on June 19, 2013
So first I will say I am coming from a MacBook air 11' mid 2011 with 2GB ram and 64GB harddrive. This one I got has 4GB of ram and 128GB harddrive. I use this laptop mainly for browsing the internet and some programming. Now that you have a little background Ill give a quick review.
From the get go this laptop is MUCH faster then my previous Macbook air. When you open the lid you are ready to go that second. On the old one I would have to wait a little for it to load and if I left chrome up and clicked on it right away then I would get the loading wheel. I havent seen this do it once. That could be because of the harddrive being so much faster.
When I opened the box the laptop was already charged to 91% so im trying to kill it. Well I was on it ALL NIGHT last night and now its the morning and its only at 60%. That battery life is amazing and let me honest thats what we ask for in a laptop.
If you are up in the air about this laptop(no pun intended). I would say give it a go. You could even buy it from the Apple store and if you dont like it just return it.
If you are replacing an older Macbook air and have one thats because the mid 2012 then I would say get it but if you have the mid 2012 I dont know if I would suggest spending the money unless you really want battery. I hope this helps anyone trying to purchase this laptop.
I am not an Apple fan boy. My desktop is a custom build Window machine so I know both worlds. Please if you have any questions just comment and I will be happy to try things for you or just answer questions.
I am a Computer Engineer so im use to testing things so feel free to ask.
(This is my first review)
on November 1, 2013
I was shopping for a laptop for college and I was initially not considering buying a Mac by principle (anti-Apple-ism, price,...). However, I received many good arguments to buy the Macbook Air and was finally convinced because all the other laptops working under windows I was considering had problems of some sorts, as reviewed by many users. Therefore, I bought the Macbook Air with a 14-day trial. I thought I would bring it back but I never did and ever since it's been a love story.
Even though you've probably already heard it all, here are overall the best things about the Macbook Air that makes it the best laptop out there (even with the new Macbook Pro):
-Battery life is excellent and recovery is fast. There are several ways to make the battery last longer and some options in your settings.
-It's SUPER light, which is a major plus for a college student if you need to bring it to class and around. After a few weeks working with it I was surprised how big and heavy other laptops seemed to me, you have no idea.
-The design is very nice, but that's a somewhat subjective notion.
-It really doesn't take long to get the hang of all the commands and you might discover some cool "shortcuts" by accident, like I did. The experience is just wonderful and if you need any help, there are just so many websites and blogs that can help you and have tutorials or problem solving for new-to-Mac users like me.
-The operating system upgrades are free, unlike Windows'. The new OS X Mavericks is just amazing, it's slick, stylish, colourful and just so much adapted to a student's needs!
-You can work on many screens, so multitasking is made easy.
-If you're Windows-nostalgic, you have the possibility to install a parallel. Plus, the Office for Mac is mainly the same as the Windows one except there are maybe more templates and the designs are more aesthetically appealing. You can also install Google Chrome, Mozilla and other browsers, as you wish.
-Internet-browsing is fast and you can zoom/unzoom pics just with your fingers and the trackpad.
-The trackpad is life itself in the form of a technologic device: it just feels so smooth and you almost feel like you're the one moving the page like you would with a book or magazine.
-The new OS X Mavericks gives you iBooks for free, and iMaps and you can add a map or directions to your events on iCalendar.
-If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can sync them with your Macbook and you just have an infinity of possibilities and uses.
I hope this was useful and that it helped you in your decision-making process.
on June 11, 2013
Working off formerly a 13" macbook air mid 2011, I just bought this new 2013 model with the Haswell CPU and low power consumption infrastructure.
Off a full charge, I disconnected 3 hours 40 mins and had an external drive connected the entire time, restarted 4 times, and did NONSTOP heavy application installs (Office suite, Photoshop etc.), a total of 23 applications, and ran youtube vids in the background the entire time, and after all of that nonstop heavy loading, I had 76% on my battery, of which id have around 35% on my older Macbook Air.
Further still, the entire unit has run UTTERLY COOL during this EXTREMELY heavy loading, installing and heavy 1080P video graphics play. My other Macbook Air would be almost too hot to touch underneath near back under same conditions.
