The Influence of the MacBook Air on Laptops

January 16th, 2018 saw the MacBook Air’s tenth year of existence. Apple’s trend-setting laptop revolutionised the laptops that are available today. Not only that, it changed the laptop market; pushing other companies to improve their models to compete.

Apple Didn’t Like the Optical Disk Drive

When the MacBook Air launched a decade ago, it was the first laptop to not have an optical disk drive. It was the very first high profile, premium laptop to not have one. Users had to buy an attachment or use Apple’s remote disk feature.

By excluding the optical disk drive, Apple was signalling to other companies that a change needed to be made. It was clear that the public would buy a laptop without a disk drive included. Today, it’s extremely rare to find a laptop with an optical disk drive. More data is available online today than ever before so the demand for an optical disk drive has dramatically reduced. The Macbook Air was a clear indicator that this once common and essential aspect of a laptop needed to be abandoned.

Goodbye Removable Batteries

Laptop batteries once had to be replaced once they ran out. When the MacBook Air was released, it was the first high-profile laptop that didn’t have a replaceable battery. This was a risk at the time as it had never been considered before. However, it was clearly a success considering all modern laptops are chargeable and most likely don’t have a removeable battery.

Clutter Reduction

Unnecessary clutter was rife amongst laptop hardware ten years ago. The original MacBook Air tried to omit this by excluding the SD Card slot. It only included a single USB port which was hidden under a metal flap, although Apple brought the SD Card slot back and got rid of the metal flap. Nevertheless, this wasn’t a failure, it led to much less clutter on laptops today.

The MacBook Air Launched Thinner Laptops

An overwhelming majority of laptops today have a thin, light hardware and a wedge-shaped design. The Macbook Air pioneered the wedge design that appears on current laptops like the Dell XPS 13. The more refined design allowed manufacturers to have a light laptop but without sacrificing overall performance.

Whether or not people owned a MacBook Air, there’s no doubt that it was influential. Laptops that are marketed today have developed significantly. Although some have entirely original features, they arguably wouldn’t exist without the creation of the MacBook Air.

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