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MacWorld Keynote a little Ho-Hum for me. You?

COW Blogs : walter biscardi's Blog : MacWorld Keynote a little Ho-Hum for me. You?

I don't know, maybe I'm missing something here, but overall, the announcements are a bit ho-hum for me.

Super thin laptop, ok, but I would have preferred a mini laptop, something smaller like the size of a portable DVD player.

Movie downloads, ok Netflix was already doing that.

Time Capsule, ok the Mac Mini re-branded as something else

Am I missing something here. Haven't seen the entire keynote yet, but nothing really jumps out and says "Dang! I have to have that!"

Walter Biscardi, Jr. www.biscardicreative.com



Posted by: walter biscardi on Jan 15, 2008 at 12:29:59 pmComments (16) apple, apple tv, macworld

Comments

Re: MacWorld Keynote a little Ho-Hum for me. You?
by Kim Hill
A few years later, and the MacBook Air has become a design template for PC manufacturers. The current term is "Ultrabook."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultrabook

As usual, Apple was ahead of the curve — and it did cost more to get new technology early — but the objections to the MacBook Air posted here did not stand the test of time...
Fair enough? More than Fair
by walter biscardi

Fair enough?

More than Fair Dave and thanks for your thoughts on this as well.   And you did it in less than 1,000 words.  Bonus points for you!

 

Walter Biscardi, Jr. http://www.biscardicreative.com

Assessing the value of anorexia in laptops
by Ron Lindeboom

Kim Hill said: "Michael, I'd be careful with the 'fanboy' talk, considering that you're the one writing multiple, multi-hundred word screeds here."

Kim, you can really be quite a bore.

Why?

The "multi-hundred word screed" that you sloff-off with nary a rebuttal -- except for some non-on-point pro-Apple drum banging -- boiled down to a few hundred words addressing points like:

1. Performance and price are way out of line.
(With extra words to substantiate that point with examples.)

2. You're already spending too much to pay for a less capable computer.
(With extra words to substantiate that point with examples.)

3. No ethernet port.
(With extra words to substantiate that point with examples.)

4. No user removable battery.
(With extra words to substantiate that point with examples.)

5. Replacing the battery.
(With extra words to substantiate that point with examples.)

You ignore every point and don't do him the courtesy of even the pretense of listening to him or considering his statements.

THAT is what fanboys do. If you can't have a grown-up discourse and disagree without all the little extras you choose to include when you come here, I'd recommend that you visit http://www.applefanboys.com or something. They will likely agree with you 100%.

Me, I have no doubt that this new feature-light laptop is arguably the highest cost-per-benefit model on the planet at this point.

Unless THIN equates to a VERY high value return for you.

Ron Lindeboom

Good comparison of Macbook Air vs a Car.
by walter biscardi

I'm not defending a product here without reason. I'm writing a lot, yes, but I'm also writing well formulated and logical arguments about why I would not recommend this laptop to anyone I know.

And I very much appreciate the effort you've brought to the discussion.  Simply stating the same thing over and over doesn't do much to foster a discussion.  Taking the time to not only state your position, but explain why you feel that way certainly makes it easier to see all points of view.

And personal attacks, even slight ones like calling you a fanboy, does nothing to further someone's point of view.  What that does is show that the writer has nothing meaningful to say so the only recourse is to start calling someone names, making personal attacks, and misidirecting hte conversation.  Then you have to defend yourself against that instead of actually furthering the actual discussion.  This really does nothing for the community and something I really don't tolerate.

 

But anyway, I hope that better illustrates what I see when I look at the MacBook Air versus other, comparable options.

But you didn't tell us what KIND of car it is!  Geez, how can I make an educated decision on the car without knowing what it is?!?  Sealed

 

Michael "Hundreds of Words" Hancock.

I guess I should call myself Walter "15,000 Posts" Biscardi. 

