Are The New Apple Products Worth Buying?

The dirty-sounding finance blog “Make Your Nut” works through the pros and cons of the latest Apple products, so that you can “make sure you enter into your purchases with eyes wide open.” Up first is the revamped AppleTV, which has a few limitations that weren’t mentioned in yesterday’s announcement.

For one thing, high definition movies, for now, are not being made available on iTunes and can only be rented through the AppleTV. Rented HD movies cannot be synced back to iTunes or otherwise exported to your iPod or iPhone. So, if you think your $5 rental cost is going to get you a high definition movie that you can take with you as well as a copy that you can view at home, think again.

High definition content on the Apple TV will only be available in 720p resolution, if those things matter to you. Surround sound will be on some, but not all, HD movies. This situation will probably improve over time. At present, none of the television content is offered in high definition.

About the iPod Touch: if you pay $20 for the new software (current Touch owners only), and buy non-included accessories like a dock and a power adaptor, then congrats! You’ve basically paid for an iPhone that doesn’t have any phone capabilities!

It’s harder to reason out what the Air is worth, but Make Your Nut points out that for $200 more you can buy a not-much-larger MacBook Pro with lots more features. (Or buy a tiny and light Eee for $400 and save yourself a lot of money and room in your laptop bag—I’m just sayin’.)

“Your Personal Finance Guide to the Macworld Product Reveals” [Make Your Nut]
(Gold in photo: Getty)

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  1. youbastid says:

    I’m a big Mac fan, and I think the Air is beautiful, but I don’t see much use for it. For $1699 you can buy a refurbed MacBook Pro from the Apple website that’s wayyyy more powerful. If it came at the current price tag with the SSD standard, it would be worth it.

  2. stephenjames716 says:

    all hail steve jobs!

  3. aviationwiz says:

    I’m also a big Mac fan, and was excited for a new MacBook Pro, which I planned on purchasing on an Amex Blue card with 0% for 12 months (don’t worry, I’d pay it off well before 12 months), however, as neat as the MacBook Air looks, it doesn’t do what I need it to do, so I’ll still be waiting (im)patiently for MacBook Pro updates.

  4. ptkdude says:

    @youbastid: I agree. I can’t believe the processor is only 1.6.

  5. Narb copied that floppy says:

    I don’t see why they didn’t just cut out all the features and call it the worlds thinnest computer sans computer.

    Sacrificing quality on a product so it looks nicer so people will pay 1.7 grand for it? I could see apple doing that.

  6. hubris says:

    @youbastid: I think the Pro and the Air are reaching for different demos. If my Pro was half the weight it currently is, I would take it with me all the time. Sure, 5.4 isn’t that much, but it’s heavier than I want to carry around with all the other crap I have. 3 is better.

    Plus, the idea of doing everything wirelessly is pretty damn sexy.

  7. crazyflanger says:

    I love Macs, they have a great selection of cutting edge games.

  8. Alexander says:

    Does the US have the internet backbone needed to make downloaded movies (specially in HD) a viable option? I have a 6 mbps DSL connection and even with that at full capacity it would take a long time to download 4+ gigs for a regular DVD…In HD I can’t imagine waiting for hours for 40+ gigs to download. Are we taking about compressed movies? Heck, I invested $1,400 in an LCD, I’m not watching anything compressed to fit through an internet connection…

  9. emona says:

    The Air is gorgeous but there is no way it would last 5 minutes under my supervision.

  10. davere says:

    I’d be all for buying an AppleTV and ditching Netflix …. if they didn’t want to make me wait 30 days from a DVD release in order for me to be able to download it.

  11. ekthesy says:

    @youbastid:

    Do you trust refurbed Apple products? That’s not a loaded question, just curious. The “refurb” market, from cars to computers, does not typically acquit itself well.

  12. Bancho says:

    “About the iPod Touch: if you pay $20 for the new software (current Touch owners only), and buy non-included accessories like a dock and a power adaptor, then congrats! You’ve basically paid for an iPhone that doesn’t have any phone capabilities!”

    Best of all though is it *also* doesn’t have the phone bill.