Even without 802ac (new Wifi connection thru the new Air), I notice roughly 25% faster throughput on likewise file downloads using my new Macbook Air than that of my older version Macbook Air.
This new Macbook Air contains PCIe-Based Flash Storage Approaches 800 MB/s Read and Write. I notice BLAZING fast write speed on my 1.1 Gig Photoshop app, and seemed about 40% faster than my previous generation Macbook Air. Also, this new Air model contains PCIe-based SSD modules made by Samsung and is smaller than the previous Air model SSD made by Toshiba.
These new Airs also sport batteries with increased capacity driven by higher voltages: increasing from a 7.3 V, 6700 mAh power battery to a 7.6 V 7150 mAh power battery. Other changes include a redesigned expanded heat sink covering both the CPU and GPU, which must be why this unit runs SO COOL even maxed out.
ALL my apps run perfect on this new Air, including Office suite, and the entire Adobe suite and the rest of my apps, ....which it should, its still running Mountain Lion OS.
I really have to say again, that write speeds on HUGE app instals is just faster than you dare hope for; its just blazing faster than my previous gen. Air.
My Macbook Air has been without a question my most treasured gem of "go-to" Mac product hands down, I own all of them (2 Airs, Macbook Pro, MacMini etc),...I was skeptical when I shelled out $1099 today for the new Haswell Air and its presumed prognosticated "crazy long" battery life and improved speeds overall; but the hype isn't hype, its real and amazing. The mere NOTION that I can overload this Air with App installs, and have a 2.5" HD attached for nearly 4 hours, run 1080P Youtube vids,...and still be at 76% Batt life is just, well, its stunning.
Tested out the NEW dual (stereo) mic and it IS much nicer in record, additionally the camera/vid is much sharper and crisper than my other Mac Air. Considering the price point is lower on these new Airs than the older ones, I give the new Macbook Airs a "110%". Having repaired laptops (non mac) in the past, and owned at least 20X more laptops than most consumers, I don't lightly conclude this is the cornerstone workhorse for everything I dare consider doing, fast got faster, and battery life now is enough to make a crusty "hates everything" person like myself nearly cry with joy. Congrats Apple! Homerun on this lovely gem.
I didnt get this delivered in one day, I picked it up from my local Mac store, I got my buddy to sell it to me 1 day before they officially "have" them which is today 6/12. As for the questions about using this new Air with Photoshop and it lagging on heavy filtering and photo editing, Ive tested that fully and this IS the machine you want for ultimate portability, it works fantastic.
Also of great importance is that this version of Mac Air is supposed to have "nearly double" fast write speeds as the Macbook Pro Retina. And the new Hard storage on this Air has "up to 6X faster than a 5400RPM disk drive" as found in current Macbook Pro which contain 5400RPM Toshiba Hard drives (made by Hitachi for Toshiba actually). In short, YES, this is a perfect "must own" book in the field or travel use for photoshop work, with just blazing fast write speeds, and crazy long battery life.
This new Macbook Air brings TRUE definition to being "disconnected" and "portable" to those who want to do a LOT of work free of the power socket! Genuine portable is finally here, ...no more staring at the battery % to rush to shut down!
on August 22, 2013
I replaced an early 2008 Macbook with this base-model Macbook Air. The speed difference is astounding, and the battery life has me frequently forgetting my charger - and only realizing I forgot it when I see it laying on my desk when I get home. Getting used to the smaller hard drive is a work in progress. I think that is mostly because it's nice to have all my movies, music, and pictures available on a whim, but in reality, I rarely access my movies and pictures, so they have made their way onto an external drive until I set up iTunes Match.
I have had some pretty significant issues, though.
Firstly, I am unable to connect my 1st gen iPad via USB cable. While I don't expect to be able to charge from the MBA, the inability to even set up wireless sync with iTunes, which requires a USB connection to set up, makes this habitual backer-upper very nervous.
