MacBook Air
A MacBook Air on display after the 2008 Macworld Keynote
DeveloperApple Inc.
TypeLaptop or Notebook
Release dateJanuary 29, 2008
Base priceUSD1,799, CAD1,899, EUR1,699, GBP1,199, JPY229,800, AUD2,499, NZD2,988, HKD14,900, INR 87,900, MXN 22,999, SGD 4,500, NOK 14,290
CPUIntel Core 2 Duo 1.6 / 1.86 GHz
Web siteApple MacBook Air

The MacBook Air is a Macintosh notebook computer designed by Apple. It is positioned as the ultraportable in Apple's MacBook Family and was introduced at the Macworld Conference & Expo on January 15, 2008. Apple describes it as the "world's thinnest notebook".


To reduce the computer's size and weight, Apple omitted certain features long standard on laptops. It is Apple's first notebook since the PowerBook 2400c without a built-in removable media drive.[1] Users may purchase an external USB SuperDrive, or use bundled Remote Disc software to access the optical drive of another computer.[2] It is the first subcompact laptop offered by Apple since the full-featured 12" PowerBook G4 was discontinued in 2006.

Similarly to the PowerBook Duo series which preceded it, it lacks many features of the larger MacBooks, including a security slot[3] and an Ethernet port,[4] (although a USB-to-Ethernet adapter may be purchased separately).[5] The MacBook Air offers one USB port. Like the entry-level MacBook, the MacBook Air lacks Cardbus and ExpressCard slots, both standard features in older and newer laptops.[6] The device lacks a FireWire port as well.

The Air is Apple's first laptop computer to be offered with an optional solid-state hard drive.[7] ArsTechnica found "moderate" performance improvements of the 64 GB[8] solid-state drive over the standard 80 GB hard drive in tests. On October 14, 2008, new models were announced boasting improved capacities of 128 GB (solid-state) and 120 GB (hard drive).[9] The Air comes with 2 GB[10] RAM memory as standard.[11]

The CPU on the original Air was an specially designed Intel Core 2 Duo chip, which reduced the chip's packaging size by 60 percent.[12] The processor found on the current Air is a low voltage, small form factor Core 2 Duo "Penryn", with 6MB of cache and runs on a 1066 MHz bus.[13]

The laptop has the magnetic latch system of the MacBook and an aluminum casing like the MacBook Pro. The oversized trackpad offers iPhone-like Multi-Touch gestures, an improvement over previous MacBook trackpads. Among the gestures are pinching, swiping, and rotating.[14]

The MacBook Air is pre-loaded with Mac OS X v10.5 and iLife '08.

Remote DiscEdit


The MacBook Air can wirelessly access the optical drive of another Mac or Windows PC that has the Remote Disc program installed, allowing the installation of applications from a CD or DVD.[15][16] It can also reinstall the system software from the included installation DVD.[17] Remote Disc supports netbooting, so the MacBook Air can boot from its installation DVD in another computer's drive.[18]


Unlike the rest of the MacBook family, the MacBook Air has no directly user-replaceable parts. Its hard drive, memory, and battery are enclosed within the casing, with memory soldered directly to the motherboard. The MacBook Air's battery is not easily replaceable, enclosed in a manner similar to the iPod and related Apple product lines.[19][20][21] The hard drive is not soldered and can be replaced through a non-trivial disassembly procedure.[22] Solid-state drives (SSDs) are commercially available. As part of the out-of-warranty service, Apple offers to replace the battery for a fee.[23] It may be possible for the end user to replace the battery, though it is unclear whether this process would void the notebook's warranty.[24] Users looking to replace batteries through third-party vendors will need to wait until replacement batteries are made available for this model.[25]

Environmental considerationsEdit

Apple incorporated several features in the design of the MacBook Air intended to make it more friendly to the environment.[26][27] In response, Greenpeace stated, "We can say that Apple is getting greener, but it's still not green enough."[28]

For more information about Apple's environmental record, see Apple Inc.#Environmental Record.

Concerns about overheating and CPU-lockupEdit

Several MacBook Air users[29] since the release of the first-generation product have complained of problems with severe overheating, causing CPU lockup. This effect appears to be exacerbated in warmer climates, such as northern Australia. A software update released by Apple in early March attempted to fix the problem but had mixed results.[30] The problem seems to appear during system-intensive tasks such as video playback, video chatting, or playing games.[31]

Turning the integrated fans to full speed by using third-party software or using USB-powered cool-pads does not cool down the notebook sufficiently to prevent core shutdowns; undervolting[32] the CPU, however, solves the MacBook Air's problems with overheating and CPU lockups in most cases.