  13. youbastid says:

    @ekthesy: I do, only because they’re still eligible for AppleCare. You do give up the fun of opening up the brand new packaging though. Typically it’s not worth it because it’s only about $100 off (which you can get anyway by going to Amazon), but occasionally (like right now) they significantly hack the prices on a lot of them.

  14. aegis1 says:

    NO!

  15. BrianH says:

    No. Next question.

    By the way, Apple TV has to be one of the biggest bombs in Apple’s history.

    The first company to come up with the following device will sell millions: a $199 box that is a DVR (e.g. TiVo) (must support HD as well), stream/playback ANY mainstream video format (Xvid, Divx, H264, MPEG variants, etc…), TRANSCODE from any format to any format, connect to the internet (everything from updated program guide information to streaming video), and support multiple physical input & output formats (composite, component, HDMI, S-video, etc…)

    I have this device today. It’s called a general-purpose PC. It’s big, noisy and $$$. What I want is a small box (like the Neuros OSD), but load it with powerful DSPs and FPGAs that are ideal for this type of processing. Make the storage external (e.g. external USB drive) to keep cost & size at a minimum.

  16. ekthesy says:

    @Bancho:

    Well, I think the point Chris was trying to make is that most of us have cell phones anyway, and are already paying the monthly contract on that. So if I have a 16GB Touch, and pay $20 for the upgraded software, I essentially have an iPhone. Couple that with the cell phone plan I pay for anyway = iPhone.

    I think that was his logic.

    @youbastid:

    I am in the market for a Mac, but I’ve seen what people do to them, and I don’t think any amount of AppleCaring could get me to drop $1000 on a used computer. Damn.

  17. lhutz34 says:

    I’ve been in the market for a new mac laptop for several months, and waited until now because I wanted an ultraportable, but the macbook air it not going to cut it. The specs are actually perfectly adequate, for now. 2gb ram and an 80gb hdd is fine today, but for $1800, this has to last me several years, and nothing in this thing is upgradable, not even the ram. Even the integrated battery can be eventually replaced. Ram is stuck at 2gb forever.

    So I ordered my $1025 base macbook from amazon this morning. Faster processor, less ram, same HDD, but I can upgrade to 4gb ram and 250gb hdd for abour $300 more, and I can do it now or later.

  18. UpsetPanda says:

    MacBook Air has the weight going for it…the fact that it is 3 lb. means ultra-portability, something even the MacBook is lacking for a lot of students who might have more money to spend. I know as soon as I started lugging around my MacBook and a bunch of books, it was pretty much impossible to get anywhere efficiently. Mac technology is still largely unsupported in the business community, I think, so I don’t think the Air could compete with a brand like Lenovo for business users.

  19. ConnerC says:

    @ekthesy:

    Having bought 2 refurb iPods, and two refurb macs I do. The price drop is nice, and the full year warranty (plus the option of getting Applecare still!) is nice.

  20. scarletvirtue says:

    I like the idea of renting movies on iTunes, with the option of buying them.

    Otherwise the keynote seemed kind of anti-climactic to me. Sure, there are new features for the iPhone, the iPod Touch and the Air laptop (seems like a niche market computer, TBH) – but otherwise, it was kinda “meh”.

  21. NoWin says:

    My take is that the Air (with SDD) is dipping the toe in the water. If there seems to be enough street traffic, the Air “may” play into an all SSD unit in about a year, with 64G SSD standard, and a 120G SSD as an option.

    By then, prices have come down on SSD, making the Air a truly viable “travelers” unit. (I would think batt-life then gets better with SSD vs HDD, too) Portability, fast launch, airport your data when you get home.

    The 1.6G-1.8G chip (core’s baby!) may just be the sweet spot for non-lethal apps (non-graphical intensive) that a traveler (writer/research/general office/student) person really needs.

    Yes, “power-users” will still need to look at the MB Pro, but I don’t think that’s who the Air is targeting.

    Ka-ching.

