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I was lucky enough to be given a MacBook Air for Christmas having spent several months moaning about my new laptop and my hatred of windows 8. Having never had an apple computer before I had no idea what to expect. On opening the box I was first struck by how thin this laptop is, I mean I know it is called "air" but i really didn't expect it to be so slim and neat. It looks good with it's silver casing and the apple that lights up. It was quick and easy to get up and running having arrived with some battery power already I was able to have a little play and sync it to my iPhone before I needed to think about plugging it in. I think that if you have an iPhone of iPad the simplicity of syncing and immediately accessing all your photos and music etc. is a big plus point for a macbook. The charger cable connects magnetically to the port, something which I had not come across before but really like, it makes it just that tiny bit quicker and easier to connect. And when the battery is fully charged it lasts for ages, the apple website say 9 hours but I would say that is a conservative figure and in standby mode it stays charged for weeks!
I am not a "techy" person so all the stuff about processors and processing speeds means nothing to me, all I can say is that I open it up and instantly it is ready to use, whatever I want to do on it - photos, web browsing, shopping, working, it responds very quickly much faster than my old laptop and can cope with more things happening at once without me noticing a drop in reaction.
As I said this is my first mac so the whole trackpad gesturing was new to me and I thought it would be confusing, once you are started with it though it becomes second nature and you find yourself wondering why your work laptop touchpad isn't responding to you as you try to scroll on it. It's actually a really intuitive system.
Being an "air" model it doesn't have a built in cd/DVD drive and as I needed one I have had to purchase this separately which was a bit of a pain but not an insurmountable issue.
My only other negative is the incompatibility with office which again must be purchased separately, the macbook does come with software but it is not up to the standard of office in my opinion.
All in all though I am really thrilled with my MacBook Air, with the purchased additions it does everything I need it to do with speed and style. I am definitely a mac convert now and can't see myself going back to windows anytime soon.
After using a sony laptop for several years and only using windows, i thought that the laptop was fantastic at the time. after upgrading to the macbook air i can safely say the sony was rubbish, not too mention bulky, slow and boring.
i never looked into much detail at apple products before buying the mac, it was when i decided i needed a new laptop for college my dad said have a look at these (he's apple mad). instantly i loved the macbook air due to the sleek design and portability. i have never had an i pod or i phone but with this, i was soon convinced and purchased :)
i can honestly say that with a macbook, your possibilities are endless , so many apps and features and very easy to use, i love the design, it makes other laptops on the market seem plasticy and cheap. my macbook has soon become my best friend. i am very impressed. i often use all Microsoft office. adobe and general searching of the internet.
even though a little pricier than other well known brands such as dell and samsung, it is well worth the investment, you really do get what you pay for.
This is the first Mac laptop or computer I've owned after a lifetime of being a Windows user, and I won't look back!
It is very light and fast, and even fits into my handbag making it easy to carry around with me. It was very easy to set up and it syncs with my iPhone - an added bonus! It's a beautiful piece of kit, though I don't think I'll ever get used to how cold it is when you first pick it up, so it's not something to use with bare legs!
The screen size is fine once you get used to it (I downsized from a 15 inch Dell), even for things like watching movies or catching up on TV.
Fully charged I can get about four hours of use out of my Macbook - more than enough for my daily commute - though obviously this will vary depending on what you're using your Macbook for.
It is an expensive purchase, but definitely worth it - I've not had any problems with mine in the 6 months or so that I've owned it. I love my Macbook - it's the best laptop computer I've ever owned, and I would definitely recommend it to friends and family (in fact I have - my mum now has an identical Macbook, and my sister has a slightly bigger one which she uses for image editing and graphic design).
This laptop is so light, fast and durable. It came beautifully packaged in a box with plenty of accessories. When I started it up, there was a simply guide to help me through. It took only five minutes to complete and allowed me to set up safely and securely without mucking it up. The software is beautiful and fast with all the features you could ask for. I was slightly disappointed with the cost to download Microsoft onto it but I suppose that isn't Apple's fault. I had a Sony Vaio laptop before I got this one and it developed a hardware fault which meant that i had to invest in a new one. I was slightly hesitant to spend so much money on one laptop but it was worth every single penny. Overall, it was a completely brilliant buy and I would never go back to any other laptop.
