Pros: Lightweight, display, sound, performance.
Cons: No backlit keyboard
Bottomline: Overall, the new Macbook Air is an almost perfect notebook for users across profession. Starting from Rs 60,900 (11.6”) and Rs 79,900 (13.3”), the Macbook Air costs the same as a 13” Macbook white and a 13” Macbook Pro. However, the performance gains in general usage due to flash storage and the lightweight design makes it a better option if you can let of the optical drive.
Apple's Macbook Air is a a notebook that is aimed at people who like to travel light and still have the full functionality of notebook. The original Macbook Air that was launched in 2008 got updates through 2008 and 2009 in terms of hardware, but not in the overall design. In late 2010, Apple has released a second generation Macbook Air that has gone under a redesign and comes at an unbelievable refreshed price as well!
The new Macbook Air this time does not focus on being the world's thinnest laptop anymore. This time, the redesigned notebook looks much sexier than its predecessor and comes with 13.3” and 11.6” variants. We got the 13.3” sized Air for review and the notebook wowed us from the moment we took it out of the box. The notebook is still unbelievably slim and has a tapered unibody design. At the backside, the notebook is 1.7cm thick whereas tapering to the front it get to a mere 0.3cm! The Macbook Air does not feature an optical drive, but has a USB port on either side, a magsafe charger port and headphone on the right side and a mini Displayport with an SD card reader on the left side. What is impressive here is that Macbook Air's display also has aluminium enclosure now. Moreover Apple still managed to put in a a full size keyboard, multi-touch trackpad, webcam with stereo speakers and mic in the slim body!!
The Macbook Air comes with Intel Core2Duo processor running at 1.86GHz (optional 2.13GHz processor), 2GB DDR3 RAM (upgradable to 4GB) and nvidia Geforce 320M graphics alongside 128GB/250GB flash storage. The 13.3” LED backlit display has a resolution of 1440 x 900 pixels, which provides more than enough screen estate for a user. It comes preloaded with Apple Snow Leopard OS and iLife suite. In terms of connectivity, it has WiFi n and Bluetooth 2.1. The fullsize keyboard makes typing a breeze and the large size multi-touch trackpad works wonderful. The only thing I missed most while using the Air were backlit keys as they prove to be very handy when working at night.
In our standard usage, the Macbook Air 13” gave us an average of 6 hours of battery backup on a full charge. Thanks to the flash storage, the notebooks boots up onto the desktop in under 10 seconds and wakes up from sleep in a mere 2 seconds. The performance from the Air matches the Macbook Pro when it comes to normal usage. Of course, when it comes to graphics intensive programs such as Photoshop and Aperture, the Macbook Air's performance goes down a notch. The programs start-up faster, but with heavy files there is a slight lag that becomes visible. This hardly matters though, as the Macbook Air is not meant for a power user. Since the notebook does not feature an optical drive, Apple has provided a software reinstall USB drive in the box.