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Here is a corker of a conundrum: the latest MacBook models, like the Air, is a revolutionary laptop and unique for both its weight and size. And yet the Macbook Air is just like the original MacBook and the MacBook Pro. Well, for the most part. Even so, they share many similarities and a few of very striking differences between those three laptops models in the MacBook line. If you are considering purchasing a Macbook, I will help you decide whether you would like to stick with the contemporary laptop crowd or go ultra-thin.

One thing is for sure - For many years, Apple never does things mundane! Perhaps, you remember when Apple released those iMacs? Although iMacs shared the same general components as any computers - a keyboard, ports, monitor, cables, and speakers, - iMacs were revolutionary because it was entirely self-contained. And they came in colors. And it did not have a floppy drive. As a matter of fact, Apple had redesigned the ordinary computer with the focus on ease-of-use and style, and had scrapped the floppy drive (and rightly so, after we see how floppies were unreliable to boot and had become practically useless). Some people consider the MacBook Air is an extension in the iMac revolution. With the new design, Apple has focused its efforts on weight and physical dimensions, and has tossed many things that aren't absolutely necessary for most Macbook owners. However, you should be happy to note that Macbook Air is no toy, nor an underpowered subnotebook. You'll find the Macbook Air as fast as the regular MacBook and the Macbook Air even shares a few of the MacBook Pro features.

Consider the following similarities between the regular Macbooks and the Air:

  • Widescreen LCD screen: The Air has similar display size as other MacBook units. Same gorgeous graphics, same display resolution, (In fact, early MacBook Air and MacBook have similar internal video card)
  • Intel Core2Duo processor: The Air is run by the same kind of processor as its siblings.
  • Trackpad and keyboard: The Air has a full size keyboard, and it is even backlit, just like other MacBook models. The Air's trackpad supports the Multi-Touch control, too.
  • Leopard: All Macbook models have the latest Mac OS X version
  • Microphone and iSight: Every MacBook Air is video ready, with the same iSight webcam. You can record audio files with the integrated microphone as well.
  • Wireless support: All Macbook models have both integrated AirPort Extreme hardware (802.11n) and integrated Bluetooth adapter. 
Most Apple laptop owners should agree that no MacBook model is underpowered pushover.

Here is the checklist of obvious differences of each Macbook models:

  • Physical dimension: Apple does not call this laptop the Air for nothing! The latest Air laptop measures a mere 0.76"/1.94 cm in height (at the tallest point) when closed, 12.8"/32.5 cm in width, and 8.94"/22.7 cm in depth. Macbook measures 2.75cm /1.08" in height, 32.5 cm/12.8" in width and 22.7cm / 8.94" in depth. While Macbook Pro 17 in measures 2.5cm/ .98" in depth, 39.2cm /15.4" in width and 26.5cm/10.4" in depth. Well, hold on to the chair for this one: Our champ the Air weighs in at a lightweight 3 pounds, (that's a few pounds Air owners won't be carrying around everyday during their daily activities. With lighter laptop, you will feel an enjoyable difference in just a few hours.), while the biggest loser is Macbook Pro 17 in at 6.6 pounds!
  • Cost: There are a few variants for each Macbook model. An entry-level MacBook Pro will set you back $1,000, and the top-of-the-line Macbook Air is a whopping $3,000. The more expensive Macbook model comes with a very expensive, solid-state drive and a more powerful processor. If performance is your least concern, get the original Macbook for about $900.
  • Ports: The Air offers only 3 ports: one USB 2.0 port, a standard audio output jack, and also a Micro-DVI that supports an external video device or monitor. Notice I did not mention a FireWire port, which will be a big problem for most Apple old-timers. In other hand, other Macbook models may have up to 3 USB ports and also Firewire 800 port. Even so, Air owners can buy a USB hub to increase the number of available USB ports.
  • Battery design: Air owners can't swap the battery because it is sealed inside the laptop. While, owners of other Macbook models can replace the battery easily at home. (Think iPod.)
  • Case design: Air owners can't replace or add RAM modules. Even so, a MacBook Air has 2GB RAM, enough for common uses. Comparatively, the MacBook Pro and MacBook models come with or can be upgraded to 4GB RAM.
  • Speaker: The MacBook Air has only a speaker. 
  • Solid-state drive: Now we are talkin', Buck Rogers! Only the latest Air model has a 128GB Solid-State drive.
  • Optical drive: Whoa! This is certainly a big one. Apple thought that a typical Air user is likely to use wireless connections for transferring media and files. But what if you need to reinstall Leopard or latest applications? If you have to burn or read discs, an external USB SuperDrive is sold for about $100, or you may use the Remote Disc feature to share the files on another computer.
You can see that, these striking differences make the decision to buy a MacBook Air, a MacBook and a MacBook Pro is very easy indeed. The Air is intended for the travelers who appreciate minimum size and weight, but who does not want to sacrifice the performance, full-size keyboard, and full-size screen of a typical MacBook. You can see a MacBook Air as a racing car: nimble, with lower weight and no unneeded frills. (Think about a typical NASCAR car: Who needs a costly air conditioning or stereo?) If you prefer the extra versatility of a MacBook Pro or MacBook -including the regular set of ports, the ability to upgrade RAM and swap batteries, faster graphic card, and also a built-in optical drive - it is highly recommended that you stick with the contemporary MacBook Pro or original MacBook models.

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