Apple MacBook Air 13 is one of Apple’s most interesting laptops in current years. Its M1 chip is a game changer, and it’s very impressive that it can run both old apps and apps that are optimized for the M1 chip, as well as iOS apps. The battery life and performance are also very good.
The new Apple MacBook Air 13 has two big improvements over last year’s models. First, there are the new processors. Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors, which come with the new Air, are some of the fastest one’s ever made.
The second change is to switch from Nvidia and AMD to the widely used Intel HD 3000, which has built-in graphics. The graphics processing unit (GPU) is the same as that found in the most recent 13-inch Macbook Pros, so it is not an improvement.
The operating system, which is called OS X Lion, has also been updated, but this review will focus on the hardware unless something else is important. The following week, I’ll have a full review of Lion.
Apple MacBook Air 13 | Design
The Macbook Air is just as thin and light as it was last year, if not thinner and lighter. At its thinnest point, the new 13-inch model weighs 3 pounds and is.7″ thick. The Air is not weak, and it is very well-balanced and easy to hold with one hand open or closed. Like all Apple products that aren’t the iPhone or iPod, the Air has some sharp edges that you should watch out for.
Apple MacBook Air 13 | Keyboard
It’s not clear why Apple took the backlight off the keyboard on last year’s Air models, but it’s great to see it back this year. The keyboard is well-designed, and the illumination feature comes in handy during periods of low light. The F5 and F6 function keys now control the brightness of the backlight, which is now bright enough to see in broad daylight. The edges of the trackpad do not light up, which is fine, given how big it is. There is also a sensor that changes the brightness of the backlight based on how bright the room is.
Apple MacBook Air 13 | Speakers
The sound quality is great, especially considering that you can’t see the speakers. Some sounds can’t be heard until the volume is turned up to 100%, and even then, it’s not often. Watching a movie like “Inception,” which has a deep bass and a lot of different sounds, is surprisingly enjoyable. The sound is amazing, and when combined with the amazing screen (see below), it’s heaven to watch movies and TV on the Air.
The Apple MacBook Air 13 Air looks and feels as good as ever as a laptop. Its design makes it very flexible. You can use it to travel or to get a lot of work done. You can use it on the couch, at a desk, or while walking around. The Air would have been almost perfect if it didn’t have USB 3.0 or if it had USB/eSata ports instead of the current USB 2.0 ports. I think this is because of Thunderbolt, which will be around a lot more in the next few months.
Apple MacBook Air 13 | Display
One reason it’s been hard for me to find a good laptop is that most of them have bad screens. It’s part of a laptop that’s easiest to skimp on, and most users wouldn’t know about colour accuracy if you stuck a comparison chart to their heads.
Among laptop displays, this is among the best I’ve seen. This shouldn’t surprise you. Displays from Apple have always been highly regarded by both regular users and professionals. I used the free Lagom.nl LCD Test to check out the screen.
When compared to high-end standalone displays, the colour contrast is spot-on and great. The white levels are also very high, and the screen brightness is bright enough to see outside. The black levels are very good, but the five blacks that are the darkest can’t be seen at all on a black background. This difference in black levels won’t be noticeable to most users.
The screen is clear, but it flickers and makes a whirring sound at certain frequencies, which I haven’t heard before. I can’t believe Cupertino even has a problem like this. The screen has some ghosting, which is normal for non-gaming screens. Response time is a little slow, but that’s not a big deal.
The Air does not disappoint users who need reliable displays on the go, whether for photography, video, colour accuracy, or just to work outside by the pool. There is no better phone screen.
Apple MacBook Air 13 | Battery
Battery: I haven’t finished the full battery tests yet, but based on the time I’ve spent so far with the 13″ Air, I think it’s a good battery. The standby time is good, losing only 1% to 2% every 8 hours. It also charges very quickly, going from 0 to 70% in an hour and ten minutes.
Apple MacBook Air 13 | Everyday Use
By using a Macbook Air, I installed Windows 7 Ultimate (for benchmarking, see below) and tested the laptop with both Windows and Windows 7 Ultimate. Not how well it runs OS X Lion, but how well it runs Windows 7 is what’s interesting about the Air. After having trouble at first installing Apple hardware drivers for Windows 7, I was very surprised by how well Windows 7 worked on the Air. Applications run smoothly, tasks are done quickly, and there is no extra software like there is on new PCs. All of the great features of Apple’s hardware work great in Windows 7, from the function keys to the trackpad. Some things run better in Windows than in OS X, as you’ll see in some of the benchmarks below.
It takes too long to boot up. OS X Lion takes about 32 seconds to start up and only 3.3 seconds to shut down, which is very fast. Windows 7 Ultimate is even worse. It takes 54 seconds to boot up and 7.6 seconds to shut down. But, like the last Macbook Air and all new Macbooks, the Air has a standby mode that turns back on right away. Even though Windows 7 also goes into standby mode automatically, it uses a lot more power than OS X does.
Apple MacBook Air 13 | Webcam
The webcam, which is a 640426 video camera, lets you video chat with good-quality video. It also takes pictures that can be used on a PC. The mic on the left side is sensitive and accurate, but it’s in a bad spot and easy to cover by accident. A 3.5mm headset can also be used for stereo sound and a microphone. However, the one that comes with the iPhone is best for video conferencing.
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Wi-Fi connections are very strong. A strong connection can reach through several walls and over 50 feet. Since the Air doesn’t have an Ethernet port, it needs to have fast down and up streams, and it does.
On the Air, it’s fun to watch videos, stream content, and even play the occasional game. When you have a good screen, good sound, and the attitude “I’ll do what I want, where I want,” it’s fun to watch or listen to any media.
Wrapping It Up
Apple MacBook Air 13 is still as beautiful as it was a year ago. It has the same pleasant in-hand sensation, straightforward operation, and convenient portability that has made other similar products so popular. I can’t believe a laptop can be so nice. It has a lot of power for how small and light it is and for a computer with built-in graphics. This new Macbook Air 13 is a great replacement for the Macbook line, which has been taken off the market.