We're still on waiting for the official 20,000 word review from John Mayer before we make our final decision, but tech journo heavyweights from USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Newsweek (with Pogue of the New York Times notably absent) have had their MacBook Airs for about a week now, and true to form are espousing some opinion on the slab of metal. Turns out there are few surprises, and you could probably draw the same conclusions from reading the spec sheets and drooling over the press shots like the rest of us losers. Battery life could be the biggest trouble point, with a couple guys rating it around 3.5 hours with heavy use, and even less when watching a movie on iTunes -- Apple's five hour prediction seems a bit optimistic. Nobody's thrilled about the stuff Apple cut out to get the size down, but it's hard for these guys to poo poo Apple's decisions outright (Levy's comparison to circumcision is downright uncomfortable, to say the least) since there's an undeniable sexiness to holding and using the Air. One nice perk of the underwhelming power is that the laptop doesn't run as hot as Apple's other portables, making it a winner in the "laptop" department. Oh, and 3G? Edward Baig says he asked Jobs about the much-rumored feature, and the idea was apparently tossed around, but eventually dropped due to the desire to give consumers a choice and to keep things slim. 160GB HDD? Again with the slimness. So if you need the sexiest and slimmest thing going, there's no question the MacBook Air fits the bill, but it certainly looks like Apple excluded a lot of potential customers with the compromises made.
Read - Edward Baig "Given the compromises, I don't expect anyone to use Air as their only computer." Read - Steven Levy "The things that Apple left on were the ingredients for a quality computer." Read - Walt Mossberg "If you rely on spare batteries, expect the usual array of ports, or like to play DVDs on planes, this isn't the computer to buy."