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on 10 May 2014
Apple updated the Macbook Air models on the 29th April 2014. This release supersedes the 2013 - 1.3ghz model advertised here. The new 2014 model received a new 1.4ghz processor and a reduction in the RRP. The previous model had a RRP of £1,129. This RRP has now been reduced to £999 for the new 2014 model. Therefore the RRP on the previous 2013 model (advertised here) has also dropped to £799. This means that the current information for this model is now incorrect. Amazon has been informed of this last week but as of yet has not changed the details. The 2013 models are currently being sold for more than the RRP for those models. The 256GB version of this model is being sold elsewhere online from £699 - £799, and so is overpriced on Amazon.

Further to this, the product information for the 256GB model claims it has a 512GB drive. This is incorrect, but as of yet has Amazon has not corrected the mistake. It is also not clearly advertised that this model is a US version with a USA keyboard and adaptor. This should clearly be advertised. The false RRP, product details, and lack of clearly stating it is a US model are all a breach of trading standards and should be updated ASAP.
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on 6 August 2013
Easy choice if you need something that works well and has great battery life. The price is well ... high compared to windows laptops, but the difference can be easily felt just in a few days of use.

Worth it.
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on 29 October 2013
I have always been a huge supporter of 'Windows' and very anti Apple. However, the combination of the truly appalling windows 8 and a really dire Lenovo Twist (which really did not work) forced me to consider alternatives.The Macbook Air is a dream to use and seems to me to be everything that the Lenovo and windows 8 could have been but were not!! I regularly get 10 hours plus from one charge, a complete revelation, the use of multiple screens and a stunning trackpad make it a pleasure to use and it really does work all the time. The combination of brilliant hardware and stunning software make it worth 'saving up for' although actually it was not a lot more than the brick Lenovo call a computer!
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on 20 December 2014
If you’re like me, you’ll have spent ages comparing features and specs before splashing the cash on a new laptop. I certainly did, and I finally settled for the Mac Book Air, and here’s why.

Quick word of warning first - if you already own a Macbook Pro or Macbook Air, and want a techie comparison best skip this review. I've come from a Windows background, and I'm not an expert on the Apple mac line-up, and this is meant for similar non-experts.

Firstly, the hardware - which is just stunning. It’s incredibly thin and light at just 1.4Kg (just over a bag of sugar), and I hardly notice it in my case. The unibody design, carved out of a single peice of brushed aluminium gives this device a firm but incredibly light-weight feel, with a huge track-pad and beautifully made back-lit keyboard - great for typing in bed when it's dark. It’s astonishing really, that a device this thin is so rigid - it just screams top build quality and beautiful attention to detail.

Just like the iPad Air - this really is "a thing of beauty".

Apple make a point of not comparing the numbers, (it’s all about the experience not just a comparison of numbers) but here’s a summary of this device:-

* 1.3Ghz dual core intel i5 processor
* 4Gb of memory
* 256Gb of “hard disk” - it’s actually zippy SSD
* 13 inch screen backed with Intel HD Graphics 5000

In terms of connectivity you get:-

* Mag Safe 2 power plug.
* 1 x Thunderbolt port - to attach to fast external disks etc
* 2 x super-fast USB 3 ports (one either side - nice touch)
* Headphones output for external speakers
* 720p front facing web camera
* SDSX card slot

Apple hardware is more expensive than the equivalent running Windows, but you do get what you pay for,. This includes the cleverly designed “Mag Safe” magnetic power socket - so if a small child accidentally pulls on the power cable it disconnects from the laptop rather than dragging it crashing to the floor.

These machines don’t come with a wired network connection - it’s assumed you’ll connect using WIFI, but they are well future proofed - as they support the latest 80211ac standard - basically the same as before but faster. Be aware you may need to update your router to make use of this. My existing router is fast enough - but it’s nice to have the future proof design.

As a prior Windows laptop user, the multi-touch trackpad is a real revelation. You can scroll down web pages or documents (two fingers up/down), or scroll through web history (two fingers left/right), or (just like the iPad), use three fingers to scroll through your running applications. This is a fantastic feature if you’re constantly switching between two apps, for example a web page and a document, or a web page and your mail application.

Open the “System Preferences” window and you see a short video illustrating how you can configure the options. It’s hard to over-state the benefit of the track-pad. It’s so wonderfully accurate, it makes your laptop a real pleasure to use (again compared to my Windows laptop).

As already stated, the keyboard is fantastic. Island style black keys - nicely spaced out, and back-lit. There’s a set of dedicated keys along the top to control features including screen brightness, play, fast forward and stop, plus sound.

Of course you don’t get a CD/DVD drive - but all software is available online through the Apple Mac Store, and another nice surprise - consistently cheaper than equivalent windows software, and without the annoying collection of boxes, software keys and disks to avoid losing. You can of course buy an external DVD drive if you really need one (I found several on Amazon for as little as £26 - and it means you can leave it at home).

