MacBook Air 12 hour review

As in I’ve had it for 12 hours….not a 12 hour long review….although there are a lot of pictures.

MacBook Air

Obviously I haven’t had it long enough to really put it through it’s paces but here’s a bunch of photos and a few thoughts.


As with all Apple products, the packaging alone is a fantastic customer experience. The MBA comes in a box that reminds you of a board game….I’m not talking something from Parker Bros, but something more elegant. The box is sturdy dark cardboard. The lid has foam glued inside that at first glance looks like velvet. It’s always the little things that make it that much better.
Designed by Apple
Once you take the lid off, you’re greeted with the MBA in a black plastic tray with a little “Designed by Apple in California” tab that you use to lift the laptop out of the tray and access the other items hidden below. Despite this packaging and computer being Apple’s greenest device yet, the plastic tray has a recycling number 6 which at least around here, isn’t recyclable – maybe it is in California.

MBA + iPhone

It’s deceiving at first how thin it is because you assume the plastic tray is deeper than it really is. You can see in the picture above, the MBA isn’t much thicker than the iPhone. Here’s the MBA snuggled up to the eeePC (both are flat on the table and flush with each other):

MBA vs eeePC

Of course since I had the MBA delivered to my office, there was a crowd of people anxious to see it. Some wondered why I didn’t just open it and why was I stopping to take pictures of the box. They now know why.

Once you pick it up, you immediately realize that it’s more solid than you’d expect and does have some weight to it. One big concern many have with the MBA is how fragile it might be because it’s so thin. It feels just as solid as my Powerbook G4 every did while at the same time being light as a feather. It feels well crafted, not unlike a high quality kitchen knife does.

Port door open
Port door

Unlike other Apple laptops, there is not much to the underside of the MBA. There is no battery indicator light which is disappointing nor is there any way to lock up the laptop via lock port. I guess there was no secure place inside to make a lock point. The port door is also much more solid than I was expecting and definitely doesn’t feel like it would break off or stay open – it’s very solid.

Backlit Keys

The backlit keyboard is fantastic and just like the new keyboards that come with iMac’s and similar to what you find on a MacBook.

Once I got it home, the first thing I did was do a clean install of Leopard with the included install DVDs. The stock Leopard install on any new Mac actually has a lot of wasted stuff including 3.4gb of unneeded printer drivers, 1.8gb of language files. It also has 240mb of space wasted by iWeb. This gives me just about 63gb free with nothing else on it yet. Leopard and iLife take up a fair amount of space and removing those unnecessary files will help once I start using the MBA.

Install DVD's

Since my MBA Superdrive hasn’t arrived yet (expecting it tomorrow), I had to use my ‘full size’ external DVD burner which worked no problem over USB.

Now that the install is complete and the Apple pr0n has been uploaded to Flickr, I’m going to go play with it.

Leave a comment if there is anything you want to know about it.

One Comment

  1. Peter says:

    Nice! Good to hear things are going well so far.

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