Secondly, connecting the 2007 Apple bluetooth keyboard and the 2009 Magic Trackpad interferes with WiFi, causing low speeds and intermittent connections. These issues are experienced when one or both devices are connected, unless I am standing right next to the router. Even adding a repeater does not boost the signal enough to solve the issue. The suggestion thus far from Apple is to switch to a 5GHz router or to test all the channels on the 2.4GHz band. At this point, I am unable to practically use bluetooth devices with my brand new computer.
I have been in contact with Apple Support, replaced the MBA, duplicated the issues on a fresh install (and after running software updates) and been back in touch with Apple support with the same issues. It is frustrating because everything works with my older Macbook under the same conditions. The issues are currently escalated and awaiting resolution.
I am willing to settle for these issues for now with the hopes that they will be resolved soon by Apple with software updates.
on August 29, 2013
These reviews really helped me when I was figuring out what to buy, so here are my two cents. I couldn't figure out if I wanted the Pro Retina or the Air, and I wasn't sure if I wanted 13 in. or 11 in. Now, I actually own both the Macbook Pro 13" Retina and the new Macbook Air 11 inch, and I understand most people won't want to buy both but these are my thoughts. I first got the 13" Retina, because I loved the screen, esp. the way text looked because I read a lot and it made such a difference. I have the i7 version, plus the 8 GB RAM, and 256 hard drive. I love that thing. It's gorgeous and fast, a pleasure to work on. BUT. The only problem with it for me is the weight. I know it's lighter than it used to be but I'm petite and when I'm traveling and need to give presentations, this thing is in my bag the entire day, and I find it heavy. Many people may well be stronger than I am but I personally find it a pain to drag around when I'm on the road. Also, the battery life is good but not brilliant, so if I use it all morning and a part of the afternoon unplugged, it's dead.
So I recently bought the 11 inch Macbook Air as well, the new version, also maxed out, i7, 8 GB, etc. It is so light, it's amazing. It' lightning fast and the battery life is incredible. I can use it and use it and the battery won't budge. However. The screen is so much less good than my Retina Pro. I'm not a picky person and before I got used to the Retina screen, I didn't mind but now, it's a huge difference. The text is pixelated and very small, the whole thing looks much less good.
Basically, I think that if you're going to be mainly stationary when using the laptop, I would definitely go for the Retina Pro 13 inch. At home, it's all I use nowadays. It's a joy to use and looks amazing. However, if you travel a lot and will mainly be using it on the go, I think the new Air is fantastic. I hardly notice it in my bag and the screen is fine, just not as beautiful as the Retina, plus the performance and battery life are incredible. If the weight of the Retina doesn't bother you, that would be the clear choice.
on September 19, 2013
1. Portability is a very underrated advantage. Great to use at bedside. Easy to carry around the house or in an office setting. So light, you can pick it up with one hand and lay it down on the floor while in bed without moving.
2. Doesn't get Hot and you don't need a lap desk - MacBook Pro models don't get hot relative to PC's but are more hot compared to the 'Air
3. Battery lasts a very long time. Lasts longer than MacBook Pro models especially retinal display
4. Very Fast - solid state hard drive not a disc so very quick loading
1. Display isn't as nice as the MacBook Pros particularly the retinal display.
2. Only two USB ports and thunderbolt port. No SD port. No Ethernet port
3. No Disc Drive "Optical Drive" but none of the new Mac lap tops (MacBook Air or MacBook Pro models) have this. Also it wouldn't be a MacBook Air if it had the disc drive(would weigh more) so it's a moot criticism. I already owned a separate disc drive than I can easy attach through a USB port and I never need to use it anyway since everyone can be downloaded online. Only time I need it is to watch DVD's
Why Mac over PC
1. No Spam - search the internet in peace without multiple pop-ups and adware slowing your computer down. No viruses
2. Not Windows! - I recently experienced Windows 8 on another laptop and it is atrocious. I'm so glad I don't have to deal with Microsoft products and Windows. I can't believe they found a way to make WIndows more cumbersome
3. Intuitive - Macs are designed with human intuition in mind. Everything is designed to be simple and easy to use. You don't need experience with Macs to use this. Since 2007 when Macs began to use Intel chips, the Macs took the best Windows had to offer and improved upon it. You can even buy Microsoft Office for Mac (which I have) so you lose nothing. So if you are scared to use a Mac, you will find these new Macs are very easy to use.
