The previous, the current, and the long run

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

Past the occasion itself, nevertheless, the MacBook Air has additionally turn out to be of Apple’s most vital and profitable merchandise – regardless of some velocity bumps alongside the way in which…

The MacBook Air announcement

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

“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. “If you first see MacBook Air, it’s laborious to imagine it’s a high-performance pocket book with a full-size keyboard and show. However it’s.”

Listed here are the unique specs of the entry-level MacBook Air introduced by Steve Jobs, which grew to become obtainable to customers 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 Movement Sensor;
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100;
  • Micro-DVI port (contains Micro-DVI to VGA and Micro-DVI to DVI Adapters);
  • built-in iSight video digital camera;
  • built-in AirPort Excessive 802.11n wi-fi networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
  • one USB 2.0 port;
  • one headphone port;
  • multi-touch TrackPad with assist for superior multi-touch gestures together with faucet, scroll, pinch, rotate and swipe; and
  • 45 Watt MagSafe Energy Adapter.

These had been comparatively respectable specs for the time, however the MacBook Air was clearly restricted by its skinny and lightweight kind issue. In spite of everything, it was the “world’s thinnest pocket book” in line with Jobs, measuring in at 0.16-inches at its thinnest level.

The MacBook Air was iconic for one more motive, too: it was the primary Mac that Apple provided with an non-compulsory 64GB solid-state drive…for an additional $1,300. As notable because it was for Apple to supply a MacBook with an SSD inside, the early MacBook Air critiques typically mentioned that the advantages didn’t outweigh the price.

MacBook Air, 2008

Usually, the primary model of the MacBook Air recovered blended critiques, with reward for the design, and criticism for the efficiency and battery life. Many critiques acknowledged, nevertheless, that the MacBook Air was step one towards the way forward for the MacBook lineup. Listed here are some enjoyable strains we’ve 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 doesn’t have the ability to be many customers’ major machine, whereas additionally missing lots of the options thought-about a necessity by enterprise vacationers.”
  • “There merely isn’t any approach to transparently substitute all of the performance of an optical drive but.”
  • “Maybe the most important side-effect of the Air received’t be ditching optical drives, although; for the remainder of Apple’s shopper base it’s now only a matter of time earlier than different Mac laptop computer strains profit from the technical and engineering advances that made this factor so skinny and lightweight.”

Macworld’s Jason Snell:

  • “As somebody who makes use of the optical drive in his laptop computer so hardly ever that I typically overlook whether or not its slot is on the entrance or the aspect, I don’t actually think about the dearth of an optical drive a significant omission.”
  • “The MacBook Air is the slowest Mac in Apple’s present product line, although its Intel Core 2 Duo processor is quick sufficient for basic use.”
  • “However 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 space for storing and a few processor energy was finally price it for me.”

Arstechnica’s Jackqui Cheng:

  • “A method to take a look at the MacBook Air is as the most important and most succesful iPod in Apple’s line—consider it as an iPod contact Excessive with a built-in keyboard.”
  • “I discovered the Air’s dimension and weight to be nothing lower than completely pleasant.”
  • “Regardless of all the Air’s (typically obvious) flaws, I plan to maintain it and use it as my pocket book from right here on out (perhaps with a tough drive improve within the close to future, and positively with a battery improve after they turn out to be obtainable).”

Different critiques:

The way forward for the MacBook Air

Following the preliminary introduction of the MacBook Air in January of 2008, it grew to become a mainstay of Apple’s laptop computer lineup. It was up to date with various spec and efficiency enhancements simply 9 months later. It was redesigned with a tapered unibody enclosure a 12 months later, which additionally marked the introduction of a brand new 11.6-inch kind issue.

The MacBook Air acquired common spec bumps via 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 MacBook Air noticed one other efficiency increase, however the 11-inch mannequin was discontinued.

9to5Mac’s Take

That 2017 MacBook 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 no Retina show and with USB-A ports and a backlit Apple emblem.

Apple clearly misplaced the imaginative and prescient for the MacBook Air someplace round 2015, when it sat uncared for as the corporate targeted on the 12-inch MacBook as a substitute. It noticed scattered (and minor) efficiency enhancements, no adjustments to the design, and was clearly on the way in which out the door.

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

One factor I feel Apple discovered through the years is that the “MacBook Air” title holds numerous energy. The try and section out the MacBook Air in favor of the 12-inch MacBook was a transparent failure (it wasn’t the one failure for the MacBook lineup round that point).

MacBook Air

However beginning in 2018, Apple began to make adjustments. The 12-inch MacBook acquired its final main replace in June of 2017 and Apple unveiled a main replace for the MacBook Air simply over a 12 months later. This MacBook Air lastly provided a Retina show, a brand new design that maintained the long-lasting thinness and lightness, and notable efficiency upgrades.

The 12-inch MacBook was unceremoniously discontinued on July 9, 2019. There are rumors it could return, however this time along with the MacBook Air – not as a substitute.

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


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

Wanting forward, the way forward for the MacBook Air is brighter than ever. Apple Silicon has confirmed that even a small and lightweight laptop just like the MacBook Air can supply unbelievable efficiency and battery life, with out compromise. There are rumors that Apple would possibly even develop the MacBook Air lineup to embody a brand new 15-inch mannequin someday in 2023.

The MacBook Air has come a good distance during the last 15 years, regardless of some neglect across the midway mark. Hopefully, Apple discovered its lesson and the MacBook Air will likely be a well-supported choice within the Mac lineup for years to come back.

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