How will Windows Vista Aero play with Apple's MacBook Air? On the first day of the Macworld Conference & Expo 2008 Apple introduced the world's thinnest notebook: MacBook Air. The new ultrathin portable Mac, featuring an elegant approach to industrial design, has managed to stir a consistent volume of reverberations even though it has just been introduced. And of course that one of the questions Apple will do everything to avoid providing an answer to is how well will the new MacBook Air play with Windows Vista? As Vista is nothing short of a resource hog, it all comes down to the hardware packed into the “thin air”.
Well... in terms of hardware specifications Apple has had to make some necessary trade-offs for the sake of the design that was aiming toward the thinest notebook worldwide. “We’ve built the world’s thinnest notebook—without sacrificing a full-size keyboard or a full-size 13-inch display,” Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, applauded the company's design. But the machine does come with inherent caveats, associated with the sacrifices Apple did make. But of course it is all a matter of making the right move.
Apple has in fact cut an optical from the machine relying exclusively on the wireless connectivity capabilities. In addition, MacBook Air also fails to include a video card. Instead the computer comes with an Intel GMA X3100 graphics processor, that delivers 144MB of DDR2 SDRAM. Because the graphics card is integrated in the chipset, the GPU's memory will be taken out of the main system memory. Fortunately, there is more than enough of that to go around. And you should also know that Intel has given assurances that the Mobile Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 supports Aero with no problems.
“MacBook Air is powered by Intel Core 2 Duo processors running at 1.6 GHz or 1.8 GHz, and includes as standard 2GB of memory and an 80GB 1.8-inch hard drive. An optional 64GB solid state drive contains no moving parts for added durability. Every MacBook Air includes a micro-DVI port so users can connect to Apple’s gorgeous 20-inch or 23-inch Cinema Displays to extend their desktop or connect to projectors and other displays via DVI, VGA, Composite and S-video adapters. MacBook Air includes USB 2.0 for plugging in peripherals, a headphone jack and Apple’s acclaimed MagSafe Power Adapter designed especially for mobile users,” Apple revealed.
Taking into consideration the fact that the minimum recommended system requirements for Windows Vista (looking at the Ultimate, Business, Enterprise and Home Premium) editions start with a 1 GHz CPU, at least 1 GB of RAM, 128 MB of graphics memory and a 40-GB hard disk, the MacBook Air is more than capable of running Windows Vista. And the requirements for the Vista Basic SKU are even lower. After all, Jobs touted the machine as a high-performance notebook. Air also comes with an important software component: Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and Leopard brings to the table Boot Camp. And Boot Camp means that users can run the 32-bit versions of Windows XP or Windows Vista. Of course that without an optical drive, there is still the small matter of how to get Vista or XP installed on Apple's MacBook Air.
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