PC Magazine reviews Apple’s 11-inch MacBook Air: Razor-thin, ultralight, ultraportable, gorgeous

Apple Online Store“The MacBook Air (11-inch) ($1,199 direct), Apple’s latest entry into the ultraportable space, is no netbook, even though it’s the closest the company has come to making one. It’s strikingly thinner than the original MacBook Air, with a screen two sizes smaller,” Cisco Cheng reports for PC Magazine. “It will give the latest batch of Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) laptops a run for their money.”

“It’s hard to gauge how shockingly thin it is until you pick it up, cradle it, and put it against the thinnest thing you can find in the room,” Cheng reports. “It stands as the tall as the iPhone 4 at its thinnest part: The front bezel, which measures a mere 0.11 inches, is actually not that much thinner than the back of unit (0.68 inches). It’s thinner, without a doubt, than any current netbook in the market. The 11-inch MacBook Air’s razor-thin frame is triumphantly proportional to its weight, as its 2.3-pound frame is easily lighter than the Acer UL20FT-A1 (3.3 pounds), Acer 1830T-3721 (3 pounds), and Dell Inspiron M1010z (3.4 pounds).”

“It takes a page from the rest of the MacBook family, applying the same gorgeous aluminum to its Unibody chassis,” Cheng reports. “The aluminum is unyielding, almost ruggedized.”

“The reason why Apple chose to stay with a Core 2 Duo was so that it can benefit from a better graphics environment, specifically Nvidia’s integrated one. The Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics chip is the MacBook Air’s one redeeming feature in terms of performance. Though it’s not the kind of laptop you’d bring to a LAN party, it’s a better gaming solution than Intel’s integrated graphics,” Cheng reports. “A better graphics solution also benefits HD playback: I tried several 1080p and 720p high-definition video clips, at high bit rates, and the 11-inch MacBook Air played them beautifully.”

Full review here.

MacDailyNews Take: For those wondering, yes, some things in life are certain, Cheng did list “no SD Card slot” among her review’s “cons.”

62 Comments

  1. It seemed like a pretty honest and unbiased review to me.

    The new Air is gorgeous. Wish I could afford one or had the need for one. Apple is leading us into a scifi future.

    First!!

  2. It seemed like a pretty honest and unbiased review to me.

    The new Air is gorgeous. Wish I could afford one or had the need for one. Apple is leading us into a scifi future.

    First!!

  3. While I don’t have a macbook air, that SD slot has come in handy for me more than once on my 15″ MacBook Pro. Especially if you are working with photos/video.

    I have a 16 GB SD card for my camera, so good luck up in the clouds with that much data.

  4. While I don’t have a macbook air, that SD slot has come in handy for me more than once on my 15″ MacBook Pro. Especially if you are working with photos/video.

    I have a 16 GB SD card for my camera, so good luck up in the clouds with that much data.

  5. I see the SD card slot absence as a negative for the 11-inch model, too, though not a show-stopper, because USB can easily fill that void. Same with lack of backlit keyboard; a negatove, but not a show-stopper.I think the new MBA is a winner, and it’s the only serious alternative for travel to my iPad. Since April, I have not carried a laptop of any sort on any of my travels. BUT there have been times when I have had to use LogMeIn to access my desktop in order to work on large, footnoted Word documents, which the various iPad options do not handle well. The MBA, especially the bare bones 11-inch model at .7 pound heavier than the iPad and $994 tax/shipping free, is a very compelling offering for the road warrior.

  6. I see the SD card slot absence as a negative for the 11-inch model, too, though not a show-stopper, because USB can easily fill that void. Same with lack of backlit keyboard; a negatove, but not a show-stopper.I think the new MBA is a winner, and it’s the only serious alternative for travel to my iPad. Since April, I have not carried a laptop of any sort on any of my travels. BUT there have been times when I have had to use LogMeIn to access my desktop in order to work on large, footnoted Word documents, which the various iPad options do not handle well. The MBA, especially the bare bones 11-inch model at .7 pound heavier than the iPad and $994 tax/shipping free, is a very compelling offering for the road warrior.

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