  22. ivealwaysgotmail10 says:

    Hd movies cant play on your computer?? Wow that pisses me off.

    the air is crap, seriously its just thin! its not even small! its 13.3″!!! Steve jobs seriously need to get off of his thinner, smaller, more slippery kick, Its not good for the consumer. You ever heard of the EEE PC? know why it sells? ITS 400$!!!! Thats WHY THE ULTRAPORTABLE WAS INVENTED, TO BE CHEAP, NOT TO BE 3000$ for a computer that literally is the speed of an iPod. (4200 rpm iPod Hard drives, 1.6Ghz is almost as slow as 1.8ghz and the 64gb ssd is about 600$ too much of an upgrade.

    The only people who will buy this notebook will buy it solely for its nifty trackpad, I commented months ago that this was probobly the way Apple would go, Not touchscreen but Touchpad, Eventually getting to touchscreen, making it so any apple fanboy will have to purchase all renditions in between to stay current.

    People will buy the air, in 3-6 months a new macbook pro will come out that it probobly just .01″ thicker than the mac, and all the Air customers will be mad they bought their 1.6Ghz 4200rpm Machine for 1800 when they could have got a 2.6ghz 7200rpm 1680 x 1050 or 1920 1200 for the same price. The new macbooks will all have their nifty trackpad, Shit they might even make an apple keyboard with that built in, just to get people to spend as much money as humanly possible before releasing any kind of touch screen product. So that as soon as they do everyone will feel out-dated and in hindsight everyone will wish they have waited, which will just fuel the demand.

    THE ENTIRE THINNER=BETTER CONCEPT SHOULD HAVE BEEN BURNED AT THE STEAK WITH THE RAZR! ANYONE STILL HAVE A FUNCTIONING V3I?? DIDNT THINK SO! THINNER=MORE EXPENSIVE=LESS FUNCTIONAL NOT THAT HARD TO FIGURE OUT.

  23. Terek Kincaid says:

    @Bancho:
    Definitely agree there. The touch is also much thinner than the iPhone, and you can use any headphones you want without an adapter (major plus for listening to music, the included buds just never cut it).

    The $20 fee for the update is infuriating however. I can understand if it cost that for everyone, but it’s basically another early adopter tax. Apparently, the new update includes all of the apps; paying the fee just downloads a 12kb file that unlocks them. So, if you update, the apps are sitting there, taking up space, but you can’t use them.

    I’m surprised Consumerist hasn’t talked about this yet. I’ve already sent my angry mail to steve.jobs@apple.com. I’m sure it’s headed for the trash bin, but we’ll see.

  24. scarletvirtue says:

    @terekkincaid: Yeah, the $20 upgrade really sucks. There should be some way to offer it for free, but that would probably be too easy.

  25. Asvetic says:

    The unsung hero left in the shadow of the Macbook Air and Take 2 is the Time Capsule. It’s a Gigabit ethernet wireless router using 802.11N, with a built in 500GB (or 1000GB) hard drive and a USB2.0 port for attaching say your printer or another hard drive, all wrapped up in a nice little container.

    If you buy all of those components separately, the price is actually pretty similar to what Apple is charging. That’s a no brainer in my book.

    [www.apple.com]

  26. Bancho says:

    @ekthesy: Well, viewed that way I agree. At first I thought it was a dig at people who would do that *rather* than get an iPhone.

    To another point you made, I also have purchased several products from Apple that were refurbished and they have served extremely well. One iPod I purchased was still in the retail packaging.

    This is being posted from a refurbed Macbook I bought over a year and a half ago.

  27. Bancho says:

    @Asvetic: That’s the one product form the show I’m most interested in. I’m in the market for a new router anyhow and I actually could use a good backup solution. This one looks like a winner.

  28. Doctor Cathattan says:

    One other difference worth noting is that the iPhone has external speakers and a mic, which the iPod Touch does not. That’s too bad since they would come in handy for VOIP apps. Oh yeah, there’s also no camera on the iPod Touch.

  29. magus_melchior says:

    @ivealwaysgotmail10: Dude, chill. It’s just a computer.

    If it had a better 3D accelerator than Intel, I would’ve preordered yesterday.