In September 2008 Apple published a firmware update fixing the CPU-lockup issues.

Criticism Edit

The MacBook Air has been criticized for its high price compared to other notebooks of similar or better specification, with Engadget suggesting that a premium is being paid for its form factor.[33] The MacBook Air has also been criticized for the difficulty in accessing the headphone and USB port. Because of tight clearance, some devices, including some headphone jacks and 3G USB cellular modems will not fit, requiring users to purchase either a powered USB hub or an extension cable in order to use their devices.[34][35]

A parody image on the Internet compares the lack of features of the Air to the Commodore SX-64, with the only advantage of the Air being a backlit keyboard. [1]

The MacBook Air lacks a FireWire port. It does not support Target Disk Mode of any kind, which would have enabled it to be used as an external hard drive for quick data transfers. [36] Those who have used video mode in iChat will notice a lower screen resolution and lower-quality display of the other party's video image.


Component Intel Core 2 Duo
Model Early 2008[37] Late 2008[37]
Display 13.3-inch glossy LED backlight TFT LCD widescreen display, 1280×800 pixel resolution
Graphics Intel GMA X3100 graphics processor with 144 MB[10] of DDR2 SDRAM shared with main memory NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor with 256 MB[10] of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory
Storage 80 GB[8] ATA 1.8" 4200 rpm hard disk drive
64 GB SSD optional
120 GB[8] Serial ATA 1.8" 4200 rpm hard disk drive
128 GB SSD optional
Processor 1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Merom,[38][39] with 800 MHz FSB
1.8 GHz Core 2 Duo optional
1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Penryn[13] (SL9300) with 1066 MHz FSB
1.86 GHz Core 2 Duo Penryn (SL9400) optional
Memory 2 GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM soldered to the logicboard 2 GB[10] 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM soldered to the logicboard
Wireless networking Integrated AirPort Extreme supports 802.11a/b/g/n
Wired Ethernet none, Optional USB Ethernet Adapter
Optical storage none, Optional External USB SuperDrive
Camera Built-in iSight, 640×480 pixel resolution
Battery 37 W-Hr Lithium-ion polymer battery
Physical dimensions 22.7 cm D × 32.5 cm  W × 0.4–1.94 cm H
8.94 in D × 12.8 in W × 0.16–0.76 in H
Bluetooth Built-in (2.1+Enhanced Data Rate)
Port connections USB 2.0
Micro-DVI video port (adapters are included for VGA or DVI monitors up to 1920×1200 pixels)
1× Headphone jack (3.5 mm)
USB 2.0
Mini DisplayPort video port (adapters are optional for VGA or DVI monitors up to 2560×1600 pixels)
1× Headphone jack (3.5 mm)
Audio 1× microphone
mono loudspeaker
Keyboard Backlit full-size keyboard with ambient light sensor
Trackpad Multi-Touch gestures like the iPhone, iPod touch, Macbook, and MacBook Pro
K-slot None


The MacBook Air launch was accompanied by a television commercial emphasizing its thin form factor. In the commercial a hand unthreads a manila envelope and slides out a MacBook Air, then opens it to wake it from sleep. The music playing is "New Soul" by Yael Naïm.[40] This advertisement has often been parodied and comically reproduced, often depicting much thicker models being pulled out of manila envelopes in the same fashion, sometimes with difficulty. One such parody, purportedly from market rival Lenovo, depicts a failed attempt to return a MacBook Air to its envelope with a variety of accessories, before removing that manufacturer's ThinkPad X300 notebook from a similar envelope.[41] A few of these video parodies are featured on YouTube.

Timeline of the MacBook family

See also: Timeline of Macintosh models

iPhoneXserve#Intel XserveMac ProMac mini#Mac mini CoreiMac (Intel-based)MacBook Pro#MacBook Pro 15.4MacBook Pro#MacBook Pro 17MacBook Pro#MacBook Pro 15.4MacBook Pro#MacBook Pro 15.4MacBook AirMacBookMacBookMacBookMacBook

