REVIEWS

iPad mini 3

iPad Air 2

Mac OS X Yosemite

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Motorola Moto G (2014)

Dyson DC78 Turbinehead Animal vacuum

BlackBerry Passport

Saeco Minuto

Martian Notifier watch

Runtastic Orbit fitness tracking wearable

iPhone 6 Plus

iPhone 6

Moto 360

Moto X (2014)

Mazda CX-5 2015

MacPhun Software's Lost Photos

Parrot Zik Yellow Gold bluetooth headphones

Henge Docks Vertical Docking Station for MacBook Pro

Toshiba Canvio AeroMobile Wireless SSD

Sodastream's Home Carbonation System

TomTom Go 500 GPS

Nio Tag

LG G3

Jabra ROX Wireless in-ear headphones

SEIDIO's Innocell adds battery life for iPhone5/5S

Parrot Asteroid SMART

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

Apple 13-inch MacBook Air (2014)

ASUS PB287 4K monitor

Hyundai Santa Fe XL 2014

Tech Armor SlimProtect Case for iPhone 5/5s

Roku Streaming Stick

Belkin QODE "Thin Type" keyboard case for the iPad Air

RFID fraud-proof HuMn wallet

Motorola Moto E

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

Sony Xperia Z2

Sony SRS-X9 ultra premium personal speaker

Shiny Soap frees up space on Macs with one click

Hyundai Veloster Turbo 2014

Arts Your Case StrongFit Silicon case for iPhone 5/5S

Fugoo Style Bluetooth Speakers

LG G Flex on Rogers

Red Clock app for iPhone weather and alarm

ASUS ZenBook UX310

Dyson DC62 Hand-Held Vacuum

Pelican ProGear CE1150 Protector Series case for iPhone 5/5s

Philips AirFryer

Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 8.4

ASUS VivoPC

Alcatel OneTouch Idol X

Nomad ChargeKey for iPhone

Apple Mac Pro (2013)

Kensington Comercio soft folio case for iPad Air

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Micro Four Thirds camera

Jawbone UP24 Fitness Tracker

Dell Venue 8 Pro's wireless keyboard and case

ASUS MeMO Pad 8

Logitech Ultrathin Bluetooth keyboard for Apple's iPad Air

2013 GMC Terrain

Honeywell HFD320 AirGenius 5 Air Cleaner & Odor Reducer

Dell Venue 8 Pro Tablet

TomTom US & Canada App for Android

Withings Pulse fitness tracker

Sonos PLAY:1 wireless streaming speaker

Martian Passport series smartwatch

Nextivity Cel-Fi RS2 Signal Strength booster

HTC Desire (2013)

Motorola Moto G

iPad mini with Retina Display

Nexus 5

Microsoft Surface 2

Tenqa Fit Bluetooth Earbuds for Sports

HTC One mini

Apple iPad Air

Sony Xperia Z1

BlackBerry Z30

TYLT VU Wireless Charging Stand

Keizus Quadropod + Clamp

Sphero 2.0

Chromecast

Griffin Technology WoodTone Headphones

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Philips Saeco Poemia Espresso Machine

Nokia Lumia 1020

Huawei Ascend Mate

LG G2

Samsung Galaxy Mega

Apple 5c Case

Apple 5s Case

Apple iPhone 5s

Apple iPhone 5c

Apple Airport Extreme (2013)

Nexus 7 (2013)

Ultimate Ears Boom Bluetooth speaker and handsfree

2013 Inifiniti FX37 Crossover

Moto X

Sony Xperia Z

Huawei Ascend Y300 on Bell and Virgin

TIMEX Intelligent Quartz Linear Indicator Chronograph watch

BlackBerry Q5

MIO Alpha Heart Rate Monitor

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8-inch Android Tablet

Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (2013)

Chevrolet Sonic RS Turbo

 

« Why the Samsung Galaxy Tab may be the best eBook reading device today | Main | Review: Boomphones headphones »
Sunday
Jan232011

Review: MacBook Air 13-inch (2010)

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

When the original MacBook Air came out it received mixed responses. While many loved its razor-like thinness and all aluminium form factor, there were also a lot of detractors that bemoaned it as an underpowered and impractical netbook hiding in a premium laptop's clothing. The newest iteration of the 13-inch Air brings many improvements but loses a well loved feature.

Our biggest issue with the original MacBook Air was its price. Starting at $1800 for a slower notebook using a 4200 RPM iPod hard drive and a measly one USB port seemed an excessive amount of moolah to pay for a notebook even if it was this sexy and sleek.

