Inspecting gadgets

A round-up of the latest executive gadgets, from the MacBook Air to Samsung's latest smartphone.

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By  Brid-Aine Conway Published  February 23, 2008

ACN rounds up the latest and greatest executive gadgets, from the much-discussed MacBook Air to Samsung's latest smartphone.

Apple MacBook Air

Steve Jobs certainly knows how to make a stir. His recent product launch of the MacBook Air has set the internet on fire with criticism and praise for Apple's offering in the ultra-portable laptop market.

The fact to be noted here, however, is that this is an ultra-portable - it isn't intended as a user's only PC. As such, a lot of the criticism around the built-in battery and lack of ports and drives is somewhat redundant.

In order to get the Air to its incredibly thin (1.94cm) and incredibly light (1.36kg) self, something had to go.

The lack of optical drive is common in ultra-portables and although only one USB port could be a problem for some users, that is why USB hubs were invented.

With built-in Bluetooth 2.1, peripherals like a keyboard and mouse shouldn't be a problem, and that is even if users would want them, given that there's no scrimping on keyboard size and there is a large multi-touch trackpad.

The built-in battery could be the biggest hurdle to overcome as many people carry a spare battery to extend laptop use. However, Apple is claiming five hours of battery life and the battery can be replaced by Apple when the time comes.

The ultra-portable market has plenty to offer, some of it at a much cheaper price than US$1,799 for 80Gbyte hard drive or $3,099 for 64Gbyte solid state (a price which could be higher in the Middle East).

But in the end, Jobs knows his market - those who love all things Apple and those who want technologies that look amazing, whatever the cost, will be queuing up for the Air when it is released mid-February in the Middle East.

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