posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 12:38 PM
This is in reply to many of the posts in this thread.
Someone asked why they use PATA drives. This is because they don't make any SATA 1.8" drives. The MacBook Air uses the same hard drive found in
iPods, which is a 1.8" PATA drive. As for speed, the drive certainly won't compare well to a 7,200 RPS desktop drive, but there are payoffs for
size. In real-world use, I'm sure the speed of the drive will be fine.
Also, the SSD drive is not slower than a PATA drive. SSD drives are much faster, in fact. The drive should be able to sustain darn close tot he
theoretical maximum 133MB/s of the PATA interface (and be able to do it at any location on the disk). The regular hard drive will, as all hard drives
do, lose speed it reads the inside edge of the disk. This is because the drive spins at a constant speed, and more bits pass under the head at the
outside edge of the drive. less bits pass under as the head moves in to the center.
SSD drives are also valued because there are no moving parts to break, and they are very low power devices, increasing battery life.
Finally, someone asked about optical drives. First, Apple does offer an external DVD/CD burner drive for $99. But they also have a "Remote Disk"
function. If you install the Remote disk software on your desktop machine (be it Mac or PC), the drive will show up on the MacBook Air. This is a
great way to install software, and it can even be used to reinstall the OS. I know on my current laptop, I use it maybe once a month. It doesn't
make sense to lug the drive around for such low usage.
For $1799, I think the base model with the regular drive is a great value. For $3098, the one with the SSD drive is good if you need something
that's rugged and has super long battery life.
Edit: Ah, the lack of a FireWire port. Yup, I wish it had one. But more and more cameras are recording to flash cards or hard drives, and you can
get the files on them onto the Air via USB.
[edit on 17-1-2008 by nataylor]