MacBook Air launches in the Middle East

World's thinnest notebook launched in ten countries across the Middle East

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By  Quintin Smith Published  March 11, 2008

Apple's MacBook Air, the world's thinnest notebook, measuring just 4mm at its thinnest point, is now available in the Middle East.

Arab Business Machines, Apple's independent marketing company for the Middle East is selling the notebook through its network of Apple Authorized Retailers and Resellers in Lebanon, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Local Apple Authorized Service Providers will be providing regional service and support.

The entry-level version of the MacBook Air is available in the UAE with an RRP of AED 8199, ranging to AED 13699 with all the optional upgrades.

The keyboard will be available in Arabic, though the OS will not.

The MacBook Air, first revealed at MacWorld in January, features a 1.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM, an 80GB hard disk and a built-in camera. Customers also have the option of upgrading to a 1.8GHz processor, DVD rewriter, or 64GB solid state hard drive which, while smaller, is faster and uses less power.

Using the unit's built in wifi, users can expect a battery life of around 5 hours.

Apple's claim to the world's thinnest notebook is disputed by Lenovo, which launched its own ultra-thin notebook last month. While Lenovo's Thinkpad X300 is a whopping 14mm thicker at its thinnest point, the ThinkPad packs an internal DVD drive, missing from the MacBook Air.

3442 days ago
Saad Rabia

I have been following MacBook Air news around the Internet and through some loyal tech friends that brought everybody some good "real" information about the MacBook Air. I don't want you to get me wrong here, this thing is crazy thin, but is it useful in anyway? Apple offers two versions of this product, in which each option is NOT upgradeable whatsoever, so if you buy the 1.6GHz version with 80 GB of disk space then you are completely stuck with it for a long time, stopping you from even adding more RAM or hard disk options. If you decide to buy the "little-bit" better option, then you are looking at a $1000 (3700 AED) extra money to pay! which has absolutely no real feature-worth advantage, and even if people say that SSD disks are better (which is only included in the much more expansive version), tests have shown that even though the writing and reading speeds are higher, the battery life is still almost the same with only 10 to 20 minutes of extra life. Compared to the Thinkpad X300, Air just loses in every aspect of the battle. While the Air is the thinner option, it misses a DVD drive, upgrading options, a fixed battery meaning that you can't even carry an extra battery with you just like many business men do, and the Air has only one single USB slot, one headphone plug and a video out slot, with no any other slots at all, leaving you paralyzed most of the time of your Air experience. The Air product design has got lots of criticism due to the unbelievably wrong placement of the USB and other 2 sots position; in many tests, a good amount of devices were hard to connect due to the wrongly fixed USB angle that Apple has designed, putting the Thinkpad X300 again in front of the Air since it features a "built-in" DVD writer, 3 USB slots, Headphones and Mic jacks, a touch pad and a trackball all in one, a 4 hours and 20 minutes tested removable battery, and the list goes on. Another huge concern people must think about is battery life. While Apple claims that you can get 5 hours of battery life while using WiFi, many tests from trusted computer labs such as PC World have found out that the battery life of an Air averages at 2 hours and 30 minutes, which if summed in one word, we could say "Bad". I and many others don't see where this "empty" notebook really fit in business world, and seeing way better competition from other companies makes the Air as ugly and crazy as it may sound. I advice every one who is about to buy a notebook: look for better deals, and don't get fooled by the hype. Apple Air Pros: 1. Thin. 2. Clean. 3. Revolutionary touchpad, with multi touch controls (which no one found useful due to limitation to specific software). 4. Crisp screen and colors. Air's Cons: 1. Bad battery life (2:30 hours average) 2. Big foot print, meaning that while it is thin, it has a fat base. 3. Strong design flows in jacks' placement. 4. 1 USB slot! 5. Extremely expansive when compared to competitors. 6. None-replaceable battery; if you go out of power on the road, you are probably screwed with no backup. 7. External DVD option, which adds another thing to carry around and destroys the main aim of the Air which is being mobile all the time. So the question is: Who is the MacBook Air made for? well, it is not made for business men because it is not practical at all; not for teenagers because it is too expansive and misses lots of important basic features; and definitely not for hardcore users because it is almost empty and not upgradeable. The Air is only made for people who want to show of at some meeting or at a convention or so, in other words, take it as another piece of cloth. My take: Buy a regular MacBook notebook and you get everything the Air misses with a reasonably same wight and little bit thicker, upgradeable features, or think about the Thinkpad X300 or many Sony Vaio options with cheaper price and more options.

3444 days ago
Sam Omar

Although quite beautiful to look at like most Apple Products, the Air is obviously over engineered to a point where its just real thin. And for a price tag like that that it doesnt carry a lot of BANG!!

3445 days ago
Magnus Nystedt

For pricing go to http://www.emiratesmac.com/forums/blog/4793-macbook-air-available-istyle.html

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