MacNN takes a second look at the thin 3-pound laptop (February 20th, 2008)
Product Manufacturer: Apple
- Stylish and lightweight form factor Full sized, backlit keyboard & multi-gesture trackpad Extremely bright, sharp 13" LED display Above average battery life Accessories available to supplement functionality
- No internal optical drive Limited port connectivity No internal hard drive or memory expansion options Battery not user replaceable Slower processor
After posting my initial first impressions of Apple’s new MacBook Air, I put this notebook through two weeks of use to getter a better sense of its capabilities and limitations. The review model tested was Apple's entry level MacBook Air equipped with a 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, an 80 GB ATA hard drive and 2GB of RAM. The Air weighs just 3 lbs and is roughly the same width and depth as the MacBook, but measures only 0.76 of an inch high at its thickest point. The overall dimensions allowed Apple to retain a full-size, backlit keyboard and a spacious trackpad.
The Air’s screen, an incredibly bright 13.3” LED-backlit display, was a distinct pleasure to work on. The incredibly thin and lightweight form factor comes with distinct tradeoffs – the Air lacks an internal optical drive and many of the peripheral ports standard on other notebooks.
The Air, which comes with the newest version of OS X Leopard installed, felt snappy and responsive right off the bat. Despite having a processor on the lower end of Apple’s product spectrum, I came across no issues with the Air being unusually slow at booting, loading programs, or performing other standard tasks. The Air was able to multitask amongst a variety of typical functions – web browsing, playing music, editing documents – without stalling or slowdown.
Under no circumstances did the notebook become anything more than what could be best described as ‘mildly warm’. The Air was readily able to connect to both Windows and Mac wireless networks with no hassles and had slightly better WiFi range than my other Dell Latitude notebook. In short, I had no complaints with the Air’s speed or WiFi performance.