Name: Apple MacBook Air
Price: $999 with free shipping ($1,399 as configured)
Rating: Strong Recommend*
What happens when a MacBook Pro has a one night stand with a paper sheet? The MacBook Air happens. With no internal moving parts, thanks in part of the all flash storage, lack of optical drive and tiny footprint; the 11" MacBook Air was a perfect solution to stop us from writing articles on the iPad and to make us write the articles, source the photographs, adjust, resize, crop in Photoshop CS5 and upload/create the post you are reading right now.
The first thing that really impressed us, was the size of the box where the Macbook Air is packed in. Barely 2" wider than the iPad box, we just knew that we made the right decision in regards of portability and easy access. Everything you need to get you going is in there: The power cord, literature, iLife and the tiny USB recovery drive. The machine comes fully charged and we were up and running in literally 5 minutes. Email setting, selecting our WiFi network and that was it. A quick and lean CS5 Installation of only the basic apps was what it took a little more: 15 minutes. Everything works! We've been big fans of the Magic Trackpad, so there is no learning curve with the Air's glass trackpad. Silky smooth and super responsive, making navigation between pages and scrolling-clicking a thing of pure pleasure.
The stereo sound system of this tiny machine is not going to win any awards but thanks to Bluetooth and Air Play we were jamming thru wireless speaker as far as the first floor while we were making the finishing touches of the installation.
Performance wise, I don't know if it's the combo we've got or what, but this machine seems/feel fast, faster, in some operations, compared to my i7 27" imac! Due to a lack of inventory, in order to get the 4GB of soldered ram, we needed to opt for the increased processor power. A $100 premium that we didn't mind at all. Battery life is impressive. Doing things like browsing the web, editing photos, and watching videos can get up to 5 hours of battery life on a single charge on the 11-inch model and up to 7 hours on the 13-inch model. Put MacBook Air to sleep, and it enters standby mode to conserve battery life for up to 30 days. When you come back to your MacBook Air and open it up, it's on in an instant. So you're free to go off the grid knowing you're still on a charge.
Hidden inside is the FaceTime camera. It's so thin (even thinner than the camera on iPhone 4) you barely notice it, but it's incredibly capable. Using the new FaceTime for Mac application, currently in beta, you can make FaceTime calls over Wi-Fi with anyone who has a Mac, an iPhone 4, or the new iPod touch. And the video quality is so good, you can even chat in low-light conditions.
The MacBook Air features the NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor — the same one used in the 13-inch MacBook Pro. With a performance boost of over 2x that of the previous-generation MacBook Air, the NVIDIA graphics processor provides outstanding speed and power for browsing photos, watching movies, or playing games.
Another good thing about the MAcBook Air, is the ability to power a 27" Apple Cinema Display via its Mini DisplayPort or even connect to your existing 27" iMac and use it as a big screen monitor when is put in display mode.
The iPad feels lonely now, we are not paying too much attention but some roles have been re-defined with this purchase. iPad is a mere entertainment and gaming device, to handle magazine subscriptions, Facebook status updates, reading recipes in the kitchen or even a client presentation. The Macbook Air on the other side, is going to be the portable workforce. A real blogger lifesaver device.
Size and weight
• Height: 0.11-0.68 inch (0.3-1.7 cm)
• Width: 11.8 inches (29.95 cm)
• Depth: 7.56 inches (19.2 cm)
• Weight: 2.3 pounds (1.06 kg)
Processor and memory
• 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB shared L2 cache
• 800MHz frontside bus
• 4GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM onboard
• 128GB of all flash storage
• 1366 x 768 pixels (native)
• 16:9 aspect ratio
• 11.6" diagonal high resolution LED backlit glossy widescreen
• 128GB of all flash storage
(Images by Joel Pirela)
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did loan us the product for testing and review purposes.