Apple updated its MacBook Air line now at WWDC, and we got our hands on the latest 11-inch Air to start reviewing. Stay tuned for all of that soon, but for currently here are the details.
Apple's newest MacBook Airs don't replace the equation, but they do skill the product further with latest Intel fourth-gen "Haswell" processors and some latest features like improved 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
The Air's base price remains $999, making it the cheapest MacBook in town. But you make more for your money: 128GB of SSD storage space, as different to 64GB last year. The step-up $1,199 model doubles that storage space to 256GB. Upgrading to 512GB costs fewer than last year, too: You can make an 11-inch 512GB Air for $1,499 -- not low-cost, but at last a price range that's more acceptable.
Swap someone’s 2012 MacBook Air with the 2013 model and he’ll not know the difference until he starts using it. Cosmetically, it’s identical to last few year's version: Same aluminum unibody construction, same ports, same 1,366x768-pixel 11.6-inch screen, same keyboard and clickable track pad.
That formula works; actactualityty, the Air’s still one of the best-feeling laptops, all-around, that exists. But, it’s no longer a cutting-edge design. It is, however, a almost ideal one for standard laptop use.
Keep in mind, Apple doesn’t care for to make sweeping design changes to its products every year...Or even every three years. The thicker MacBook Pro's stayed virtually identical-looking since 2008. The Air, too, has settled into a form. Kudos to Apple for figuring out a formula that worked and kept back somewhat timeless, but it’s not exciting, latest stuff.
The 11-inch Air doesn’t make any compromises: It’s virtually the same machine as the bigger 13-inch Air, from the processors to the integrated graphics to RAM and SSD storage space options. All you’re giving up on the slighter Air, it seems, is the smaller screen and less battery life (and an SD card slot). The 11-inch Air’s closed the gap large time.
A new dual-core fourth-generation Intel Core i5 processor be supposed to offer a decent bump more than last year, but the graphics and SSD speed possibly will be even larger factors. Apple claims the latest SSD technology in these Airs offers significant speed improvements more than last year’s model.
Intel’s latest fourth-gen Core i5 and i7 processors are geared on the way to ultra books setting things up perfectly for the Air. Indeed, the 9-hour and 12-hour battery life claims on the extra Airs are a large step up from the 5- and 7-hour battery results we got as soon as we reviewed final year's models. Of course, these processors should also offer more or less speed bumps over last year. Once again, dual-core Core i5 and i7 processors are the options.
Graphics make a bump up to Intel HD 5000, which, based on our original CNET tests on Haswell laptops, ought to provide another useful step up in gaming and photo/video bring about.
Count 802.11ac Wi-Fi as one more performance boost, providing you have an 802.11ac-capable router like Apple's latest Air Port Express and Time Capsule; 802.11ac is a new Wi-Fi standard that's appearing in many new PCs this year.
last 11-inch MacBook Apple Air gets big battery support
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