pigfender wrote:Agreed, they won't tempt people who prefer Mac OS - They are probably just looking to stop the leakage of people who prefer Windows (or at least have used it to date) going over to Mac purely because of "sexy" hardware and the iPhone/iPod "halo" affect.
That's a very key point right there. Apple's laptop division is booming while the rest of the industry is not doing so hot. All you have to do is set an 11" MBA next to an Asus Eee PC (which only cost about $300 less) to see why. One is a big noisy chunk of plastic with barely adequate built-in mouse and keyboard devices, really requiring toting around more peripherals just to use the thing. The MBA on the other hand is a sheath of solid aluminium that is actually *thinner* than the entire LCD lid on the Asus, runs at practically room temperature for normal work, and can be tossed onto a couch while running since, with the exception of a couple of ultra-silent fans, the thing is otherwise a solid chunk of metal and soldering. There is no competition, and the 11" doesn't even bill itself as a netbook. And it does all of that while actually outperforming larger high-powered laptops at certain disk-intensive tasks. You'd be amazed what you can do with the thing from a performance standpoint.
So more power to other hardware vendors producing better slim laptops, be they hybrids or netbooks. They've got to do that if they want to keep selling small laptops in the coming years as they are losing ground with this cheaper-is-better philosophy. A cheap laptop is great, but not if the keys fall out after six months and it runs with all of the speed of a sleeping sloth when doing so meagre a task as firing up Notepad.
I also agree with the counterpoints above. Hackintoshing was a fairly common practice amongst writers prior to the MBA revamp. Jobs sure tried to convince us we don't need ultra-portable laptops during the iPad announcement, but hardly anyone that actually *works* on these things took any of that seriously. But just the existence of hackintoshing and Linux HowTos for installing distros on these things means there is something transcending the OS here: a form factor we all want.
Before the MBA came out, I used my netbook as a portable writing machine. I didn't bother hackintoshing it, but there is just a big difference between something that weighs several pounds and is full of delicate machinery, and something lightweight, the size of a large book, and durable.
These really are the ultimate writing machines on the go, and if Windows Scrivener users can have access to a nice solid machine like the MBA, that's great.
That all said, once I get home and I'm back in front of my main computer with its 27" monitor and constant external backups and so on---yeah, I'm not using the MBA or any other micro laptop. I think as said above, it's the combination that appeals so much to writers. Writing outside of the home is just essential for many of us, and being able to stow our entire toolkit with no more difficulty than one would stow a magazine in a bag is just what the psychiatrist ordered.