On Wednesday, Apple unveiled a shiny new MacBook Air with impressive tech specs — then quietly removed the old, entry-level white MacBook from its product lineup, sending it to "the big laptop sleeve in the sky." (Apple will still sell MacBooks to educational institutions, though.) Should we mourn the passing of the beloved plastic laptop, or celebrate its demise?

Apple may put off some customers: In making the super-thin MacBook Air its entry-level laptop, Apple "may be missing an opportunity to really appeal to newbies," says Larry Dignan at ZDNet. The sexier, ultra-light MacBook Air, in many ways, trumps the clunky, old MacBook. But I fear that, for Apple neophytes, the MacBook Air is too thin and delicate, too dependent on the cloud, and too pricey.
"Apple's MacBook Air: Really the 'ultimate everyday notebook'?"

It's about time Apple ditched the MacBook: "This was inevitable," says MG Siegler at TechCrunch. I dumped my MacBook Pro for a MacBook Air last year, and I've never looked back — it's a great computer. The newest MacBook Air is even better. "It's really fast and it handles OS X Lion extremely well." Some people may still need the additional power of the MacBook Pro, but for me, the Air has "just the right combination of portability and power." Hands down, it's "the best computer I've ever owned."
"The MacBook is dead. Long live The (new) MacBook Air."

This is the dawn of a new era: We're living (and buying our gadgets) in a "post-iPad world," says Scott Stein at CNET. The MacBook Air doesn't offer a lot of storage for the price, but cloud storage is increasingly ubiquitous. That "was the dangling promise behind the original concept of the MacBook Air." In the absence of the basic MacBook, Apple is now asking consumers to carefully choose between the iPad, the MacBook Air, and the MacBook Pro." Sure, "there isn't a MacBook for everyone anymore," but "maybe that's the point...."
"Can the MacBook Air replace the white MacBook? Maybe it's not trying to."

And the MacBook Pro could be next to go: Not only did the MacBook Air kill the old MacBook, but "the super-portable laptop has now become a serious rival to its big brother, the MacBook Pro," says Charlie Sorrel at CNN. With its faster processor, new Thunderbolt port, and backlit keyboard, the new MacBook Air threatens the MacBook Pro's "overweight existence." Sure, the MacBook Pro has a bigger screen, FireWire port, and optical drive, but it's also heavier and has less battery life. Clearly, "the Pro MacBooks are on their way out, destined to be the iPod Classics of Apple's laptop line."
"Newer, faster MacBook Airs launched, old plastic MacBook killed off"