Macworld 2008 Highlights


Macbook Air Unveiled

Another Macworld, Another Macbook

With CES behind us and Macworld 2008 upon us this week (14-18 January 2008), the biggest buzz would be Apple CEO Steve Jobs' unveiling on what is believed to be the world's thinnest notebook - the MacBook Air. Announced during his keynote speech on 15th January 2008 at the Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, the MacBook Air measures 0.16 inches at its thinnest tapered point and 0.76 inches at its highest rear portion. With a 13.3-inch LED backlit widescreen display, built-in iSight camera and the much talked about (at the showfloor) trackpad that uses the multi-touch gesture support similar to the iPhone and iPod Touch that allows users to pinch, rotate and swipe their fingers across the pad to expand, slide, zoom-in and rotate images. The notebook comes without an optical drive though, but it supports 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1.

Available for US$1799 in two weeks from Jobs' keynote announcement on 15th January 2008, the Apple MacBook Air is currently powered by a 1.6GHz (or 1.8GHz) Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 4MB L2 cache, 800MHz front-side bus, 2GB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM and an 80GB 1.8-inch hard disk drive. According to the personnel at the Apple booth at Macworld, owners of the MacBook Air can opt for the notebook with a 64GB Solid State Disk for an extra US$1000. Ouch! Expensive, but it's true that SSD options do bite your wallet big time.

The world's thinnest notebook indeed. At 0.16 inches at its thinnest point, the MacBook Air is light enough to slip into an envelope.

Here's how the MacBook Air looks when it is clammed shut.

What's interesting with the MacBook Air is its multi-touch gesture support trackpad. Utilizing technology made famous on the iPhone and iPod Touch, the trackpad allows users to use their fingers on the trackpad and manipulate images or documents.

To slide across different images, you just need to slide three fingers across the trackpad either up or down.

You can also manipulate an image or while previewing a PDF document, pinch on the trackpad to zoom into or out of the image or document. You can also make a circular motion with your fingers to rotate the images or PDF document in either direction.

The notebook uses Apple's MagSafe Power Adapter, designed for mobile users.

While the MacBook Air doesn't come with any drives, it has built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1, as well as a pull-out slots for USB 2.0, audio port and a micro-DVI port. Users can use the micro-DVI port to connect to Apple's 20- or 23-inch Cinema Displays to extend their desktop displays. Users can also consider getting the MacBook Air SuperDrive, an external drive for US$99 that uses the USB port. The key message however is that if you want to watch movies or listen to music, there's the iTunes Store which users can rent from, utilize the new Time Capsule to wirelessly backup files and access optical drives on remote PCs or Macs with the 802.11n Wi-Fi access on the MacBook Air.