Apple MacBook Air Review
Product Features and Specifications
Apple’s Thinnest Design Yet – This is what I’m most excited about.
13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with a 1440 x 900-pixel resolution
Up to 7 hours of wireless productivity plus up to 30 days of standby time
1.86 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6 MB on-chip shared L2 cache and 1066 MHz frontside bus.
256 GB flash memory storage
2 GB installed RAM (1066 MHz DDR3; supports up to 4 GB)
NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor (with 256 MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory) for an outstanding everyday graphics experience.
Built-in FaceTime camera for video chatting
Wi-Fi wireless networking (based on 802.11n specification; 802.11a/b/g compatible)
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) for connecting with peripherals such as keyboards, mice and cell phones
Two USB 2.0 ports with networking using optional Apple USB Ethernet adapter
SD card slot
Mini DisplayPort output port with support for DVI, VGA, dual-link DVI, and HDMI (requires adapters, sold separately)
Built-in stereo speakers along with omnidirectional microphone, headphone minijack
Multi-Touch trackpad for precise cursor control; supports inertial scrolling, pinch, rotate, swipe, three-finger swipe, four-finger swipe, tap, double-tap, and drag capabilities
Dimensions: 12.8 x 8.94 x 0.68 inches (WxDxH)
Weight: 2.9 pounds
Processor, Memory, and Motherboard
RAM: 2 GB
Size: 256 GB
Cases and Expandability
Weight: 8 pounds
The good: The new 11-inch Apple MacBook Air is dramatically faster than last year’s version, has a backlit keyboard, apple battery, and comes with a high-speed Thunderbolt I/O port.
The bad: The entry-level Air still has the same limited fixed flash storage and RAM as last year’s version, which most people will want to upgrade from–and there’s still no SD card slot, Ethernet port, or 3G wireless option.
The bottom line: This year’s 11-inch MacBook Air improves on last year’s model in several significant ways and is by far the fastest ultraportable you’re likely to find, though some users will consider the limited flash storage space to be a hindrance.
Last October, Apple’s 11-inch MacBook Air debuted. The tiny, slim ultraportable was the smallest laptop Apple had ever made. Its combination of size and power earned it a four-star review, with caveats: it had a last-generation Core 2 Duo processor, lacked a backlit keyboard, and omitted an SD card slot. We’re glad to find the newly released, back-to-school-timed 2011 MacBook Air(laptop battery) update fixes two of our three complaints.
Both 11- and 13-inch MacBook Airs have been updated with new, faster second-gen Core i5 processors. The new Air also, finally, has a backlit keyboard. There are more bonuses, too: Mac OS X Lion, Apple’s brand-new operating system update, comes preinstalled. A Thunderbolt I/O port for high-speed data transfer and HD audio/video has been added.
Unfortunately, there’s still no SD card slot, and memory and storage configurations remain both fixed and limited: the configuration still only has 2GB of RAM and 64GB of flash storage, which many will consider inadequate. We recommend the configuration, which has 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
Perhaps the biggest change to the MacBook Air is how it’s being sold. Now that the white MacBook no longer exists, Apple has made the MacBook Air the entry-level laptop for everybody (everybody with a grand to drop on a laptop, at least). The 11-inch MacBook Air is the most affordable MacBook in Apple’s stable.
The 2011 11-inch Air is, undeniably, an improvement over the fall 2010 version. Is it a MacBook for everyone, though? Not yet, unless you can live with the Air’s still comparatively limited storage space. For a more full-size laptop with even better Apple 13″ Macbook Air battery life, many might be tempted to get the 13-inch MacBook Air or even the more full-featured 13-inch MacBook Pro. But, for sheer portability and performance, nothing can beat the 11-inch Air.