Original MacBook Air Explained

Original MacBook Air
Source: apple.com – Original MacBook Air

The Apple MacBook Air is a notebook computer initially introduced, manufactured, and marketed by Apple in 2008 as part of its line of MacBook Air computers. The launch date for this groundbreaking product was January 15, 2008, with an initial price point of $1,799.

At its debut, the Original MacBook Air also known as “MacBook Air Early 2008” revolutionized the world of laptops by claiming the title of the thinnest notebook available. Measuring an unprecedented 0.16 inches at its thinnest point and a maximum height of 0.76 inches, the MacBook Air surpassed its competitors in terms of sleekness and portability.

Despite its slender profile, the MacBook Air boasts a generous 13.3-inch LED-backlit widescreen display, a full-size backlit keyboard, a built-in iSight video camera facilitating video conferencing, and a spacious trackpad with multi-touch gesture support, allowing users to perform actions such as pinch, rotate, and swipe.

Under the hood, the MacBook Air is powered by either a 1.6 GHz or 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 4 MB L2 cache. Standard features include 2 GB of memory, an 80 GB 1.8-inch hard drive, and the latest 802.11n Wi-Fi technology alongside Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity.

MacBook Air
Source: apple.com – MacBook Air

Steve Jobs, the then-CEO of Apple, remarked on the MacBook Air’s revolutionary design, stating, “We’ve built the world’s thinnest notebook—without sacrificing a full-size keyboard or a full-size 13-inch display.” This sentiment underscores the MacBook Air’s commitment to performance despite its ultra-slim form factor.

Key features of the first-generation MacBook Air include its vibrant 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display, energy-efficient design, and intuitive multi-touch trackpad. The backlit keyboard enhances usability in various environments, while an ambient light sensor automatically adjusts brightness for optimal visibility.

In terms of battery life, the MacBook Air offers up to five hours of wireless productivity. Its AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi networking provides enhanced performance and range compared to previous iterations.

Additionally, users have the option to purchase the MacBook Air SuperDrive, an external drive designed specifically for the MacBook Air, enabling convenient access to optical media. However, with the rise of digital content consumption, many users may find wireless alternatives more convenient.

Internally, the MacBook Air is equipped with Intel Core 2 Duo processors, 2 GB of memory, and an 80 GB 1.8-inch hard drive, with an optional 64 GB solid-state drive available for added durability. Connectivity options include a micro-DVI port, USB 2.0, a headphone jack, and Apple’s MagSafe Power Adapter.

Each MacBook Air comes bundled with iLife ’08, featuring updated versions of iPhoto and iMovie, seamlessly integrated with the .Mac Web Gallery for online sharing. Furthermore, the MacBook Air runs on Leopard, offering features such as Time Machine for automatic backups, Quick Look for file previews, and enhanced Mail and iChat applications.

Original MacBook Air
Source: apple.com – Original MacBook Air

From an environmental standpoint, the MacBook Air demonstrates Apple’s commitment to sustainability, with features such as an aluminum enclosure, mercury-free LCD display with arsenic-free glass, and PVC-free internal components. The retail packaging also reflects eco-conscious practices, utilizing 100 percent post-consumer recycled material.

As of October 14, 2008, the MacBook Air has been discontinued, marking the end of an era. Nonetheless, its impact on the laptop industry and its enduring legacy remain significant.

Today, the Original MacBook Air celebrates its 16-year anniversary, a testament to its enduring influence on portable computing.

MacBook Air
Source: apple.com – MacBook Air

Original MacBook Air Details

IntroducedJanuary 15, 2008 – 16 years ago
ReleasedJanuary 30, 2008 – 16 years ago
DiscontinuedOctober 14, 2008 – 15 years ago
Last Software UpdateOctober 4, 2012 – 11 years ago
Time on the Market258 days (8 months)
Time of Support56 months (4 years)
Model IdentifierMacBookAir1,1
Model NumberA1237
EMC2142
Order NumberMB003LL/A
Original Price$1,799 (1.6 GHz and 80 GB HDD)
$3,098 (1.8 GHz and 64 GB SSD)
$2,598 (1.8 GHz and 64 GB SSD from July 8, 2008)
ColorsAluminum unibody
Weight3 Ibs.
1.360 KG
Dimensions0.16 – 0.76” H x 12.74” W x 8.9” D
0.40 – 1.93 cm H x 32.35 cm W x 22.6 cm D

MacBook Air Tech Specs

Processor

ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo P7500 “Merom” (1.6 GHz)
Intel Core 2 Duo P7700 “Merom” (1.8 GHz)
Processor Speed1.6 GHz
1.8 GHz
Architecture64-bit
Number of Cores2
System Bus800 MHz
Cache4 MB on-chip shared L2

Storage & Media

Storage80 GB (HDD)
64 GB (SSD)
Media1 – MacBook Air SuperDrive (Optional)

Memory

Built-in Memory2 GB DDR2 PC2-5300 SDRAM
Maximum Memory2 GB
Memory SlotsNone
Interleaving SupportYes

Display

Built-in Display13.3″ Color TFT glossy widescreen Display
Pixel Density114 dpi
Brightness300 cd/m²
Resolutions640 x 480
720 x 480
800 x 500
800 x 600
1024 x 640
1024 x 768
1152 x 720
1280 x 800 (native)

Graphics

Graphics CardIntel Graphics Media Accelerator GMA X3100
Graphics Memory144 MB DDR2 SDRAM*
Display Connection1 – Micro-DVI (S-Video, VGA, and Composite with adapter)
Display ModesDual display extended and video mirroring
External ResolutionUp to 1920 by 1200 pixels
CameraiSight (640 x 480)
*Minimum graphics memory usage is 144 MB. An additional 16 MB is required when using an external display

Expansion

Expansion SlotsNone
Hard Drive InterfaceParallel ATA (PATA)
BaysNone

Connections

Wi-FiAirPort Extreme Card 802.11b/g/n
EthernetUSB Ethernet Adapter MB442Z/A (Optional)
ModemApple USB Modem MA034Z/A (Optional)
BluetoothBluetooth 2.0 + EDR
Infrared1 – For Apple Remote Only
USB1 – 480 Mbps
Audio In1 – Built-in microphone
Audio Out1 – 3.5-mm analog output jack
1 – Built-in speaker
Display1 – Micro-DVI (S-Video, VGA, and Composite with adapter)
Security SlotNone

Sensors

Motion SensorSudden Motion Sensor (SMS)
Liquid SensorNone

Keyboard and trackpad

KeyboardBuilt-in Full-size 78-key (U.S.) or 79-key (ISO) incl. 12 function and 4 arrow keys, embedded keypad, ambient light sensor, illuminated
TrackpadSolid-state trackpad with Multi-Touch gesture support

Software

Original OSMac OS X 10.5.1
Later OSMac OS X 10.5.2
Mac OS X 10.5.4
Maximum OSMac OS X 10.7.5
FirmwareIntel Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI)
Bundled SoftwareMac OS X 10.5
iLife ’08 (includes iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iWeb, GarageBand)

Power

System BatteryIntegrated 37 W Lithium-Polymer
Backup BatteryNone
Battery LifeUp to 5 hours
Maximum Battery Cycles300
Maximum Continuous PowerUnknown
Line Voltage100-240 V AC
Power Adapter45 W MagSafe Power Adapter

Original MacBook Air Introduction Video

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Further Reading and References