Speaking of the MacBook Air, Erica Ogg speculates on what possible ways everyone’s favorite laptop can be advanced now that it is already so thin, so fast, and so affordable:

It’s very hard to get much thinner than the Air and still have a traditional notebook form factor. Take away too much and you essentially wind up with the iPad.

So it’s going to have to come with advances in software, in interfaces and new forms of input, like voice and touch, and the continual improvement in battery size, life, and — while we know chips will regularly get faster — how manufacturers deal with heat dissipation and battery life in conjunction with those chips’ advances.

Erica is so close, and yet so far. I think she’s right that we’ll see Siri come to the Mac, and she’s right that if you take much more away from the Air you’ll start to get near to an iPad. But she cites that as something to be avoided. I think that is exactly where things are headed. Not that the Airs will cease to exist, but that the ways in which an iPad can replace a laptop are daily become more prevalent, and the gap between an Air and an iPad is only going to get smaller — and that is all by design.

What Comes After the MacBook Air?