More Macbook Air analysis and pictures

Written by Tim Smalley

January 15, 2008 | 20:38

Tags: #65nm #air #analysis #backlit #battery #drive #dvd #ethernet #keyboard #macbook #merom #pictures #wireless

We've been trying to find out what platform the Macbook Air is based on, but nobody here either knows, or wants to tell us, but we'll keep digging. I have a feeling that it might be a hybrid between Santa Rosa and Montevina.

Initially, I thought it was a fully-fledged Montevina, but then I delved a bit deeper into the specifications and it seems that Apple is using a standard 65nm Core 2 Duo chip - not one of the new 45nm Penryn chips that Intel announced at CES.

The key here is the L2 cache size - all of Intel's 45nm Core 2 Duo chips have either 6MB or 3MB shared L2 caches, while both of the processors that can be specced for the Macbook Air have 4MB of shared L2.

Most have been saying that the Macbook Air is incredibly overpriced for what it is, but when you consider that Sony's TZ-series notebooks start at around the same price point and, generally speaking, have lower specifications.

That said, the Macbook Air isn't without its problems - the first for me is the fact that you cannot swap the battery without completely removing the bottom panel on the notebook. It's nice to be able to swap out for a spare battery (providing it works, of course!) when you're low on power.

There's also a lack of Ethernet, which is another turn off because I am sure there will be a time when an Ethernet port is required as it's the only way to connect. An example of this for me is at CES, where the press rooms were only kitted out with wired networking.

The lack of a DVD drive isn't an issue for me, but that's because my ThinkPad X60s doesn't come with one as standard either. And, while I'm mentioning the DVD drive, one thing that I have confirmed though is that the wireless DVD drive functionality works on both PC and Mac. I managed to mishear Steve the first time round, during my battery shenanigans (read: panic!), and thought he had said that it was only available on other Macs.

Anyway, I'm sure there's plenty more to say about the Macbook Air and while it's undoubtedly cool, sleek, stylish <insert more superlatives here>, you need to consider its limitations before jumping on the 'Air ship - we'll leave you with some pictures of the Macbook Air below.

We're keen to hear what you think of Apple's Macworld 2008 announcements, so please join us in the forums to discuss them!

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