The previous, the current, and the future

The MacE book Air was introduced by Steve Jobs 15 years in the past right now, on January 15, 2008. The occasion has turn into one among the most iconic Apple occasions ever, thanks largely to the second Jobs pulled the MacE book Air out of a manila envelope.

Beyond the occasion itself, nevertheless, the MacE book Air has additionally turn into one among Apple’s most necessary and profitable merchandise – regardless of some velocity bumps alongside the method…

The MacE book Air announcement

The MacE book Air was introduced as a part of Apple’s keynote at the Macworld Expo commerce present. Alongside the MacE book Air, this Apple keynote additionally included the launch of the Time Capsule, updates to the iPhone and iPod contact, and far more. The MacE book Air, nevertheless, stole the present and its introduction was Steve Jobs at his best.

“We’ve constructed the world’s thinnest pocket book—with out sacrificing a full-size keyboard or a full-size 13-inch show,” mentioned Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “When you first see MacE book Air, it is laborious to imagine it is a high-performance pocket book with a full-size keyboard and show. But it’s.

Here are the unique specs of the entry-level MacE book Air introduced by Steve Jobs, which grew to become accessible to shoppers on January 29, 2008.

  • 13.3-inch LED-backlit shiny widescreen show with 1280×800 decision;
  • 1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 4MB L2 cache;
  • 800 MHz front-side bus;
  • 2GB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM;
  • 80GB laborious disk drive with Sudden Motion Sensor;
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100;
  • Micro-DVI port (contains Micro-DVI to VGA and Micro-DVI to DVI Adapters);
  • built-in iSight video digicam;
  • built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n wi-fi networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
  • one USB 2.0 port;
  • one headphone port;
  • multi-touch TrackPad with help for superior multi-touch gestures together with faucet, scroll, pinch, rotate and swipe; and
  • 45 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter.

Those have been comparatively first rate specs for the time, however the MacE book Air was clearly restricted by its skinny and gentle kind issue. After all, it was the “world’s thinnest pocket book” in keeping with Jobs, measuring in at 0.16-inches at its thinnest level.

The MacE book Air was iconic for an additional motive, too: it was the first Mac that Apple supplied with an non-obligatory 64GB solid-state drive…for an additional $1,300. As notable because it was for Apple to supply a MacE book with an SSD inside, the early MacE book Air critiques typically mentioned that the advantages didn’t outweigh the value.

MacE book Air, 2008

In common, the first model of the MacE book Air acquired combined critiques, with reward for the design, and criticism for the efficiency and battery life. Many critiques acknowledged, nevertheless, that the MacE book Air was the first step in direction of the future of the MacE book lineup. Here are some enjoyable traces we have pulled from these first critiques:

Engadget’s Ryan Block:

  • “It’s the thinnest, and if we could say so, sexiest laptop computer round right now.”
  • “The Air merely does not have the energy to be many customers’ main machine, whereas additionally missing a lot of the options thought of a necessity by enterprise vacationers.”
  • “There merely is not any technique to transparently change all the performance of an optical drive but.”
  • “Perhaps the largest side-effect of the Air will not be ditching optical drives, although; for the remainder of Apple’s shopper base it is now only a matter of time earlier than different Mac laptop computer traces profit from the technical and engineering advances that made this factor so skinny and gentle.”

Macworld’s Jason Snell:

  • “As somebody who makes use of the optical drive in his laptop computer so not often that I generally overlook whether or not its slot is on the entrance or the aspect, I do not actually contemplate the lack of an optical drive a serious omission.”
  • “The MacE book Air is the slowest Mac in Apple’s present product line, though its Intel Core 2 Duo processor is quick sufficient for common use.”
  • “But as soon as I slipped that three-pound laptop computer into my backpack and threw the bag over my shoulders, I noticed that sacrificing some cupboard space and some processor energy was in the end price it for me.”