4. Great Service in Apple Store - if something breaks down, Apple is great about replacing parts, computers and honoring warranty.
5. Reliable and Durable - My Macbook Pro from 2009 still works like it is out of the box. I just wanted a lighter smaller computer and keep my Macbook at home.
on June 17, 2013
I have been using the new Macbook Air for almost a week now. I actually started with the 11 inch because I wanted the lightest possibly laptop, and I used to have a smaller screen, but I guess it was just too small. I was noticing things like a shaking screen and I had been using a 15 inch Macbook Pro with the aluminum keyboard for the last five years. When I got the 13 inch, everything looked and felt just right.
In my opinion, a laptop battery has one major task. It should allow users to do everything they want on their laptop without having to plug it back in. I used it for about 1.5 to 2 hours two evenings in a row doing internet surfing, minimal video watching, and some word processing. The next day I used it for close to 8 hours of word processing and internet surfing. You know you have an amazing battery when the bar goes red, and you check to see that you still have two and a half hours remaining. I did not check exact times, but I think I got over 11 hours before charging it back up (including 3 days of sleeping). I was also surprised to see that it had recharged before I went to bed!
In this day and age, laptop users should understand that you never get the same amount of battery life watching non-stop high quality videos as you would using basic software and the internet. I use a laptop fairly frequently for projects/entertainment, but can not think of one instance in which I would need over 12 hours of battery life. More than 8 hours and my eyes start to blur. The bottom line is that Apple's initial estimate of 12 hours is not off, and I am happy to say that I will not be taking my charger with me anytime I plan to return to my house to sleep later that evening. I don't have to worry about battery life for the first time.
One small quirk is that the time estimates of the battery are sometimes off. For instance, I have checked my battery status and seen an estimate of 17 plus hours remaining. I admittedly got overexcited before it quickly went back down to over 12. The percentage is always accurate, however, and it's intriguing to see how long you can last with 100% battery life remaining.
As for the rest of the computer, the keyboard is great, the screen is nice, but not stellar, and there is a slight glare when I work in direct sunlight though it's nothing objectionable. I think that Apple has set a new standard with this laptop because it's obviously light, but the battery is truly amazing. It's also picking up the internet feed in my house as good if not better than my other devices.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: I have noticed an issue with volume fluctuation when watching movies on Netflix and sports on ESPN. The issue persists on Safari and Firefox. Unfortunately, other are having this issue and no one that I could find as of yet reports it as being resolved. This is a shame. This laptop is so good otherwise I am still giving it 4 stars, but this is a major issue. I have downgraded to 3 stars until this gets resolved.
UPDATE REVISED: The volume fluctuation issue appears to have been fixed with an update. Loving the laptop again. Battery still going pretty strong.
on October 30, 2013
I sat at the store debating on the 11" MacBook Air or the 13" MacBook Air for about an hour the day I bought this laptop. I had been using a 2007 MacBook Pro for 6 years and was ready for something new and wanted my next computer to be ultra-portable but have a great battery life as well.
Needless to say I got the 11" and haven't looked back.
The battery lasts longer than my iPhone 5s, seriously. For the first time in my life I can go an entire day without being even slightly worried about the battery life. It's incredible. It's a laptop you can go on a weekend road trip with... and leave the charger at home!
I purchased the base model for $999 and it has all the power I could have hoped for. It turns on in an instant. It ALWAYS wakes up from sleep in what seems like no time at all (half a second maybe?) and the thing hasn't once crashed, froze, stalled or overheated.
I had my MacBook Pro for 6 years, from the looks of things I'll have this one even longer. Everyone I know comments on how small & fast it is. It's like driving a Ferrari, everyone stops to check it out.
I can't recommend this laptop enough. I regret absolutely nothing about this purchase.
on August 6, 2013
Let me start by saying that thus far in my career of Windows PC building, operating, and maintaining, I have never before used a device that could be seriously described as elegant.
The form factor is astounding, I find myself picking the unit up just to look at it and consider it from different angles. The all aluminum chassis has a pleasing texture, it is lighter yet feels far more solid than any other ultrabook I have encountered. The hinges have no undue give, yet there is little effort needed to engage them.