  30. Photogdc says:

    @BrianH: Sounds like a great business model take a $2000 device and sell it for $200. I assume you don’t want to pay any recurring charges either and you want to have multiple cable cards so it can DVR cable and they should throw the cable service in for free, don’t forget all the premiums.
    I think it would work they would just need enough volume and they would make a killing. Who wants to put up the first 100 million of venture capital?

  31. magus_melchior says:

    @Asvetic: Very true. I wouldn’t have pegged Apple for a home NAS solution.
    (Okay, maybe not strictly a NAS, but close enough)

  32. banmojo says:

    Jobs is an evil genius – the iphone goes up to 8/16 gbs, so those who were sitting on the sideline waiting for more storage (myself included) will be tempted to buy in now, just WEEKS before VERSION 2 is released!!! Bastard Jobs.

  33. spoork says:

    The Air has no on-board Ethernet, no on-board optical drive, no removable battery, and STARTS at $1800. I realize you’re paying for an innovative/eco-friendly laptop, but if I’m paying that much for something I can’t upgrade, it had better do everything I need it to do.

    The only new feature on the Air is the multi-touch touchpad. CPU isn’t new, RAM isn’t new, HDD is last-gen technology.

    As much as I despise Dell, I’ll take an XPS M1330…
    [gizmodo.com]

  34. Antediluvian says:

    We have an Apple TV that we paid $50 for (our net). It was a refurb 40 gig model, and we used our two $100 Apple store credits from the iPhone “rebate” / “refund”. Because we weren’t expecting the $200 back, it was like found money, so we were only out $50 for the Apple TV.

    I think we’ll probably hack it. We have a TiVo HD, but I’d love the see the Apple TV get more widely adopted and better supported by Apple’s marketing.

    The biggest problem w/ Apple TV in my mind is that it REQUIRES an HD television. The TiVo HD SUPPORTS an HD TV, but also supports SD TV’s (you just don’t get HD output, obviously). This aspect of Apple TV limits its potential audience to a fraction of what it would be if it could use an SD TV.

  35. gregcuc says:

    It seems like people are missing the point of the new products. The Macbook air isn’t just about thin portability, its about the future of laptops. Its one upping the competition showing that its possible to cram alot in a small package. Its not meant to be your main computer, its meant to compliment your desktop for travel. As for no upgrades and the battery, Mac OS is well designed and runs very well even on old machines with only 128 mb ram. The battery is a pain but was the best design to stay thin. If you don’t need a small travel machine, don’t buy it.

  36. mac-phisto says:

    @BrianH: have you considered building a “media pc” (or linux equivalent) off a micro-atx board? it won’t be super-tiny, but it would definitely take up less space in your entertainment center.

  37. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    The Mac Book Air will sell like crazy. You know every other kid in America is gonna ask for one of these as a going-to-college gift next Fall.

    The Air is definitely targeted towards people that prefer form over function. The Mac Book Pro is a better all around machine in comparision. What’s an extra 2 ~ 3 pounds in your laptop bag? It’s good exercise!

  38. f0nd004u says:

    @BrianH: Brian, it’s called an Archos 605 Wifi.

    besides the transcoding. it can’t do that.

  39. f0nd004u says:

    @BrianH: Brian, it’s called an Archos 605 Wifi.

    cept the transcoding. it can’t do that.

  40. “I have a 6 mbps DSL connection and even with that at full capacity it would take a long time to download 4+ gigs for a regular DVD”

    These discs are not encoded in MPEG-2 like DVDs. As a result, the standard definition version of a rented iTunes movie will be around 1GB, and HD should be about 60-80% larger, or less than 2GB.

    Besides all of that, the movie doesn’t have to be completely downloaded to be viewable – you only need a few dozen megabytes to start watching, and the rest downloads as you watch.

    Over a 6Gb connection streaming from Apple’s considerable server farm and almost unchokable bandwidth, I don’t think you’ll have a problem.

  41. Antediluvian says:

    @LatherRinseRepeat: That 2-3 pounds adds up pretty quickly. For my next laptop, I’m definitely going for low weight over high power. Lugging a bulky and heavy laptop around everywhere gets old fast.

