First Impressions of the New MacBook AirsS

The new MacBook Airs are slimmer, snappier, and better suited for cutting cheese than ever. Here's what people are saying about actually using them.

Ars thought the scrappy 11.6-incher "stole the show":

The machine is practically netbook-sized (but don't tell Steve Jobs or Tim Cook we said that, as they seem to have a seething hatred for netbooks), but has a full-sized keyboard and almost-full-sized trackpad. The 13.3" model seemed like a monster by comparison, though as a previous MacBook Air owner, I really like the new design.

Some (but not all) questions from our readers were answered by the Apple PR people standing by. Yes, both Air models come with glossy screens, and you can get them both with either 2GB or 4GB of RAM built in. You cannot upgrade the RAM though-you must order it at the capacity you want it, or else you're out of luck.

The "instant on" capabilities that Steve Jobs touted during the event are indeed sweet, but the feature only works from standby-it's not quite so instant if you power the machine off.

First Impressions of the New MacBook AirsS

First Impressions of the New MacBook AirsS

SlashGear says that they're "slick, beautiful machines that will likely persuade many Apple Store shoppers just from a quick play in-store." Also:

The 11.6-inch Air is incredibly thin, just like an iPhone 4 at its narrowest point at the front. Nonetheless, it's also solid and bend-free, and the keyboard is as easy to use as a regular MacBook Pro. The display is Apple's first 16:9 aspect panel, as is the 13.3-inch model.

The bigger MacBook Air has larger function keys than its smaller sibling, but both power up almost instantly; basically, as soon as you have the screen open to a usable angle, OS X is ready and waiting for you.

They weren't kidding about that iPhone 4 thing.

First Impressions of the New MacBook AirsS

Engadget says the 11.6" version is the "tiniest, thinnest, most lust-worthy laptops we've ever seen." As for the 13" version:

It definitely feels significantly bigger than the 11-incher, and we noticed the function keys are standard MacBook size, as opposed to the shrunken ones on the 11. We also noticed that it was seriously instant-on — we popped the lid open and closed several times while taking photos, and it was ready to go the second we opened it.

Over at Forbes, Brian Caulfied says they do indeed boot up like lightning:

Apple's letting the press paw these new machines right now, and the metal-skinned machines look sleek, of course. They're Macs. The most remarkable feature, however, isn't cosmetic, it's these machine's boot time.

Bootup takes less than 15 seconds, according to my watch. That's a good deal less than the roughly 50 seconds it takes my trusty Windows laptop to come to life.

Xeni Jardin has plenty of nice photos over at Boing Boing.

We'll be adding more impressions as they pop up.