January 15, 2008 Steve Jobs showed off the first MacBook Air at the San Francisco Macworld conference, calling the revolutionary computer “the world’s thinnest laptop.”
The 13.3-inch laptop has only 0.76 inches at its thickest point and 0.16 inches at its thinnest point. It also boasts a unibody aluminum design, thanks to Apple’s engineering breakthrough that allows it to create a complicated computer case from a single block of finely machined metal.
In a brilliant performance during the presentation of the MacBook Air, Jobs pulls a super-thin laptop out of a standard inter-office envelope. (You can check out his main word representing the MacBook Air below).
MacBook Air: The thinnest laptop in the world?
The question was whether the MacBook Air was really the thinnest laptop of its time. For example, the 2003 Sharp Actius MM10 Muramasas was thinner than the MacBook Air in some places, but thicker at the minimum point.
One thing no one could dispute: Apple changed the game with the design of the MacBook Air in one fell swoop.
To illustrate, compare the 3-pound MacBook Air to the much heavier 4.4-pound PowerBook 2400c laptop, which was praised as Apple’s lightest laptop just a decade earlier. The MacBook Air was just a remarkable piece of engineering.
Unibody aluminum design is becoming Apple’s choice
The unibody manufacturing process has essentially reversed the way Apple made its laptops. Instead of applying multiple sheets of metal, the process allowed Apple to start with a solid block of aluminum. The material was removed from the plate until only one finished piece remained – literally “the only body”.
The design proved so successful that it switched to a MacBook and then to a larger iMac. The days of Apple’s use of plastic as its primary material (with the exception of the later iPhone 5c) are over.
For Apple, the future was aluminum.
MacBook Air: Size above specifications
Apple designed the MacBook Air to appeal to customers who are less focused on energy. With just one USB port and no built-in optical drive, the ultraportable laptop was designed for people who want minimum weight and maximum screen size. It delivered “up to five hours of battery life for wireless productivity,” according to Apple.
Jobs introduced the product as a truly wireless machine – it lacked both Ethernet and FireWire. Apple designed the MacBook Air to appeal to those whose lifestyle on the go meant more reliance on Wi-Fi than wired connectivity. The AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi networking PC delivered “up to five times better performance and twice the range of 802.11g,” Apple said.
The lightweight laptop had a 1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. It had 2 GB of 667 MHz DDR2 RAM and an 80 GB hard drive. It also came with an iSight camera and microphone, an LED-backlit screen that adjusted to the brightness of the room, and the same full-size keyboard found in other MacBooks. Prices started at $ 1,799.
More than a decade later, the MacBook Air is alive. The latest models, powered by Apple’s proprietary M1 chip, have come thinner, lighter, faster and more affordable than ever.
Remember the first generation MacBook Air? Let us know in the comments below.
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