MacBook Air’s unremovable battery

John Gruber posted a great first look at the MacBook Air, chiding the tech media about its enclosed battery, and I couldn’t agree more:

No swappable battery. I think this aspect is going to play out exactly as it has with the iPhone: (a) there’s going to be a ton of criticism from the gadget and tech press decrying this as a terrible decision; and (b) the vast majority of users don’t care and won’t mind the sealed battery at all. Seriously, the press is not going to shut up about this — you can’t go 10 feet in the Expo media room without hearing someone complain about it.

I personally like carrying an extra charged battery with me on long trips, but it wouldn’t keep me from buying an Air if I otherwise wanted one.

Amen, brother. Folks need to get their heads around this.

Seriously, THIS is why you don’t like the machine, tech press? Really? I think Apple takes a long hard look at how their users actually USE their computers and aims for the sweet spot.

I have a MacBook Pro. It’s a great, great portable notebook computer. Guess what? 95% of the time it’s sitting, plugged-in on my desk at work, then on my desk at home. I never, EVER take the battery out. I don’t even own a second one. I don’t know how much they cost, and I barely know how to remove it in the first place. My wife has a MacBook: same thing. Doesn’t remove the battery, it stays plugged in days and weeks at a time, only to be untethered for an hour here or there on the couch or dining room table.

Note: Don’t flame me because you carry 3 batteries with you everywhere, and you’re the first one to whip out your MacBook the instant the captain turns off the seatbelt sign.

I’m well aware of the use case for multiple batteries, and why removing them is a feature. I just think the product team made a conscious decision to target a persona that isn’t so advanced, and doesn’t want to worry about it. Certainly the five hour battery life spec of the MacBook Air reflects that.

Five hours is a long flight anywhere–and since you won’t have a battery-hogging optical drive spinning, you can watch all the iTunes-rented movies you want in that timeframe. 🙂