Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

The Quick-Read Review: Macbook Air 11″ (2013 Edition)

Apple MacBook Air 2013 versions Apple MacBook Air 2013 versions
Mumbai | Posted: January 13, 2014 11:04 am | Updated: January 13, 2014 11:06 am

Ever since Steve Jobs first pulled it out of a simple manila envelope, the Macbook Air has been the epitome of portable computing—a high-powered laptop that’s sleek and lightweight. The 2013 edition of the Mac Air continues the tradition, boosting battery and performance.

Quick Tech Specs: 11-inch LED display (1366×768 pixels) | 1.3GHz dual-core 4th Generation Intel Core i5 processor | Intel HD5000 Graphics | 4GB DDR3 RAM | 128GB SSD | 720p Webcam | Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac | Bluetooth 4 | 2xUSB3.0, 1xThunderbolt ports | 1.08kgs | Up to 9 hours battery life | Mac OS X Mavericks

Design: If you’ve seen any Macbook Air before this, then you’ve seen the new one. It looks exactly the same—brushed metal finish, aluminium unibody with rounded edges and that familiar Apple logo on top. Premium components mean that the lid is easy to open/shut and stays firm, without any wobble.

Screen: Some people might find the 1366×768 pixels resolution of the 11-inch screen to be low, but really, that resolution is fine for this size. I’ve tried 11″ laptops with 1920×1080 pixels and rather than clarity, everything gets miniaturized. The one thing that is an issue, though, is that the screen is not matte. For a notebook that stresses on its portability, it would have been nice to be able to use it anywhere without screen glare. It’s not as bad as the Macbook Pro, but it could have been better.

Performance: The new Mac Air is powered by Intel’s Haswell processor and HD5000 graphics. And the performance shows. You can edit videos and images just as easily and smoothly as you can play games like Bioshock Infinite.

Also, read: Is The Macbook Air Cheaper Than Windows Laptops?

Memory: The notebook ships with a 128GB SSD, so you won’t have much trouble with storage. But if you need more, unfortunately, the 11-inch model does not a memory card slot. It would have been a nice addition.

Software: The new model ships with the latest Mac OS X Mavericks, and the good news is that Apple is now giving its iWork suite free with that. Just head to the Mac App Store and download it—that’s a great bonus!

Keyboard: The Macbook Air has one of the best keyboards on any laptop in the world—in fact, the best one, in my opinion. As someone who writes for a living, I haven’t used anything which compares to the Macbook keyboard for the past few years, and the new model keeps that up, complete with the ability to work at night with backlighting.

Battery: Man, if you were impressed with the battery life of previous generations of Airs, you’ll love this one. The new Macbook Air has the best battery I’ve seen on any notebook. It lasts for over 10 hours of normal usage; over 5 hours of continuous video playback of a 1080p video; and over 7 hours of continuous internet browsing. Wow.

Verdict: If you are looking for a laptop that combines performance, battery and portability, the Macbook Air is the best purchase right now. As we noted, even at its price of Rs. 61,990, it is a cheaper deal than any comparative Windows laptop, even if you were to go on hardware alone. Add in the fact that Apple is giving goodies worth Rs. 5,000 free with purchases and it’s a no-brainer.

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