Battery life is quoted at something silly (9-12 hours), and I generally get an entire day of general use (web browsing, videos, mails etc), before I started get a warning - so you should be able to take this on a long haul flight or a long train journey without any problems.

Where this really shines though is the screen. It’s apparently 1,366 x 768 pixels, and looks just stunning. Videos are crisp and clear, but where is really shines is reading or writing text.

Sound quality is not bad, although not as good as I’d have hoped - but I plug in external speakers myself - or better still, stream music wirelessly to a bluetooth speaker. it’s worth noting, you can now stream anything on screen (videos or Netflix) to an Apple TV - including high quality sound. A great bonus.

I get to test an awful lot of wireless bluetooth speakers, and they’re a fantastic way to listen to music or the radio streamed from your Mac, iPad or Smartphone, and sound quality is astonishingly good.
The best devices I've tested and reviewed at every price point are:-

* £25 - Lepow Modre - Really cute design, bright colours and impressive sound for the money.
* £40 - ADX Fusion - Stylish aluminium design and excellent sound quality. Great value for the money from a small UK based company
* £60 - Audio Dynamix Atom V2 - Solid build in a beautiful brushed aluminium design with an impressive sound stage. Incredible value.
* £90 - Audio Dynamix Pulse V2 - Quirky design, but packs a punch way above its weight. Incredible sound quality, amazing value.
* £129 - Soundblaster Roar - Fantastic design with tons of features and a great sound
* £160 - Bose Soundlink Mini - Beautifully stylish with a warm and full room filling sound
* £250 - Bose Soundlink V3 - Simple but stylish design with an incredible sound stage
* £400 - Bowers & Wilkins A5 - Mercedes top end HI FI in a bluetooth speaker. Unlike the others, this is mains only, not rechargable
* £700 - Bowers & Wilkins A7 - Mercedes S Class. Absolute top end HI FI quality at a price to match

But back to the Macbook Air. In terms of software, these are well provided for straight out of the box including free copies of:-

* Pages - a fully featured word processor similar to MS Word
* Numbers - Excel spreadsheets for Apple
* Keynote - PowerPoint equivalent
* Calendar, Mail and iPhoto editor and organiser
* Movie Maker - to edit and publish home-made videos
* Reminders - to remind you

Of course if you need it, you can always buy Windows, Excel and Powerpoint for the mac (additional cost).

I love the fact the Macs now work well with the iPhone and iPad. That means (for example) you can set a reminder on your Mac and have it automatically appear on your iPhone. Likewise, enter contacts on one device, and they’re available on all. You can take a photo on your iPhone and it automatically appears on your Mac (and iPad) without having do do anything. Finally, you can even start a document on your Mac and then continue to edit on your iPad by saving stuff in “the cloud”.

Of course one of the considerations is which size to buy, 11inch or 13 inch. Well, for my money, it’s actually a really close call. You see while in the past there used to be a significant speed difference, now the only real difference is literally screen size and an extra half kilo of weight. On the 13 inch Macbook Air you also get an SDXC card slot (a bonus if you take/transfer a lot of photos), but otherwise there’s little difference. The battery life on the 13 inch is quoted at 12 hours (up from 9 hours), so if you’re a serious road warrior it’s a bonus, but otherwise it’s literally down to size.

Be aware as well, you’ll also certainly find this Macbook Air is an American rather than a UK model (hence the discounted price). Don’t worry, Apple do provide world-wide warranty, and it makes no difference to your support contact, but you will find it as a USA rather than an English keyboard. Again, not to worry. Look down at your keyboard. Over the 3 you’ll find a £ sign. On the American keyboard, this is the “hash” sign. Can can however always get the £ symbol, by pressing “Option 3” instead of “Shift 3”. As with all US shipments it will come with a standard charger with both the US and UK plug (it’s illegal to sell electrical devices in the UK with a UK plug) - so think of that as a bonus. The power is auto-sensing - which means it will work world-wide, in the UK, USA or Europe.

But a final word of warning - and not something Apple tend to shout about. I’m used to being able to upgrade hardware when it starts to slow down. Be aware you can’t upgrade ANYTHING on these machines. Even the memory is soldered in place so buy the best you can. OK so you can always attach a large external disk, but it’s a bit disappointing you can’t upgrade the internal disk or memory.

On balance - I’d have to say I love Apple Macs - and indeed all Apple hardware (iPhone, iPad included) so it’s hard to give a purely objective view. But this is a beautifully designed, well built machine - just buy the biggest, fastest you can afford - or accept you’ll be selling it on eBay in three years time to replace it.

