There was a time when only Apple fans used to care about Apple products. It felt like it was part of an official club, where Apple ruled the world and Microsoft was the enemy. Now though, Apple has gone global, and no matter where you look, someone has at least one Apple device to speak of. The MacBook Air has always been stylish, but did it really have a heart to go with it? Today, we take a look at the 2011 release, and see if they stepped up to the plate.
Fortunately, yes. Apple has really upped the game this time around and have turned something of just a good-looking desire into something we actually want and need. Forever gone is the plastic-surgery-clad MacBook, that has been recently discontinued (unless you are in an educational institution), and here comes the 2011 MacBook Air.
There are two separate models you can get your hands on; the 13″ model and the 11″ model. The 13 comes with two USB ports either side of the notebook, but is also joined by Apple’s new 10GB/sec lightning-fast port called Thunderbolt, which will allow a string of devices to be attached to one another. The 13″ will also house an SD card reader, something that the 11″ does not. Apple has been doing a lot of ‘tidying up’ recently decided to get rid off the Ethernet port.
The overall build quality of the touchpad and keyboard have also received a welcome makeover. The touchpad is less hollow, and the keys feel more responsive and springy. That’s not to mention the addition of a backlight that will let you press those awkward keys in the dark. Bravo!
As for specifications, you’ll be rolling with a new Intel Core i5 or i7 ULV processor, 4GB of DDR3 memory (2GB for the base 11″ model), a 64GB SSD for the 11, and up to 256GB for the top of the range 13, and Intel HD 3000 graphics. The only thing that us down here is the screen resolutions. You get 1440 x 900 glossy, LED-backlit panel on the 13″, whilst the 11″ has to make do with the bog standard 1366 x 768, and although still impressive, can be a problem for some who like to work on photos or anything with lots of pixels. There is also no option for a matte unit.
All in all, the 2011 MacBook Air answered all the questions that you’d want to answer, and does a great job at overcoming that of its predecessor. Engadget score it 9/10 and couldn’t fault its performance or its design, but as stated in the previous paragraph the screen resolution and lack of a matte display option must be seen as negatives.
For a more in depth look at the 2011 MacBook Air, check out Engadget’s article that covers benchmarking, testing, and an all round look at what makes this machine a real stellar choice.
Have you looked at the new MacBook Air’s yet? What is your opinion?