 

 

 

 

Walter Biscardi, Jr. http://www.biscardicreative.com

Still no reason to buy.
by walter biscardi

Kim, I guess you can't defend your position yourself so you have to quote PC Magazine.  I asked why YOU would convince me to purchase this computer vs. the MacBook lineup.  Instead you bring in a quote telling me why I should consider the MacBook Air vs. three PC's.   Yes, I did notice that the Macbook Air was compared to PC's not Mac's.

Myself, Michael and Ron have given you our own reasons why we would not purchase the MacBook Air.   Until you can do so in your own words, there no sense continuing this dialogue.

Walter Biscardi, Jr. http://www.biscardicreative.com

I do write a lot. Here's a lot more!
by Michael Hancock
You write:
Michael, I'd be careful with the "fanboy" talk, considering that you're the one writing multiple, multi-hundred word screeds here.

I'm not defending a product here without reason. I'm writing a lot, yes, but I'm also writing well formulated and logical arguments about why I would not recommend this laptop to anyone I know. You, on the other hand, are talking about volume as if we're going to fill this thing with water, and you still haven't told us who this laptop is designed for. So it's not for you, great, but apparently you would recommend it to others. Who?

You still haven't told us who you feel this laptop was developed for and why it's a better choice for those individuals, given its drawbacks, than cheaper, more powerful (albeit a wee bit thicker) laptops. I'm not being a smart ass--I honestly cannot figure out who this was developed for. So far, no one else here can explain that either.

The only reason, that I see, to choose this machine over another is if you believe in form over function, or if you have trouble lifting and carrying more than 3 pounds.

Imagine we were talking about cars instead of laptops--it may help to illustrate why I don't understand how this is a good system and why you're so vehemently defending it.

ME: "I need a car that goes from A to B. I'll be using it for light driving, maybe a trip every now and then. I'd like decent mileage and performance, but I won't be drag racing with it."

DEALER: "This car has a 350 horsepower engine, five high end speakers, CD player, automatic windows, and an air conditioner for 13K.

ME: "That's nice. It has a lot of options and it's affordable. Of course, I like to listen to the radio and I don't roll down the windows much, but sometimes I do when it's nice outside. What else do you have?

DEALER: "Well, we have this sexy new machine over here. It only comes with a 200 horsepower engine, radio only, mono speakers, no air conditioning, and manual windows."

ME: "Well, that's not as many options. I guess it's a lot cheaper though, huh?

DEALER: "Um, well. It's 16K.

ME: "It costs more? But it does less!"

DEALER: "Yeah, but we can add some of those features for a little more money. And don't forget, the more expensive car is a shiny silver color, has rounded headlights, and is a few inches shorter than the first car. So it's easier to fit in your garage."

ME: "Well, does it get better mileage?"

DEALER: "Yeah, a little bit. But, um, well...you can't put gas in the car yourself."

ME: "What? I can't even fill it up myself?"

DEALER: "Um, no. But you can just bring it into the dealership and we can fill it up for you. We won't even charge you to pump the gas! So you're wanting this sexy car, right? I mean, you said light driving, and you like the radio. It's perfect for you!"

ME: "Riiiight."

Oops, I seem to have typed a lot again. I'm a fanboy of typing, I suppose. But anyway, I hope that better illustrates what I see when I look at the MacBook Air versus other, comparable options.

Michael "Hundreds of Words" Hancock.
Why?
by walter biscardi
"Funny/weird math?" I'd like someone to show me where my math is weird. Walter, you say the MBA is 13x9, just like the MB. But have you heard of the 3rd dimension? The MBA is less than half the volume.
 
Sitting on your lap or your desk it will take up the same 13x9 footprint.  It is still 13x9.
It is exactly 1/4" thinner than the current MacBook at it's thickest point.  It is NOT half the size.
 
Volume?  We're measuring laptops in volume now?   That's definitely a unique argument and weird math.  When you can show me how a 13x9 footprint is smaller than a 13x9 footprint when you open it up then I'll buy it. 
 
But for some odd reason, I'm still able to comprehend why others might find it worthwhile, without dismissing them as misguided/over-moneyed stylebots buying a "laughable" product.
 
