Thin laptops – Macbook Air wasn’t the first !

sony-vaio-x505Thanks to the innovation, aesthetics, and advertisement, Apple Macbook Air is the only name that comes to minds of many when light and thin laptops are talked about.

As expected, Apple unveiled Macbook Air of smaller form factor in addition to the regular 13.3 inch model on October 20, 2010. The first of the thin and light-weight  Macbook was released on 2007.

More than a decade ago, in 1998, HP had released an ultrathin, 3-pound laptop named Sojourn. The $6,000 model at that time, made from magnesium, had 233-MHz Pentium MMX processor, 64MB of memory, a mere 1.0GB hard drive.

But, Apple’s Macbook resembles more like Sony’s 2004 release – an ultrathin wedge-shaped laptop. The nickel carbon body Sony Vaio X505 was 0.38 inches at the thinnest point and 0.83 at the thickest. Given the cutting edge 1.1 GHz Pentium M Processor and 1.8-pound system weight, was price at $3,000 at that time.


Actius MM20 docking station

When compared to MacBook Air, the thickness is 0.68 inches. That is, just 0.15 inches thinner when compared to a ’04 Sony model!

The Toshiba Portégé R100 was more closer to 2010 Macbook Air with 0.7 inches thick and 2.3 pounds weight, back in 2003. The Sharp Actius MM20 was a bit thick at 0.8 inches but lighter with only 2.0 pounds weight.

Everybody agrees that thin and lightweight didn’t appeal much until Apple started building the MacBook Air (and start advertising aggressively too). The price were higher and the machine underpowered and although it still is true with current MacBook Air, they are at least in line other MacBook in term of price.

Thin and ultraportable might be “the future of notebooks,” as Steve Jobs told on Wednesday. But, with the entry of iPad and other tablets, the water is still murky and no one can be quite sure on what the future holds under it’s sleeve.


Photo credits – Apple, Sony, and Sharp


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