Fast forward to 2011 and the 13-inch MacBook Air is a different beast altogether. It is even slimmer now with a more integrated unibody shell and has two USB ports and a SDCard slot. It also comes with a faster 128GB (up to 256GB) of fast SSD storage, a better NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics card all for a relatively more reasonable starting price of $1350. We also reviewed the 11-inch MacBook Air last year and loved the new form factor and the performance from the smallest Mac notebook ever.

The new unibody enclosure starts out  at a stunning 1.7 cm thick and tapers to a razor's edge 0.3 cm which somehow doesn't feel as dangerously sharp as the original MacBook Air.  This bit of kit weighs no more than 2.9 pounds, just a touch heavier than the iPad.

SDCard slot and a second high-speed USB 2.0 port are the new add-ons on the MacBooK Air 13

This new version feels more solid and more robust overall even if it is thinner and as a result lighter. Apple has perfected the unibody construction process and it now stretches the boundaries of toughness and rigidity in incredibly thin enclosures. You also get a larger glass trackpad which replaces the previous version's aluminum trackpad and button. Since the whole trackpad now is essentially a button as well, users jut get more real estate to use gestures.

The extra USB 2.0 port (which can now power devices, something the previous model could not always manage) and the SDCard slot are welcome additions  to the MacBook Air's spartan array of ports. What is gone and what we really found ourselves missing, was the backlit keyboard feature that was standard in the previous model. If you've never had a backlit keyboard, you won't miss it but if you've depended on the feature for some time, then it will feel a bit weird not having it.

Apple's review unit was the top of the line model with 4GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.Comparing it to the older MacBook Air you can see it is certainly slimmer, the screen can be tilted back a bit further and it feels overall more densely packed and solid even if it isn't heavier than the older model. 

In terms of performance, we were simply stunned at the MacBook Air's speed and responsiveness. Credit this to the integrates SSD drive that's soldered on to the motherboard which speed things up considerably. The NVDIA GeForce 320M graphics also add to the performance end of things.

The resolution of the screen is similar to what one would find on a 15-inch MacBook Pro but squeezed into the 13-inch screen and while it would have been nice to offer users a matte option, the MacBook Air's glossy screen is superb despite its penchant for glare.

Old and new: The previous Macbook Air (left) hangs around the newer, faster model.

The MacBook Air is definitely the future to which all notebooks are headed. As an example of Apple's fine design and applied engineering, nothing really comes close (except maybe the iPad) to exemplifying mastery over materials and technologies elegantly put together into one slim enclosure.

The question is, can the MacBook Air be your main notebook or even your main computer? In our case, we would love to trade in our 13-inch MacBook Pro for a thinner and lighter  13-inch MacBook Air but since our day to day usage involves video editing, photo editing and long hours of typing articles and reviews on-the-go, it seems that the Air's processing power and battery life may not be where we need it to be. Yet.

If all we did  was surf, type, watch videos, check social media streams and maybe run an occasional PowerPoint or KeyNote presentation then the MacBook Air (both the 11-inch and the 13-inch) are positively the right tools for that type of work.

The 13-inch MBA's speed and power is more than ample for most modern uses of computers today. The fact it can run iMovie 11 "like butter" as well as iPhoto in full-screen mode is nothing to sneeze at, neither it its ability to power a 27-inch HD monitor. For users who need even more capacity and have more money to spend, Other World Computing offers a stunning SSD upgrade that's 22% faster than Apple's stock drive. While not cheap, its good to know that an upgrade path that pays huge dividends in performance is available.

 

The MBA is a MacBook with way fewer ports and no optical drive in a much slimmer and lighter body. You simply can't compare the performance of an Atom processor  or an AMD Neo processor with a Core 2 Duo, specially with a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM. 

Would we trade our 13-inch office MacBook Pro for one of these, we would definitely consider it. Sure, we would  miss the ports and the large capacity drive but these are things we can learn to live without. It is the Macbook Pro's stellar battery life and upgradeability that makes it a better day to day workhorse Mac. You can upgrade the MacBook Pro with up to 8GB of RAM, you can pop in a 500GB hard drive without much of a problem.

All new MacBook Airs are non-user serviceable. Apple even added a new type of secure TORX (Pentabular) screw to them that are unique and hard to open without the right tool. The message is pretty clear, once your MacBook Air has shipped, you can't  or shouldn't upgrade anything on it. The sealed battery can be replaced by your neighbourhood Mac Genius for around $100 should you need a new battery down the line.