    That said, I don’t know if my next laptop will be a MBA. I’m loving the looks / specs of the Fujitsu Lifebooks, but they’re even more $$$ than the Apple line in some cases.

  42. It’s surprising to read about the real world experiences of all the MacBook Air readers here.

    I thought only bone-fide tech reviewers like Pogue and Mossberg had actually gotten to use MacBook Airs extensively. I guess I shouldn’t count on their experiences while we have such educated (“as fast as an iPod”) reviewers here.

    Here’s a hint: While the air may have a relatively slow disk, it also has a faster processor than comparable subnotebooks. Intel’s graphics chip may not be such a dog in this implementation – remember, you’re paying for the thin and light machine that runs OS X – if you really want a tiny machine that runs Windows, buy a TZ (for $1000 more) or a Toshiba.

  43. brent_w says:

    “(Or buy a tiny and light Eee for $400 and save yourself a lot of money and room in your laptop bag-I’m just sayin’.)”

    Those things are more rediculously overpriced for the hardware than the Air.

  44. Alexander says:

    @CaliforniaCajun: Would the quality suffer? I think Blu-Ray displays at 1080p (right?). Will I get the full blown crisp 1080p image quality? How about sound? Thanks for the info. I guess if I could watch it in my 1080p LCD with full blown digital sound I would consider it…

  45. jeff303 says:

    @BrianH: That can’t happen (if it were that simple it would have already been done). Most video formats you mention are encumbered by patents owned by dozens of different companies. If you actually manage to construct the $200 retail unit and demo it at next year’s CES, you’ll get back to your hotel room to find lawyer notices overflowing from underneath the door.

  46. Buran says:

    @crazyflanger: You do realize you can run games on Macs through native code, virtualization, or dualboot?

    Not everyone wants an iphone – maybe they don’t want a contract, maybe they want to go prepaid, maybe they want to use another carrier. The ipod touch is fine for that kind of situation.

    Thin laptops have a definite place for people who want to travel a lot — size and weight make a big difference there. You can slip an MBA into a suitcase extremely easily, and you can do presentations easily on it — it does have a video-out port.

    Almost all products have their place. If you think the product is silly, you’re not in the target market.

  47. varco says:

    @JD: One worry I have about apple is that they try very hard to differentiate their products (not have any overlap). The macbook is already very heavy for a 13″ notebook (~5-5.5lbs vs 4lbs for dell, sony, hp), and I’m worried that Apple won’t make big effort to reduce this weight in order to retain the MBA market share.

    Also, I was hoping that Apple would release a 13″ mbp (specs of the sony sz or dell xps 1330) successor to their 12″ powerbook. Now that there is already a model (MBA) in that price range, I’m worried that they won’t release it for a long time if ever.

  48. The Great Aussie Evil says:

    Set top media boxes are a waste of time. Even entertainment behemoth Sony failed to turn a profit with its offering, the PSX.

    For those arguing the XBox 360 is a set top media box, it was built to be a gaming machine and the media options were tacked on as an afterthought.

  49. slapBOXmaster says:

    Overall I was not impressed. The air is about a year too late and multitouch and slightly thinner that the thinnest are not system sellers.For the price of the fully loaded model you could by a sony ux drop OSx86 on it and have an osx machine that literally fits in a coat pocket. Yes it would be slower but it would also be the size I expected the air to be at about the same price. Thin is cool and all but I wanted small.

    The time capsule was also a meh release in that NAS solutions that pack similar features for around the same price point already exist.

    As for paying for the touch upgrades. Expect some kind of iphone-price-drop rebate cause I don’t care how much R&d costs apple is selling software they have given away for free with the iphone in lieu of the touch being touted as all the feature of the iphone without the phone. Not only that but if you jailbreak your touch you should be able to do the same for free using the already available iphone apps ( they are the same apps so why free for iphone but not for touch )

    Apple TV is still a year or two away from making real progress in the home market. Average bandwith not withstanding most people would rather rent a dvd or do pay per view over paying $230 for a box that still doesn’t natively support all the video and sound formats available not to mention that you can’t ( yet ) use another streaming service ( netflix) on your apple tv. all the atv is is a $230 entrance fee to the itunes store.