However, as long as you’re aware of the limitations, go for it. This is a truly beautiful device, and will give you years of sheer pleasure. Believe me, once you’ve moved from Windows to a Mac, you’ll never go back.

I do hope this review was helpful.
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on 27 October 2014
I shopped around for months looking for the best portable lap top and trying to get the best price. The conclusion of that research was to buy this 13 inch Mac book air.

It's brand new and factory sealed. Great price and the only trade off is that the # key is actually the £ sign.

I love it so much. I think it might be the best thing I've ever bought.

I'm used to watching HD channels on TV and I find the display crisp and clear. The sound is great as well.

It's superfast at starting up and so light that I hardly notice that I'm carrying it every day in my handbag to work and back.

I would definitely recommend this. I bought the 256gb so it cost around £770. I had to purchase office for Mac as well from Microsoft but found that the Mac version is extremely user friendly in comparison to some of the newer windows versions of word.

Can't complain at all about anything.
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on 4 January 2014
After years of thinking of jumping form a PC to a Mac, i finally made the leap. What a machine! Worth every penny
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on 12 July 2014
I am beyond pleased with this laptop! The thin and light design is perfect for me as someone who regularly works on the go - I previously had a heavy 15" laptop which gave me back ache when I carried it in my backpack, so it's fantastic to be able to slip this one in and hardly even know that it's there. In addition the excellent battery life means that you can keep working all day long, even if you don't have access to a power socket. Both the keyboard and the trackpad are a joy to use (the keyboard is a US Version but that shouldn't put you off at all), whilst it runs all my applications with lightning speed. Mac OS X is fantastic - it sounds like a cliche but in my experience everything really does "just work" on a Mac. The only downside is perhaps the screen (if you're prepared to compromise on the weight and want a higher res screen then have a look at the MacBook Pro) however the screen on the Air is by no means bad and looks pretty good to my eyes. If you want a fast, lightweight laptop with excellent build quality then look no further than this Air. Highly recommended.
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on 10 December 2014
These are classic machines; truly unbeatable by almost anything else. The battery life is amazing; the range and quality of Mac software (especially for information management, creativity etc.) is also amazing. The screens are very good (much better than the 11" MBA, although not quite as extraordinary as the MacBook Pro 13"), and they're exceptionally quiet.

My only criticism is the memory: they really could do with 8GB of RAM. That would make them perfect. As it is, just occasionally the fans will start whirring away when something really system-overloading happens (having said that, at first I assumed the machine was fanless, so rarely does this happen). And just occasionally Apple Yosemite (10.10.1) will crash out completely for no obvious reason (yes, right back to reboot status in less than a second, losing anything you've been working on in the process). But that's almost certainly a software issue (Mail and Safari appear to be the main culprits), and nothing to do with the actual machine.
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Great Price and fast delivery. It's everything you'd expect from a Mac. I went with the 256gb SSD which is perfectly manageable. Loosing the DVD drive (which you would get on the Macbook Pro) worried me a little, but now the space and weight saver is a much better trade off. Great for transporting and, as a moderate user, I don't feel I loose anything from the Macbook experience by only having the Macbook Air. My wife also spends a lot of time editing movies pictures, and she loves it. We progressed from the old white Macbook, and we were so impressed with that, we knew we only wanted a Mac again. Once you go Mac...
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on 23 December 2013
I have, "owned," two 13.3" MacBook Airs, one purchased in Feb-12 by my then employer, the next in Aug-13 by my own business.

Both suffered from random crashes where the machine would simply cease to function. Attempts to revive it by using the power button failed. Eventually it would come back to life but there was no way of telling when. Any unsaved work was lost but the machine did not recognise it had crashed, so generated no error report.

The worst I had was in the midst of a bid in front of a board of directors whilst operating a PPT slide show by remote control. We had to break for lunch and hope it woke up by the time we got back, hardly a professional image, thanks to Apple.

Searching the web I found that this was far from uncommon problem and becoming a growing issue dating back to the 2011 build.

There are multiple threads on Apple and Mac forums as well as a Facebook group and YouTube videos of what is now known as the, "Black Screen of Death". Apple initially refused to admit there was an issue but with multiple machines being returned all over the world and no amount of hardware, firmware or software updating and replacement resolving the issue, Apple clearly have no idea what is wrong or how to fix it yet continue to sell machines with a known fundamental flaw that makes them unfit for purpose.

It's cute, quick enough, lightweight etc. but so are many machines at 25% of the cost, so why can they get their build right and Apple can't?

If you purchase one, beware. Apple may never solve the problem and you may have to live with a machine that turns itself on and off whenever it feels like it.

I sent mine back for a refund as the 1979 Sale of Goods Act says you can return any product that is unfit for purpose to the point of sale for a refund.

In my opinion it would be foolish to spend the extortionate amount of money for what should be the best notebook on the market only to find you have an entertaining paper weight.
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