Excerpt: Intel's roll-out of their 4th generation Haswell-based Core series processors has been a little pokey, quite frankly, when you compare this launch to the deluge of products that hit the market when Ivy Bridge broke cover last year. Regardless, Apple always seems to have an inside track on Intel's latest technology and so, as it turns out, our first Haswell-powered notebook has finally arrived and it's none other than the Apple MacBook Air .
Pros: Hello Haswell! Great performance, Sleek, light-weight design, Thin, sturdy and smudge-resistant, Wicked-Fast PCIe SSD, Impressively-long battery life, Priced $100 less than previous gen
Summary: Laptop Magazine's Mark Spoonauer calls it "the best ultraportable value on the market." If every ounce counts, the 11-inch MacBook Air (Est. $1,000 and up) delivers roughly the same performance for $100 and a half-pound less. For more power, features and an eye-popping screen, consider stepping up to the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
Pros: Longest battery life, Fast, responsive performance, Iconic thin, light design sets the standard, Lower price than last year
Cons: Lower- res screen than rivals, No optical drive, Ethernet or HDMI port
Summary: Apple hasnâ€™t changed the exterior of the 13-inch MacBook Air, and thatâ€™s no bad thing because we love its lightweight, stylishly slim looks. The real story is in the extended battery life, which laptop users are going to love. Storage is increased in both size and performance, and the addition of 802.11ac Wi-Fi is another huge step forward.
Some may find the 128GB of the lower-priced system confining and we'd recommend the upgrade to 8GB of RAM for all users.
Conclusion: The 13-inch Air’s new $1,100 starting price undercuts competitors like the ASUS Zenbook X31A-DH71 and Acer Aspire S7 , but it puts Apple in an uncomfortable position. For the first time in years, the company is selling based on price rather than quality.
Pros: Good build quality, Long battery life, Extremely quick solid-state storage
Cons: Design is now just average, Limited port selection, Low-resolution display with no option to upgrade, PC alternatives are a better value
Conclusion: We should also note that the Air is almost free of the famous Apple price premium—there are cheaper ultrabooks, but most of the models with 1080p screens and thinner profiles cost more than $1,099. Sometime around the eighth or ninth hour, awarding the Air an Editors' Choice became an easy decision.
Pros: Phenomenal battery life, Class-leading keyboard and touch pad, As slim and elegant as ever
Summary: The MacBook Air 13-inch is a marathon runner of a notebook, offering all-day battery life in a design that's just as sleek and ergonomically perfect as before. For $1,099, you also get blazing fast flash memory and much improved graphics performance. The only thing missing is a sharper display, although the Air's screen is still as bright and colorful as before.
Pros: Very long battery life, Faster flash memory, Improved graphics performance, Excellent keyboard and touchpad, Relatively loud speakers, Great webcam
Cons: Lower-res screen than competition, Fan can get noisy when playing games, Competing ultraportables are lighter
Apple MacBook Air MC504LL/A Review (13-inch model) (3)
23 January 2013
Conclusion: We give the conclusion from both the Apple user and the Windows user’s perspective. In my case I still think that MacBook Pro is the best option as your workhorse and I have combined it with the iPad for real mobile use and fun. However, the MacBook Air does offer some advantages for those users who don’t do as much video editing as I do, and hence can do with less processing power.
Pros: Fast operating system start-up and shutdown times., Quiet operation, Beautiful screen with a high resolution (1440 by 900), Nice design: Compact but robust Unibody, Complete software package for multimedia editing, Good battery life and very high standby time, Multi-touch trackpad
Cons: 256GB Flash Storage is not much, neither is 2GB RAM, No backlit keyboard, Limited connectivity: no connectivity accessories supplied, No optical drive, No protective sleeve, which you would expect for a mobile device like this., When opening the MBA and pushing the screen back results in lifting the bottom part because of the low weight. Using two hands solves the problem of course., High costs
Conclusion: If you’re looking for an ultraportable, the Air should definitely be on your list. It’s thin, light and portable. The Air has an attractive design. It’s well put together, offers more than enough performance for most mobile users, and has a good screen. For business users there are still some caveats with the Air including inability to get WWAN, limited upgrades and the lack of stepped up support options.
Pros: Simple and Elegant Design, Good Build Quality, Snappy Performance with ULV CPUs and SSDs, Above Average LCD, WXGA+ Resolution, Good Battery Life, MagSafe Power Connector
Cons: Stiff Noisy Trackpad Button, No Upgrades for Hard Drive or Memory, Non-User Replaceable Battery, No WWAN, No Software Support after 90 Days
Conclusion: When Apple released the re-designed Air in 2010, we gave it a score of 8.5 out of 10 and an editor’s choice award. At the time, we were impressed by the performance of the Air, considering its absurdly thin size.
Pros: Excellent backlit keyboard, Glass touchpad is still great, Beautiful high-resolution display, Surprisingly enjoyable audio, Second-gen Core i5 packs a punch, Absurdly thin and light
Cons: Average battery life, Port selection remains limited, Can become too warm for lap use, Gaming performance takes a step back
Excerpt: When we did our review of the new MacBook Air , we had not yet taken it on a long journey. Over the holidays we had that chance on a trip from North Carolina to Wisconsin and back. And we found that the MacBook Air is a delight to use on the road in many situations. The first thing we used it for was simple Internet surfing and some writing while in the car.