MacBook Air Turns Four Years Old

MacBook Air

On 15 Jan 2012, MacBook Air turned four years old.

When Apple introduced the first version of MacBook Air, at that time was world’s thinnest notebook. The launch of MacBook Air was Steve Jobs’s last Macworld appearance and the next to last Macworld keynote for Apple.

The presentation is a classic Steve Jobs performance. The keynote had his usual smooth delivery, a genuine enthusiasm for the product, and a healthy dose of showmanship. The video clips shared on this page would refresh your memories about this classic moment.

The first MacBook Air was smaller, yet more powerful than its competitors. It started off with an 80 GB 1.8-inch HDD drive (optional SSD), a compact motherboard with a custom 1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and GMA X3100 graphics processor. It also had a 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy display, 2 GB of DDR2 SDRAM, full backlit keyboard, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, USB port, and Micro-DVI port. It was thin and measured only 12.8 in (325 mm) wide × 8.94 in (227 mm) deep × 0.16 in (4 mm) to 0.76 in (19 mm) high.

The first model had an optional external optical drive. However, Jobs insisted customers would not miss their DVD because the world was moving to wireless. It seemed radical back then, but, with Mac OS X Lion, the Mac App Store and iCloud, the world has seen Jobs’s vision of the future. The MacBook Air received positive reviews when it launched. However, the early hardware was plagued with overheating and, for some, wireless connectivity problems. At US $1799, it was also pricey compared to its Windows counterparts.

An updated version of the hardware was released at the end of 2008. It included a larger hard drive (and SSD option), a faster, non-custom Intel Core 2 Duo processor, new NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics, and a Mini Display port. The performance was slightly improved.

In 2009, Apple rebooted the MacBook Pro line and refreshed the MacBook Air again. The 2009 version of MacBook Air was the recipient of a higher capacity battery and a slightly faster CPU. The entry price was also dropped to $1499 for the HDD version. For 128 GB SSD model, there was a reasonable price of $1799.

In late 2010, Apple completely redesigned the 13-.3-inch MacBook Air with SSD storage across the line. The battery performance was also improved. Apple also introduced the 11.6-inch MacBook Air, a version with most of the power of the 13.3-inch in a smaller form factor. The 11-inch competed directly with netbooks. It was an instant hit for those who wanted a small notebook that would work on the go. Pricing was competitive with the 11.6-inch starting at $999 and the 13.3-inch at $1299.

Similar to previous models, the 2010 MacBook Air was not as powerful as its MacBook Pro cousins. Customers liked the small size of the Air, but not the slower processing power and frequent beach balls. Apple also removed the backlit keyboard from the Air, which caused a stir among customers who sorely missed this feature.

This changed in mid-2011. Apple introduced the current MacBook Air models. The current generation Air models have Core i5 or Core i7 processors, SSD storage, and an Intel HD 3000 graphics processor. Though the Air got a significant boost, pricing remained the same, with the 11.6-inch starting at $999 and the 13.3-inch starting at $1299.

What is your opinion about MacBook Air? Post your comments.

Source: TUAW

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