescreen display (mercury and arsenic-free LED display)
  • Supports extended desktop and video mirroring modes
  • Integrated low-profile lithium-polymer battery

Installed Software

All new MacBook Air models ship pre-installed with:
  • Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard operating system which includes key features and applications such as Time Machine, Quick Look, Spaces, Spotlight, Dashboard, Mail, iChat, Safari, Address Book, QuickTime, iCal, DVD Player, Photo Booth, Front Row, and Xcode Developer Tools
  • iLife '09 which includes iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iWeb, and GarageBand

A Truly Innovative Design

The MacBook Air is a game changer.  Don't let the slim case fool you.  It's a full featured portable Mac capable of leveraging the potential of the Mac OS X operating system.  It offers many of the features found on the professional MacBook Pro (such as the aluminum case) and consumer MacBook, the ambient light sensor, backlit keyboard, and magnetic lid latch.  The MacBook Air was the first Mac portable to include the solid-state trackpad with multi-touch gesture support.  This trackpad is now included in the MacBook and the MacBook Pro.  Simply use your fingers to control many gestures including scrolling, pinching, rotating, swipe, taps, drag, and cursor control.

Thumbnail image for mbair_side.pngWirelessly Focused
The MacBook Air is designed to leverage today's wireless world thanks to built-in next-generation 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.  You'll easily connect to WiFi networks, connect to modern peripherals and devices, as well as experience the true potential of the Internet all without wires.  Downloading files, movies, and music couldn't be easier.  Although the MacBook Air doesn't include an integrated optical drive, you'll still be able to use your old CDs and DVDs, install software from disk, or accomplish just about anything you need to with a traditional drive.  You can purchase the optional external MacBook Air SuperDrive or use Remote Disc, a new feature from Apple that allows you to use the optical drive of another Mac or PC.  After enabling Remote Disc, simply insert a DVD or CD into the other computer and access it from the MacBook Air.  Cool huh!

What can you do with a MacBook Air?

As the most portable Mac notebook available, the MacBook Air provides the size and features needed by the mobile user.  It offers the performance to create and manage documents, surf the web, chat (audio, text, video), as well as view, edit, and manage photographs.  The MacBook Air's features and versatility allow you to:
  • Accomplish daily tasks such as browsing the web, using email, managing photos, making home movies, and listening to music
  • Use the built-in iSight camera to video chat with family and friends, make a quick video clip, or play around with the snapshots you captured in Photo Booth.
  • View digital content with Front Row; viewing photos, music, movies, and videos is a breeze
  • Use the built-in wireless features for wireless networking and to connect to nearby networks
  • Connect to the latest Bluetooth enabled peripherals and/or mobile phones including the iPhone and iPod touch
  • Add a second display (extended desktop mode and video mirroring)
  • Burn CDs and DVDs (optional MacBook Air SuperDrive required)
Conclusion & Buying Advice
The MacBook Air offers buyers portability in a ultrathin ultraportable enclosure.  It's a system that offers many of the features found in the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines but is designed with portability as the key differentiator.  You'll sacrifice traditional features such as an integrated optical drive, ports, processing power, graphics (versus the MacBook Pro), and expandability by opting for the MacBook Air.  Keep in mind that the MacBook Air is engineered and designed with a portable footprint in mind.  If you need any of the aforementioned features you should consider the MacBook Pro or the MacBook.

  • April 9, 2009 - Content revision
  • January 12, 2009 - Content revision based on information from Late 2008 models
  • April 10, 2010 - Content revision based on information from Mid 2009 models
Images used in this guide are Courtesy of Apple
Created: 1:44 PM on Aug 20, 2008
By: switchtoamac