Stephen Hackett, writing in his MacStories column:
Today, all of our notebooks are thin and light. We’ve traded our optical drives in for a series dongles and our spinning hard drives for fast, silent SSDs.
It wasn’t always like this. Once upon a time, notebooks had optical drives and a full array of ports, complemented by features like removable batteries.
A decade ago, we entered the current era of notebook design when Steve Jobs pulled the future out of an envelope.
The MacBook Air was a real astonishing product when it first launched, and the envelope presentation shocked quite a lot of people.
Stephen, goes into a lot of detail in his article, where he discusses things like the overall design, the IO it had, and also some of the issues it had.
Along with the article, he also produced another of his insightful videos: