It's rather well-known that Steve Jobs doesn't like Netbooks, which he calls "slow, low-quality displays" that run "old PC software." And who would like a computer like that? I know I wouldn't.
However, as you more often than not should take what Jobs says with a grain of salt, Netbooks don't have to be that way. Case in point: the all-new MacBook Air. More specifically, the $999 11.6-inch 2010 version of what Jobs called "the third kind of notebook."
The computer meets every criterion of a modern high-end Netbooks. It's small and light, doesn't have an optical drive, has a limited number of peripheral ports, a limited amount of storage space, and a small screen. And most of all, it's relatively cheap (for an Apple product, that is.)
Of course, it can't be called a Netbook yet when it's not running Windows, which, however, can be fixed relatively easily.
Now that we've settled with the category, to Jobs' credit, he has just created the best Netbook ever. The MacBook Air is arguably the only Netbook on the market that is not only comparable with laptops but, in some cases, outdoes them in terms of performance.
Just to see how well it does, I tested it against a few laptops with similar specs: the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge, the HP Pavilion dm3-1002, the Dell Inspiron 1470, the Acer Aspire TimelineX, and the same MacBook Pro that I used here. All of these machines run Windows 7. … Read more