7 Notable Feature Defects in Apple Macbook Air

The Apple Macbook Air was launched with much fanfare as the world’s thinnest notebook. But delving into the technical specifications, there are some essential features that the Macbook Air Lacks, which is a big compromise on a modern day laptop just for thinness. Fondly being called MBA, if its not just the lightest notebook you want, you might like to read what’s missing…

Apple Macbook Air

Top Features Macbook Air Lacks

1. No User replaceable Battery – Most busy travellers carry spare batteries to avoid the limited battery times provided by a single battery. Long air flight and airport waiting can easily drain your battery. The integrated lithium-polymer battery will of course run for those 5 hours or more, but then you need to go searching for a power source. With no option to change the battery yourself, it is a serious issue for busy users. You need to buy the Apple MagSafe Airline Adapter to plug it into your airline seat power port and keep your MacBook Air powered up for the entire journey.

2. No Optical Drive – A basic CD-ROM/writer drive is an essential component of all laptops or computers. I believe we need at least a basic CD read and write capability with our computers. As DVD writers are becoming common, a laptop with no optical drive is very limiting. Did I mention you cannot watch DVD movies now… For software installations, they are relying on the Remote Disc feature that allows you to access the DVD or CD drive of a nearby Mac or Windows PC by the MacBook Air SuperDrive.

3. No Ethernet – I need to use dial up internet access at times. Broadband access and Wifi is limited in many countries. Buying a modem to support my internet access is limiting. You will need to buy an Ethernet adaptor that connects to virtually any Wi-Fi network. Although 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 are present.

4. Only 1 USB Port – Everything is running on USB ports these days, be it the additional printer, powerful speakers, extra mouse etc. and a modern laptop with 1 USB port is very limiting. You will need to buy a USB hub which supports multiple USB ports to network more stuff. And as you read on, there are many more gadgets you will need to attach via this single USB port.

5. No Microphone socket – As the world get more social, international calling rates get cheaper, and internet voice chat is the new mode of communication, a microphone socket is a basic requirement for clear communication. Podcasters might miss this.

6. Limited Hard disc Storage – As new computer models are edging at 160GB-250GB, buying an expensive notebook like Apple Macbook Air with limited 80GB hard disc storage and then scout for new extra data storage devices is a problem.

7. No FireWire port – This port is becoming a standard for connecting several electronic gadgets like digital video camcorders. Now importing your digital videos might need a new way to network.

More nitpicks –
2GB RAM – While it suffices for most people, but you cannot upgrade it. 4GB RAM will soon become a standard and more memory hogging applications will come up, then 2GB RAM might seem limiting.

High Price – You can buy a more powerful feature rich notebook for lesser prices in competitor models, even in the Mac range. But if you wish to own the thinnest notebook in the world, it is expected to have premium pricing.

Final word…if you decide to buy
Remember you have a unique, very powerful notebook in your hand, created by the quality trusted Apple brand and many of these factors were essential to fit everything into the thinnest notebook in the world. For those who want to make a style statement holding the Macbook Air, its a powerful peace of art, and maybe a feature or less would do…


  1. Michael says:

    There are only two things on this list that would bother the average person, that’s the one USB port and the high price.

  2. Baris Unver says:

    Actually I read that the notebook comes with a USB to ethernet adaptor, but that way it fills the only USB port.

    Well then, we can say that even if Apple sells bitten and rotten apples, they can make billions of dollars with their magical advertising talent.

  3. Cody says:

    Actually my 13.3″ Dell Latitude only has one USB port and no optical drive…but it’s a heck of a lot thicker and heavier than the macbook air…plus my batter only lasts 2-3 hours maximum. I think Apple has pulled off a grand accomplishment with this. When I think of a laptop, my first thought is ultraportable, not necessarily functionality. I think the Air is geared towards a lot of people like me, who just want something simple and portable.

  4. Jamie Harbison says:

    Macbook Air is a great idea for the next generation, but sure, it falls short in a a few areas. I’m always wishing for a smaller macbook. But no CD drive? and no ethernet?

    THis machine is a year ahead of its’ time…and that’s why I wouldn’t buy it…I like cool, but sometimes there is no option BUT no ethernet internet??…and how do i rip my CDs…?

    This laptop is lacking…

    I’ll stick with my MacBookPro 17inch for now…

  5. Nick says:

    1. it comes with a ethernet adapter.
    2. with a little bit of shooping around you can find a 4 gb flash drive for about $15
    3. with some more shopping around you can find a pretty inexpensive usb hub.
    4. most people don’t need a microphone to talk to people in other countries…but im sure you can find an adapter for that too.

  6. Walt Ribeiro says:

    I think in a few years the MBA is going to be the way to go. As SSD become more affordable, and downloadable medium becomes more common, the MBA will be a winner. Until then, I think I’m going to wait.

  7. Lerato says:

    I agree with what has been said above as I own one and know the hassle with the one USB port. Worse still is that the optical drive does not work once you connect it to a multi USB and as a result, you are not able to install a printer. its nice, expensive but not very user friendly especially if you were used to a pc. Setting it all up is also not easy and it is a bore that you always need to go back for help and support. I did purchase the office for mac software.

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