I bought the Macbook Air mainly so that I could do uni work on it as my other laptop had broken. This was my first Apple computer I had bought and although it was an expensive purchase I have never looked back. The fact that it is so light means that I am able to transport it to uni with ease. I don't drive so having such a light laptop really does make all the difference when carrying it around. It has also been with me on much longer journeys when I go on holiday and never takes up too much room. I have also found that the battery manages to last the whole day at uni and on longer journeys as long as I charge it before I leave it manages to last a one way trip. The longest journey I have done with it is 6 hours on the train to St. Ives and it managed to survive.
The only issue I found at first was that it doesn't come with Microsoft Office installed which was a pain as I needed it for uni work. The options that Apple offer do not compare to Word in my opinion. I was able to buy Microsoft Office for my mac online and as I am a student I was given a discount. This is an extra cost and considering that the Macbook Air is pretty expensive this may not be an option for some people. Once Office was installed, however, it became the best laptop I have ever owned. I have never had any issues with it. It does not crash and just works everyday as a laptop should!
Since buying my Macbook Air I would never choose another brand of computer again and will be sticking with Apple. They may be expensive but they work.
I've been the proud owner of a Macbook Air for almost 5 months now, travelling with it on a regular basis and plugging it into a 24" Mac display when I'm in the office. An avid Mac user for a decade now, for both business and personal reasons, it's been the go-to choice for me whenever I've had the chance, so when I was asked what machine I'd like for my new job (and given a budget of £1k), I jumped at the chance to try out the Air.
I have the standard 1.7 GHz 11inch model, with upgraded RAM (8GB) and SSD (128GB). I update it regularly without issue and spend about 9-10 hours a day using it - so I think I'm well qualified to pass judgement on it - heck, I'm writing this review on it!
I'm going to try and highlight 2 instances of use in this review - office use and travelling - the Air performs admirably in both, but you'll see some differences between them that might help you make up your mind as to whether the Air's a suitable laptop for your needs.
Price - not so much an issue for me as this is a work device, but the Air isn't cheap. The basic 11" model starts at £849 and climbs right up £1200 for the 13" inch model, but I'll say straight off the bat, you don't need the 13" model unless you have terrible eyesight - the 11" screen is beautifully crisp and more than adequate.
Look & Feel - some people would jump on my back for this comment, but it's very true, even to the point where people try to duplicate Apple's style. Simply put, this is the most beautiful laptop you've ever seen. Everywhere I've taken it it's had admiring glances - from night flights where people have noted it's backlit keyboard, to the London Tube system. Admittedly, that might've been some scamp eyeing it up to nick it, but still - there's no denying this is a desirable machine. However, desire without practicality is nothing, but the build quality is outstanding, as I find with all Apple products I own. It's incredibly light, slim and easily carried in a handbag/man-bag/rucksack. It can take a few knocks as well - believe me on this!
The Keyboard - a hugely over-looked feature on ultraportables. Many reviews claim the Air to have one of the best, if not the best, keyboard around - and I won't argue with them there. Whether I'm sat at my desk, or sat with it on my lap, it continues to type beautifully. The 'chiclet' keyboard you see so often now on laptops has been superbly designed, with the keys having the perfect amount of travel. My one critique here? I've got a crumb of something under my P key, and it's almost impossible to get it out - repeated crunching of the key in the hope it will break down said crumb seems to have done the trick, but still. It's also backlit, a huge bonus for those of us that work late into the night, or sit on a night flight struggling to hit the right keys.
The Trackpad - again another over-looked feature, but the Air's trackpad (and in fairness, all the Macbook Pros trackpads are the same) is top notch. The glass is slick and stays smudge free, and the multi-touch features work beautifully.
The Screen - not a hugely impressive resolution here (1366x768), but the screen is still beautiful. Lovely and crisp, whether your working on Excel documents or catching an HD movie, it's perfectly adequate.
Processing Power - I work heavily with intensive programs like Photoshop and InDesign - modifying large files that are over a GB, so this was my one concern with the Air. I needn't have worried - the 8GB RAM and SSD drive fly through the tasks in hand, coupled with a deceptively speed processor. I moved from a basic Macbook Pro to the Air, and was dreading the slowdown, but the SSD and increased RAM really do make a difference. It would struggle with video processing I'd imagine - but then those of you looking to do that on the go will probably be after the big brother to the Air, the 17" Macbook Pro. All in all, very impressed, multitasking across 2 screens with no lag or noticable slow down. It's more than fast enough for 90% of computer users, and the super quick boot up (> 20 seconds) and instant wake from sleep is a blessing for the busy worker.
