Just like when you’re waiting for a bus for ages, you’ll normally get two that arrive at the same time!
The new Apple MacBook Air notebooks have come along at the same time that Apple released their long awaited Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. Consequently all the new MacBook Air laptops have OS X Lion installed.
You can choose between either the 11.6 inch high-resolution LED-backlit glossy widescreen display or the 13.3 inch model.
Both the Apple MacBook Air 2011 laptops include the new Intel Sandy Bridge Core i5 processors. The 11inch laptop comes with a 1.6Ghz Core i5 while the 13 inch model is powered by the 1.7Ghz Core i5. These new processors improve the performance of the laptops considerably, although there is an option on both laptops to upgrade to the 1.8Ghz Intel Core i7 processor if more power is required.
The Graphics have been updated with faster integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 processors, with either 256MB or 384MB of 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM. This is shared with 2GB of RAM on the base model and 4GB of RAM on all the remaining configurations. The base model can be upgraded to 4GB.
Flash storage comes as standard on all the laptops in the range. Sizes start at 64GB up to 256GB depending on the model you choose.
All the laptops utilise the new Thunderbolt technology and have USB ports. You can add a USB or Thunderbolt external hard drive to compensate for the lack of storage capacity. Although the Thunderbolt port has replaced the Mini DisplayPort, it is still compatible with the Mini DisplayPort for video out purposes.
As always with the Apple MacBook Air the battery life performs well, giving the 11 inch model 5 hours of wireless web browsing and the 13 inch model 7 hours. If you put the MacBook Air to sleep for more than an hour, it enters standby mode. Then when you come back to the laptop up to a month later it should wake in an instant.
Wi-Fi wireless networking is 802.11n, a/b/g compatible.
The MacBook Air also comes with a Apple trackpad and backlit keyboard just like the MacBook Pro. There is an SD card slot available on the 13 inch model but not on the 11 inch version.
The MacBook Air comes with a one year limited warranty and 90 days complimentary telephone support. If you purchase the Apple Care protection plan you can extend this support to 3 years, allowing you unlimited calls to Apples technical support experts.
There is a 13% reduction of the list price of AppleCare protection plan available at Amazon at the moment with free shipping in the U.S.
Not a lot has changed looking at the MacBook Air from the outside. More importantly the improvements have been made on the inside.
With the passing of the white plastic MacBook, the Air now becomes Apples entry-level portable notebook for any aspiring Apple consumer.