January 15th, 2008

buzzed, B&W

MacBook Air

The new MacBook Air looks like a pretty slick machine, especially if you have the cash to blow on the 64 gig SSD.

Buut no built-in ethernet port and $29 extra for a USB dongle for ethernet. So, the laptop fits in an envelope, but if I want to use it in a wired environment, I've got to have a dongle hanging off of it. Lame.

Integrated battery is sort of lame too. I realize laptop batteries have gotten a lot better (I went through 3 on my original Inspiron 2100, and I'm still on my first with my Dell 700m, but still.
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buzzed, B&W

Brand Loyalty

My brother made a comment this weekend about how REI was expensive, as his girlfriend was buying some Burton mittens, and they were maybe 15% cheaper at Sportsman's Warehouse. While REI does tend to be expensive, I'm willing to pay the premium. First off, as a member, I get around 10% back. I get a little less than that since I pay using my Discover card, which costs me 3% I think. So, REI is still expensive. But, the staff there tends to be helpful, plus they carry better brands than most chain sporting good stores.

Relatedly, Apple is another brand that has strong loyalty. My step-sister seems to think I'm a bit of an idiot for not being an Apple fanatic. Tony's girlfriend is a bit more rational, and while she'll admit that she drinks the Kool Aid and is a total Apple fan-girl, she's not trying to convert others. Apple also charges a premium and gets away with it. Both REI and Apple play off a bit of elitism, but Apple has really refined this niche. Their Think Different campaign is a great example of this, making Apple purchasers believe themselves to be unique, better than the common man. The current campaign with the dorky PC vs. the hip Mac plays on this more, highlighting the PC as stoic, old-school, etc, while the Mac is cool, young, easy to use, and by osmosis so are Mac users.