Why?  I'm interested in buying a laptop.  I'm looking at the MacBook, the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro.  Why should I look at the Air?   
 
 
Michael, I'd be careful with the "fanboy" talk, considering that you're the one writing multiple, multi-hundred word screeds here.
 
You are defending this product by saying it's "half the volume" and that alone makes it worthwhile to purchase.  You really don't seem to care that it's a premium price for less performance in a thin package.  You really haven't given us any good reason to buy this.  Your argument comes back to "It's not for everyone,"  "It's half the volume,"  "Don't forget the 3rd dimension."
 
Tell me exactly why I would even want to consider this thing if I am considering a new laptop.  You can leave out the part about the volume and being thin, I get that.  Now tell me why it is a sound investment to anyone who wants to part with $1,800 for a laptop. 

 

Walter Biscardi, Jr. http://www.biscardicreative.com

I already said the MBA isn't for me.
by Kim Hill
"Funny/weird math?" I'd like someone to show me where my math is weird. Walter, you say the MBA is 13x9, just like the MB. But have you heard of the 3rd dimension? The MBA is less than half the volume.

If you guys read my posts, you'll see I already said the MBA isn't for me. I need more power & ports. But for some odd reason, I'm still able to comprehend why others might find it worthwhile, without dismissing them as misguided/over-moneyed stylebots buying a "laughable" product.

Michael, I'd be careful with the "fanboy" talk, considering that you're the one writing multiple, multi-hundred word screeds here. 
I have to say it...
by Michael Hancock
This laptop is not for everyone- it's for people who think a Mac that's half the size & weight is worth a premium. Guess what -- not all Macs are made for all people.

You're right. Not all Macs are made for all people. But who is this Mac made for? I honestly want to know, because I can't figure it out. If I'm going to get a low spec, slow, limited machine to surf the internet with--why pay $1,800? Because it's thin and pretty? So far, that's the only reason you've given for the price tag. It's thin. So, speaking of logic...you said...

Typical Internet forum logic: It's not for me, therefore it makes no sense.

By completely denying that Walter and I have both made very valid, logical points and continuing to defend the MacBook Air with weird math and an inability to accept that anything produced by Apple may have flaws/be overpriced is typical fanboy behavior. I have to say it.

There is no justification for this price considering what the laptop offers. You are paying a huge premium for the R&D and the design--that is it. I'll understand if you bought one and you're defending your purchasing decision--nobody likes to be told they bought something for way more than it was worth. And if you did buy one and you love it and it works for you, that's great too.

Otherwise, if you're not defending your purchase, please help me understand exactly what it is that is so appealing and perfect about this laptop that you have to defend it from any (logical) criticism. Walter stated why he wasn't excited about it and doesn't understand who would buy it. I listed my main reasons (in 626 words, actually) why I wouldn't recommend this system to anyone I knew, and they are all valid points. Taking my laptop into a store or sending it off (even if it only takes a few days) to have a battery changed is madness. It's a battery. Why is Apple obsessed with changing batteries? Explain to me how this is a good thing?

Anyway, have fun with your Air if you get one. I just don't understand why you would, given the limitations and price tag.

Michael.

3. No ethernet port. Not
by walter biscardi

3. No ethernet port. Not every place you go will have a wireless connection, hotels included, and wireless connections aren't secure.  

This point about wireless connections not being secure was made painfully obvious to me at several conventions and events I've been to.  Folks were just "grabbing" passwords, emails and anything else out of the air just using available software.

 
4. No user removable battery. 

I missed that part honestly.  Geez, no second battery, not good.   

 
The low weight is nice, but with the same footprint as faster, more capable, and less expensive systems--I'll take the more capable systems any day. Besides, hauling around an extra 2 or 3 pounds is good for the heart.

Yep.  Save 2 lbs of weight.  Lose performance and capabilities. Just makes no sense.

Walter Biscardi, Jr. http://www.biscardicreative.com

The problems with the Air, as I see it...
by Michael Hancock
So I went to the online Apple store and watched the stuff about the Macbook Air, then I read the flamewars going on around the internet. Here's why I would never recommend this laptop to anyone, no matter how much they travel...

