Although there has been a lot of discussion going on around MacBook Air, our verdict is quite certain. This notebook is beautiful, innovative, mobile and quite functional and hence is very appealing to users. We can definitely recommend it to many advanced users, but not to all of them. The thing is that MacBook Air is only good until you start looking at it as at a fully-functional universal computer system. This is where the new Apple solution cannot compete against other products with more ports, optical drives, wired network support, better balanced hardware configuration, etc.
In other words, Apple MacBook Air is not a notebook in the common meaning of this word, but a gadget with notebook functionality. That is why you should consider purchasing it only if you already have a computer that can satisfy all your needs. The developers have evidently seen it as a second computer system, however traditionally high interest towards Apple products misled a lot of users and reviewers. It resulted in wrong expectations and, obviously, disappointment. In reality, MacBook Air is not a mainstream solution at all. It is an expensive specific toy for techno-maniacs with futuristic views.
However, we didn’t intend our today’s discussion to judge the new initiative of Apple ideologists. We checked out an alternative approach and tried replacing the operating system on the new MacBook Air with a more traditional Microsoft Windows Vista. And all in all, this experiment turned out a success. The OS installed and worked just fine without any compatibility problems. In other words, the airy ultra-portable computer from Apple can certainly win some of the Windows fans, too.
However, at this time we cannot claim that the new Apple system works flawlessly with Microsoft operating system. Our practical tests revealed that “raw” firmware leads to not quite adequate performance specifically in Windows Vista. And Apple doesn’t really take the “Windows for MacBook” concept seriously enough, so you will not be able to update the firmware from Microsoft OS. So, the Windows users will need to have both operating systems on their MacBook Air, which may not be a good thing considering the hard disk drive capacity.
Summing up, we have to admit that MacBook Air is not the best choice for an ultra-portable Wintel solution. Luckily, Apple’s system is not the only one in this market. We see quite a few new solutions with similar weight and dimensions designed for Windows Vista, like the recently announced ThinkPad X300. So, if you are looking for an airy design and Microsoft OS, then this might be the best way to go.