In the days following Bill Gates’ announcement of his retirement from Microsoft, Steve Jobs picked up an ordinary intra-office envelope and slipped out the first MacBook Air, heralding a substantial shift in portable computing.
For the most part, notebooks and laptops were all about trying to make the mobile computing experience as desktop-like as possible. But Apple shifted the equation.
Anyone who has used a notebook knows their mobile PC is an exercise in compromise. Everything from screen size to the keyboard to the number of ports is a compromise over why you can have compared to a desktop system. Apple changed what compromises were deemed acceptable although there are a few that still irk me.
Apple, arguably, started the dongle life with the MacBook Air with most of the ports we expected in laptops omitted. And they pretty much sounded the death knell for netbooks which were horribly compromised devices.
Sadly, Apple seems to have abandoned the Air. The 11-inch model was dumped and it’s moved from being Apple’s flagship portable to the entry level as there hasn’t been an update to the ageing tech in about three years.
But when you look at the super-thin laptop you have today, it’s really the evolution of a shift Apple kicked of at the Macworld Expo a decade ago.