Apple MacBook Air (13-inch): Review

In contrast to its predecessor, the new MacBook Air from Apple is no longer the only ultraslim laptop in the market. There are lots of Windows based ultrabooks that are up against the MacBook Air to give it tough competition. Like every year, this time too Apple has come up with modifications for its new product. The new MacBook Air has Retina Display, which imparts a display of much higher resolution than its predecessor and rivals. To cope with the competition, it will also see a price cut.

This article evaluates the different features of MacBook Air that will soon hit the retail stores.

Design and Display

Reviewers who have tested the new MacBook Air found that the Retina Display technology is much understated as compared to that of the MacBook Pro. The look and design does not differ much from the old MacBook Air either. Nevertheless, the Air is much lighter than any other 13 inch ultrabook in the market, weighing 2.96 pounds. Moreover, with a thickness of 0.11 inch it the most slender laptop that you can own till date.

The iconic Aluminum unibody design looks elegant as ever but it is susceptible to scratches. Users are advised to protect it with a covering right from the first day of usage. The new MacBook Air has been equipped with an upgraded version of the Magsafe connector, the Magsafe 2. It is wider and flatter than the older one and has made the new MacBook Air incompatible with other adapters.

As for the display, MacBook Air has a screen resolution of 1,440×900 pixels which is the maximum that is available on a 13-inch laptop. The aspect ratio is not 16:9 like its 11-inch counterpart and the screen is bordered by a silver bezel instead of the traditional black one.

Keyboard and Trackpad

Apple upgraded the MacBook Air keyboard with its re-launch last year. It was a backlit keypad with large finger-friendly and durable buttons that became an instant hit. The same keypad has been retained by Apple in its new 13-inch MacBook Air. However, MacBook Pro users may not find it very comfortable to type on it.

Coming to the trackpad, it is undoubtedly the best that the industry can offer you. The double-finger swipes, pinch-to-zoom and normal navigation functions are all similarly receptive in nature.

Operating System and New Apps

The new 13-inch MacBook Air comes loaded with the Mac OS X Lion. Enthusiasts who are willing to lay hands on the Mountain Lion will get a free upgrade. Rest of the users can get multiple licenses of Mountain Lion at a nominal price of $20. MacBook Air brings you new applications that are inspired by iOS. This includes a notification center, iMessage, integration for Facebook, Twitter and iCloud and Power Nap for keeping your apps updated when your machine is put on hibernation.

 Hardware and Performance

The base model of MacBook Air comes with a 1.8 GHz Core i5 processor, 4 GB of memory and 128 GB Solid State Drive (SSD) for storage. The performance has been improved significantly over the previous version of MacBook Air, according to reviewers though some of them argue that it cannot be concluded until the product is released in the market.

As for connectivity, the new MacBook Air is upgraded with two USB 3.0 and thunderbolt ports for high speed data transfer. Unfortunately, there will be no Ethernet and HDMI ports in this version which you can find in many Windows based ultrabooks today. You can plug-in SD cards but a part of them will stick out from the edge of the laptop making it look clumsy.

The first glimpse of the MacBook Air after unpacking will not give you a different impression of it from the earlier one except that there are a couple of new ports and an upgraded Magsafe adaptor. With passage of time, the Windows based ultrabooks are getting refurbished with Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors whereas Apple makes no attempt at hardware ‘do up’. Nevertheless, nothing beats the MacBook Air when it comes to performance. Moreover, the new generation MacBook Air lasts for an extra hour on battery. The design may require you to handle it with care but sophistication has not been compromised with.

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Apple MacBook Air (13-inch): Review
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