Apple MacBook Air 13" Review -- Ultra-what?

By on July 16, 2012, 3:20 AM

Steve Jobs unveiled the first MacBook Air in early 2008 to mixed reviews, but a series of redesigns and hardware refreshes through the years have resulted in a product line that has had a huge impact on the industry. PC makers have struggled to match the Air’s extremely thin and simplistic design, prompting Intel to announce the ultrabook initiative at Computex in 2011.

New for the 2012 MacBook Air is the Intel Ivy Bridge processor sporting Intel HD 4000 graphics, higher capacity storage and memory options, as well as an improved 720p Facetime HD camera, and support for USB 3.0. The 13-inch system also received a $100 price cut, now starting at $1,199.

The new MacBook Air doesn’t deviate from the design of previous models, which certainly isn’t a bad thing. The notebook is tapered into a wedge shape that is narrower near the front and thicker at the rear. Of course we use the term thick loosely, as the system is still extremely thin and lightweight at only 0.68-inches at the thickest part and 2.96 pounds.

Read the complete review.

User Comments: 11

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Jay Pfoutz Jay Pfoutz, Malware Helper, said:

Oh yeah! Ivy Bridge for the win. Been looking forward to this new processing unit all year.

Very neat article overall. I love the layout/design of it, in general. The photos are nicely placed.

Guest said:

Very state of the art laptop. But 256GB SSD is needed, and then you have to pay $1,499. Combine that with 8 GB of RAM, then you end up with $1,599.

Guest said:

Have you guys seen the ZenBook Prime? Pretty much the same and the same pricing if not more!

Guest said:

I keep going in between Zenbook Prime and Macbook Air to decide on one. The review was great and very informative in terms of Windows OS stand point. I really would love to see a Windows 7 based comparison between Zenbook Prime and Macbook Air.

By the way, I am also wondering if there are improvements on duration of the Windows boot-up/shutdown and sleep/wake-up time with Macbook Air 2012

Guest said:

It is pricey but you get what you pay for, svelt, lightweight, Apple (and windows if needed) netbook.

BTW, I think you meant iFixit and I don't take them as a credible review since they "click bait" to their site for taking Apple's products apart (and make money off Apple selling cheap tools and parts). If they can't sell you parts to fix something, they pan it.

Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

@Guests above. Personally I wouldn't buy an Apple laptop if I wanted to run Windows exclusively. The hardware is great and setting up Boot Camp is painlessly easy as Shawn mentioned in the review. However, if you are serious about your computing you are better served with a good Windows ultrabook. Apple drivers for Windows are somewhat rough, especially the display and trackpad drivers. Mac laptops also get considerably hotter and get less battery life under Windows -- that last part I'm not sure if it's Apple to blame or if OS X is more efficient than Windows, but it's the way it is.

Guest said:

Bootcamp virtualization is the one to blame for battery loss.

Guest said:

There was a recent article / editorial posted here about the "Apple Tax", and if you were to compare apples to apples (pardon the pun), then in many cases, the premium you pay for a MBP or MBA vs. a directly comparable Windows unit is not that much.

The ZenBook is basically the same specs and speed, costs about the same or greater (depending on where you shop), but has a totally inferior keyboard and trackpad to the MBA.

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

Some aspects of the MBA are simply awesome, but I just can't get over how expensive it is and how hard it is in general to use Apple products with Windows products. Plus I'd have to deal with there being less of my programs and games for Mac than Windows. Its actually pretty much the same reasons I never got into Linux too much (minus the expensive part).

Guest said:

If you want to use windows don't buy a Mac! They are made for Mac users not for windows and vice versa.... If those are you're two options and you like windows and you don't want to use Mac os x mountain lion then get the zen book it's cheaper and works better with

Guest said:

First of all, I'm not a gamer.

I will use my MBA to surf and edit RAW-photos in Lightroom and it works great so far.

I love the touchpad so much. Impressive that you can do so much more than just move the mouse pointer :-)

The looks, the speed, the battery life is simply awesome.

I Love my Macbook Air!

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