    Also why no mac mini and cinema display updates. Smells like apple might be giving a product ( the mini ) the boot.

  50. UpsetPanda says:

    @varco: It would be great if Apple would release a 13 inch MBP, but I do see why the Air would be important if they were intending to distinguish every product as individually as they could. The MBP is for power users, the MacBook is probably geared more towards power users with less money, students or people who want a Mac but also want some degree of portability and didn’t want to heft around a full size MBP. The Air seems to be marketed for business users and college students because portability is most important to these two groups. I don’t think they’ll lose users, but they won’t gain too much from people looking for an alternative to the MacBook line as a reason to switch from the old skool iBook.

  51. Trae says:

    I bought the iPod Touch software for my 8Gig Touch… and it’s actually quite awesome…

    I’m in a contract with Sprint, so the iPhone is right out as an option for me, so the Touch will hold me over until the nice 3G models eventually come out (which should be right about when my contract ends). :P

  52. SOhp101 says:

    @Bancho: Agreed. You might be paying for an ‘iphone’ when u buy an ipod touch, but you’re not stuck in a contract with a company with crappy service.

    As for the mba: portability costs money. Not all value is dependent on processing power.

  53. overbysara says:

    ISN’T THE MACBOOK AIR AMAZINGLY TINY?

  54. 4ster says:

    I have to agree. I’m a Macbook user, and the design of the Air is cool, but it really would only work for a lot of people as an add-on or secondary computer, and an expensive one at that.

    It’s like Apple decided to make their own Foleo.

  55. kwamie says:

    I have a 16gig hacked ipod touch. I have almost all of the iphone apps running on it now and it didn’t cost me a thing.

    I’m very, very attached to my blackberry pearl. I don’t want the iphone. And besides I’m already suffering with Edge. We all know how slow it is.

    I’m also waiting for the 3g iphone with more gigs

  56. P.?.L.M. : Fresh startover! says:

    @ekthesy: bought an iPOD 8Gb and a Mighty Mouse…refurb…. all good

    also got a Fujitsu S5100 digital camera, refurb, from ebay and it is all good too

    just my 2 cents

  57. woogychuck says:

    @Narb:
    That’s pretty much Apple’s design phillosophy right? Less stuff in a prettier package for more money. Add in an unreplacable battery and you get to make your customers pay you another $500 every year to keep it running.

  58. lasciate says:

    The rental cost isn’t going to get you ‘copies’ of everything – sure you can rent it on your Apple TV and then watch it on your computer or iPod, but it ‘transfers’ the file – moves it instead of syncing it. It only exists in one place at a time.

  59. lasciate says:

    And regarding the MacBook Air battery: [www.apple.com]

  60. mac-phisto says:

    @slapBOXmaster:

    Apple TV is still a year or two away from making real progress in the home market. Average bandwith not withstanding most people would rather rent a dvd or do pay per view over paying $230 for a box…

    no kidding. with ppv, ondemand & a tivo series 2 (or media pc), you can rent a movie, save it & transfer it to a computer where you can burn it to disc or store on hd. what makes atv even a competitor in that market?

  61. rockergal says:

    I wonder why nobody is up in arms about the fact that the macbook “air” has NO CD drive since mr Jobs thinks they are not necessary.

  62. Topcat says:

    @Buran: I might see your point if, say, the Macbook Air was a true ultraportable or subnotebook.

    As it is, unless you’re transporting precious metals and gems, or have a bag full of cocaine, the 2 pounds and couple cubic inches you save isn’t going to be worth the extra $800 on top of a regular Macbook. That is the only target market of the MBA I can think of. Unless you get the SSD HDD upgrade, it’ll likely be pretty damn fragile for someone who gets around a lot (the iPod hard disks are slow and not known for their longevity). A non-product, really.

  63. varco says:

    @JD: yeah, but there are power users that want a small notebook. there are light-duty users that want a large notebook. there’s something a little “too cool for school” to me about the idea that you just have to live with what they give you.