1. Performance and price are way out of line. This is not a subnotebook, it's a notebook that doesn't weigh much. The hard drive capacity and processor speeds aren't anything to brag about, and the lack of any optical drive helped cut the weight down at a cost. That cost?

2. You're already spending too much to pay for a less capable computer. Now, when you want to install anything, you pay more for your USB DVD/CD drive. Add about a $100 to the price. At your desk you'll have to buy a USB hub if you need to connect peripherals, so that's more money (and clutter). The cost of this thing is already high, and the total cost will go sky high when you start adding back everything they removed, but you will likely still need.

3. No ethernet port. Not every place you go will have a wireless connection, hotels included, and wireless connections aren't secure. You're more likely to find a hard wired connection, though, so you have to buy an adapter to lug around so you can have the internet when wireless isn't available or when security is needed. Having to lug around peripherals like that will quickly displace the convenience of such a thin, lightweight machine.

4. No user removable battery. This alone has turned me away for good. It's great if you actually get 5 hours of use from the battery, but if you're not near a plug when the battery dies, or you're on a 16 hour flight, you're in trouble. Since you can't just pop in a new battery you're done working until you get to the ground and near a plug where you can keep working or wait while your system recharges. If this is for the road warrior who's always away from their desk, they will need a spare battery. With the Air, that's not even a possibility.

5. Replacing the battery. All batteries will wear down and need to be replaced. Now you have to send your $1,800 laptop to Apple to have it replaced. That means you have to spend time backing everything up and probably wiping the hard drive if you have anything sensitive on it. Package it well and ship it off. Then you wait for however long it takes until you get it back. That means you're without your ultraportable laptop for a week, 2 weeks maybe? There goes the convenience you paid for in buying the smaller size, because now you have to carry around a bigger laptop until the small one is back from the shop. Plus, if you wiped the drive before you sent it off, you now have to clone it back before you can take it on the road again. I think it would be easy to lose a lot of time with this machine because of it's limitations. If you're lucky you live near an Apple store and they might be able to do it there, but is that really more convenient than ordering a new battery, having it shipped to your home, and changing it yourself in 5 seconds when it arrives?

Those are the main reasons I would not recommend this system to anyone I know. The low weight is nice, but with the same footprint as faster, more capable, and less expensive systems--I'll take the more capable systems any day. Besides, hauling around an extra 2 or 3 pounds is good for the heart.

Those are my thoughts!

Michael.

Personally, I was really
by walter biscardi

Personally, I was really hoping for a touch screen, which we got a touch pad that does what the iphone does. 

A MacBook Air Tablet would have been something.  No keyboard, just a tablet with all touch screen capabilities.  THAT would have been innovative.  There is already a company making a tablet version of the MacBook, but make THAT thinner and maybe you hvae something that would have been both stylish and cool.

Of course, I would also prefer something about half the overall dimensions of the MacBook Air.

BOTTOM LINE: Apple innovates when they want to. This laptop is no innovation, just an expensive repackaging of something they already had. Granted it IS a nice package, but Apple shouldn't just think they can get away with costing consumers a ton of money for a "repackaging," no matter how thin it is.

Well put.  I guess that's what I've been trying to say all along, you just said it better. 

This is typical.....
by Aaron Stewart
It is a "smaller" laptop in terms of overall thinness and volume. However, the "size" of it, i.e. how big it is in my hands is the same as the Macbook. But what we really have to consider here is one thing that Apple almost always has going against them: price. You can't deny that the price is way too much these days for that type of processor + features. So basically you are paying that premium for a super-thin notebook, with no DVD player/burner. Yes it will run all the apps quickly that MOST people run (word processing, email, etc), because like any Mac product, they aren't going to release something that won't wow people who stand in an Apple store and play with the thing for 15 minutes. Hmmm. Personally, I was really hoping for a touch screen, which we got a touch pad that does what the iphone does. If you've got a lot of money to throw at something, and you are a higher-level business person, I could see this being useful...but to me this screams what has always turned me off about Apple, and that is that they make you pay for their "innovative" ideas, whether they are practical or not (in this case not being practical in terms of price). The average user needs to put their trust in the company they buy from, that they are going to give the consumer the best bang for their buck, and in this case, I would have to agree with Walter, this thing isn't worth the cash. Timecapsule: Great idea, should have come out with it sooner. Still a little too much money, but as walter said, yet another way to brand a mac mini. BOTTOM LINE: Apple innovates when they want to. This laptop is no innovation, just an expensive repackaging of something they already had. Granted it IS a nice package, but Apple shouldn't just think they can get away with costing consumers a ton of money for a "repackaging," no matter how thin it is.
Laughable is a good word
by walter biscardi

