1 - 7 August 2014 #718

Light as air


In 2010, Apple introduced the newest member of the MacBook family, the aptly named MacBook Air. The perfect blend of performance, portability and design had tech-heads around the world drooling over conventional boxy laptops. Behold April 2014, and the latest iteration of the MacBook air is still the benchmark against which all ultrabooks are compared.

The new MacBook Air keeps the same feel as the previous generations, a look that still rivals the newest laptops in terms of design. As with the previous MacBook Air models, the new version still sports the now all-too-familiar wedged aluminium construction, which feels as sturdy as ever. The MacBook Air is available in 2 screen sizes, but both the 11-inch and 13-inch versions of the MacBook Air have the same thickness, ranging from 0.11-inch to 0.68-inch, and both weigh in under 3 lbs. The backlit keyboard and trackpad are the same as on the previous models. In particular, the trackpad remains the standard by which all others are judged, aided by the brilliant multi-touch and gesture-enabled features. The 11-inch MacBook Air sports a display of 1366 × 768 (135 PPI), while the 13 inch MacBook sports a 1440 × 900 (128 PPI) screen, resulting in the clear, bright and vibrant screen that we have come to expect from Apple.

The MacBook Air runs on Apple’s latest OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) operating software, and is powered by a 1.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (fourth generation), 4 GB of 1600 MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM, and a Intel HD Graphics 5000 card. The Mac OS takes some getting used to, if you have switched from a Windows PC, but after overcoming the initial learning curve, you should be whizzing along in no time. The MacBook Air is more than powerful enough for even the mainstream users amongst us, and Web surfing, social media, HD video playback is extremely smooth and fast. Storage on the MacBook Air is on the lower side, but that is due to the Solid State Drives (SSD) that Apple has packed in the MacBook Air. Macbook Airs are available only with 128GB or 256GB of internal storage, but one can only realize the power and speed of SSDs if one has actually used it.

The legendary battery life of Apple products continues with the Macbook Air, which lasts a whopping 9 hours of intensive use, while a FaceTime HD (720p) camera, Bluetooth 4.0, two USB 3.0 slots, one Thunderbolt port, and one SD card slot (13 inch only) take care of your communication and connectivity needs.

Yantrick’s Verdict: A unique blend of power, performance and portability, the MacBook Air is the ultimate on-the-go full laptop, but at a price point that may be out of reach for some. The base model (11 inch, 128 GB) is priced at around the Rs 1 lakh mark, but this is the premium pricing that we have come to expect from Apple for a market-leading premium product.