    Apple is a big enough company (bigger than a lot of other PC manufacturers) that they could produce nice-looking, well engineered laptops at sizes ranging from 10″-20″ if they really wanted to. If apple wanted to produce a 13″ mbp, they could pop it on in minutes, and it would be lovely and tons of people would buy it. They just don’t want to. If you want to run OSX, you have to live with what they give you, whether you like it or not.

    Oh, and I just realized today that Steve Jobs probably takes a yearly salary of $1 (and a pile of stock options) in order to pay the 15% capital gains tax on his compensation instead of the 35% top marginal income tax rate.

    And I still want my 13″ mbp.

  64. varco says:

    And the macbook is waaaay heavy for a 13″ notebook. They gotta cut it down to 4lbs but they probably won’t because it’d compete with the airbook.

  65. Buran says:

    @Topcat: Then you don’t have to buy one. I’m sure millions of people ARE interested in this product.

  66. Trae says:

    @rockergal: Actually, that’s not uncommon in an ultraportable. Sony and Toshiba have had ultralights without optical drives for some time.

    The Air is not meant for the average user, it’s meant for someone who has a primary desktop, but travels a lot and needs a fully functional computer with them at all times. Sony has been dominating this space (which is primarily a business market) and it’s nice to see Apple finally getting in the game.

    If you’re someone looking for a laptop as primary computer, Apple’s other MacBooks and MacBook Pros are what they’re designing for you — not the Air.

  67. STrRedWolf says:

    The AppleTV’s now priced right and the new software will work better. The iPod Touch upgrade fee is unfortunate but due to current law (Oxley-Sarbanes) is nessisary to avoid any sanctions. But the Macbook Air is TOO overpriced.

    A fellow admin on his LiveJournal initially put in for a pre-order, but with the amount of people saying “Too overpriced and underpowered” he went and double-checked.

    A Macbook with the same specs is $1250.
    A Macbook Pro for just $100 more is much more powerful.

    But here’s the kicker: The 2.4Ghz iMac is the same price as the Air, and fit him better in conjunction with his existing MacBook. So he canceled his pre-order at an Apple store and got their last iMac.

    The Jobsonian Reality Distortion Field just shrank.

  68. Trae says:

    @kwamie: I thought about just hacking my Touch, but since I got the thing as a gift, my total money spent into the thing has just been the $20 for the upgrade… and I figure that’s not a bad total cost to pay. :P

  69. aaplenewox says:

    @Topcat:

    Agreed

    I know this isn’t a tech blog but lets look at the Airbook Features…

    Slow Processor….Unreliable ipod hdd (Ipods break alllll the time) even a SSD hdd that is over priced at 1300 dollars (plus since it is still on the IDE BUS which the apple hdd uses, its not even going to be that fast)….

    the thing that pisses me off most is the “Remote CD access”

    this feature is just a way of apple making it seem cool that they didn’t include a CD-Rom drive…remote access to cd-rom drives via networking (sorry thats all the apple is doing, nothing magical is happening) has been around since windows 3.1 for workgroups….even in XP you can still share a CD rom across a network with a few clicks…its slow…and even on the apple it will be slow just based on the nature of networks.

  70. aaplenewox says:

    @Buran: you sound like a foolish apple fan boy to me

  71. cerbie says:

    iPod Touch: he forgets little things like paying to use AT&T’s service every month, at a higher rate than a cheaper phone (you know, to use as a telephone), the Touch is thinner, and that the Touch gets superior battery life. Nothing against the iPhone (if I didn’t feel queasy about spending $150 on a cell, I’d probably get an iPhone), but there is a real market for a non-phone version, given the differences.

    HD: with the US ISPs, HD over the net can’t work (it will, somewhat, but I’m making a generalization, OK?). OTOH, with the current business model, we need it here before it can work. Customers bitching about bandwidth won’t increase bandwidth. Customers using too much can (or get Comcast to block Apple’s TV service by faking resets :)). When people are hogging their neighborhood’s bandwidth renting movies, then maybe there will be some capacity increases. The technology is here—the willingness to put it in place isn’t.

