MacBook Air 13in review
The MacBook Air was already one of the thinnest laptops around, yet Apple has somehow managed to shrink it even further. The new Air is unbelievably thin for a 13in laptop, but because the entire chassis is built from a single piece of aluminium it feels very strong. There's not an ounce of flex in the keyboard tray and all the ports have been expertly machined. All-round build quality is excellent, and the silver rounded body oozes style.
In order to make the new model even thinner than the original, Apple has taken a leaf from the iPad and replaced the traditional hard disk with solid state storage. Because an SSD doesn’t spin up like a mechanical hard disk, it can resume from sleep mode in less than two seconds.
Apple persists in using a Core 2 Duo processor in the Air, so it can continue to fit an Nvidia chipset. The processor is hardly cutting edge, so the overall score of 63 in our multimedia benchmarks was unsurprising. Everything still felt very responsive during day-to-day use, however. Because the processor is an ultra-low voltage model, the Air lasted almost six hours in our light-use battery test, and should manage an impressive 30 days in standby mode.
If you’re only familiar with Windows, Apple’s operating system can take some getting used to; particularly if you use a lot of Windows-only programs, as you’ll have to find Mac-compatible alternatives.
There’s a lot of useful software included as standard,including the iLife productivity suite for photo and video editing, Safari web browser and Time Machine backup utility. If you not ready to make a full switch, Boot Camp lets you install a copy of Windows beside OS X.
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