The MacBook Air is closer to the premium thin and light notebooks that Sony and Toshiba like to sell for upwards of $1600. These notebooks aren't in the power class but they allow you to get work done and they travel exceptionally well. With the new system on a chip approach, fast SSD, a thinner and meaner profile plus a way better price point and the Intel Mac's inherent ability to run OS X and Windows (but why?), the 13-inch MacBook Air has truly become the ultimate thin and light notebook in the market today.

Rating 4.5 out of 5

Related reviews

MacBook Air 11-inch (2011)

Toshiba Tecra R700 notebook

References (43)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: chris
  • Response
  • Response
    Response: web copy writing
  • Response
    Response: web copy writer
  • Response
  • Response
  • Response
    Response: mold air testing
  • Response
    Response: mold removal pro
  • Response
  • Response
  • Response
  • Response
  • Response
    NFL is really 1 of the biggest sports in America. It has a important following.
  • Response
  • Response
    Amazing Webpage, Continue the fantastic job. Thank you so much!
  • Response
    Review: MacBook Air 13-inch (2010) - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
  • Response
  • Response
    Review: MacBook Air 13-inch (2010) - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Infallible, we would omit the carriages further the fat skill ride still these are entitys we can hear to subsist minus. It is the Macbook Professional's leading group autobiography moreover upgradeability that shapes it a outdo time to age workhorse Mac.
  • Response
    Response: paraphrase online
    Very interesting article about the 13-inch MacBook Air. My blog is very interesting fact that I am a big fan of good technology and also because I really want to MacBook Air. Thanks for the blog.
  • Response
    Response: 5-htp
    This new story airs extra compact plus additional muscular generally still if it is thinner moreover as a outcome lighter. Apple has perfected the unibody building cook moreover it pronto stretches the boundaries of durability moreover rigidity in incredibly wiry pens. You similarly gain a larger crystal trackpad which succeeds the ...
  • Response
    Response: Katy Landscaping
    Review: MacBook Air 13-inch (2010) - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: Air Jordan 28
    Children played Friday in mud-covered streets as Jordans For Sale pigs, cats and hens ambled by Dozens of military personnel and others w New Jordan Shoes ere seated in front of the podium near the star at midfield, where Kyle's flag-draped casket was carried at the beginning of the s
  • Response
    Response: Look at more info
    Review: MacBook Air 13-inch (2010) - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: KD 6 What The KD
    But by late Monday night, they said they were convinced the Cheapkd6HotSale.com shooting was the work of a lone gunman,Cheapkd6HotSale.com, and t Nike KD Hydro Sandals he lockdown around the area was eased Then, she glanced down, running her fingers over the medal the one depicting the Unico Kobe 8 Playoffs ...
  • Response
    Response: Lebron XI for Sale
    During the LeBron 11 Everglades opening reception yesterday evening,LeBron 11 Everglades, the i Nike Lebron 11 "Away" mportance of the international outreach was palpable among all the participants Everything is personal The update will preserve the pre-cookie-cut Nike Kobe 9 Cheap ter West Coast feel of the ori
  • Response
    Review: MacBook Air 13-inch (2010) - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: these details
    Review: MacBook Air 13-inch (2010) - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: MacBook Air 13-inch (2010) - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: MacBook Air 13-inch (2010) - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: MacBook Air 13-inch (2010) - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: tumblr.com
    Review: MacBook Air 13-inch (2010) - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: steam wallet codes
    Review: MacBook Air 13-inch (2010) - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: free xbl gold
    Review: MacBook Air 13-inch (2010) - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: MacBook Air 13-inch (2010) - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: MacBook Air 13-inch (2010) - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: MacBook Air 13-inch (2010) - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: Nike Kobe 9 Elite
    Right now the Packers are running 9 Since 2009, Nike Kobe 9 Elite as his veloci Nike Zoom KD 7 ty has dropped,Nike Kobe 9 Elite, his number of walks has risen up to the 90 batters who received a free base in 2012 Figure out how hard their most recent ...
  • Response
    Review: MacBook Air 13-inch (2010) - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: MacBook Air 13-inch (2010) - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: MacBook Air 13-inch (2010) - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: MacBook Air 13-inch (2010) - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective

Reader Comments (3)

Thanks, great review.
If you know anyone who used it daily for a few month, I'd like to know how it physically holds up.
BTW, ...that's 22 times faster... should read ...that's 22% faster...

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOlivier

This ultrabook is worth the money, and stuffing modern! Quite successful model turned out!

March 7, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterannotated bib

Really excellent post...and the given great knowledge..your post given great knowledge..

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteraanrechtblad graniet

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>