Battery Life - This is the one area the Air lets me down in - but then I don't think I'm really using it under optimum conditions. I'm usually sat with the Air connected to a 24" Mac display, so it's pushing 2 screens of images out whilst charging a few USB devices, on maximum brightness and with Wifi on. Generally I'd get about 4-5 hours in that situation, but it ups to about 7-8 when I'm just on the Air itself with screen dimmed slightly and the wifi off.
Operating System - I'm sure there are reviews of Mountain Lion out there, so I won't touch on this too much. Having used the Mac OS for the last 10 years or so, it's come on in leaps and bounds, and is still the most productive OS for my needs (creative).
Overall: Whilst the Air is no doubt an expensive machine, it's well worth the bang for buck in my opinion. You get a powerful, compact machine that's great for travelling with, but equally as comfortable in an office or completing your usual day to day tasks. The trackpad and keyboard only serve to help matters and makes using the Air for long periods comfortable. All in all, it's a fantastic machine that I'd highly recommend to anyone with the budget looking for an ultra-portable with great power.
I purchased my Macbook Air about a year ago, as I needed something small and lightweight to use at university. I have only ever owned Apple iPods before, so this was my first experience with Apple computers. I don't think I'd want to use anything but now. After only a few months of purchasing it however, I had a series of issues with overheating, and problems using the touchpad. It was fixed extremely quickly in my local store, but I didn't expect any major hardware faults within a few months. Since this though, I have had absolutely no problems whatsoever. It's otherwise a very reliable piece of equipment. Apple advertise the battery life as being 7 hours, but I rarely get 7 hours use out of it before the battery runs low, usually 3 or 4 - the standby time of it however is fantastic, and appears to last several weeks. Initially I thought the small hard drive (this is relative really, it's small for me as I'm a designer and photographer, and am constantly producing very large files and images), would hold it back, but when you can pick up an external hard drive so cheaply, everything else about the model counteracts this.
Being an Apple user for quite some time now, I have never been this excited over any of their products. This tiny little machine is the best laptop I have ever owned. Not only is it super portable, it packs a punch in the power department also. As with any other Mac, the build of the machine is beautiful and seamless, and the operating system makes every day tasks like internet browsing fun and easy. The trackpad simplifies moving the cursor and with OS X Lion, "gestures" brings a whole new dimension to the user experience. The screen resolution is amazing bringing the smallest detail to life and the backlit keyboard is very useful in darker surroundings. With the Apple App store built in, you will never be short of games or productivity Apps as there are thousands to choose from. Unfortunately the lack of a disc drive means you would need to carry around an external drive if you wanted to watch DVDs or install software, but its not a major problem, and I find the screen a bit too small to watch movies on anyway. The battery life is fairly short but by no means disappointing for such a small and thin machine.
As fun and beautiful as this machine is, it would not make a very good primary computer. However for everyday tasks and projects, it doesn't get much better than the MacBook Air.
I thought long and hard about buying one of these machines, as I was in the market for something powerful but portable, that I could carry around in my backpack along with the DSLR, for photo viewing and editing. I wanted a Mac, as I love Apple products and the way they work (in particular their OS X operating system) so I had to decide which model would be best for me, and in the end I opted for the Air because of its extra portability.
This thing is TINY! But not in a bad way. It's super duper lightweight -- seriously, it's like an iPad 1 or something! And so thin you can easily pick it up with one hand and carry it around so much more conveniently that a regular laptop, or even a MacBook Pro.
The trade-off, of course, is the screen size. However, it's not as small as it sounds -- 11.6" and actually looks/feels bigger, somehow, than any of the Windows 11.6" machines I have used! It's widescreen, so there's width enough to have two windows open side-by-side, and it's preferable therefore to have the Dock to the side of the screen, rather than at the bottom, since this makes more sensible use of the available screen real-estate.
I did feel, however, that the screen IS too small for prolonged concentration - i.e. photo editing. Since this was my primary intention for the machine, I decided I would just accept that I could only really work on quick edits when away from home, then just connect the Air to an external monitor at my desk when possible, to do any prolonged editing etc. This works well and is a good compromise for me.
The speed of the MacBook Air is pretty astonishing. Due mainly to the hard disk being of the Solid State variety (64GB SSD) Apps load almost instantly, with very, very little loading times or hangs between opening and switching applications. This is impressive, considering the Air has only 2GB RAM and a (now old-hat) Core 2 Duo Processor, I was very impressed with the fast operation of the Air in general use.