I like your slogan Ron.   I mean the machine is slower and less capable than their low range notebook, so naturally we'll price it higher.  We need the consumer to pay for all the R&D so the price can come down later.

I really hope people take a VERY GOOD look at this machine before they purchase it to truly understand they are paying MORE for LESS computer. 

If you need to have something nobody else has, then have at it.  If you actually need a laptop to work on, then look at the rest of the MacBook and MacBook Pro line.

Walter Biscardi, Jr. http://www.biscardicreative.com

I have a slogan for new MacAir...
by Ron Lindeboom

I can see it now...

Macbook Air, they say less is more -- so we've priced it that way, too!

Who really cares that the damned thing is less than an inch thick? Really. I thought this one belongs right next to the Newton and the Performa -- maybe even the old LC series -- as contender for the "What In The Heck Is This?" award.

This one is too laughable for my tastes.

Ron Lindeboom 

MacBook Air - Do we need it?
by walter biscardi

I mean really, it's a neat idea, will probably turn heads, but do you really need it?

So you're paying $1,799 for the Macbook Air that features a 1.6Ghz Processor and 80GB Hard drive. Add the External Superdrive and it's $1,899.

Compare that to the 13" Macbook that features a 2.2Ghz Processor with 2GB RAM, 120GB Hard drive and a SuperDrive built in for $1,449.

Or

You pay $3,197 for the Macbook Air that features a 1.8Ghz Processor and 64GB Solid State Hard drive and the External Superdrive.

Compare that to $2,499 to a 13" MacBook that features a 2.2Ghz Processor, 4GB RAM, a 250GB hard drive and the Superdrive.

Compare that to $3,049 for a 17" MacBook Pro that features a 2.6Ghz Processor, 2GB RAM, and a 160GB Hard drive with the built in super drive.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't we generally want to invest our money into the most bang for our buck? Honestly, it's the MacBook and if you really want to spend $3,100, then it's the MacBook Pro.

Other than that "holy cow that is really cool" accolades you're going to get, the MacBook Air is a step backwards in terms of performance. Yeah it's incredibly slick and most like the laptop of the future, but I want the fastest machine I can get, not just something that looks slick. It's kind of the iPhone all over again. Yeah it's incredibly slick, but then you handicap it on a slower network than just about every other cell phone out there.

I hate the idea of the external SuperDrive. Just what I need, another peripheral to lose or damage.

So I give Apple an A for slick design, but really don't see a practical use for my needs. A $1,000 mini laptop the size of a portable DVD player, yeah, I could totally use that, but not a wafer thin MacBook.

My 2 cents.

Walter Biscardi, Jr. http://www.biscardicreative.com



Professional Video Editor, Producer, Creative Director, Director since 1990.

Credits include multiple Emmys, Tellys, Aurora and CableAce Awards.

Creative Director for Georgia-Pacific and GP Studios, Atlanta. Former Owner / Operator of Biscardi Creative Media. The show you knew us best for was "Good Eats" on the Food Network. I developed the HD Post workflow and we also created all the animations for the series.

Favorite pastime is cooking with pizza on the grill one of my specialties. Each Christmas Eve we serve the Feast of the Seven Fishes, a traditional Italian seafood meal with approx. 30 items on the menu.

If I wasn't in video production I would either own a restaurant or a movie theater.

 




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