Apple has planned yet another MacBook Air in the 13” segment with the all new device being scheduled for launch in mid 2014. While every laptop manufacturer is trying to load their devices some seriously mind blowing display configurations, Apple seems to have shrunk back on the display part. However, it has been working on reducing the retail price and pumping up the performance speed for the new MacBook Air.
Here is a quick walk through of the features of this device.
The new MacBook Air 13” has a 13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen display that is capable of supporting millions of colours. With a LED backlit display, Apple has actually tuned down the settings for this device which is not a logical move as competitors are focusing on bringing better and HD displays on their devices.
Moreover, this could prove to be a deterrence to Apple’s customers who were in expectation of the retina display being introduced for this. Maybe this is in plans for the near future but as of now, this device is not getting any display upgrades.
The compatible resolutions include 1440 by 900 (native), 1280 by 800, 1152 by 720, and 1024 by 640 pixels at 16:10 aspect ratio and 1024 by 768 and 800 by 600 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio.
Processor and Memory
This is one of the key areas where the company has definitely showed visible improvements. The new device features a 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz) with 3MB shared L3 cache. This is a clear upgrade from the previous version and the enhancement should appeal to MacBook Air users. The device can be upgraded further and is configurable to 1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz) with 4MB shared L3 cache. It should make the performance fast enough with good processing capabilities. The processing capabilities are further strengthened by a 4GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 on board memory which is capable of being configured up to 8 GB RAM.
Storage and Data Management
Now this is the feature that really packs a punch. Even though the device may have 128GB PCIe-based flash storage (Variant 1) and 256GB PCIe-based flash storage (Variant 2; Configurable to 512GB flash storage), it is one of the fastest in the PCI Express series. This means that the device can boot up in seconds and it is really easy to install as well as launch applications. The presence of the solid state drives also makes it possible for extremely fast data transfers (with sequential read and write speeds of 664MB/sec and 542MB/sec respectively) which is great for saving time. Businessmen and individuals are frequently on the move will find this feature rather appealing.
Battery and Power Management
The battery for the new MacBook Air 13” includes the following specifications:
- Up to 12 hours wireless web
- Up to 12 hours iTunes movie playback
- Up to 30 days standby time
- Built‑in 54‑watt‑hour lithium‑polymer battery
- 45W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter with cable management; MagSafe 2 power port
It is clear that no changes have been made to the battery configuration for the new device as it remains in line with the setup of the previous version. Battery has always been one of the most significant leverages of MacBook Air and very few are able to come close to the amazing stamina that these devices have. However. With the new update, Apple could have upped the ante with an enhanced battery configuration.
The connectivity options on this device include the following:
- Dual mics
- Two USB 3 ports (up to 5 Gbps)
- Thunderbolt port (up to 10 Gbps)
- MagSafe 2 power port
- SDXC card slot
- Wi-Fi (802.11ac Wi-Fi networking; 4 IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n compatible)
- Bluetooth (Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology)
Professional hardware is being upgraded to the Thunderbolt standard configurations for almost every major device in the market. With the new Apple MacBook Air 13” being equipped with the latest in connectivity integrations, this device should be able to get an upper hand in this segment when compared to other devices. Even the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies are in line with the latest technological configurations.
Keyboard and Trackpad:
The keyboard and trackpad for the new device have been integrated with the following:
- Full-size backlit keyboard with 78 (U.S.) or 79 (ISO) keys, including 12 function keys and 4 arrow keys (inverted “T” arrangement) with ambient light sensor
- Multi-Touch trackpad for precise cursor control; supports inertial scrolling, pinch, rotate, swipe, three‑finger swipe, four-finger swipe, and tap, double-tap, and drag capabilities.
The keys are responsive to touch and the trackpad is great to work with as every gesture and action is registered perfectly. It is difficult to dislike the MacBook Air’s keyboard and trackpad features. It offers high convenience and some of the most amazing interactivity.
Obviously, Apple wasn’t going to go easy with the operating system with its new device. The device is equipped with OS X Mavericks which is claimed to be the most advanced operating systems in the world today. This state of the art operating system includes:
- Notification Center
- Facebook Integration
- Twitter Integration
- Multiple Display Support
- Finder Tabs and Tags
- iCloud Keychain
- Mission Control
- Spotlight Search
- Safari Power Saver
- App Nap
- Power Nap
- Compressed Memory
- Built-in Sharing
The list of apps included in the OS package are:
- Time Machine
- Photo Booth
- Game Center
- Mac App Store
The dimensions for this device are:
- Height: 0.11-0.68 inch (0.3-1.7 cm)
- Width: 12.8 inches (32.5 cm)
- Depth: 8.94 inches (22.7 cm)
- Weight: 2.96 pounds (1.35 kg)3
As is obvious from the specifications, this is easily the slimmest and possibly the lightest device in its segment. This should prove to be a USP for this device.
The new MacBook Air 13” has not been able to cut through the competition with its lack of HD display configurations. Those who are actually bent on going for a MacBook Air can always add in 200 bucks and go for a MacBook Pro which has retina display. Now that is a device that offers great value for the applicable costs.
Moreover there is no significant difference between this version and the previous versions. So it would be a challenge to convince customers to go for this device, especially when the market is being targeted by Ultrabooks that have greater Display configurations. This could be considered as a good option for first time buyers and those who are not much into performance devices, but in no way does this have a “must-buy” proposition.
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