This speed, though, does not always hold true, since performing certain tasks other than simply loading/switching apps, is subject to a slower rate of progression than a machine that's fitted with a faster processor and more RAM. This is because the SSD is what makes the machine so quick, but the processor and RAM are still limited, so doing things like video editing and conversion, take longer to complete than they would on a more powerful machine (even if fitted with a regular 7200rpm HDD).
Going back to the display for a moment, I must mention that it is a wonderful screen. Clear, bright and vivid, and with a high resolution, so as you'd expect from Apple, there's no skimping on this front. HD content looks lush and sharp, text reads clearly and photos look superb.
The MacBook Air has built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, so connecting to a wireless router is easy and fast, with the wireless N standard being supported. Bluetooth is useful for connecting to various accessories, such as wireless keyboard and mouse, when using the Air while connected to an external display.
The keyboard on the MBA itself is full size and lovely to type on. Keys are quiet, comfortable and spaced well, feeling just like a MBP keyboard, although annoying not backlit like the MBP's. This is a shame, as backlit keys are genuinely useful for when you're typing in low light/at night, but it's good that the issue has now been addressed with the newer Core i5 Air's now featuring the backlit keyboards.
The battery life on the Air is very good, especially compared to most Windows laptops and ultra-portable machines. The charger is the standard Mac affair, which is conveniently in 2 parts, so can be used as a long, extended charger, or as a short one, directly to the mains plug. This is useful for travel purposes and convenient because you're not limited to only having a charger cable that's too short, or one that is too long and cumbersome/untidy.
I'm not really reviewing OS X here I suppose, but since it's an integral part of any Mac, I will touch on it briefly. Snow Leopard is the OS that comes shipped with this generation of MBA and it's a very capable Operating System. I find it much more attractive, visually, than Windows 7 (personally speaking), simpler to use, cleaner and just 'fresher', if you know what I mean. Anyone who likes using a Mac should understand ;) Apple are really pushing the boundaries of their OS X software and Snow Leopard was perfect for me, until I recently upgraded to Lion, which I find even better.
The glass trackpad in the 11.6" Air is a joy to use. I have always been a huge fan of their trackpads and touchscreens and I find they work so much better than any of the older style trackpads that you find on Windows laptops.
The multitouch 'pad on the 11.6" model is a tad smaller than the 13" MBA version and MBP's etc, but it doesn't feel restrictive. There's plenty of room for manoeuvre and because it's multitouch and so responsive, it feels great and is really very useful. Once you get used to using it after a few minutes, you'll find things like scrolling, zooming and shortcuts to the dashboard and desktop so intuitive and quick, you won't want to bother connecting a mouse anymore, let alone go back to using a horrible unresponsive trackpad on another laptop.
The speakers built into the MacBook Air are actually pretty decent. Audio is quite 'full' and pleasant to listen to - obviously it's not going to rock your room with bass or fill a room at a party, but it's not distorted or tinny like the result most laptop speakers seem to deliver.
To sum up: The MacBook Air 11.6" C2D 2GB RAM 64GB SSD model is a real luxury to own and use. It's beautiful, sleek, superbly thin and light, but at the same time powerful enough for most tasks and usually very, very fast. The display is lovely and offers great contrast, colours and detail.
Certain users may find that the machine is too slow for doing things like regularly converting video, but for the majority of uses it's snappy and smooth. Apps load in no time flat!
The display size can become annoying, but only after prolonged use, and in that case it can be connected to an external monitor. The beauty of this computer is how portable it is, so the screen size cannot really be a complaint!
Oh My what a machine, we bought this at the beginning of the year, we already own a macbook pro 15" and wanted something small for travel that still had a proper keyboard. This fits the bill perfectly, a full size keyboard awaits in this rocketship of a laptop, its small and most certainly perfectly formed, beautiful colour screen, rich and vibrant, super fast processor and thin very very thin and small, this is smaller
than a magazine, perfect for even the most superlite of travellers. I will never leave home without it!
The build quality as expected from all apple products is be far superiour to others, one piece aluminium casing and perfect soft touch keyboard, is has everything our pro has, just in a small package.
i would by FAR recommend this to anyone travelling or wanting a small powerful notebook.
The power cable is in two parts allowing you to leave the longer extension at home for super lightweight travel and the transfomer has a handy cable storage clip- as well as the beloved magnetic connection
meaning you wont swip your new toy off the table if you trip over the lead.