The MacBook Air came into the world a ridiculous notion. A laptop as thin as it was expensive the Air started life as an under-performing novelty. However it’s Apple’s way to make a bold, ridiculous statement and then iterate until it comes close to making sense. Lay an original iPhone and an iPhone 5 side by side and you’ll see what I mean. In the same manner, the initially ludicrous Mac Book Air was slowly improved, becoming faster, stronger, more reliable and importantly affordable. What was a top of the range fashion statement has now become Apple’s entry-level laptop, with the basic Air now clocking in at £849. I say basic – I’ve used (and before thieves in Cape Town had they’re wicked way with my luggage, owned) a Mac Book Air and found it difficult to switch back to a regular laptop. The impossibly thin design and SSD speed for basic tasks make them great machines for on the go computing. Plus you can house one in any of a number of lovely MacBook Air 11 cases or accessories. Apple’s ubiquity has handy payoffs in terms of a wide third-party ecosystem.
The newly released MacBook Air’s take one of the key weaknesses I had with my old 2010 MacBook Air – the meagre 2 hour battery life – smashes it triumphantly. Apple is using Intel’s latest processors, charmingly called Haswell to crank up the battery life on the MacBook Air to 9 hours for the 11″ or 12 hours for the 13″. That’s an insane amount of battery and even manages to outperform iPads which already set my expectations for battery life pretty damn high.
The teeny 64Gb SSD I made do with on my 11″ has also been replaced with 128Gb standard, with hard drive capacity up to 512Gb yours for the taking. Graphics performance also got a bump. If you’re computing needs are quiet sated by a tablet – and most people’s needs probably area – the MacBook Air is a lovely halfway house before making a leap all the way to a MacBook Pro (or … another make of computer that I’ve heard rumour exist).