MacBook Air reviewed

Reviewers everywhere are starting to get their hands on Apple’s new MacBook Air, and today Ryan Block from Engadget posted his take on Apple’s shiny new subnotebook. The gadget site’s evaluation includes plenty of pictures, some benchmarks, and details about how the MacBook Air feels and behaves in the real world.

In the review, Block lauds the Air’s sleek and sturdy design, performance, vibrant display, and full-sized keyboard. However, he goes on to criticize the machine’s lack of user-replaceable battery, which he says is a handicap considering battery life is far from Apple’s claimed five hours. In Block’s tests, the Air lasted three and a half hours during light use (browsing and audio playback) and just under two and a half hours during slightly heavier use (movie viewing and light browsing).

The MacBook Air apparently has some other downsides, too, including its lone USB port, which is recessed too far into the machine’s side to be able to accommodate most 3G modems without an extension cord or hub. The 80GB 1.8" hard drive is also a bit on the slow side, and the only alternative is a $999 solid-state drive. All things considered, Block concludes that the Air is a "tough call"—some users may feel comfortable with the compromises Apple has made, others may not.

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