As Michael Porter says, there are primarily two kinds of strategies. Differentiation & Cost-based. While Apple's Macbook Air reeks of the former, considering the amazing quality on offer, it provides a great value for the latter. No wonder it is selling like hot cakes right now.
Design The aluminium unibody looks and feels great. There is nothing of similar quality available in the market, except other Macbook Airs of course. The keyboard is amazing to type on, right sized, with right number of keys, and very easy to clean. The multi-touch enabled touch pad is all you need to work effortlessly on the device. The Apple logo add style. The whole package provides a beautiful, durable & upmarket feel to your everyday, & till now, dull computing experience. At 11" inches, the display does not support HD resolution, but you will not miss the higher resolution. For what the display lacks in resolution, it more than makes up in rendering quality.
Charger From the magnetic latch to the extension cord, even the charger has been thoughtfully designed. It provides one more reference point that Apple cares about the whole experience, and does not try to get away with the bare minimum. The charger proves beyond doubt, that it is somebody's job at Apple to make the best laptop charger in the world. Charging is fast and the battery life is adequate. And the charger LED does not crave for attention in a dark room.
The missing ports? There is no HDMI port. No SD Card reader. No VGA. USB ports are limited to a meagre two. Headphones & Mic are rolled into one. And the thunderbolt port will remain unused, at least till somebody this side of the world decides to import some accessories supporting it. But here's the thing, you won't miss the "missing" ports. No you won't. You will be too busy enjoying the Air.
And the internals, you ask? The hard-disk at 64 GB is tiny. But what it lacks in size, it more than makes up in performance. With a solid state disk, the Air is instant on, super fast and super quiet. Did I mention light before? It's worth repeating. This device is almost weight-less. In-built speakers are decent. But what about the processor? Well you don't need to keep up with the latest numbering scheme from Intel. The Air does pack in one of the newer versions of Intel's processors and it will suffice for the everyday needs of its target audience. And Apple knows that the Air's primary customer does not care too much about the RAM or the GPU either, as long as they do what they are asked to do. The Air does the job its designed for very well.
Finally, the Verdict! All said and done, if you are on the lookout for a light, durable, stylish, fast and fun laptop, look no further. The Macbook Air is what you need. Plus, not that you are spoilt with choices anyways. After four years, competition is finally waking up to the Macbook Air and we are now hearing about the Ultrabooks. However, not only is it too little too late, the whole pricing & positioning thing is wrong too.
Well, that is it for today. Hopefully this review is helpful to you, dear reader! I will share my first experience of the
MAC OS X, but that is another day, another post. Ciao!