Apple unveiled a new version of the MacBook Air yesterday. The new 11.6-inch MacBook Air has with $999 the same price as the entry-level MacBook. How to decide between the MacBook and the MacBook Air? Both have the same price, but are actually very different. There are obvious differences in the hardware specifications, but I don't think you can compare them on face value.
The MacBook has a larger screen with 13.3-inch, a faster CPU with 2.4Ghz Core Duo, larger storage with 250GB HDD and double the battery life. Judging based on these specifications the MacBook looks to be much more powerful, but it is "old" technology. The new $999 MacBook Air has 64GB flash storage instead of a slow hard-drive. It is supporting instant-on and in overall usage it might actually feel faster than the MacBook. We still have to wait for the first benchmark tests of the MacBook Air to confirm this.
The new MacBook Air also features a real 16:9 display with a resolution of 1,366x768px compared to 1,280x800px on the 13.3-inch MacBook. The MacBook Air just weighs with 1.06kg half as much as the MacBook. This is for me enough to balance out the 50% lower battery life.
Especially if you think of making a MacBook a Holiday gift for a lucky someone, the MacBook Air is the way to go. It is just looks a ton more attractive than the white and almost bulky looking MacBook (1.08-inch versus 0.11-0.68inch).
Is the MacBook dead? In a sense it is. I would not buy it or buy it as a gift for anyone anymore. If you want a Mac as an entry-level general purpose computer it might still have its place, but the MacBook in this form has no future.