Anand Lal Shimpi thoroughly and extensively reviews Apple’s new MacBook Air for AnandTech. As is typical of Lal Shimpi’s reviews, this is one of the most in-depth product reviews you’ll ever read and it is a must-read for anyone considering Apple’s MacBook Air – or any Apple notebook, for that matter.
Lal Shimpi writes, “The build quality of the Air truly stands out among all of the incredibly impractical notebooks I’ve used in the past – it’s excellent. Generally you see an ultra portable and are impressed, then you hold an ultra portable and are scared. The same just isn’t true with the MacBook Air; it feels just like it looks and it’s surprisingly sturdy.”
Lal Shimpi writes, “As the MacBook Air is the only ultra portable Mac around, in many senses it doesn’t really have any competitor. Sony, Dell and more recently Lenovo all have similarly equipped notebooks but none of them run OS X. When I first reviewed OS X on a notebook I talked about how many of its strengths really came in handy in a cramped screen environment, which is what you get with a notebook. On an ultra portable machine like the MacBook Air, especially one with a fairly low screen resolution, the window management strengths of OS X grow even more important.”
Lal Shimpi writes, “The full sized keyboard is a must for any writer and it’s a decision that I’m beyond glad Apple went with on the Air. This entire review was written on the Air and it was done even faster than if I were at my desk typing it all out, mostly because I could be in whatever more comfortable environment I wanted to be in while writing it. If you need something ultra portable it’s generally because you want to carry it around with you all the time and presumably use it for something. The CPU and keyboard choices Apple went with made it so that you can actually get work done on the MacBook Air.”
Lal Shimpi writes, “Apple did sacrifice a lot with the Air, the lack of an optical drive and limited expansion both come to mind. But honestly, it’s all made up for by the form factor, build quality, CPU speed and keyboard decisions. Apple may have given up a lot but these four factors have made it so that the MacBook Air will be my desired travel companion from now on.”
Page: 01 – Index
Page: 02 – It Feels So Good
Page: 03 – The Best Keyboard on an Ultra Portable?
Page: 04 – The Trackpad
Page: 05 – So Bright, So Screen
Page: 06 – A Sound Sleeper & Connectivity
Page: 07 – Designed for a Utopian Society
Page: 08 – The SuperDrive
Page: 09 – Installing Mac OS X
Page: 10 – Inside the Air
Page: 11 – Little or No Upgrade Path
Page: 12 – An iPod Hard Drive in a Mac?
Page: 13 – Hard Drive Swap: DIY SSD Install
Page: 14 – Installing the SSD
Page: 15 – MacBook Air Performance: SSD vs. Mechanical HD
Page: 16 – The Impact of SSD on Battery Life
Page: 17 – The SSD Discussion
Page: 18 – System Performance: iPhoto & iWork
Page: 19 – System Performance: Office ’08, File Decompression, Photoshop & Quicktime
Page: 20 – Performance Summary & Subjective Feel
Page: 21 – Battery Life
Page: 22 – Thermals & Strange Issues
Page: 23 – Final Words
Full review – highly recommended – here.