Along with the MacBook Pro, Apple also announced changes to the Macbook Air at the WWDC. Coming in two sizes (11-inch and 13-inch varieties) the only real surprise seems to be that there is no Retina Display as was rumoured. The fact is though one of the selling points of the Air has been that it’s lightweight and powerful so people can probably overlook this point, or move up to a MacBook Pro which also comes in a sleeker and lighter new model, but this time with the popular Retina Display technology.
What users will be looking for now will be just how powerful this new model is, will it be any lighter and what new updates are actually available. Will this make it an update that is a must buy and a reasonable expense to put out to have the latest technology.
As mentioned earlier the MacBook Air will be available in 11-inch and 13-inch varieties. With a depth of 0.68 inches and weight of course 2.38 pounds it definitely has preserved its lightweight feel and as Apple point out it’s definitely one of the most portable laptops on the market today. If you can live without the MacBook Pro’s extra power and features then it’s still a good looking laptop.
Where the MacBook Pro pushed for power and sparkle the Air looks for functionality and productivity. It’s a laptop looking to offer the ability to check your emails, do some multimedia work and browse the web. Unlike the MacBook Pro you won’t be playing games on it, the Intel HD Graphics 4000 chip is not a high-end games chip, but it has some power behind it to play some lower to mid-range games.
Processing power comes in the form of a dual core Intel Core i5 chip (Turbo Boost up to 2.6Ghz) set to 1.7Ghz for the 11-inch variety and 1.8Ghz for the 13-inch. This is a fairly high end mid-range chip that will do most required of it; of course it’s not as powerful as the Mac Pro which is built for power.
Memory is configurable up to 8GB but with both versions of the MacBook Air is provided with 4, this of course is enough for most of the things you will want to run but the ability to upgrade is there if required and with 256GB or 512GB of flash storage this will speed up data access when needed.
Again not as snazzy as the MacBook Pro the Air looks to give more productivity to the user. With the 11 inch version having a native resolution of 1366 x 768 and 13-inch having 1440 x 900 this is fairly standard for laptops and will be fairly standard to most users. The high resolution LED-backlit screen is visually sharp and colourful but again lacks the glamour of the Pro.
The connectivity is quite standard for the MacBook Pro with only one read difference between the two versions. With Two USB 3 ports, a Thunderbolt connection headphones and microphone ports in each the only real difference is that the 13-inch Air comes with a SD Card slot. As with the MacBook Pro there is no optical drive, but with the slim line design of the laptop there is not much space to add this.
Whereas the MacBook Pro is built for power and performance with all the latest added features the MacBook Air is built for more everyday use and comes at an easier to afford price (but not by much). Whether it is worth an upgrade from the previous version though is still up for debate. If people really want to upgrade or feel the need to it may be more worthwhile to look at the MacBook Pro instead. Whichever choice made they both seem at first glance to be top quality laptops for the modern day user. Prices for the MacBook Air start from £849/$999