We have all been waiting for Apple to announce the 11 inch MacBook Air, there were widespread rumors about it and when Apple finally showed it at the Mac Event, I realized that it was one of the worst kept secrets. Apart from the new 11 inch laptop, Apple has also revamped the 13 inch sibling. The specs have been updated. Apple sent me the 11 inch model in my labs for review and I am writing about that here. The 13 inch version will be covered seperately when the company sends it for reviewing.
Apple has iLife software on the Apple MacBook Air and this is one of the most noteable inclusion. iPhoto, GarageBand and iMovie give you a lot of fun and useful features and they are targeted at casual customers. I expect the pros to stick with Final Cut, Photoshop,, and Pro or Logic Tools. There are new additions like iPhoto slideshows which place photos on an interactive map with GPS data and there is also a series of amusing movie trailer templates in iMovie. It is completely canned with Holloywood-style scores.
People who lack patience will be glad to know that the Apple MacBook Air has very fast booting speeds. It is called Instant On by Apple and thought it is not really instant, I must say that the speeds are really impressive. It boots up faster than even the iPad.
This is the first Apple MacBook to have a 16:9 display. (Even the 13 inch has older 16:10 screen). You get a resolution of 1,366×768 pixels which is now common across all 11-15 inch notebooks. The display doesn’t have the edge-to-edge glass display the black bezel like all other MacBooks. Instead, a silver thick bezel surrounds the screen. Maybe it was done to save the weight but I must say that it makes the laptop look a bit ugly. There was extra space around and it could have been used to make the keyboard less cramped.
The number of USB ports on the Apple MacBook Air has been doubled from one to two but I was disappointed to see that there was no SD card slot here. It is there only on the 13 inch version. I am not asking for a lot especially considering all $300 Netbooks have SD card slots. Also there is not backlighting on the 13 inch sibling’s keyboard now. Other missing features include HDMI, VGA port, wireless built-in 3G and Ethernet port.
For memory storage, you can choose from either 64 or 128 GB SSD drives but it is certainly not enough if you are going to store a lot of high resolution photos or videos. There are people who use the hard disk just for storing Word documents and there are people for whom even a 500 GB hard disk is not enough. If you store a lot of data on the laptop, the Apple MacBook Air is not for you. This laptop is has the same Core 2 Duo/Nvidia 320M combo that you’d find on the $999 white MacBook. However, the processor used here is the ULV version.