The trackpad is a marvel. After only a few days I am amazed I ever used a Windows laptop without proper OS trackpad integration. Every flick and swipe is picked up and acted upon without hesitation, it is a shame this responsiveness is so alien when coming from Windows.
OSX is very polished, lightning fast on this SSD. I find myself much preferring it for every activity I use my PC for besides gaming. Swiping between fullscreen pages is intuitive, trackpad gestures are tight and do much to streamline navigation. I feel more compelled to recommend it to clients, no more ad-ware, no flavor of the week virus infections. No embarrassingly mid-life crisis 'reinventions' to fight with as in Windows 8. One OS for desktops and laptops, separate OS for touch-enabled devices.
802.11AC Wifi! I can finally use my lonely 5GHz band! I have not experienced any wireless dropouts or hiccups as others have described.
Haswell architecture has enabled an unheard of real-world 10-12 hour wireless browsing battery life while packing a fully featured quad core i5 chip with HD5000 graphics. Unprecedented for this size and weight. HD5000 tackles Skyrim at comfortable mid-level graphics and playable frames, at the expense of extreme system heat.
Built in bootcamp allows easy Windows 7 dual booting for those OS specific applications, still eeking out 6-10 hours depending on usage, providing a better Windows experience than Microsoft themselves.
Maybe HDD space? All my music is stored with Google, photos and documents on Dropbox and Skydrive. Install Office and Photoshop and still have 90GB left.
This is not really a con, just a function of nature. Packing this chip in this form factor means heat! Working in OSX is fine, doesn't break a sweat. Once you bootcamp Windows 7 and try on your gaming pants however, expect this thing to live at 99 degrees celsius with fans full tilt.
I used to argue against Macs purely from a price point perspective, but for $999 (bought at Best Buy) I feel this machine is a steal. I can see myself using this system for the next three years easily. With no mechanical hard drive and sturdy construction it will take quite a drop or impact to take this thing out.
In closing, the Macbook Air shows that a carefully controlled eco-system can work in the right hands. As opposed to leaving manufacturers to their own devices and quality control standards, Apple has examined every facet of their platform and made purposeful design choices, polished them over several generations and realized them with very strict hardware standards.
I have experienced the Windows 8 bombshell from ground zero. Poorly implemented and designed manufacturer software, random black screen freeze ups and hundreds of other software bugs, 5 different operating system recovery methods for 5 different manufacturers, it no longer makes sense to me.
I have been assimilated into the cult of simple OS interface and reliable, controlled hardware platforms.
on September 20, 2013
A lot has been written about how great the Macbook Air is. I agree, this is a truly fine thing. Forget the "feeds and speeds" metrics so many people seize on (although the performance is pretty good on this for what most people do), I just feel that this thing is in total harmony with me. It is powerful yet light and agile. I have a 13" Macbook Pro and it is great but a bit heavy. The Macbook Air is insanely light and yet very sturdy.
The one thing I really stressed over was whether to get the 11.6 inch model or the 13 inch model. Years ago I had an early netbook. It was nice as a novelty but it was really underpowered. It turned out the 10 inch screen was just too small. The size of the screen on the netbook was just too much of a compromise (my eyesight isn't what it used to be!). I was concerned that the 11.6 inch Macbook Air screen might be too small also. I really wanted to get it instead of the 13 inch screen because to me, getting a larger Macbook Air just seemed to defeat the purpose of getting a small, light computer in the first place. I really wanted the 11.6 inch model to work out. The price difference really wasn't an issue, I just wanted to have the perfect size for me. I saw a few 11.6 and 13 inch models and I thought the 11.6 inch would be okay but I had the nagging feeling that when I started using it, I would regret getting the smaller version. You know how that goes, your first look at something is brief and you don't really get a feel for how you will use it in the real world. Sometimes your initial conclusions turn out wrong and you regret your choice. Well, I took a chance on the 11.6 inch version and after using it for a while, I am really happy with the choice. It is the perfect size for me for a portable computer. If you are struggling with the same decision, I hope this helps.