Arstechnica’s Jackqui Cheng:

  • “One method to have a look at the MacE book Air is as the largest and most succesful iPod in Apple’s line—consider it as an iPod contact Extreme with a built-in keyboard.”
  • “I discovered the Air’s measurement and weight to be nothing lower than completely pleasant.”
  • “Despite all of the Air’s (generally obtrusive) flaws, I plan to maintain it and use it as my pocket book from right here on out (possibly with a tough drive improve in the close to future, and undoubtedly with a battery improve once they turn into accessible).”

Other critiques:

The future of the MacE book Air

Following the preliminary introduction of the MacE book Air in January of 2008, it grew to become a mainstay of Apple’s laptop computer lineup. It was up to date with a lot of specs and efficiency enhancements simply 9 months later. It was redesigned with a tapered unibody enclosure a yr later, which additionally marked the introduction of a brand new 11.6-inch kind issue.

The MacE book Air acquired common spec bumps by way of 2011, 2012, and 2013, however went with out updates in 2014 and acquired a minor spec bump in 2015. Two years later in 2017, the 13-inch MacE book Air noticed one other efficiency increase, however the 11 -inch mannequin was discontinued.

9to5Mac’s Take

Apple clearly misplaced the imaginative and prescient for the MacE book Air someplace round 2015, when it sat uncared for as the firm centered on the 12-inch MacE book as an alternative. It noticed scattered (and minor) efficiency enhancements, no modifications to the design, and was clearly on the method out the door.

That 2017 MacE book Air hung round in Apple’s lineup for a very long time (maybe too lengthy). It wasn’t discontinued till July 2019, at which level it was the final laptop computer offered by Apple with out a Retina show and with USB-A ports and a backlit Apple emblem.

The 12-inch MacE book was the star of the present beginning in 2015 and it wasn’t till 2018 that Apple realized it may need made the flawed determination. At that time, the MacE book Air had featured just about the identical design for eight years. That’s a very long time for what many seen as Apple’s hottest laptop computer.

One factor I feel Apple has discovered over the years is that the “MacE book Air” identify holds a number of energy. The try to section out the MacE book Air in favor of the 12-inch MacE book was a transparent failure (it wasn’t the solely failure for the MacE book lineup round that point).

MacBook Air

But beginning in 2018, Apple began to make modifications. The 12-inch MacE book acquired its final main replace in June of 2017 and Apple unveiled a serious replace for the MacE book Air simply over a yr later. This MacE book Air lastly supplied a Retina show, a brand new design that maintained the iconic thinness and lightness, and notable efficiency upgrades.

The 12-inch MacE book was unceremoniously discontinued on July 9, 2019. There are rumors that it might return, however this time along with the MacE book Air – not as a alternative.

In 2020, the MacE book Air grew to become the first Apple laptop computer to change from Intel to Apple Silicon, alongside the 13-inch MacE book Pro. Apple Silicon has confirmed to be a recreation changer for the MacE book Air, permitting Apple to pack extra energy and effectivity into the machine than ever earlier than.


In 2022, the MacE book Air was redesigned to ditch the iconic tapered design in favor of a flat-edged unibody kind issue. This redesign additionally noticed the introduction of the M2 chip inside, for yet one more increase in efficiency and effectivity, in addition to the return of MagSafe for charging.

Looking forward, the future of the MacE book Air is brighter than ever. Apple Silicon has confirmed that even a small and gentle pc like the MacE book Air can supply unbelievable efficiency and battery life, with out compromise. There are rumors that Apple would possibly even increase the MacE book Air lineup to incorporate a brand new 15-inch mannequin someday in 2023.

The MacE book Air has come a great distance over the final 15 years, regardless of some neglect round the midway mark. Hopefully, Apple discovered its lesson and the MacE book Air will likely be a well-supported possibility in the Mac lineup for years to return.

Follow Chance: TwitterInstagram, and Mastodon

FTC: We use revenue incomes auto affiliate hyperlinks. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for extra Apple information:

Leave a Comment