    In general, OK, not the greatest new products in the world. They’re just coming off the iPod Touch and iPhone, guys! They probably won’t have anything super exciting until after the 3G iPhone.

    What I personally would love to see is a tablet, once Intel’s Silverthorne stuff gets out the door. The iPhone and iPod Touch interfaces rock. That, but bigger, and with versatile/powerful hardware (weak X86-64 CPU, well-supported Intel chipset parts, lots of RAM, etc.), and full blown OS X (including convenient development tools for the touch screen), I think would blow the socks off the tablet and PDA worlds.

  72. mac-phisto says:

    @cerbie: i’m with you. the iphone didn’t appeal to me much b/c of its phone features. but a handheld web browser/music player/etc. is right up my alley. i’m a little disappointed in the specs though – 8 or 16 for the price seems expensive. plus, STILL NO USER-REPLACEABLE BATTERY. come on, apple. everyone else is doing it…it’s time you stepped up to the plate.

    i’ll end up passing. they don’t provide any linux support for their products anyway, so i’d have to go thru a lot of hassle (dual boot, back to windows or new mac) just for a minor extravagance.

  73. slapBOXmaster says:

    @mac-phisto: The only thing that would make the Atv a real threat is to add cablecard to the box. Sell it as the Apple DVR + Itunes .It would fly off the shelves.

  74. superborty says:

    Apple TV is a joke. Put in a Blu-Ray player and it is acceptable. Who wants to watch YouTube and other programs (outside of the real techies) on their nice TVs?? NetFlix is the answer for the masses.

    And, WTF with no new MB Pro? Will have to keep on waiting I guess….

  75. Trai_Dep says:

    Well, to be fair, the iPod touch has twice the capacity, is thinner and doesn’t involve selling your soul (at $100/mo) to the evil AT&T…

  76. mac-phisto says:

    @superborty: who’s watching youtube?

    [www.joost.com]

  77. Trai_Dep says:

    @STrRedWolf: Well, actually, it sounds like your friend did the smart consumer thing. Looked at a product line-up, researched, compared, then decided on a different product.

    Your friend switching from a MacBook Air to an iMac (of all things) indicates he didn’t need the attributes of the MBA. (FWIW, neither do I – I have an iMac and am quite happy).

    The trade-offs between any laptop and desktop are vast.

    Shop twice, buy once. Own happily. :)

  78. LVP says:

    How long till the new Mac Pro gets a price drop? I will by buying one but would like to wait till the first price drop.

    Wow, being a Graphic Designer is expensive!

    Not really a fan of the Mac Air, it’s like an overpriced machine designed to surf the web and check e-mail.

  79. trujunglist says:

    Anyone buying a rev1 Apple product should know that they’re in for a world of hurt. Just saying, is all.

    @woogychuck:

    You can’t replace the battery on the Macbook Air yourself, this is true. However, the battery is the same price as a regular laptop battery, and Apple will replace the battery for free. Really, you lose nothing over a regular laptop except the time it takes for them to replace it. $500 is a little bit of an exaggeration.

  80. trujunglist says:

    @ekthesy:

    Getting a refurb Mac is actually a good idea, because you’d be pretty stupid not to get Apple Care, especially on the MacBook line. In my experience, not buying Apple Care is just asking for 1000 painful deaths due to logic board failure.

  81. Trai_Dep says:

    @LVP: Apple generally doesn’t go for price drops on their flagship lines, they pack more features into an existing model. The VALUE rises, the price doesn’t drop. Unless they target a low-price mode, like the Mac Mini.

  82. lvp says:

    @trai_dep: Thanks for the info. I think I am going to wait a month or two. Buy a base model and add the ram and hard drives myself.

  83. FMulder says:

    @varco: WE still want our 13″ MBP!

  84. akalish says:

    I know I’m a little late on this comment, but I was just checking out the Air today. While researching the pros and cons I came across the greatest website that is absolutely written in the spirit of Consumerist: [putthingsoff.com] Positively hilarious. The site advocates buying a bigger envelope and saving the $1000-2000 instead.