See alsoEdit


  1. Apple Macintosh 2400c/180 specs, EveryMac, retrieved January 2008.
  2. MacBook wireless specifications,Apple Inc. retrieved Jan2008
  3. Frakes, Dan (2008-01-16). "MacBook Air's Tradeoffs". Macworld. Retrieved on 2008-01-18.
  4. MacBook Air specifications, Apple Inc., retrieved Jan2008
  5. Apple USB Ethernet Adapter, Apple Inc., retrieved Feb2008
  6. Mossberg, Walt (2008-01-24). "Apple's MacBook Air Is Beautiful and Thin, But Omits Features". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved on 2008-01-25.
  7. Choney, Suzanne (2008-01-24). "Lighter laptops move to flash-based drives". Newsweek. Retrieved on 2008-01-24.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 In this article, the conventional prefixes for computer storage denote base-10 values whereby “kilobyte” (KB) = 103 bytes , “megabyte” (MB) = 106 bytes and “gigabyte” (GB) = 109 bytes.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 In this article, the conventional prefixes for computer RAM denote base-2 values whereby “kilobyte” (KB) = 210 bytes , “megabyte” (MB) = 220 bytes and “gigabyte” (GB) = 230 bytes.
  11. What does $1,300 extra really get you?, Jacqui Cheng ArsTechnica, 5 Feb 2008
  12. Cohen, Peter (2008-01-15). "Apple introduces MacBook Air". Macworld. Retrieved on 2008-01-21.
  13. 13.0 13.1 CNET. "Intel comments on chips in new MacBook". Retrieved on 2008-10-15.
  14. MacBook Air features, Apple Inc., retrieved January 2008.
  15. Yager, Tom. "MacBook Air, a detailed preview". Infoworld. Retrieved on 2008-01-18.
  16. "MacBook Air". Apple Inc.. Retrieved on 2008-01-15.
  17. "MacBook Air - Guided Tour". Apple Inc.. Retrieved on 2008-01-15.
  18. Gruber, John (2008-01-15). "= 2008-01-15 The MacBook Air". Daring Fireball.
  19. MacBook Air: top 10 things wrong with it
  20. Ackeman, Dan (2008-01-29). "Apple MacBook Air (1.6GHz)". ZDNet Australia. Retrieved on 2008-03-29.
  21. "MacBook Air's Fatal Flaw: Battery, RAM, HD Sealed Like an iPod". Gizmodo (2008-01-15). Retrieved on 2008-01-15.
  22. "First Look at the MacBook Air". iFixIt (2008-02-01). Retrieved on 2008-02-01.
  23. "MacBook Air Out-of-Warranty Battery Replacement Program". Apple Inc.. Retrieved on 2008-01-15.
  24. "Sources: MacBook Air battery replacements take only minutes". AppleInsider (2008-01-18). Retrieved on 2008-01-19.
  25. "MacBook Air Battery Easy to Replace". Wired (2008-01-22). Retrieved on 2008-01-23.
  26. "Apple Introduces MacBook Air—The World’s Thinnest Notebook". Retrieved on 2008-01-16.
  27. A Greener Apple, Steve Jobs, Apple.
  28. "Apple Unveils Green Ultrathin Laptop" (2008-01-15). Retrieved on 2008-02-01.
  29. The MacBook Air: when cool becomes [ouch! Hot!] Bleeding Edge blog, 13 March 2008.
  30. Apple’s MacBook (hot) Air problem, Philip Elmer-DeWitt, CNN Fortune Apple 2.0 blog, 13 March 2008.
  31. Apple fans burned by hot Airs, Asher Moses, The Age, 13 March 2008.
  32. Putting an End to MacBook Air Core Shutdown], Paul Stamatiou, 11 May 2008.
  33. MacBook Air review
  34. Adding insult to injury: USB 3G modems and even some thumb drive and mp3 players will not fit in the MacBook Air flip down USB port
  35. Thin is in: Ars Technica reviews the MacBook Air: Page 2
  36. Macworld | Editors' Notes | MacBook Air: Holding my breath
  37. 37.0 37.1 "MacBook Air - Technical Specifications". Apple Inc.. Retrieved on 2008-01-15.
  38. Lal Shimpi, Anand (2008-01-15). "Apple's MacBook Air: Uncovering Intel's Custom CPU for Apple". AnandTech. Retrieved on 2008-01-15.
  39. Anand Lal Shimpi (2008-01-17). "The MacBook Air CPU Mystery: More Details Revealed". Retrieved on 2008-01-19.
  40. Hey, Let's Write A Song Called "Steve Jobs Is Dreamy" 100 And Single, Idolator. Accessed 12 February 2008
  41. Not funny, Lenovo, The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs, Daniel Lyons, 29 April 2008.

External linksEdit

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