September 21

Mid2013 MacBook Air Handson Apples newest laptop

first_imgOut of everything revealed at the WWDC 2013 keynote on Monday, the most unsurprising of the announcements was that of Apple’s new MacBook Air models. We learned that the popular MBA would still come in 11- and 13-inch sizes and the same unibody design, but after Monday it would be shipping with Intel’s new Haswell processors, complete with upgraded graphics. The battery life would be much better thanks both to Haswell and, as we’ve since learned, a larger battery. There would be some other updates as well, like dual microphones and faster, PCIe-based storage.The unexpected bonus from the announcement was an adjustment in the price or the specs of each of the models, depending on how you look at it. The 11-inch MacBook Air now ships with 128GB of flash storage and 4GB of RAM for $999, where the mid-2012 model was the same price but had 64GB. The new 13-inch MBA starts at $1099 with 128GB and 4GB of RAM, where as the 2012 model was $1199. Each model now runs a 1.3GHz dual-core Core i5 CPU. Neither system has gone with a Retina display, which means the 13-inch Air runs at a depressingly standard 1440×900. And good news for some: the WiFi has been upgraded to 802.11ac.This morning I had the chance to spend some time with the mid-2013 MacBook Air, aka the MacBook Air 6,2. I didn’t have enough time with the computer to deliver a full review or to confirm/refute Apple’s claims of a 12-hour battery life, but I can tell you that everything seems very solid so far. The system is blazingly fast and the battery life has barely moved since I started writing this article. Best of all (for me at least), this computer really allows what I like about OS X to shine through.Here is a brief video of the new MacBook Air, with me running through some of the specifications.While using the system, basically no changes can be found if you were to compare it to the 2012 model. The 2013 Air should be bit faster than the previous one, thanks to the new processor and faster storage (the 2013 model’s flash storage uses a PCIe connection as opposed to SATA), but you simply can’t notice a 5-10% overall performance bump during day-to-day use.The jump from 9 to 12 hours of battery life, on the other hand, should be noticeable once these new Airs start leaving the office and hitting the road. A teardown released today noted that Apple’s battery life gain wasn’t just from Intel’s new Haswell ULT chip, but it turns out that the battery in the new Air is actually larger than before. The 2013 model has a 7150mAh battery where the previous 13-inch model has 6700mAh. The 11-incher hasn’t been opened up yet (to my knowledge), so we don’t yet know if that was changed.If you are curious about benchmarks, the standard MBA 6,2 with 4GB RAM, 128GB flash, and the 1.3GHz Core i5-4250U system scored 6062 on GeekBench. That’s respectable, but nothing too special — Core i5 ultraportables from this and last gen (Ivy Bridge) tend to land in the 6000 to 7000 range. The 13-inch 2013 Air with the $150 upgrade to the 1.7GHz CPU seem to be clocking in at around 7100 on Primate Labs’ site.Recent Windows 8 ultrabooks are often lighter and more powerful than the Air, and some of them are moving to higher resolution displays, but with this update the MBA is still the computer to beat — especially after its price drop. Yes, it would have been nice to get a Retina display, but that’s not possible to do with all-day battery life, so if you need all those pixels you should consider the 13-inch Pro. Haswell-powered MacBook Pro machines were not announced at WWDC but they will be available soon enough, and at that time 2012 models should get a nice discount.As for the MacBook Air 6,2, so far everything is looking very good. The Air has been a no-brainer purchase for years now. It’s been a great choice for anyone who needs a lot of battery life and doesn’t want to carry around too much computer with them, and that’s still true today. VIEW PHOTO GALLERY 2013 MacBook Air 13-inch 2013 MacBook Air 13-inch 2013 MacBook Air 13-inch 2013 MacBook Air 13-inch 2013 MacBook Air 13-inch 2013 MacBook Air 13-inch 2013 MacBook Air 13-inch 2013 MacBook Air 13-inch 2013 MacBook Air 13-inch 2013 MacBook Air 13-inch 2013 MacBook Air 13-inch 2013 MacBook Air 13-inchlast_img read more