The MacBook Air is the first Apple product to come along in years that I don’t want to buy. It looks great, the multi-touch trackpad is cool and unexpected, and I like Remote Disk. But it’s just not significantly different than a MacBook to me, and I don’t travel enough to make the thinness or weight really matter. To “upgrade” from a regular MacBook to an Air just seems wasteful.
The “new Apple” has been doing a great job of eliminating duplicates in their product line (only one tower, only one of each size of iPod). If the Air had an 11-inch or 12-inch screen it would be a much easier sell because it becomes clear why the product exists: buy this if you want something small.
For two months in 1999, my wife and I travelled through Europe with only a backpack each and a PowerBook 520c to share between us. That machine was very small (just a 9.5-inch screen), yet she did contract work for Apple on it and I coded and released new versions of Mac software, dialed up to the net via modem from hotel rooms and hostels in the days before wi-fi. It was much heavier than an Air but for traveling light it was still a great choice.
It feels like Apple missed an opportunity at Macworld yesterday. I’m not particularly disappointed, though, since I wasn’t one of those hoping for a sub-notebook.