59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Who needs a MacBook Pro now?,
This review is from: Apple 13 inch MacBook Air (Dual-Core i5,1.7GHz,4GB,256GB Flash,HD Graphics) (Personal Computers)I reviewed the latest 13" MacBook Pro shortly after it came out in February of this year and pronounced it the best 13" notebook computer money could buy. Well, its reign at the top was short-lived and the time has come to hand over its crown to its younger brother, the latest 13" MacBook Air.
Using Intel's advanced Core i5 and i7 Sandy Bridge processors the new Air is incredibly powerful. These chips give it more than enough horsepower to comfortably outclass anything other than the early 2011 MacBook Pros. With Solid State Drives, the perceived speed of the new Air is faster than the MacBook Pro. Boot times are lightning fast. The Air only lacks power when asked to perform resource hungry work like digital editing. For all routine tasks, the latest Air demolishes my previous 2010 13" MacBook Pro. It's fair to say that it is all the computer that 99.9% of users will ever need.
Despite all this power, it doesn't get too hot. All in all, it is very easy and comfortable to use. Hard core gamers may bemoan the lack of a discrete graphics processor, but the inbuilt Intel GPU is perfectly adequate and it is certainly no worse than the previous generation of MacBook Pro which was a respectable gaming platform. Call of Duty 4 and Civilization V can both be played without enduring intolerably slow polygonal rendering. Screen quality is excellent.
The 13" Air runs MS Office flawlessly. It's great for surfing the web, watching movies, managing pictures in iPhoto and video chatting. The way in which you can perch it on your lap while sitting on a sofa makes it ideal for writing, reviewing email and doing countless other stuff in a relaxed way. It really makes you wonder why all computers aren't built this way. Since the form factor hasn't changed since 2010, suffice it to say that the Air's ergonomics are peerless.
There are two downsides. One is that the hard disk is only 256 GB in size. I think the minimum acceptable size is now 500 GB and ideally 1 TB or 2 TB. If you own a lot of media, this machine may run out of memory quite quickly. I am very surprised that Apple hasn't made a 500 GB SSD available as BTO upgrade for the Air as it has for the 13" MacBook Pro. I guess this is due to cost.
The other problem is that battery life seems less than the late 2010 model, I got 7 rather than 8 or 9 hours. This is a disappointment, but isn't a deal-breaker. You expect a certain loss in battery life when you get a much more capable chip.
In short, this is a truly great personal computer. It marks the fact that we've now reached a point in time where processor power is no longer dependent on chip size. The latest processors are capable of being squeezed into the thinnest enclosures, allowing small and light machines to perform tasks that only a few short years ago would have required a slab of plastic and metal weighing almost 10 lb. This is progress.
The OSX 10.7 Lion operating system is a work of genius. Launch Control, which enables you to review and launch all Apps via a single click, is a very clever refinement. So too is Mission Control, which replaces Expose and allows you to wade through a mass of open windows and applications to find the one you need. Lion also comes with a new Apple email programme which works well. In Safari, I like the way you can now slide pages with your fingers just as if you were turning pages in a book. Nice touch. Hundreds of other interface tweaks make this a no-brainer upgrade.
I'd go as far as to say that the latest 13" Air is so good, it makes the 13" MacBook Pro redundant. It is definitely the benchmark for future systems to beat. When you get as much power in a machine this slim, the incremental power you get in a 13" MacBook Pro doesn't seem worth it toting around in a machine that weighs so much more.
If you need a new machine now, this is undoubtedly the one to buy.
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Initial post: 25 Jun 2012 09:02:33 BDT
i currently have a MacBook Pro 17" screen bought for me as a birthday gift in September 2010. This is my 1st Apple. I only use it for email,SKYPE to my family,iPhoto and Facebook where I play 1 on-line game only. Because I travel and have, so far, taken it with me but the size and weight make it so that I am now considering the new 13" MacBook Air and your review has now convinced me that this is the way to go. Thank You
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