Review: MacBook Air – tiny but mighty
Apple has just refreshed its line of ultrathin laptop computers and also introduced an all-new smaller 11-inch model.
The MacBook Air this time around has actually taken some features from Apple’s stablemate iPad to given it an even thinner profile which is just 1.7cm at it thickest point that tapers down to just 0.3cm.
One of these is flash storage – much like a memory card – rather than the bulkier hard disk drive to help keep it slim and light.
The device can rest in standby mode for up to 30 days and can be turned on instantly to access data in seconds.
Booting up the device was super quick – around 12 seconds. In fact when I hit the on button it was already up and ready to go before I had a chance to plug in the USB receiver for my Logitech M305 mouse.
Even opening up applications was super quick. They popped open faster on the MacBook Air than they did on my Intel Core i7 27-inch iMac.
Again that comes back to the solid state memory which access data faster than a regular hard disk drive.
To maintain its lightweight and sleek profile there is no optical DVD drive. For many users, including myself, this is only a feature we only needed some of the time – not all of the time.
If the need arises to install a CD or DVD the MacBook Air has a feature called Remote Disc which can connect to a desktop iMac or PC and wirelessly use its built-in drive to load software or data.
A Superdrive can be bought separately and then just be plugged in whenever you need it.
Also included are a webcam and the large multi-touch trackpad which has plenty if room for gesture controls.
Another strength of the MacBook Air is the battery life. I could power through an entire days work before I need to look for a power point. Battery life, according to Apple is up to seven hours which we found to be about right.
Our only criticism is the decision not to add keyboard backlighting (already a feature of the MacBook Pro range) which, in darker conditions, automatically illuminates the keys.
This is a great feature for people who have to write on dark environments like aboard a plane.
This light and easily-portable device was built for travel so we found this decision a little bewildering.
For our use we found the screen gave off enough light to help me see the so it wasn’t a deal breaker for me. Others may think differently though.
Price: $1199 (11-inch 64GB), $1499 (11-inch 128GB), $1599 (13-inch 128GB), $1949 (13-inch, 256GB)