MacBook Air review, guide and deals

MacBook Air Overview

MacBook AirThe Apple MacBook Air broke new ground as an ultra-slim and portable laptop. Less than 2cm thick it comes in 11 and 13 inch versions which are amongst the lightest on the market. The MacBook Air does not have a DVD drive and uses SSDs for storage instead of a conventional hard drive. SSDs are smaller, lighter and faster than conventional drives and the MacBook Air has up to 512GB of storage. MacBook Air comes with 4GB-8GB of RAM and uses Intel’s latest Core i5 processors, which can be upgraded to Core i7. MacBook Air has two USB 3.0 ports along with a Thunderbolt port for connection to other devices such as the Apple Thunderbolt display.

Full review of the MacBook Air and key features below...

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MacBook Air review

The main appeal of the MacBook Air is its extreme portability (small and light) coupled with the Mac OS X operating system and all the usual Apple appeal. It was one of the first slim laptops and to this day remains one of the slimmest. The aluminium unibody design is very striking and the build quality is excellent. The Core i5 processor on the base model matches what the competition has to offer. Since the Air came out, Intel has released a series of competing laptops under the name of Ultrabooks which rival the MacBook Air’s design and in some cases offer better hardware for the same price, however they cannot run the Mac OS X operating system. The displays of both the 11-inch and 13-inch models are very good, with a high resolution and good viewing angles. The backlit keyboard of the Air is also very good, although the keys have very little travel. One of the main problems with the MacBook Air is the lack of common ports such as HDMI or Ethernet, which require adaptors for use. The MacBook Air’s speakers are also a bit quiet and its battery performance in Windows mode was also quite bad, especially for the 11-inch model. Also, there is no SD card present on the 11-inch model which is an inconvenience. As the battery in the Air is non-removable, replacing a dead battery can only be done by Apple at a relatively high cost. So the MacBook Air does have a few compromises, and is quite expensive for its internal components, but its main attraction is its portability and slim design, an area where it still leads the pack. Although similar portable packages are available in the form of Ultrabooks, most of them try to copy the Air as it is the current benchmark for ultra-portables and no competing laptops can outclass it in that department.

The Good
The Bad
  • Extremely portable
  • Very thin and light
  • Great design and good construction
Good displays
  • Limited port selection
  • Competitors have better performance in the same price range
  • Battery is non-removable
  • Speakers could be better

MacBook Air Main features:

  • 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch models available
  • Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors
  • Resolution: 1366x768 pixels (11.6-inch) and 1440x900 pixels (13.3-inch)
  • Intel HD 4000 graphics
  • 4-8GB of onboard RAM
  • 64GB-256GB SSDs available
  • 720p Webcam with Bluetooth 4.0 and MagSafe 2 power adaptor
  • Thickness between 0.11 and 0.68-inches
  • No DVD drives
  • Weight: 2.38-pounds (11-inch) and 2.96-pounds(13-inch)


Other Laptops to consider

  • Apple MacBook Pro
  • Sony VAIO Z
  • HP Folio 13

If you are considering buying an MacBook Air then these laptops are worth looking at as possible alternatives to the MacBook Air.