Technology history First Macbook Air 13 years ago today, the fate of the DVD was sealed

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On January 15, 2008, Apple introduced the Macbook Air. It was so slim that it could fit in an envelope. But the thin notebook caused fierce controversy.

It was a simple but impressive effect: on January 15, 2008, Apple founder Steve Jobs pulled the first Macbook Air out of a standard envelope. He wanted to show how thin and slim the laptop is, which should reinvent mobile working. With the Mabook Air, Apple provided a boost in the market for ultraportable notebooks, which require low weight and a flat casing. It measures 0.4 centimeters at its thinnest point, and even at the thickest, at 1.9 centimeters, it is still slimmer than most devices from other manufacturers, Jobs boasted at the time. With the unibody housing milled from one piece of aluminum, it clearly stood out from the plastic Macbooks.

Less weight, even fewer connections

However, the slim weight was bought with many compromises: Although the Macbook Air had a full keyboard and a comparatively large screen, almost all connections common at the time have been deleted. There was only one USB port, a micro-DVI socket and a headphone jack. In addition, for the first time Apple did without an optical drive for CDs and DVDs in a notebook. Instead, an optional external DVD drive was offered for around 100 euros. This caused a lot of controversy.

The reactions to the Macbook Air were mixed: the portability was well received by many users, but the few connections, the lack of a drive, the non-replaceable battery and the high price were criticized.

+++ Read here: 40 things that you probably didn’t know about Apple +++

Apple fixed some of the weaknesses in later models. The basic principle did not change, however: The Macbook Air was a harbinger of the wireless future, as the company from Cupertino imagined. As a result, there was also no Ethernet connection. By default, the Apple-Luftikus could only access the Internet via WiFi. If you wanted to use an Ethernet cable, you also had to buy a USB adapter. A topic that many users are still familiar with today.

The Macbook Air has been completely redesigned

Since then, Apple has been offended several times in this regard: The redesigned Macbook from 2015 only had a USB-C and a headphone jack. In 2016, Apple even deleted the headphone jack on the iPhone 7, which again met with fierce criticism. In 2017, the iconic home button was even removed from the iPhone X. However, none of the radical steps had a noticeable impact on sales.

On October 30, 2018, Apple presented a completely redesigned version of the MacBook Air in New York after a long break – for the first time it got a high-resolution retina screen. This variant was replaced a few weeks ago by a new model with the first in-house Mac processor, which delivers a significant increase in performance with a simultaneous increase in battery life (read the review of the current Macbook Air with M1 chip here).

Also read:

– Apple’s software boss Craig Federighi: “We’re not interested in finding out everything about you”

– Star exclusive: A visit to Apple’s secret laboratory in Cupertino

– Health offensive: The iPhone is no longer Apple’s most exciting product

– Unusual investment: these old iPods are worth a fortune

– Apps: The thumbnail-sized revolution

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